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Scrapbook For The Rotary Year July 2023 to June 2024

Rotary
Club of Royston
President: Phillip Martin
Index to Scrapbook Entries (click to view)
17th November 2023
17th & 18th November 2023
31st October 2023
5th November 2023
15th October 2023
24th October 2023
18th September 2023
8th October 2023
1st October 2023
13th August 2023
6th August 2023
23rd July 2023
9th July 2023
4th July 2023
This is our Club’s big event of the year when the outgoing president hands over his responsibilities (and chain of office) to the vice president and some other club officers also move up one rung of the ladder. This year our President Peter Mitton is succeeded by vice president Phillip Martin. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Forty eight Club members including , partners and guests met up at the East Herts Golf Club for 7pm having struggled through persistent drizzle to get there. We had half an hour to settle in, mingle and socialise before a group photograph of all Rotarians present was taken. We were then called in to dinner, where a table plan and a place card led each of us to our allocated place at table. Following an excellent three-course meal, coffee and the loyal toast the formal activities of the evening began. President Peter addressed us with remarks on how his term of office had been, mentioning some of the highlights and successes of the year. His penultimate task was to read citations for richly deserved Paul Harris Fellowship Recognition awards to Rotarians Karin Weston and Martin Berry. Peter’s final duty was the handover to incoming president Phillip with the chain of office and handshake to “seal the deal”. Peter’s wife Barbara then handed on the president’s partner’s jewel to Ruth Martin and the other handovers took place of the various chains of office i.e. to Derek Pinner, the new vice president and to Jean Green the new junior vice president. Barbara was also presented with some potted plants to thank here for her support of Peter through the year. The formal part of the evening being over and following the final toast more socialising could take place until all the guests eventually drifted away by 10.30. Altogether an excellent evening very professionally organised by our new vice president - many thanks Derek. To see all the photographs of the evening please click here.

9th July 2023 - Monthly Walk

Conscious that it might be hot, we planned a walk mainly through woods, less than four miles and flat. As we gathered for the walk, the skies around us looked rather threatening and we all wondered if we’d escape being soaked. We started from Debden Barns a few miles outside Saffron Walden near Carver Barracks. After a very short time we crossed the road to view the old runway (RAF Debden) and the memorial. On the day we were there we could see the runway was being used, not by planes but by cars as there was a driving experience event with all manner of exotic cars driving along the tarmac. Of course there was a brief history lesson from John… RAF Debden just before the war featured in a film starring George Formby; in 1940 it was one of the key Battle of Britain bases with Peter Townsend (he of Princess Margaret fame) and after 1942 is was an USAAF bomber base so a lot of history. Now the buildings are used by the Bomb Disposal RE regiment hence the barracks with the whole lot due to close in 2031. We crossed the road and turned right at a layby and started walking on a good path towards Rowney Woods. The track through the woods was very good despite recent rain and it’s an area perfect for jogging. While none of our party felt the need to increase their pace, we had several runners sail past us. The route is waymarked but after a while we took a left fork which brought us out into open fields. We turned right along the edge of the wood and as we reached the end of the field, we took four steps up to rejoin the woodland path. Ignoring the cries of ‘you said it was flat...’, we stopped briefly at what was meant to be our coffee stop. However, since John and I had done our recce, the area had become very overgrown so we couldn’t easily get to the site we’d earmarked. But there was some good news. On our recce, we’d sat on our folding mats on a log. We realised recently that we only had one mat in our rucksack. Retracing our movements, we thought the only place we could have lost one of them was in the woods. John fought his way through the undergrowth and there he found the mat. It was a bit dirty, but it had been there about 6 weeks. We had coffee in a clearing nearby. There was a huge mound of recently dug earth which prompted Kasifa to wander what had been buried there. We were able to reassure her that it was earth from a badger sett. The coffee break was quite short as several of the party were being bitten. Well done Barbara for having some bite cream. We continued along the waymarked path before reaching a left-hand branch. Our recce had seen us continue straight on, but adventurous John decided we should go off piste and take the left-hand route. Much checking of phones ensued to see where this would take us. As John says we weren’t lost but the final part of the walk was treading new ground. After walking around a field there should have been a footpath off to the left. We couldn’t see it, so we continued on and then entered another field and doubled back on ourselves. We saw the signpost we’d been looking for but it was well hidden by vegetation. Continuing our walk around the field we could see the car park and Debden Barns in the distance. Despite doubting his map reading ability we ended up in the right place! Even more astonishing the distance covered was less than four miles. Barbara, Peter and Kasifa had to get home, but the rest of us together with Tony had lunch in the Elder Street café and deli. We enjoyed cool drinks and a variety of dishes ranging from fish and chips, burgers to Butcher’s Block. In all it was a pleasant walk and as always it was filled with fun and fellowship. Clarice. Photos courtesy of Clarice and Bryony.

4th July 2023 - Presidential Changeover

13th August 2023 - Monthly Walk

Six

walkers

began

this

month’s

walk

from

the

Rose

and

Crown

in

Ashwell.

After

a

short

walk

along

the

road,

we

turned

right

onto

a

footpath

which

took

us

up

a

gentle

slope.

The

weather

was

perfect

for

walking

and

at

the

top

of

the

slope

we

had

fine

views

of

Ashwell

Church

and

across

to

Sandy.

At

the

end

of

this

footpath,

sampling

blackberries

along

the

way,

we

turned

right

and

then

left

onto

a

track

into

a

field.

A

little

further

on

we

had

a

very

short

detour

to

see

the

well-hidden

church

at

Caldecote.

The

diversion

could

prove

useful

as

we

came

across

a

sign advertising gazebo spare parts.

Returning

to

the

track,

we

turned

left

at

the

road

passing

several

laden

apple

trees

along

the

route.

After

a

‘Beware

of

the

Bears‘

sign

we

entered

the

village

of

Newnham.

Here

we

went

to

the

church

for

our

coffee

break.

On

our

recce

there

was

sadly

only

one

bench

to

sit

on.

When

we

arrived

this

time,

a

brand-new

bench

had

been

added

so

we

were

all

able

to

sit

down.

That

was

the

good

news.

Unfortunately,

a

phone

call

to

the

Bushell

and

Strike

brought

bad

news.

We’d

been booked in for Saturday not Sunday and they had no space for us.

Undeterred

we

walked

back

to

the

footpath

which

was

even

more

overgrown

than

on

our

previ

-

ous

visit.

Having

fought

our

way

through

crops

and

nettles,

we

turned

right

over

a

wooden

bridge

into

a

field.

We

carried

on

through

three

more

fields

some

of

which

had

sheep.

One

in

particular

took a liking to Martin.

We

emerged

onto

the

road

and

walked

about

300

yards

to

a

footpath

on

the

right.

A

gentle

slope

took

us

past

a

pig

farm

before

turning

left

up

through

some

fields.

The

area

on

our

left

was

an

iron

age

hill

fort.

After

this

we

walked

downhill

and

ended

up

back

in

Ashwell.

A

distance

of

slightly

more

than

six miles had been covered.

Ray

came

up

with

Plan

B

for

lunch,

Kasifa

wasn’t

able

to

join

us

but

John

and

I,

Martin

and

Jo

and

Ray

met

up

with

Joan

in

the

Thai

Rack

in

Royston

where we had a delicious lunch.

Another lovely walk with great company and delicious food. There is no Sunday walk in September as we have our ‘walking weekend’.

Words and pictures by Clarice

1st October 2023 - House Party

Royston Rotarians and their partners were treated to a very pleasant house party at the home of Peter and Sue Ross. A total of twenty eight attended for the 1.30pm start; Peter s driveway was soon littered with cars as was the road outside.. The weather that day was very pleasant with sunny intervals allowing us all to have pre-meal drinks on the patio and spreading out on to the large lawn. Soon some delicious canapés were being handed round to complement the drinks and shortly afterwards the buffet was served where there was a choice between lasagne or salmon slices all with accompanying vegetables and salads. Peter and Sues large house allowed for two long table seating arrangements, one in the dining room and one in their conservatory so everyone was seated with a group allowing easy conversation, chatter and gossip. There was a range of sweets to follow, consisting of home-made cheesecake, Eton mess and strawberries and cream, all followed by coffee or tea. A most pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thanks must go to Peter and Sue for accommodating us all, and to the Sports and Social committee for their organisation. Thanks also to Gill Williamson assisted by Linda for the catering. Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge, copy or print them. Photos courtesy of Bryony.

8th October 2023 - Monthly Walk

The

weather

was

perfect

for

our

walk

around

the

flatlands

of

north

Cambridge.

15

walkers

set

off

from

The

Bridge

public

house

at

Clayhithe

(the

old

English

name

for

Clay

Port)

and

once

over

the

bridge

itself

we

turned

left

on

to

the

towpath

alongside

the

River

Cam.

It

was

here

that

the

River

Cam

Conservators

used

to

meet

in

a

lovely

building

built

in

1842

which

is

still

the

residence

of

the

River

Foreman.

In

the

grounds

of

the

house

are

two

workshops

where

the

river

team

carry

out

a

wide

range

of

maintenance

and

engi

-

neering work; weed cutting, lock maintenance, tree cutting, bank piling, salvage and managing river levels.

We

parted

company

with

Tony

who

walked

directly

to

Bottisham

Lock

along

the

tow

path

whilst

the

rest

of

us

set

off

to

the

left

of

the

Conservancy

shed

and

between

two

barns

to

a

marker

post

just

before

a

private

property

sign.

Here

we

turned

left

across

a

ploughed

field

over

which

the

farmer

had

thoughtfully

driven

his

tractor

to

make

two

narrow

paths

to

walk

on.

On

reaching

a

gap

in the hedge we proceeded along a tarmac path to skirt right around the farm house to a stile.

Once

all

but

one

of

us

had

negotiated

the

stile

it

was

pointed

out

that

the

gate

next

to

it

was

open

and

could

have

saved

a

lot

of

clambering.

A

wide

grassy

path

led

to

another

stile

next

to

an

electric

wire

fence

but

this

time

the

gate

was

padlocked.

At

the

third

stile in the corner of the field a cow pat made for tricky landing but everyone managed to give it a miss.

We

went

left

here

through

a

grassy

field

to

the

embankment

of

the

Bottisham

Lode

where

we

passed

on

the

other

side

of

the

lode

the

beautifully

kept

polo

field

where

the

Princes

Charles,

William

and

Harry

played

polo

and

which

is

still

in

use

today.

At

the

pump

house at the end of the lode we turned left alongside the River Cam to Bottisham Lock where Tony was waiting for us.

A

boat

was

negotiating

the

lock

which

gave

us

all

something

to

watch

whilst

we

stopped

for

a

coffee

break.

Tony

retraced

his

steps

back

to

The

Bridge

whilst

we

walked

along

the

top

of

the

embankment

until

the

river

curved

round

to

the

right

and

we

had

to

ne

-

gotiate

a

rough

path

down

and

across

the

field

to

a

kissing

gate

leading

between

hedging

and

the

embankment

and

then

up

to

the

top of the embankment again.

Taking

the

track

alongside

another

ditch

we

arrived

at

the

main

road.

We

crossed

the

road

and

headed

into

the

Cow

Hollow

Wood

(a Woodland Trust site) which took us through much needed cool shade to bring us out opposite the entrance to The Bridge.

We

were

joined

by

Ruth

and

Phillip

who

had

been

enjoying

a

quiet

drink

on

the

patio

overlooking

the

river

to

await

our

arrival.

Thirteen of us sat down to a lovely roast lunch and some even had dessert!

Words by Bryony, photos by Bryony and Tony

24th October 2023 - Charity Curry Evening

Thirty five Rotarians Partners and guests converged on the Lalbagh restaurant in Bourn for a charity curry evening. This restaurant specialises in both Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine and had been recommended to our organiser, Rotarian Graeme Dargie. We sat down at 7pm at four separate tables but all in the same room so it was a quite intimate, if noisy, atmosphere. Following a generous helping of poppadoms and spreads we were served quite an array of the restaurant’s signature dishes, some very spicy but others less so, including chunky nan bread. There was plenty to go round for all and the evening passed most pleasantly with a great deal of chatter. For those with sufficient space left there were various sweets to follow and coffees/teas. Graeme reports that £280 has been raised for the Club’s International fund and it is hoped that this sum can be allocated to the charity Khandellight who work to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Khandel and its surrounding villages situated in the desert State of Rajasthan, India. For those who would like to make a return visit to the Restaurant their website is here .

31st October 2023 - Presentation of Cheque to Angels Support Group

President Phillip’s chosen charity for his Rotary year is the Angels Support Group in Hitchin. This charity supports families of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition and/or ADHD. Bethan Desai and Kirsten Bennet of the charity gave us a presentation followed by question and answer session at our partner’s meeting this week, President Phillip was delighted to present a cheque for £6,000 to the Angels Support Group, representing funds raised from our annual Kite Festival in August. The picture shows President Phillip with Kirsten (left) and Bethan with the oversize cheque (click to enlarge).

5th November - Monthly Walk

Storm Ciaran had passed across the UK leaving behind flooded homes and displaced people but, in Ely on Sunday 5th of November, the sun was shining and the air was clear and mild for the time of year. 16 Rotarians and friends gathered for a walk through the streets of Ely and along by the River Great Ouse. We started in Barton Road Car Park (which has free parking and public conveniences) and headed to Cromwell's house on St Mary's street. This house dates from the 13th century and was home to Oliver Cromwell and his family from 1636. The walk then passed St Mary's church (which also dates from the 13th century) and, on the opposite side of the road, the Old Fire Engine House where Peter and Barbara had their wedding reception (I wonder who Barbara covered in red wine at that event). Passing on to Palace Green we stopped for a photo at the Cannon which was captured from the Russians at Sebastopol during the Crimean war, and given to the people of Ely in 1860. By the way, it is said that Victoria Cross medals are made from bronze cannons captured at Sebastopol so I guess the one in Ely was lucky not to be cut up for this purpose. Our walk then took us past the front of Ely Cathedral - one of England’s great medieval buildings. It was started in 1081 and is 573 ft long and 215 ft high and covers total area of 46,000 sq.ft. We then walked down The Gallery, through some gates and back toward the rear of Ely Cathedral. As we approached the Cathedral, we passed Powcher’s Hall on our right where resident monks were bled with leeches several times a year for their health. They should have joined a gym. Here the group split up with some staying in the City and others walking down the High Street (past the Royal Standard PH where we had lunch) and along Fore Hill and Waterside to the River Great Ouse. We were surprised to find the river wasn’t particularly high though it was running very fast. We turned left at the river and walked along its banks as far as the Cambridge University Boathouse (on the opposite side of the river) and here we turned away from the river and crossed a railway line to head back towards the City. On the way back we stopped at Ely Country Park (which can best be described as “work in progress”) where we found an excellent circle of benches. Here, for the people who remembered to bring their thermos flask and didn’t leave it their car, we stopped for a warming drink. After our refreshments we continued on back towards the city. On the way Dinta must have trodden on an old WWII landmine because one of her boots exploded Steve heroically carried her back to the pub where he had a few drinks to calm his nerves. The rest of the group walked up through Jubilee Gardens and Cherry Hill, around the back of Ely Cathedral, on to the High Street and down to the pub. Lunch was very good though we had some trouble with the venetian blinds that the pub had installed at about the same time building works started on the Cathedral. I was at the venetian blind end of the table and didn’t catch all of the conversation at the other end, but much of it seemed to be about brothels in Royston. One of the great things about Rotary is that we seem to have an expert (or two) on every conceivable subject. Words by Martin, Photos by Bryony & Ray

17th & 18th November 2023 - Children in Need Collection

A total of 19 Royston Rotarians (plus three partners) worked their socks off over these two days at Tesco to collect for the Children in Need national charity. Working in two hour shifts between the hours of 10am and 7pm on both days was both tiring but very rewarding. The result over the two days was a record amount collected - £4,448.50 which represented an increase of 15% over last year’s collection. At one point on the first day, Pudsey bear was so overcome by all the children’s attention that he/she was carried off to a conveniently placed ambulance to recover. But you can’t keep a good bear down for long and Pudsey was back greeting everybody half an hour later, just as if nothing had happened! The collection was superbly organised by David Beardwell who commented “It says so much for the people of our town at a time when so many are grappling with multiple and sustained attacks on their family budgets”. Grateful thanks to Tesco for allowing us to collect on their premises for this very worthy cause.

17th November 2023 - Distribution of “Small Acts of Kindness”

The Small Acts of Kindness was an initiative co-ordinated by Royston Radio who had obtained sacks to be distributed to local needy people or organisations. Our club was asked if we could help with identifying worthy charities in our area to receive these sacks and also to help with their distribution. Fortunately, Rotarian Peter Ross also moonlights as a DJ at Royston Radio was able to act as the go-between to make it all happen. So both Peter and President Phillip went off with a car full of goodies to Cambridge to:- Jimmies - which is is a community-based charity providing both support and housing to people who are rough sleeping It Takes a City - an organisation committed to ending rough sleeping in Cambridge due to homelessness, making sure everyone has somewhere to call home, with the support they need. At each of these places twenty Acts of kindness sacks were delivered, each one containing:- Warm Clothing - a blanket, gloves, scarf, hat and socks Hot drinks - coffee, tea, powdered milk and soup The Rotary Club were proud to have been asked to help with this worthy venture.

2nd December 2023 - Decorating Christmas Trees at St George’s Nursing Home

Five Rotarians and partners descended upon St George’s Nursing Home in Royston to install and decorate two Christmas trees. One tree was installed in the resident’s day room, the other was on a busy corridor on the first floor. This has been an annual event by the Rotary Club for many years organised very efficiently by Bryony. The residents always appreciate our efforts and Rina, the Activity Co-ordinator was there as usual to assist us wearing her “Chief Elf” uniform. After a few mince pies and glasses of Baileys we left the staff and residents to begin their other Christmas preparations.