Scrapbook For The Rotary Year July 2021 to June 2022
11th July - Monthly Walk
Our walk of just under four miles long, started and finished at the Red Cow in the village of Chrishall. Chrishall Common at 482 feet is the highest point in Essex. Recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book in the hundred of Uttlesford with 58 households and 8 slaves, Chrishall in size is in the top 20% of settlements in England. It has not changed a lot in almost a thousand years. The land at that time was assigned to Count Eustace of Boulogne by William the Conqueror for his support in the battle of Hastings.
27th July - Presidential Handover
ThiseventwasthefirsttimeinsomesixteenmonthssincetheRoystonRotarianshadbeenabletomeettogethersocially.Thirtysix membersandguestsmetattheGardenRoomatChilfordHallnearLintonat6.30pm.Theeventhadbeendelayedduetothe GovernmentcovidrestrictionsanddespitethefactthattheeventcouldatlastgoaheadallguestshadtobookinwithaTestand Trace recording.GuestsweremetwithaBucksFizzdrinkandcanapésandwereabletomingleandchatforthefirsttimeinages.Adeliciousmeal followed served by carefully masked waiters.Followingthemealtheformalproceedingsbeganwith PresidentMartinBerry(whohaddiligentlyservedfora continuoustwoyearstretch)addressingtheattendeesbefore passingonthechainofofficetoournewpresidentStephen Higginbotham.Thetwistherewasthatduetosocial distancinglimitationsofcovidPresidentStephenhadtoplace thechainonhimselfratherthanhavethepastpresident place it round his neck.SueHigginbothamwaspresentedwiththeLady’sJewelby Martin’spartnerJosephinewho,inturnwaspresentedwith somewhiteorchidstothankherforallhersupportoverthe last two years.After presenting the vice president’s Jewel to Peter Mitton and the past president’s jewel to Martin, President Stephen made an address where he thanked the past president and his council members.With the formalities out of the way the attendees were able to chat with each other long and animatedly, something they had all been missing for far too long.
27th July - Award of Paul Harris Fellowships
Asoneofhisfinalduties,outgoingPresidentMartinBerryannouncedtwoPaulHarrisFellowshipsatthePresidentialChangeover.Thesefellowshipsareusuallyawardedforservicetothecluboverandabovewhatwouldbeexpected.PaulHarrisFellowrecognition wascreatedinmemoryofPaulHarris,thefounderofRotary.IthasbeenapracticeofmanyclubstoawardPaulHarrisFellowships inappreciationofhisorherservicetothecluborthelocal,nationalorinternationalcommunity.Thecitationsannouncedby President Martin was as follows.“It is my very great honour to present not one, but two Paul Harris Fellowships this evening.Thefirstgoestosomeonewhohasfoundthepast18monthsmorerestrictivethanmostofusbutwho,inspiteofthat,hascontinuedtobe particularlyactivewithinclub.Whenwewerenolongerabletomeetinperson,hesuggestedweshouldmeetonZoomandhelpedtheless computerliterateofustomasterthisnewtechnology.Whenwehadtocancelourfund-raisingevents,hesuggestedweshouldraisemoney onlinewithavirtualballoonrace.Andwhenwewereapproachedbyascurrilousorganisationaboutaludicrouscopyrightinfringementhe respondedquicklyandveryprofessionallytomanageourriskandhelpCouncildealwiththesituation.And,ontopofallthis,throughout the pandemic he has kept our “shop window” – our website - up to date and interesting.I am, of course, talking about Tony Briar.ThesecondPaulHarrisFellowshipgoestosomeoneelsewhohaskepthimselfbusyontheClub’sbehalfthroughoutthePandemic.Hehas managedtobecomeaverysuccessfullybloggerwithoutevenknowingwhatabloggeris!Hisad-hocmusingshavegainedawidefollowing andkeptmanypeople,someofwhomarelivingindifficultcircumstances,entertainedandconnectedduringthelonelydaysoflock-down. HewasthedrivingforcebehindthecreationofourMemoryCafé,andheisalwayslookingforwaystohelpthelessfortunateinour community.Tothatend,hehasservedforseveralyearsasaTrusteeofthe Deard’sTrustandhasbeenparticularlybusyinthatrolethroughoutthe pandemic.HehelpedournewPresidentset-upacommitteetolookatthe futureoftheclubandhehasgivenustwoexcellenttalksonZoom–both finishing exactly on time.I am, of course, talking about David Izod.”Sadly,TonyhadtocryofffromtheeventduetoillnessbutDavidwas abletoacceptthePaulHarrisFellowshipawardinpersonasshownin the photo.
11th July - Monthly Walk
Our walk of just under four miles long, started and finished at the Red Cow in the village of Chrishall. Chrishall Common at 482 feet is the highest point in Essex. Recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book in the hundred of Uttlesford with 58 households and 8 slaves, Chrishall in size is in the top 20% of settlements in England. It has not changed a lot in almost a thousand years. The land at that time was assigned to Count Eustace of Boulogne by William the Conqueror for his support in the battle of Hastings.The barn of the Red Cow, in the back ground to the picture on the left, was built in the 15th century and is the oldest building in the village. The pub itself was much modified in the 17th century.We started the walk by crossing the road and sports field before turning right on reaching a lane. The various thatched cottages on our left dated back several centuries. After passing the pond to our right we cut back through the trees to the road leading to the crossroad and memorial with the Red Cow on our right. At the top of Church Road we turned down Loveday Close. On turning right at the end we walked along the edge of the fields to a lane. At the lane we turned left to the end of the wood to get a view across the Cambridge countryside to the tower of Ely Cathedral in the far distance. You will need your binoculars to see it on a good day.Retracing our steps we continued along the edge of what is known locally as Bluebell Wood, a blaze of colour when the spring bluebells are in full bloom, to a crossroad. To our left is the village of Elmdon and to our right the village of Chrishall. We crossed the lane keeping the woodland on our right until we reached the fence paddocks of Hugo Lascelles Bloodstock situated in Elmdon, where we stopped for a coffee break. It was along this stretch of walk that John Wahlich remarked how easy it is to lose ones orientation on these walks and I remarked only a blind man could lose his way on this walk. After the coffee break to prove John’s point I had to eat my words. Instead of orientating myself I set off towards Pond Street before having to retrace my steps and turning towards Chrishall Holy Trinity Church. I have always done this walk the other way round but changed it to have a suitable break for coffee. With the private wood on our right we had a beautiful view across the undulating Essex countryside with Chiswick Hall on the far side of the B1039. This was the site of Flanders House, not that of the Simpsons, but that of Count Eustace of Boulogne, whose daughter Matilda married King Stephen. The remains of the fish pond and moat can still be found in the grounds of the house.On reaching the Church we crossed the church yard and descended to Church Road. The current flint built church dates back to the 12th Century. On crossing the road we followed the path up to Chalky Lane passed the hand pump which used to draw its water from the chalk aquifer, on to Hogg's Lane and the Red Cow and a pint of ale and a good meal. A pleasant and enjoyable stroll after all of the confinement.Jim Webb
TheweatherpredictionfortheAugustwalkpromisedrainfromabout1.00pmandluckilyitfollowedthescript,withasubstantial downpouroccurringsoonafterwewereensconcedcomfortablyinamarqueeattheFoxandDuckinTherfield.Wellmaybenot quitesocomfortablyasaheaterwasturnedonthatproceededtocooktheoccupantstomediumrareuntilitwasturnedoffafter a request from the sweating diners.Thewalkwasunusualinthatitallowedoptionsof0,2,4,6,8and10milecircuits.OnlySandraScottjoinedRaytowalkthe2miles fromhishousetomeeteverybodyelse,nowtotalling8,attheF&Dtosetoffforthe4milecircuit-aftertheobligatoryphotograph of course. Thewalkstartedoffnorthbeforejoiningthepath followingtotheEastalongaridgewithspectacular viewsacrossmilesofHertfordshireaswellasavast expanseofCambridgeshire.Itispossiblefroma singlespotonthisridgetoseethetalltransmitter aerialonSandyHeath,WimpoleHallanditsfolly,Ely Cathedral(some34milesaway),awatertower (some40milesdistant)inLittleport(BarbaraMitton’s birthplaceapparently–Littleportthatis,notthe watertower),lotsofCambridgeincludingKings CollegeChapelandAddenbrookes,GreatChishill windmillandPeterHoment’sandNeilHeywood’s houses. The only part of Royston visible is the tip of the 4 chimney stack in Johnson Matthey.Turning south we found our way to Reed End where, peeping over a high hedge, a cottage displayed a rather nice weather vane.WefollowedtheroadtowardsDaneEndbutturnedwestontoafootpathacrossthe fieldstoRooksNestLane.Hereafterashortsoutherlywalkweonceagainturned westontoafootpath,Rayhavingbeendisappointedthatahousethatnormally displayedseveralhighperformancecars,includingacoupleofMaclarens,wason thisoccasionmerelyofferinganAstonMartinSUV.Afurtherannoyanceonthis routewasthatinseveralplacesthefarmer(s)hadploughedrightuptotheedgeof the fields, leaving slightly difficult walking and no margin for wildlife.Wefollowedvariouspaths,huggingfieldsidesuntilweskirtedbrieflythrough KelshallandthenbackacrosstoTherfieldChurchandfromthereontotheFoxandDuck,wherewewerejoinedbyTony,Kashand Di for a very nice lunch. Those choosing Sunday lunch were mostly defeated by the giant Yorkshire puddings.The rain deterred even Sandra and Ray from walking back to Royston and so only the 4 and 6 mile walks were completed.Words and Pictures by Ray Munden
The walking group waiting in anticipation
No photo can do justice to the view across Cambridgeshire
The Striking Weather Vane
15th August - President’s Hello
At last we were to have the President’s Hello, much delayed from the month of July when we normally have this highly anticipated event. The origins of the event are lost in the mists of time but it allows all Rotarians and their partners to meet the new president for the year in an informal setting.The setting this year was President Steve and wife Sue’s lovely garden situated in a quiet and secluded part of Royston and on a beautifully sunny afternoon. The event was very well attended and we all sampled the extensive array of drinks on offer. After much catching up among friends it was time to eat, alfresco naturally, and what a feast lay before us. Quite apart from the hard work of preparing the salads and cold meats by Sue and Steve, other Rotarians (or more often their partners) had also contributed to the feast. So we sat in the sun, contentedly chattering and munching away until it was time for the sweet courses - always the most anticipated part of any meal. Once again we were faced with delicious-looking sweet dishes (all ever so slightly fattening to the waistline!). With Steve serving out strong coffee to finish I think we can remember a really great meal in lovely surroundings and with like-minded friends,A big thank you to Steve and Sue, and to all the other contributors who had worked so hard in the preparation. Photos below (they automatically slide in at 8 seconds but you can use the arrows at each side of the picture to step forward or back at your own pace).Pictures Courtesy of Steve Higginbotham
8th August - Monthly Walk
31st August - Presentation to the Photographic Contest Winner
Ahighlytalentedyounglocal photographerwasrecognisedthis weekbyRoystonRotaryClub. PresidentStephenHigginbotham wasdelightedtopresenta certificatetoJackKirby,aged11,in recognitionofhissignificant achievement.Jack,wholivesinFoxton,reached thenationalfinalsofRotary’s YoungPhotographerafterearlier thisyearwinningthejunior categoryinalocalcontest organisedbyourcklub.Hethen wentontowinatthedistrictlevel (coveringHerts,BedsandBucks), securingentrytothenational finals. Althoughhedidnotwinnationally,hisphotograph,‘Natureco-existingwithMan’,which depictsamistyviewofthechurchofStLaurence,Foxton,greatlyimpressedthejudgeswith itsqualityandcomposition.Hewastold“manyadultswouldhavebeenproudtohavetaken it.Youhavetheframingjustrightandabeautifuldepthoffield,withaspider’swebpin sharp and the church thrown out of focus to provide the perfect backdrop.”PresentingJackwithhiscertificateoutsideFoxtonchurch(above),MrHigginbotham congratulatedhimonhisachievementandhopedthathewouldenterthisyear’s competition, which Royston Rotary Club will be launching soon.
1st September - President’s “Weekend”
Thequotationmarksaboveareintentional-itwasdecidedthatthemuch delayedPresident’sWeekendforpastpresidentMartinBerrywouldbeheld midweekforachange.ThisyearthetripwouldbedowntoWiltshire,near toMartin’soldstompinggroundsandwasmeticulouslyplannedby JonathonBerks(withnodoubtalotofassistancefrombothLindaand Josephine).TheLuxuryRichmond’scoachpickedusupinstagesfromBarleytoGreen DriftinRoystonandwesetofftoBeaconsfieldtovisittheBekonscotModel VillageandRailway,claimedtobetheworldsoldestoriginalmodelvillage (www.bekonscot.co.uk).OnarrivalwemetupwithGraemeandLinda DargieandDavidandGlynisSmythwhohadtravelledbycarfromRoyston.Weweren’tdisappointedatBekonscot,everyfacetofBritishlifefromthecomplete20thcenturywasthereinminiatureandin meticulousdetail.Andwhocanforgetthetongue-in-cheek(ifslightlycorny)namesofmanyoftheminiatureshopse.g.“LenDCash, Pawnbrokers”, “Daily Reed, Newsagents” etc (See the picture gallery).BackonthecoachwetravelleddowntoGreatMissendenforlunchattheCrossKeyspubwherewehadpre-orderedourlunch selections,beforewanderingaroundthetownitselfforhalfanhourorso.WehadoriginallywantedtovisittheRoaldDahlmuseum intheHighStreetbuttheyweren’tgeareduptoacceptlargegroupswhilstcovidrestrictionswerestillinforce.Backtothecoach whichtookustothelittlevillageofWroughtonandtheAlexandraHouseHotelwherewemetupwithMikeTaylor,exRoyston Rotarian,andhispartnerRuth.Thateveningweallmetupforaverypleasantdinnerinoneofthehotel’sfunctionrooms.(Seethe picture gallery).ThursdaymorningweallsetoffafterbreakfasttovisitthevillageofLacock(www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock-abbey-fox-talbot-museum-and-village).ThispicturesqueWiltshirevillagedatesfromthe13thcenturyandnowadaysisownedalmostexclusivelyby theNationalTrusttomaintainaveryrusticcharm.Itwon’tsurprisevisitorstoknowthatitisaverypopularfilminglocation,Harry Potter,DowntonAbbey,Cranford,PrideandPrejudice,tonamejustafew.InadditionthevillageboastsLacockAbbey,originallya 13thCenturynunnerybutwithitsupperfloorsconvertedformorecomfortablecountryhouselivingfollowingtheDissolution.The Abbey is also home to the Fox Talbot museum, “Britain’s birthplace of photography”. (See the picture gallery).MidafternoonwesetoffbacktoourhotelviaAvebury(stonecircles)forarestandachangeofclothesbeforesettingoffintheearly eveningtotheGWRSteamMuseum(http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/)innearbySwindon.Hereweweregivenaguidedtourby anexperiencedoldrailwaymanwhowasabletoexplainthebeginningsoftheGreatWesternRailwayandSwindon’scentralroleinits development.Wetouredtheexhibits,marvellingatthesizeofsomeofthesteamengines,beforehavingdinnerinoneoftheir function rooms. Eventually, back on the coach to return to our hotel well before 10pm. (See the picture gallery).Friday,beingourlastday,weallcheckedoutofourhoteltosetoffforHenley-on-Thames.HerewemetupwithourguideGraham, whowalkedusaroundpartsofthetownpointingoutvariousbitsofhistory.Thistownisevidentlyalsoafavouriteplaceforfilming, particularyscenesfromMidsomerMurders,andGrahamwasabletopointoutvariouslocationsusedinthemanyepisodes.Once thewalkingtourwasoverweallboardedapleasurecruiserfromHobbsofHenleyforatwohourboattripupstreamandback, includingtraversingHambletonlock.Weweretreatedtoaveryacceptablebuffetlunchontheboatsothatwecouldseethesights passingbyasweateourfoodandlistenedtoGrahamdescribingpointsofinterest.Havingalicensedbarontheboatwasabitofa plus, too. (See the picture gallery).Finally,weboardedthecoachtoreturntoRoystonwherewearrivedsafelyabout5.30havingsuccessfullynegotiatedboththeM40 and the M25 on a typical Friday afternoon/evening.SpecialthankstoJonathon(andhishelperelves)fororganisingsuchafaultlesstrip-everythingwentlikeclockwork!(Wordisthat President Steve is also using Jonathon’s talents for his own President’s Weekend next year).
Group photo at GWR Museum
27th September - Results of Creative Writing Competition
TheRotaryClubisdelightedtohaveplayedamajorroleinoverseeingRoystonArtsFestival’sCreativeWritingCompetition.Winners have now been announced in the four categories and prizes of tokens for David’s Bookshops, Letchworth, have been distributed.RotarianDavidBlundell,anorganiserandjudge,said:“Thestandardsofentrieswerereallyhighonceagain.Itwasveryencouraging that so many youngsters in the 7-10 years group took part.”CarlFilby,ChairofCreativeRoyston,said:“Thankyoutoallthosewhoenteredthecompetitionandcongratulationstotheprize winners.WewouldparticularlyliketothankRotaryandDavid’sBookshopfortheirsupport.Together,theycoveredthecostof prizes amounting to £300.”Threejudgesfromtheworldofliteratureandjournalism,selectedthefollowingwinners(fulldetailscanbefoundat http://www.creativeroyston.org/): 7-10 yearsJoint-Winner: Priscilla Tibenderana (9) New LifeJoint-Winner: Nathan Tibenderana (7) Dinos and meRunner-up: Freya Johnson (8) The four heroes11-14 yearsWinner: Genevieve Eaton-Banks(13) The Refugee15-18 yearsWinner: Elizabeth Eaton-Banks (18) PhoenixRunner-up: Jasmine Brett(16) I’m a Were-What?19+Winner: Justine Blaydon. In the deep woodsHighly recommended other entriesAmelia Keen (8) Moving to ItalyEdward Scales(8) A new personDarcey Brown (8) The girl who helped the worldImogen Clements(11) The heavens spoke to me
27th September - Results of Creative Writing Competition
1st to 4th October - A Kentish Adventure
Thejourneyispartofthefun,theysay.NotonaFridayduringanationalfuelshortageitisn’t,andnotonaMondaywhenyou’ve beenstationaryontheA2foranhourtryingtoreacha7milejamontheM25(accidentintheDartfordtunnel).Whathappened between these annoyances was luckily much more enjoyable.Theclub’s2021walkingweekendtookplaceinKent.Itwasdelayedayearthankstotheunmentionable,butitwaswellworththe wait.PeterMittonhaddiscoveredourbase:Knowlton,anestatenotfarfromCanterbury,consistingof1900acresoffarmland surroundingasplendid18Cmansion,withseveralbuildingsrepurposedasholidaylets.Ourhomefortheweekendwasthebiggest andfinestofthese;the10bedroom17CDowerHouse.Wellupthehighstandardsofpreviousyears,thehandsomeJacobeanpile wasprovidedwithallourbasicneeds(except,onoccasions,hotwater)andwearrivedladendownwiththerest.Everybodyhad contributedsomething:wine,beer,cheese,bread,awonderfulvarietyofcakes(thanks,allyouRotarybakers),sausages,potatoes, lambchops,chicken,plusbigdishesofpre-cookedcurryandlasagne.Weseemedunlikelytostarve,nortosufferfromalcohol deprivation.Afterwesettledin,itwasoffforsupperinthepubatnearbyChillenden.Somebravesoulsevenchosetowalkthereandback,no doubtgettingintrainingforthenextday’strek,plannedforusbyJohnandClarice.TheschemewastodrivetonearbyDeal,leave ourcarsatthestation,thenwalkalongthecoastalpathtoSandwich.Fromtherewecouldcatchatrainbacktoourstartpoint.I likedDeal;oldfashionedandunpretentious,withquirkyseasideteashops,Dickensianlanes,andageneralairof19thcentury cheeriness.MostofusobedientlyfollowedJohntotheendofDeal’slongandverywindypierandthen(asisthewaywithpiers) backagain.Somepeoplespottedaseal,andwealladmiredthetown’sdivertingroofscapeasviewedfromoffshore.Thenawayto thenorthwewent,sharingthestonypathwithmanydogowners.Deal’slastvillasonourleftweresucceededbyagolfcourse,with thesteeppebblebeachandthegreyChannelalwaysonourright.Morenaturenotes:evenmoresurprisingthanthesealwerethe twohardymiddleagedladieswespottedfrolickinginthebrownwaves.AraresightingforOctober.Thegustywindwas strengtheningatourbacksandthecloudsweregatheringoverthesea,butitstayeddryuntilwestoppedforabreakoppositethe YachtClub’sgrandHQ.There,aswesippedourThermostea,therainstarted.HoodsandmyRotarybrollywentup,thenoffwe trudgedagain,nowwithanothergolfcourseonourleft-theprestigiousRoyalStGeorge’s,wheredoubtlessJackNicklausandBobby Jonesoncehuntedforlostballsinthecruelrough.Oneofournumberfoundtwoofthem(lostballs,notgolfers)whiletakinga discreet comfort break behind a bush. Thepathnowleftthecoastandheadedinland.Wecrossedthegolfcourse,atypicallinkswithhillsandhollows,butmercifullydry underfootthankstothesandysoil.Soakingwet,wemusthavelookedalittlelikeNapoleon’sarmyretreatingfromMoscow,although therewasnosnow,andwedidn’thavetoeatanyhorses.Thecoursethengavewaytoalongsnicket(aswesayinEastYorkshire)–a narrowpathoverhungwithbriars,whichcontinuallysnaggedmyumbrellauntilitcollapsedandhadtobechuckedintoabin.Iwas soonaswetaseveryoneelse.Itseemedaverylongway.Finally,thestreetsandhousesofSandwichappeared.Wewerecheeredto spottworestaurantshere,yardsapartandbothsellingpizza.Wesplitintotwopartiesandcrowdedintoboth,greedyforQuattro Stagioniandtoilets.Afterwards,warmerandalittledrier,weemergedintothesoakingstreetsanddashedthroughtheraintothe station,whereweboughtourticketsfromamachine,consideratelyplacedoutsidethelockedbuildingandsitedsothatthedrips fromtherooffellonpurchasers’heads.Itwaslikeusingafruitmachine;somepeoplegotoneticket,sometwo,andonelucky Rotariangotfour.Weallseemedtopaydifferentamounts.Butthetraincamesoon,anditdeliveredusbacktoDealinaveryfew minutes. It was still raining.BackatKnowlton,dryclothesreplacedwet,andteaandmorewonderfulcakesmadeagoodfinaletoamemorablewalk.Someone’s fitnessappsaidwehadachieved17,000steps.Thatwouldbeabout7or8miles,thoughJohnassuredusitwasless.Milesseem longerinbadweather,butwhateverthedistancewehadatrulyenjoyablewalk.Therewascertainlyasenseofachievementin finishing it.Supper,takenroundtheDowerHouse’senormoustable,featuredKash’schickencurry(plustrimmingscourtesyofJonathan)and Lyn’slasagne.Bothweresplendid,aswaswhatfollowed:Sandra’sbreadpudding,Jo’schocolatemousse,andJoan’spearfrangipani tart.Sunday was dry! WestartedthedaywithavisittoGoodnestoneHouseandPark,whichhasafinegarden.Wemettheknowledgeableheadgardener, Paul.Heexplainedalittleofthehistoryoftheplace.JaneAustenwasafrequentvisitor.HerbrotherhadmarriedintotheFitzwalter family,whobuiltthehouseandstilllivethere.It’snowmarketedforweddingsandsuchlike,soitwouldbeidealforanotherRotary walking weekend. Three nights self-catering costs just shy of £10,000 in peak season. Well, perhaps not.Afterlunch,itwasbacktothecoastagain;thistimetoWalmer,southofDeal,aCinquePortwithacastlewhereWellingtondied.A muchmoreleisurelyexpedition,thisone;westrolledalongthecoastpathtoDealpastinnumerable‘inmemoryof’benchesand fishingboatshauledupontheshingle,andthenpaidavisittothetown’scharmingsmallmuseum,alovelymaritimejumbleof picturesandmodelsofshipsandsailorsandlifeboats,andlonggoneDealshopsigns.ItwasabitlikeourRoystonMuseum;friendly, eclectic, and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. Then we strolled back to Walmer again. Time to finish off that cake!ThegrandfinalewasSunday’sbarbecue.DavidBeardwellandPresidentSteve,boldlywieldingenormoustongsamidcloudsof smoke,labouredoverthemodestWeberkettleinthecourtyard,andtherewassaladandjacketpotatoestogowiththegrilled meats.Howtheyproducedsomuchonsuchasmallbarbieisamystery,butitalltastedverygood.JohnWahlich’ssignatureginger, creamandorangepuddingmadeaceremonialappearanceafterwards,andwasjudgedexcellent.JohnandClaricehadproduced quizzes,too,whichentertainedusinthesittingroomafterthemeal,John’sfeaturingthefiendishstandardofdifficultywe’vecome to expect from him. Asever,Rotaryfellowshipkeptusallsmiling,Rotarycookerykeptusverywellfed,andRotarymanagementmadesurenothingwent wrong.Everyonewhowastheredidsomethingtodeserveabigroundofapplause,andthat,whenyouthinkaboutit,iswhatmakes the world go round. What a weekend it was. Who cares about a bit of rain? We had a wonderful time.Words and pictures thanks to Neil Heywood. To see the photo album of the visit click here.
November - Monthly Walk
This is a very brief account of our walk around Abbotsley near St. Neots..We set off from the Eight Bells public house on a glorious autumn day wit the sun shining on gold and yellow leaves as they floated gently to the ground on a cool breeze. The walk around Abbotsley was about four and a half miles long over a gently rolling countryside which gave us some delightful views of west Cambridgeshire At the end of the walk, when we got back to the village green, we found a special memorial to commemorate Armistice Day. The memorial reads:In Memoriam1914 - 1918The trees on the village greenwere planted to honourthe men of Abbotsley whodied in WW1Lest we forgetWe also found some very moving tributes to four brothers, all of whom volunteered at the start of the War, and all of whom were killed. Here are two of the tributes ALBERT PAGEWho lived in Abbotsley onHIGH GREENGave all whilst serving in ‘the Great War’: son of James & Esther, Albert was a stretcher-bearer in the R.A.M.C before he was killed in action in Cambrai on 27/9/1918ALL GAVE SOMESOME GAVE ALLLunch at the Eight Bells was extremely good value for money!Story by Martin Berry
4th December - Christmas Tree Decorating
WiththestalwarteffortsofNeilGandJoMoneoftheSt.GeorgesNursingHomeChristmastrees, decorationsandlightswereputupontheirfirstfloorlanding.Severalhoopshadtobejumpedthrough tobeabletogainaccesstotheHome,evidenceoflateralflowtest,fullvaccinationsandmasksandonly twopeopleallowedin.TheHomeissogratefulforourhelpandasusualwewerepresentedwithsome lovely mince pies.Unfortunatelyduetothenewcovidvariant,omicron,RichardCoxHousefeltittooriskyforusto decorate their tree. Hopefully we will be able to do that next year.Story by Bryony
14th December - Christmas Dinner Celebration
Clarice Wahlich said the Grace and President Steve Higginbotham read out a surprise telegram believed to be from afar but in fact only from darker reaches of Bassingbourn (Thank you Tony and Bryony).A previously ordered meal was served very ‘Master Chef’ in its presentation, not the usual “meat and two Veg” but very tasty!Kash was disappointed that there was no coffee but eventually managed to charm the young waitress in his inimitable way to find him a cup.Words and pictures courtesy of The Rotarian
The annual Christmas Dinner for the Rotary Club of Royston was held on the 14th December at the Cambridge Country Club, Bourn. Much thanks for the arrangements of this event must go to the diligent efforts by Vice President, Peter Mitton.With DJs all pressed, medals burnished, (and trousers replaced by party frocks in the case of the ladies!!) we were greeted with a welcoming glass of Prosecco and the conversation flowed amongst the 50 Rotarians and guests – there was much to catch up on after so many months of virtual meetings by Zoom!
A group of 12 set off from Sawston for the first Rotary walk of 2022.Wewererewardedwithasunnyandnottoocoldmorning.Wehadto ploughthroughafewbackstreetstoleavethetown(village?)before crossingoversomefieldsthatluckilyweren’ttoomuddy.Aswe approachedBabrahamanattemptedshortcutledtoushavingtoclimba doublebarbedwirefence.Luckilyitwasabitbrokendownandwith mutual help we managed to negotiate it safely.PressingonwearrivedontheoutskirtsoftheBabrahamResearchCampus, animpressive420acresofleadingedgeresearchonthebiologicalworking ofthebody.Therearearound60companiesonthesite,mostlyinnovative start-ups,withsome2,000staff.Theheartofthecampusisthehighly prestigiousBabrahamInstitute,whichisfundedbyvariousResearch councils,theEU(atleastitstillsaysontheirwebsite)andcharities.Their basicresearchisspunoffintosomeofthestart-upcompanies.Asyou approachthereisanimpressivelookingbuilding,whichusedtobean agriculturalcollege(andpresumablybeforethatsomeone’scountrypile) just the other side of the diminutive River Granta.WecarriedonalongsidetheGrantaandthepathsbecamesomewhatmuddier.Wehadaquickwalkaroundachurch(literally aroundasitwaslocked)andthenasweproceededalongwehadourfirstmudslidewithPeterRosstakingatumble.Fortunatelythe onlydamagewassomemuddyclothes.Thepathwentthroughsomewoodsbeforereturningtoanopenpathacrossfields.Just beforewetookthefinalstepsbackintoSawstonunfortunatelywehadoursecondcasualtyasDavidBeardwellalsotumbledover.ThistimehewasquiteshakenupandsoafterabriefdiscussionafewremainedwithDavid,whowasrestingonawall,whileSteve dashedofftogethiscartoretrieveDavid.Therest,mindfulofthe3hourcarparklimitandprospective£100fine,marchedquickly alongthemainroadtospeeduptheirreturn.WiselyDavidandLizskippedlunchsothatDavidcouldgohomeandrecuperate.Luckily there was no permanent damage.Adepletedgroupof7dinedintheotherwiseemptybutgoodqualityJadeFountain,itissadtoseesuchanicerestaurantstruggling forcustomers.Theywereveryfriendlyandunderstandablydidtheirbesttoencourageustospendmore,itcan’tbeeconomicto open for such a small clientele.Words and photos by Ray Munden