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SHREWSBURY 7 ROTARY CLUB

33 YEARS OF BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE

In a building that had been a supermarket, BBC Radio Shropshire opened nearly 33 years’ ago. With parking all around, the building at 2-4 Boscobel DriveShrewsbury, was considered to be a great location for a radio station.

Managing Editor Tim Beech went on to tell a party of more than 20 members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club:  “We need to sound as if we are where the listener is. “We have to be aware of where the listener is and have an emotional connection.  This is a good location for that reason and not being in the centre is not necessarily a disadvantage to us.”

He told Rotarians that Radio Shropshire was in the third first tranche of radio stations in 1985 and was working with equipment of the 80’s.They were not using computers and the first BBC computer came in in 1989.  It was an old fashioned analogue radio station with digital later added on to it. The studio was 20 years old and was analogue.  So investment was made in 2007 and the following year Radio Shropshire moved into a portakabin in the car park where they broadcast for 11 months while the building was completely stripped. Open plan had become more popular for sharing ideas and creative thoughts.

“We thought we might be in a period of expansion which included local digital TV,” said Tim.  “Digital journalists were working on 10 minute bulletins. A super local news video service gathered for radio on line and pushed out on different platforms.  But one of the reasons we didn’t do this was financial.The BBC found it tougher and local newspapers were concerned about falling circulations.  The Shropshire Star now sells about 25,000 which is one of the better performing newspapers.

The BBC Trust restricted expansion into online local news so we went back to being a radio station which has been the core of our service for 33 years. We are at core a radio service and we constantly finish in the top three in the country, having 100,000 plus listen to Radio Shropshire for five minutes at least each week. Two thirds of our audience is 50-plus so the music is aimed at that demographic. We are thinking all the time about who we are delivering our service to.  We will be introducing new programmes outside our core hours and targeting specific audiences outside our normal demographic. Over the next year after 7 o’clock our audience will turn the radio on for people who make music.  We will carve out a niche and have something a little bit different.  Support after 7 is a big enough audience.”

He also told Rotarians:  “We are broadcasting live on the internet and more people listen at home than in the car.  For people who live alone or are isolated, radio is often company and a backdrop to their lives. We don’t want you for 10 minutes – we want you to stay with us.  We therefore want presenters you want to spend time with. Radio listening is habit forming and there is a relationship with the presenter. We love Shropshire which is part of what we are selling.  So we don’t want Shropshire to be unduly criticised or feeling miserable. People turn the radio on to be cheered up, not to be depressed about where they live.”

He said the job of local radio was to give people sufficient information to form an opinion themselves.  “We don’t put a conclusion to it. We don’t have an opinion.  And impartiality has to include fairness. It is about helping people to understand and they can form what opinion they like.”

On a tour of the building, Rotarians experienced the two recording studios, identical and facing each other. My job is to have the presenters comfortable on air,” he said. Tim also introduced Rotarians to their broadcast van called a ‘Verv’ which enables the use of satellite. He said the beauty of satellite was a cleaner signal, while wi-fi is an alternative for broadcasting without delays.


Tim Beech (front) shows visiting Rotarians round the newsroom

Rose Ashton, Assistant Editor, at work in the newsroom

The newsroom was quiet

The BBC Radio Shropshire broadcast van ‘Verv’

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CROCUS PLANTING FOR A STUNNING SPECTACLE NEXT SPRING

A small working party of Rotarians is planting 5,000 purple crocus corms in the grounds of Shrewsbury’s Abbey Church.

Vicar of the Abbey, Rev. Paul Firmin, enthusiastically welcomed the offer of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club to plant the crocus bulbs which will provide a stunning spectacle for visitors next springtime.

The crocus planting team, under the organisation of Rotarian Alun Humphreys (right), included (left to right) Rotarians Bob Scaiff, Chris Heaven, Fred McDonogh and John Yeomans. The planting is part of the Rotary Purple4Polio campaign with the purchase of bulbs supporting the funding of eradicating polio from the world.


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ROTARIANS IN AN ENVELOPE STUFFING FOR THE TREE OF LIGHT

Rotarians photographed busily at work stuffing envelopes with important pieces of information regarding the forthcoming Tree of Light charity fundraiser. Work has started on preparing many hundreds of personalised letters which will shortly be sent out to existing Tree of Light sponsors of the lights. For a minimum donation of £5, recipients will receive an illuminated light on the Rotary Tree of Light situated in the belltower of St. Mary’s Church, ShrewsburyThe tree, which is visible from St. Mary’s Street when the church is open during the day, will be illuminated with lights in memory of loved ones in the lead up to Christmas.

For those who do not receive an envelope, forms are available at St. Mary’s Church and also online at www.shrewsburysevernrotaryclub.co.uk

Said organiser Rotarian Iain Gilmour on behalf of the three Shrewsbury-based Rotary clubs involved in the project:  “We are working very hard to ensure that this year’s Tree of Light is the best supported in the 22 years it has been running and so far raising £132,000 for charities. “I am most grateful to the members of the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club who spent their last meeting stuffing envelopes with important pieces of information regarding the purchase of lights on the Tree of Light. A really good number of Rotarians attended the meeting to ensure that the task was successfully completed on time because this really needs a concerted effort to post out envelopes to meet deadlines. There will be a Rotary Tree of Light dedication service at St. Mary’s Church on Sunday November 26 at 7.00 pm to which all those who sponsor lights, as well as others who are interested, are warmly invited. We look forward to a good attendance at the service which will be attended by the Mayor of Shrewsbury and the High Sheriff. The Rev. Paul Firmin, Vicar of the Abbey Church, will officiate.”

This year’s Tree of Light will support the Mayor’s charity Shropshire Recovery Partnership, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital League of Friends and the Air Ambulance.


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A ‘SING SONG’ FOR THE ELDERLY 

Elderly Shrewsbury people who will be invited to this year’s Christmas party organised by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club are in for a pleasant surprise. For members of the club will form a choir to entertain up to 80 elderly who will sit down to a festive tea following a traditional carol service at the United Reformed Church, Abbey Foregate. Organiser Rotarian John Yeomans said the event on December 3 would include a ‘sing song’ as well as the appearance of Santa to entertain the guests, many of whom are transported to and from the party by Rotarians. The latest carol service and afternoon tea is the third which the club has organised for elderly local people.

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START OF EVER-POPULAR SANTA SLEIGH PROGRAMME

The ever-popular Santa sleigh programme in Shrewsbury and surrounding villages gets underway on November 15 at the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights. Members of the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn will again be manning the sleigh which will be located at the top of Pride Hill from 4.30 pm until 7.30 pm. 

Donations will be for local and Rotary charities with the club having already strongly supported a number of local causes during the year. Following the Pride Hill event, the Santa sleigh will move on to Pontesbury on December 3 and Shawbury Village Hall on December 4 followed by Hadnall on December 6. The sleigh with Santa and his elves will then be at Greenfields Primary School on December 8 and at Asda from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm on December 9 followed by a return visit on December 9 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The sleigh will be in the northern part of the town on December 11 when it visits Mount Pleasant between 6.00 pm and 8.30 pm and two days later will be in Castlefields for a similar period. 

On December 15 the sleigh will be at Tesco from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm moving on to Bomere Heath the following day from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Then it is to Sainsbury’s on December 18 and 19 – from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm on the 18th and 12.00 to 6.00 on the 19th. It is the turn of Sundorne for the sleigh on December 20 from 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm and, as a finale, Morrison’s.  The sleigh concludes its Christmas programme with two visits. The first is on December 23 from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm and the last from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm on Christmas Eve.

Said Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp:  “We are delighted to once again provide Santa and his sleigh to local people because it continues to be so very popular. We look forward to meeting many children and their parents during the exciting run-up to Christmas and we thank them in advance for their kind donations which we are therefore able to hand over in support of local and Rotary worthy causes. From past experience we know that the Santa sleigh with its elves is most popular wherever it appears and we can’t wait for the excitement to begin.”#

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ROTARIAN MIKE’S FOUR DAY JOURNEY TO ROMANIA – IN A FIRE ENGINE!

 A member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club accompanied Operation Sabre on a trip to Romania, an outward journey of four days driving - in a fire engine.

 Rotarian Mike Mortimer described to the club visits to several disabled people’s places with a view to coming up with ideas for Rotary matching grants.The team he was with on the trip handed over five fire engines to different villages, one each day except the last day when two of the villages came together. He was able to see at first hand a shower room that Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has paid for with a donation of £1,500. 

“This has meant an awful lot to the residents” said Mike.  “For it includes under floor drainage, wash basins, shower and a toilet.  Previously the residents of this block had to be taken to the main building to use the shower and toilet facilities. “We also took three tonnes of various aid in the fire engines and this was distributed while we were out there.  

“It was a most successful trip which was very worthwhile, in particular the visit I made to the disabled people’s home made me realise how lucky we are in the UK. We had a very good time painting and decorating some of the residents’ rooms and we were privileged to be entertained by a fashion show with clothes made by the residents.” 

He said that while in Romania he had put together material for a power point presentation and would be presenting this to members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club at a future meeting. In the meantime, members and others can visit the club’s Facebook page to see the new bathroom Rotary has helped to fund.



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INDIAN ROTARIAN TURNS UP UNEXPECTEDLY

 A meeting of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club received a surprise visitor Rotarian  Joseph Mathew from the Rotary Club of Mysore West, India. He is The District Governor Nominee 2019-20 of Rotary District 3181. He spoke briefly to Rotarians of the Shrewsbury Severn club to say his club is 47 years old. He was the president of the club during the year 2009-10. He was the Assistant Governor during the year 2012-13.  Presently, he is the Governor Nominee for the year 2019-20. 

The club has 73 members and sponsors nine other clubs. He invited members of Shrewsbury Severn to his conference which will be held in the third week of January 2019-20. Professor Mathew said that his club has a lot of on-going projects. It is running two schools, one occasional training centre and a further school for the mother and deaf. 

The Mother and Deaf institute is a unique institution in Asia where the mothers are taught how to communicate to the children through lip reading. Professor Mathew also said that another important on-going project was the save a child project where economically backward children were helped to conduct operations for major illnesses. “The problem of the age is keeping up with Indian society and we have a project called caring for elderly people where we help old people for dialysis who are economically backward. We also take the polio project very seriously.  We are grateful to Rotary for the eradication of polio in our country and we are now declared a polio free country.” 

He hoped that in the future his club and Shrewsbury Severn could have matching grants and common projects which would help both the clubs. “We can think of this in the future,” added Professor Matthew who brought the brief stay to a close by adding:  “I wish you all the very best.”

Professor Mathew was accompanied by his relative Surabhin Chackiath.

 

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp welcomes Rotarian  Professor Joseph Matthew (centre) and Surabhin Chackiath

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ROTARY YOUTH LEADERSHIP PRAISED BY CANDIDATES

Two young people who have attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) course have voted it a ‘smash hit.’ Both Lois Ingram-Evans and Chris Davies told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club that they found RYLA a ‘really good thing to do’ and that the course had helped them ‘enormously.’

Lois and Chris,  both 17, are the club’s latest sponsored candidates to participate at the RYLA camp at Kibblestone, Staffordshire, where they spent almost a week carrying out leadership exercises and personal development skills. They gave the club the assurance that their experience of RYLA had been so helpful that the Rotary sponsored course would continue to benefit future young people. Both Lois and Chris said that through the colleges and social media future youngsters with potential could be reached because, like them, they would benefit from the experience.

“We didn’t know what to expect and RYLA is a really good opportunity to offer people of our age,” said Chris who is currently studying A levels with a view to a university place to further his education in classics. “I wanted to improve my leadership skills.  I worked at that and know what my weaknesses are and everyone finished the week a better organiser,” he added.

Said Lois: “I have always wanted to be a nurse and RYLA has given me the starting block – this has really helped me.  It has made me more confident because I can achieve more than I thought. “I wanted to develop my leadership skills and I have now formed a Rainbow group.  These skills will help my development throughout life,” she added.

Chris and Lois praised the mentors who they said were ‘terrific’ and ‘made us feel welcome.’ “The week wouldn’t have worked without them, it was physically demanding and tiring,” said Chris.  “But everything is done for a reason. I wanted to do things outside my comfort zone and become more motivated and focused on my goals.  As a result I plan things better now at .”


President Colin Sharp welcomes Lois and Chris to the club

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ORIGINS – A ROTARY ORIGINAL

 Members and guests of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club enjoyed a meal with a difference away from their normal meeting place.

 Forty five Rotarians, partners and guests sat down to a three course evening meal at Origins Restaurant, London Road, where all dishes on the menu are prepared and served by students of Shrewsbury College.

 A wide choice of starters, mains and desserts in a very relaxed atmosphere were very much enjoyed by the visitors who pledged they will 'go again.'

 


In the photos, President Colin Sharp thanks the team at Origins and happy Rotarian John Yeomans with ‘posh nosh’ at Origins

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SLEIGH REFURB IS A TEAM EFFORT

 A team of Rotarians is currently giving up their spare time to ensuring a Santa sleigh is fit for purpose this Christmastide. They are putting in many hours in a unit on a trading estate to refurbish the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club sleigh which will once again this year go into action in the run up to Christmas.

 A re-build of the sleigh body is needed after a number of years’ wear and tear as it tours Mid Shropshire villages and Shrewsbury housing estates as well as visits to local supermarkets. The Santa sleigh is the Rotary club’s main charity fundraiser and repair work has to be completed in time for its first public appearance, the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights on November 15.

 The refurbished sleigh will make its first appearance of the season at the lights switch on.  It will be stationed in its now familiar spot at the top of Pride Hill from 4.30 pm until 7.30 pm. Said Rotarian Gordon Duncan who heads up the team of repairers:  “All the external cladding will be new and we have strengthened some of the structure, including the steps for those getting on and off the sleigh. Work on the sleigh, which is a major job this year, has given us the opportunity to check the running gear and we have found that despite the weather conditions and the many miles that the sleigh travels during the lead up to Christmas, the underneath of the sleigh is remarkably sound.”

 Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp, who has visited the  refurbishment, praised the work of the team of Rotarians Gordon Duncan, Geoff Lloyd, Chris Yaxley and Fred McDonogh and also thanked Elizabeth Lowe, Head of Estates at Morris Property, for the loan of a unit to carry out the work. “As a fundraising organisation, we really appreciate the gift of the unit not only for the refurbishment to be carried out in excellent conditions, but also the fact that we can safely house the sleigh there during the busy Christmas period,” he added.

 

 President Colin Sharp (right) with Rotarians Chris Yaxley, Geoff Lloyd, Fred McDonogh and Gordon Duncan

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NIGEL’S CHANGE, CHANCE AND ATTITUDE TO LIFE

There are not many people who can say they have rubbed shoulders with the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, played at Gleneagles and caddied for 147 rounds of golf in seven months at the old course of St. Andrews. It was a ‘university of life,’ said Glaswegian Nigel Matthews in a job talk to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club on Tuesday October 3 and he confessed to being ‘absolutely astounded’ at the turnout on the night – 31 members in attendance.

“I was expecting one table at the most,” said Nigel whose theme was change, chance and attitude to his life which began in 1952 and his background in East Kilbride, a new town 10 miles from . “If you wanted to move to East Kilbride you had to go for an interview before a panel to discuss your status.  The allocation of a house was based on that. I grew up in a vibrant community with a rounded environment. “School days were all about sport, representing secondary school in nine sports and the county in five.  I was in the top 20 in in football and ended up at Tottenham, but something told me I had reached my peak. I never played soccer again.

“It was then I decided to play golf.  I changed direction and worked it out.  If I couldn’t play professional football, I could be a pro golfer. I applied for a number of assistant positions and got a post in . “I also applied to Gleneagles, the top drawer in terms of golf clubs. I went to London, but ended up at Gleneagles which was my university of life.

“In the 1975 Canoustie Open I was playing behind Sandy Lyle and for a second time I wasn’t going to be good enough – I couldn’t take my putter back.  What after golf?”

Nigel described a career that included working for giants like Procter & Gamble, Imperial Group, HP Golden Wonder and the Pru for whom he was in .

“I selected a job and the job selected me.  I then moved into an up and down phase of life which is where attitude comes in. Career wise, I have had lots of ups and downs as well as rocky phases.” Despite this, Nigel said he was proud to be the father of two ‘wonderful’ daughters who had both gone to university, had good jobs and were happily married. He told of the time he spent in Michigan where he was responsible for golfing products.  There were visa problems affecting him moving between the and , so he returned to the .  Eventually the visa problems were resolved and he returned to where he joined Rotary and became part of the community.

“However,” said Nigel, “I decided to come back.  My daughter and grandchild live in and a new whisky shop had opened on Wyle Cop. “I am not a whisky expert, but I know enough to sell competently and make it a nice experience for customers. I am happy. “I have lived in 28 houses, but I am making this my last stop and something more stable.  Thank you for the welcome and the opportunity to talk to you.”

On that note, Nigel opened a bottle of malt and had a celebratory drink.

PS He added in question time how he had been playing in front of the television cameras with Bernard Gallagher, Sam Torrance and Brian Barnes.  Every time they were on camera, a red light went on, but it went off when he was playing! 


Nigel and Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp sample a glass of malt.

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WHY PAULA RUNS SCHOOL IN THE GAMBIA ‘FOR LOVE’

 “I am doing it from the love of my heart,” said Paula Howells who has set up the Ebo Town CommunityNursery School in The Gambia, West Africa. Paula, who established the nursery two and a half years ago and will be returning for two weeks on November 28, told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club:  “I am a Christian, but we respect the Muslim faith.

 “Muslims and Christians have become one.”

 Her heartfelt talk on running a school for 80 children aged three to seven in a desperately poor country, which although only a six and a half hour flight from Britain, relies on tourism which she described as ‘cheap sun.’ The school, like the Gambia said Paula, is 90% Muslim and 10% Christian.  However, religion is not taught and only English is spoken.  At the same time, it costs £2.08 a month for parents to send children to school when the average wage is £12 a month.

 Paula, of Shrewsbury, first went to The Gambia on holiday in 2014 with £200 in her pocket to find out whether this could help.  She quickly found out that children were being educated in ‘dire conditions’ including mud floors. She spent the £200 on putting in concrete floors and what she described as proper windows.  She started raising money and slowly, but surely, the project took off.

 “I couldn’t leave 100 children without education and my hubby and I said we can do it and we came up with the Ebo Nursery School and found a building to rent,” said Paula. In the end, they were able to provide free education for 80 children in two classes of 40, opening their doors for the first time in 2015.

 Paula explained how she employed – and sent for training – two teachers at a cost of £100 per teacher. “£25 a year will sponsor a child who gets two uniforms as well as pens and pencils.  We have children inoculated for rubella and we send out teams to the Gambia twice a year.” The education of Ebo children had been extended into the community with food and clothing support for families in a ‘dire’ state which had brought ‘smiles on faces.’

 She described what the community in The Gambia now needs, from food to bedding, cleaning products to tarpaulins, and how her charity had bought beds. “The recent flooding broke my heart,” said Paula. “and it is the rainy season at the moment.” She said she had a piece of land and plans passed for a school with classrooms, showers and toilets to accommodate an extra 40 children. But for this she needs £25,000 equivalent to 25 businesses each contributing £1,000.

 

Paula and Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp with the school uniforms of Ebo Town Nursery School

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ROTARY VISIT TO YOUTH CLUB THAT NEEDS SUPPORT

A Rotary club which has been asked to provide £800 to fund the opening of a youth club during the October half term has been to see for itself the activities taking place.

Rotarian Julian Wells, Vice President of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, described his visit to Harlescott Youth Centre as ‘very impressive.’

 “It is a thoroughly good project and they are doing great work,” he told Rotarians at the club’s latest meeting.

He said he found a group of 15 youngsters being constructively entertained.  Sports included a number of ball skill exercises including indoor football; a cookery class was making pancakes and there were arts and crafts taking place.

 “It wasn’t as undisciplined as we had feared,” said Julian.  “I have doubts whether any of our skills would be suitable to entertain or teach these youngsters, but there is no doubt in my mind it is an excellent project with regular attendees.

“It seems most appropriate for us to help fund professionals, who are dedicated to their roles, to manage the activities.

 “The only disappointing thing is they have built a wonderful raised garden and put a lot of effort into this, teaching the kids to grow vegetables and flowers in a large raised bed.

“But every cat in the neighbourhood is using it as a toilet which is tragic. It was difficult to see how this could be prevented without the addition of expensive additional fencing, but it was such a shame and rendered the garden unusable,” he added.

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A PLANNED WALK WITH A DIFFERENCE

By Rotarian Bob Scaiff

A great evening out was set for the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club on September 5. The walk from Shrewsbury Water Tower to the old water works in town followed the River Severn over lovely meadows and pastures and even the beaches, which are popular with young children to test the water, are still there.

Sandpipers had been nesting in the river banks, all deserted now, cormorants preparing to roost in the branches of a dead tree, goosanders are seen here regularly each year. Across the Doctor’s Field and finally passed the old fish traps and the Servern cut with its old pub for bargees to refresh themselves on the way into town. 

Across the river on the other side we could see the new houses and nursing homes alongside the Pig Trough and then the old wharf at Coton Hill, the site of the Southam’s famous brewery, the new Gateway with the new town walls alongside Lily’s Tea rooms and the Ferry post which was used for access across the river to the cattle market.

The old Victorian waterworks are still standing, but now converted to ‘green’ offices.  Around the Frankwell cricket and hockey club grounds and on the way there were fine views of the river and all the wildlife.

 It was a lovely walk that we planned. On the day it rained and rained and so instead we had a quick walk along the Dana to the prison, round the Quarry and a very pleasant time at the Anchor. This was followed by a fine Curry at the Third Place.


Enjoying the walk on the towpath near the English Bridge are left to right Rotarians Colin Sharp (President), Graham Hughes, Alun Humphreys, Chris Heaven, Chris Yaxley and Bob Scaiff.

On another part of the walk, next to Shrewsbury High School, are Rotarians Chris Heaven and Alun Humphreys

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STRESSFUL WORLD OF THE REMOVALS INDUSTRY OUTLINED BY NEW ROTARIAN

The specialist – and stressful - world of the removals industry, moving furniture from one place to another both in this country and overseas, has been described to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club.

Members were given a fascinating insight into the removals and storage industry by newly installed Rotarian William Burden, a director of White & Company, one of the oldest – and largest - removal companies in the UK. He disclosed that 200 shipments a year, to places outside the EU, were made from the Telford office which as a main director he co-ordinated and these included a substantial amount of work for the Ministry of Defence. The shipments were to many different places where this country has a significant presence and included the Ascension Island in the middle of the Atlantic.

An experience he had learned during his 18 year career in the removals industry was that the goods they were packing and loading onto lorries or containers for ships was that the contents ‘meant the world’ to the owners. “Whilst the actual goods we move may not be very valuable, the artefacts can be priceless to their owners, and we have to be aware of that at all stages of the operation. The removal sector is only one part of the moving process, but it is the coalface of moving day.  When you see the red and white truck turn up, it is the culmination of often months of worry and heartache, anticipation and excitement.”

He spoke of the challenges.  “The grandfather clock, with a big tick tock, left to a family before the owner died, requires a most careful move.  Real care is what our customers want in terms of a successful move. “Items like a grandfather clock are often priceless to the family concerned.”

He said he had bookings up to next May, but the biggest single day of the removal calendar was Friday August 25 – a day that had been fully booked for at least six weeks. William added that moving house was considered one of the three most stressful events in life - alongside death and divorce.

 

William (left) on his induction into Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club

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ATLANTIC LADIES ROWERS INSPIRE ROTARIANS

 Two of the three Atlantic Ladies Rowers impressed members of a Rotary club when they gave a detailed presentation on their forthcoming challenge to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

 They will row their seven metres long boat from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean as they participate in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2017 starting on December 12.

 Members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club questioned Di Carrington and Sharon Magrath as to what motivated them to participate in what is regarded as the world’s toughest row. “We are big risk takers and we are doing it to inspire people and the biggest thing is charity,” Di told Rotarians.  “We have each chosen a charity which to each of us means something special.” 

 After completing the row their boat Poppy and all their equipment will be sold with the proceeds being donated to their chosen charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Alzheimer’s Society – already a Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club Tree of Light charity – Motor Neurone Disease and Relapsing Polychondritis UK. One club member, Chris Yaxley, himself a rower in the past, gave a vote of thanks to the speakers and with a wry smile went as far as to say:  “I admire your determination and enthusiasm, but perhaps accepting the challenge is an act of complete lunacy!’

 The talk by Di, 61, of Pontesbury, and 54 year old Sharon, of Bayston Hill, afterwards provoked a lot of discussion as to the risks of facing all kinds of weather, from 40ft waves in waters where they may come face to face with sharks and jellyfish, to experiencing possible sleep deprivation, the pure physical ordeal and potential damage to their bodies. In discussions afterwards, their bravery was unquestioned by Rotarians, and those attending the presentation were in awe of three previously unseasoned rowers facing such a daunting challenge lasting for up to 70 days. “The message is if you want to do something badly enough, have the courage, get up and have a go,” said Di who left her audience with the adage:  “You can never cross an ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

 The trio includes Elaine Theaker, 54, from Abergavenny, who was unable to attend the presentation.  The Atlantic Ladies have only known each for a year so have come together as ‘strangers,’ but now know each other very well and share the determination to achieve their goal.

The 3,000 mile row will be undertaken in Poppy a red, newly designed prototype fibre glass and resin boat, which is seven metres long and 1.8 metres wide, the cost of which was £53,000. And the rowers – who will break several world records including being the oldest female trio to undertake the crossing - can be followed on Yellow Brick Races which is a free tracking application.

 The salute to the Atlantic Ladies from Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club members, was ‘bon voyage, God speed and fair wind and no obstacles in your way.’ The club looks forward to an ‘exclusive’ when the ladies return in the New Year.

The Atlantic Ladies Rowers will need a bucket (held by President Colin Sharp) and packs of food held by Sharon and Di

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NIGEL STATEMENT ‘MUSIC TO THE EARS’ OF ROTARIANS

The latest newly inducted member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club received a resounding cheer for a statement Rotarians found both pleasing and gratifying.

“This is the most enjoyable club during my review of the clubs in Shropshire,” Nigel Matthews told members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary on his induction. He thanked Rotarian Darryl Evans for his sponsorship and thanked members for the welcome they had provided him.

Nigel, a past member of the Flushing Rotary Club in Michigan, USA, is manager of the Whisky Shop, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, which said Darryl was ‘well worth a trip.’ President Colin Sharp welcomed Nigel as a new member of the club.  “This year we are told Rotary is about making a difference so I am sure you will make a difference.  We look forward to you with fellowship going forward.”


Newly installed Rotarian Nigel Matthews admires the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club chain of office worn by its latest President Colin Sharp

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ROTARY’S £1,000 FOR PROSTATE CANCER

A Rotary club which has lost two members to prostate cancer has handed over £1,000 to the charity in its latest fundraiser. The donation to Prostate Cancer UK has been made by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club in memory of the late Alan Eames.

The club previously lost a past president, Niel Kelly, to the same disease.

Alan was originally diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years’ ago and wanted to do something to raise funds. He sold ‘outrageous’ ties to fellow Rotarians, family and friends, and this gesture, together with other donations, has helped towards a total of £1,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary’s cheque has also included Santa sleigh collection contributions.

Said Club President Colin Sharp:  “Alan was not only a tremendous character, but a magnificent Rotarian, and we shall never forget the wonderful work he did as an excellent Santa over many years. He brought so much happiness to so many children.”


Rotarians Kerry Ferguson, President Colin Sharp and Darryl Evans with their ‘outrageous’ ties.


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ROTARY ANXIOUS TO HELP COMMUNITIES

Rotary making a difference in the diversity of local communities has been highlighted by Rotarian Carol Reilly, Rotary District Governor for Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West MidlandsShe was paying an early visit in her year of office to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club where she questioned whether families in our communities and internationally had the means to adequately feed them and provide an adequate education for their children.

“If the answer to these questions is no, then we have to ask what as Rotarians we can do to help. I don’t feel Rotary celebrates or promotes itself enough when it comes to its public image, awareness and the good work we do.  People in our communities need to know what a great organisation we are.”

The District Governor emphasised the importance of humanitarian service and peace in our community, and that a peace fellow has been sponsored to study for a Masters in Peace and Humanitarian Service. In outlining Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s many activities, the Rotary District Governor told members:  “I want to come and work with you and work on your projects and work with you on your visits. The satisfaction we find in Rotary is because it reminds us week by week and year by year that we are making a difference.  Rotary is defined by what we do and we are the people of action.”

She presented Shrewsbury Severn Rotary’s President Colin Sharp with his theme badge for this Rotary year as well as the club theme banner.Said Colin:  “Your year of office will be one of making a difference and I know we all support you as much as we possibly can.”


The District Governor with President Colin as well as the new club theme banner

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LENDWITHCARE SCHEME ‘A GREAT SUCCESS’

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club considers its Lendwithcare scheme to be a great success.

To date £3,644 has been recycled and lent to overseas entrepreneurs in poorer countries which has helped them to develop, expand and sustain local business projects as well as employ local people and also help their community.

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary say the current credit available to be lent is £353 with loans at £60 per time. So far there have been no defaults.

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ROTARY SUPPORT FOR LOCAL AND OVERSEAS PROJECTS

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has agreed to a total spend of £5,500 in support of local and international organisations in the new Rotary year. Donations will cover a wide spread of activities, particularly those in which young people are involved.

The club’s commitment includes a donation to a local primary school for the further supply of books and equipment; a ShelterBox and the supply of materials for a toilet and shower facility for mentally and physically disabled people in Romania.

Rotarian Mike Mortimer will be visiting the Romanian project in October and planning to erect a Rotary plaque on a wall of the accommodation.

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ROTARY TREATED TO EXCLUSIVE VIEWINGS AT SHREWSBURY TOWN FC

Exclusive behind the scenes viewings were excitedly experienced by members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club on a visit to Shrewsbury Town Football Club’s stadium.

As a group, the stadium was first visited courtesy of Rotary member Harry Wilson, a director of Shrewsbury Town, during its construction in 2007 and so it was a nostalgic return during the current pre-season 10 years on. Harry again organised for a visit by a total of 32 members and guests who went behind the scenes on July 11 just four days before a friendly with Aston Villa.  Unfortunately for the visiting Rotarians, the dressing room to be occupied by Aston Villa players was closed for cleaning but Rotarians were able to walk into the home dressing room and visualise the ‘scene’ when players return, firstly for the Villa friendly, then for others including a visit from Wolves before the 2017/18 season in League One gets seriously underway on August 5 with a visit from Northampton Town.

Rotarians were able to walk through the side bench dressing room with Shrewsbury Town FC crests on the walls and into the spacious shower area – a bit different to the days of the communal bath. The visit began with a pre-season drink in the third floor President’s Suite before everyone gathered in the Board Room on the same floor for a group photo.  The visitors were intrigued by the unusual design of the board room table and the trophy cabinet also attracted attention.  Oh that it would include another trophy at the end of this coming season.

The group then walked out of the Board Room into the seating area of the stand where directors and guests view matches with the pitch looking in splendid condition. It was then a walk along the touchline, past the dugouts, to the away supporters’ stand which houses a glass fronted control room and adjacent area from which Brian Jervis makes his match day announcements.

The visit concluded with a meal in the President’s Suite with Harry, ironically, winning the wine raffle.  Perhaps a lucky omen for the season ahead.



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NEWEST ROTARIAN IN THE WORLD!

He’s the newest Rotarian in the world!

Well, he was at that moment in time. William Burden also happened to be the first candidate to be inducted by newly installed Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Colin Sharp. William was introduced by Rotarian Darryl Evans, newly appointed almoner, who said he would make a ‘very good Rotarian.’  Like him, William’s background was Round Table.

“I commend William as a fine potential member of this club,” Darryl added. Secretary Gareth Watkins presented the 4 way test of Rotary, particularly service above self, adding ‘you get out of it what you put into it.’ The President presented William with his Rotary introductory pack and badge and welcomed him into the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn. Following his induction, William told members:  “I look forward to serving this club as best I can and the fellowship you have shown to me I hope to re-pay in the near future.” 

William (left) receiving his introductory pack from President Colin.

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ROTARY BUYS BOOKS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL 

The faces say it all… 

Four pupils at the Grange Primary School, Shrewsbury, with books which have been donated by Rotary. The Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn has donated 225  books to the school as part of its on-going relationship with the Grange Primary. In addition to donating books, members of the club rotationally visit the school to assist pupils with their reading.

Said Rotarian Kerry Ferguson, the club’s past president who runs the reading rota:  “I am pleased that we are able to continue to support the Grange Primary School both in terms of direct help with reading for year one children and also by ensuring that the books available are up to date and interesting. “I believe that teaching children to read as early as possible is of enormous help with further learning and, of course, their development generally. It is most encouraging that the children are incredibly motivated to want to learn to read and it is a delight to be able to help them.”

Said the Grange Primary School head Mrs. Charlie Summers:  “The books have helped our lower ability readers because they are aimed at their phonic level. The books allowed us to create a new book area for KS1 and the children have been more motivated to read.  Thank you Rotary for this donation - it makes a massive difference to our pupils.”

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OUTGOING ROTARY PRESIDENT'S 'WONDERFUL YEAR'

Outgoing first president of  Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club Donald Thompson outlined a 'wonderful year' to its members on handing over to vice president Colin Sharp. Until last year the club, which was formed as Shawbury and Mid Shropshire in 1987, operated under that name.

On the last meeting of the current Rotary year, Donald said  members of the club had been 'absolutely fabulous' and every Tuesday had been 'full of laughs' as well as achieving many successes in fundraising for charities. In particular, for the Rotary club's support of  The Grange Primary School for which the club has recently supported the attendance of pupils and staff at a Rotary District Kids Out at Drayton Manor Park. In addition, its continued support of The Grange Primary School with reading and other important fundraising activities where there were cases of hardship.

Said Kerry Ferguson, the club's Rotarian of the year:  "We are pleased with the work we do in support of The Grange Primary School, but we are not complacent.  We know there is a lot more expected of our time and financial support which Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club is committed to during the forthcoming Rotary year." He said the club had already donated £500 towards the replacement of last year's books for year one pupils and this Rotary support would continue.

Incoming president Colin Sharp said he would back the Rotary club's support of  deserving organisations seeking financial help.


 

Left to right outgoing President Donald, incoming President Colin and vice President Julian Wells

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ROTARY SPONSORS TWO SHREWSBURY STUDENTS ON YOUTH LEADERSHIP COURSE

Two 17 year old Shrewsbury students are actively preparing for a week long Rotary sponsored course.

Lois Ingram-Evans and Chris Davies will shortly be attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Award – RYLA camp – at Kibblestone Activity Centre, Staffordshire. The candidates are being sponsored by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club whom they have visited to introduce themselves and to talk about the leadership skills they both hope to attain when they attend RYLA in August.

Lois, of Little Minsterley, who is studying health and social care at Shrewsbury College with a view to a career in nursing, has been involved in the Girl Guides and Brownies and following RYLA is hoping to become a leader in Rainbows at Brockton which is a guiding group of four to seven year olds. She has previous experience of attending the Kibblestone Activity Centre as a Guide four years’ ago and this time, thanks to Rotary, will be looking for activity ideas for the Rainbows. Said Lois:  “At the same time, I am also hoping to gain confidence, have fun and meet some new friends.”

Chris, of Sutton Park, Shrewsbury, is studying A level history, English literature and maths at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College from where he is hoping to go on to university, either Oxbridge or Durham, to study classics, and in the process become the first member of his family to do so. The former Priory School head boy will be attending a summer school at Durham University prior to RYLA where he is looking forward to meeting ‘like-minded people’ on the course. “RYLA will provide me with an opportunity to develop my inter-personal skills and I am hoping it will inspire me to be ambitious and aim high.  I am really looking forward to the camp, I am confident it will be a memorable experience and it can’t come soon enough.” In his spare time Chris is a volunteer guide at Shrewsbury Museum which he says he has enjoyed since starting this year.

Both Lois and Chris thanked Rotarian Kerry Ferguson, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s Youth Opportunities Officer, for selecting them for RYLA sponsorships.

“On their return from RYLA we shall welcome them back to share their experiences with us,” Kerry told Rotarians who wish the pair every success.

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SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY'S 'STAGGERING' £8 MILLION TURNOVER

Rotarians were 'staggered' to hear that the largely voluntarily run Severn Valley Railway currently has an annual turnover of £8 million. Speaking to members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, railway volunteer Martin Weeks also revealed that Severn Valley Railway makes a £16 million annual contribution to the local economy.

The railway has 13,000 members and in 2016 welcomed 250,000 visitors with 33,000 attracted to the Father Christmas Santa Specials. Martin, who recently retired to Minsterley after 45 years working in the power generation industry for the Central Electricity Generating Board and a director of Dungeness Power Station, has always had a love of coal and steam generation. He picked this up as a hobby and ambition to get involved with steam engines and became a volunteer with the Severn Valley Railway as a volunteer guard as well as being a member of their speakers panel. He said that the Severn Valley was never a commercial success and closed before Dr. Beaching.  In fact, it closed altogether in 1970.

A group of volunteers discussed the idea of re-opening parts of the line and agreed to approach British Rail with a view to purchasing the Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade section. In March 1970 the first train ran and in 2015 the Severn Valley Railway celebrated its golden jubilee. The railway has 22 steam locomotives which are rotated with 10 operational and 12 stored.  There is one replica under construction; 25 diesel engines - which get more visitors - and one five car diesel unit.

"We are a big business in relative terms," said Martin.  "We have superbly restored stations including Arley and Highley has the main visitor centre. "Princess Anne has visited on a number of occasions and we wouldn't be a line without Michael Portillo as well as the Duke of Gloucester who is a regular visitor." But the line's most famous visitor was the Flying Scotsman in September 2016 when it was working its way around the preservation railways of the UK.

Severn Valley Railway is run by 1,500 volunteers and most of the work is carried out by volunteers, including signalmen, drivers, firemen and guards who are in charge of the trains.    

Catering, said Keith, was generating 'good money,' specially in the retail outlets and the railway owned two pubs in the stations at Bridgnorth and Kidderminster

As a charity, Severn Valley maintained all the rolling stock and the infrastructure and was bringing forward a heritage skills training academy to ensure long term feasibility of the railway. The heritage skills training academy was maintaining old boilers, bearings on some engines and craftmanship on wooden carriages. The Severn Valley Railway provided training opportunities for track maintenance and opportunities to schools who were among the many visitors.

"The line is in reasonably good condition, apart from Bridgnorth station," Martin told Rotarians.  "The biggest issue is storms and floods and the behaviour of the line south of the Bridgnorth Gorge." But the feature that was afterwards talked about by Rotarians was the Severn Valley's 'staggering' turnover.

Footnote:-

Shortly after Martin's presentation the Duke of Gloucester was given an award for 20 years' service.


 

Photographed at a late night running of the Severn Valley Railway were Shrewsbury Severn Club President Donald Thompson and speaker Martin Weeks

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ROTARY CLUB'S 'MR SANTA' HAS A PAUL HARRIS FELLOWSHIP

A Paul Harris Fellowship has been awarded to a member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club - following an email recommendation to the president. Rotarian Tony Cook emailed Donald Thompson, president of the Shrewsbury Severn Club, putting forward long serving Gordon Duncan for a Paul Harris Fellowship. In particular, he cited Gordon's involvement over many years with the club's Santa sleigh - one of its principle fundraisers.

He said that since becoming a member of the club's sleigh maintenance team, Gordon had 'put his heart' into the project. Gordon had used his expertise and desire to make the sleigh as 'good as possible' with its safe storage during the off season. He had also been driver, Santa and elf on many occasions. "Without his efforts on the sleigh's maintenance and driving there would be a big hole to fill which could have had a massive influence on our charity account," wrote Tony.

 

"In addition, he always turns up for the V Fest tent collection.  I think he deserves a Paul Harris Fellowship." The club fully agreed and the president presented Gordon, a member since 1992, with a certificate and brooch which he shows in the photo.

"It is quite a shock and thank you all very much," he said afterwards. And totally in character, he added:  "I shall be looking for a working party very soon." Said president Donald:  "I have been looking forward to this and it gives me enormous pleasure to make this presentation which I am really pleased to do."


Rotarian Gordon Duncan (left) receives his Paul Harris Fellowship certificate from Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson

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ROTARY VISIT TO SHROPSHIRE’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

 Members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club were given a conducted tour of the campus at Concord College, Shropshire’s international school based at Acton Burnell.

The group of 16, led by Rotarian Tim Hughes and accompanied by the College estates manager Trevor Clay, strolled around Concord College campus.

Each Rotarian was handed a plan of the campus and on their way through the site they passed a few of the buildings designed by Tim’s firm of architects Hughes and Abbott. Tim said he had been privileged to have worked on Concord projects for the last 14 years and was fortunate to have had an ‘excellent’ support team. These included a structural engineer, mechanical and electrical engineer, landscape architect, drainage consultant and quantity surveyor.

 Added Tim:  “Thanks for the visit are due to the principal Neil Hawkins, bursar Barbara Dean and estates manager Trevor.” Buildings which Rotarians saw on their visit included an extension and refurbishment to create an extra 15 classrooms as well as a library and information centre; an extension to the dining hall; student common room and various residential accommodation buildings. The first building to be designed by Hughes & Abbott, in 2004, which was an extension to the science block, is now to be replaced by a brand new science building, including 22 laboratories, and is due to be completed in November.

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ROTARIANS TOLD ‘YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE’

 “You are a really good club.”

 With those chosen words visiting Assistant District Governor Elect Diane Sims summed up her thoughts on her visit to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s assembly meeting. “I have no doubt, from your club assembly, you are making a difference and I really and truly believe you will continue to make a difference,” she told members and visitors. “I wish you every success in the new Rotary year and particularly incoming president Colin (Sharp).”

 In his assembly address, Colin reiterated the Rotary theme of ‘Making a Difference’ and said he was ‘honoured’ to be elected. He set out the strategic goals and objectives as well as the Rotary 4 way test:

 Is it true? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

 “I thought we should attach these to what we do,” said Colin who emphasised the importance the club placed on producing an article for the Shrewsbury Chronicle for world polio day recognition. In addition, to consider the sponsorship of a peace fellow. He said he would explore the possibility of corporate membership and with the other two Shrewsbury Rotary clubs consider establishing an E-club as well as inviting Alumni to share experiences. In addition, to consider participation in youth exchange programmes and to work towards establishing an Interact club at Shrewsbury College.

He promised that the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club would continue with its reading support at the Grange Primary School. “I would like us to enhance our public image and awareness of Rotary, including bi-monthly articles in the Shrewsbury Chronicle.” He said he would be asking the club to consider joining Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and to consider participation in the UK Parliament Week. On further ideas, he said:  “Let’s look at what we do really well – and do it better.”

He emphasised the Tree of Light on November 26 and to make contact with Shrewsbury BID to look at their involvement in the centre of town. Finally, slightly expand the villages visited with the Santa Sleigh.

The new chair of International Committee John Law said the club would continue with Lend with Care having already made 71 loans, helping 294 entrepreneurs, 985 family members and created 219 jobs in overseas countries. “The big one for the committee is making a global grant application.  At the moment this is very much in its infancy, but Rotarian Mike Mortimer is doing work behind the scenes looking to provide an ambulance for children in Romania.”

Julian Wells, who will be heading up Community and Vocational, said the committee would be supporting a number of initiatives including repairs to Shawbury Churchyard and extending crocus planting. The club would continue its support of reading at the Grange Primary School which he said members enjoyed and which was proving to be a most worthwhile club effort.

New chair of Fellowship and activities, Graham Hughes, outlined a tour of Shrewsbury Town Football Club, a River Severn boat trip, a visit to BBC Radio Shropshire, the Battlefield Brewery and a country walk.

Current President Donald Thompson, who will continue to chair the club’s Membership services, said the focus would be on membership, including a corporate member, and he was pleased that Colin had included this as one of his objectives. He said the club had agreed with the Shrewsbury Chronicle for a bi-monthly series of articles which could include Rotary International. Colin added:  “I hope we can all share the enthusiasm we have for this club and enjoy ourselves in the various activities which take place.

“We are going to have a great year and thank you for your support in the future.”

 President Donald concluded the club assembly by saying:  “Colin has it under his belt and has got it all sorted.  He has a huge success as head of the fundraising committee and with his enthusiasm and expertise everything will be absolutely fantastic. “For my part, I am looking forward to being an ordinary member.”

 In addition to Diane and Simon Sims, the club was visited by Rotarians Neil Hockaday, of the Rotary club of Paignton, and Rotarian Peter Styles, a founder member in 1990 of Birmingham Rotary Breakfast Club.

 

 Simon Sims, Rotary District Sports Officer, his wife Diane and President Donald Thompson.

 

Rotarian Bob Scaiff, Rotarian Neil Hockaday who brought along some new reading material which could be introduced to The Grange, and President Donald.

 

Neil, Rotarian Peter Styles and President Donald

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SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY CLUB APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED

Incoming Shrewsbury Severn President Colin Sharp has confirmed the appointments of committee chairs for the new Rotary year.

These are:

Community and Vocational Julian Wells; International and Foundation John Law; Fellowship Graham Hughes; Fundraising Fred McDonogh.

Current President Donald Thompson will continue to chair Membership and Colin Joint Activities.  Vice President will be Julian Wells.

He confirmed the appointments at the May 9 meeting of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club when members heard that the club will again be sponsoring two students for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp.

Youth opportunities officer Kerry Ferguson said the young people, one of whom is from ShrewsburyCollege and the other from the Sixth Form College, would be visiting the club on June 20.

He also announced that the club would be sending 20 children from the Grange School on the District Kids Day Out at Drayton Manor Park on June 14. He said he would shortly be meeting with Shrewsbury College to decide the form of the grant the club has agreed to provide, probably taking the form of an award for delivering the greatest achievement in adversity, including voluntary work. Kerry added that he is also exploring the possibility of setting up an Interact Club with the College.

President Elect Colin said afterwards:  “If any member who is not on Club Council and wishes to attend they can do so and would be welcome.”

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ROTARIAN MIKE IN SEARCH OF A GLOBAL GRANT FOR ROMANIA VILLAGES

 A member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has recently returned from spending five days in Romania investigating at first hand the possibility of pursuing a global grant to help very poor villages in the Mures region of the country.

 Rotarian Mike Mortimer has come back with the firm belief that Rotary through his own club and district as well as the local Tirgu Mures Rotary Club in Romania should pursue how this possibility could be achieved in the coming months. “I firmly believe the villages I visited would most definitely benefit from a Rotary global grant because these are communities which are so really poor and needy,” said Mike whose visit took in various villages in the Mures region which he likened to a county in the middle of Romania. “For them a global grant would be worth tens of thousands of pounds which could help these people enormously and I now hope to pursue through my own club as well as the district.”

 Mike was accompanied on his visit by Shropshire fire fighters who are involved in several community projects in the Mures region and which Shrewsbury Severn Rotary has already supported as a club. The club has already donated approximately £3,000 to the Mures region of Romania which includes the purchase of a Ford Ranger fire truck which he was pleased to see started first time and was well maintained.

 He visited an old people’s home in a converted prison which Shrewsbury Severn Rotary has supported due to the work of the Shropshire fire fighters.  They are also involved in a village school re-building project which is supported by the Tirgu Mures Rotary Club. Mike took with him a considerable number of teddy bears for children of mothers being temporarily housed in a refuge which Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has supported.  “The refuge only provides temporary accommodation for these women, some as young as 13, with their child, and once they leave the refuge the children no longer have any toys. One woman of 23 had already given birth to five children and I saw some of the kids who are quite traumatised – a touching experience. I was pleased to be able to make contact with the medical staff in a partnership to supply them with a vehicle which will help to improve the mortality rate of children and mothers in rural areas. Since returning from Romania there was a fire at the refuge and because they had fire alarms fitted, which we purchased, everyone escaped safely and no-one was injured. In addition to seeing at first hand where our money has been spent, I was keen to see how we can best continue to support Shropshire Fire Service and make sure our partnership with them continues to flourish.”

He said the road network in the Mures region left a lot to be desired – only fit for horses and carts – the mode of transport. “Again, this is an area which needs support to improve the way these people travel.” He added:  “There was wonderful hospitality from everyone I met on the visit and the custom of toasting every event with the 62% national drink Palenka!.”


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TRIBUTES TO THE LATE ALAN EAMES

Tributes have been paid to the late Alan Eames, a member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club.

At his funeral at Shrewsbury Crematorium, Mr. William Rowell, who conducted the service, described Alan as a ‘remarkable man who led a remarkable life.’

He was, said Mr. Rowell, a ‘true original’ who was always interested in other people.  A man who was always positive and forward looking. Alan, 76, always had a positive characteristic and made people ‘smile.’ He outlined Alan’s career which started by working for his father and ended in him running Wicker World in Shrewsbury.  In retirement, he joined his wife Barbara in child minding. He had enjoyed becoming a Rotarian with the ethos of service and fellowship which were very important to Alan who was a ‘people person.’

One of the lasting memories for his fellow Rotarians was Alan as a Santa on the Rotary sleigh, talking to children and loving every moment of the occasion.

At the club meeting following Alan’s funeral, President Donald Thompson described it as ‘unique,’ culminating with the song ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’

A sale of brightly coloured ties which Rotarians wore to the funeral raised £100 which will be donated to Prostate Cancer Research. The ties were from Alan’s collection and essentially left over from his earlier fundraising efforts in aid of research following the passing of Rotarian Niel Kelly who was also a sufferer of the same disease. And shortly before he died, Alan donated a bottle of whisky which was raffled at a club meeting and raised another £250 for the same charity.

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ROTARY SUPPORT FOR A CRISIS APPEAL

A Rotary club is donating £500 in response to the East Africa Crisis Appeal.

The money has been pledged by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club to Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Rotarian Chris Allsop, chair of the club’s international committee, said drought and conflict have left 16 million people on the brink of starvation and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment.

“It is reported that 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished,” said Chris, a retired medical practitioner. “People are already dying in South Sudan and Somalia.  In Kenya, the government has declared a national emergency and Ethiopia is battling a new wave of drought following the strongest EI Nino on record.”

He said donations of £25 could provide a month’s supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child; £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month; £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week. Said Chris:  “The UK Government has matched pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the public to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal through its Aid Match Fund.” He said that the DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis.  These are ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CADOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision. “They are all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly,” Chris added.

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BRIAN AND MARGARET SHARE 60 YEARS OF MARRIAGE WITH ROTARIANS

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has made history…

…the honouring of a diamond wedding anniversary of one of its longest-serving members. A past president, Rotarian Brian Leverton and his wife Margaret, shared one of their anniversary celebrations with fellow Rotarians.

A memorable fellowship evening it turned out to be with another  past president Rev Paul Firmin returning to the club to anecdote weddings with which he had been involved. He said that during his 30 years as a priest he had conducted between 450 and 500 weddings.  The fewest in any one year was five when he was at Grinshill.  The most in a year: 28. He said the fee to marry at the Abbey Church, where he is presently the vicar, is £450, but the total cost of marrying in a church today is £800.

The average age of couples marrying today is 25-34, whereas when he started in the priesthood it was 20-24. “Weddings are huge fun and I have enjoyed almost everyone of them.  You meet people today whom you first met 20 years ago, they have three children, and you feel you are very much part of a community.”

He added:  “I invite people who want to get married and be part of the community to come and see me.”

Addressing fellow Rotarians, Brian described himself as a ‘quiet and shy sort of bloke’ who was ‘surprised at the depth of excitement’ that their 60th wedding anniversary had brought about. He said that he and Margaret had been very fortunate to have reasonable health to continue life if not exactly to the full, fairly closely. The couple had met at Quaintways dance hall in Chester which in those days was the ‘place to go.’  They discovered they had a ‘common taste’ in music which became one of the bonds of their marriage and they were pleased to have been founder members of the Shrewsbury Phoenix Choir. He described how he wanted to be an engineer and work for Rolls Royce cars and when they moved from Crewe to Leicester he had a 100% mortgage guaranteed by his new employer which enabled them to buy their first house. With their son Tim only months old, he moved back to Rolls Royce in Shrewsbury leaving Margaret to cope with the sale of the house.  Then when their second child was born in 1961, Brian was frequently overseas and often for weeks at a time, leaving Margaret to cope with the two little ones in their early life.

He said that in the last 30 years Rotary had been a large part of their lives and Margaret had enjoyed Inner Wheel.   Added Brian:  “We have enjoyed considerable fellowship with you fellow Rotarians and spouses over the last 30 years that has added much pleasure to our lives and we thank you.”

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SHROPSHIRE STAR EDITOR MARTIN WRIGHT TALKS TO SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY CLUB

Newspapers continue to be the eyes and ears of their readers. So said Martin Wright, Editor of the Shropshire Star, when he addressed members and guests of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club. “If we are not there, who is?” he asked.

 He spoke of local newspapers ‘shining a light’ on what is going on in their circulation area. He said health and the county council were a key source of stories for the Shropshire Star.  “Our job, to shine a light on what’s happening, is more important than ever.” He said that if the Shropshire Star was not at these meetings, a lot of issues would not be aired publicity which was a ‘risk.’ “If there is no scrutiny then there is no challenge and people can do what they like.  These things are enforced without the public knowing about them which is quite a grave danger. More and more decisions will be taken behind closed doors if there is any way the press can be excluded.  This is a real issue for local democracy.”

He said the Shropshire Star took news seriously and put pressure on people making decisions.  “We are watching them and holding them to account.”  He said the newspaper industry was facing challenges as circulation falls and advertising revenues come under pressure. Despite these challenges, the Shropshire Star remained one of the biggest regional newspapers in the country.

He spoke of the growth of the internet and digital with some newspapers, such as The Independent, going digital only. He said the Shropshire Star’s digital audience had continues to increase at a rapid rate but he said the big challenge continued to be generating revenue.  “Digital is growing, but the message is that print is still important to us as a business.” Martin spoke of having to contend with another issue:  fake news.  A term popularised by President Trump.

“This is yet another issue to contend with. I am hoping this means people will look to trusted sources for information, including their local newspaper.  “So in the long run this idea of fake news will make trusted local newspapers more important again. We are still a trusted source of local news. Local journalism is still vital for democracy and we are here to stay. There is no doubt that challenges are ahead for print, but it is not all doom and gloom.”

In his half hour talk, he told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club of the changing shape of the Shropshire Star news room and how the way a newspaper was put together had changed ‘massively’ due to advancements in technology. Martin also touched on a number of other issues, ranging from the appointment of George Osborne – ‘clearly we have a lot to learn from Mr. Osborne who tells us he can edit the London Standard in half a day’ – to how the press is regulated.  And who should do the regulating. He said:  “We joined the Independent Press (IPSO) which is a very rigorous form of regulation for us in the newspaper industry.  There is no way we would want to upset our readers and walk away anyway, but IPSO ensures that we treat all complaints seriously and if we make a mistake, we put it right.

“One of the legacies of the Lawson Enquiry is Section 40 which, if implemented, would mean that newspapers not signed up to a state approved regular would be eligible to pay both sides of the costs in any legal action – even if the newspaper was completely vindicated in court. The Section 40 issue looms still and remains a very serious concern for the Press. If it was to go ahead it would leave editors in an impossible position – either publish the story and face a substantial legal bill even if you’ve done nothing wrong, or don’t publish at all and let down your readers.”

 

 

Martin (left) with President Donald Thompson

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ROTARY DONATES OVER £8,000 TO LOCAL CHARITIES

Donations totaling nearly £8,500 have been made by the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn to four charities benefiting from the last Rotary Tree of Light at St. Mary’s Church. Recipients of cheques were Louise Dawson, Lingen Davies, Emma Dowler, Alzheimer’s, and Graham Riley and Ian Bolingbrook, Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group.

Cheques for £2,724 were presented by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson to Lingen Davies and Alzheimer, whilst Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group benefited from £2,883 – thanks to money raised from the auctioning of a bottle of whiskey donated by Rotarian Alan Eames.

Following the presentations, each guest thanked the club for its ‘excellent’ fundraising effort via the Rotary Tree of Light and gave a brief review of how the donation would be used. Graham Riley informed Rotarians about a recent prostate awareness event held in the Jubilee Centre, Ironbridge, where 421 PSI checks were carried out.  The cost of each blood test was £18, funded by various stakeholders including the NHS. The Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group has offered to support Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club in sponsoring a similar event.


Left to right Louise, Emily, Donald, Graham and Ian

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POLICE COMMISSIONER TALKS OF HIS ‘TOOTH OF THE TIGER’

 West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has spoken of the ‘tooth of the tiger’…keeping people safe. “I am proud to be associated with keeping people safe – my authority comes from you.”

His comment to members and guests of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club backed up a statement he made in his foreward to a document ‘Safer West Mercia Plan 2016-2021.’‘To take our strong foundation of a good police force and create an even safer West Mercia.  Together we can build a safer West Mercia.’ He said he had previously worked in the security of the prison system.  These were dispersal prisons housing category A prisoners most at risk to the community.

 As an independent adviser, he questions ‘locking up’ some people who wouldn’t afterwards get jobs and they returned to prison.  “Custody has a role, but we should be breaking that cycle of offending.” He talked about the role of the Commissioner and the key priorities within the plan.  “I am the community connection between the two,” said John. “I am like a representative of the shareholders in a plc, holding executives to account on behalf of shareholders.”

 He spoke of being responsible for ‘powerful tools in the pack,’ for example being in charge of everything the force owns and purchases, including its fleet of vehicles, uniform and other police kit, estates – including police stations – and all police ICT. 

He said he had the powers to remove the Chief Constable.  “I have the power to hold him to account – he is not the body sovereign.  But I can’t direct him. However, he has to justify to me why a certain purpose has a certain way. “Part of my process is to hold the chief to account to make him explain to me the plans and help him to account to me to make sure it happens.”

 He said he had to produce a police and crime plan at the front of his four year tenure.  It was a central document he had to publish and how he held police to account.  There were four points in his plan. “I want to make sure we double our efforts which is what people need if they have been a victim of crime.  You haven’t asked to become a victim.  It doesn’t always mean a critical prosecution. I believe passionately the police service is held in high regard in this country and West Mercia is no different.”

 He went on:  “Even in Storm Doris which was in the high 70’s we were making sure you were getting  the police service you expect.” And then the Commissioner touched on why his accounting role was vital.  “I can’t stand here today and say we are spending your money efficiently.” Technology, he said, was part of our lives, but the police service didn’t use technology.  They didn’t have access to smart phones and wifi. “Our processes haven’t caught up with technology and while are spending money we have been given only the necessary. However, we are starting a pilot giving police some technology. It is not cutting edge, but in policing we are using technology that people are using in their everyday lives. I believe it is absolutely vital that we catch up and keep up with the available technology. We are reforming our organisation by rolling out smart phones and giving our police officers and staff what they need. We have made investments in mobile technology to improve the visibility of our officers across the force in the community.  If I can make a dozen people more visible an hour per shift it is massively impactful on our community.”

 He said West Mercia was rolling out a £1m investment in body worn video cameras which would provide officers with the power to change the behaviour of those who were aggressive and at the same time reduce the number of assaults against police officers which was one of their most important roles.  We want to make sure that those who are protecting us are protected.” John said he was nine months into his job which was to make sure ‘those who are protecting us are protected.’

“I feel responsible for the way of the role nine months in and I know I have the power to change things.  I have recruited a chief constable and invested in body worn video and agreed a technology role over four years. I want to make sure I get to the things which are important, but not immediate.  I want to maximise every minute.  I like to get out and deliver with partners.  I don’t want to miss an opportunity or what’s important. I want to be known as the man who had a vision for West Mercia.  Getting people to trust me and confident in the office I hold.”

 He added:  “I am accountable to you and you guys only. I am a community representative which is one of the best jobs in politics.” In a vote of thanks, Rotarian Stephen Rogers said it was essential that technology played an ‘enormous part’ in the future of West Mercia. “The role of the police commissioner has developed and so have the visions for West Mercia which will continue to develop.”

 John Campion was introduced by the club’s speaker secretary Rotarian John Yeomans who said the police and crime commissioner had replaced the role historically carried out by the police authority.

 

 Left to right John Campion, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson and Shrewsbury Severn Speaker’s Secretary John Yeomans

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COUNTRY’S TOP ROTARIAN VISITS

It isn’t every week, month or even year that a local Rotary club receives a visit from the top Rotarian in Great Britain and Ireland but that was the case when Eve Conway, Rotary National President, visited Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club to deliver an important message that Rotary was ridding the world of this dreadful disease.

She not only spoke about Rotary’s success in reducing polio to just one case this year, but how the movement has planted seven million purple crocus corms to mark the 112thanniversary of the founding of Rotary International.

Eve, a most personable character, spoke on a variety of high profile topics and mixed with Rotarians not only from Shrewsbury Severn but six other Rotary clubs in Shropshire on her special night in the county.

At the end of her interesting talk she was presented with a memento by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson. A book entitled ‘Nearest Earthly Place to Paradise: The Literary Landscape of Shropshire’ which has inspired many writers over the centuries: its bucolic rolling fields and orchards, its dramatic wild hills and moors, its ramshackle market towns, its patchwork of copses and hedgerows, its bleak and beautiful mountains. Extracts from Charles Dickens to Henry James, from Kathy Swift to AE Housman, from Bill Bryson to Pete Postlethwaite, are matched with stunning photographs by Shropshire's Geoffrey Taylor who has captured the landscapes that drew out the words.

 

Eve received the book with great pleasure.

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On Valentine’s night, the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn enjoyed a taste of Italy at La Corallina restaurant in Shrewsbury. 44 members and guests were treated to an authentic evening of Italian cuisine, style and atmosphere. The dà©cor provides Mediterranean ambiance with many of the items shipped over from Italy, including the flooring and table tiles, which were hand painted by a Neapolitan friend of the owner. The club was reminded of the romantic connections of Italy through Romeo and Juliet and, of course, Casanova. The evening started with a welcome glass of Prosecco kindly provided by President Don Thompson in celebration of his birthday. Jessica, the owner of La Corallina, who hails from Naples, then talked us through the menu and brought a tear to the eye with her emotional description of one of her mother’s recipes. There was a great buzz in the room all evening but the abiding memory is that of laughter. Isn’t fellowship great?

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HELP AT HAND FOR VULNERABLE FAMILIES

 There is help at hand for vulnerable families with a child under the age of five.

 This message was conveyed to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club by Homestart Shropshire whose support includes issues such as housing, debt, domestic violence and child behavioural problems and last year 170 Shropshire families were supported.

 Homestart Shropshire’s representatives Barbara Bates and Carol Brown told Rotarians that support continues until the issues are overcome – or become manageable. The support includes two to three hours each week and lasts on average for up to 15 months. The 44 Homestart Shropshire volunteers accompany vulnerable families to various venues helping them integrate, build confidence and their self-esteem until they are able to maintain contacts themselves. In terms of involvement, this includes pre and post natal support which often extends until a child is over a year old.

 They told Rotarians that referrals to Homestart come from health visitors, often as the first contact with mothers after birth, social workers, nurseries and schools as well as occasionally from GP’s. The representatives told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club:  “The main source of funding is from the lottery with Homestart Shropshire currently in its third year of grants. Without that support we could not survive as an organisation.  In addition, corporate and individuals donations are crucial. We are also looking for trustees to sit on the governing body and for any business sponsorship which will be acknowledged on our Facebook page.”

 Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has made a donation of £500 from Past President Kerry Ferguson’s fund when he was president.

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TWO LITTLE BOYS NOW HAVE NEW FAMILIES – THANKS TO A ROTARY DONATION

 A Rotary club’s immediate past president has made what is believed to be an unprecedented donation from his honorarium to a children’s charity in Uganda. As a result, Rotarian Kerry Ferguson, last year’s president of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, has heard that thanks to his donation two little boys have new families. James was abandoned last summer.  Six months later he has a family who call him ‘The fulfillment of all our dreams.’

 Kerry has been told by a charity representative that he has changed James’s life from being an orphan to becoming a son. Aiden, whom the charity describe as a ‘little miracle,’ was one day old when he was dumped on a rubbish tip last summer. Now he is part of a loving family.  The charity’s team will continue to check up on them both until the families get adoption orders from the courts. And in the next couple of weeks, two little girls will also be placed into Ugandan families as the government panel has just approved them for adoption.

 Anyone wishing to raise money for Child’s i Foundation – and at the same time have ‘the best fun of their life’ – can sign up to the inflatable-filled 5km challenge that is the ‘gung-ho!’ event across the UK. Every £5 raised can pay for children like Aidan and James to receive love and life-saving 24 hour care in a foster family whilst the charity finds them a permanent home.

 Kerry has received a ‘thank you’ from Lucy Buck who since 2005 has spent six months of the year as a producer of high profile TV shows for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and the other six months volunteering at Sanyu Babies’ Home in the Uganda capital Kampala. She says on the charity’s website:  “My two worlds could not have been any more different – oscillating between the craziness and glamour of “Reality Television” to the poverty, sadness – and hope – of Uganda, one of the world’s poorest countries. I’ve gone from working with celebrity chefs, Formula 1 Racing Drivers and celebrities in Fiji, to dealing with Malaria, Meningitis, HIV/AIDS and fighting to keep a 1-day-old baby alive who has been left for dead in a toilet. I’ve experienced the power of the media first-hand, working on TV shows that reach audiences of millions. But for this project, I intend to harness the cost efficient, global power of the internet and online communities. Our aim is to create a connection between orphans in need of a home with people who are willing and able to help them. We want people to support our charity because they feel a connection with the children and the web is the perfect tool to create that connection.”

Footnote:-  Sir Winston Churchill once described Uganda as the 'Pearl of Africa.’

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CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES AND CREATING NEW JOBS

Lendwithcare continues to flourish in Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club and its President Donald Thompson has remarked:  “It is amazing how people’s lives have been changed.”

In total the club has credited Lendwithcare with £1,200, lent £3,000, equivalent to 59 loans, helping 211 entrepreneurs, 775 family members - and creating 188 jobs. Said Rotarian Chris Allsop, the club’s International and Foundation Committee chair: “Shrewsbury Severn Rotary has been making loans to Lendwithcare for over three years and there have been no loan defaults. Lending to entrepreneurs has enabled them to develop, expand and sustain local business projects as well as employ local people and also help their community.” Chris added:  “Our present credit available from repayments stands at £351 and this enables up to start lending again.

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ROTARY TO PURSUE A GLOBAL GRANT FOR A CONVERTED AMBULANCE

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has agreed to pursue a global grant through the Rotary Foundation – Rotary’s own charity - to support the provision of a converted ambulance to serve a rural area of Romania. Rotarian Mike Mortimer of Shrewsbury Severn has volunteered to visit to assist with the pursuance of the project and liaise with the local Rotary club in the Mures area.

Mures is a very rural and sparsely populated area with a poor local infrastructure. Romania has the highest mortality rates for both children and their mothers. The vehicle itself would be sourced locally in Romania which imposes tax implications on imported vehicles. The purpose of the vehicle, which would cost Rotary in the region of £50,000 would be to support maternal and child health in the rural area.

Shrewsbury Severn and one other club will pay 25% of the cost with the Romanian Rotary Club matching this 25%.  The balance of 50% will then be met by Rotary International. The project is in conjunction with Shrewsbury Firefighters ‘Operation Sabre’ whose president Steve Worrall is visiting Romania next month when Mike Mortimer intends joining him.

Said Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s International Committee Chair Chris Allsop:  “Mike will be able to see for himself what is required from Rotary and will also report back on money already donated directly from the club. This has gone to help several projects, including modernising a mother and baby safe house, as well as an old people home. The five day visit will also give Mike the opportunity to meet with the potential local partner Rotary club for a possible global grant application as well as gaining first hand local information on the maternal and child health situation we are trying to help.”


Rotarian Mike Mortimer with passport and map in readiness for his visit to the Mures area of Romania.

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ROTARIANS GIVEN INSIGHT INTO WORKINGS OF A MANUFACTURER

An insight into the workings of a successful Shrewsbury-based manufacturer of pressings and assemblies and powder coating has been given to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club.

A party of 24 Rotarians visited the 60,000 sq.ft. factory of Salop Design & Engineering Ltd which has been in metal press work for 50 years, making parts for car manufacturers. Commercial Director Christopher Greenough, whose day had started at 6.30 am with a meeting in Coventry, was equally fresh 12 hours later when he showed Rotarians round the factory with its banks of giant presses and streamlined powder coating plant.

“Through the work we are doing here, we are putting Shrewsbury on the map,” said Chris.  “I am proud of what we do in terms of investment in machinery and people. We are looking at expanding and developing new products to take the turnover to £15m a year.  We have secured £1.9m from the Marches LEP, via its Growth Deal with Government, to set up a bespoke training centre in Bridgnorth which will be open in September. We have a fantastic business in Shropshire and we need to get that message over.  The more people we can show of our manufacturing capability, the better the future will be. SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises) have the biggest growth potential in the UK and capacity is going to come from us.  We are a prominent manufacturer and we are keeping it going. Manufacturing is flavour of the month with any politician.”

He said Brexit offered a lot of export potential all over Europe.  “The state of the pound is helping manufacturing and if you are exporting this is a good time.  There are good opportunities,” said Chris. “Manufacturing is the current buzz word and if you are willing to invest – the world is your oyster. “

He outlined Salop Design & Engineering’s markets which included automotive, garden and leisure parts.  “If it is metal we can make it and the strategy is to look for non-automotive press work. We are looking to partner with other people in manufacturing and how we sell the product has changed.  You have to change the way you do things.  People very quickly forget what a company does. I have 24 years in this industry and we have to be positive.  We have fantastic kit and fantastic products and want to work with all Shropshire and Midlands companies.”

He said the company employed 100 people, had doubled its turnover in two years to £11m and expected that to increase to £15m in 2017.  Ten percent of turnover was currently export.

During a tour of the factory floor, Chris showed Rotarians the large scale presses which were producing automotive pressings, out of flat aluminium sheet, for first tier automotive customers.  “This is going fantastically well, though we don’t want to be tied to the automotive industry. However, it is an exciting time to be in automotive press work. These days there is a completely different mindset in manufacturing whereby you work and talk with competitors.  We all understand that you have to make a margin – you are allowed to mention profits.”

The visitors wound their way round the huge shop floor at Salop Design & Engineering as Chris described the capabilities of the various giant presses, some as large as 600 tonnes. Presses were producing quality brake shoes for Germany.  “The Germans like quality,” said Chris.  “There are not many automotive presses in the UK that can do this particular heavy gauge.”

There was the installation of a recent Italian press costing half a million pounds and a 400 tonne progression press.  Rotarians then moved to the main mechanical line where most of Salop Design and Engineering’s operators work. Here, Chris described the work won this year from Germany.  Wilkins and Mitchell and Verson and Wilkins presses were described, the latter producing the hood back plate for the a prestige type convertible car.

“We have 930 solar panels on the roof and must be the one of the biggest roof based solar farms in Shropshire,” said Chris.

Following a tour of the heavy presses, Rotarians were taken to the powder coating equipment. The three and a half metre long, fully automated, 200 degrees power coating plant, had represented a three quarters of a million pounds investment for each line, and represented between 15%-20% of total turnover. “We believe we have got the powder coating price and quality right, we can paint on track and we re-cycle 97% of what we use.  And powder coating is also a rust inhibitor.”

Added Chris: “Salop Design & Engineering rose from Dick Homden designing press tools many years ago and then customers asked him to try press tooling and he ended up being a press worker and we are now press work and powder coating.”

The visit was organised by Rotarian Willie Strachan and a vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Brian Leverton.

Footnote:  Founder Dick Homden was a former Wolverhampton Wanderers Chairman who played a key part in the club’s revival in the late 1980’s.  He died at the age of 78 in December 2010.



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SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY’S £1,300 CHARITY DONATIONS

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has agreed to make charitable donations totalling £1,300. The club is giving £600 to the Shrewsbury Food Hub which is the first of its kind in the UK and has been set up to collect surplus food from supermarkets. The food is then distributed to community groups and charities.

In addition, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary will be donating £500 to the Blood Bikes charity and £200 to Crucial Crew. Shrewsbury and Oswestry Crucial Crew teaches life skills to 500 children from 40-60 primary schools in the area in June every year at Nesscliffe Army Barracks.

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‘SHOUT’ COMES AS BLOOD BIKER ROY SPEAKS TO ROTARY

Whilst he was addressing a Rotary meeting, blood biker Roy Broad received an email from his controller asking whether he could respond to a ‘shout.’ “How are you fixed after 10 o’clock – we need a third rider from Shropshire tonight,” was the message.

For the charity Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes, of which Roy is a volunteer, operates 24/7 winter and summer averaging 10 emergency service calls every 24 hours. Roy, one of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the charity, was speaking to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club in his leathers as the text from his controller came through. The Blood Bikes operate a voluntary service delivering blood and life saving medical supplies in support of the NHS and patient care.

“The NHS needs volunteers who are committed to turning out when they are needed because this is a largely out of hours service,” said Roy who as well as his leathers also had his helmet and mobile ready for a ‘shout.’ He told Rotarians:  “3.15 am is the worst time of night, particularly in winter, for a shout.  I recently had a shout at that time to take blood samples to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. “I got back home just before 7.00 am.  I took my wife a cup of tea and she said ‘hello darling, have you been out?’ “On an exceptionally busy night we would expect to do as many as eight jobs delivering the difference between life and death.  Delivering blood and blood products as well as frozen donor breast milk which is also a very important part of our service. Plasma can be taken in a frozen state from hospital to hospital in secure refrigerated boxes and we carry a lot of samples between hospitals.”

He explained that all Blood Bikers were advanced riders and represented what he described as a ‘broad church,’ from youngsters to a few ‘grey haired’ as well as several retired traffic policemen. “We attract bikers from every walk of life.  We have a retired vicar and a serving district judge who loves wearing his leathers and helmet and is completely anonymous. Volunteers can do as much or as little as they can do.  They can do so many shifts or be on stand by.”

Roy added that Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes was currently saving the NHS over £100,000 a year and last year carried out over 3,000 jobs on their behalf. “The NHS needs its volunteers and people who are committed to turn out whenever they are needed and there is pride amongst our volunteers to deliver a professional service which is largely out of hours. We will need more bikers in the future as the charity grows.”

Said Rotarian Chris Heaven in a vote of thanks:  “The NHS has a lot to learn from the way you run your organisation.  You are doing an absolutely cracking job and the professionalism is absolutely outstanding.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact shrops.staffsbloodbikes@gmail.com


President Donald and Roy

Roy and bike ready to go

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‘INTENSITY’ OF RUNNING AN ENGLISH VINEYARD

 The ‘intensity’ of running an English vineyard has been outlined to members and guests of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club. Rotarian Gordon Channon and his wife Angela spent six years at the helm of the Wickham Vineyard in the Meon Valley, Hampshire, where they obtained many awards including several in the International Wine Challenge which pits 10,000 wines from around the world against each other. 

 They told the meeting how they learnt the theory of wine making “on the job” with help from the previous owner and from an Australian Master of Wine.  “We decided to look at an English vineyard to change our lifestyle,” said Gordon who with Angela worked for Grand Met’s wine and spirits company. “We looked at quite a few and ended up buying Wickham Vineyard with its 18 acres of vines on 43 acres.”

 Angela, the first English wine maker to achieve an international medal for English red wine, outlined to Rotarians how a typical year in an English vineyard works. She ran through the pruning and coping with April frosts to the June flowering and “set” forming the grapes, a month she described as ‘hopefully a good one’ for English wine producers as the “set” determines the volume of the harvest. The vineyard had to spray against mildew and rot during the summer and thin out the canopy of vines, opening up grapes to the light. Spraying is stopped at the beginning of September to ensure a gap of at least 2 weeks before picking the grapes.  “The climate in this country means it is difficult to grow grapes without sprays,” said Angela.

 “In order to produce good quality wine you need three things to be in balance when deciding when to pick - the acid and sugar levels, but most important of all, the taste. The key indication of a good wine is to pick at the right time and picking the best quality grapes.  You only want the best grapes and the gangs of pickers were absolutely brilliant.”

 She emphasised the importance of preparation of the winery – the tanks, the press, all the equipment- which had to be spotless.  There could be not a spec of dirt. “The sooner you get the grapes in the press the better and we were often pressing wine until midnight.  One tonne of grapes will yield approximately 750 litres of wine. If you press too hard you can get poor quality juice so towards the end of the pressing process you are tasting all the time.  As soon as you detect any hint of an off taste, you stop the press. For the best possible wines you treat the grapes gently and do as little as possible to them after that.  The less you do to a wine the better.

 Said Gordon, who would spend Sunday mornings tasting as many as 12 wines, “After tasting the different wines in the tank you decide what the blend will be and the different amounts of each type.  It is a high intensity process!” Angela spoke of the mathematics and chemistry involved – ‘a lot of which I didn’t do at school!’  For example measuring sugar levels in the grapes using an Oeschle scale which you then use to calculate the potential alcohol in the wine. 

 She described how most of the grape varieties were German in origin i.e. adapted to a cool climate - and that at Wickham Vineyard they produced 30,000 bottles a year of their own wine and 70,000 bottles a year for other people. One of their wines, the Fumà©, was supplied to the House of Commons as their own label white wine, usually about 5,000 bottles per annum. They also sold their wines through Tanners, Sainsburys, Waitrose, restaurants, wine bars and of course their own shop on site. Visitors to their restaurant could also sample the wines with their meals. Angela, who was born in Zimbabwe, is the daughter of the late Leonard Baart, a well known Shrewsbury architect, and his wife Diana.  She was the first girl from Shrewsbury High School to go to Cambridge where she read English and then Law. She worked in a senior role at Grand Met (later Diageo) and was then a main board Director of Royal Sun Alliance UK.

 In a vote of thanks, Rotarian Garth Joscelyne said he never realised the ‘tremendous knowledge’ that was needed and that the talk was ‘fascinating.’

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ROTARY BRINGS HAPPINESS TO CHILDREN

A Rotary club brought happiness to a lot of children when they presented books to them as Christmas presents. Santa paid a surprise pre-Christmas visit to the Grange Primary School, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, to hand out over 100 books, donated by the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn, to pupils in five classes. Santa called specially at each of the classes to make the presentations.

The visit was organised by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s immediate past President Kerry Ferguson who with his wife Gill assisted Santa to present the books. The visit was also attended by the club’s current President Donald Thompson.

 

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TREE OF LIGHT PROVES BIG SUCCESS

 Rotary’s move of the popular Tree of Light has proved to be not only a big success – but a tribute to the people of Shrewsbury and beyond. The sum raised from the 2016 Tree of Light located at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury, is nearly £7,500.  Last year’s income was £6,333.

One of the Tree of Light organisers, Rotarian Mike Mortimer, of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, said:  “A big thank you to the Shrewsbury Chronicle for their wonderful support of our 2016 Tree of Light. “I would also put the 2016 success down to the additional support we received as well as handing out leaflets at St. Mary’s Church.” Said Rotarian Colin Sharp, chair of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s Fundraising and Joint Activities Committee:  “This is a fantastic outcome. “The relocation and fresh ideas have had a tremendous impact. Rotarian Iain Gilmour has made such a positive impact on the 2016 Tree of Light and we all applaud him.”

Said Iain:  “This success is a tribute to the generosity of the people of Shrewsbury and beyond who have chosen to support us again this year by donating in memory of those who have passed on, whether it be family, friends or colleagues. “The staff and volunteers at St Mary’s have been hugely welcoming and supportive and the move has proved to be very popular. The service of dedication was well supported and I am sure we will be looking to do even better next year.”

It means that the £7,422 raised from the 2016 Tree of Light will be shared between three charities – Lingen Davies Cancer Relief Fund, Alzheimer’s Society and Prostate Cancer Support Group. The figures for 2015 and 2016 both include gift aid.

Said Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s President Donald Thompson:  “I would like to say thank you to Rotarian Iain Gilmour and all those who helped in organising such as successful Tree of Light. “It was a pleasure and an honour to take part.”

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Bob or Billy

The Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn was thoroughly entertained by ‘our kid,’ Billy Woodall of Gornal. Billy was the name used by Bob Mills as his character when Bob used to put on Black Country humour shows some years ago. Although he has long since stopped doing it, Bob was a regular feature of the Shrewsbury Police Male Voice Choir, with which he sings, when he put on a comedy routine during breaks in their concerts.

As a special favour to President Don, who had heard him some time ago, and at the request of his friend Rotarian Chris Clayton, Bob agreed to brush the cobwebs from his scripts. Rotarian Chris set the scene for the evening by introducing Bob and recounting a true story in broad Black Country language from his home town of Dudley. Bob then introduced Billy to the club and after 20 minutes of raucous laughter, everybody agreed the evening had been a roaring success.

A favourite of everybody (with the kind permission of Billy) was: Man goes into a bar and orders a double whisky, drinks it and then orders another, drinks it and orders another, drinks it and then orders another. He says to the barman, I shouldn't be drinking this with what I've got. Barman asks what he's got. Man says 7 pence.

What a shame that Billy has now left the district for good. He wor arf a gud bloke.

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MIRTH, MAGIC AND MUSIC

 Entertainer Paul Rushworth brought great laughter and much happiness to members and guests of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club on its first Christmas celebration since the new name was established.

 Paul was the special guest of the club at their annual party at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury, and not only provided high spots of magic, but as part of his extensive repertoire he included first class singing entertainment from past recording stars including Elvis, Elton and John Lennon.

 The event, organised by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson, was attended by 74 members and guests.

 

 

 Having fun are President Donald and entertainer Paul Rushworth

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A SECOND ROTARY CAROL SERVICE – UNDER A NEW NAME!

For the second successive year a Rotary Club has organised a carol service and afternoon tea for elderly citizens.  But there was a difference. Last year, the event was under the name of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.  This time, it was Shrewsbury Severn Rotary following the club’s recent change of name.

Rotarian Donald Thompson, the club’s first president since the name change, said he had succeeded last year’s president Kerry Ferguson in his welcome to visitors at the United Reformed Church, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury. “Many of you were here last year and I sincerely hope will be here next year when again I sincerely hope we shall still be Shrewsbury Severn Rotary under another president,” he told the congregation.

The service of four readings and six carols was led by church minister Rev. Lesley McNeil and the organist was Roy Haworth. After the service the visitors enjoyed afternoon tea served by Rotarians’ wives.  Musical entertainment was provided by Rotarian Garth Joscelyne and Alan Leather. The event, which was organised by Rotarian John Yeomans, also included a visit from Santa.


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SHREWSBURY SEVERN INDUCTS NEW ROTARIAN GRAHAM

Shrewsbury born Graham Hughes, a former BBC Radio Shropshire journalist and producer, has been inducted into Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club. Introducing Graham at the club’s last meeting, Sergeant at Arms Darryl Evans said they were friends of many years standing.

“I believe he will be an excellent Rotarian having been born in Shrewsbury and since moved way.  He and his wife Christine are retired and he moved back and now Graham wants to be involved in the local community.”

President Donald Thompson set out the object of Rotary, the principle of ‘Service Before Self’ and the avenues of service open to Rotarians to fulfil. “Service Before Self – that to me is almost an impossible task, but there are quite a few members who almost achieve that. There is something called the Four-Way Test which is Rotary’s moral code of things we think, say or do. This club wouldn’t be what it is without the humour and repartee.  I have only been here six years, but I have loved every second.”

Graham was warmly welcomed into the club by all members and said he was a member of a Rotary Club in Canada for a year which was ‘exciting because we got involved in so many things.’ He said his father and father-in-law were Rotarians and his connections with Rotary went back over a long while.”


Newly inducted Rotarian Graham Hughes with President Donald

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DISTRICT ROTARY LOOKING FOR ROTARY HOSTS

An appeal has gone out to Rotary clubs and individuals in the Rotary district that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands looking for hosts for a team from South West Germanyvisiting for two weeks next April. Their visit follows a team of young professionals led by team leader Rotarian Gary Sharpe of the Rotary Club of Stafford Knot seizing the opportunity to go Germany where they were hosted in the beautiful area around Lake Constance.

He told members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club that the district was pioneering Vocational Study Exchange programmes and this was its second year.  The district is at the forefront of the programme which is attracting interest from other districts. He said the team was able to enjoy the culture of a different country and how their respective vocation is in that country.  Lake Constance, he said, was an area which was ‘absolutely gorgeous.’

“Our hosts were absolutely fantastic – they were very good to us.  We would like to reciprocate accordingly when their team visits us next April.” Information will shortly be distributed advising clubs of the vocations of the visitors to facilitate hosting in which areas of the district.


Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club President Donald Thompson (left) with Rotarian Gary Sharpe

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Attachments area

TREE OF LIGHT ENDS ITS ‘FAFFING AROUND’

 St. Mary’s Church was tonight declared – and dedicated - as the new ‘stunning setting’ for Shrewsbury Rotary’s Tree of Light. The Rev. Paul Firmin, vicar of the nearby Abbey Church, who officiated at the service, told a congregation of 300 what a contrast to previous Tree of Light dedications. “This is so much nicer than faffing around at the back of a place in town.  This is so much better.  It is much nicer than meeting in the back of a shopping centre and I hope it will be the first of many years the Tree of Light will be here.”

 The Rev. Firmin, who originated the idea of the Tree of Light, told the congregation:  “It is lovely to be meeting in this amazing place for a wonderful mix of text and hymns.” The vicar picked up the idea of the Tree of Light from a parishioner who had seen the project in South Africa and the idea has now spread to many other Rotary clubs as well as to other organisations in the UK. He delivered a Latin phrase which translated is ‘where there is charity and love there God is’ symbolising the three charities that Rotary is supporting through this year’s Tree of Light.

 Said Rotarian Donald Thompson, president of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club:   “This project has for many years been supported by all three Rotary clubs in Shrewsbury and the tree has had a number of ‘homes,’ most recently in the town shopping centre, and before that in the Castle grounds. This year we are hugely grateful to the Churches Conservation Trust and all its staff and volunteers who have supported the move to what I hope you all agree is a most appropriate new venue.” 

 Addresses were also given by the two other Shrewsbury Rotary club presidents, Mandy Thorn, MBE (Shrewsbury Darwin) and Pat McLaughlin, MBE (Shrewsbury).  Mandy highlighted the beneficiaries and Pat ‘Now and the future.’ The Tree of Light, with its 600 remembrance bulbs, is located in the entrance to St. Mary’s Church in support of the Lingen Davies Cancer Relief Fund, the Alzheimer’s Society and Prostate Cancer Support Group.

The dedication service, which was organised by Rotarian Iain Gilmour of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, also featured the choir ‘Of One Accord’ and organist Mr. Bill Smallman.



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SANTA COMES TO TOWN

Hundreds of children visited the popular Rotary Santa Sleigh at the top of Pride Hill over a busy period of nearly four hours which started late afternoon and continued well into the evening. The Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn provided the Santa Claus and elves for the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights.

 Sitting on the sleigh, where he was watched by a large number of people, Santa rang his bell in the countdown to the switch on of the lights which brought a large cheer at 6.30 pm. From 4.30 pm onwards, parents and children had formed a continuous queue well down Pride Hill for an opportunity to visit Santa on the sleigh and have their photos taken.

 “Santa continues to attract large numbers of children, some of whom bring their written list of Christmas present requests,” said the club’s spokesperson Peter Love.  “And one person specially bought a mince pie for Santa which he thoroughly enjoyed afterwards. The switch on of the lights is a special occasion which Rotary thoroughly enjoys and feels a strong part of, particularly as it continues to attract more and more families.”

 The Rotary Club was collecting for Rotary and local charities and the Santa Sleigh programme continues in town this Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20. Santa and the sleigh will be at the Parade Shopping Centre ice rink from 11.30 am to 7.30 pm on Saturday and 11.30 am to 3.30 pm on Sunday.

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ROTARY PAST PRESIDENT ALLOCATES HIS FUND IN SUPPORT OF CHILDREN

 Past President Kerry Ferguson has announced how he has allocated the President’s fund from his year in office at Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club. He is giving £500 to the Grange Primary School, Shrewsbury, to buy new reading books. Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has previously made similar donations for books and to support the needs of children at the school.

 A similar amount will be given to Home-Start Shropshire which offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children in local communities. Volunteers are recruited and trained to visit families in their home to offer informal, friendly and confidential support so that parents grow in confidence and strengthen their relationships with their children.

 A donation of £270 will be made to the Child’s i Foundation which believes children should grow up in families, not orphanages. The charity has proved it is possible to find families for abandoned children instead of placing them into long-term care in Uganda.  Now Child’s i Foundation wants to change the lives of other children around the world. Said Kerry:  “I think that it is so important for children everywhere to be given the best start in life and we will continue to do whatever we can, even in small ways, to support this aspiration.”

  

Kerry Ferguson

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START OF SHREWSBURY’S SANTA SLEIGH

 Shrewsbury’s ever-popular Santa Sleigh will soon begin its tour of the town and surrounding villages. Santa starts the six week long programme next Wednesday at the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights.

 Santa and sleigh will be at the top of Pride Hill from 4.30 pm to greet children and welcome parents on behalf of the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury Severn.

 This will be the start of Rotary’s annual festive fundraising for local and Rotary charities.

 The full programme of Santa Sleigh visits so far arranged is:

 Wednesday Pride Hill

Saturday and Sunday November 18 and 19 Parade Shopping Centre Ice Rink starting at 11.30.

 December 2 Sainsbury’s from 10.00; December 3 Aldi from 10.00; December 5 Shawbury Village 6.00 onwards; December 7 Hadnall 6.00 onwards; December 9 and 10 Asda from 10.00; December 11 Pontesbury from 10.00; December 12 Mount Pleasant from 6.00; December 14 Castlefields from 6.00; December 16 Tesco from 10.00; December 17 Shrewsbury Town Football Club from 12.30; December 19 Shawbury Village from 6.00; December 21 Sundorne from 6.00; December 22 and 23 Morrisons from 10.00.

 For further information on times etc contact Colin Sharp at colingsharp@gmail.com

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ROTARY TREE OF LIGHT UNVEILED IN ITS NEW HOME

 The 2016 Rotary Tree of Light of Remembrance has been unveiled in its new home in the centre of Shrewsbury. Rotarians of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club have installed the Tree of Light in the porch of St. Mary’s Church where in opening hours, from 10.00-4.00 Monday to Saturday, it will be visible to passers-by in the town’s popular St. Mary’s Street. The 12ft tall tree has 600 bulbs as once again Rotary invites members of the public to ‘own’ a light in memory of someone or a cause dear to them with a gift of a minimum of £5.

The Rotary Clubs of Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin are once again joining Shrewsbury Severn as partners in promoting this annual Christmas tradition in partnership with the Shrewsbury Chronicle. For many years the Shrewsbury Chronicle has published the names of donors and  the names will also be displayed near the tree and on the Rotary website.

 Sponsorship forms are available through Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s treasurer Chris Yaxley who can be emailed at chris.yaxley@btinternet.com . This year’s proceeds from the St. Mary’s Church Tree of Light will be distributed between the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, Alzheimer’s Society and Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group.

A service of dedication of the Tree of Light will be held at St. Mary’s Church at 7.00 pm on November 27 and all are welcome to attend.

 

 Rotarians Mike Mortimer (left) and Iain Gilmour beside the newly installed Rotary Tree of Light in the porch of St. Mary’s Church

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WHY MALCOLM TALKS A LOT OF HOT AIR!

 Malcolm Philcox talks a lot of hot air and flies by the seat of his pants!  So much so he thoroughly enjoys it and wouldn’t have it any other way. For the veteran hot air balloon enthusiast certainly knows his burners and baskets, not least his cylinders and fabrics, upside down and inside out whether flying straight ahead at a target or at 180 degrees.

He gave a most enlightening talk to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club on his story in hot air ballooning which goes back exactly to the date of August 12 1982 when he was offered a flight at BewdleySafari Park. “It was my first balloon flight and from then on I was hooked,” said Malcolm who went on to tell Rotarians that the first hot air balloon was launched in Paris in 1783. “Then the first gas balloon was launched and gas ballooning became the thing for many years and still continues to be – particularly on the continent.”

Germany was the leading country for hydrogen hot air ballooning and the first balloon in this country was the Bristol Belle which was made by Don Cameron, MBE, born 1939, an aeronautical engineer and founder of Cameron Balloons which still makes balloons today. He told how a New York newspaper proprietor by the name of Gordon Bennett sponsored a flying competition and as a result fixed wing flying had gone on to great developments.  The Gordon Bennett competition, he said, was now for gas balloons.

Modern hot air ballooning started in the United States 56 years’ ago and in describing the requirements of a pilot, he said meteorology was the key to everything involved in ballooning. Ballooning was weather dependent and because of that flying was carried out either first thing in the morning or in the evening when winds dropped off.  The cost, however, was not cheap. He explained that as well as the equipment, there were other significant costs, for example insurance.  However, virtually all crew did it for the enjoyment, and occasionally got to fly. Modern competition balloons were designed for manoeuvrability.  Efficient crewing and retrieving, said Malcolm, was important, particularly in a competition.  “Retrieving a balloon is an art as much as a skill,” he told Rotarians.

 With a 77.000 cubic foot balloon, you could explore the countryside and he illustrated, as well as described, the many different special and unusual shapes that attracted people to talk about hot air balloons. “You can make anything into a spectacular and bizarre hot air balloon,” as his slides showed, particularly the Sloggi. The largest balloon in which he flew only carried six people and he got to fly with pilots from all over the world, ‘some very good, a few very bad,’ said Malcolm. He spoke of ballooning competitions – particularly in Japan and Europe - which were all about accuracy and he likened the skill to that of a golfer.  “The best pilot won’t win everything, but will perform at the highest level than most.” He added:  “It was viewed as exciting when I got involved, but people’s perceptions changed once ‘bus rides’ came in.  Competition has become more technical and less fun for the crew.” 

 Malcolm, who now lives in Shrewsbury, was introduced by the club speaker secretary Rotarian John Yeomans who described him as a ‘friend and good neighbour.’ “He moved to Shrewsbury two years ago from Bewdley on the same development to mine, Old Meadow by the River Severn, and became involved as a volunteer on the Severn Valley Railway.

 “He won’t talk on that, but hot air ballooning.”

 Malcolm, whose father was a Rotarian and brother-in-law is a Rotarian, said he thought most people in Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club would know about the Severn Valley Railway, but not necessarily about ballooning though he afterwards admitted he was surprised at the number of Rotarians who had experienced a balloon flight. One of those, Rotarian Tony Pugh, had not only experienced ballooning from many years past, but knew Don Cameron.  “It is great fun doing retrieving,” said Tony.

 

Rotarian Tony Pugh, Malcolm Philcox, President Donald Thompson and Rotarian John Yeomans with a green balloon fabric that had been described in Malcolm’s talk.

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ROTARY TOLD ONE IN EIGHT MEN WILL HAVE PROSTATE CANCER

A Shropshire Rotary club has been told that one in eight men will be affected with prostate cancer during their lifetime.  And there is no present cure. The aim of the Shropshire Prostate Cancer Support Group is therefore to support men and their families diagnosed with the disease, members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club have been told.

The group was started 10 years’ ago by four men who had suffered prostate cancer and all are still alive today. Rotarians were told by speakers Ian Bollingbrook and Graham Riley that this is a small group who distribute information and literature on the disease as well as any new developments with regard to treatment. A key aim, Shrewsbury Severn Rotary was told, is to alert men to seek regular medical checks to ascertain their PSA level.  This gives an indication of the presence of the disease. The higher the number, the greater the chance cancer is present and because the test is not 100% accurate it is not routinely offered as a screening test on the NHS. But doctors can order it if asked.

It was stressed to Rotarians that regular screening – possibly annual – is essential to spot the systems early.  Whilst there is no present cure, treatments can control the cancer. The group supports public prostate cancer screening events where they subsidise the £15 per person cost.  The test gives the person his PSA result which can be followed up if necessary with their GP.

The last screening event showed about 4% of men probably had the disease and were advised to seek further medical advice. The group has been nominated by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club as one of the beneficiaries of its forthcoming traditional Tree of Light campaign. 

The switch on will be at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury, at 7.00 pm on November 27 and all are welcome. The money that the group raises is used to support screening events and purchase specialised equipment used in prostate biopsy.

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SHAWBURY CHURCHYARD

The Rotary team met once again on Friday 14th October with the result that the memorial garden project neared completion as the picture below indicates.

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SHREWSBURY SEVERN SUPPORT FOR HAITI

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club is amongst the first in the district to make a donation to the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Donations Trust which has set up the ‘Caribbean Hurricane Fund.’

The club agreed at its meeting on October 11 to donate £500 following the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew on the people in Haiti.

Rotary clubs throughout the district, which covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands, are encouraged to make donations to the Donations Trust which is the appropriate vehicle for those looking to support rebuilding and reconstruction in the longer term following the disaster. Donations can be made via the link https://mydonate.bt.com/events/caribbeanhurricane/359590

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HOW A MAN WITH A STAMMER BECAME A DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

 Shaukat Ali was born in the Punjab, North East Pakistan, but couldn’t speak a single word of English on moving to Lancashire at a young age. But worse for Shaukat was a really severe stammer which meant he couldn’t say a single word at school and confesses he didn’t do anything academically.

 “I knew I was intelligent and knew I could learn,” Shaukat told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club.  “I would go to the local library and get books out and study on my own. In those days there was no or very little support for stammers.  I had a few weeks of therapy with two other children. I was terrified of words. But I was determined and after much self-learning went on to study for an engineering degree, eventually becoming a chartered engineer.”

 Today, Shaukat Ali holds many academic qualifications, including a PhD and his current role is senior lecturer and research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton Business School. His experience is that children who start school with speech difficulty become shy, teased in the playground and can’t take part in activities. This impacts their life chances hence early intervention is essential. Parents, GPs and nurseries need to seek help as soon as a child shows symptoms of dysfluent speech. The chances of preventing a stammer at very high at this stage, but progressively decline with age.

 “Dysfluency in children starts to shape who they are and what they do in life.  Some manage their stammer and achieve various degrees of success. Former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has a stammer.  Almost in all fields there are people with a stammer. But it doesn’t mean they are not intelligent or cannot do a job or pass exams.” Dr. Ali told Rotarians that one percent of the UK’s population suffered from a stammer and revealed that scientists were taking part in trials to find the signs and causes of stammering. There is neurological basis for it, often triggered by environmental factors. “For some there is no cure or technique that can change that, but you can get short term temporary relief from a variety of therapies and using various tools and techniques.  I have had short periods of near total fluency, but these are particularly hard to manage and maintain on a permanent basis.” He said stammering was a predominantly male problem – about five to one male to female all over the world.

 Dr. Chris Allsop, a member of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, said Dr. Ali’s talk was most ‘thought provoking’ due to the complexity of speech and how language is co-ordinated. “If not working properly speech is ineffective and I only hope early intervention which is so important will produce a long term result.” He added that there were 25 speech and language therapists in Shropshire for children with a stammer.

 

 Left to right Speaker’s Secretary Rotarian John Yeomans, Dr. Shaukat Ali and Rotarian Dr. Chris Allsop who gave a vote of thanks.

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HUSBAND AND WIFE IN WINNING GOLF TEAMS

A husband and wife were both in winning teams in a Rotary golf competition.

Iain Gilmour was a member of the three man team which won the 18 hole competition for the Niel Kelly Trophy. Niel was a founder member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club, now Shrewsbury Severn, and was its president in the millennium year of 2000.

After a close run game on a sunny September afternoon at Shrewsbury Golf Club,  Condover, in which 14 members and guests competed, Iain, Darryl Evans and Colin Sharp – all Rotarians - were presented with the trophy by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s Immediate Past President Kerry Ferguson.

In addition to the winners, prizes were awarded to the ladies team of Marjorie Gilmour, Sandra Haw and Gill Ferguson as well as to team captain Sandra Kelly and Rotarian Willie Strachan as ‘rookie golfer’ of the competition.  Kerry Ferguson congratulated all who had taken part.

Following the prize-giving, Rotarians and guests retired to the dining room for a well earned dinner.


 Left to right Colin, Iain, Darryl and Kerry

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Attachments area

SHREWSBURY SEVERN’S FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club announce that their Tree of Light dedication ceremony will be at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury, on November 27, starting at 7.00 pm. The Mayor and High Sheriff will be among the attendees. All are welcome.

The club will be holding a pensioners’ party and carol service at the United Reformed Church, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, on December 4.

The club’s Santa Sleigh programme starts with the switching on of Shrewsbury’s Christmas lights in the town centre on November 16. Then Santa and the sleigh will be at The Parade Shopping Centre in town on November 19 and 20. The programme of visits to villages, supermarkets and housing areas starts in earnest on December 3 and continues until December 23. Come along and meet Santa – there could be a mince pie as well!

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RYLA CHANGES EMILY

She came along to the Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club as a completely different person. Emily Griffiths, shy and retiring on her first visit prior to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp, was a totally reformed character – by her own admission - on her return. Members of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club who had heard her talk prior to her RYLA experience couldn’t believe it was the same girl. So confident, enthusiastic and outward, her personality had changed beyond belief.

Rotary is so pleased because sponsorship of RYLA means so much to the candidates who are sponsored – as well as to members of the club who firmly back the long-established project. Emily, 17, of Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, admitted that before she went on the RYLA course she was ‘sceptical.’  “I didn’t think it was for me.  I don’t do danger things like building coracles and getting myself soaked for the sake of it. You have proved me wrong.  RYLA was a very good experience.”

In a half hour talk to the club, the girl who could barely talk for a couple of minutes previously, told Rotarians all about her ice-breaking experiences which had an impact on her - included getting soaked when she was squirted with water guns.

She took part in building a bridge over a lake and taking part in a ‘massive walk when it was absolutely peeing it down.’“At that time I thought I absolutely hate this,” said Emily.  “I was getting stressed out on expeditions. Now I think it is really funny.  People who were in my team have become really good friends. Members of the team were really there for me and made me a different person. “We made masks and decorated them,” said Emily who wants to become a paediatric nurse. “At the end I felt I had known these people for years.  My team members really pushed me forward as a team leader for the rest of the course. These people are my friends and I felt like I had known them for ever. I feel I wanted to be around these people for the rest of my life although I had only known them for three or four days. It was the most revealing and dramatic experience in my life.  I got my confidence out of it.  Now I feel confident in myself.  I have lots of friends and I have learned how to make friends. I thank you for giving me this opportunity – you are really nice people.”

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ROTARY’S £500 FOR URGENT REPAIRS TO ROMANIAN CHILD PROTECTION UNIT

A Shropshire Rotary club is making an immediate £500 donation to a local charity which is planning urgent repairs to a leaking flat roof in a child protection unit in RomaniaThe Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club is responding to the urgent request from the Shrewsbury-based charity Operation Sabre which aims to protect the most vulnerable who reside in Mures County, Transylvania, Romania.

Operation Sabre is endeavouring to support the child protection unit which provides a refuge and secure accommodation for young and vulnerable mothers – some as young as 13 – and their children. The immediate priority is to repair the leaking roof causing dampness and mould within a baby recreation area.  Shrewsbury Severn Rotary understands that during the team’s visit every effort will be made not only to repair the roof, but launch a three year decorating and renovation programme for the child protection centre.

Operation Sabre has already undertaken a major renovation project at an old people’s home and delivered humanitarian aid to the elderly as well as to vulnerable children. Said Rotarian Chris Allsop, chair of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s International Committee:  “Sadly, on every visit, volunteers from the charity discover further essential work necessary to improve living conditions in this impoverished area.

“Operation Sabre is a charity of Shropshire Firefighter volunteers with whom we have a long connection.” To date the charity has delivered 28 fully equipped fire engines and over 2,000 sets of firefighting uniforms to Mures CountyThe Rotary club has learned that Operation Sabre will be returning to Mures County next month with volunteers taking vehicles and equipment for donation to remote communities who currently wait up to an hour for a fire engine to arrive in an emergency. On behalf of Operation Sabre, Operation Sabre’s President/Chairman Steve Worrall said the charity was extremely grateful to the Rotary club – formerly Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. He added that a further donation would secure the necessary materials to carry out the essential roof repairs as well as the internal decoration.

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ROTARY WORKING TO RID POLIO THAT STRUCK DONOVAN AND MIA FARROW

 A top Rotarian whose aims include ridding the world of polio told one of the Shropshire Rotary clubs that household names Donovan and Mia Farrow had poliomyelitis. Rotarian John Sayer, Governor of the Rotary District that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands, told Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club that only that morning he had heard of another case of polio in Nigeria. He said the elimination of polio was the most important and biggest project in which Rotary was involved.  Thirty one years ago there were 1,000 cases a day.

 “So far this calendar year there have been just 22 cases including one we heard about today. But what a tremendous achievement that a group of volunteers have done.  I think we deserve to pat ourselves on the back for it. However, the job is not yet over.  There are still 22 children who may never walk again; 22 children who may never climb a tree, kick a football or go to a dance.  That’s why we have got to finish the job.We must make sure every child in the world is immunised for three years after the last case to hit the polio virus on the head. It takes three clear years before the World Health Organisation can say polio has been eliminated from this planet.”

 He said that through the purchase of a crocus lapel badge Rotarians could help raise funds and awareness.  And he encouraged the club to put a collecting box in their meeting place.

 “I have a teddy bear I take to events and club visits to raise awareness. The work Rotary has done on polio is very important and it is tremendously important to our future that our role is recognised.”

 Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club has agreed to increase its contributions to Rotary’s End Polio Now fund.

 

The polio teddy bear is on the globe behind Rotary District Governor John Sayer (centre) with Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s President Donald Thompson on the left and Vice President Colin Sharp (right)

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SHAWBURY CHURCHYARD MEMORIAL GARDEN 

Nearly twenty years ago the then Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid-Shropshire, under the leadership of President Gerald Chidlow, designed and built the Memorial Garden at Shawbury village church. Time has moved on and, although a popular and well used feature, the garden has become difficult for elderly parishioners to maintain, so in response to a request from the church administration, the renamed Shrewsbury Severn club has undertaken to restore the Garden using artificial turf, new borders and new gravel. It is work in progress but around 100 man hours have already been devoted to the project with an estimated 50 still to go. The pictures show progress made on the two days allocated to date.

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ROTARIANS FIRST TO HEAR NEWS OF A FOOD SURPLUS BREAKTHROUGH

 News of the activities of Shrewsbury Food Hub – the first in the UK - set up to collect surplus food from supermarkets which is distributed to community groups and charities, has been broken for the first time - to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club. Rotarians were the first to hear of the breakthrough Shrewsbury Food Hub is making to save money for charities and local groups – and prevent food waste. 

 Shrewsbury Food Hub, through 15 volunteer drivers, will this year distribute between 10 and 15 tonnes of supermarket surplus food to groups like school breakfast clubs, Shrewsbury Ark, Shropshire Mind and Severn Hospice. The number of recipients of the food, including bread, fruit and vegetables, is within its first four months already up to18 groups on a regular weekly basis and this is expected to grow during the year.

 Thanks to Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s the distribution of surplus food is growing and in a talk to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club Dr. Katy Anderson described how the organisation was expanding. It started with the distribution of half a tonne of food in the first few weeks – ‘of great value to the people to whom it was sent,’ she told Rotarians.  The Hub is now regularly serving 18 ‘hard pressed’ community groups every week. Said Katy:  “This service reduces supermarket waste and enables food to be used that would have previously gone to waste.

 “We hadn’t realised that the Hub was the first of its kind in the UK, as we were simply responding to the need of local charities to have help in collecting surplus food from supermarkets.  However, the group that manages M & S’s surplus food Neighbourly noticed that thanks to our service, Meole Brace M & S was distributing food far more often than other stores. We’re working on the numbers, but it appears that we’re moving four times more food than the normal approach where a store has one or two charity partners.  Neighbourly sent a film crew to find out how we do it. One of the Hub’s objectives this year is to recruit a 20 strong volunteer team to operate in the north of the town as well as to involve collections from all the major supermarkets thereby distributing another 10 to 15 tonnes of surplus food. People perceive supermarkets are the cause of food waste, but we throw away millions of tonnes more from our own homes .  We are trying to get the message out about food waste and how it can be reduced,” she added.

 Guests at the meeting included Rotarians Brian and Carol Reilly.  Carol, a member of Walsall Saddlers Rotary Club, is District Governor 2017/18 and Brian, a member of Aldridge Rotary Club, is District Governor 2019/20.

Left to right Brian, Carol, Katy and Donald Thompson, President of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club

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SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY CELEBRATES

 It was a night of celebration and the ladies took centre stage.

 

The occasion was a toast to the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club at Pengwern Boat Club on the banks of the River Severn. Photographs show tents in the Quarry in readiness for Shrewsbury Flower Show and a fully lit river cruiser passing by during the late evening.

 

Stephen Roberts entertained on the keyboard with a very wide selection of popular and classical music and in traditional fashion ‘a good time was had by all.’

 

Thanks go to the organising team led by Willie and Lesley Strachan.

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FIRST PHOTO OF SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY CLUB

 A picture fitting with a location at which the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club met on Tuesday July 26. The photo of members attending that evening was taken in the grounds of the Mytton and Mermaid Hotel, Atcham, with the distinctive bridge to the side.

 And although the River Severn which flows through Atcham couldn’t actually be seen, it was there…behind the group of Rotarians. The evening was a ‘first’ for the newly named club – an ‘Anything Goes’ evening at a different venue to kick off the new Rotary year which President Donald Thompson is confident will be a happy and successful one for the club and its members.

 It should be pointed out that for whatever reason not all 41 members of the club could be present on the evening.

 Anyone interested in joining Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club can contact the President on 01743 761183.

ROTARY’S £16,000 TO CHARITY

 More than £16,000 of charitable donations has recently been made by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club which was formerly Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club. Among the major beneficiaries are The Shrewsbury Ark, Alzheimer’s Society, and Lingen Davies Cancer Fund who have all just received a further £748 from Gift Aid receipts following the Rotary club’s 2015 Tree of Light campaign.

 As one of the beneficiaries, Ian Somervaille, honorary treasurer of The Shrewsbury Ark commented in a letter of thanks to the club:  “I had not expected this additional donation which makes it all the more welcome and is therefore the icing on the cake.” He said:  “We have just taken on responsibility for an outreach service across the whole of Shropshire Council’s area, responding to reports of rough sleepers and trying to resolve the problems that have caused their homelessness.” He added that the level of support received from individuals and local organisations such as Rotary gave The Shrewsbury Ark confidence they would be able to help fund former clients so they do not rapidly become homeless again.

 Leanne Meara, Customer Care Officer of Azheimer’s Society, said the further donation from Rotary ‘would be put to work right away to help people living with dementia and their carers.’

 Liz Kyle, Acting Fundraising Manager for Lingen Davies, said the gift aid on the original donation would help towards raising funds for an additional Linear Accelerator (LINAC) which she said is ‘desperately needed to ensure that waiting times for radiotherapy treatment do not increase.’

 Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s treasurer Chris Yaxley emphasised the benefit of Gift Aid towards increasing donations to beneficiaries from their Tree of Light. And together with the club’s Santa Sleigh donations Rotary has been able to donate over £16,000 to charity.

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NEW SHREWSBURY SEVERN ROTARY CLUB WELCOMES NEW MEMBER FRED

 The first member to be inducted into the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club – formerly Shawbury and Mid Shropshire – is a man who hails from County Galway in the West of Ireland.

 Fred McDonogh, a chemical engineer, has worked some 38 years in various segments of the aluminium industry – a career that has taken him to nine countries, from Scotland to Australia and Canada to Abu Dhabi. The lowest temperature he encountered was -50C when he was in Quebec and the highest was +50C in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  The most humid was Malaysia and the driest Australia. Married to Deirdre, he has two adult daughters and has made Shrewsbury his family home for the past 14 years.

 Interestingly, his home is close to the River Severn which now encompasses the new name of the Rotary club. Fred is a keen cook and gardener and what he describes as a ‘periodic allotmenteer’ as well as ‘an average bridge player and a debutant sailor.’  He also plays golf which he says is ‘always badly.’

 Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club recently received its new charter from District Governor Elect John Sayer who is now District Governor for Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands.

 Kerry Ferguson, Past President, inducts Fred into the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club while John Sayer (right), now District Governor, tells Fred what a good Rotary club he has joined!

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TREE OF LIGHT DATE ANNOUNCED

The date has been announced for the inaugural switch on of the three Shrewsbury Rotary Clubs Tree of Light. This will be at St. Mary’s Church, St. Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, on November 27. The tree will be situated in the porch of St. Mary’s Church, visible from the street, and locked up at night.

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ROTARIANS TOLD OF A ‘BEST KEPT SECRET’

 Shrewsbury Town in the Community, a registered charity for Shrewsbury Town Football Club, was one of the best kept secrets, Rotarians have been told. Jamie Edwards, a former professional footballer who now runs Shrewsbury Town in the Community to ‘engage and inspire the local community,’ said this fact had emerged during presentations he had made across the county.

 Speaking at a meeting of the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club, Jamie said locals should be proud to have a football club in their town and they wanted to give everyone the opportunity to represent Shrewsbury Town Football Club no matter of age, gender or ability. The charity’s staff are proud to wear the badge of Shrewsbury Town which was a recognisable brand, though ShrewsburyTown in the Community was a not so well known registered charity.

 In his video presentation to Rotarians, he said all 92 clubs in the Football League had a registered charity working alongside them and they all had varying levels of income. This engaged 7.8m people across the country and despite the rivalry of the clubs the charities worked closely together, Shrewsbury with Stoke, Wolves and Chester in particular. Shrewsbury Town in the Community, who employed 16 full time members of staff, had 5,917 individual participants and delivered 1,586 individual sessions in 2015. They had secured a licence from the FA for a Regional Talent Club for girls aged 12-16 and he went on to say that one of the Community’s biggest successes was walking football for different age groups.

 He said they were teaching skills to young people with a mixture of disabilities and this was ‘really successful.’  ShrewsburyTown in the Community was also looking to support dementia where they could, including getting football memories to stimulate conversations with dementia patients. They had started a ‘Reading the Game’ workbook which would be all about Shrewsbury Town and they were delivering literacy to boys and girls aged 5 to 14. He spoke of how the charity was improving facilities at Ludlow and had secured £60,000 worth of funding from partners.  “The turnover is now over half a million pounds and we have moved into a new community hub.

 “We are sustainable and we are looking at different ways in which we can obtain unrestricted funds.  We are in a good position to cherry pick the work we want to do for our area.” Beneficiaries were primary and secondary schools through foundation degrees up to the age of 21, adult disability teams and the elderly with the walking football project. “We couldn’t run without the support of the football club’s backing and the brand and I can’t speak highly enough of the football clubs board and chairman’s support,” he added.

 Jamie, 33, who originates from Herefordshire, described how he was involved with Hereford United through Graham Turner (former Shrewsbury Town manager). He played and coached in Melbourne and Sydney and had set up his own business delivering curriculum led courses in schools.  He had been with Shrewsbury Town in the Community for just over two years and said no two days were ever the same. “I am meeting Dave Edwards (former Shrewsbury Town footballer) tomorrow to discuss how well Wales did.  And there’s nothing like walking through the doors of a football stadium to begin work every day.”

 In a vote of thanks, Rotarian Fred McDonogh described Jamie’s presentation as ‘inspirational.’

Jamie (left) is welcomed to Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club by its President Donald Thompson

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OH WHAT A NIGHT!

On the night a new president took over, it was the end of an era for Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club after 30 years. Rotarian Donald Thompson succeeded Kerry Ferguson and District Governor Elect John Sayer presented the club with a new charter in the name of Shrewsbury Severn. It was a momentous evening with Kerry outlining highlights of his year before handing over to Donald who began by saying ‘What a great bunch of guys you are and I would like you to applaud yourselves.’

 Kerry began by saying it had been a rapid year adding ‘My view of the role of president isn’t so much to be a leader but keeper – and supporter - of the club. Everything we have done this year is a reflection of the way everyone has played their part.  We started with 41 active members and finished up with 41 active members as well.”

 He praised the Santa Sleigh, including the role of Rotarian Colin Sharp, and Tree of Light which he said had done ‘its usual job.’  He outlined the many fundraising highlights as well as the range of activities and the speakers organised by Rotarian Garth Joscelyne. Socially, Willie Strachan and his team had done a ‘good job’ and he also thanked John Yeomans for organising the Christmas carol service and party for the elderly, an event he hoped would be repeated. He also spoke of Colin Sharp’s ‘great efforts’ around Christmas and Peter Love’s ‘enormous’ contribution to club and district publicity.  He described Tony Pugh as one of the club’s ‘unsung heroes’ and Peter Bone who had taken over the wine raffle and grace.

 His two candidates for Rotarian of the Year had both done so much work in their respective functions and he rewarded treasurer Chris Yaxley and secretary Gareth Watkins. “Rotarian of the Year is jointly Chris and Gareth,” said Kerry who added that from his president’s fund he would be donating to Grange School, to Home Support helping families with pre-school children and a children’s organisation inUganda uniting completely abandoned children with their parents. He said he was handing over a club which was functioning well into the capable hands of Donald Thompson adding ‘I am sure you will give Don the same amount of support you gave to me.’

On taking over the chain of office, Donald said it was a pleasurable task to show the club’s gratitude to Kerry as well as its thanks and appreciation. “Bloody marvellous, Kerry, and thank you to the chairs who have agreed to carry on under my presidency as well as to every single member of the club.”

District Governor Elect John gave thanks to past president Kerry for all he had done in the Rotary year and said he was ‘delighted’ to present a revised charter to a club which had been in existence for 30 years and had an enviable record of service within their community.

He said the club had carried out a tremendous amount of fundraising, regularly donating to the Rotary Foundation and was delighted that members would be donating to the polio fund in the next Rotary year. “It is a great pleasure on behalf of District Governor Richard Green and the President of Rotary International to present the club with the new Charter in the name of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club.”

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VISIT TO MAGNIFICENT GARDENS

  The magnificent Hodnet Hall Gardens were the venue for a memorable visit by Rotarians and partners of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club. A party of 40 enthusiasts spent over an hour and a half walking round the variety of garden areas now open to members of the public. The extensive range of trees, bushes and flowers of many different descriptions – as well as stone features - were a real picture as the photos below illustrate. Whether the woodland, circular, Camellia or water gardens, there was something to enthuse everyone with many saying they planned a return visit to witness the changing scene in the autumn or spring.

 Afterwards, at supper at the nearby Bear Hotel, President Kerry Ferguson thanked Rotarian Stephen Rogers for organising the visit which he said had been extremely popular.

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TWO NEW OFFICERS FOR ROTARY CLUB CHANGING ITS NAME

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, shortly to change its name to Shrewsbury Severn, will have two newly appointed officers amongst its ranks for the new Rotary year starting July 1. With a brief to enhance the profile of the club in the community, Rotarian Geoff Lloyd takes on the mantle of Community Relations Officer. His sphere of operation will also include building relationships with organisations and businesses as well as raising the profile of Rotary in the town.

 Mike Mortimer – like Geoff a past president of the club - becomes Social Media Officer, liaising with Geoff Lloyd and Communications Officer Peter Love, to more actively introduce the club to the digital world of Facebook and Twitter.

 The appointments were announced by incoming President Donald Thompson in a presentation to members at the annual Club Assembly where he also introduced the programme and objectives of Rotary for the year ahead. He emphasised the importance of the appointments to the newly named Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club as well as making Shrewsbury a Rotary town and working together with the two other local clubs. One idea put forward was for the three clubs to run a charity shop in the town. During the presentation expressions of regret were made following the news that the long established Market Drayton Rotary Club is to disband due to an ageing membership.

 Incoming President Donald said this would become an ever-increasing challenge if Shrewsbury Severn was to maintain the existence of the club into the long term. He listed many of the professions/jobs not represented within the club and invited members to think about how each and every one could attract such people to join.

 He added that the club had a new Junior Vice President Julian Wells. Committee chairs outlined their proposals for the Rotary year ahead before District representative Gary Sharpe advised that global grants could be used to support local projects, not just international ones, and that with payment into Foundation, Rotary’s charity, half came back to the club after three to support grants. “Polio is still a Rotary priority and we need a polio free world for three years before we can confidently say it is eradicated. You are a very enthusiastic Rotary club, running a lot of projects and at the same time having fun,” he added.

Incoming President Donald Thompson (right) makes a point to Gary Sharpe (left) and Kerry Ferguson

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ROTARY SUPPORTS RIDING FOR THE DISABLED

 Rea Valley Riding for the Disabled has been presented with a cheque for £500 by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

 In one of his last engagements as club president Kerry Ferguson visited Berriewood, where Rea Valley meets, to hand over the cheque to Carla Howarth, chair of Rea Valley Riding for the Disabled Association. The money brings the Rotary club’s support of Rea Valley Riding for the Disabled to a total of £1,500 over the last two years. Said Carla who is also county chair of Riding for the Disabled Association Shropshire:  “We are indebted to Kerry Ferguson and all the gentlemen of the soon to be named 'Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’ for yet more support for Rea Valley RDA. 

 “We are so grateful to them for their hard work in raising money throughout the year and donating to causes such as RDA. Our group at Berriewood will be able to purchase much needed equipment and provide the support systems necessary to keep all our clients riding throughout the year.”

 Previous monies have been used to service a hoist to elevate a rider from a wheelchair to a horse.  For children with different kinds of medical problems benefit from riding. The latest donation from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary will not only be used for the replacement of equipment, but also for the group’s end of season fun day.

Instructors at Rea Valley Riding for the Disabled

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‘THE ONE’

 For ‘The One’ there could only be one farewell gift.

 A blend of English, Scotch and Welsh whisky made in the Lake District which was presented to Rotarian Alex Reid on his retirement from Rotary after four decades. The presentation was made by Kerry Ferguson, President of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club where Alex has been a member since 2002.

 At a supper which followed a club visit to Hodnet Hall Gardens, Rotarian Chris Clayton said Alex had previously served in Hagley Rotary Club where he was also its president. “He has put his heart and soul into everything connected with Rotary and for all the effort he put in he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. We shall miss Alex and hope he comes back occasionally.  For now, it is has been good knowing you – you cantankerous old fool – and we will see you again.”

 In response, a clearly delighted Alex said “The One – that’s me!” He said afterwards that Rotary had given him a ‘wonderful time’ which had resulted in him meeting some ‘wonderful people’ from many parts of the world. “I still keep in touch with a lot of people, particularly in America and South America, because Rotary is such a great organisation. I am so very proud to have been involved in Rotary with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club, soon to change its name to Shrewsbury Severn, and meeting some great people.  I have so many happy memories – Rotary has been a super experience.”

 To ‘The One’ – from left Diane, Kerry, Alex and Donald

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ONE OF THE DG’S FINAL CLUB VISITS

 On one of his final club visits, a very relaxed District Governor Richard Green was a welcome guest at Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary before the club changes its name to Shrewsbury Severn from July 1. The DG commented on the name change during a brief talk at the beginning of the June 7 meeting and further added:  “Thank you for the terrific support I have had  from the club.

 “Across the district we have achieved so much and your club has been in the forefront with the Christmas carol concert, Santa sleigh and Tree of Light; your £500 donation to the flood relief appeal played a significant part in enabling us to send a total of £48,000. You are supporting Riding for the Disabled, you sent a ShelterBox to Lesbos to help with the refugee problem, and you are one of the leading clubs in the Lend with Care scheme, enabling our District to stand at number two in the league table of participating Districts in Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. You are helping people in the third world get back to work with a small amount of money through this scheme. I am pleased to say that we haven't had a single bad debt so that all the money is continuously recycled. I also praise the club’s support for fire fighters in Romania.”

 He added:  “Thank you for the work this club has done under President Kerry Ferguson during my year as District Governor.”

Kerry Ferguson, President of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary (left) welcomes District Governor Richard Green to the club.

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A DETECTIVE’S WORLD OF PAEDOPHILES

 A shocking insight into the world of paedophilia has been given to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. A talk by a long serving detective in the Metropolitan Police gave some horrific and disturbing details of how paedophiles exploit and abuse young children. Sickening cases were related by Jim Cavenham who has spent the last six years working in the paedophile department at the Met – the biggest unit in the country dealing with children predators. He said that the unit concentrated on online predators who were especially dangerous because children online were very vulnerable.

 “The children we concentrate on are the younger ones – even from babies,” said Jim.  “There are images and videos we haven’t come across before and when we watch these videos we are trying to identify these children and get them out of that situation. We look at carpets and furniture to help us narrow things down.”

 From the 16th floor of an office building in London, he and his colleagues download and view images of child pornography. “This is our job,” he told Rotarians. “We have a lot of successes through our detection team.”

He explained the distinction between the image offender and contact offender.  “Image offenders tend to be a priority from a publicity standpoint but contact offenders, a hands on offender, are more dangerous. We recently arrested 36 people for abusing the same child.” He told the story of a British Airways pilot who abused children in Kenya using his “respectability” as a BA pilot to gain access. This was a terrible job, he told Rotarians. “There were also dozens of victims in Uganda which included an orphanage. I spent a lot of time in East Africa on this case,” said Jim.  “There were a total of 162 cases but we know he was doing exactly the same thing in Tanzania as well. We charged him, he was given bail and he went to a train track where he committed suicide.”

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FUTURE OF RAF SHAWBURY ‘SECURE’

The future of RAF Shawbury – which will be celebrating its centenary next year - is ‘secure for many years to come.’ A new contract has been awarded to UK industry to supply rotary wing training to the Armed Forces. This will include the delivery of 29 Airbus H135 and 3 Airbus H145 training helicopters.

This fantastic news was delivered to Rotarians by Group Captain Jason Appleton, Station Commander at RAF Shawbury, on his inaugural visit to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club. Future military aircrew will benefit from the very latest training methods, enabling them to undertake operational roles across a range of front line aircraft types, including Apache, Chinook, Merlin and Wildcat. It will also create new infrastructure and install cutting-edge synthetic training equipment at RAF Shawbury. Royal Air Force Shawbury has a broad training remit through the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) and the School of Air Operations Control (SAOC). Student helicopter pilots and rear crew from all three services receive their instruction at DHFS.

This year the DHFS will train approximately 215 helicopter aircrew including 100 pilots, 50 Weapon System Operators (WSOs - Crewman/Air Loadmaster), 50 Qualified Helicopter Instructors (QHIs) and 15 Qualified Helicopter Crewman Instructors (QHCIs). SAOC trains RAF and Royal Navy air traffic controllers and the Flight Operations Training Squadron, part of SAOC, also trains RAF and Army personnel. A total of 230 personnel were trained over the last year at SAOC using virtual reality simulators. The course is intensive, with trainees controlling up to six aircraft at a time. It is a difficult course with an 80% pass rate. As well as training students to a world-leading standard, Shawbury is a showcase for International Defence Training, delivering training to foreign and commonwealth personnel.

 Group Captain Appleton revealed many interesting statistics, particularly regarding the 25 Squirrel and 11 Griffinhelicopters. RAF Shawbury typically has 55 sorties a day, adding up to 23,500 flying hours over the skies of Shropshire. He said: “We try to minimise the disturbance to the local community by spreading our noise footprint throughout the Low Flying Area. Every single flight is controlled and logged and if there is a complaint, it is investigated.

 “There are 78 fields throughout Shropshire which the helicopters have permission to use through the kind support of local farmers and landowners.”

 He added: “Engaging with the local community is important in maintaining support for this essential training. Our trainees are often out and about in the community raising money for charity or completing community projects at local schools, churches, gardens and community centres. Last year we hosted 90 visits with another 150 liaison visits throughout Shropshire.”

 The audience also heard about the history of RAF Shawbury. Originally a World War 1 airfield which opened in 1917, the base has seen many different aircraft, including the Avro 505, Sopwith Camels, Airspeed Oxfords,Lancasters, Lincolns, Halifaxes and Wellingtons to name just a few. The base is justifiably proud of the part it played in the record breaking secret Lancaster “Aries” flights which circumnavigated the globe in 1944 as well as subsequent polar and speed flights. The arrival of helicopters in 1997 and the Defence Helicopter Flying School shaped the future for the base and it is now world renowned for the excellence of its helicopter flying training.

Group Captain Appleton described himself as coming from a working class background in Bolton and was aged 17 when the Air Force gave him his first opportunity on a 6th Form scholarship. He has been associated with RAF Shawbury since 1993 and is very proud to be back at the base serving as its Station Commander.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson welcomes Group Captain Jason Appleton to the club

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TREE OF LIGHT SUPPORTS A GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s latest Tree of Light fundraising will support a local garden of remembrance as well as two charities and a school.

 Continuing their season of giving, the Rotary club is to present a total of £1,250.

 Rotarians have agreed to give £250 to Crucial Crew, a similar sum to Riding for the Disabled and the Grange Primary School.

 In addition, £500 will be spent on materials to improve the garden of remembrance at Shawbury Churchyard where the club is seeking volunteer Rotarians to spend two consecutive Saturday mornings on the work.

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary designed and built the garden of remembrance and the tidying up process will take place on June 4 and 11.

 These latest donations are from the club’s Tree of Light fundraising in 2015.

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RUGBY JOINS SHAWBURY – FOR THE FIRST AND LAST TIME

 Twenty nine members and partners of Rugby Rotary – formed in 1922 – visited Shawberry and Mid Shropshire Rotary for the first fellowship evening of its kind. During the two course meal at the Lord Hill Hotel, members of both Rotary clubs communicated and completed a quiz paper challenging their respective knowledge of both the towns of Rugby and Shrewsbury.

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotarian Ian Stewart, who was educated in Rugby and spent his formative years in the town, gave a presentation on the history of Rugby from its establishment in the Iron Age. Commenting on the Queen’s visit to Rugby, he said:  “I sat in her coach when she visited Rugby Show.”

 The President of Rugby Rotary Kevin Kiernan, who only joined Rotary 10 years ago, expressed his club’s ‘delight’ to be with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary and thanked the club for its invitation. “In 1999 we started a millennium project called Tree of Light which you already had underway and we contacted you and Paul Firmin (former Shawbury and Mid Shropshire President and founder of the Tree of Light) gave us all the information we needed. Because of our connection with you we have been able to raise thousands of pounds on behalf of hospices in Rugby.”

He produced a karaf book representing a ‘lovely’ record of what Rugby Rotary is doing.  Members and guests of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rota all signed the book.

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson said it was a ‘first and last’ as far as the name of the club was concerned.   “For when we meet up again Shawbury and Mid Shropshire will become Shrewsbury Severn which is a more appropriate name and more accurately represents our aims and objectives, though we shall still continue to strongly support the Shawbury community.”

 

 An exchange of banners between Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson (left) and President of Rugby Rotary Kevin Kiernan

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SHAWBURY AND MID SHROPSHIRE ROTARY WELCOMES NEW MEMBER GORDON

 An induction, together with two very varied job talks, was the platform for the latest meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Gordon Channon, a neighbour of Rotarian Stephen Rogers, was sponsored by Rotarian Iain Gilmour who said they had known each other for many years through the League of Friends and later on the golf course.

 Gordon’s career had ranged from being an accountant with British Oxygen to general management and finally BT where he had 11,000 people working for him.  He even bought a vineyard. A family man with two children, he is a governor of Shrewsbury College and sits on the Shropshire Education Appeals Panel. Gordon told the meeting he welcomed the opportunity to join Rotary.  “My life has been corporate seven days a week and I spent a lot of my time on aeroplanes.  Therefore I find Rotary a lot more exhilarating and an opportunity to give something back is more important to me because I didn’t have the opportunity to do that in corporate life. I am looking forward to getting involved in contributing to the community as much as I can as well as meeting people.  I have enjoyed the company of people here and the welcome I have had. I really look forward to being an active member,” he added.

 Gordon was inducted by President Kerry who presented him with his Rotary badge (photo) and welcome pack.

 For further details on joining Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, contact President Kerry on 01743 364908.

 The next part of the meeting comprised two ‘soap box’ type talks by Rotarians Philip Johnson and Peter Savage. Philip spoke of his desire to visit the most northerly point of the American continent after visiting the most southerly (Ushuaia) some years ago. Alaska, at two and a half times the size of Texas, has a vast dramatic terrain of glaciers, lakes and mountains up to 6000 meters high. The most northerly point, Barrow, is an Inuit town of wooden huts on the edge of the ice-floe pack where polar bears roam and the only restaurant is Mexican which hosts the most northerly Rotary club in the world. He then spoke of driving across Alaska taking five days to reach a small town called Haines, on the way encountering Alaskan pot-holes, frosties as they are known there, which can be up to two miles long. From Haines he went by boat, train and bus to Whitehorse, in the Yukon and on to the Rockies, but that is another story.

 Will writer and estate planner Peter Savage provided some thought provoking questions in three different scenarios concerning the interpretation of wills. He skilfully used members of the club to make some effective points in terms of how a will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death and in making a will protecting the family home and other assets from being seized to pay for care home fees. “I have never seen the subject so well explained,” said President Kerry.  “What you have told us is very worrying, but nevertheless excellent advice.”

Gordon Channon joins Shawbury and South Shropshire Rotary Club

Peter and Philip toss coins for who speaks first

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ROTARY ENJOYS MADE IN DAGENHAM

 Shrewsbury College’s HQPA Performing Arts group is to be congratulated once again on another entertaining and polished performance of a musical in the Walker Theatre. A party from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary was among a sell out audience for the first of two performances of Made in Dagenham which was given a standing ovation.

 A visit to the theatre to see the College’s Performing Arts group is becoming a popular feature in the Rotary calendar – thanks to the enthusiastic organising of Rotarian Iain Gilmour. The rousing numbers, creative dancing, costumes, scenery and of course boundless energy of the students all contributed to making this a really entertaining and enjoyable evening in the compact and friendly Walker Theatre.

 The show was certainly full of fun and laughter as well as having touching and heartfelt scenes. The college’s appeal for spare overalls for the actors to wear during the two night show clearly paid off.  For the overalls helped to make the show authentic and realistic as the story is based at Ford’s Dagenham plant.

For those who were unable to attend, the musical comedy is about friendship, love and the importance of what is right.  The main character, Rita O’Grady, acts as the spokesperson for a group of female workers at the plant who go on strike to fight the inequality that becomes apparent when women workers were to be paid less as they were classed as unskilled. But Made in Dagenham also tells the story of how Rita, a working woman and mother, becomes a union leader amidst the strike, despite the wishes of her husband and children who feel neglected by her focus on labour issues.

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TRIBUTES TO LATE ROTARIAN RICHARD DUNICLIFF

 Rotarian Richard Dunicliff, 87, who passed away last month, had been a founder member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. At a special thanksgiving service, a past president Rotarian Brian Leverton recalled how he and Richard attended the first of the formation meetings of the club in those early days and that friendship grew from them both becoming founder members.

 Richard supported fundraising and individual efforts to assist others and helped to plant hundreds of daffodil bulbs on the roadside in Shawbury.  He derived much pleasure from being in Rotary, which included offering advice and guidance to new members of the club for which they expressed appreciation.

 In his tribute at the United Reformed Church, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, where Richard and Margaret had worshipped since 1954, Brian told the tale of how the couple were great travellers and were pleased when the club started to arrange weekend visits to European cities. Before going to one of these, Madrid, the party of Rotarians had been warned of pickpockets around the city.  One evening a group were returning to their hotel after dinner when two men tried to steal Brian’s wallet. “Help came from a local man aided by Richard who used his brolly to good effect.  Both men ran off – without the wallet. We shall all miss Richard greatly, but hope to continue to see much of Margaret in the future,” he added.

The Rev. Tim Harwood, Minister of the United Reformed Church, read a tribute from Margaret to whom Richard had been married for 62 years.  She said Richard had enjoyed Round Table and becoming its chairman. 41 Club was a follow on and he remained a member for the rest of his life.  He was approached to join a new Rotary club and became a founder member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. “Rotary rapidly became an important part of his life.  He enjoyed fellowship and activities.  He enjoyed banter with his fellow members.  He laughed at his own quirky brand of humour! He was thankful for the kindness Rotary offered when he was unwell and enjoyed the company and conversation with those members who visited him when he was at Radbrook Nursing Home – which he described as ‘his hotel’ – when Margaret recently required an operation.”

 The couple, who have two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren, have lived in Shrewsbury since 1959.

 

 

Rotary fellowship enjoyed by Richard on the left of the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary group photographed on a visit by Rotarian Lynne Marshall when she was District Governor 2014-2015

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FITTING SEQUEL TO MERVYN’S INDIAN VISIT

 A new hostel to rescue girls being trafficked in India has provided a fitting sequel to Rotarian Mervyn Davies’s visit to India. Following his recent 12 day visit, the Bishop within whose compound he stayed has since confirmed in an email to Mervyn that the hostel will be built and will support girls for five years. The email referred to ‘girls being rescued from evil slavery’ and that the hostel will also have some elements of a school and will be built on land donated by a local Indian church member.

 Whilst in India Mervyn had talked to the Bishop of the Church of North India – which has a large protestant following - about plans for a member’s legacy from the United Reformed Church of the West Midlands whom he was representing. “I went as a member of the URC to do due diligence for releasing that money,” he told Rotarians.  He said it amounted to nine million rupees which for India was a big amount of capital spend. The URC had given out grants amounting to a quarter of a million pounds last year.

 During his stay he visited a Rotary club which meets in the Bishop’s compound and has raised district and global grants for projects. He visited a 125 bed hospital run by six doctors, 30 nurses and 100 student nurses – ‘all doing a fantastic job in terrible conditions with the eye clinic set up in a very poor area.’ He said he was impressed with the ‘really big projects’ which were changing the lives of really poor people, many living on Christian aid. “There is still a lack of government provision which is why there is a need for Rotary and the church to bring in life changes,” said Mervyn.

 “I loved the trip and I have got a kick out of diverting the Bishop from spending on a building that would benefit few and only in a small way and instead putting together a project that deals with life changing situations in a sustainable way,” he added.

 

 

Mervyn with some of the gifts and purchases he brought back from India, including a beautiful shawl he bought for his wife Ann

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ROTARY MONEY FOR HAEMATOLOGY

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has presented a cheque for £500 to haematology consultant Dr. Nigel O’Connor. The money will be spent on improving patient facilities in the haematology department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

 Dr O’Connor spoke of the work of the Shropshire Blood Trust and explained why the money would be spent on much needed refurbishment work.

 

Dr Nigel O’Connor with President Kerry Ferguson who introduced him to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotarians

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NIGEL’S PASSION FOR SHREWSBURY’S MANUFACTURING PAST

 A bye-gone age when Shrewsbury was a centre of manufacturing was recaptured in an absorbing talk by Nigel Hinton to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. From Silhouette to Hartley Electromotives and Potter Brothers to Chatwood Safe Company, he spoke in depth of the manufacturing wealth that Shrewsbury once owned but Nigel didn’t demise the future, saying that the town continued to be a professional centre for borders and Wales and that a new era of hydrologists was springing up!

 Water ecology, security and storage through engineers travelling the world were now very much a developing new industry with Shrewsbury becoming a centre of excellence but it was more to the former industries on which Nigel based his talk, particularly Silhouette which at one time employed 3,500 people as well as home workers.

 Fashionware was made at Silhouette including an inexpensive ladies nylon corset.  It was the advent of tights that led to the shutdown of the Harlescott factory in Shrewsbury. Nigel spoke of how Hartley Electromotives designed the first tape recorder and the early cassette tape is now in theShrewsbury Museum. “This cassette tape – an early Dictaphone - was designed in Shrewsbury to be an aid for secretaries.  Hartley’s also produced the Wondergram battery operated portable record player in 1959 which represented advanced technology,” he told a large gathering of members. “The oscilloscope, weighing 72lbs, was made at Harlescott and was still a working model in 1951/52.”

 Nigel said he was interested in ‘all things historical made in Shrewsbury’ and recorded the development of Potter Bros who occupied a historical building in Shrewsbury. “I am pleased that the building, which is part of The Stew,” has been saved, he told Rotarians though not all expressed agreement with him. “Why have so many buildings survived in Shrewsbury?” he asked.  “One of the reasons is there is only one bomb which ever landed in the second world war.” Potter Bros made industrial waterproof covers and were also a ropeworks making ropes for the Dana Prison for bespoke hangings.

 He said the wool trade was very important to Shrewsbury and Thomas Corbett had a factory in Castle Foregate now Morris’s oil works. He said agricultural equipment designed and made in Shrewsbury between1870-90 was exported all over the world. “Thomas Corbett was a true innovator and designer,” said Nigel who went on to tell Rotarians about Wales and Edwards of Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, who repaired and refurbished vehicles in the war. “Wales and Edwards developed electric vehicles and moved out to Harlescott to make milk floats.”

 Two other manufacturers described by Nigel were Asquiths who manufactured massive boring machines and Warner Swasey. The latter had advanced manufacturing machines to make engine blocks and in the 1960’s had an automated production line skilled to assemble various machine centres. He added that items were being donated to Shrewsbury Museum from people with a connection to Silhouette and Hartley’s as well as a plough from a descendent of Thomas Corbett.

Nigel Hinton (right) shows Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s President Kerry Ferguson a copy of his book ‘Silhouette.’

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AN EARTHQUAKE DONALD AND BARBRA WON’T FORGET

The sensation of an earthquake was experienced by Rotarian Donald Thompson on a very recent holiday in New Zealand and his wife Barbra will always remember the earthquake of 5.8 magnitude because it happened on her birthday!

 Donald, vice president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, told of the experience at the club’s last meeting when he also stood in for president Kerry Ferguson. He and Barbra spent a week in the North Island before moving on to Blenheim on the South Island for two weeks where he was in contact with two Rotary clubs. The couple then flew to Sydney and on to Adelaide and while walking down Adelaide High Street came across a ‘Rotary presence’, giving out leaflets to members of the public.

 They then travelled to Perth and Donald joined what he described as a ‘very rich club’ for lunch.  Members chipped in 45 dollars for lunch – approximately £22.50 – and they actually “employed” an office manager! “It was also my birthday while we were away,” said the 75 year old, “and my daughter gave me a present to take away, the book ‘Energise Your Rotary Club’ by Dr. Bill Wittich. “He states how important it is for each Rotarian to connect with all of our fellow Rotarians in the club, and he quotes from a Past President of RI as saying ‘Rotary’s greatest strength will always be the individual Rotarian.  No other organisation has such powerful human resources.’”

Vice President Rotarian Donald at a presentation when he was also in the chair

Anyone interested in joining Rotary can email Donald at dpt14@outlook.com

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Alzheimer’s Society, which provides care and support for over 4,000 people in Shropshire, has received a cheque for just over £1,800 from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. The money, said Emma Dowler, community fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society, would support as many people as possible with dementia.

The donation came from the recent Rotary Tree of Light which Emma described to members as a ‘fantastic amount.’ Speaking to Rotarians, she said:  “The Tree of Light is an amazing project you carry out every year and the donation will help people with all forms of dementia. We lead the way with care and support for over 4,000 people in Shropshire and once they have a diagnosis we can offer them support through our local services. We opened a dementia cafe in Market Drayton last year and we couldn’t do that without money from organisations like Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Money raised will also allow us to fund established services so there is continuing support for people with dementia.  It really is appreciated,” she added.

Emma Dowler with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary vice president Donald Thompson who introduced her

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ROTARY GIFTS FOR CHARITIES

 Two organisations which have received donations from Rotary have been telling of the difference the money will make to their future plans. Representatives of Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and The Ark charity attended the latest meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary to be presented with monies and to tell Rotarians how these would be spent.

 Liz Kyle, acting fundraising manager of the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, received two cheques, one for £1,200 from a beard shave by Rotarians Tony Cook, Gordon Duncan and Peter Love, and another for £1,823 from the Rotary Tree of Light. She said these would help towards the cost of providing a world class linear accelerator for the Cancer and Haematology Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – a machine which she said was desperately needed to cut waiting times for the delivery of radiotherapy treatment to cancer patients. As she spoke, the amount raised so far was already reaching half a million pounds towards the total of £750,000 which the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund has pledged to raise by the end of the year.

 Howard Hutchings, on behalf of The Ark, spoke of how the Rotary cheque for £1,823 would enable the charity to continue its support for vulnerable and homeless people and how the charity, with support of other organisations, was continuing to look for new premises in the town. Howard, coincidentally, was celebrating his 62nd birthday – the date that Rotary was founded 111 years ago.

 Anyone interested in joining Rotary can contact Shawbury and Mid Shropshire’s president Kerry Ferguson on 07802 708051.

Left to right Rtn Peter Love, Rtn Gordon Duncan, Liz Kyle, Rtn Tony Cook and Rtn Kerry Ferguson, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary

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HOW THE COLD WAR IS CONTINUING

 Many years of studying Covert Operations in the Cold War – and still on-going – were presented to Rotarians in an interesting and inspiring talk by specialist Aldon Ferguson. Aldon, older brother of Kerry, President of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, gave rotarians an insight into how various forms of intelligence were still ‘vital’ in covert operations which continued to take place today.

 It was during his career in commercial property that Aldon, who now lives near Maidenhead, moved to work in Russia from the late 1980’s where he built up his business, opening offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev, now Ukraine. As part of his interest in aviation and military history, he has written several books and is currently recording Royal Air Force station histories and recording those which are closing for future generations to understand.

 He spoke to Rotarians of the Iron Curtain and how the Soviets monitored their citizens with revulsion and the stories were ‘horrendous.’  With an atomic weapon they became a global power very quickly. The Cold War in Europe lasted 45 years. Said Aldon:  “We used signals, communications and electronic intelligence.  Both sides in the Cold War gathered intelligence from the other and it continues to this day.  Human intelligence was vital.  We needed to know their capability, potential threat and weapon development and today considerable surveillance continues to check their missile, submarine and all weapon signatures with satellites are doing a major part of the job. Russian Bear bombers continue to probe our air space still.”

 He told how two Royal Air Force fighters were on stand-by 24 hours a day, lining up to escort the Russian bombers to ensure they don’t penetrate our air space. “It’s a threat and they are doing this more and more,” Aldon told Rotarians.  He revealed that this country was sending more and more capability to Lithuania .  “The Cold War is still going on.  They are doing it to us and we are doing it to them. We have a secret weapon in this country and we will never be beaten.” He said this was James Bond and Aldon showed a clip from Golden Eye which was filmed in St Petersburg.

 “We are monitoring China carefully because they are spending so much money on defence and we are cutting back. At the same time, President Putin is sitting there with unlimited reserves of oil, coal and gas but after taking over the Crimea, supporting separatists in Ukraine, he is now looking at the Baltics to de-stabilise them.  He wants to protect Russian citizens and of course this is brinkmanship.” Added Aldon: “The threat is growing rather than receding.”

 In a vote of thanks, Rotarian Mike Mortimer, who served in the Royal Navy for nine years and left as a Petty Officer said there had been ‘very secretive times’ though ‘they aren’t as secretive as they were.’

Aldon (left) with his brother Kerry and book that he has written

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EXCELLENT EVENING OF WINE TASTING

 An excellent evening of fellowship and wine tasting in the company of many partners is reported by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s Secretary Gareth Watkins. The event last week was hosted by Will of Majestic Wine where Rotarians and guests were given five wines to sample and an array of foods to compliment them.

If members wish to purchase any of the wines they are listed below, in the order in which they were sampled, together with the Majestic retail price.

1.  Sauvion Haut Poitou Sauv.                Â£6.99
2.  Chateau Greysac.                               Â£9.99
3.  Villa Maria Gewà¼rzt.                            Â£8.99
4.  Clare Valley Shiraz.                             Â£6.99
5.  Vistamar Late Havest Moscatel.        Â£5.49

President Kerry Ferguson thanked Will from Majestic Wine and Rotarian Willie Strachan for organising the enjoyable evening.

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ROTARY HELPING ENTREPRENEURS IN POORER COUNTRIES

The chair of a Shropshire Rotary club’s international committee has revealed that their members have so far made 42 loans to create 85 jobs, help 149 entrepreneurs and 541 family members in poorer countries. Speaking at the latest meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, Chris Allsop said the club had so far made a donation of £900 which over three years had been recycled to provide £2,040 of finance to entrepreneurs in some economically impoverished communities across the world.

“This has been achieved with very little risk and I am hoping that through Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary the scheme can go forward with even further success,” said Chris. He provided examples of how lendwithcare.org to which Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is signed up, helps people throughout the developing world transform their future.  He said lendwithcare.orgenable families to find their own route out of poverty. Said Chris:  “Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s international committee looks at how loans, not handouts, will help a promising entrepreneur or business by providing a new source of initial income for them to find their own route out of poverty. “This not only has a direct impact on their lives, but helps entrepreneurs start and develop their own business, building a better future for themselves and their families. This is what we have set out to achieve through our loans. It touches a lot of people and, creates better understanding of life and we only lend out the money – the maximum single loan being £60 - we get back in.”

 A total of 29 Rotary clubs in the Rotary district that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midland has already loaned £34,000 through the scheme.  Total number of entrepreneurs helped: 3,436. Chris gave Rotarians individual examples of how Diyase Banda, 31, a Zambian divorcee with two children in school, had set up a poultry rearing unit selling eggs.  Her loan, of £711, which she has re-paid, has enabled her to pay her house rent and buy food for her children.

 Bui va Chung, 29, and living in Tam village of Trung Hoa, Vietnam, needed £603 for his business growing purple sugar cane on a field of 2,000 square meters.  They also look after 10 pigs and one buffalo. These farm works generate the only source of income for the family which includes two school aged children and Bui’s mother who is 63.  He requested a loan of £603 over 24 months to finance the installation of a household biogas plant which will process both animal and organic waste, then convert them into biogas which will be used for cooking, lighting and heating, saving of electricity bills.

 Flor Vivanco, 62, divorced with 10 children, has fully repaid her loan of £374 to raise and sell chickens on her smallholding.  At the same time she cooks and sells traditional Ecuadorian food such as tamales and humitas which are snacks made from maize. She requested a loan in order to purchase maize in bulk as it works out cheaper and she also wanted to produce and sell more food.

 In Malawi, a group of 25 women, some of whom are married and divorced, the majority with school going children, sell tomatoes, sugarcane and fritters and some have grocery stores. They requested a loan of £2,390 with a repayment term of eight moths in order to purchase various goods to attract more customers in their village.  They have fully repaid their loan. Added Chris:  “Through these small loans mostly to individuals in developing countries Rotary through the scheme will have made over 21,000 loans totalling £6 million and these entrepreneurs repay the loans of a few pounds a week. We can then use the credit to provide money to another entrepreneur so the money is recycled through CARE International which has set up lendwithcare.org to enable families to find their own route out of poverty.”

 Said Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson:  “One of the best things we can do is to help disadvantaged people.  The club will consider the possibility of developing this further at its next council meeting.” He added that whilst Shawberry and Mid Shropshire Rotary supports overseas entrepreneurs, it balances this with giving the majority of its donations to local charities.

 For further information about Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, contact Kerry Ferguson on 07802 708051.

 

 Chris Allsop addresses Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary on loans the club has made to create jobs and help entrepreneurs in poorer countries.

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COSTS OF AN AMATEUR OPERATIC SHOW AT THEATRE SEVERN

 The cost of putting on an amateur show at Theatre Severn is in the region of £40,000, Rotarians have been told. The chairman of Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society, Steve Thomas, disclosed the cost at a meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. He was telling members of the cost of the society’s next show Return to the Forbidden Planet which will be performed very shortly.

 Said Steve:  “We put on five performances and from those we have to get our £40,000 because the theatre costs represent an immense amount of money.  The hire is £12,000 and royalties amount to between 10% and12% depending on who owns the licence. We need a pianist, costumes, advertising, programmes, insurance and the hire of complete set costing several thousand pounds, including the arctic truck.”

 Steve, an assistant head teacher at Belvidere School where the society rehearses, was supported by fellow members Helen Bryant and Sharon Taylor as well as this year’s president Dave Cookson. Helen outlined the history of the society since its beginnings in 1923 and its progression to the 1,500 seater Granada Theatre in 1956 followed by its move to the Music Hall in 1972 and eventually to Theatre Severn in 2011 for the production of ‘Oliver’ to packed houses. She added:  “To be able to fill the theatre, to get bums on seats, is extremely hard because people want to see the Les Miserables and other West End shows that we can’t offer at the present time. For nearly 18 months I have chased one particular show we thought we had got and then I had a message through that we couldn’t perform it after all – very frustrating for us because we need the show to pack the theatre.”

 New members’ secretary Sharon spoke of the need for actors, dancers and singers and handed out forms to Rotarians.  “This is an excellent opportunity to be part of an incredible family and make new friends – if not on stage but to be a non-acting member and help back stage where there are numerous jobs from scenery to make up.”

 Return to the Forbidden Planet will be performed at Theatre Severn from March 9-12.

 

Left to right Helen, Rotary President Kerry, Steve, Dave and Sharon

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ROTARY CELEBRATE SCOTLAND AT ORIGINS RESTAURANT

 A Scottish themed evening was organised by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary at Origins Restaurant on the campus of Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.

 More than 50 members and guests attended for a delicious four course traditional Scottish menu with entertainment provided between courses. Traditional Scottish music was also a background feature. The Selkirk grace was delivered by Rotarian Gordon Duncan and there were readings and poetry from Rotarians Willie Strachan and Iain Gilmour, who organised the event. Iain and Rotarian Ian Stewart were resplendent in their respective clan kilts and were joined for a photo by college hospitality student Alex Turner, 19.

 Rotarians and guests were looked after superbly by student chefs, waitresses and bar staff throughout the evening.

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SANTAS ‘RETIRE’ WITH A SPONSORED CHARITY BEARD SHAVE

 They were Santas for an exhaustive Rotary fundraising programme which also brought great joy to many children. Now the Santas have ‘retired’ until the festive season begins once again. Tony Cook, Gordon Duncan and Peter Love of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary thought they would put their beard growing to a sponsored shave off for charity.

They unanimously chose the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and between them raised several hundreds of pounds for the appeal. Before an audience of fellow Rotarians and guests at a Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary meeting at the Lord Hill Hotel,Shrewsbury, the trio had their beards professionally shaved. Amber Risdon, a local hairdresser, was brought in to perform the shaving – free of charge. Together with her assistant Charlotte Gutteridge, they did an excellent job on the three Rotarians as the ‘after’ photo shows.

 A Shropshire Star photographer was present to record the event and a ‘spread’ appeared in the paper as well as on video.

Tony, Peter, Gordon before the beard shave

Peter, Amber, Tony, Charlotte, Gordon

The trio afterwards

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SANTA’S RECORD

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary announce a record Santa sleigh result.

 For the first time, Rotary has achieved the record sum of over £7,600 from its programme of charitable Santa visits in the festive season.This beats the previous best sum in 2003 when 7,496 was raised from sleigh visits to villages and supermarkets to raise money for local and Rotary charities.

 Said Rotary president Kerry Ferguson:  "This is another tremendous achievement and our thanks go to all Rotarians who worked so hard, especially to Santa who gave so much pleasure to the children. We must particularly thank everyone who gave so generously at a time when spare money can be very limited. Rotary has no administrative costs so all donations will be given entirely to deserving causes."

At the same time, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire’s Tree of Light has already raised more than £7,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, Lingden Davies Cancer Fund and The Shrewsbury Ark and more support for the Tree of Light can continue into the New Year as the JustGiving website is still open.  Tree of Light donors can access the JustGiving through www.shrewsburyrotary.co.uk . The JustGiving is open until the end of January and donations continue to be made towards remembering a loved one at this time of one year moving into another.

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BANNERS AWARDED FOR FOUNDATION ACHIEVEMENT

 Banners have been awarded to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary for being a 100% Foundation Fund contribution club and also a ‘100% Sustaining Members’ Club.’ The latter award means that all club members contributed $100 per member to the Rotary Foundation Fund for last year.

 The presentation of the banners at a District Foundation meeting was attended by Rotarian Brian Leverton, a member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s International and Foundation Committee. “These are both excellent club achievements,” commented President Kerry Ferguson.

 Said District Foundation Chair Ashley Gray:  “There is only one Rotary charity – the Rotary Foundation.  This supports clubs and district by providing grants to allow them to carry out high impact projects both in their local community and internationally. “It is also important to note that End Polio is Rotary’s signature project and therefore administered by the Rotary Foundation. All donations from individual Rotarians, clubs and others goes directly to help fight polio. This also helps to deliver the millions of vaccinations required every year until this terrible disease is eradicated from the planet.”

 

 Displaying the banners from left are Rotarians Tony Pugh, Colin Hargreaves, a visitor from the Rotary Club of Skipton Craven, Kerry Ferguson, John Yeomans and Donald Thompson

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BEAMING FACES AT THE GRANGE SCHOOL

 There were some beaming faces at Shrewsbury’s Grange Primary School when headmistress Marie Sibley handed out books gifted to year one pupils. The smiles were not only because 37 children were being given books of their own choice, but that they could actually keep them and not have to return them as books borrowed from school.

 “They are yours for ever – you are very lucky,” said Mrs. Sibley who was addressing assembly.  “It’s a great start to Christmas with your first presents of the festive season. “We are most grateful to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary for their most generous donation of books for year ones. They will help you become better readers.”

 She told the children that it was the second successive year that the Rotary club had donated books to the five and six year olds at the Grange School. She said afterwards there was a choice of 10 different books which at first some of the children couldn’t appreciate were there’s to keep.  One pupil, who had only joined the school the previous day, found himself with a book. Attending the happy book presentation at the school were Kerry Ferguson and Donald Thompson, president and vice president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

 Said Kerry:  “It was a lovely occasion and how inspiring to see the smiles on the children’s faces.  This is what Christmas is all about. “Whatever we can do as a Rotary club to also help the reading skills of these young people will hopefully benefit them – although they might not realise it now.”

 Joining the children with their new books are Kerry Ferguson (left), Marie Sibley and Donald Thompson

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A SPECIAL NIGHT FOR THE FLAPPERS AND DAPPERS!

 The ‘Dapper Flappers’ really entertained when they made a guest appearance at the Christmas party of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

 Members, wives and guests enjoyed a wonderful display of Charleston dancing by the ‘Dapper Flappers’ and then took to the floor themselves to move joints they didn’t know they had! The theme of the party was the roaring twenties and many of the attendees dressed up as gangsters or molls in keeping with the flapper period.  The Charleston was a popular dance, though it was banned in dance halls of the day due to it being considered too wild.

 But it wasn’t too wild for the Lord Hill Hotel which, of course, is one of those posh, swanky ‘speakeasies’ that on the night of the party actually escaped the attention of the police and agents of the Bureau of Prohibition.

 According to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson, who with wife Gill were among the first on the dance floor for the Charleston, Al Capone once said that he wanted to join a Rotary club to legitimise himself!

                

                       

                

                

                

 A selection of digital images from the party

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FIRST CAROL SERVICE OF ITS KIND

 It was the first carol service of its kind to be organised by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary for elderly citizens in the Shrewsbury area. And a congregation of more than 70 people from local day centres enjoyed singing traditional Christmas carols to organist Adrian Cleaton and listening to bible readings at the United Reformed Church, Abbey Foregate.

 Introducing the service, church minister Tim Harwood said it was an opportunity to prepare ‘hearts and lives to be in a proper frame of mind and spirit to welcome Jesus once again.’ He said it was the first of the season’ carol services to be held at the United Reform Church.  “It is a great joy that you and I are able to share in this and in return if any of you do not have another carol service we have a Candlit one here on Christmas Eve.”

 Minister Tim spoke of why there were so many bags of presents in the church.  He said they were to be distributed to British Red Cross young carers aged 5-18. “Young people get such bad press that it is important to praise the work of these young carers and important we encourage young people and build them up.”

 Kerry Ferguson, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, introduced the carol service and afternoon tea which followed and he thanked all the volunteer helpers including wives and partners of Rotarians. In particular, the president singled out Rotarian John Yeomans and his wife Carol for their ‘sterling performance in making the event such a huge success.’ Whilst having refreshments the visitors were entertained by Rotarian Garth Joscelyne and Alan Leather who sang and played popular songs.

To conclude the afternoon, Santa arrived to give everyone a present before they went home

 

 Ready and waiting for the carol service to begin

 Minister Tim Harwood and President Kerry Ferguson get the service underway

 Time for tea

 The team of wives who prepared and served refreshments

 The entertainment is about to start.  On the left, Alan Leather and on the right Rotarian Garth Joscelyne

  Rotarians relaxing with a cuppa between helping

 Santa makes the draw with organiser Rotarian John Yeomans

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BUDGET CUTS 'A WORRY FOR THE FIRE SERVICE'

 The risk of more fire engines being taken out of service as a result of budget cuts was a warning given to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Shropshire’s Chief Fire Officer John Redmond told Rotarians that the reality of cuts in services was the possibility of the county losing some of its 28 fire engines if the trajectory of the cuts continued beyond 2020.

 He spoke of a 28% cut in funding from government grant since 2010.  “We are always on the back foot in terms of funds taking fire engines out,” he told Rotarians. Mr. Redmond, who was appointed Shropshire Fire and Rescue’s Chief Officer in 2013, described the breadth of tasks undertaken by the service which currently has 23 fire stations staffed predominantly by firefighters on part time contracts and a smaller number of full time duty firefighters. The backbone of the service was the part timers.

 He said one of the biggest risks of fire was Shrewsbury town centre with its ‘fantastic’ medieval buildings and architecture which would not only be lost to the town, but the nation.

Mr. Redmond, who came to Shropshire as deputy chief officer in 2010, outlined the many fire and rescue activities undertaken from responding to emergencies to search and rescue.

He also spoke of the fire and rescue service’s ability to respond to terrorism.  “We have a range of first aid mobile services for de-contamination,” said the chief.

 “The fire service deals with 4,000 incidents a year and has a range of equipment for dealing with emergencies ranging from car crashes to serious fires which includes sophisticated pumps and powerful cutting equipment,” he told Rotarians. He said the county’s 250 flat and house fires a year is where most fatalities occur and which caused the most distress. “With regard to fires in business premises, we are successful at getting our message across to businesses and suffer relatively few fires as a result.

 “The fire service is all about prevention, stopping fires and other emergencies happening in the first place is our principle core objective.  Our prevention work is undertaken in partnership with agencies who themselves work with people who may be prone to fires.

“The aim is to work with vulnerable individuals to interrupt the activities or put in place some controls that will eliminate - or at least reduce - their vulnerability from fire.

 “Partnerships are vital to what we do as a successful way of improving people’s safety.”

He spoke of a whole range of agencies as well as the police and crime prevention – a conglomeration of public services.  “Agencies we work with have access as part of their normal ways of work to the groups we need to get to prevent fires.  The most vulnerable groups are the people over 70 living alone. We work with Telford and Wrekin Council to work out who these people are and work with the individuals by offering them help at their request.  We make a home fire safety visit which means visiting people’s houses and giving them advice.”

 As part of the service they offer, the service will install single point smoke alarms – which last 10 years – in the hall or landing of houses occupied by vulnerable people.  They have installed over 78,000 smoke alarms in vulnerable people’s houses in the last 10 years. “The work to provide early warning for vulnerable groups via home fire safety visits in particular is singularly the best thing the fire and rescue service has done during my career.  Home fire safety visits have made a big difference,” said Mr. Redmond.

 He also went on to discuss some of the dangers during the Christmas period.  “There is an increased risk from the increased amounts of wrapping paper in the home at this time of the year, especially when a naked flame from a candle or an open fire is present.  Businesses can also be vulnerable due to the increased amount of stock in the stores.” He added that the fire and rescue service worked closely with the police regarding threatened and dangerous people.  “Arson is a big issue we are trying to stop.  We have several notable successes in keeping arsonists off the streets by working closely with the police and other elements of the justice system.”

 

John Redmond (left) and Kerry Ferguson, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, discuss fire safety in the home.

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ROTARY’S TIME FOR GIVING

 It’s the time of year for giving and one Rotary club is doing just that.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has donated a ShelterBox costing £590 for the Greek Island of Lesbos to support refugees from war torn countries including Syria.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity and a global Rotary club project.  The charity was set up in 2000 to provide rapid disaster aid to families all over the world made homeless by disasters. The contents are altered, depending on the disaster, but a Shelterbox typically contains a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and a children's activity pack.

 

Five Aquaboxes – containing newly purchased humanitarian goods to meet the basic needs of desperate families – are currently being filled by Rotarians. The purpose of the Aquabox project is to involve Rotarians and others in hands-on service, offering an ideal opportunity to involve – and forge links – with many community groups.

 

           Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary continues to support Lend with Care

           which assists many people living in poverty around the world who desperately  

           want to be self sufficient, but need a helping hand to get started. Rotary clubs such as                Shawbury and Mid Shropshire are able to support these people by getting them                          started.  Money is paid back as they start earning.  Once the loan is repaid, the Rotary                club then looks for the next project begin. The club has agreed another allocation of £300            - £370 has already been repaid and is ready for reallocation.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is also donating £300 to purchase mattresses by the Fire Fighters of Shropshire for Romania.

 

Anyone interested in joining Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club can contact president Kerry Ferguson on 01743 364908 or secretary Gareth Watkins on 01743 872677.

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MARK TURNER TALKS ABOUT JAMES TAYLOR

It was fitting that one of Shrewsbury School’s former pupils should be making a name for himself at the same time as his headmaster was singing his praises. Mark Turner, head of Shrewsbury School, referred to the success of cricketer James Taylor in a talk to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Amazingly, at the same time, James was guiding England to victory with a classy unbeaten 67 in Sharjah to take a 2-1 lead in the one day series against Pakistan.

According to reports, the former Shrewsbury School pupil looked assured as England reached their target with six wickets to spare in challenging conditions.

Mr. Turner also referred to other famous ex-pupils including Sir Philip Sydney, Michael Heseltine, Michael Palin and John Peel.

He is the 27th headmaster of the school founded by Edward V1 in1552, which he regards as ‘a great privilege and honour’ which was a significant change at the time. He described how the learning types of today with oral information and other orotary compared with the kinaesthetic learning in 1552 and how history had gone on to 1882 when the governers decided to move the school from Shrewsbury Library to Kingsland.

Today, Shrewsbury School has 800 students dissipated across 13 different houses employing 100 full time academic staff, 250 support staff and a total of 350 making it one of the biggest private employers in Shrewsbury. Most of the income comes from fees, a total of £25 million a year and the School has opened up other schools around the world – in Thailand, Hong Kong and China - to provide a revenue stream to support their operation. Said Mark:  “We are taking a broad vision of how income can be generated across the world and we are always very keen to see and be aware of what is going on globally and internationally.”

He revealed that although fees were £32,000 a year for a boarding place and £20,000 for a day place,Shrewsbury School is a charity. It has 800 pupils – 180 of whom are supported by the generosity of others which include free places upon access. Fifteen percent of pupils come from 25 countries around the world and there are 10-15 applications for every one of their international places.

Mr. Turner told Rotarians Shrewsbury School specialised in pastoral care, academic excellence, breadth of opportunity and had a combined cadet force of 150 boys and girls. They had pupils from 60 different prep schools across the country and were attracting people from across the UK which he regarded as ‘very important.’ “We have to have a reputation which is high enough to encourage people to get to Shrewsbury from other sides of the country,” said Mr. Turner.

He said the school had embraced co-education with admittance of the first girls in 2008.  “There is a high demand for good educational boarding schools of our type and in 2020 we shall be opening another house with 25% of our pupils being girls.” He spoke of Shrewsbury School’s relationship with local charity Medic Malawi and how it had sent a group over there to build an eye hospital. “Boys and girls went over to open the eye clinic in Malawi last summer,” he told Rotarians.  “We have done many cataract operations there and we are developing our international operation.”

He told Rotarians:  “Shrewsbury School is alive and well.  It is a great place.  We are working hard to make it modern and vital.” As his visit coincided with the terrorist attack on Paris, he was asked about religion and said Muslims, Hindus and all other religions attended the chapel.  “For the vast majority of our services, everyone attends. “We would take them as pupils unless they weren’t prepared to attend as Christians.  We have a tradition of holistic attention and we are sticking to the Christian principals as a rule of life,” he added.

President Kerry with Mark Turner (on the right)

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IT’S ‘YES’ TO THE SWIMMING POOL STAYING IN THE QUARRY

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has won the support of Rotarians to keep Shrewsbury’s swimming pool in the Quarry. Speaking at a joint meeting of the Rotary clubs of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin, Mr Kawczynski said the choice was between a cost neutral brand new swimming pool outside the Quarry or one that stayed in the town centre. He told his audience:  “I am mindful that it is for Shropshire Council to make the final decision and bear the subsequent costs; I have had more letters on this than any other issue, people are incandescent with rage at the possibility of the swimming pool being moved though we have to provide that facility for Upton Magna as well as the town centre.

“If people think about a brand new cost neutral swimming pool outside the town – and there has been so much public consultation on this – compared with the swimming pool staying in the Quarry, I will have a bet that the people’s choice is for it to stay in the Quarry. “I was lobbied on this, but it is a Shropshire Council decision rather than mine.”

The long-standing Shrewsbury MP spoke passionately on a range of issues from Saudi Arabia to Libya and Syria to the EU. On Syria, he said:  “I don’t want the government to enter the Syrian theatre of war.   People are still very frightened about the Libyan experience before allowing British involvement in Syria“I recognise that something ultimately will have to be done due to the suffering taking place in the country and the hundreds of thousands of refugees leaving and making perilous journeys away.”

On Europe, Mr. Kawczynski said:  “We are taking advice from leading experts and we have to wait until we have all digested the ramifications of the re-negotiations. “The UK has played an important role and I am uncertain myself, but I look forward during the referendum campaign to hearing what the public’s perspectives are.”

Daniel Kawczynski (front) and Kerry Ferguson, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club

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MAKE A DATE WITH SANTA AND SLEIGH

Santa’s sleigh will be making a total of 21 appearances in Shrewsbury and Mid Shropshire villages over the festive season. The first date is as soon as November 18 when the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire will take Santa and the sleigh to Pride Hill. This is the occasion of the switching on of the town’s lights for Wednesday late night shopping. Santa, his elves and the sleigh will be at Pride Hill from 4.30 pm until 8.30 pm collecting for Rotary and local charities.

The sleigh will also be fundraising when it makes other appearances including, for the first time, the Parade shopping centre ice rink on November 21 and 22.

Santa and the sleigh will be touring Shawbury on the evenings of December 2 and 12; Hadnall 7th evening; Sundorne 10th (evening); Mount Pleasant 14th (evening) and Castlefields 16th (evening).

There will be a visit to the football ground on the afternoon of the 19th and for the first time the sleigh will be at B&Q during the day on the 11thand 13th.

The supermarkets are again on the rota, starting with Tesco on the 15th (day); Sainsbury’s 18th, 19th, 20th (day) and Morrison’s 21st, 22nd and 23rd (day).

Said Kerry Ferguson, President of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  “Once again we hope to give great pleasure to children in the area and at the same time carry out some important fundraising on behalf of local and Rotary charities.”

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A RECORD TREE OF LIGHT ENVELOPE PREPARATION

It was Tree of Light envelope preparation time in readiness for the latest fundraising event at a meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club. Members are seen putting their all into the process which is one of the most important occasions in the Rotary calendar. As a result of the energy, enthusiasm and advanced organisation, the process was completed in record time. The object this year is to get the Tree in the best possible position in the Darwin Centre. And this year Rotary will be able to offer online donations.  Search for Shrewsbury Rotary, follow the link to Tree of Light, then to ‘just giving’ and make a donation.

 As a result, this year’s letters invites sponsors to donate online:

 https://www.justgiving.com/rotaryclub-shawburymidshropshire/

 An investigation will be made to see whether the Tree of Light online information can be linked to the club website.

 

President Kerry Ferguson (left) and secretary Gareth Watkins preparing Tree of Light envelopes

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KENYAN ORPHANAGE THANKS ROTARY

A solid plaque on the door of a girls’ dormitory in a Kenyan orphanage in Miriu marks the significant contribution that Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has made over many years.

Dave Queen, a retired teacher from the Thomas Adams School, Wem, is just back from Kenya where he has told long-standing friend Mike Mortimer, a member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, that the orphanage is ‘really beginning to take shape.’

“Your Rotary has helped us to buy so much for the girls’ dormitory,” said Dave.  “This includes bunk beds, nearly all the cooking pans, utensils, plates and cups and a very good gas cylinder stove.” A sticker acknowledging Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s contribution to the orphanage has also gone on a very visible water tank.

Said Dave:  “We have 15 full time student orphans, but we also help with the local community’s younger waifs and strays.  All the younger locals get a free meal which is cooked by Susan, one of our 16 year olds. “She did a free lunch for around 30 disadvantaged younger kids on the day I was there.  Thanks to the kindness of local Shropshire Rotary clubs we now have two purposes built dormitories, a sewing school hut and a carpentry workshop.

“We couldn’t have done it without you,” he told Mike. Dave added:  “If we can raise enough money by this time next year we will have an IT and study/resource centre which is currently being designed by one of my ex-students who came with me to Miriu about five years ago.”

Said Mike:  “In addition, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has supplied kit for the orphans in the dormitories which were built to help them.  Previously, some of them camped out with nothing. “We have also helped with supplying a water catchment system with storage tanks which has saved pupils having to carry water almost a kilometre from a local river to their school. “A second water project has involved supplying a 2km long water pipe from a reservoir to the local village as the original one had been washed away in the previous years floods,” he added.

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ROTARY DONATION SUBSIDISES DISABLED RIDERS

A Rotary donation to the Rea Valley Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association will help to subsidise some riders who otherwise wouldn’t be able to ride. Riding for the Disabled Association’s Shropshire Chair Carla Howarth said the latest donation from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, for £500, would also assist with the purchase of new equipment to extend the number of games the Rea Valley Group would be able to play over the winter months when they moved indoors. “Without generous donations such as the one we have just received from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary the Rea Valley Group could not continue.  Both riders and volunteers alike are all so grateful for the support and continued interest of the Rotary club in our organisation,” she added.

 

Pictured at the presentation of the cheque to the group were rider Alistair on Jazz, a grey mare of approximately 132”, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Kerry Ferguson and volunteers Anne Carter (left) and Angela Storm.

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 WITNESSING A SPECTACLE

Twenty nine members and guests of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary enjoyed a rare visit to theRAF Cosford Museum where they witnessed a spectacular array of vintage aircraft set up in three hangers. Tour guides John Parsons and Tony Hall split the visitors into two groups for the two and a half hour walk round the hangers viewing the Test Centre, First World War and the Cold War exhibits which all the visitors agreed were ‘absolutely amazing and outstanding.’

A small selection of images from the visit are seen below including the H126 research aircraft, described by the tour guides as the most advanced aircraft in the world at the height of the Cold War. The engine from the TSR2 combat prototype Olympus, also photographed, went into ConcordThe visitors saw the only plane in the world made of stainless steel which was used for research purposes.

And from the Cold War there was Polaris.

A meal afterwards was enjoyed at the Shrewsbury Arms Hotel, Albrighton, where President Kerry Ferguson thanked organiser Rotarian Stephen Rogers for making the event possible.

 

H126 research aircraft.  Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson cancelled the contract

Tour guide John Parsons with the Olympus engine which went into Concord

Polaris

Inside the Lincoln

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A MEMORABLE ROTARY NIGHT

On a memorable night when Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary received their biggest number of visiting Rotarians from a single club, a £1,000 cheque was presented to British Red Cross Young Carers. The Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary cheque was presented by vice president Donald Thompson to Rowan Ellson Arias, British Red Cross Young Carers Co-ordinator who said she was ‘so proud.’

“I am proud we are doing as best we can by British Red Cross Young Carers and together with Rotary we have a wonderful set of principles. “We didn’t expect to receive a cheque from Rotary, but we are enormously grateful for it.” Afterwards, Rowan said:  “I think Rotary share fundamental principles with British Red Cross Young Carers and we are very grateful for so much Rotary support which will provide respite activities for these young people. “This will include residential trips to build skills and resilience to crises,” she added.

Ten members of Church Stretton Rotary under President Colin McIntyre were present to hear Rowan and see the cheque presented on behalf of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

Vice President Donald makes a presentation to Rowan

The Vice President with the visiting members of Church Stretton Rotary

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ANY CRIME CAN BE THE SUBJECT OF MONEY LAUNDERING SAYS BARRISTER

Any crime can be the subject of money laundering, barrister Carla Howarth has told members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Different crimes lend themselves to money laundering offences, the barrister and governor of Shrewsbury School told members on a recent visit to the club.

She said money laundering was necessarily the product of terrorism, drugs and other criminal activities. She also spoke of bribery and corruption, evasion, tax avoidance and evasion and even a link to the world of football. “Tax evasion and avoidance sit side by side with money laundering,” said Mrs. Howarth who has an MA in criminology.  She said that one example of large scale money laundering started with drug cartels in Columbia.  Carriers took the drugs from Western Africa into Europe and the money then went back through couriers in different forms. The cash passed through Africa to exchange houses in the Lebanon and ultimately to the Lebanese Canadian Bank which had Hezbollah connections.

One of the questions posed was:  “How are you going to get the cash into the wider community and legitimise it?’  In the LCB case the money was sent to northern America where it was used to purchase cars shipped to Benin?” She said that in London Â£180m worth of property purchasing was under investigation due to the suspicion of it being bought with dirty money and these purchasers utilised various different professions to make their operations successful.

“How safe are we?  London is a problem because money laundering is controlled by very clever people. “We need to identify the beneficial owner and a register of beneficial owners is something that the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive has introduced. It comes down to who gets the benefit of the money generated by that particular company.”

She spoke of the way goods were in transit around the world and where there was very little investigation at ports because of the size of containers and the lack of resources to investigate. She set the tone by looking at the activities of Al Capone who went through millions of dollars and how there had been different examples of successful money laundering through El Chapo of Mexico.

President Kerry Ferguson welcomes Carla to Rotary with a copy of Roto.

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A ROTARY CLUB WHICH REALLY IS ‘A GIFT TO THE WORLD’

You are extremely active and going from strength to strength.’

District Governor Richard Green’s words to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary on his visit last Tuesday. He referred to the club’s planning of a whole range of fellowship activities and went on:  “This club really is a gift to the world and I congratulate it. We want to attract younger members who have a gift of expertise and knowledge and I am about to write my 27th letter of welcome to a new Rotarian in the district.”

He spoke of a ‘new style’ of membership, including satellite clubs and corporate members to swell numbers. District Governor Richard had earlier spoken of RI President Ravi Ravindran’s commitment and compassion and challenge to Rotarians to be a ‘gift to the world.’ The District Governor spoke of the ‘wonderful news’ that India was polio free and that there had been no new cases in the continent of Africa for a whole year. This year to date there had been only 6 in Afghanistan and 26 in Pakistan – the only countries where polio remains.

I was so impressed with the club assembly and helping children at the Grange Primary School who don’t have books in their homes.” He said the theme for his year as District Governor was ‘Young at Heart’ and he was delighted that this district, covering Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands, would be hosting the national final of the Young Musicians Competition this Rotary year followed by the national finals of the Youth Speaks and Young Chef competitions in the following years.

Our young people are vital to the future of our movement and we want to continue to be innovative with our ideas.”

He spoke of how the district’s new Vocational Study Exchange team had been ‘wonderful ambassadors’ and they were full of praise for their experience visiting Norway. The team carried out intensive studies of their vocations in Norway, including, in the case of one of the young lady members, tree surgery. In addition to the 2 Kids Day Out summer events at opposite ends of the District, he said Rotary was now planning a Christmas Kids Out party for youngsters from homes where they would never have such a memorable experience.

The District Governor referred to the ‘Lend with Care’ scheme – one of the club’s projects – which hadn’t incurred a single bad debt. He said Rotary was providing shelter for 15,000 people in Nepal and there would be other disasters which needed Rotary help.

The refugee crisis is a complicated, difficult and politically sensitive area, but when they arrive here we can help.  In the meantime, you can help with cash donations and ShelterBoxes.”

The DG added:  “You are a damned good club – you are a gift to the world.”

Said club President Kerry:  “District Governor Richard Green made an excellent presentation putting Rotary in a wider context which was very enlightening, informing us, amongst other things, that polio has virtually been eradicated although it was not a time to be complacent.  He also praised us for our efforts.  We sometimes forget how much we do as we are so busy doing it!  I think that one of the main things that I took from his presentation was the question of membership development and, perhaps, we should be focussing on this more systematically than we have in the past.”

 President Kerry brings the District Governor to order!

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A 'THANK YOU' FROM MARIE

 The club has received a very nice and informative e-mail from Marie Sibley thanking us for our latest donation to The Grange Primary School and explaining how the money will be used: 

Dear Rotarians

Thank you so much for your excellent hospitality last Tuesday. Both Suzy and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and you made us feel at ease and most welcome. 

We had agreed to giving a talk many months ago before we ever knew that you were going to be so generous to us financially once again. Last week we were so focussed on telling you all about our school and how you have already helped us that I had completely forgotten that there was going to be a presentation of a cheque and was thus lost for words.

I would like to say a little more about how the money will be spent. We would once again like to purchase a book for every pupil in Year One. As you are aware, we focus a lot of resources trying to get our Y1 pupils reading which is why we value your weekly support with those children so much. We want to develop a love of reading in these children and will therefore allow them to choose which book they would like us to buy for them for Christmas. we hope that once again this year a representative from your organisation will be able to come to present the books.

We will also continue to fund the 'Plus One' and 'Power of Two' books with Rotary money. These are excellent books which lead children through the basics in maths which some of our children are missing for various reasons. Each book is about £15 which we cannot afford from our ever decreasing budget but these books make a huge difference to the pupils using them.

Your donation really will have an impact on the lives and life chances of many children and once again I thank you very much.

SHAWBURY AND MID SHROPSHIRE ROTARY PRESENTS £1,000 TO THE GRANGE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has presented a cheque for £1,000 to the Grange Primary School to be partly used to buy every child in year one a book of their choice. The Rotary club established a relationship with the Grange Primary a year ago and this has resulted in Rotarians giving reading support to the youngest pupils. The cheque was received by Headteacher Marie Sibley and Deputy Headteacher Suzy Mann on a visit to the Rotary club to update members on the school’s academic progress.

The school say that through purchasing a book for every pupil in year one this will encourage a love of reading as well as providing some resources to support individuals struggling with their maths. Said Marie:  “The school couldn’t afford to get these specialist items without such a generous donation and these books will make a huge difference to the pupils using them. At the same time half of the money is to be used by the Education Welfare Officer for Shrewsbury Academies Trust to support some of the most vulnerable families.”

The two school leaders, who have worked closely together for several years, described the Grange as a ‘fantastic school’ which opened in 2009. Said Marie:  “We have a very loyal team and the school is a rewarding place to work.  The majority of children are making good progress and there are no regrets about becoming an Academy. We are part of the Shrewsbury Academy Trust which has four schools and this has transformed many of our thoughts and systems.” She and Suzy presented statistics which identified an improvement in numeracy and literacy across the school and they thanked Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary for its ‘excellent support’ with early stage reading.

Added Marie, who has been head teacher for nine years:  “The support of Rotarians has helped accelerate the progress in reading at a time when budget pressures are difficult.” Said Suzy:  “The experience you give to children in year one is tremendous and if we get it right it is at that point it will be a great help to them.  Your support has made a real difference.”

Rotarians are also offering to give one to one help with grammar and spelling which has been put forward for the Grange Primary heads to consider. The cheque for £1,000 was presented by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s vice president Donald Thompson who is a governor of the Academy Trust.

 Back left Donald and right Garth Joscelyne (speaker secretary); front left Suzy and right Marie.

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Spiralling workload ‘unsustainable’ says town’s GP

A GP in a Shropshire town’s medical practice has called their workload ‘unsustainable’. Dr Jamie Malcolm, a GP partner at Market Drayton Medical Practice, which has 17000 patients, told Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary that he makes between 110 and 135 patient contacts per day – either by face to face appointment, telephone, home visit, letter or test result.

“There comes a time when the number of patients per day that a GP deals with becomes dangerous, and it has a negative effect on our own well-being,” said Dr Malcolm, who has been a GP since 1999 and in Market Drayton for the last nine years. In a frank discussion with Rotarians, he gave his own ‘coal face’ view of the daily pressures and increasing workload of being a GP, and his concerns over the future of the NHS in primary care. He described the GP appointment structure at his surgery as being a mix of book ahead and urgent on day appointments.

“Some symptoms can be managed without a face to face GP appointment at the surgery, and we have strategies to try to deal with the insatiable patient demand. But with patients living longer, management of chronic multisystem diseases, patients’ increased health awareness, traditional hospital based care being devolved to GP surgeries, a huge increase in the number of investigations and treatments available , and all the government targets, the competition for GP appointment time is fierce” , he told Rotarians.

A routine morning surgery would see 16 booked appointments at 10 minute intervals. There are also home visits and telephone consultations, along with clinical and business meetings at lunchtime. After a similar length of afternoon surgery, he would often do paperwork until 7.30pm, and on a few nights per week would continue paperwork at home until midnight. He has a half day a week when he tries to swim or bike ride to relax.

A morning on-call at the practice would generally require Dr Malcolm to phone back 30-45 patients with urgent clinical need, responding with either an appointment, home visit, prescription or advice, before starting a 90 minute booked surgery.

 “The on-call workload is intense – on average one phone-call every 4.5 minutes, and this includes typing notes, so please excuse me for being brief on the phone to you,” he pleaded. Recent surveys on GP workload are concerning, as GP consultation rates per patient rose by 41% between 1995 and 2009. The average member of the public sees a GP x6/year – double the number of attendances from the previous decade.

6 in 10 GPs are considering early retirement owing to workload pressures, whilst a third were actively planning for this decision.

Dr Malcolm said his work also included an array of medical reports to complete, and more recently, onerous mandatory revalidation requirements of life-long learning, audit and feedback. He revealed to Rotarians that there were not enough GPs inEngland, with many leaving the UK to continue their work abroad in countries like AustraliaMore than 1 in 3 vacancies at GP practices have remained unfilled for a year or more, and in 2014 almost 40% of GP training places were unfilled in some areas of the UKSo there are not enough GPs to respond to 5 day working weeks let alone the recently proposed 7 day working.

Dr Malcolm also looks after 100 patients with severe mental illness, and is also involved in teaching/ mentoring GP trainees. He said he was too overrun with patient commitments and revalidation requirements to effectively influence future NHS direction, but did think that reducing the complexities of GP pay and revalidation, along with the incessant drive to avoid hospital admission might ease the current crisis in GP recruitment and retention.

Dr. Malcolm (centre) with Rotarians Colin Sharp (left) and Kerry Ferguson, president.

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A TIPPLE OR TWO ON ALAN’S FAREWELL

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has said ‘goodbye’ to popular long-serving Rotarian Alan Patterson with the message ‘enjoy a tipple or two.’ For former club president Alan, who joined the club in 1990, is leaving Shrewsbury after 29 years in the town to live in WorthingTo ‘ease the pain’ of his leaving the club current president Kerry Ferguson presented him with a bottle of his favourite malt.

Alan was president in 1999 and made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2007. Said Kerry:  “We wish Alan and his wife Pam all the very best.  In my experience of Alan he is a lovely bloke, very willing and supportive in terms of Rotary.”

In response, Alan told members at their last meeting:  “A very big thank you to you all.  It has been a real privilege being a member of this club and I thank the late Niel Kelly for introducing me all those years ago. I will be back.  I have made so many friends over the 29 years I have lived in Shrewsbury and I shall come along on the club night. The bottle of malt will be enjoyed and I look forward to seeing as many members as possible on the Sussex south coast.”

 

It’s a 'cheerful goodbye’ to Alan Patterson (centre) from Rotarians Geoff Charlton, Kerry Ferguson (president), Donald Thompson (vice president) and Chris Yaxley

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Rotarians enjoying the British Ironworks Centre

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ROTARY’S £3,000 DONATIONS TO LOCAL CAUSES AND CHARITIES

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary are to make donations totalling £3,000 to local causes and charities. Members have agreed to give £500 to the Grange Primary School which will be used to purchase additional reading books for year 1.  The club also currently supports the school with reading help for year 1 children. They will now add to that a further allocation of £500 for the school to use - at the discretion of the Headteacher - in support of the educational achievement of all pupils.

British Red Cross Shropshire Carers are to benefit from a further £1,000 whilst Rotary is also giving £500 to Riding for the Disabled.

A further £500 will be spent on a Christmas party for senior citizens at the United Reformed Church.

In addition, other funds have been allocated for worthwhile causes as a result of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary’s last year Santa sleigh which will again take to the streets of villages this coming Christmastide.The club is organising its programme of Santa visits which will also include local supermarkets.  The programme will be announced later in the year.

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RED CROSS YOUNG ADULT CARERS SCHEME PIONEERED IN SHROPSHIRE

A new initiative which is the first in Shropshire is being pioneered by the British Red Cross Shropshire Young Carers. Details of the pilot were revealed to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary by Rowan Ellson Arias. She disclosed that the organisation was keen to support any ‘hidden or known’ young adult carer between the age of 18 and 25.

Said Rowan:  “This is in addition to the existing service that works with young carers from 5 –18. Young carers interested in the pilot can get in touch with the office on 01743 457800.”

The pilot, said Rowan, was part way through its funding by the Cabinet Office and they were keen to interest young adult carers who could access a number of different development and respite opportunities. “We are recruiting as many as we can onto both young carers schemes from the age of 16,” she told Rotarians. She added that the Red Cross was organising an ‘Autumn Red’ fundraising dinner at Origins, Shrewsbury College, on October 20.  The price of £20 a head would include a welcome drink, three course meal and key note speaker.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Vice President Donald Thompson believes the new young carers initiative is pointing in the right direction. 

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ROTARIANS CAN START COUNTING SHEEP IN THEIR SLEEP…

What giraffes are to the town of Horsham, sheep could be toShrewsburyFor if Shrewsbury decides to emulate the Horsham model, there would be benefits for charity, business, the town and Rotary. The start of the big debate on sheep for Shrewsbury was aired at a lively meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

And there was a conclusive outcome.  A unanimous show of hands for the debate to be positively further discussed at Club Council on August 18. Rotarians Colin Sharp and Geoff Lloyd gave an excellent presentation to members on why the club should grab this venture with both hands because it would not incur any expenditure.

Simply, businesses would be invited to buy a resin sheep which would be artistically decorated, displayed, sponsored and ultimately sold at auction. An artist from Bishop’s Castle could make the resin sheep, which would include a prototype. The club was told that a number of prospective participants from outside Rotary were keen to become involved in what could be a major event in the town from Easter to September next year. The involvement of local businesses, schools, local authority and other interested organisations was outlined by Colin and Geoff during the presentation.

They have agreed to present the Club Council with a costing, the need for a substantial team of people to drive the project forward and how a sheep trail could be established inside the bridges.

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ROTARY ORGANISE MILITARY CHARITY DINNER

The three Rotary clubs which meet in Shrewsbury are organising a Military Charity Dinner.

The event, on September 18, will be at Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

Speaker is Lt Col Mark Foster, a consultant hand and plastic surgeon from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

There will also be entertainment by the Military Wives Choir.

The dinner will be hosted by the three Rotary clubs and tickets at £35 each are available from Rotarian Colin Sharp 07817 270694 or emailcolingsharp@gmail.com

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ROTARY GRANT COMPLETES UGANDAN LIBRARY

Work on a community library in Uganda has now been completed thanks to a grant of £500 from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. The community library is the flagship project of Omushana, Sunshine for Children, a UK registered charity run by Shrewsbury based Gill Castle.

“The library has already made a huge impact on the whole community as it is open six days a week with an employed librarian/IT instructor and available to 10 schools and over 2,000 children,” said Gill. “With solar panels and 10 laptops as well as the 600-plus books it is a wonderful resource.  We have had a student volunteer spend a month in the library and her role was to work with children having ‘Fun with Books’.”

Following completion of work to the exterior of the building, Gill is expecting it will last many years longer.  Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has been acknowledged on the outside of the building. Gill’s charity has a long-standing connection with the Kabale Rotary Club who have recently asked if Omushana can support their plan to bring vocational training to children in the rural areas of their district. She said:  “They are proposing to arrange holiday vocational training for children in villages by using existing primary schools during the holidays and sending trained instructors.

“They will do all the organising, but asked if Omushana can help with equipment and possibly funding.  I promised we could send equipment and would seek help with funding.” Gill added that another priority this year is their “Class Support” project and she has asked Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary if it is interested in becoming a ‘Class Supporter’ at the secondary and vocational school which is just opening in an area where until now the children had no hope of education beyond primary. 

She added that to support a class in this way only needed £90 per year for four years.

Said Mervyn Davies, immediate past president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  “I am most interested in this concept and I can assure Gill we shall look at the possibility of helping a class receive education.”

For further information contact gill@omushana.org or visit the website www.omushana.org

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TREE OF LIGHT THANKS FROM PARKINSON’S AND ALZHEIMER’S

Sarah Wakeman, Regional Fundraiser, Parkinson’s :

On behalf of Parkinson’s , I would like to say a huge thank you for the generous donation of £2,655.87 from your Tree of Light campaign. We are very grateful to you for your support and it was lovely to meet you in person and have the opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you in person.

Every hour someone in the is told they have Parkinson’s.  Because we’re here, no one has to face Parkinson’s alone.  We bring people with Parkinson’s, their carers and families together via our network of local groups, our website and free confidential helpline. Specialist nurses, our supporters and staff provide information and training on every aspect of Parkinson’s.

As the ’s Parkinson’s support and research charity we’re leading the work to find a cure and we’re closer than ever.  We also campaign to change attitudes and demand better services.

Parkinson’s depends entirely on voluntary donations to fund all of its work.  Support such as the Tree of Light campaign really does make a difference to take us one step closer to finding a cure and improving life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

Emma Dowler, Community Fundraiser, Alzheimer’s Society, :

On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society I would like to thank you for choosing our charity to benefit from your Tree of Light.  We are delighted that £2,655.87 was raised for people with dementia. Having to care for people with dementia can be a physical and emotional struggle and our services truly are a lifeline.  Your support and the money raised menas that we can continue to provide the best quality support and information to people with dementia and their carers. Your support is greatly appreciated and invaluable – it really is down to the support and opportunities such as these that we have come so far and made so much difference in the lives of people with dementia and their carers. I hope the quote below can begin to explain how valuable your support of Alzheimer’s Society is:

‘I don’t know how I would cope if it were not for the Alzheimer’s people at the other end of the phone ‘ - a carer.

Both letters were sent to Rotarian Peter Savage who also received a certificate of thanks from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Peter Savage with the certificate

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PRESIDENT MERVYN SIGNS OFF

Outgoing president Mervyn Davies revealed to fellow Rotarians that he ‘nearly didn’t’ accept the position. Speaking at the final meeting of his year in office, Mervyn told Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary members of the activities going on in his life at the time. A church elder, treasurer of a charity and the support for a further charity which was ‘in a mess,’ were all on Mervyn’s mind when he took over in June 2014.

“I dug them out of a big hole and they subsequently gave me the work,” he said.

He also spoke of the needs of his young family and ‘sacrifices’ he had to make, missing important dates in the academic achievements of his son and daughter.

“I also missed out on concerts and the Tree of Light switch on,” said Mervyn.

“After being the club’s president, I have decided to work with some neglected children – my own,” he said.

He outlined the high points of his year in office:

  • The club’s 40’s night when everyone entered into the spirit, dressing up and enjoying music, food and ‘Dad’s Army’
  • A presentation of books to the Grange Primary Schoolwhen they realised the books were their’s to keep.  ‘Great Rotary.’
  • The thanks of Tree of Light donors who had inspiring stories
  • His thanks to everyone who had helped during the year, particularly Rotarians Gareth Watkins and Kerry Ferguson who had been most supportive
  • Reading at the Grange Primary which had been most appreciated by staff
  • To vice president Donald Thompson who had worked long and hard on youth activities
  • To club secretary Peter Gould who had been a ‘great source of advice and support’
  • To club treasurer Chris Yaxley
  • To Colin Sharp for fundraising activities
  • To Chris Allsop, particularly for the ‘Lend with Care’ scheme
  • To Bob Scaiff who had done an ‘excellent job’
  • To Iain Gilmour, speakers secretary
  • To Alan Eames for ‘grace and wine’
  • To Peter Love for maintaining ‘our high and my own media profile’

“Thank you all,” said Mervyn.  “The people said sit down from one of the songs and selecting someone who is a good example of Rotary – Peter Bone and Peter Savage.

“My Rotarian of the Year for all his work on Rotary as well as Service above Self is Peter Love who has also been a support and guidance to me throughout the year,” he added.

Incoming president Kerry Ferguson brought smiles when he said his theme for the next Rotary year was ‘brevity’ – and he promptly sat down.

But it wasn’t too long before he was back on his feet to thank Mervyn for his year, putting Rotary before a lot of personal things and ‘going beyond the call of duty.’

“It is a great pleasure to be asked to be your new president this year with Donald Thompson as vice president.”

Mervyn hands over the chain of office to Kerry

Kerry presents Mervyn with a tankard

Kerry congratulates Donald

Mervyn presents the Rotarian of the Year trophy to Peter

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SPEAKER IAN KENNY

Ian Kenny from SITA gave a very interesting talk on recycling road sweepings. Making concrete blocks and even recovering precious rare earth metals from the sweepings. With modern money now made of a ferrous material there is sometimes a continuous stream of coins collected by the magnetic separation process. 

The speaker is photographed left with President Mervyn Davies and Speaker Secretary Iain Gilmour

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BEDDOW BACK IN TOWN

Mark Beddow (right) from the Rotary Club of Astana in Kazakhstan exchanges banners with President Mervyn Davies on a recent visit to his mother club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary

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FELLOWSHIP HITS THE HIGH NOTES

 On the final club fellowship night of the current Rotary year, 14 members and partners of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary enjoyed a visit to Shrewsbury Theatre Severn. The #HQPA group of Performing Arts students from brought their rendition of the 1950’s Tony Award-winning musical Guys and Dolls to the stage of the Set in the 1930’s gangster scene, the Broadway show’s themes of marriage, gambling and religion combine comedy and romance in a musical extravaganza which was warmly applauded by a sell out audience.

As well as performing in the show, the students were also tasked with other production roles, including assisting the director, stage management and marketing team to help them gain valuable experience of various roles within the industry. Level 3 Performing Arts student, Christian Lugtu, 18, from , played lead protagonist 'Nathan Detroit' as well as acting as dance captain for the show. He is quoted on the college website as saying: “I am thoroughly enjoying bringing Nathan Detroit to life, he’s a great character to play and I just can’t wait get on the stage now.

“It’s great that we’ve been involved in other roles in this production, it really helps us develop knowledge and experience which will help us when we leave college”.

Michael Jenkins, course tutor and show director, is reported to have said: “I am very excited to be doing the show with such an extremely talented bunch of students. With infectious music, well-known songs and a brilliantly comic script, it is going to be one of the best musicals the #HQPA students have produced to date”.

 Members and partners of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary echo that sentiment for the fast moving show, with its large cast, had lots of energy and enthusiasm and no small amount of talent in delivering the catchy songs and slick dance routines. Club thanks to Ian Gilmour for organizing this enjoyable theatre visit.

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NEW MEMBER TO GET MARRIED

A new member has been inducted into Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary as cub president Mervyn Davies begins the countdown to his year of office. For insolvency practitioner Ian Stewart, it was a double celebration. The ex-Round Tabler, who has moved to the area, is to be married to fiancà© Shirley on July 1. She is now in full time employment in with Dyke Yaxley.

He extended a warm welcome to Rotarians to join them at their wedding in Hampshire and promised the club ‘I will do as much as I can for you.’

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                     MANIFESTO LAUNCHED TO SHAWBURY AND MID SHROPSHIRE MEMBERS

Vice president Kerry Ferguson and his team have laid out their plans for the coming Rotary year. Under the slogan ‘Manifesto,’ Kerry spoke of the club’s strong relationship with the Grange Primary School and of his desire to assist pupils even further. “I am discussing some ideas with the head and will be reporting back on this,” he told members. Colin Sharp, chair of Joint Activities and Fundraising, said each member of the committee would be asked to propose a fundraising event. Chris Allsop, chair of International Services and Rotary Foundation, said individual members of his committee would be taking on responsibility for specific projects. He said he had submitted an application for a district grant for fire fighters in Romania and that the committee would continue with the successful Lending with Care scheme for which £900 had already been lent. Julian Wells, the incoming chair of Community and Vocational Services, reiterated that there would be another sum of money for the Grange and that the reading project would continue. He also hoped that an Interact club would get off the ground very shortly. New speaker secretary Garth Joscelyne wetted the appetite with speakers he has already booked for the new Rotary year, including head Marie Sibley of the Grange Primary School. He also announced the forthcoming visit to the club of Mark Turner, head of Shrewsbury School, and Chief Fire Officer John Redman. New District Assistant Governor Gary Sharpe praised the Manifesto and told members:  “You are very active doing a great job so keep it up.  You have a healthy membership. “I have enjoyed this evening and I am looking forward to seeing you all over the coming Rotary year.”

Kerry, Mervyn, Gary and Don

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CHEQUE THAT

To echoes of ‘wow,’ ‘incredible’ and ‘fabulous,’ a Shropshire Rotary club handed out more than £8,500 to charities from their latest Tree of Light fundraising. This year’s charities to benefit from the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Tree of Light are Parkinson’s, The Ark, and Alzheimer’s Society with Age UK also benefiting from a Rotary concert.

Sarah Wakeman, who received a cheque for £2,655 on behalf of Parkinson’s, said she was ‘absolutely blown away’ by the generosity and how ‘lovely it was to work with Rotarians. Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is incredibly supportive of Parkinson’s and this amount of money will go a long way to making a difference to those with this neurological condition. We have lots of incredible projects going on which will make a difference.  Things are changing in Shropshire with more Parkinson’s nurses in particular.”

Howard Hutchings, chair of The Ark, also spoke of the difference the money would make to their vision to develop their provision of services for the most vulnerable people in the community. Howard, a volunteer and cook at The Ark, said it cost £120,000 a year to run the service which was looking to move into new premises in the area in order to expand their services.

Emma Dowler, on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society, spoke of their need to sponsor dementia support workers and that in September they were launching a brand new service to keep people active in the community. “So the money to us will make a big difference,” she added.

Heather Osborne, Chief Executive of Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin, spoke of their need to increase befriending volunteers across the county with over 100 people awaiting support. “There are people who don’t speak to anyone for a week at a time and they are very lonely and so we are always looking for befrienders,” she added.

Said Shawbury and Mid Shropshire president Mervyn Davies:  “These are charities making a little go a long way and we applaud them"

Mervyn with firstly Sarah then Heather, Howard and Emma

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DISTRICT JUDGE DELIVERS HIS VERDICT

District Judge Stephen Rogers has given Rotarians an insight into the scope of work he carries out on a daily basis mostly sitting in Telford. Stephen, a member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, outlined the ‘enormous range of cases’ that come before him as a district judge both in the civil and family court. “The work of the district judge is hugely important within the judicial system,” he told Rotarians.  “We deal with an enormous number of cases and an enormous range of cases.”

Appointed a district judge in 1995, he explained to Rotarians the role of the office, particularly in the family court, and where the district judge fits into the system which goes back to the Magna Carter – 100 years old this year. Said Stephen:  “The work of district judges involves a wide spectrum of civil and family law cases such as claims for damages and injunctions, possession proceedings against mortgage borrowers and property tenants, divorces, child proceedings, domestic violence injunctions and insolvency proceedings. District judges are full-time judges who deal with the majority of cases in the county courts. They are assigned on appointment to a particular circuit and may sit at any of the county courts or district registries of the High Court on that circuit.

“District judges do most of their work wearing a normal business suit, but in open court district judges wear the civil robe introduced in October 2008, with blue tabs at the neck and without a wig.”

He revealed that the cost for the delivery of justice was £750m a year.

Stephen touched on housing, insolvency and family cases during his half hour talk to Rotarians who were let into the ‘inner circle’ of the judges’ proceedings for the first time. “I deal with 60% family cases including divorce, financial remedies on divorce, procedural steps to go through and domestic violence.” And on his involvement in Rotary and as a member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary since early 2000, the president in 2005/6 added:  “I uphold the long standing Rotary tradition of ‘Service above Self.’

In a vote of thanks to District Judge Stephen, retired police officer Rotarian John Yeomans, who spent 38 years as an officer, said:  “I spent a lot of time before justices, latterly with children before district judges. “Separating the judicial from politics, I was often in awe of the judge.  I found them my friend; wise and prudent in delivering justice.  Particularly in larger protection matters. I have a high regard for the judicial system and what you do as a judge.”

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SHAWBURY AND MID SHROPSHIRE ROTARY’S £1,500 TONEPAL

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is to donate a total of £1,500 to the Nepal earthquake disaster. The decision was made by members at last Tuesday's meeting. There will be a donation of £500 now to buy a Shelter Box including a relief tent for a homeless family, thermal blankets, groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, and a further £1,000 as more sustainable support. Said Chris Allsop, chair of International Services: “We feel that a further donation of £1,000 will be most beneficial when the immediate affects of the disaster have been overcome.”

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Mark Beddow update

Greetings from a warm and sunny Astana. My third winter here has now passed and almost all the ice and snow has disappeared.

I am pleased to report that RC of Astana (District 2430 Ankara, Turkey) received its Charter last Thursday evening at a gala event at the Hilton Hotel, attended by the 25 Charter Members, partners, a District delegation from Ankara, members of our mother Club (Almaty, Kazakhstan), numerous Ambassadors and mass media organisations.

The Club has been described as a text book model, with approximately 50% split between locals and ex-pats, dual gender, age range from 20s to 60s, wide ranging vocations and about 20% experienced Rotarians. It has raised a huge amount of interest locally. We will see!

I look forward to seeing you all in the summer, and will bring greetings from our President, Gareth, together with our banner.

STARTING ROTARIANS YOUNG!

For the first time in its 28 year history, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has welcomed babies to one of its weekly meetings.

 

The unusual � and unexpected - appearance of the babies happened at its last meeting when three week old Theodore and six week old Jacob were among the guests on what was another unprecedented first for the club. For the meeting was presided over by its junior vice president Donald Thompson in the absence of president Mervyn Davies and senior vice president Kerry Ferguson. Donald not only officiated over the evening�s proceedings, but conducted the club�s AGM which was part of the meeting.

 

He warmly welcomed the record total of 10 visitors � the largest in many of club members� memory.  The visitors included three generations of the visiting Davies family of Rotarians amongst whom was Kelly, youngest Rotary club president in the district, with her son Theodore. The meeting was addressed by Alan Davies who spoke of his experience in visiting Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, through the charity International Aid Trust (IAT). He told Rotarians that the charity was set up over 20 years� ago by Bernard Crocker to help children in streets and ghettos.  He thought it would make a difference and as a result IAT has become a major charity.

 

Said Alan, who lives in Shawbury:  ï¿½IAT has developed into a major charity with Bernard at the helm though many others are involved as well.  IAT send aid all over the world and have enough aid to be a part of any major disaster anywhere in the world, whether it be famine, natural disasters or a pandemics.�The charity deals with approximately five million pounds worth of aid a year � equivalent to 74,000 tonnes. There are 23 shops throughout the north and south as far asCannock.  The shops receive donations from local communities and sell the products through the shops, raising valuable funding for distribution of aid. This aid consists of clothing, medical supplies, dried food, vegetable seeds, moderate foods, shoe boxes, bikes and musical instruments.�

 

He spoke passionately of the visit to Ukraine with his wife Julie last November and how they visited an orphanage in Kievwhere there are 100,000 children on the streets. ï¿½It was a privilege to visit the orphanage and see the changes at first hand.  There is very little welfare in Kiev and the reason for my visit to Ukraine was to see with my own eyes that the aid handed out was fundraising through Rotary.  And this exceeded my expectations.�

 

Alan was accompanied by Trevor and Robyn Davies, Kirsty, Kelly and Lauren, partners and babies Jacob (Kirsty�s) and Theodore (Kelly�s).

 

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THREE CHARITIES TO BENEFIT FROM ROTARY CONCERT

 

Three charities stand to benefit from the proceeds of a concert to be given by the award-winning Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir on Saturday April 18. The concert at St. Chad�s Church, Shrewsbury, is being jointly organised by the Rotary clubs of Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Darwin and Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. The beneficiaries will be Homes for All, Hope House and Age UK.

 

Tickets at �15 each are currently on sale at the Music Hall 01743 2588888 and will also be available on the door.  The concert starts at 7.30 pm.

 

Said Rotarian Colin Sharp:  ï¿½This is a great opportunity to visit St Chad�s and hear the amazing Froncysyllte choir while benefiting the three charities nominated by Shrewsbury�s Rotary Clubs.

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ROTARY DONATION TO VANUATU

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club has donated �1,000 to the Vanuatu disaster appeal as a result of the devastation caused there by Cyclone Pam. The money is being forwarded via Merseyside and North Wales Rotary District to a Rotary District in New Zealand. This NZ district will be liaising with Rotary clubs in Vanuatu who will be aware of how the emergency fund should be best spent in the short and longer term.

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ROTARY DONATES FRUIT TREES TO FUTURES

Fruit trees have been planted at Severndale Academy�s new Futures building with money donated by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. The planting was highlighted when Severndale Head Chris Davies and Assistant Head Siobhan Williams visited the Rotary club to talk on the progress of Futures which opened last November. The development is offering further education opportunities for post 16 students up to the age of 25.  Futures currently has 52 students and the building can house 80. Rotarians were told that Futures, which is on the site of Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology, London Road, is offering students a more varied range of qualifications which includes setting up young people for the world of work. And the work related learning which Futures is now offering students is being carried out in close liaison with the college. In addition to planting fruit trees, with berries and herbs underneath, outside the building at London Road, students grow crops at Tickwood Farm, Much Wenlock.

 

Rotarians heard that students �love gardening and horticulture� as well as hand made crafts from materials such as ceramics, glass and wood. Following the talk, Rotarian Mervyn Davies, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, visited Futures to see at first hand the variety of activities, including the new fruit trees in the grounds. ï¿½I was most impressed with the enthusiasm and high volume of activity, including making Easter gifts for selling on a stall in the Square,� said Mervyn. During his visit the president was offered a cup of coffee from a sophisticated coffee making machine in the Futures caf�. He was told by manager Tim Mulloy that students who staff the caf� are learning the skills of making a variety of coffee which is very popular.

 

Mervyn is photographed with Tim and one of the caf� students Nathan Lloyd, 17.

 

In an introduction to Chris and Siobhan at the meeting, Iain Gilmour, chair of governors at the college, said Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary had a long association with Severndale. This had started with Rotarians and partners taking children from Severndale on outings to Alton Towers and more recentlyShrewsbury College had supported Severndale to build the �1.2m Futures at London Road. He said the site was now the responsibility of Chris who reminded Rotarians it was 1997 when he last spoke to the club. When Severndale started in 1995 there were 120 students and 60 staff.  Today there were 410 students and 310 staff.  The budget then was �1m.  Now it is running at just over �7m. Over �20m had been spent on the two sites, Woodcote Way and London Road, in terms of infrastructure.

Fruit trees have been planted in the grounds of Futures.  Jack Talbot and Ben Noble, both 18, were among the planters and are seen with Liz Harrison, lead teacher, and Rotary president Mervyn Davies.

Nathan Lloyd, Tim Mulloy and Mervyn Davies.

Siobhan Williams, Mervyn Davies and Chris Davies.

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MEDIC MALAWI CHARITY CONCERT RAISES OVER �2,200

A charity concert hosted by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has raised over �2,200 which will benefit a poor area of Africa.

The concert, in support of Medic Malawi, took place at Crowmoor Baptist Church, Shrewsbury, and featured more than 70 performers from the Shrewsbury Concert Band and The Mere Singers. They treated the audience to a varied programme of music from around the world that concluded with a medley of Beatles hits featuring the two groups performing together. The concert was organized by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary whose president Mervyn Davies is also treasurer of MedicMalawi.  He said:  ï¿½It was a very enjoyable evening of music and the money raised will soon be put to good use. I am so grateful to all who made the event such a success.  Whilst the concert took place in the name of Rotary, the real credit must go to Harriet Harwood who was one of the performers that visited Malawi last summer. As a member of the band, she galvanized many supporters into action to attend on the evening and make the concert the success that it was.�

Stephen Drew, who runs the charity from his home in Shrewsbury, told the audience of the vital work that Medic Malawi does and how every penny raised reaches Malawi because there are no UK costs. The sum raised from the concert included over �700 from Barclays Bank who matched the amount from the raffle.  The sum raised will be enough to carry out over 70 eye operations or employ a nurse for more than a year. For the charity runs a hospital and eye clinic as well as supporting an orphanage, nutrition centre and two schools in Mtuntanhama serving over 50,000 people in a rural area of Malawi. 

 Left to right Mervyn Davies, Harriet Harwood, Mary Keith, Ken Lumley and Stephen Drew.

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It was an intriguing evening of �Call My Bluff!�

Teams were decided by MC Rotarian Geoff Lloyd and Rotarians were subjected to a difficult �Call My Bluff!� challenge.

 The questions were expertly put to the five teams by Rotarian Bob Scaiff and ranged from words for meanings like Beguine, Estufa, Myosis, Pipage, Purgery, Li and Bossage.

 The result: an honourable draw on the night.

 ï¿½Who would have thought Rotarians could bullshit so much?� commented president Mervyn (for which he was fined!).

 He is photographed centre back flanked by Geoff and Bob. Front Alan Eames, Peter Bone and Alan Peterson who each called �My Bluff�.

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SHAVE OFF OF HEADS AND BEARDS FOR SEVERNHOSPICE

Three members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary had their heads and beards shaved to raise funds for the Severn Hospice.

 

Alan Eames, Peter Love and Gordon Duncan went under the shavers of hairdressers Michaela (left) and Amber of Risdon�s Barber Shop, The Market Hall, Shrewsbury. Last night�s big shave off at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury, was supported by fellow Rotarians and friends and watched by Mike Perry, community fundraising adviser of Severn Hospice. Said Peter:  ï¿½The donations I have personally been given already top the �600 mark and monies are continuing to come in.  I am thrilled with this result on behalf of Severn Hospice.�

 

 

Back left to right Mike Perry, Michaela, president Mervyn and Amber; front left to right Alan Eames, Peter Love and Gordon Duncan

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ROTARY CLUB ASKED TO PUT ITS INTERNATIONAL �THINKING CAP ON�

Members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary were told they were the first club in the district to achieve a coveted banner whereby every member has contributed to  The Rotary Foundation every year. ï¿½Hopefully, lots of other clubs can follow suit,� district Foundation chair Ashley Gray told the club on his visit last Tuesday. He said the club�s total contribution to Foundation over the past three years was one of the best three in the district contributing $14,000 to The Rotary Foundation which �is a fabulous amount of money.�

In his talk about the opportunity the club had to make the most of Foundation, he suggested it used Foundation to help with projects.

�District has given the club two small grants and both were for international projects on water which is a fantastic achievement. A district grant can also be used for a local project which is maybe something to think about,� said Ashley. He described how the club could undertake a $30,000 Global Grant Project through as he described it as �free money.�

�Shawbury and Mid Shropshire is a net contributor to The Foundation having paid more in than the value of the grants they have received. What you should be looking to do is making some contacts overseas for next year to see if a global grant project was possible. Global Grant projects must be done overseas ï¿½Projects have a minimum gross value, $30,000, so put your thinking caps on.  This is a great opportunity for this club. The District decides on the quality of the project.  Money is available from The Rotary Foundation, you think about the project which is the most important thing.  Water projects are the most popular throughout the Rotary World. Don�t forget the biological process and clean water.  We must also improve the sanitation.  Eighty percent of the world�s population don�t have a toilet � there are more mobile phones in the world than working toilets.�

Ashley also outlined other areas the club could focus on:

Economic and community projects such as providing cows and goats

Disease prevention and treatment

Maternal and child health

Basic education and literacy

�Ask the local people what they want is the best way of doing a project,� he told Rotarians. ï¿½You need to have a Rotary club in the area where you are doing the project on the other side, otherwise the project cannot go ahead.� He said there were Rotary clubs in Malawi that could become a partnership club because the partnership was a link between two clubs. For a $30,000 project all of the money can come from The Rotary Foundation, hence the �free money� concept. 50% comes from funds allocated to the Districts involved in the project and this is matched $ for $ from The Rotary Foundation World Fund. Of the funds allocated to the Districts 70% would come from our District and 30% from the District where the project is to take place. He said there were five global grant projects being undertaken in the district at the moment where the accumulative funds are already in place. ï¿½Don�t worry about the money,� said Ashley, �just concentrate on the project and liaise with the club abroad. Doing a project is all about preparation - a well prepared project will go through. The district Foundation committee will look at your project.  Of all the applications so far received, none has been turned down. It�s a massive opportunity for the club to look at.  Your support for Foundation is second to none and this is something the club can get its teeth into. Get your thinking caps on � everyone in the club can have a say.�

At question time, Ashley was asked a number of questions. In response to one, he replied:  �The biggest issue is finding partner clubs.  A partnership between two clubs and two districts.  But there�s a way forward. The district is where the project takes place, but you could get money from another district anywhere in the world. Initially, it�s about getting projects off the ground.  It�s Rotarians knocking on doors quietly and getting things done for long term sustainable projects. Where there�s a will there�s a way�let�s sort a project out.�

In a vote of thanks, immediate past president Gareth Watkins said:  �Ashley has acknowledged how much this club has donated to Rotary Foundation. ï¿½We have contributed a large amount. Having information about club grants and pursuing one of these projects will stimulate some thought in terms of what we can do.�

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FIRST ROTARY SPONSORSHIP FOR MINSTERLEY EISTEDDFOD

Young musicians aged six to 18 will benefit from a donation that Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has given to this year�s Minsterley Eisteddfod. The �250 Rotary sponsorship will cover individual and group vocal and instrumental competitions as well as children�s choirs when the eisteddfod is held on Saturday March 21. Said Mervyn Davies, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  �The rationale behind the sponsorship is to encourage aspiring young musicians whether they sing or play an instrument.�

Joe Evans, committee chairman said:  �We are extremely grateful to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary for sponsoring 11 of the children�s competitions which is very generous of the club.�

Left to right Mary Stott (cup and committee secretary), Mervyn Davies and Joe Evans

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POPULAR �FORTIES NIGHT�

There was Captain Mainwaring giving orders to Dad�s Army.

 There was the Angle and Flan duo.

 And there was Captain Mervyn Davies sounding the Last Post.

 It was all part of a �Forties Night� enjoyed by Rotarians and guests at Eat Well in Milk Street, Shrewsbury, its large front windows facing the town�s attractive High Street. An imaginative �first� for the club, the popular �Forties Night� was organised by Squadron Leader Geoff Lloyd and Dad�s Army�s Private Frank Pike (Willie Strachan). Congratulations to all those who dressed in 40�s outfits for the occasion.

 Rotary�s thanks to the Eat Well team for a great supper and providing a superb venue for this novel event.

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ROTARIANS TOLD OF HOIST TO ELEVATE DISABLED RIDERS TO A HORSE

Rea Valley is the only Riding for the Disabled group inShropshire to use a hoist to elevate a rider from a wheelchair to a horse, Rotarians have been told. Speaking to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, which recently gave a cheque for �500 to Rea Valley, Carla Howarth said the speed of transfer of a rider to a horse was critical. ï¿½It is a big juggling act of taking a horse to a disabled rider.

It is very stressful for the horse if it takes a long time for the disabled rider to get on,� said Carla who is county chair of Shropshire Riding for the Disabled.

 

�It�s impossible to get horses that are bomb proof and so that makes risk assessment and following processes and procedures all the more important for our riders. The situation of course is different with an able bodied rider � that�s the versatility of the horse.�

 

Rotarians heard that children with all sorts of medical problems benefited from riding.  One of the riders at Berriewood, whereRea Valley meets, is totally blind. ï¿½When you have been on a horse you are a different person afterwards.  It benefits balance and muscles and enjoyment is of course part of it as well.� Carla explained:  ï¿½Volunteers get a lot out of it and it�s due to donations such as the one we kindly received from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. ï¿½We are setting up fundraising at county level allowing all 10 groups to buy hats.�

Rea Valley, which has 30 volunteers, meets at Berriewood on a Monday evening for for younger people and Tuesday between 10-12.  ï¿½We are reliant on Berriewood Stables,� said Carla. She explained to Rotarians that riders paid for half an hour, but the difference was made up by the group.  Some riders required three volunteers. Carla added that Riding for the Disabled Association is a worldwide trust with a history going back to the Romans with 500 member groups across the UK.

 

Left to right Amanda Gamble (volunteer), Carla Howarth, Mervyn Davies (president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary), Jackie Cordery (volunteer) and Kerry Ferguson (vice president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary).

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PRESIDENT ON HIS OWNSOME � IT CAN BE LONELY AT THE TOP

The top table is laid for six but there�s only the president seated.

What�s happened to the rest? An intriguing question. Anyone got the answer?

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�HIGHS AND LOWS� OF POLICING BY ROTARIAN JOHN YEOMANS

The �highs and lows� of police life was the theme of a talk to Shawbury and Rotary Rotary by its latest member Rotarian John Yeomans. Although the club�s most recent recruit, John has a Rotary background from his career in the police force in which he served for 41 years (1972-2013), 31 of those as a constable, sergeant and inspector.

 

His �detective work� first began though outside the police force. He was working as a trainee manager at British Home Stores in Chester where there was a high level of stealing. He contacted the police who arrested the shoplifters. It was in 1972 that he signed up to be a policeman having initially been a commercial apprentice at Rolls Royce Derby before joining British Home Stores.

 

Whilst with British Homes Stores it was completely by chance that he happened to meet a couple of beat bobbies whom he said did a �good selling job� on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary. ï¿½I went to Warrington to the police training school and didn�t know what I was letting myself in for,� said John who originates from North Wales. He started as a bobby on the beat in Cheshire Constabulary � with just a truncheon.  ï¿½The police job isn�t always a pleasant one when you are dealing with all the things that go wrong. There�s an amazing side of the job and injuries.  I had a hairline fracture of the skull for which the criminal was sentenced to 18 months for assault.� As a uniformed officer, he also suffered a broken cheekbone and as a uniform officer was dealing with all sorts of offences.

 

But John had aspirations to be a detective and wanted to get into CID which he told Rotarians was a �bit of a closed shop.� He highlighted arrests for the theft of �50,000 worth of car badges by 40-50 young lads in Hazelgrove which had been an on-going problem.  Over two weekends he arrested 50 youngsters. He joined the Fraud Squad and was involved in the investigation of a �7m fraud. His career continued.  ï¿½It was a funny job in so much as it included having to deal with porn films.  People sent for a list of outrageous video tapes with postal orders and cheques. I completed around 100 of these brief enquiries, unearthing many funny and bizarre people who had been ordering this stuff.  Showing them their completed order forms was really cruel but amusing as they squirmed and tried to offer an explanation. ï¿½I did however get four or five full statements of complaint which helped to convict the fraudsters.  A clever scam which had netted them hundreds of thousands of pounds. There never were any porno films!�

 

He recalled calling at a very large detached house in Hale Barnes armed with a photocopy of a cheque for �20 and a photocopy of an order form for four very descriptive pornographic films. ï¿½My ploy was to show the copy of the cheque first and ask if they had ordered goods by mail order that hadn't been delivered. I was aiming to get a statement of complaint as the fraudsters actually never had any films and generally knew that people were unlikely to report non deliver to the police. ï¿½The police in Middlesex had raided the postal address in the advert and uncovered thousands of mail orders with cheques cash and postal orders. On this occasion both husband and wife were present when I showed the cheque....husband immediately recognised his wife's handwriting and said �that�s your�s dear, what was that for?  The wife immediately coloured up, saying she couldn�t remember. Sensing her embarrassment, I decided not to bring out the all telling copy of the order form and said I would leave them to see if they could recall what it was for. When I got home that evening the inspector from the Force Operations Room rang me to say he had had a woman on the phone pleading with him to make contact with me as a matter of urgency, which I did.

 

�She asked if she could meet up with me next morning as she wanted to explain the cheque. I met her next morning at her own business premises where she explained that she was having an affair with a business colleague who had persuaded her to order the films. She did not offer to make a statement of complaint, but was eternally grateful for my discretion!  She happened also to be a very attractive woman!�

 

John told members he made arrests for murders and rapes as well as a prostitute.  ï¿½She was raped by a taxi driver and I went to great lengths for her.  I identified the taxi driver and arrested him.  Even for a prostitute I felt she had a right to be protected.� In 1990 he set up child abuse units in Stockport.  These dealt with sexual and emotional abuse.  In year one there were 400 investigations.  There were a lot of successful prosecutions for child abuse. As a detective protection officer, he worked in child abuse cases for 20 years and told members of the club he had a lot of experience of different levels of child abuse.  Some of it �horrendous.� ï¿½Greater Manchester�s response to abuse was to send to children�s homes in Manchester.  I never failed to be surprised how this problem goes on and on by men and women.� Under �Operation Cleopatra� he successfully prosecuted sex offenders.  ï¿½I managed a unit in Greater Manchester which is still in existence and led to me becoming detective inspector managing sex offenders. ï¿½When I came to the end of my career my experience led to me being offered work with dangerous and violent people as well as high risk sex offenders who are visited by the police.�

 

John (left) shows president Mervyn Davies his long service and good conduct medal and a photograph recalling his police career

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MARK BEDDOW WRITES FROM KAZAKHSTAN

Greetings from a balmy Kazakhstan! British culture rules ok here. I attended a superb Burns Supper here on Saturday night.

Haileybury School Astana were the organisers.  It is the local �branch� of Haileybury School, near Hertford, that was formed by the East India Company in the days of the Raj, originally known as East India College and then the Imperial Services College. 

Notable alumini include Clement Attlee, Rudyard Kipling, Stirling Moss and Alan Ayckbourn. A similar event to mark St David�s Day is to be held on 28th February, complete with Welsh lamb, leeks and a male voice choir. The weather here has been unseasonably warm for the past month, generally about -5C, but things are back to normal now at -35C! I felt sorry for the Scots in full regalia leaving the hotel on Saturday night! I hope to see you all later in the year. Incidentally, there are rumours of a Rotary Club being formed here. How things have changed since I arrived 27 months ago!

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ROTARY LOANS FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has now loaned �600 to support small businesses in developing countries. The loans have been made to a variety of entrepreneurs from a farmer in Ecuador to a greengrocer in Malawi. The loans are made through www.lendwithcare.org and next month marks the first anniversary of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s lending through this organisation. The entrepreneurs who have benefited are from Africa, Asia and South America.  The loans have helped them to enhance their businesses and provide local employment opportunities. Said Chris Allsop, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s International Services chair:  ï¿½We have received repayments amounting to �400 with further repayments expected in the next few months which we will re-loan. The club has also approved �300 of similar loan money for enterprises such as farming, sales and transport.� He added that the loans have already assisted some 60 different businesses. Further details are on the lendwithcare.org website.

 

Mike Evans of the Rotary District International Committee added:  ï¿½This project is a very effective and sustainable way of lifting people out of poverty, giving them a hand up, not a hand out. There are now 11 clubs in the district participating in this project with more expected shortly. It has engaged the interest of club members and most clubs are adding further capital to their loan accounts with lendwithcare.�

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ROTARIANS TO HELP PUPILS WITH READING

Rotarians are embarking on a new project with a local primary school. Members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, together with wives and partners, are to assist year one pupils at GrangePrimary School, Shrewsbury, with their reading. They have undergone a training session under the guidance of deputy head Suzy Mann and will shortly begin one to one reading with the children.

 

A rota will be drawn up for regular Rotary visits to the school for an hour and a half of reading with the year ones.  A total of 18 Rotarians, wives and partners have volunteered for the project. Said organiser Kerry Ferguson of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  ï¿½We thought this would be helpful and put the idea to the school who are delighted with the support. We are starting with reading and it could develop into further support for numeracy.� Said Mrs. Mann:  ï¿½We are thrilled to be developing such an exciting project with the Rotary club.  It's a great opportunity for us to work together to develop the skills of our young readers.�

 

 

 It�s a classroom setting for Rotarians and wives who will help pupils with their reading.  Mrs. Suzy Mann is sitting back left.

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BUTTERFLY BEATS THE BAT

The Dingy Skipper, as opposed to the bat as an endangered specie, certainly caught the imagination of Rotarians when Rob Doran, a volunteer for Shropshire Wildlife Trust, spoke to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Despite its name, a freshly-emerged Dingy Skipper reveals a subtle pattern of browns and greys that is quite beautiful.  And Rob revealed this butterfly�s strongholds in Shropshire are the Granville and Ercall areas of the county. However, Rob wasn�t drawn into comment from Rotarian Tim Hughes who expressed his dislike of bats and queried why these creatures were held in such importance.

�When inhabiting buildings they create considerable mess together with the associated health risk and also cause difficulties regarding planning applications which impose time delays and cost,� said Tim. ï¿½It is difficult to understand how bats can be compared with creatures like the Dingy Skipper butterfly which, as Rob outlined, is a very important indicator of a successful habitat,� he added.

Tim was one of the responders to Rob�s talk to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary on behalf of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust whose headquarters are a quarter of a mile from Rotary�s meeting place at the Lord Hill Hotel in Abbey Foregate. In a most interesting slide presentation, Rob, a member of the Trust since 1995 and a volunteer in the Telford area, saidShropshire now had 40 nature reserves. He revealed a massive decline in nature species and a 72% decline in butterflies. ï¿½The work of the Trust is to preserve habitats before they become significantly worse � we need to halt the decline,� said Rob who was speaking to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary as an ambassador of the organization. Most of our work such as planting trees and shrubs as well as maintaining paths and gates and carrying out scrub clearance takes place in the winter.�

Rob outlined many successful conservation schemes throughout the county where the Trust works in partnership with external organisations, including some 30 commercial partners. He highlighted as an example work done in the Telford area with E.ON.

He referred to the importance of keeping the River Severn in favourable condition as well flood management to increase the grassland on a flood plain. ï¿½We are working to increase the habitat land on a flood plain. The Severn is a major wildlife habitat,� said Rob.  ï¿½We are also working with land owners to restore pools and slow the flow of streams in the north of the county.� He added by encouraging Rotarians and others to consider wildlife gardens to encourage wildife.

Rob with president Mervyn

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NOW THREE MUSKETEERS GO HEAD TO HEAD�

Gordon, Alan and Peter who are going chin to chin in a Severn Hospice fund raiser

Now there are three Musketeers�

Gordon Duncan and Peter Love have now been joined by Alan Eames in a head and beard shave to raise funds for Severn Hospice. All three Rotarians were involved in Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s recent Santa sleigh programme and are now willing to go (head to head) and brave the cold in support of the Severn Hospice. Gordon, Peter and Alan are looking for support from Rotarians, families and friends over the next month prior to the head and beard shave which will be at the Lord Hill Hotel.

Date and time to be announced very shortly.

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RYLA PAIR DESCRIBE HOW THEIR PERSONALITIES HAVE CHANGED

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s latest two Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) candidates have written to the club expressing thanks for their sponsorship and updating members on their progress. The pair, Robert Jackson, 18, and Rosanna Floyd, 17, were the first two RYLA candidates to return to the club and describe their experience in a joint power point presentation which highly impressed Rotarians. Now, in a further communication with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, they have unilaterally explained how their personalities have undergone positive changes.

Said Robert:  �We both have offers from respective universities.  Rosanna has completed at least three work experience programs in two secondary schools and one primary school which took her well out of her comfort area and wouldn't have had the guts to do before and showed her that she wants to teach in a secondary school not a primary school. ï¿½Also, I was invited to do a speech about RYLA and my experience to the Newport (Shropshire) Rotary  Club which I did with relative ease as they don't have as many members as your Rotary club and I think that I managed to influence them to give RYLA another shot. We are still in Shrewsbury Sixth Form College together and are in the same history class together so we see an awful lot of each other."

�We also saw the article about us in the Rotary magazine and we enjoyed it very much and even boasted about it to our RYLA buddies as we still keep in touch with each other and meet up on occasion and even claimed that we were Rotary celebrities."

�Happy New Year from the Confident Double Act, Rosanna and Rob.�

The communication was forwarded to Rotarian Donald Thompson, the club�s youth opportunities officer, who is responsible for sponsorship of RYLA candidates. He was delighted to hear from Robert and Rosanna as was club president Mervyn Davies. Commenting on the communication, Mervyn said:  �That is really nice.  I am pleased that the effect, friendships and thanks are ongoing. I am also glad that Robert has shared his experience with another club. Please could you pass on the thanks of myself and the club for this update.�

The two RYLA students pictured at a Rotary meeting in 2014

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COLLEGE STUDENTS ENTERTAIN ROTARIANS

Students from Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology entertained members and partners at Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s annual Christmas party at the Lord Hill Hotel. A choir of more than 20 students sang a mixture of traditional carols and other favourite songs following the turkey meal enjoyed by 60 Rotarians and guests. The party was presided over by president Mervyn who wished everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year.

The club�s next meetings are on January 6 and 13

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ROTARY ANNOUNCES ITS SEASONAL CHARITY RESULTS

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is pleased to announce that the Tree of Light in Shrewsbury�s Darwin Centre raised nearly �6,000 and its Santa sleigh which visited villages, supermarkets, Shrewsbury football stadium and Cineworld made just over �7,000.

The results of these charity fundraising activities were similar to last year.

Said club president Mervyn Davies: "These are tremendous totals for funds raised which will benefit many people and are the result of a great deal of hard work by our members. I would like to thank them and everyone who has supported us in any way over the festive season. It is always a pleasure to help share the joy of Christmas with the Santa Sleigh"

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SANTA�S THANKS TO GRACE AND HEIDI

These special drawings, which were given to me on the Santa sleigh, preciously depict Christmas in the eyes of two very young charming people.To both of them, Grace of Bomere Heath and Heidi of Shawbury, I am greatly appreciative of the time and thought they took with their lovely drawings which helped make my time on the 2014 Santa sleigh mean so much and be so memorable.

 

I will keep them safe.

 

Rotarian and Santa helper Peter Love

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ROTARY GIFT NEW BOOKS TO PRIMARY PUPILS

New books have been presented to year one pupils at Shrewsbury�s Grange Primary School by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. The 28 year one pupils were each given a book of their choice as part of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s support for the school, which will also include a reading and arithmetic initiative. The books, ranging from princesses to dinosaurs, were presented to each of the children by head teacher Marie Sibley. Present to see the pupils excitedly receive their books were Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary president Mervyn Davies and Kerry Ferguson, chair of Community & Vocational Services.

 

In a short address to the children, head teacher Marie explained the work of Rotary in raising money for charity and other worthy causes and she thanked Rotary for the generous gifts. ï¿½These are all books of your own choice, they belong to you and can be kept at home to help with your reading,� she told pupils.

 

Said Rotarian Mervyn Davies:  ï¿½It was a very special moment seeing the children's faces light up like Christmas morning when they were told that the books were their�s to keep. ï¿½We hope that it will encourage them to enjoy reading regularly and be successful in future.�

  Pupils with their books from left to right Davey Taylor, 6, Demi-Lee Woodward, 5, Mackenzie Bond, 5, and Kaitlin Burgess, 6.  Standing behind Rotarian Mervyn Davies, head teacher Marie Sibley and Rotarian Kerry Ferguson.

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SHROPSHIRE FAMILIES SPENDING AN AVERAGE OF �1,000 THIS CHRISTMAS

Just Credit Union, Shropshire and Telford�s community bank, is reflecting local people�s spending this Christmas. The average family spend over the Christmas period is �1,000 while the average loan is �400. The statistics were fed to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary by Just Credit Union board member and Financial Inclusion Manager for Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing Caroline Morris. Caroline told Rotarians that Just Credit Union, currently based at the Guildhall, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, was meeting a big change with government welfare reforms.

�With Universal Credit coming into Shropshire next year Just Credit Union will be working closely with housing providers,� said Caroline. She commented that amongst the bank�s 4,000 members the fire service, county council and teachers were saving by payroll deduction.  Savings with the credit union were currently �1.1m.

�We are looking for middle earners who will support us by saving.  For money which is invested through savings is money which is lent within the community providing local people access to affordable credit,� said Caroline.

She said Just Credit Union loans to people in Shropshire, including Oswestry, were averaging �400 and that more than 2500 loans were made locally in the last financial year.

Just Credit Union employs eight people based at the Guildhall and provides a �drop in� service.

It�s giveaway time for Caroline Morris with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary president Mervyn Davies

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ROTARY SPONSORS STUDENTS WHO MEET STARS

Students on a Rotary sponsored performing arts visit toLondon�s West End saw War Horse and met the cast in what they have described as a �real life experience.� Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary helped finance theShrewsbury College trip to London which also took in The Book of Mormon for which people have been waiting many months for tickets.

 

A summary of the London West End visit was given to Rotarians by Andy Pierce, lecturer in performing arts, and 17 year olds Daisy Bain and Kelly Evans who are studying a performing arts course for their BTEC national qualification. Andy described how the students had also raised money for the trip, including performing for the National Trust at AttinghamPark, which raised �300. Together with another �300 from onesie sales and silences, it met the match funding from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

 

�We are grateful to receive your money to help us and it got us to London,� said Andy.  ï¿½Students put money in themselves and others who needed help were given it.  This was a really worthwhile educational experience.� He spoke of the benefits to students of seeing professionals only a little older than themselves, and arranging their own tours so that they got an understanding of what he described as a �very hard dream.�

 

�Some students had never been to London.  They have done that now.  At the start of the year when students go for auditions to RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) they will not be worried about London ï¿½ which would have put them off. ï¿½They might turn up at audition and this will help them to be better placed.  Seeing shows and meeting the cast is a life experience and being in the city and using the tube might ultimately be the most valuable thing. Many people who go to drama school may do a degree to fall back on.  But the main point of going is to get your skills onto the highest levels to audition for a job.�

 

Daisy told Rotarians they had really enjoyed the two West Endshows.  She spoke of meeting cast members and talking to them about their experiences.  ï¿½The fact they were real people that we could meet and talk to is incredible.� Said Kelly:  ï¿½Having that opportunity was eye opening.�

 

In a vote of thanks to Andy and the students, Rotarian Alan Paterson said it was a �delight� to hear at first hand how the Rotary money had been spent. ï¿½We share in your enthusiasm and the clarity with which you put over the visit.  What more would we expect of performing artists. We really do hope things will move on for you and we shall see your names in lights.�

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ROTARY HELPS NONAGENARIAN LISTEN TO BOOKS AND MUSIC 

Nonagenarian Stanley Edwards who has never had a television in his life can now listen to books and music � thanks to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Stanley, 92, who lives in a one bedroom warden controlled bungalow in Shawbury, has been provided with an audio player for books and music from CD�s. Stanley, a retired gardener and a widower for the last two years, is �thrilled� with the player which provides him with hours of daytime entertainment. Said his daughter Mrs. Joan Rust:  ï¿½My father is registered partially blind and the audio player is proving a Godsend to him in the daytime.

 

�He can�t get about very much and relies on listening to books and music as he has never had a television and can no longer do the hobbies which used to keep him active. His eyesight limits his ability to even cope with the controls on the radio so he is thrilled to have the audio player which he finds so much easier to use. He is most grateful for Rotary�s support and can�t thank the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire club enough for so readily donating the player which is making a big difference to his life.� She added:  ï¿½I wrote to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary asking if they could assist and there was no hesitation.�

 

Said Kerry Ferguson, chair of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s community and vocational services committee:  ï¿½This is an excellent example of how Rotary can provide direct help locally.�

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SANTA�S BEST-EVER CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Santa will shortly pick up the best present of this Christmas�his totally refurbished sleigh and a new Rudolph.

Thanks to the generosity of students and staff at Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology Santa�s sleigh has had its first full makeover.The refurbished sleigh made its first appearance in Shrewsbury Square on Wednesday November 19 at the switch on of the town�s lights.

Representatives of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotaryhave visited the college to collect the sleigh and to thank students and staff for their commitment to the three month refurbishment project. More than a dozen painting and decorating students aged 16 to 19 worked on the project outside of their vocational studies.  Said Bruce Rolls, Curriculum Leader, Construction & Building Services:  �They all wanted to be involved in this community project which included dealing with the client, making a presentation and working to deadlines to the customer�s satisfaction. They have been able to use wider skills and have benefitted from a broader development beyond the academic side.  The closer to reality, the better the prospects for individual students.�

One of them, Liam Thomas, 17, of Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, was encouraged and motivated by learning support assistant Sam Lindsay who has provided pastoral support.

The chassis was straightened and strengthened by staff in the engineering department who have also provided the sleigh with a roof for Santa.

Said Mervyn Davies, President of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  �The re-appearance of the sleigh is looked forward to by all concerned and it is great to have a safe and appealing sleigh for young and not so young to enjoy.

�I am sure that Santa will appreciate a safer and more comfortable sleigh and he will ensure the students and staff will be on his list for visits this Christmas. We are most grateful to all at the college for their commitment to this excellent refurbishment,� he added.

SANTA SLEIGH�S BUSY PROGRAMME

Santa, his elves and sleigh begin their busy festive programme this Wednesday (November 19) from 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm when they will be in Shrewsbury Square for the switch on of the town�s Christmas lights. It is also the night of the switch on of the Rotary Tree of Light in the Darwin Centre, Pride Hill, at 7.00 pm. The Santa sleigh programme, organised by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, moves to Shrewsbury Town FC�s ground on November 29 where they will continue their collections for local and Rotary charities between 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm.

On December 5 and 6 the Santa sleigh will be at Tesco from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm.

The first of the village sleigh tours starts at Shawbury on December 8 (6.00 pm until 8.30 pm) followed by Hadnall on December 10 (6.00 pm until 8.30 pm) and High Ercall on December 11 (6.00 pm until 8.30 pm).

The sleigh is at Sainsbury�s on December 12 (10.00 am until 6.00 pm) and the following day sees a �first� for the sleigh which will be at Cineworld from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm.

On December 15 the sleigh is at Bomere Heath (6.30 pm until 8.30 pm); December 17 Sundorne, Shrewsbury (6.00 pm until 8.30 pm); December 18 Mount Pleasant, Shrewsbury (6.00 pm until 8.30 pm); December 19 and 20 Asda (10.00 am until 6.00 pm); December 22 and 23 Morrison�s (10.00 am until 6.00 pm).

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary hope shoppers and villagers will support the Santa sleigh as generously as in previous years.

Over the last three months the sleigh has undergone a makeover thanks to students and staff at Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.

Rybrook of Shrewsbury is kindly providing Rotary with a towing vehicle to take the sleigh around the villages.

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ROTARIANS SPELLBOUND!

 

A fascinating demonstration of cutting stained glass was given to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary members who were spellbound by the techniques. One of the techniques, cutting a right angle with a diamond saw, was highlighted to Rotarians who were also shown an oil cutter with a steel wheel and lead cutting plyers.

 

Peter Amis, of Shrewsbury, demonstrated the cutting and the use of copper foil, taking a piece of glass cut to shape, sticking it on, doing the same with the next piece and then soldering. With tallow on the lead and a solder blob, he said it was very much an art that needed practice. Rotarians were under no illusion that it needed a lot of practice.

 

He described how glass was thicker at the bottom than the top; and using various oxides of metals, iron, copper and silver to colour the glass. The Egyptians founded glass and the Romans brought it toEngland.  The Romans had glaziers who imported glass fromGermany and Northern France in the 11th century. He spoke of 13th century glass in Shrewsbury which came from Trier Cathedral, Athens, at a time when this country didn�t have a lot of money.  But the churches, which were rich, decided they would have windows and stained glass 14th century heraldry came in.

 

The Victorians decided they wanted glass in their churches so they designed a standard window with pressed glass. Said Peter:  ï¿½Glass is heated up, put in presses and fitted to a pattern.  A piece of coloured glass is put behind it, put into a glass armoire and into a glass window.  Bicton Church has such a window. Hand made glass is still produced in the Midlands in whatever colour you like.  And there are thousands of colours in computer controlled production.�

 

Peter, who worked for a long-established Shrewsbury firm Goode and Davies, encouraged members to try their hand at glass cutting.  ï¿½You never know what you can do,� he added.

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CARING FOR ATTINGHAM PARK

The cost of maintaining Attingham Park, in addition to new expenditure on the Picture Gallery roof, has been outlined to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. Speaking at their meeting on Tuesday, Saraid Jones, Engagement and Conservation Officer, said it costs �1m just to �keep Attingham running� each year and �1.4m was needed to repair the Picture Gallery roof.

 Visitors to Attingham Park included 77,000 to the house and 370,000 in the parkland so maintenance of visitor facilities is also important, said Saraid.

 Work also needs to take place on the wider estate such as works to Cronkhill, the John Nash Italianate villa on the road to Crosshouses.  New walks have been opened up such as a picnic site by Tern Bridge which faces the house.

 In a history of Attingham Park where she has worked for the last six years, Saraid talked affectionately about her role looking after its antique collections � including its �fantastic silverware� - and day to day running of the property which dates back to 1782.

 She said the interiors were currently being revived including work as part of the Attingham Re-discovered Project and the focus for next year will be starting to tell the stories of the first floor rooms.

 Rotarians were also told how various Lords Berwick from the Hill family had played significant parts in the history ofAttingham Park ï¿½ including a bankruptcy sale.

 Local people may still remember Attingham Park being home to Concord College Girls, Edgbaston Girls School and ShropshireAdult Education College, including a period when Sir George Trevelyan was involved.  

 A research project about the college is currently ongoing, she added, and the team would be keen to receive written memories of the college.

 Commenting on the next few months, Saraid added that the winter tour programme would commence in November and the Christmas decorations in the house during December.

 

.

Saraid and Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary President Mervyn Davies discuss Attingham Park�s winter tour programme.

Photograph courtesy of Paul Highnam

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RYLA CANDIDATES GIVE JOINT POWER POINT PRESENTATION TO SPONSORS

A confident double act�

That was how Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s Vice President Kerry Ferguson described the joint power point presentation by Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) candidates Robert Jackson, 18, and Rosanna Ford, 17.

 It was the first time that RYLA candidates, sponsored by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, had presented their experiences in a technology form.

�We are most impressed how your confidence has developed,� said Kerry, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s Chair of Community and Vocational Services. They both spoke about their 6 in the morning wake up and the various activities in which they had taken part, from coracle and raft building to an assault course and mask making and decorating.

 ï¿½We all of us on the course bonded so well and we have come friends for life,� said Rosanna, who like Robert is a student at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College.

 ï¿½It was brilliant because we got a lot from RYLA.  We all missed each other so much afterwards because we bonded so well that my group of girls met up at my house for a sleep over.� ï¿½We are keeping in contact through Facebook,� said Robert who added:  ï¿½We gained confidence in communication skills.�

 

Left to right:  Rotarian Donald Thompson (Youth Opportunities), Robert, Rosanna and Rotarian Mervyn Davies (President). 

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WHERE BOOKS ARE LIKE SUNSHINE

Books are like sunshine to the children of Uganda.

 

Omushana, Sunshine for Children, is a charity set up by friends from both Uganda and the UK who share goals to change the lives of children. Similarly they aim to contribute to conservation through education in the areas around the mountain gorilla reserves in Africa.   

A talk on this charity was given by co-founder and trustee Gill Castle to members of Shawbury and Mid ShropshireRotary on September 9. She told Rotarians that Omushana means sunshine in Rukiga, the local language in the locality of BwindiImpenetrable Forest, South West Uganda, where the project was founded. Both Rukiga and English appear in the full title of the charity (Omushana, Sunshine for Children) because the project was founded on a partnership between Uganda and the UK.

 

Gill said the essence of Omushana is to make a positive contribution to children�s lives by improving their educational opportunities, welfare, confidence and enjoyment.  ï¿½We achieve this by providing and delivering equipment and grants to schools and groups working to support children - particularly orphans - in the Mgahinga and Bwindi areas of Uganda. Our focus is to fulfil specific requests, where the benefits will be shared by large numbers of children. �

 

She told how she worked at a school on the edge of the forest and for the children it was the first time they had seen a computer and moving pictures.  She left two computers at the school and the charity expanded from that small start.

 

Since then a community library has been built at that school and last week solar power was installed to allow the laptops to run.

 

One of the charity�s priority projects this year is providing text books for the local curriculum.  The aim is to provide schools with at least one copy of each essential book so that at least the teacher has a copy to teach the subject. Each school completes a list of which books they are missing and Omushana is working its way through the list! Gill said a lot of our secondary schools had given their old text books.  There is now also a need for more books in the local language. Gill, who has visited Uganda eight times since 2010, said the children were cheerful and hard working, helping their parents with the growing of crops, child care and many other tasks but also desperate to attend school which is often a great challenge.

 

Very few go on to secondary education and university is prohibitively expensive.  So another of Omushana�s priorities is the development of vocational schools which encourage young people to learn a trade and help them become electricians, plumbers and motor mechanics. ï¿½Self employment is the way forward.�

 

She showed the group pictures of Uganda�s special wildlife with its Three-Horned Chameleon, the endangered mountain Gorillas and the national emblem the Grey-crowned Crane.  She said there were over 1,300 species of bird in Uganda ï¿½ more than any other country in the world. ï¿½Uganda has taken over my life,� said Gill.  ï¿½I came back after my first visit and couldn�t get it out of my head.  I really didn�t know why I loved it so much, but I think it is a combination of the wildlife, scenery and people � especially the kids who stuck in my mind.� She added that many of the community groups supported by Omushana produce their own crafts, making baskets, jewellery and carvings, some of which she showed to Rotarians.

 

website www.omushana.org or gill@omushana.org

 

Anyone interested in finding out more about Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary can contact President Mervyn Davies on 01939 210997 or email mervyn.davies1@sky.com

 

Gill with Rotarians Iain Gilmour, left (Speaker Secretary) and Mervyn Davies (Club President) and some crafts.

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THE NEED TO BUILD MEMBERSHIP � DISTRICT GOVERNOR

The need to spend time �more productively� building membership has been emphasised to Rotarians by District Governor Lynne Marshall. Speaking at a Special District Council meeting in Penkridge on September 1, the District Governor stressed that it was vital to halt the membership decline. ï¿½If we do nothing we shall surely die as a district,� she told the meeting which was attended by more than 80 club delegates. She said growth must come not only from existing clubs, but from the formation of new clubs in new locations.

�Some districts are running their own advertising campaign.�

The question was raised as to whether District 1210 could run its own advertising campaign as part of �trying something a bit different.� District Governor Elect Richard Green took up the theme:  �If you would like us to consider a subvention for an advertising campaign let us hear what you think,� he told the meeting. Said Past District Governor Bill Hitchen: "Ask someone to join your club.  That's the way to be effective."

The District Governor added that she was pleased with the progress of the two newest clubs, Boscobel Oaks and Six Towns Stoke on Trent.

The Special District Council meeting was called to clarify issues over re-districting in what District Governor Lynne described as a �friendly discussion purely to get views.�

Date of the next District Council is November 18.

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A NIGHT AT THE CASTLE

Roger de Montgomery has featured twice in a fortnight in talks to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. When a group of Rotarians visited Shrewsbury Castle and Regimental Museum last Tuesday the name Roger de Montgomery was prominent. For Roger de Montgomery built fortifications on the Welsh border to keep the warring Welsh at bay but he didn�t see ShrewsburyCastle completed.  He became a monk at the nearby Abbey and three days later he died.

King Edward was the great castle builder who made Shrewsbury Castle, which started in 1096 and was completed in 1150.  And so it became a fortification for a considerable time.

In a previous recent talk to Rotary the Rev. Paul Firmin, vicar of the Abbey, affectionately spoke of Roger de Montgomery as one of the last great saints and so Roger de Montgomery was mentioned again by castle guide John Taylor who gave Rotarians a history of the castle through periods when it has been in and out of use. It was once a town house for Lord Pulteney, the local MP who brought in Thomas Telford who raised the roof and put in large windows. The castle was eventually bought by Shropshire Horticultural Society who gave the castle to the council who reverted it back to what it was like in Norman times. The council retired from the castle in 1978 and for four years it used for large events and weddings.

It became a regimental museum in 1986 and was bombed by the IRA in 1992.  The ground floor Shropshire Yeomanry collection was wrecked and a lot of early artefacts were lost. Shrewsbury Castle and Shropshire Regimental Museum attracts an average of 25,000 visitors a year which guide John Taylor revealed was already 1,000 up on last year. He said the castle was attracting a lot of foreign visitors, including many Germans who were now teaching first and second world war history in their schools. Highlights of the tour were many, including the castle�s Onslow roof of 1571 and guide John gave an interesting account of the IRA bombing which wrecked the Shropshire Yeomanry collection on the ground floor.  A lot of early artefacts were among 60% of small exhibits lost.

Rotarians were shown many of the castle�s treasures and showcase highlights, including the modern army of today including a complete set of kit from a soldier in Afghanistan. There were weapons aplenty, including an SA80 and Armalite and AK47 which fired in any condition, from ice and snow to dust.  A general purpose machine gun and light support weapon, 28lbs in weight and capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. The tour of the museum took the party of Rotarians to the 2nd Afghan war.  The 85th The Kings Shropshire Light Infantry were involved in the 1878-80 war. There were a pair of Chinese silver incense burners; an array of South African medals issued to members of the Shropshire Regiment for the Boer War 1899-1902.

Sergeant Harold Whitfield�s VC in the first world war collection; a German anti-tank rifle of 1918; a German machine gun which was water cooled and could fire 550 rounds a minute.

The first soldier killed in the 2nd World War was Corp T.W. Priday of the 1st Btn KSLI near Metz on December 9 1939.  A display remembers the first British Army fatality of WW2.

ROTARIANS BUSY AFTER V FESTIVAL

A photo capturing the aftermath of the V Festival at Weston Park on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border.

But it isn�t all rubbish.

Rotarians from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club salvaged about 50 tents as well as sleeping bags, mattresses and folding chairs in a district-wide clean-up campaign.

Rotarians from clubs in the district were kept busy at the end of the V Festival collecting camping equipment for re-use. As many as 500 volunteers, including a number from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, collected tents and other camping gear which will be sent to countries where the equipment can be used again.

As thousands of festival-goers packed up and headed home, the Rotarians sprang into action, collecting thousands of abandoned tents, deckchairs, sleeping bags and items of clothing.The collected items were then loaded onto a truck for transportation to the International Aid Trust where it is sorted, cleaned and packed for distribution to where it is needed. Many of the items will go to children�s summer camps in various parts of the world.

Image courtesy of Rotarian Mike Mortimer

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ONE OF THE LAST GREAT SAINTS

The vicar of the Abbey Church Rev Paul Firmin has spoken affectionately of their most famous �son.� He was giving a talk to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary on Shrewsbury�s famous, but underrated son, Robert de Montgomery.

�Roger de Montgomery was one of the great men of this county,� said Paul who has re-joined Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary after an absence of some 10 years. Roger, who died in 1094, was Earl of Shrewsbury and also Lewes and he developed the Castle, the older �twin� sister to the Abbey, which followed when his position was secure. ï¿½The reason for the building of the Abbey was for very possibly for penitential reasons.  He wanted to ensure his mortal soul was safe. ï¿½Earl Roger is likely buried between the two altars of the Abbey.  The tomb cover is the only piece of tomb-ware which is original to the Abbey of which he was the benefactor.

�Roger was one of the half dozen greatest magnates in England during William the Conqueror's reign.�

Paul rides to Rotary on his bike

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Fred McDonogh

On his first visit back to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary since he took up a new post in Abu Dhabi, associate member Fred McDonogh has been talking about his experiences in the United Arab Emirates. Fred. 57, a qualified chemical engineer, became an associate member when his application for the job in Abu Dhabi was confirmed.  He got the job before he could be formally voted a member of the club. It is just less than a year since Fred, of Porthill Gardens,Shrewsbury, took up the role of overseeing the planning and construction of a new aluminium foil plant in Abu Dhabi.

 

He is currently reviewing bids to build the $250 million plant and hopes that construction will begin at the end of the first quarter next year.  The project will take between two and three years to complete. ï¿½My remit is to build the plant and then run the business,� Fred explained.  ï¿½The interesting thing about Abu Dhabi is that is it developing very quickly. ï¿½Two years� ago the Sheikh laid out his vision for 2030 and part of that was to move the economy�s dependence on oil and gas to the manufacture of other products.  This includes the creation of higher value products that will use metal.� He said 20% of the population are Emirati and the remainder are expats like himself.  Of the expats there is a 7-1 male to female ratio.  The Emirati�s are trying not to rely on the management and skills of the expats. ï¿½There are many construction projects as the economy is growing.  There is a vast tourism sector and Abu Dhabihas a nice climate for eight months of the year.

 

�Because Abu Dhabi has developed after Dubai, they are paying a lot more attention to the details of planning. There is a rigorous planning structure and rules that have to be obeyed. ï¿½There are four levels of parking for a large apartment tower in order to make it efficient and avoid traffic gridlock.  ï¿½Abu Dhabi is an island with two coasts which have been nicely developed.  The 14 km western cornice has imaginative planning with an amenity area that includes walking and cycling paths, places to eat and children�s playgrounds.

 

�The striking thing is the apparent wealth of the Emirati mainly because it is a small country with a lot of oil.  The country is well managed and well run.  They have a plan and like to see things done properly. ï¿½The Urban Planning Council is run by a Scotsman � they are not afraid to bring in people who will do an effective job at managing.� Fred said he was �very happy� in Abu Dhabi.  ï¿½I have made friends through the Welsh Society that I have formally joined.  There is also an Irish Society, but I haven�t joined that yet,� said Fred who originates from CountyGalway in the west of Ireland. He hasn�t yet found Rotary.  ï¿½There doesn�t appear to be any Rotary activity in Abu Dhabi,� he explained. However, he is hoping to re-visit Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary in November.  ï¿½I will definitely be back for Christmas,� he added.

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ROTARIAN PETE KICKBOXES HIS WAY TO LOSING WEIGHT

Rotarian Pete Savage wanted to get fit and lose weight. But at the same time, get a kick out of it. The Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotarian has achieved just that � by joining Astons Kickboxing Academy. In less than two years, the veteran kickboxer has not only lost over two stones, but become a champion in the veterans class of the martial art.

 

�I never would have believed it,� said Pete, 54, whose daytime profession is a will writer. ï¿½It relieves stress and both mentally and physically has done me a power of good.� Yet he had never previously considered kickboxing as a way of exercising and losing weight � despite the fact his 15 year old daughter Jo had been active in the sport for two years previously. ï¿½I used to come along to the academy and watch Jo, but it never interested me to join.  I suddenly changed my mind, had a go at it and have never looked back,� said Pete who has since won British kickboxing championships.

 

�I would recommend anyone to come along and do what I have done � whatever their age.  It is far more interesting than a gym and I get a real kick out of this martial art.� Chris Aston, who has run AKA in Castle Foregate,Shrewsbury, for the last five years, said Pete had been a �role model� member.

 

�He has achieved championship standard in the veterans class whilst his daughter has gone on to even higher levels, already becoming a European champion. ï¿½They will both be competing at our next overseas event in Belgium at the end of September,� added Chris who has 65 members in his club which meets Monday to Friday.

 

Said Pete:  ï¿½I might be able to use this martial art as a way of raising money for charity.  I am looking into the possibility.�

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DAVID�S SPORTING TALENTS ECLIPSED BY TALENT IN PHARMACOLOGY

 

He went to the same grammar school as Fran Cotton, the famousEngland and Lions rugby player.  He captained a cricket X1 with David Hughes, the ex-Lancashire skipper, in the side. And he played in a Jim Parks benefit match with the legendary Peter May in the team � and outscored him! If that wasn�t enough, he captained a side including Geoffrey Boycott �who confirmed his 100% focus on self.�

 

Rotarian David Owen was guest speaker at a meeting of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary on July 22. His sporting achievements were actually eclipsed by his talent in pharmacology in which he gained a Ph.D at Aston University. He told Rotarians and guests at the meeting that his studies created a key inventive understanding, recognised in a crucial patent without which were would not have been investment in development. The drug is SK&F 101468, Ropinirole, trade name Requip, used to treat symptoms in patients with Parkinson�s disease. Requip has sold $500 million per annum for 15 years.

 

David outlined his involvement in three distinct phases: R&D in the pharmaceutical industry; Technology Transfer at the Medical Research Council; an ongoing collection of responsibilities including monoclonal antibodies and genetics.

 

He told of a debate on genetics and in particular sequencing the human genome which resulted in an appearance in the Radio 4 Today studio with Peter Hobday and Brian Redhead as well as on Newsnight and many other media. He also made a solo two hour appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Research reviewing genetic research.

 

�One final point on genetics,� said David.  ï¿½Rotarians may remember that when the first full human gene sequence was completed, suddenly Tony Blair and Bill Clinton decided it was they who would announce the success to the world.  I had seen neither in a lab coat!� And he told how he had become a �huge fan� of Princess Anne when she opened laboratories in Edinburgh for which he had responsibility. ï¿½She was impressive.  She read the brief and fully understood it,� he added.

Rotarian Dr David Owen

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SHAWBURY AND MID ROTARY�S �750 DONATIONS 

Three applications for funding have been given the green light by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

 British Red Cross Shropshire Carers have been given an initial donation of �250. Said Kerry Ferguson who chairs Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s community and vocational services:  �We consider the work of carers to be very worthwhile and our initial donation reflects that. ï¿½We shall be re-visiting this to see what more we might be able to do in the coming weeks.�

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary will purchase a machine which helps blind and partially sighted people operate CDs and audio books. This will be supplied to a 92 year old partially sighted person in Shawbury.

 A third donation of �250 has been made to West Mercia Probation Trust.  This is for their emergency fund to assist people to get back in to work.

 Anyone interested in joining Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary can contact president Mervyn Davies atmervyn.davies1@sky.com or telephone 01939 210997.

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ROTARIANS TOLD TO �BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO ROTARY�

Breathe new life into Rotary was the theme of Shropshire�s top Rotarian on a visit to one of the county�s clubs. District Governor Lynne Marshall, who heads up 55 Rotary clubs in a district that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of theWest Midlands, said recruitment of new members and forming clubs represented the future.

 

She told Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  ï¿½The trend of losing more members than we gain cannot continue.  We cannot sit back and be complacent.  For if we do nothing we will surely die as a district. ï¿½We need to be certain of our district�s future by bringing in new members and forming new clubs.  Each of us needs to bring in at least one new member and we need to promote membership in a new way.Breathing new life into Rotary is the theme and new life translates into membership.  Keeping our members and encouraging new members.  And new life is new projects, ideas and activities with all Rotarians becoming involved in new life by bringing activities to their clubs. We need to bring new life and keep going so that our wonderful organisation cannot die.  The target is to raise membership by one net new member which I know is going to happen in Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. Quality, active Rotarians with high ethical standards in business and service is what all clubs need.  Helping young people nationally and internationally is also important in Rotary service.�

 

The District Governor said trends had affected Rotary and it was therefore important � and necessary � to attract people into the organisation.  For example, by bringing in new club structures with less formality. ï¿½The theme for the new Rotary year is �Light up Rotary� by sharing our service and lighting up Rotary by reaching our goal of 1.2 million Rotarians.�

 

She spoke of serving the community locally, nationally and internationally and with projects such as Bikes4Africa and MedicMalawi, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire was already �lighting up Rotary.� ï¿½I would encourage you to carry out a Rotary Day so that I can present you with a certificate.  A Rotary Day event can take any form as long as it is fun and appealing.

You probably already do something which could qualify for Rotary Day.�

 

She also spoke of the need to eradicate polio.  ï¿½We do need to get the job finished,� Mrs. Marshall added.

 

Anyone interested in joining Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary can contact president Mervyn Davies on 01939 210997 or emailmervyn.davies1@sky.com

The District Governor with members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.
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GARETH HANDS OVER TO MERVYN

It was an evening when virtually every member of the club got a mention if not a thank you. It was of course the handover evening.

 

But it was hosted in his now familiar inimitable style by Gareth Watkins, president for the last 12 months. He handed over the chain of office to vice president Mervyn Davies who in turn presented the vice president�s chain to Kerry Ferguson.

 

Gareth told the handover meeting on June 24 that it was almost two years since Geoff Lloyd asked him if he would like to take the job on. I can�t believe where this year has gone.  It�s flown by,� said Gareth who admitted he had been �apprehensive� about taking on the role. ï¿½It is of course fear of the unknown, but I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed my year and I am honoured and proud to have been president of this great club.  We do have a lot of laughter and fun."

 

�I feel we have achieved some of the objectives whilst a few are still on going.  It�s been a successful year and I thank you for your support,� he told members. One of the highlights of his year was visiting the RYLA camp and seeing the endeavour of young people.  This, he said, had been a �delight.� He also described it as a �great year� for fundraising with the golf day raising �4,000-plus for prostate cancer; Tree of Light �6,000; Santa sleigh �7,500.

 

For Rotarian of the year, he said there were �plenty of candidates� but his choice had gone to someone new to the club who had taken on a chairmanship and delivered a �great job.� The trophy went to Chris Hudson, chair of club services and fellowship.  ï¿½It�s been a brilliant year in terms of what we have had and what we have achieved,� praised Gareth.

 

Alex Reid was the best attendee followed by Colin Sharp. Though the president himself had missed only two meetings. Following the handover, Mervyn described �what a tough act� he was to follow.  ï¿½Thank you for leading the club in the past 12 months,� he told Gareth. Mervyn said the photo taken of the actual handover marked exactly 21 years since the gong went over his head when he became president of Rotaract. ï¿½I was nervous and feel exactly the same tonight.  Could I do it?

 I am already feeling the burden of responsibility.  But let�s have a good year and I am sure it will be a success,� he added, presenting Gareth with a tankard to mark his year of office.

        

         

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MOUTHS DROP OPEN WHEN GORDON�S NATIONALITY BECOMES KNOWN!

His fellow Rotarians all thought he was Scottish. No-one ever questioned the accent. But in a job talk to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Gordon Duncan totally  surprised his colleagues by confessing - he was born in England!

 

Mouths dropped open and startled expressions were on other faces when popular Gordon said he was brought up in Perth inScotland ï¿½ but he was born in the south of England. He outlined his childhood and adulthood in Scotland and told his audience of when he met his wife Cindy in Hong Kong where she was a nanny with a wealth American family.

 

He took the club through a career path that has included many years in road industry transport training, principally with the RTITB, both in this country and overseas. Gordon, who has been responsible for the Rotary sleigh for many years, told the story of a training package he had put together for SAGA. This came about as a result of a woman who had never driven as well as one who was recently bereaved and this had given them confidence to take to the road again. Another little bit of fame for Gordon:  he lives at Kiln Farm in a house that has been of considerable interest to Richard Madeley. It was once owned by Richard�s grandfather Geoffrey.  Richard�s father Chris and his uncle Jim were brought up at Kiln Farm.

 

�Richard did visit Kiln Farm many times as a child from the family home in Essex and visited us more recently as part of the research for his book �Fathers and Sons,� Gordon added.

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NEW ROTARY PRESIDENT�S �YEAR OF CHALLENGE AND SERVICE�

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary which covers a large area just to the north of Shrewsbury has a new president.

 

He is Mervyn Davies, 48, a chartered accountant, of Hadnall � one of the villages within Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s catchment area. Mervyn, who is married to Ann and has a son Jonathan and daughter Bethany, describes the next 12 months as a �year of challenge and service.� He is keen that Rotary should expand and Shawbury and Mid Shropshire�s membership increase by one net member. 

 

�I would like to see us expand our impact on the local community and work with youth which means building on the work already done with schools and other youth activities,� he told his fellow Rotarians. ï¿½My theme is to ensure every member has an opportunity to serve to benefit others.  And the challenge:  if not me then who?� New chair of community and vocational service, Kerry Ferguson, said it was a balance of �giving and doing.� ï¿½Let�s do a few things very well � all of us doing something in our own way which will help.�

 

Chris Allsop, new chair of international service and foundation committee, spoke of the importance of responding very quickly to international problems which the club had successfully done in the past. ï¿½We need to be able to continue with that should disasters happen.� Visiting Rotarian Mike Evans, assistant district governor for Shawbury and Mid Shropshire�s area, said:  ï¿½This Rotary club is active locally and abroad and there is a good incentive for anyone who wants to join the club if you can spread the word. ï¿½This means talking to people about Rotary and bringing in newer and younger members of the club.  I am impressed with the work you are intending to do.�

 .

 

Mervyn Davies, new president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary (left) discusses his forthcoming programme with visiting Rotarian Mike Evans, assistant district governor

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STUDENT�S AMBITIONS FOR YOUTH LEADERSHIP CAMP

A Shrewsbury sixth form student has set out her personal ambitions for a forthcoming Rotary youth leadership camp (RYLA) which she hopes will help to make her more �authoritative and assertive.� For Rosanna Floyd, 17, of Church Stretton, describes herself as �quite small and girly� and wants to change the �girly� image.

 

�I love meeting different people because I can talk to anyone,� Rosanna told Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary who are sponsoring her attendance at the camp in August. Her talk to Rotarians coincided with a visit to the club by Barry Picken, Governor of District 1210 which covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands. He told her to enjoy her experience when she visits the camp at Kibblestone, near Stone, from August 24-29.

 

The sixth form student, who is studying English literature, history and classics, is a volunteer worker with the Beavers group of boys aged 5-7. ï¿½They are lovely and every year they really change in character,� said Rosanna who has her Duke of Edinburgh bronze, silver and gold awards.  ï¿½My willpower has come on a lot as a result,� she added.

 

The daughter of a GP, she hopes to study history at university and become a primary school teacher. She is the second candidate this year to be sponsored by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary together with Robert Jackson, 17, of Newport, who is also a student at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College.

 

 

Rosanna with district governor Barry Picken (right) and club president Gareth Watkins (left)

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MIKE�S �INUNDATED� WITH OLD BIKES

A Rotarian says he has been �inundated� following his appeal for old bikes. Mike Mortimer, chair of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary�s international committee, said he had received over 80 names. ï¿½The offers are mostly for multiples of bikes,� said Mike who made his appeal on behalf of the charity Bikes for Africa.  The club members have collected more than100 bikes to date and anticipate that the total will be over 150 by the time all have been collected and donated to the charity.

 

�We intend to make our first delivery of about 50 bikes to Jolerider, which is the charity who organise the refurbishment of the bikes with the prison service and then ship them out to various parts of Africa,� Mike added.

 

Shawbury Rotary Club would like to thank all those who have made generous donations of bikes.

 

 

 

Mike Mortimer

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SHREWSBURY�S NEW ALMSHOUSES

A report on the progress of new almshouses in Shrewsbury was part of a talk to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary. The new almshouses are behind the Abbey on the bowling greenand despite a current planning set back work is expected to start on the scheme very shortly. The Telepost Bowling Club is being re-located a short distance away.

 

Elsewhere, an investment has been made in almshouses atFairford Place, Coleham, which have been fitted with solar panels that have have proved to be successful. The story was told to Rotarians by Nigel Hinton, a past master of the Drapers, who spoke to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire on the �Drapers Legacy in Shrewsbury.� This included many famous black and white properties dating back to the 11th century.

 

It was in 1444 that the first almshouses were built in Shrewsburyand the Fairford House almshouses were built in Coleham in 1964 as bed sits. In 2003 almshouses by the Abbey were given to the Drapers company and planning permission given to build behind those. Mr. Hinton said some of the new build were for partners having a separate large bedroom.  The criteria was not a large amount of capital was required.

 

 

With Nigel Hinton, who wore his robe for the talk, were left to right Rotarians Tim Hughes (vote of thanks), Iain Gilmour (introduction) and president Gareth Watkins

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ALEX DECIDES TO EASE UP

 

One of the club�s Paul Harris Fellows feels the time has come to reduce his involvement in Rotary. Due to hearing problems, Alex Reid has announced that he will not be renewing his full membership from the end of the current Rotary year. He says he feels he misses much of what happens which for Alex is very frustrating. He has been an active member of the club since the start of the present century and has a good attendance record. Prior to joining Shawbury and Mid Shropshire he was an active member of the Hagley club. Alex does not want to lose his ties with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire and still intends to be present as often as he can. He also wishes to keep in touch with club activities and as a result club council has agreed he should be offered associate membership. President Gareth Watkins believes that associate membership fulfils two aims: The role keeps him in touch with club activities as well as on the communication list.

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Bikes for Africa

Long distances and lack of reliable transport are huge barriers to education in Africa. So a Shropshire Rotary club is to assist with one of the solutions to the problem � bikes. Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary is collecting old and not so old bikes for a registered charity �Bikes4Africa�. Said Rotarian Mike Mortimer, chair of the club�s international committee:  ï¿½Many children in Africa cannot reach school and those that can arrive late and exhausted after several hours walk.

�Bikes are a simple, low-cost, low-tech solution to the problem.  Almost everyone here has one or more unused bikes in their garage or shed. Matched with money to ship them, they can change a child�s life � permanently. Every bike delivered not only gets a child to school, but affects the lives of as many as nine others, including school peers and family members.�

He said the club had agreed to support Jole Rider, a registered charity which enabled children and young people to reach their potential through the Bikes4Africa project. The project is well established and approved within Rotary International. Anyone with an unused bike can contact Mike Mortimer on 01743 792933 to arrange collection.

 

Mike with a bike.

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RYLA News

A Shrewsbury Sixth Form history and economics student has told Rotarians that one day he would like to wear their �snazzy� badge and give something back to the community. Robert Jackson, 17, of Newport, is one of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire�s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) sponsored candidates for the next camp. Robert, who is part of West Mercia Police Cadet Scheme, said he hoped that one day he would join Rotary.

 

�I would like this to be somewhere hot, wear the snazzy badge and give something back to the community which you are giving,� he told Rotarians. ï¿½Through RYLA I am hoping to make new friends, gain experience and develop leadership skills.�

 

He hopes to go to university to study history or economics and hopefully become an economist. Robert, who has his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, told Rotarians that one of his ambitions was to visit every continent in the world by the age of 21.  His achievement so far is five.

Robert admires Rotary president Gareth Watkins�s �snazzy� badge of office.

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COLLEGE TELLS ROTARIANS OF ITS DIRECTION FOR FUTURE

The direction of Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology is being focussed even more closely on meeting the needs of the local community and businesses, Rotarians have been told. Shrewsbury College  Principal Steve Wain, speaking to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club, said the policy was to deliver �real world experience� opportunities through the setting up of the restaurant,  beauty salons and similar enterprises on the campus. ï¿½It is more about demand and less about supply,� said Mr. Wain who highlighted that the college�s next challenge was to relate even better to the business community. He said the emphasis for the college was to operate in the �real world� with more focus on what employers in the town and county wanted. And he said Rotary could help.  ï¿½If there is a groundswell to make changes and we believe change is necessary we would welcome any support and help you can bring to that.

 

�It is business people like you with an interest in training young people who can help the college to advise them.

 

�The challenge is also about character development and ensuring that students leave college ready for the world of work, including self-employment.� He said businesses needed communication skills and the college�s response was to focus on individual character development.  But he went on:  ï¿½Employers need to challenge themselves on their expectations.

 

�They work best with people who understand they are charged with the  development of young people.  You have to offer 16-18 year olds training � you have a duty to train and nurture them which is the best way of developing them.� He said:  ï¿½Measures that matter are real world destinations � what our students do when they complete their education.  We know where all our students go when they finish their course. ï¿½We are very proud that 96% of students go on to further study, to jobs or to higher education � the college sent students on to 50 Universities last year.�

 

Chairman of Governors Rotarian Iain Gilmour said Mr. Wain, who was appointed Principal 18 months ago, had been instrumental in introducing significant change to the college, both internally and externally, focussing on the quality of teaching and learning as well as success rates and destination.

 

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ROTARY DONATES A FIRE VEHICLE TO ROMANIA

A Shropshire Rotary club is to buy a Ford Ranger which volunteers from Shropshire Fire Service will donate to cash-strapped Romania.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary made the decision to spend �1,500 to purchase the Ford Ranger which is on the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service volunteers �vehicle shopping list� for this year. Rotarians were unanimous in their decision to pay for the vehicle which will carry the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary name. Charlie Cartwright and Carole Walker, who were guest speakers at the club, had left the meeting when Rotarians cast their vote. Carole and Charlie said today:  �We are extremely grateful for the support received from Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club - support that will make a huge contribution to the safety and wellbeing of Romanian communities. ï¿½Currently, remote communities may wait 45-60 minutes for a fire engine to arrive at an incident.  The sponsorship and donation of the Ford Ranger will greatly improve access and response times.� In addition to supplying fire engines and support vehicles, such as the Ford Ranger, the charity workers from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are taking essential items such as locally made blankets for a Romanian old people�s home. Carole, who is workshop and fleet administrator at Fire Service Headquarters in Shrewsbury, has sewn no fewer than 46 blankets for the home in SighiÈ™oara, Mures County,Romania.  The team of Shropshire volunteers will spend time painting and decorating the home during their forthcoming 10 day visit.

 

Two examples of the blankets were on display to Rotarians (photo).

 

Rotary�s vehicle with its logo will be donated to the Mihai Eminescu Trust, of which HRH Prince Charles is patron.  The Trust is dedicated to preserving the Saxon culture and medieval heritage within Transylvania and the Ford Ranger will be used in remote areas of Mures County to aid firefighting operations. Mures County which is twice  the size of Shropshire, but with a similar population.  Shropshire has 23 fire stations � Mures has six.

Charlie, Carole and Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary president Gareth Watkins with a blanket.

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TREE OF LIGHT RAISES NEARLY �6,000

Three charities have benefited to nearly �2,000 each from Rotary Tree of Light.

 

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has presented cheques for �1,806.81 to Midlands Air Ambulance, Parkinson�s and Alzheimers.

 

Each of the charities thanked Rotary for their continued support.

 

The money was recently raised as a result of members of the public donating �5 for a bulb on the Tree in remembrance of a loved one.

 

The Rotary Tree of Light, in association with the Shrewsbury Chronicle, has raised more than �100,000 over the last 15 years.

 Left to right Maria Jones, Midlands Air Ambulance, Gareth Watkins, president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, Sam Fitzgerald, Parkinson�s, and Dr. Roy Broad, Alzhemiers.

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CHRIS SAW A YETI ON HIMALAYA TREK

On a recent trek in the Himalaya region, Chris Hudson visited an orphanage in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to give money kindly donated by Shropshire Rotarians and others to help orphan children in Nepal. Given the difficult political and economic situation in Nepal, he said there were many orphan children � some of whom risked being trafficked into prostitution to other countries. Said Chris, who raised around �1,200 for the orphanage:  ï¿½The orphanage gives at least some of these children a chance to have a decent life and an education.

�The orphanage seemed to be doing a great job with the 36 children in their care being well looked after,� said Chris who chairs Shawbury and mid Shropshire Rotary Club�s Services and Fellowship Committee. His two and a half week trek took him to the Everest Base Camp from where Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their famous ascent to the summit of Mt Everest more than 60 years ago. Besides seeing Mt Everest, the trip included many memorable sights including what were said to be relics of a Yeti.

 ï¿½I found the trek arduous but this was more than compensated by the fabulous scenery, and the warmth of the Nepalese people,� he added.

Chris Hudson on the trek.

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St David's Day

It wasn�t quite on St. David�s Day, but the rendering of Calon Lan and Gwahoddiad

meant it could have been a celebration of the patron saint ofWales. For both lovely pieces of music were superbly delivered to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary by the Shrewsbury Police Choir. 

 

The Rotary meeting date of March 4 was actually as close as it could be to March 1. Well over an hour of musical entertainment was provided by the 30-plus strong choir under its conductor Jim Edmunds. Serious when it came to the vocals, but amusing in between the music. The choir sang pieces from Les Mis, Chess and Titanic as well as many more numbers � all well known to the audience who joined in from time to time.

 

Soloist Dave Swain, who lives between Ludlow andLeominster, was most accomplished with his four solos.  In particular, Unwaith Eto�n Nghymru Annwyl. And the recitations by choir member Steve were a perfect interlude. Congratulations finally to keyboard artist Pauline Morris � the only female amongst the all-male entertainers.

 

If anyone is interested in seeking more information about the Shrewsbury Police Choir, they meet at the Darwin, Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, at 7.30 pm on Mondays (doesn�t clash with Rotary!).

 

 President Gareth Watkins and conductor Jim Emunds call the choir to order.

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SHROPSHIRE ROTARIANS ADVISED TO �HOOK UP� WITH INDIA

 

Think about hooking up with a local Rotary club in India.

 

That was the message to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary from a senior officer within the Rotary district that covers Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands. District Governor Nominee Richard Green told members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary:  ï¿½They�ll treat you like a king in India.  They will look after you so well and I was made to feel so welcome wherever I went.

 

�Rotary in India will leave you breathless.  There are 80 clubs in the city of Bangalore which is India�s third most populous city known as the Silicon Valley of India.� He spoke of the Jaipur Limb Centre which is �so important to Rotary.  ï¿½And they are so proud of what they do for people who cannot afford a limb.�

 

He witnessed a man, whose polio had left him with a severed limb, being fixed with a pair of callipers � �a real Rotary moment,� said Richard. Through Richard, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary has donated �150 to the Jaipur Limb Centre. On a wider note, he spoke of visiting the Bangalore Silicon Valley of India which signifies Bangalore�s status as a hub for information technology companies.

 

�It�s strange to find a silicon valley in a city where noise, pollution and traffic jams are horrendous.  It is a horrendously overcrowded city � and country � from the rich who can buy a Jaguar to children begging on the streets. ï¿½They have the nuclear capacity and have joined the space race.  They also have beautiful waterfalls.  It is certainly a city of beauty and mystery in what I would describe as incredibleIndia.�

 

During his recent stay in India he came close to wildlife from wild boar and bison to the most beautiful spotted deer. 

 

 

President Gareth Watkins (left) welcomes District Governor Nominee Richard Green to the Rotary meeting

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INCREASE IN CANCER STUDIES, ROTARIANS TOLD

 

Rotarians have been told that over 1,500 patients were entering a wide range of clinical studies during the year compared to just over 1,200 last year. ï¿½Our overall recruitment is significantly up on last year,� Marion Adams, R & D Manager NHS Trust, told the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. She said recruitment for clinical research into treatment trials for cancer has almost doubled inShropshire. The cancer team, based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, were heavily involved in clinical trials.

 

In the past the bulk of research has been in breast cancer, but research into other cancer sites are now catching up. ï¿½We are spreading into more specialities, giving a wider range of studies,� said Marion who has been involved in clinical research for 17 years. ï¿½A lot more doctors, including registrars and consultants, want to be involved in research. ï¿½People are more aware now about research and will specifically ask about opportunities to participate in clinical trials.� 

Asked about high points, Marion responded that having worked on cancer drug trials, which have led to new treatments giving improved survival rates, �was very rewarding.� Being involved in a study where the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was one of only a handful of hospitals involved - and received referrals from across the country � was also �very satisfying.�

 

�Most of our work is in national and international trials that have been approved for adoption onto the national portfolio of trials, but we aim to support more local grown research,� said Marion.

 

Her colleague Helen Moore, Lead Trust Research Nurse, explained to Rotarians:  ï¿½Why research?  Society needs clinical research to improve the health and wealth of the nation; the NHS Trust needs clinical research to support its objectives, and, most importantly, patients need clinical research to improve quality of life and hopefully reduce deaths.�

 

They were keen to get people more aware of clinical research. 

 

�Ring fenced money from the National Institute for Health Research is put into hospitals to fund research work in national portfolio trials" She added that within trial protocols testing new drugs these are often provided free and this helps to reduce drug costs and provides access to patients to drugs not currently available on the NHS.

 

In a vote of thanks, Rotarian Tim Hughes praised the local research studies and how essential it was that we should become involved for developments that in future would improve the management of diseases through well designed clinical studies. ï¿½Hopefully it will manifest itself in a greater understanding of the wider work you are doing,� he added.

 

 

Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, welcomes Marion (left) and Helen to Rotary

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BEARD SHAVE RAISES OVER �500 FOR AIR AMBULANCE

A Rotarian who grew his beard for Rotary Santa fundraising has himself raised more than �500 for charity - from people glad to see him rid of it! A sponsored beard shave at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury, last night, saw members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire as well as guests and friends watch the cut. It was in the safe hands of Amber Risdon of Risdon�s Hairdressers whose salon is in the Market Hall, Shrewsbury.

 When Amber heard that Peter Love wanted to raise funds from his beard shave for Air Ambulance, she had no hesitation in agreeing to assist free of charge. ï¿½I was only too pleased to offer him my full support,� said Amber, 23, who set up Risdon�s two years ago.

 

�Air Ambulance is a wonderful charity and I am delighted to have been part of Peter�s fundraising.� Said Peter:  ï¿½Amber was marvellous.  She was most careful and made me feel at ease.  I haven�t had a beard cut for many years. I had a most attentive audience for half an hour and I must say that as much as I enjoyed being Santa I am pleased the beard has gone for a very good cause. I am most grateful to all those who have donated so generously to my beard shave in support of Air Ambulance.�

 

Said Maria Jones, Air Ambulance fundraising manager:  ï¿½We are most grateful to Peter for his inventive idea which has resulted in such an amazing result from one individual.�

 

Hairdresser Amber, District Governor Elect Lynne Marshall, Maria and Peter

 Hairdresser Amber, Maria and Peter

Job done!

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FOUR ROUTES FOR LATE SPRING CHARITY WALK

 

A Shropshire Rotary club is holding its first late spring charity walk which will give organisations the opportunity to raise money for themselves and charities. Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club has announced the date of Saturday May 17 for the charity walk which will offer a choice of four routes all starting and finishing in Shrewsbury Quarry. The Rotary club has booked The Quarry for the day with varying start times between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm.  Routes vary from 700 metres to 7.5 km.

 

Walkers can choose in advance which of the four routes � and start time - they prefer.  Walkers will be asked to pay a �1 admin fee to Rotary to whom they will also donate 25% of all monies collected � retaining the balance for their organisation or charity. Said Rotarian Colin Sharp, who is organising the charity walk on behalf of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire: ï¿½The idea is to give Scouts, Guides and as many organisations as possible the chance to participate. ï¿½At the same time, charities, organisations and Rotary will benefit and we will have stewards at manned crossing points to collect contributions from non-participants. ï¿½We are providing four different routes for various age groups and abilities.  For example, small children could just walk round the 700 metre Quarry route.

 

�Start times will be staggered all through the morning so that there isn�t a mass movement around the town � hopefully just a continual stream.�

 

Route 1 is 700 metres within The Quarry; Route 2 is 2.5km Castle Street, Dogpole, Bridge Street, St. Chad�s, Quarry (final); Route 3 is 4.5km Abbots Mead (out) and Quarry (final); Route 4 is 7.5km Longden Coleham, Kingsland Road (out), Kennedy Road (out), Ashton Road (out), Butler Road (out), Ashton Road (back), Kennedy Road (back), Kingsland Road (back), Abbots Mead (back), Quarry (final).

 

Enquiries and requests for application forms can be made to rotarycharitywalk@gmail.com

 

Organiser Colin Sharp with boots and map ready for the charity walk

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ROTARIANS ENJOY SCOTTISH THEMED EVENING

 

Scotsman Alan Paterson brought vigour and authenticy to addressing the haggis at a Scottish themed evening held by the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire on January 28.

 

His address to the haggis was a highlight of the Scottish evening organised by Rotarian Iain Gilmour and attended by nearly 60 Rotarians and guests. Although the address was three days after Robert Burns� birth date, it was nevertheless delivered imperially by Rotarian Alan who like Iain wore highland dress for the occasion.

 

�Ye Pow�rs, wha mak mankind your care

And dish them out their bill o�fare

Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware

That jaups in luggies

But, if you wish her gratefu� pray�r

Gie her a Haggis!

 

(Robert Burns 1759-1796)

 

A haggis dish, which is commonly made in a sheep�s stomach, of minced lungs, hearts and liver of the same animal, was served to the Rotary company by staff of the Lord Hill Hotel,Shrewsbury, where the club meets on Tuesdays. Iain was Master of Ceremonies for a Scottish version of �Call My Bluff� with the panel of �true or false� to statements of fact comprising three Scots, Gordon Duncan, Alex Reid and Willie Strachan. As he brought proceedings to a close, President Gareth Watkins announced:  ï¿½A superb evening of great fun.�

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YOUTH SERVICES � �A SHINING LIGHT�

 

Rotarians have been encouraged to devote some of their skills to the benefit of young people.

 

Philip Gillings, Chairman of Youth Services for the Rotary District of the North Midlands covering Shropshire and Staffordshire, urged the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to assist youngsters at secondary school looking forward to work. ï¿½Rotarians have experience in a number of fields, not least in interviews and cv writing, and I would encourage you to talk about your own career to students of mainly secondary school age.

 

�Members of Rotary have a wealth of knowledge, experience and working relationships to pass on � we can all be doing something to assist youth,� said Philip who also spoke about the benefits of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). He explained that RYLA, for young people wishing to be leaders of the future, split 32 young people into four groups of eight who were given duties to do each day. ï¿½Each member of the group has the chance to be a team leader and they think it is marvellous.  There is a great choice of activities and the staff consists of ex-army trainers.�

 

Speaking at a recent meeting of the club, he said the cost was �480 per candidate.  ï¿½We have to pay the trainers who are professionals and this club regularly sponsors two candidates a year. ï¿½We shall also be running the young photographer competition,� and added:  ï¿½Youth Services is a shining light throughout Rotary."

Philip says Rotarians can help young people 

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REDS VERSUS WHITES

 

It was red versus white and according to a vote on the night, the whites won!

 

The occasion was a wine tasting held by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.The club welcomed guest Christine Smith from the Darwinclub. Rotarian Philip Johnston, who is also the club�s sergeant-at-arms, demonstrated his wine tasting knowledge with a selection of reds and whites from Chile and Argentina.

 

Members were invited to sample five white and six red wines from both countries.  Philip advised an attentive audience to be �careful� about Argentina white wines. He said original vineyards in Argentina grew four and a half thousand feet above sea level.  Chile had a perfect climate � and soil � for vineyards. He said so many companies were moving into Chile, butArgentina still produced a lot of wine. Argen Shiraz, he said, was �rich and powerful, while he also recommended Chile Pinot Noir.

 

Other points of interest: 

The biggest wine producers in the world were now Italy,France, Spain, America and China. Tesco sold 25% of all wine in the UK

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ROTARY�S MOST SUCCESSFUL-EVER CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

 

It has been one of the most successful-ever Christmas fundraising campaigns for the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. The Tree of Light raised exactly �6,000 � the same amount as last year.  And this figure should significantly increase when gift aided donations are taken into account.

Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club�s increasingly popular Santa sleigh, which included a town run in Mount Pleasant for the first time in December, collected �7,500 against �6,000 the previous year.

The Christmas Grotto in the Pride Hill Centre, undertaken in collaboration with Shrewsbury and Darwin Rotary Clubs, took �3,030 � more than �800 up on 2012 which was its first year.

 

Said Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire:  ï¿½We have so many people to thank for what has been a very successful Rotary fundraising season. In particular, our two key sponsors, the Shrewsbury Chronicle and Darwin Centre Management, for their invaluable Tree of Light support. The Rotary club is also grateful to Arthurs Vauxhall of Oswestry for the loan of their tow vehicle which ensured our Santa sleigh could make so many tours. As a result it means that we will once again be able to support many Rotary and local charities which is good news all round.�

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AG SARAH�S ENJOYS EXPERIENCE OF SANTA�S SLEIGH

Sarah Williams, Assistant Governor Zone 1, enjoyed the experience of linking up with Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club�s Santa sleigh on its traditional ride round thevillage of Bomere Heath. AG Sarah was joined by three of her work colleagues as they helped to entertain residents both young and not so young. Many children left the warmth of their homes and braved the cold on the pavements in the village to greet Rudolph the reindeer and the sleigh.

The AG said she was �delighted� to take part in the annual Rotary Santa sleigh visit to one of the villages in Mid Shropshire.

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SANTA SLEIGH ON COURSE FOR �7,400 FOR CHARITY

 

Santa�s sleigh is this month expected to raise at least �7,400 for charity. The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire has only two venues remaining for children to meet Santa in the run-up to Christmas Eve and parents to give generously for charitable causes.

 

The Santa sleigh was at Morrisons between 9.00-7.00 on 21st December and its final event of the 2013 festive programme was at Tesco for a similar timeframe on the following Monday. ï¿½If we hit the �7,000 mark � which we are on course to do � that would be �1,000 up on the total last year,� said Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

 

�In some adverse weather, when Wednesday�s visit to the Sundorne suberb of Shrewsbury had to be cancelled, that is a truly remarkable achievement. ï¿½Whether Santa�s sleigh has been in the villages north of Shrewsbury, or on the Mount Pleasant estate in town, people have welcomed the visit and already given very generously,� he added. He is expecting the Tree of Light to raise around �6,000, the same as last year, and Santa�s Grotto in the Pride Hill Centre to be well up on last year. Takings so far have been �1,818 which is �700 more than the equivalent period last year.

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SHREWSBURY COLLEGE ENTERTAIN ROTARY CLUB

 

A concert party from Shrewsbury College entertained  70 members and guests of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire at their Christmas party at the Lord Hill Hotel last night (Tuesday).

 

The eight girls and three boys, under the direction of voice lecturer Michael Jenkins, sang a mixture of Christmas carols and other pieces of music. Soloist Charlie Dean, 20, played her acoustic guitar to sing a current folk song from the charts called �Royals� by Lorde.

 

Club president Gareth Watkins congratulated the concert party whom he described as �wonderfully entertaining.� He added:  ï¿½This is such a talented group individually and collectively and some of the songs brought back real memories.�

 

 Charlie performing

The choir performing under conductor Michael Jenkins

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MARK�S MAKING HIS MARK � IN KAZAKHSTAN

By Rtn Bob Scaiff

   

In a four and a half minute talk to the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, Rotarian Mark Beddow gave a fascinating insight into his new life in Kazakhstan. He has only been there for 15 months, but in that time has dug a hole 20m deep and prepared a virtual tour of a gigantic structure which is to be built in the new Kazakh capital Astana. He told fellows Rotarians that the basement foundations are now underway and the building complex will include shops, offices, a hotel, enormous atrium, pedestrian walkways and relaxation areas.

 

The main tower will be 330m tall and is expected to give amazing views which could stretch for 150km across the flat Kazakh Steppe.  On a clear day it would be possible to see the top of the London Shard � if the earth was flat! He said one major obstacle to completing the work on time � and in budget � is the fact that the average winter temperature is 35 degrees C. ï¿½That�s ok,� said Mark, �because there is very low humidity during winter.  Unfortunately, the minimum temperature can be down to 50 degrees C and when you step outside it is like walking into a block of ice.�

 

He returns to Shrewsbury on leave from time to time in order to get �warmed up.� An interesting observation he made related to the huge variety of Vodka available in the supermarkets in Kazakhstan.  ï¿½Here at home we may see four or five makes, but out there are literally hundreds of varieties,� said Mark who confessed he hasn�t yet sampled them all � but he�s working on it!

 

 

Mark Beddow who says warm headgear is essential in Kazakhstan

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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM DOWN UNDER

  

Here is a picture of the West Beach Sleigh..... I don't think we have anything to worry about!    Christmas is not the same with blazing sun, shorts and tee shirt! Merry Christmas All and have a happy new year.

Mike & Imogen (Mortimer)

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ALFIE STEELS SANTA�S SHOW

 It is not very often � particularly when Santa is around � that a dog takes the limelight!

 

But it happened at Asda in Shrewsbury on Saturday December 14 when Alfie, a border terrier in his bright red Christmas coat, captured the attention of shoppers. Alfie was with his mum and dad, Sue and Julian Wells, who were both elves during the two hour afternoon stint. But it wasn�t Santa or the elves who were the most popular.  It was of course Alfie who was as good as gold throughout the long session. He knew immediately he was in for a good thing when he was tempted with �sweeties.�  But he didn�t over indulge and certainly didn�t outstay his welcome outside the supermarket.

 

It is possible that Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club has not only found a great attraction to raise money, but a potential �star� for future Santa sleigh events!

 

Santa�s sleigh will be operating until its final venue, Tesco, on Monday December 23.

 

 

Alfie on the Rotary sleigh with mum Sue and Santa.

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A MESSAGE OF �FOREGIVENESS'

 

A message of �foregiveness� in remembrance of Nelson Mandela was delivered at a carol service last Sunday night. The foregiveness to his captors when he came out of prison was �just amazing� said the Rev. Paul Firmin, vicar of the Abbey, Shrewsbury. His reference to Nelson Mandela�s passing came during prayers at the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire�s carol service also attended by members of the Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin Rotary clubs. Said the vicar:  ï¿½He forgave and in forgiving he was able to work with his former enemies.  What is amazing, apart from a few diehards in South Africa, is that there were as many whites as blacks in the mourning queue in what has been a day of prayer for Mr. Mandela. ï¿½When he came out of prison and was asked what did he think about his captors, he said �Let bygones be bygones� which I shall always remember.�

 

The carol service, which was conducted by the Rev. Firmin, included six carols and seven readings and a further two carols which were sung by 22 members of Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society. The vicar gave a �big thank you� to the society for their part in the carol service which Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club�s president Gareth Watkins said had �enhanced� the annual event.

 

Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society performing 'Hark! the herald angles sing.'

 Rotarian Alex Reid prepares the refreshments that followed that carol service.

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GERMAN MARKET ATTRACTS ROTARIANS

As a change to their monthly club services and fellowship meeting, members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire enjoyed a visit to the famous German Market in Birmingham City Centre.

A total of 27 Rotarians and wives travelled by coach complete with mince pies and mulled wine on the journey � courtesy of Rotarian Alex Reid, a member of the club services and fellowship committee.

After touring the market, and buying gifts, 19 Rotarians and wives visited an Italian restaurant in the city centre.  Said club services and fellowship committee chair Chris Hudson:  ï¿½The restaurant had a great atmosphere.

�Others went to see the new library and generally looked round the city centre.  The weather was very good � dry and not too cold.

�It was great for wandering around and seeing the many stalls and attractions.�

One member, Rotarian Alan Eames, really got into the spirit by dressing up as the �Mad Hatter� which amused the party.

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ROTARIANS APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS FOR DIAL-A-RIDE

 

Two long-serving members of Rotary � whose motto is �Service above Self� � are appealing to other colleagues and members of the public to give up a small amount of their time each week to support Shrewsbury Dial-a-Ride. Bob Scaiff, a past president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, volunteered as a driver for Shrewsbury Community Transport Initiative six years� ago. He drives one of the fleet of six wheelchair friendly mini buses an average of once a week and fellow Rotarian Tony Cook, a founder member of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary, joined him just under a year ago. ï¿½I am really enjoying the experience and giving pleasure to people who might not otherwise be able to get out and about,� said Tony who believes Rotarians make ideal Dial-a-Ride drivers.

 

�They are people who have a sense of responsibility, a community spirit and a caring nature � otherwise they wouldn�t be Rotarians who are used to volunteering.� Bob said the scheme was in need of more volunteer drivers and it wasn�t difficult to become one.  Each applicant with a current driving licence was given training, which included using a wheelchair lift, followed by a short driving assessment to demonstrate an ability to manage the bus.

 

�The scheme benefits those people who find it difficult to use public transport and taxis or aren�t on bus routes,� said Bob. ï¿½It�s a door-to-door service for which every user pays a �15 annual membership fee and if they have a concessionary travel pass can travel for just �1 per trip. ï¿½Over 500 people are currently registered to use the Dial-a Ride service and about 200 of these use it on a regular basis for shopping trips, visiting friends and meeting medical appointments whether the hospital, doctor or dentist.  They only need to give the service 48 hours notice to travel.�

 

Tony said Dial-a-Ride had an experienced office staff who knew the territory � covering a 10 mile radius of the centre ofShrewsbury ï¿½ like the back of their hand. ï¿½Each bus has a two-way radio which is connected to the office.  It means that drivers can keep abreast of road works, traffic problems and changes to passenger�s needs.  We are also given a mobile phone in case there is a radio �blind� spot.� Both Bob and Tony are encouraging fellow members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to consider volunteering as drivers.

 

�This also applies to members of the two other Rotary clubs which meet in Shrewsbury,� said Bob.  ï¿½They can contact Dial-a-Ride on 01743 450350 if they are interested in offering their services.

 

�Tony and I certainly hope more volunteers will come forward. We really enjoy the job and meeting so many interesting characters along the way� he added. Linda Cox, Shrewsbury Dial-a-Ride Development Manager, said 35 volunteers currently gave their time, but 50 volunteers would be needed to cater for the current and expected number of passengers next year.

 

She said Dial-a-Ride made 15,000 passenger journeys a year and covered over 100,000 miles per year. She said:  Our passengers really appreciate the service we give.  Some of the things they say about us include �I think Dial-a-Ride is the best thing since sliced bread � all the drivers are friendly, patient, humorous, helpful and considerate. ï¿½In addition, �Dial-a-Ride is my lifeline and enables me to carry on� and �we are very happy with the service, especially the volunteers�.�

 Bob and Tony

Passengers

Tony with a passenger

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�WE CAN�T DO ANOTHER FALKLANDS� CLUB TOLD

A man with 33 years experience as an engineering officer in the RAF told the club that due to government cutbacks Britaincould �never again� mount a campaign like the Falklands. ï¿½The aircraft today are fewer than we had in my time,� said Air Commodore John Burke who retired at the age of 55. He outlined his personal experience of the TSR-2, Nimrod and F-111 at a recent meeting of the club.

Air Commodore Burke, the next door neighbour of Rotarian Chris Allsop, described the TSR-2 technical fighter bomber as a �unique aircraft.� ï¿½It was the fastest landing aircraft to get height that anyone had ever achieved at that time.  It could fire missiles and deal with an enemy threat.  The engines were a test bed for Concorde,� he told Rotarians. He described other features of the TSR-2 which could fire missiles and deal with an enemy threat.  Nimrod, he said, �never had a fair chance� though its problems were not insurmountable. He also spoke of British nuclear tests � in Maralinga, Australia, and Christmas Island ï¿½ as well as atomic weapons.

By sheer coincidence, John and Chris had previously worked in the same towns, Southampton and Chester, before they both came to Shrewsbury.

The club�s president Gareth Watkins welcomed Air Commodore John Burke to the club.

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A BUSY ROTARY NIGHT

It all started with the Santa sleigh in The Square on Wednesday November 20. Santa and elves were present when the town�s Christmas lights were switched on. Rotary activity in The Square started just after 4 o�clock and in response to public demand went through well beyond 8.00 pm.

A queue formed and Santa listened to dozens and dozens of children�s Christmas wishes, handing out sweets to many youngsters whilst mums and dads took photos on their mobile phones. Children from a very young age climbed aboard the sleigh in awe of the brightly lit, colourful scene.  And those not yet old enough to walk were lifted by mums and dads onto the sleigh in wonderment.  Such is the magic of this important occasion in the Rotary diary.

At 7.00 pm the Rotary focus switched from The Square to the Darwin Shopping Centre where the Mayor Councillor Jon Tandy switched on the Tree of Light before a large audience. A short ceremony of carols and readings preceded the switch on which brought an enthusiastic cheer from the gathering of Tree of Light supporters.

A big thank you from President Gareth Watkins to all who took part in the organisation of the Tree of Light switch on as well as the successful Santa sleigh in The Square.

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Members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire unanimously agreed at its last meeting on November 12 to donate �1,000 from club funds to the Philippines typhoon appeal.

The club decided that a financial contribution would best serve the needs of those affected because the money could be sent through the Rotary movement more quickly than shelter or aqua boxes and tents. ï¿½We can forward this money immediately via our Rotary district to ensure it is supporting the relief effort on the ground as quickly as possible,� said club president Gareth Watkins.

�It is the best way we can help because we have an organisation with the experienced know-how to get the money there for what is necessary and urgent.�

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Date change

Santa will be an early substitute at Shrewsbury Town Football Club�s Greenhous Meadow. He was originally due to appear with his elves at the Oteley Road stadium on Saturday December 14 but organisers realised this would clash with the sleigh being needed all day at Asda supermarket in Old Potts Way.

So Santa and his elves will make an earlier than expected appearance at the Greenhous Meadow on Saturday November 23 when the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire will be collecting for Rotary and local charities. ï¿½Despite the late change of date, we feel sure visitors to the ground on that day will still give generously,� said club president Gareth Watkins.

Four days earlier, on November 20, the Rotary Santa sleigh programme kicks off in The Square.  Santa and his elves will be collecting at the switch on of the town�s Christmas lights. The sleigh is this year being towed by a pick up generously loaned by Arthurs Vauxhall of Oswestry.

The award-winning dealership is loaning Rotary the pick up for the record 15 trips that the sleigh will make, most of them between December 6-23.

SWITCH-ON OF THE 2013 TREE OF LIGHT

The ever-popular Tree of Light, now in its second decade, will be formally switched on in Shrewsbury next Wednesday November 20. Again located in the Darwin Shopping Centre, Pride Hill, the 2013 Tree of Light switch-on by the Mayor Councillor Jon Tandy will be at 7.00 pm after the town�s Christmas lights have been switched on.

The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, in partnership with the Shrewsbury Chronicle, extend a warm welcome to donors and shoppers to attend the inauguration of the 2013 Tree of Light which will be located on the top floor of the Darwin Centre opposite the rear entrance to Marks & Spencer.

The Tree works through members of the public kindly donating a sum of money and making a dedication to a loved one no longer with them.  There will be a short ecumenical service on the night. Last year the Tree of Light raised about �6,500 and since its introduction donations amounting to more than �100,000 have been made in support of local charities.  Benefactors from the 2013 Tree of Light will be the Alzheimer�s Society, Parkinson�s and County Air Ambulance.

Said Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire:  �Last year we had 600 individual donations and we are hoping to equal � or even better � that this year. ï¿½Names of donors and their dedications will be placed around the Tree of Light in the Darwin Centre and the Shrewsbury Chronicle has very kindly agreed to print the names on a weekly basis. ï¿½The Tree of Light�s great success has certainly come ever since the Darwin Centre Management kindly allowed us to use their shopping centre as a venue.  They have kindly provided the tree, the lights and all the electricity for us.

�They construct the Tree of Light stand that holds the donors and dedications.  Without their valuable support it would be very difficult for the Tree to be so successful. ï¿½And such on-going success would not be possible either without the support of our sponsors, the key one being Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants who prepare all the leaflets that are sent to donors.  They also provide the postage and collect all the return forms ready for printing,� added Gareth.

SANTA SLEIGH�S BIGGEST-EVER FESTIVE PROGRAMME

 

More days and evenings out for the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Santa Sleigh are scheduled for the forthcoming festive season. Club president Gareth Watkins announced:  ï¿½More children and people to see this year; more money to raise and more Rotary and local good causes to benefit. ï¿½It is all very positive and we are looking forward to getting the Rotary Santa Sleigh on its way.� The festive programme is the biggest � and most ambitious � that Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club has undertaken. Added to its familiar itinerary is the Asda supermarket and the housing areas of Sundorne and Mount Pleasant.

 

There will be a total of 15 sleigh outings between November 20 when Santa is in the Square for the switching on the town�s Christmas lights and December 23 when the sleigh concludes its visits at Tesco.

 

The sleigh�s full itinerary is:

 

November 20 Town Square 4.30-8.00

November 23 STFC 1.30-3.00

December 6 Sainsbury�s 9.00-7.00

December 7 Sainsbury�s 9.00-7.00

December 9 Shawbury 6.00-8.30

December 11 Hadnall 6.00-8.30

December 12 High Ercall 6.00-8.30

December 13 Tesco 9.00-7.00

December 14 Asda 9.00-7.00

December 16 Bomere Heath 6.00-8.30

December 18 Sundorne 6.00-8.30

December 19 Mount Pleasant 6.00-8.30

December 20 Morrisons 9.00-7.00

December 21 Morrisons 9.00-7.00

December 23 Tesco 9.00-7.00

ROTARY CLUB�S NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBER IS OFF TO THE EMIRATESI

Chemical engineer Fred McDonogh was looking forward to the weekly meetings of a local Rotary club. As part of his introduction he had already attended several meetings and events held by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire and started to make a number of new friends. Then Fred, 56, of Porthill Gardens, Shrewsbury, heard he had been successful with an application for a new job in the United Arab Emirates before he could be voted an official member of the Rotary club.

So popular had be become on his visits to the club over a four month spell that members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire have now unanimously made him an associate member for the term he will be overseas. He has very recently left Shrewsbury to take up a new post to manage what he describes as an �exciting new project� in the Emirates, one he describes as �the latest challenge in my career'. Prior to leaving he commented:  �I know I shall enjoy my new job, but I am disappointed that I shall not be able to attend regular meetings of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club which has made me most welcome. ï¿½I found the club to be very relaxed and very interactive and to offer a wide variety of tasks to the membership.  As well as having some interesting people, the club has a lot of very worthwhile projects.�

He added:  �I am delighted to be elected an associate member and will visit the club as regularly as I can during my vacations � the first of which will be very soon.� He is married to Deirdre and the couple have two daughters, Aoife, 25, who is a fund raising manager, and Niamh, 22, who is studying maths at Trinity College, Dublin.

Fred, who originates from County Galway in the west of Ireland, has lived in Shrewsbury for the last 12 years.

Said Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire:  �Fred became such a popular visitor that when one of our Rotarians Alun Humphreys proposed that he should be an associate member everyone was in favour.

�On a recent visit Barry Picken, our Rotary district governor, advocated that we would enhance the club with the addition of associate members.

Fred McDonogh who has taken up a new job in the United Arab Emirates

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HOW STUART BECAME FIRST DISABLED PERSON TO ROW ATLANTIC SOLO

Brave Stuart Boreham, 47, has never let cerebral palsy stop him from leading a very full and active life and the greatest achievement so far for a man who contracted the physical disability in his lower limbs as a child has been to row solo across the Atlantic and raise �25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Relief. Scotsman Stuart�s epic adventure � he lost a stone and a half in weight - was relayed to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club at a meeting at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury.

A magical day, which he will never forget, was March 3 2004 when he saw land after rowing 3,000 miles of ocean.  He had set off on November 15 2003 from the Canary Islands and after three and a half long months arrived off Barbados. He had been on his own for 109 days and at the age of 38 became the first disabled person to row the Atlantic ocean solo � his greatest achievement so far. Stuart, who is from Stornoway in the west of Scotland, said he suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth, but time had helped him to stand on his own two feet � with the aid of a stick. He said the Atlantic ocean was his biggest challenge and was very emotional.  But it hadn�t been his only challenge in life. Against the odds, he took up motor racing in 1992 and got his full competition licence.  During his first season, he was involved in an accident and hit a crash barrier at 80 mph.  This broke his right thigh bone in six places and left him in a critical condition � he lost five pints of blood.

While recovering from his accident, he saw a press article about the 1996/7 BT Global Challenge around the world yacht race - organised by Sir Chay Blyth � against the prevailing winds and tides.  He applied � and secured a place racing on a yacht crewed entirely by disabled people. ï¿½When an opportunity comes along, you have to take it,� he told Rotarians. He needed �18,750 to take part and earlier that year drove a lawnmower from John O Groats to Lands End in 18 days, collected �10,000 in sponsorship which he said �showed the fantastic generosity of strangers.� Having discovered the charity entering the yacht in the race was struggling to secure the required funding, he gave them the sponsorship from his lawnmower trip and resigned from his job with a high street bank to help them find the �1m required. Said Stuart: �I learned service to others before self which is the Rotary slogan.�

After the race he came up with the idea to row the Atlantic ocean � a project that required sponsorship of �82,000 on top of his charity goal of raising �25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Relief. At the time he was a project manager with the Halifax Bank of Scotland who gave him a 12 month sabbatical to pursue his dream.  He rowed an average of 30 miles a day during the 109 day journey and described to Rotarians how he dealt with the demanding mental and physical tasks. He described how he was caught in very bad weather and in particular a �frightening� storm which lasted all day and all night.  The wind was 55 knots and the waves were 40ft high. ï¿½I was at the end of my tether.  I felt very fragile and very vulnerable.  I was crying.  The storm lasted three more days.  They were very dark moments.  I was unassisted and unsupported � I had no outside help.�

Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, welcomed Stuart to the club.

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RYLA WAS �ONE OF THE BEST EXPERIENCES OF OUR LIFE� SAY CANDIDATES

A Rotary club�s two sponsored candidates for a recent youth leadership award have described the experience as �one of the best of their lives.� Christian Cowper, of Baschurch, and Sean Livingstone, of Linley, who are both 17, have returned to the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to thank members for supporting them. The two Shrewsbury Sixth Form College students recently attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) programme � a week long camp for which all their expenses were paid by the Rotary club. RYLA is designed to provide young men and women with an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders. RYLA demonstrates Rotary�s respect and concern for youth as well as publicly recognising young people who are rendering service to their communities.

Christian told the club that RYLA was a �fantastic award.�  He said:  �It was one of the best experiences I have had and I will certainly never forget it � I enjoyed everything I took part in.� One of the highlights was making a coral out of plastics strips and tarpaulin and he added:  �Most of the different aspects of the award were fantastic � it was about building confidence to face challenges.� Christian, who is hoping to go to university, said he intended to take a year out to study product design in His father Jonathan, an architect in , said his son had �blossomed� since the RYLA experience as well as Duke of Edinburgh and National Citizen Service Awards.

�He has grown immensely and we are very proud of him.  My thanks to Rotary for taking such an interest in Christian and he will take this opportunity to go forward.�

Said Sean, who hopes to pursue a career in the police:  �The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards was one of the best experiences of my life and the fun was amazing.  Getting outdoors was great.� He also referred to obtaining his Duke of Edinburgh and National Citizen Service Awards and added that he was considering a year�s work experience in Sean�s father Colin, a book illustrator, said:  �RYLA has given him the chance to recognise his potential.  He has come into his own in the last few months and discovered aspects of his personality and nature he didn�t realise he had before. ï¿½Sean has been in the shadow of his older brother until recent months and he�s now really come into his own.  Hopefully, Sean will get a place in a police training college over here and realise his dreams and potential.� His notes from a training scheme were �very encouraging� and a former sergeant major had referred to his leadership potential.

Said Rotarian Philip Gillings, Chair of District Youth Service: �It is always a thrill to welcome RYLA candidates back again.�

areth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire (left) and Rotarian Donald Thompson, the club�s Youth Service officer (right), congratulate Christian and Sean.

A JOURNEY TO AN UNFORGETTABLE PAGEANT

 A great honour�

 That was how Rotarian John Sumner described taking a narrow boat on the River Thames in celebration of the Queens� Golden Jubilee. Speaking at a meeting of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, he said the occasion was really enjoyable � apart from the weather. There was a champagne toast at the end of the pageant which included 50 canal boats among a total of 1,000 boats that took part in the procession.

 John, a member of the Darwin club, spoke of the �aura� of taking part in �something that will never happen again�taking part in such a fantastic event of 1,000 boats.�

Shropshire Lass was John�s narrow boat, one of two owned by the Lyneal Trust of Ellesmere of which he a trustee. He said the 230 mile journey from Ellesmere to the Thames included 250 locks and took 24 days.  The event took the Port of London Authority two years to plan. In an illustrated talk to members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, he recalled how the 50 narrow boats had to go through the lock for the 16 miles from West India Dock to Chiswick to wait for the start of the pageant.

 Every boat had a pennant to show they were allowed to take part and John brought Shropshire Lass�s pennant to the meeting. He said the canal boat was given the number R74, but it was never mentioned in the BBC Television coverage of the pageant which he described as �disappointing.� One of his purposes of visiting Shawbury and Mid Shropshire was to inform members of the club of the role of the Lyneal Trust. Said John:  ï¿½The trust is for people with disabilities as well as for community service.  We are based south east of Ellesmere.

 ï¿½We have two narrow boats, Shropshire Lass, a 75ft, 8 berth family boat, and Shropshire Lad, a 45ft day boat.  Both boats have a ramp for wheelchair access as well as a steering wheel and tiller and a lift for access into the boats. �We provide trips � and holidays � for people with disabilities.  We also have a cottage and some chalets suitable for people with disabilities,� he added.

 John Sumner (left) shares the pennant with Mervyn Davies, vice president of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary.

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ROTARY LOANS HELP OVERSEAS WORKERS

Loans made by a local Rotary club to help overseas workers in poor communities are quickly starting to be paid back. Lendwithcare, a leading aid and development charity, has forwarded messages of thanks for �wonderful support� to Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club. The club has been informed that the recently handed out loans are already �changing for the better� the lives of a farmer, production worker and vehicle spares supplier. Rotary has been praised by the Lendwithcare organisation for its generosity and investing in the future of the trio.  The recipients are using the loans to develop their businesses and better support their families.

The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire has recently given loans of �600 to help change lives for the better in some of the world�s poorest communities. Lendwithcare say donations will help them expand to even more countries and help more people out of poverty.

Rotarian Mike Mortimer, chairman of the club�s international services committee, has received acknowledgements from Lendwithcare.  �Thank you so much for being a part of helping and investing in their future.  You will soon start to receive their loan repayments.�

 

 Two of the people being supported by Rotary

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TALIBAN IS ALLOWING CONFLICT-FREE DAYS FOR POLIO IMMUNISATION

A leading Rotarian has told a Shropshire club�s members how the Taliban has recognised the work Rotary is doing to eradicate polio in two of the world�s polio-stricken countries. Rotarian Barry Picken, District Governor of Rotary District 1210 which covers Shropshire, said the Taliban was allowing immunisation programmes to take place in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Speaking at the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, the District Governor told members:  �We have been able to negotiate conflict-free days with the terrorists and by early spring of next year we should have completed the immunisation programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ï¿½We recognise it won�t be without its difficulties and setbacks, but the indications are we can see it through.  Hopefully, the Taliban recognise the work we are doing.  Being cynical, perhaps it is better to have a fit terrorist than a disabled terrorist.�

He revealed that there were now no more than 260,000 children left to be immunised.  But the dilemma is where they are located � Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Northern Nigeria. He said:  �These are among the most inhospitable parts of the world.  Northern Nigeria will be more difficult because of the circumstances that exist there.  But we will persevere. ï¿½We are determined to tackle the problem which, if we walk away from, we will reflect on for the rest of our lives.  We can�t afford to let it go. ï¿½We want to satisfy the world that polio has gone once and for all.  There needs to be a three year period without an outbreak.  We haven�t had an outbreak of polio in India since the beginning of 2012 when we completed the immunisation programme in that country.�

The District Governor told members the Rotary theme for the year was �Engage Rotary and Change Lives.�  He went on:  �As a Rotarian you will see the impact you can have as an individual and as a member of this club in the excitement, power and enjoyment of being able to change lives. ï¿½Being a Rotarian is about being a volunteer and it requires a different set of skills and values.  There is more to fulfilment than simply reward. ï¿½Rotary is best in emotion, passion and satisfaction.  Rotary is about lifting the cloud of satisfaction.  Rotary is about seeing the difference and making that difference to helping people.�

He said the three pillars of this year�s theme were:

* Membership

* Rotary projects

* Polio eradication. 

The membership target was 53,000 by 2017. ï¿½The goal is about growing Rotary and making Rotary bigger.  We want to make Rotarians more engaged and motivated to do the things they do.  It is about doing things that are meaningful. ï¿½We are asking clubs to look at their membership strategies; the way they seek to recruit members; look at what they do with them as well as different kinds of membership such as honorary members. ï¿½Without membership our clubs can�t deliver.  We are asking busy, successful and motivated people who will make a difference and put something back�.give their valuable time to Rotary. ï¿½It is important to us they are given something to do.  Every Rotary has something meaningful to contribute to the community they serve; making a real difference and contributing to what we are seeking to do.�

Speaking of Rotary project work, he said:  �This is not a club (Shawbury and Mid Shropshire) that has turned its back on the community it serves.  You make sure you have new people coming in who are committed to what you are doing.  You are commended on all you are doing.�

CHARITY GOLF DAY RAISES OVER �4,000

 

It was a day to remember.

 A ladies team captained by Sandra Kelly won the ladies prize in a recent charity golf match at Oswestry  ï¿½ in memory of her late husband.

 Twenty two mixed four ball teams competed in the golf day in memory of past Rotarian Niel Kelly and in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

 The day raised over �4,000.

 Niel, who was a founder member of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, was a well respected member of Oswestry Golf Club.

 He had played golf as an amateur for Ulster and Ireland, was a former captain of Royal St. David�s and was twice the Shropshire and Herefordshire County Captain.

 Niel was president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire in 1999-2000 and passed away in 2012.

 His wife Sandra, who is also a member at Oswestry, donated and presented the Niel Kelly trophy and cups for the day.

 Said one of the organisers Rotarian Geoff Lloyd:  ï¿½This was a really special day in memory of one of our most loved and respected Rotarians who was also a great golfer.

 ï¿½It was most fitting that Sandra and her team of Wendy Pughe, Gina Hatt and Brenda Wilson should win the ladies prize.�

 The men�s prize went to the team of Mike Elder, Tommy Thompson, Dave Wase and Jake Marks.

 

Sandra Kelly (third right) with Gina Hart (left), Brenda Wilson and Wendy Pughe.  All are members of Oswestry Golf Club.  Sandra and Brenda live in Shrewsbury and Gina and Wendy in Oswestry.

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CLIMBING OUT COMES TO SHROPSHIRE

 

 

It was sustaining serious leg injuries that led to ex-England netball player Kelda Wood thinking about the future and as part of that longer term goal, she decided to form a charity which she named �Climbing Out� for young people with life changing illnesses.

 

Kelda, who lives at Westbury, Shropshire, told members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire how she lost confidence after serious leg injuries she received 10 years� ago. ï¿½The injury took away everything I was about which resulted in anger and frustration.  I lost confidence,� said Kelda.

 ï¿½I couldn�t do what I used to do and couldn�t be the person I wanted to be. I trained as an outdoor instructor and a whole new world opened up for me and I got my old confidence back.

 

�It was a light bulb moment,� she told Rotarians.  ï¿½I came up with the idea of a programme to help young people seriously ill or injured. ï¿½Climbing Out now runs five programmes and we are growing all the time. We are pushing young people out of their comfort zones and they are doing things they didn�t think they could. ï¿½These are very exciting times as we have two new programmes coming out and we are growing all the time.�

 

She disclosed she had played netball for England and had professionally looked after horses.  She faced amputation and had been left with severe arthritis in her ankle. ï¿½My whole life revolved around sport and training.  Having the injury took away everything I was about.� She said the Climbing Out charity which she formed three years ago had changed her life and she could now do much more than she thought was possible.

 

�I do more than I thought I could and my life is now fulfilled,� said Kilda who �proudly� announced that Climbing Out had now teamed up with Everton Football Club to provide a programme. ï¿½Our future aim is to provide a programme for every young person in the country which will keep having an impact on young lives. ï¿½Climbing Out will next year run a programme for Shropshire.  The RoyalShrewsbury Hospital will identify young people for a Shropshireprogramme. 

 

�Local people want to see young people from Shropshire benefiting which is great.  Our long term aim is that we can offer a programme to every young person in the country.� She added that each programme for young people costs over �7,000 to run, but Climbing Out was in a stronger position now than 12 months ago. Rotarian Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, said the club would consider what support it could provide for the charity.

 

Kelda shows her Climbing Out brochure to Rotary club president Gareth Watkins

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ROTARY LOOKING AT HELPING THIRD WORLD BUSINESSES

 A Shropshire Rotary club is looking into a scheme which could help people in the third world, from small farmers to taxi drivers, with a loan. Microfinance, a method of helping some of the poorest people in third world countries, is under active consideration by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

 A loan under the scheme can be as small as �50, but the club has been told it will give precipitants including builders, carpenters and mechanics, the ability to start and run their own business. The club has heard that �100 or less would allow a farmer to purchase a new type of crop to sow.  Alternatively, a loan for purchasing a sewing machine for a start-up manufacturing of clothes or other goods.

 Rotarian Mike Evans, a Rotary assistant governor in Shawbury and Mid Shropshire�s district, told the club that microfinance was for low income people. Two and a half billion people, mostly living in developing countries, lacked basic financial service and to them a loan represented a substantial amount of money.

 He said a loan could change a life, empowering women in communities to utilise profits in support of their family. Rotarian Mike Mortimer, chair of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club�s international committee, said the repayment failure rate was �very low� and most of the money was returned or re-invested by the donors. He told the club:  �From a Rotary point of view this scheme has great benefits.  Firstly, a relatively small amount of money can help someone become self-sufficient. ï¿½Secondly, it teaches people responsibility to look after the money and thirdly the money is repaid after 12 months allowing us to use the same money to help other people.�

 The programme is currently being run through www.lendwithcare.org � a scheme which is supported by the Co-Operative Society.

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SEAN IS ROTARY CLUB�S SECOND SPONSORSHIP

A local Rotary club has selected its second candidate who will be sponsored on a youth leadership course. Sean Livingstone, 17, of Linley, south Shropshire, is the choice of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire who interviewed several prospects for the second of their sponsorships. Rotarian Donald Thompson, the Rotary club�s Youth Services Officer, said he was delighted that Sean, a student at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, had been selected. He said:  �I am sure it will be an experience that is going to change Sean�s life.  He will meet a number of new like-minded people who will become lifelong friends.�

Sean, who is studying English Literature and the performing arts at the college, hopes to pursue a career as a police officer.  He has already applied to be a police cadet. Of his selection for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, he told members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire:  �Hopefully it will teach me leadership skills which will be helpful in the police.

�I am looking forward to working in a team, giving and taking commands and enjoying an effective training experience.�

He recently completed � and passed - his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award which he described as �physically challenging� � a four day expedition from Bala to Barmouth.

Rotarian Donald Thompson (left) congratulates Sean on his selection for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award.

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EDITOR�S TALK TO ROTARIANS

The role of the Shropshire Star in a changing media landscape was the subject of a talk by Editor Martin Wright to the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. Speaking to Rotarians at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury, Mr. Wright said the role performed by local news organisations �is as vital as ever� and the Shropshire Star �is here to stay.�

He said there were still many years ahead for printed newspapers and the demand for local news was as strong as ever. ï¿½Young people are interested in local news and while that demand is there we will continue to exist,� said Mr. Wright.

He told Rotarians that one of his aims was to make the Shropshire Star a more campaigning newspaper.  �I want to use our privileged position to be a force for good wherever we can and stand up for our readers wherever we can.

�It is also our aim to stand up for communities and hold those in positions of power to account.  If we were to disappear there wouldn�t be anyone to fulfil that function.

�We will be sending reporters to parish council meetings, magistrates courts, inquests and public hearings.  We will carry this out with journalistic vigour in the future.�

He said there were a lot of reasons for optimism and �high quality� journalism was the Shropshire Star�s USP. Mr. Wright answered questions on how the Shropshire Star was evolving its own technology to meet the age of the app as well as issues such as Leveson whose findings for local newspapers he described as �tricky.� ï¿½Issues raised by Leveson don�t apply to local newspapers.  Despite that, we are now in the process of working out how regulation of the press will continue in future.  It�s a thorny issue for us because it costs us more money and time in a more elaborate structure.�

Gareth Watkins, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, welcomes guest speaker Martin Wright (left).

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ROTARY CLUB�S FIRST CANDIDATE FOR RYLA

 

A Shrewsbury Sixth Form College student is the first of two candidates who will be sponsored by a local Rotary club to take part in a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) programme.

 The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire is sponsoring Christian Cowper, 17, of Baschurch, who is studying project design and graphics at college.

 He will be one of two young people the club is supporting for an all-expenses paid RYLA camp which will provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders.

 RYLA demonstrates Rotary�s respect and concern for youth as well as publicly recognising young people who are rendering service to their communities.

 Christian is also planning to take part in a National Citizens Service team project that will help the community.

 In a similar way to RYLA, NCS brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility.

 

Christian is welcomed to the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire by President Gareth Watkins

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GEOFF GOES GREEK FOR FAREWELL

 

The outgoing president of a local Rotary club broke with tradition for his farewell from office.

 Geoff Lloyd, who has occupied the chair at weekly meetings of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire for the last 12 months, chose a Greek evening to wind up his year at the helm.

 Traditional Greek entertainment at Ryton village hall was led by Stavros Kokkinos, head of music at Concord College.  He played, sang and danced � and even attempted to teach Rotarians Greek dancing.

 The evening, attended by 76 members, wives and guests, including Richard Green, assistant district governor of the local Rotary district, started with a welcoming glass of Ouzo and was followed by Greek dishes provided by a local catering company.

 The evening came to conclusion with an exuberant attempt at the famous Zorba Greek dance.

 Said Geoff:  ï¿½A great evening was had by all and from my perspective this was a good ending to what has been a very enjoyable and well supported year in office.�

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GOLF DAY IN MEMORY OF PAST AMATEUR INTERNATIONAL 

 

A memorial golf day is being organised in memory of a well known Shropshire Rotarian who had been an amateur international golfer.

 

The Niel Kelly Memorial in aid of Prostate Cancer UK will be played for at Oswestry Golf Club on August 21.

 

Niel, who was a founder member of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, had played golf as an amateur for Ulster and Ireland.  He was a well respected member at Oswestry Golf Club, had been Captain of Royal St. David�s and Shropshire and Herefordshire County Captain twice. His wife Sandra, who is also a member at Oswestry, will donate and present the Niel Kelly trophy and cups for the day.

 

Teams of 4 ladies, 4 gentleman or mixed teams are being invited to take part at a cost of �160 per team. Those interested should contact Geoff Lloyd, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, on 01743 364936. Or Julian Wells, email Julian.wells1@gmail.com

 

Said Geoff:  ï¿½We want this to be a really special day and we are looking for 20 teams of four to book their day of golf now. ï¿½Rotarians and others who don�t play golf can caddy and take part and we are looking forward to this being a very happy charity golf day in memory of Niel who was so popular both as a golfer and Rotarian. He was president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire in 1999-2000 and sadly passed away in 2012.�

CHRIS�S EVEREST TREK RAISES �1,000 FOR ORPHANAGE

Rotarian Chris Hudson has raised �1,000 for an orphanage in Nepal as a result of a sponsored trek in the footsteps of Everest conquerors Hillary and Tenzing. Chris, of Clive, near Shrewsbury, a member of the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, met the founder of the orphanage in Kathmandu.

He said today:  �The orphanage comprised two houses which looks after 36 Nepalese children aged from three to 21. I was delighted to be able to visit the orphanage and meet the founder, a French lady, who is based in London and has been the driving force behind the charity.�

Chris said his fundraising for the charity, Child Action Nepal, would provide food for five of the children for one year. He is still collecting donations and said that anyone sharing a similar interest and wishing to support such a worthwhile cause could do so by contacting him at chrishudson49@hotmail.com.

He had planned the Himalayan trek for his retirement as an HR manager.  He celebrated his 64th birthday just before leaving. Chris described the experience as �thrilling� � a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  He followed the route of Hillary and Tenzing for nine days to the Everest base camp where the altitude was 17,500ft.

�I started walking from Lukla in the Himalayas where the altitude is 9,000ft.  The altitude starts to take effect at 10,000ft and quite a period of acclimatisation is needed. My tent was extremely cold at night and there was literally ice inside. But the scenery was awesome and Everest itself is magical.  It exudes an aura that is difficult to describe.  To have actually trekked to the base camp which is nearly at the top of the world fills you with elation and pride.�

Chris joined the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire last year and when the new Rotary year starts in July will become chair of club services and fellowship. By coincidence, there were three other local Rotarians on the trek.  They were John Sumner, Adam Green and Jennie Clegg of Shrewsbury Darwin and in a further coincidence, the hotel where they stayed in Kathmandu was the meeting place of Kathmandu Rotary Club.

 Rotarian Chris Hudson who has raised �1,000 for Child Action Nepal.

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THE DAY WE WENT TO WHITBY�

Above is what President Geoff likes to describe as a �Whitby Rotary Club day out!� It was of course a recent visit to North Yorkshire by members of the club and wives (below).He reliably informs the club he was on a recruitment drive the day the photo was taken. On a more down to earth report, Geoff was actually visiting the �Goths� convention in Whitby (nothing wrong with that of course).

During a mini break to the North Yorks Moors, members and wives of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club visitedWhitby and dropped in on the annual �Goths Convention.�

 

The photo was taken at Whitby Abbey which plays a big part in the Goths annual pilgrimage.

 

And, below, a photo of members and wives enjoying a mini break to Helmsley and Reivaulx Abbey � much discussion as to what is the oldest�

 

�club member, telephone booth or post box!

A GEM IN OUR HISTORY

It is not difficult to see why it is a gem in Shrewsbury�s proud history. A fascinating walk round the flax mill, the world�s first iron framed building, reveals so much about our industrial heritage.

Shrewsbury isn�t generally recognised for its industrial past, but at the end of the eighteenth century it became home to a whole new way of building large buildings, one of the earliest mills for spinning flax and one powered by steam power rather than water power. Construction started in 1796 and was completed in 1797 and in 1811 a gas plant was installed at the flax mill � some years before the town�s gas arrived.

So much of our local history was revealed when 25 members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire were given a conducted tour of the flax mill on April 16. Guide for the flax mill tour, Penny Ward, said the flax mill was constructed alongside a canal built for coal in 1796.  The canal delivered coal for the steam engine to power the machinery.

Charles Bage had been commissioned to design the world�s first iron framed building 200ft long and 40ft wide with five floors.  He did careful calculations about the properties of cast iron as was then known and the reality is the building is still up today. Lines of cruciform cast iron columns still stand as visible reminders of a by-gone era.  The columns are slim and elegant, though it is clear to see that the building is fragile with its cracks in the iron beams, bows in the brick walls and wooden lintels which have rotted.

A little known foundry in Coleham supplied the iron for the flax mill�s construction a couple of miles away in Ditherington.  An early civil engineer named Hazeldine, who was a major figure of his day, set up the foundry in Coleham, used his skills in supplying the iron frame for the flax mill and went on to work with Thomas Telford.

At its peak the flax mill employed 800 people. By the later years of the nineteenth century it had become a specialist centre for finishing thread and there was a special thread called Shrewsbury. However, it has to be remembered that the Grade I building, which started life spinning flax, was changed into a large scale floor Maltings at the end of the 19th century and continued in use until 1986. What of the future?  If the recent bids for �18 million worth of Heritage Lottery and European funding are successful, a contractor will move in to insert a new steel frame into the building in September so that the iron frame can be admired and the building can move into yet another phase of its existence. Hopefully, the building itself will take on a new lease of life.

CAPTURING THE �SPIRIT OF PLACES� THROUGH THE LENS

Overseas traveller David Butler captures the �spirit of places� � through the lens of a camera.

 The much-travelled photographer told members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire how important people are to his art.

 A photographic enthusiast for 30 years, he showed Rotarians a series of people photos from all over the globe in his search for �spirit of places.�

 One of the highlights of his talk was the Napier Art Deco Festival in New Zealand.

 And in a few tips to amateur photographers in the club, he advised �the photographer takes the picture not the camera� and �photography is technical competence and artistic merit.�

 The retired professional chartered engineer, a long-standing friend of one of the club�s past presidents Geoff Charlton, is also a photographic judge.

WILDLIFE TRUST�S �VISION OF A LIVING LANDSCAPE�

The importance of preserving habitats for wildlife and people � and inspiring people of all ages to play their part � was emphasised in a talk to a local Rotary club.

Peter Moss OBE, told the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire of the work of the Wildlife Trust and significance of habitats in the county such as Wem Moss.

He said it was a haven for raft spiders with its sphagnum lawns, sundew carnivorous plants, adders and the white-faced darter dragonfly.

The ex-military man told Rotarians that 500 species had died out in England over the last two centuries due to the loss of habitats, a position almost impossible to recover from on a global scale.  The over-riding theme was what the Wildlife Trusts are doing and �how we can help.��Inspiring people is important,� said Peter who added that the Wildlife Trust worked with children of pre-school age, primary schools, young adults and the general public.

Working with children from a young age meant that wildlife was something they wouldn�t forget, would stay with them for ever and would pass on to their children in the future.

He revealed that the Trust ran forest schools in a safe environment and taught teachers to deliver wildlife programmes. He spoke of the importance of the county�s 37 nature reserves, including Wood Lane near Ellesmere, and went on to say:  �Telford is also a fantastic area with lots of great habitat within it.  The area has some lovely green spaces and offers the opportunity for youngsters to explore these environments in a controlled environment through the Trust�s educational programmes.�

Llynclys Common in the Oswestry Hills was overgrown for many years with hawthorn, ash and blackthorn.  Commoners used to keep the area clear by grazing sheep until the introduction of truancy laws in the late 19th century. This meant their children were no longer available to tend the flocks and the scrub soon took over.  The Trust�s management of the area had reinstated open grassy glades that were bringing back �fantastic wildlife,� including butterflies and flowers, which hadn�t been seen in that area for many years.

�This is part of a living landscape, a larger effort to re-connect habitats in the area in which butterflies and rare plants are becoming re-established.  On a county scale, everyone has their part to play in this for all wildlife.  Gardens and back yards can help to re-connect habitats.  By working with nature to bring back bio-diversity we can all do our bit.  If this is achieved county by county, then we will have made an impact across the whole country.

SHROPSHIRE ROTARY HELPING CHANGE LIVES FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT FRESH WATER

A Shropshire Rotary club has donated �250 to a Shrewsbury-based charity which supports the supply of safe water in sub-Saharan Africa. The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire presented the cheque to Rachel Cooper of Village Water to support 10 people with safe water and sanitation in the western province of Zambia. Half the population of Western Zambia have no access to fresh water or sanitation.

Rachel, who has only been in post with the charity for a month, said safe water and sanitation was changing lives in Africa where the burden of fetching water from holes in the ground or streams can mean girls spend up to 6 hours a day fetching water and therefore don�t have time to go to school. She told Rotarians the 10 year old charity, based at College Hill, Shrewsbury, was changing lives in one village at a time.  She said safe water, hygiene and sanitation was having a �massive impact.�

The charity does not receive any money from the Zambian or the UK government.

She said that Rotary have been a key supporter of Village Water and many Rotarians have been out to Zambia to see the progress being made. ï¿½We are carrying out lessons for life with five schools this year,� said Rachel.  �We train the teacher and then the children in sanitation and hygiene. ï¿½Subsequently, the children train their parents at home. Having a water point on the site makes a lot of difference.�

She said the charity hoped to carry out five school hygiene and water projects in the western province of Zambia in 2013 and 100 community hygiene, sanitation and water projects in total.

Geoff Lloyd, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, presents a cheque for �250 to Rachel Cooper of Village Water.

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A REQUEST TO PLAY CHESS

A request has been made for members of the club to get together for a visit to Theatre Severn.

The occasion:  a production of the musical Chess at the theatre from March 13-16 with a Saturday afternoon matinee.

The reason for the request:  I am honoured to be this year�s president of Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society which is performing the show.

Having already attended a number of the society�s rehearsals, I can assure members it will be an enjoyable production well worth the time and money. The society is 90 years old and I regard it as a privilege to have been asked to be president (though believe it or not, I am not quite 90 years of age!).

For those who don�t know Chess, its strength is its music, written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba fame, and its lyrics, written by Sir Tim Rice. Chess came seventh in a BBC Radio 2 listeners poll of their favourite musicals and it is the no.1 musical as far as Elaine Page is concerned. She and Barbara Dickson sang one of its most famous songs, I Know Him So Well, which was a smash hit. All the music in Chess is fabulous and I definitely recommend the musical to those who enjoy a night at the theatre � and I know there are several.

Tickets are available from Theatre Severn 01743 281281 or email mail@theatresevern.co.uk

Peter Love

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TRIBUTE TO OCTOGENARIAN ALEX

There was much to celebrate at the club�s meeting on February 12. The club was not only presenting cheques to Tree of Light beneficiaries, but it was also Rotarian Alex Reid�s 80th birthday. The octogenarian was exceedingly generous, picking up the tab at the bar and providing bottles of red and white wine at the table. And as a tribute, two members of the club, past president Garth Joscelyne and Rotarian Peter Savage together with a good friend of the club Ian Mustie, formed a trio to entertain. With Ian on drums together with Garth and Peter on guitar � and Peter on vocals - they entertained members with a repertoire of popular songs for the best part of an hour.

(Organisers of future events please take note!).

To round off the evening, there was a �worst tie� competition won by past president Alan Paterson.

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ROTARY DONATIONS TO TREE OF LIGHT BENEFICIARIES

 

 Midlands Air Ambulance is on schedule to receive its new aircraft which will be able to fly at night. Maria Jones, Midlands Air Ambulance fundraising manager, told the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire that their �exciting news� should be unveiled by the end of September.

 

�We shall need extra funding for the new aircraft and the people in Shropshire are very generous,� Maria told the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire which presented her with a cheque for �2,357.

 

It was the Rotary club�s gift from its recent Tree of Light in Shrewsbury Darwin Shopping Centre and Maria told members that Midlands Air Ambulance wouldn�t be able to provide its service without such generous support.

 

A cheque for �2,841 was presented to Richard Bailey, a voluntary fundraiser of the Alzheimer�s Society inShrewsbury, to fund research into the cause of the disease as well as ways of ways of preventing or holding the disease at bay.

 

He said the donation from the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire would go a long way towards supporting on-going research as well as developing treatment for people already with dementia.

 

Mike Perry, on behalf of Severn Hospice, also received a cheque for �450 which were joint proceeds of a combined Rotary-Severn Hospice Santa Grotto in the Shrewsbury Pride Hill Shopping Centre. Mike, a community fundraising adviser, said the Severn Hospice volunteers had �thoroughly enjoyed� themselves manning the grotto.

 

Cheques to all three organisations were presented by Geoff Lloyd, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, who will at a later date present a cheque from the Tree of Light fundraiser to Parkinson�s.

 

 

Left to right Rotarian Gareth Watkins, Richard Bailey, Maria Jones, Rotarian Geoff Lloyd (president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire), Fred Jones of Parkinson�s and Mike Perry.

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COMPANY ACCOUNTANT�S JOB TALK

Company accountant Colin Sharp gave a job talk at the club�s meeting on 5th February. He spoke about the history and development of Boys and Boden, a private company which has been in business since 1896, moving from the Black Country in 1942. He told Rotarians that he oversees all the financial aspects of the business which, he said, was originally timber merchants, but was now a builders and plumbers merchant with a staircase manufacturing unit and a portfolio of property investments.

The company had a turnover of �20 million and employed 160 people.  The staircases, which were supplied nationwide, represented one fifth of the turnover. Colin told Rotarians that Boys and Boden held over 30,000 lines of stock worth �1 million at each of its four sites in Welshpool, Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Shrewsbury.

He said the company�s selection of stock was vast and a wallpaper display at their Newtown branch was probably the largest of its kind in Mid Wales. Following a recent fire the company, said Colin, had installed a brand new extraction system, with a silo to store sawdust which is then used for the manufacture of briquettes sold out of its outlets.

He spoke of the company�s property investments which he described as an �exciting and novel� part of the business. He said Boys and Boden had offered �300,000 for a Coach House, an old Georgian property in Welshpool, but bought it for �180,000 at auction in London.  It is being converted into seven apartments for rent. The company had purchased the Old School at Llanrhaeadr Y M near Oswestry for �140,000; one building having a 19th century slate roof, the other being of a 1930�s style which will be converted into four semi-detached houses. He said that due to the economic climate, not so many houses were being built which meant the builders merchants side of the busy wasn�t as busy, but refurbishments and extensions had given a boost to the DIY section and 60% of the Llandrindod Wells and Newtown branch turnover was related to DIY.

Shrewsbury branch, housed in the former Bibby animal feed plant at Harlescott, was virtually all trade.  He said it was operating at the same level as last year, but more people needed to know it was there.

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SHREWSBURY�S A STATION TO GET ON BOARD THE WESSEX EXPRESS

Details have been announced of the 2013 rail tour of �The Wessex Express� which has gained great popularity amongst a huge number of supporters throughout Shropshire and the Welsh border over several years. The Wessex Express will run on Saturday April 20 to Bath, Dorchester and Weymouth on what is known as the Heart of Wessex Line, the Great Western�s route to Weymouth. Passing from Somerset through Wiltshire into Dorset, it is an area The Wessex Express hasn�t visited before. The spring excursion will start from Hooton and pick up at Bache, Wrexham, Gobowen and Shrewsbury before heading south towards the Severn Tunnel. There will be a drop off at Bath for around six hours and then the express will follow the scenic Avon Valley route to Westbury and Castle Cary where it will branch on to the Heart of Wessex line itself. Meandering past Yeovil and into Dorset, there will be a drop off at Dorchester followed by Weymouth.  There will be a stay of four hours in Dorchester and three in Weymouth.Said organiser Laurence Wheeler:  �The Wessex Express itinerary covers an area we haven�t visited before, but is one we feel will be ideal for our spring excursion". 

�Traditionally, we have regulars on board The Wessex Express from across Shropshire and the Welsh border. Many of our customers include members of Rotary and WI who look forward to the railtours promoted by the Chester Model Railway Club and Dee & Mersey Group of the Ffestiniog Railway.�

He added that full details were now on the website www.chestermodelrailwayclub.com/railtours.htm where enthusiasts can either book online or download and print a booking form for post.

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ROTARY AND DRAMA GROUP CHEQUES FOR LEUKAEMIA RESEARCH

The county branch of a national charity has been presented with cheques totalling more than �4,500. Mrs. Val Pearce, secretary of the Shropshire branch for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, received the cheques at a Burns tribute night organised by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. There was a combined cheque from the Rotary clubs of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire and Shrewsbury Darwin. The presentation was jointly made by Rotarian Julian Wells, chair of the club�s joint activities and fundraising committee, and his counterpart in Darwin, Rotarian Roy Bound. They presented Val Pearce with a cheque for �2,328 which were the proceeds from the two Rotary clubs fundraising visit to the opening performance of Calendar Girls.

 

Calendar Girls was an Abbey Foregate Reformed Church Drama Group recent production at Theatre Severn and cheques to the value of �2,000 and �200 were also presented to Mrs. Pearce by Andrew Sandilands, the group�s chairman. Mrs. Pearce, who has been involved with leukaemia research for 20 years, said research was vital if clinical trials were to find a cure for all types of leukaemia.

 She said the county branch sent over �10,000 a year to head office and although only a small group they were �very excited� about what had been achieved.

 She told a large audience of Rotarians and members of the drama group:  ï¿½We have already seen huge strides in the results of treatment of leukaemia and related blood disorders. ï¿½The future looks very bright, although it costs loads amounts of money and without the research hospitals cannot do their job.�

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RAF SHAWBURY WORTH �30 MILLION A YEAR TO LOCAL ECONOMY

All Ministry of Defence pilots and crewmen will have trained at RAF Shawbury. That was one of the three main reasons the Shawbury base existed, Squadron Leader Neil Hope, MBE RAFR, told a recent meeting of the club. The Community Relations Officer said RAF Shawbury provided the helicopter training for the three services.  �If you belong in a helicopter in the MOD you were trained at Shawbury,� said Squadron Leader Hope. Again, those serving in air traffic control or in an operations type role would also have been trained at RAF Shawbury. ï¿½We have trained all air traffic control personnel � including the Royal Navy � since 1950.� He said RAF Shawbury was the only military aircraft storage unit in the country, storing aircraft ready for front line service or for disposal. In addition, he said the base had the contract for the replacement of Red Arrows aircraft.  They were currently replacing number six of 12. RAF Shawbury employed between 1,100 and 1,200 people, the majority working for FB Heliservices whom he said were the station�s contracted partner. He said there were 250 full time military personnel and 250 students.  The rest were civil servants or worked for the contracted partner who also owned all the helicopters.  Currently, the station had 30 Squirrel helicopters, seven Griffin�s and two Augusta 109�s. The value of RAF Shawbury to the local economy was �30 million a year and the station was the third highest employer in north Shropshire.

�The station has a long and varied history,� said Squadron Leader Hope.  �Last year it celebrated 95 years of flying from the airfield which opened as a Royal Flying Corps base in 1917. ï¿½Although it was �care and maintenance� between the wars, it re-opened in 1938 training bomber pilots and the unit has been here as a training base ever since. ï¿½It is actually one of the longest standing training bases in the country,� he added.

Welcoming Squadron Leader Neil Hope to the club are left to right Rotarians Garth Joscelyne, President Geoff Lloyd, Darryl Evans and David Dibble.

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PROJECTS NET OVER �16, 500 FOR CHARITY

 In one of its most successful festive fundraising years, the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire has netted more than �16,500 for charity. Both of the club�s traditional major projects, the Tree of Light and Santa Sleigh, were record breakers. 

 The Tree of Light in the Darwin Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury raised �6,200 and beneficiaries will be Parkinson�s, Alzheimers Society and County Air Ambulance.

 Almost 500 people pledged donations to see the name of a loved one lit up on the Tree of Light.  The annual appeal was again run in conjunction with the Shrewsbury Chronicle who kindly published the names of loved ones remembered.

 The takings from Santa�s Sleigh, which toured villages in the Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary catchment area as well as appearing at supermarkets and Shrewsbury Town�s Greenhous Meadow stadium, were just short of �6,000 � nearly �800 up on the previous year. The ever-popular Santa�s Sleigh, which was refurbished by members of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club in readiness for the programme of visits, was again towed by a vehicle loaned by William A. Lewis Nissan of Telford.  Said Club President Geoff Lloyd:  �Once again without the support of William A. Lewis Nissan it would not have been possible to take the sleigh to so many venues and to have given so much joy to young and not so young.�

 He also praised the �2,300 raised for charity from a special one night performance for Rotary of the play Calendar Girls.  A local drama group from Abbey Foregate United Reformed Church in Shrewsbury agreed to the extra night for Rotary. ï¿½The Rotary performance at Theatre Severn was a sell-out and greatly enjoyed by Rotarians and their families,� said the president who added that the club had changed its normal meeting night specially for the occasion.

 A new event for 2012, Santa�s Grotto, in the nearby Pride Hill Shopping Centre, which was shared with Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin Rotary Clubs and the Severn Hospice, raised over �2,500. Visitors to the Grotto paid �5 to see Santa and this entitled each child to a gift appropriate to their age.  The Grotto�s total of 90 slots were manned on a rota arrangement by Santas and Elves from each of the three clubs as well as the hospice. 

Gareth Watkins, who organised the festive fundraising, expressed sincere thanks to everyone who had helped and supported the events.  He said wives, partners, families and friends had contributed so much to their success.  ï¿½And as always a big thank you to the public who have once again given so generously,� he added.

 Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club�s proceeds from the Santa Sleigh and Grotto are for Rotary and local charities.

Rotarians fund raising at the pre Christmas Town fixture (which we won!) 

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CHRISTMAS PARTY

Rotarians and guests enjoyed a Caribbean night which brought sunshine to Christmas festivities.
A Caribbean steel band played all night for the Rotary Club of Mid Shropshire's Christmas party at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury.
The atmosphere could well have been a Caribbean island as diners enjoyed the symbolically happy music and then danced to its melodious rhythmic beat.
The evening passed all too quickly.
Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary Club, through President Geoff Lloyd, wish members and families a very happy New Year.

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ROTARIAN MARK�S WHITE CHRISTMAS

A Shrewsbury man is certain of a white winter.

For Mark Beddow has recently taken on a new job in Kazakhstan which is already white over. He recently said farewell to his fellow members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to be project wide co-ordinator on the $1.6bn Abu DhabiPlaza development in Astana, Kazakhstan. The main tower, when the project is completed in approximately four years� time, will be the tallest structure in Central Asia. Mark, 57, is a chartered surveyor who has been specialising in construction project management since 1986.  He was approached by international consultants Mott MacDonald to be the Abu Dhabiplaza development project wide co-ordinator.

�It is a big change in lifestyle,� said Mark who has three children, the youngest of whom is studying at Swansea University. ï¿½The biggest change is the weather.  Astana  - which has the dubious honour of being the second coldest capital city in the world - is white-over from the start of November until early April.  Apart from people on the project, very few in Astana speak any English. They speak Kazakh or Russian. And as the country is about 70% Muslim, December 25 will be a normal working day,� he added. Mark, formerly of Chelwood Drive, Shrewsbury, has been a member of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire since 1997.  He was chair of club services and fellowship committee for 2012-13, a position he was forced to relinquish on taking up his new job.

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EX-WREKIN COLLEGE HEAD TALKS TO ROTARY OF CHARITY HE IS RUNNING

An African charity run by a Shrewsbury man is making a difference to some of the people in one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2011 Stephen Drew stepped down after 13 years as head of Wrekin College to offer to run Medic Malawi, a charity from which every penny raised gets there. ï¿½That�s the way we can be successful,� Stephen, head of Medic Malawi, told the last meeting of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. It is visibly changing lives for the better,� he told Rotarians. ï¿½Although one of the poorest countries where 80% of people live on less than one dollar a day, it is possible to get things done. It is a very well run country which is known as �The Warm� heart of Africa.  You can leave Africa, but it never leaves you. There is also so much we can learn from Africa.� He spoke of the Medic Malawi hospital serving 50,000, the orphanage for 80 children and two schools which work through the people.  ï¿½It is a wonderful project worked through one set of people so that things don�t get out of control.  It�s a focused effort. This is a wonderfully resourceful community which practices self-help.� He outlined plans to double the size of the orphanage and told Rotarians of a bid with npower to get sponsorship for more football coaches linked with Shrewsbury Town FC. 

 

He said there was a close link with Shrewsbury School who are interested in building an eye clinic for visiting volunteerUK eye surgeons to work, as they had last year for a week of 150 operations. Said Stephen:  ï¿½One woman hadn�t seen her grandchildren and her face was sheer joy when she could see.  This is really making a difference in Africa and every penny we give them goes where it should.�

 

�We are taking a group of adults in July and want to take aShrewsbury based group in 2014.  The message is go and see the results,� he added.

President Geoff and Stephen

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JONATHAN SAYS ANTARCTICA IS �A GOOD EXAMPLE OF GLOBAL WARMING�

Glaceologist Jonathan Walton, who is the second of three generations of Polo explorers, has been telling a Shropshire Rotary club of his experiences in Antarctica. He is pictured here with President geoff and a storage box transported from Antarctica

He described to members and guests of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire the affect of unleaded petrol on the Antarctic ice sheet. ï¿½What we do here affects the whole world and is a good indication of global warming,� said Jonathan of Shrewsbury. ï¿½The earth is warming up � it has gone up 2.5C in 30 years.  It is the last continent we have the last chance of not messing up and everyone who has been there says it is very important we work for humanity and the planet.� He said the ice shelf he had studied for two and a half years had now disappeared and he told the club the first people drilling in the Antarctic had drilled holes some 3,000 metres deep to look at climate change over 100,000 years. ï¿½Our children�s children could have a big affect,� said Jonathan who told Rotarians an Antarctic survey cost �40 million a year to run and that government funding had now been withdrawn. However, surveys had resulted in the building of a runway for large aircraft visiting Antarctica.

He said Antarctica, which was 2,000 miles across, was like a �giant Christmas cake� with as much icing as anyone could imagine. ï¿½It is incredibly cold, but incredibly dry,� said Jonathan who spent two and a half years in Antarctica. He spent 639 nights in a tent studying the ice dynamics of an ice shelf which was �an experience of a lifetime.� ï¿½I was sitting in a tent in the middle of the Antarctic on a summer�s day looking at the highest mountain on the peninsula � I was so lucky.�

In an illustrated talk entitled �Antarctica science�and adventure!� he said the South Pole was incredibly isolated with its population in winter to summer ranging between 1,000 and 5,000. For three months of the year there was very little light, but his slides captured mother of pearl clouds which he said were �just beautiful.�

He had visited some very remote places and was struck by the sheer immensity of the place which had every colour imaginable � except green. ï¿½Antarctica has majestic grandeur with large open spaces and is self-contained and self-sufficient. �He described what happened when icicles compacted snow and the temperature when a piece of snow fell.

Food for two people for 10 days was contained in sealed bags.  Breakfast comprised a big mug of tea with milk and sugar, a bowl of porridge with butter milk and sugar and lunch was a flask of cocoa and tinned chees, a few biscuits and a chocolate bar. For supper, there was dehydrated meat granules and soup in the stew � 4,500 calories a day for �mega energy. �Travel was traditionally by skidoos, but this was now banned.

Jonathan added that both he and his father had written books which he sold to Rotarians. 

CHRISTMAS GROTTO TO OPEN IN SHREWSBURY

Shrewsbury is to have its first Christmas Grotto.

The grotto will be housed in the Pride Hill Shopping Centre on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm starting on Friday November 23 and finishing on Sunday December 23.

Its location is on the second floor of the Pride Hill Centre between New Look and Supacuts.

Said Gareth Watkins of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire which is organising the grotto together with the Rotary clubs of Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Darwin:  �People will pay to see Santa and a child will receive a free gift.

�The presents have been kindly donated by the Darwin Centre Management.

�The proceeds from the grotto will be given to Rotary and local charities which will include the Severn Hospice,� he added.

SANTA�S COMING TO TOWN

Rotary�s Santa Sleigh was in Shrewsbury for the switching on of the town�s Christmas lights on Wednesday November 21.

Rudolph, with Santa and elves was in the Square from 4.30-8.30 pm when the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire was collecting money for Rotary and local charities.

Santa�s Sleigh will next be seen on December 7 at the start of its visits to various villages around Shrewsbury.

In addition to appearances in Shawbury, Hadnall, High Ercall and Bomere Heath, the sleigh will also be at Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys on various weekends in the lead up to Christmas.

The sleigh, again with Santa and elves, will be at Shrewsbury Town�s last home match of the year at the Greenhous Meadow on the afternoon of December 15.

�We are hoping we will again receive generous support from local people and raise more than the �5,000 we collected for charities last year,� said Rotarian Gareth Watkins of the Rotary Club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

SWITCH-ON OF THE 2012 TREE OF LIGHT

The ever-popular Tree of Light, now in its second decade, was formally switched on in Shrewsbury on Wednesday November 21.

Again located in the Darwin Shopping Centre, Pride Hill, the 2012 Tree of Light switch-on by the Mayor Councillor Keith Roberts was at 7.30 pm after the town�s Christmas lights have been switched on.

The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, in partnership with the Shrewsbury Chronicle, extend a warm welcome to donors and shoppers to visit the 2012 Tree of Light which will be located on the top floor of the Darwin Centre opposite the rear entrance to Marks & Spencer.

The Tree works through members of the public kindly donating a sum of money and making a dedication to a loved one no longer with them.  There will be a short ecumenical service on the night.

Last year the Tree of Light raised about �6,500 and since its introduction donations amounting to more than �100,000 have been made in support of local charities.  Benefactors from the 2012 Tree of Light will be the Alzheimer�s Society, Parkinson�s and County Air Ambulance.

Said one of the organisers Rotarian Gareth Watkins:  �Last year we had 600 individual donations and we are hoping to equal � or even better � that this year.

�Names of donors and their dedications will be placed around the Tree of Light in the Darwin Centre and the Shrewsbury Chronicle has very kindly agreed to print the names on a weekly basis.

�The Tree of Light�s great success has certainly come ever since the Darwin Centre Management kindly allowed us to use their shopping centre as a venue.  They have kindly provided the tree, the lights and all the electricity for us.

�They construct the Tree of Light stand that holds the donors and dedications.  Without their valuable support it would be very difficult for the Tree to be so successful.

�And such on-going success would not be possible either without the support of our sponsors, the key one being Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants who prepare all the leaflets that are sent to donors.  They also provide the postage and collect all the return forms ready for printing,� added Gareth.

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President Geoff with Guest speaker Toby Shaw

ROTARIANS TOLD OF �CHALLENGING TIMES� FOR CRICKET

The chairman of Shropshire County Cricket has spoken of the �challenging times and uncertainty� faced by clubs in the first class game and the Minor Counties.

Toby Shaw, who took up the chairmanship appointment earlier this year, told the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire that a number of first class counties were struggling financially in the current climate.

�We could be seeing some first class counties, particularly those without a test match arena, potentially merging.�

He said change didn�t only apply to the first class game where the future was uncertain.  These were also challenging times for the country�s 20 Minor Counties teams. Shropshire, who play in the western division, receive funding in the order of �25,000 a year from the English Cricket Board, although it costs considerably more to run the club.

�When I was appointed to the committee of Shropshire County Cricket I looked at ways of finding sponsorship and money raising activities and introduced eight new sponsors through my connections. 

�This culminated in the development of the ResourceBank 20/20 Challenge which has become the principle networking-sporting event in Shropshire attracting in excess of 600 people. 

�It is an event which is the main source of our fundraising and is also an opportunity for the county club to support a number of worthy causes which this year was Cancer Research to whom a donation of �2,500 was made.

�The success of Shropshire has been recognised at national level and I have been invited by the governing body of cricket to present a paper to the whole of the Minor Counties in the country on ways they could develop in the future.

�As a leading Minor Counties club, we are taking a major role in this development.�

He said there were plans to secure a national sponsor as well as introducing a 20/20 competition in the 2014 season.  He also advocated reducing the three day game to two although this was more of a long term vision.

Mr. Shaw spoke of the need to develop young players and how Joe Leach of Shrewsbury has recently been awarded a full time contract with Worcestershire where he is now an established player.  Jack Shantry of Shrewsbury has also progressed through the Academy and Minor Counties system.

The guest speaker said he was �encouraged� to hear how Rotary was involved in RYLA � Rotary Youth Leadership Awards � from an earlier young speaker on the evening who had been sponsored by Shawbury and Mid Shropshire. He felt this was a very worthwhile

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President Geoff with Holly Jenkinson

ROTARY RESIDENTIAL COURSE HELPING HOLLY TO WIN GOLD

A Shrewsbury Sixth Form student is on the way to achieving her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award � with help from a local Rotary club.

Holly Jenkinson, 17, of St. Martins, who is studying biology, geography and geology at the college, was sponsored by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) residential course.

As a result, her sponsorship on the RYLA week�s residential course will act towards Holly�s Duke of Edinburgh Gold which she hopes to obtain early next year.

Holly is one of 50 students at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College who are in the middle of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and she is particularly grateful to Rotary for the opportunity to achieve her residential qualification.

�I would like to thank the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire very much for the opportunity � I benefitted greatly from the RYLA experience,� she said.

Speaking to Rotarians, she described the course as �hard but really fun and very worthwhile.�  She said it was �difficult to say goodbye�, but the 32 on the course were maintaining contact with each other and hoped to meet up again in Telford at Christmas.

Holly told the club she took part in orienteering and physical activities which helped towards team building skills.  �It was mentally and physically exhausting.  But I would go again if I could have an extra hour in bed in the morning,� she said.

The only thing she missed was...her mobile phone.  �There were no mobile phones at RYLA,�

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SHREWSBURY�S GHOSTS

Believe in ghosts?

After a conducted ghost walk of the town Rotarians, partners and guests who were previously sceptical might well have had their minds changed. For Town Cryer Martin Wood, who described it as his �Ghost tour mark 1,� put a different slant on Shrewsbury which he listed as having 97 ghosts! He described Shrewsbury as having 23 memory, spirit or sound ghosts and said he would introduce Rotarians to some of them on their tour � his 18th � of the town.

He began his latest ghost tour in Fish Street where he said there was a ghost in a currently closed timber framed building dating back to the late 1300�s. He said shop-keepers didn�t like to admit they had seen a ghost in case it put off trade but, today, they were more than happy to admit they had one. �This means we can build up a bed of knowledge of memory ghosts which are around the town,� said Martin who went on to describe a ghost who was connected with St. Alkmund�s Church. He said the ghost either appeared on the spire of the church or was sitting in the back room of the Three Fishes public house. His name was Robin Jack Archison, a steeplejack of the 1700�s who according to Martin was �quite a character.�  He would exchange taking down the weather vane on the church for a barrel of ale in the pub. He fell 178ft to his death from the steeple after drinking his barrel of ale in the Three Fishes.

The walk then moved up Fish Street into Butcher Row to the Old Abbot�s House where Martin described a �grey mist with fairy lights� and a sound ghost who responded to a series of metallic clicks. The Prince Rupert Hotel, once the Central Hotel, which is opposite the Old Abbot�s House was the most haunted building in town, Martin revealed.  Room 5 was visited by a young lady from the Victorian period who hung herself and ghosts appeared in various places in the hotel in their time. He revealed that the building went back 1,000 years and Rotarians walked down a spiral staircase into the basement which has concrete rooms with arches.  It was a surprise to be under the ground in St. Mary�s Street having entered the building in Butcher Row!

Rotarians then learned there were ghosts on Pride Hill.  Martin told of the memory ghost, a young lady in her 20�s in the uniform of the former Morris�s team room.  Also, Hannah, who appears on the top floor. There�s the ghost of a Norman soldier on the third floor of the New Premier Inn, Smithfield Road.  According to Martin, he died on the fifth floor of the old Telephone House.

ROTARY TAKEN �ON SAFARI�

A little leopard in the bush � an animal used to vehicles.

The leopard was just one of the many animals expertly described in an illustrated talk to members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire by Andrew Beckett.

The subject:  �On safari � a journey into Africa.�

Andrew, who regularly leads safaris into Africa, described it as the most �captivating country on earth.�

�Wildlife is the biggest pull � it is a truly real life experience,� said Andrew.  �The wildlife in Africa is unique.

�You can spend hours watching animals without disturbing them though it costs �300 per hour to see them.�

From Kenya to Tanzania, he talked enthusiastically about the animals of these countries, from the wild black rhino to the zebra, gazelle and wildebeest.

�You sit in camps in the Serengeti national park which is a really nice way of experiencing life on safari,� said Andrew.

�The magnificent sunsets are unbeatable � I think it is a marvellous way to spend a few days.

�Serengeti during the migration of the sheer numbers of animals is staggering.  It is the largest migration of animals anywhere in the world.  Not just wildebeest, but zebra.

�Three hundred thousand zebra will move in endless quests for water and food.�

He also described Serengeti as the premier cheater park in the world.  And the two to three thousand lions represented 10% in the Serengeti which was a �hugely important� place for these animals to live.�

�For photographers,� said Andrew, �this has to be one of the best places in the world.�

He denounced the �bad press� that Africa gets for its despots and floods which he said were �only bad things.�

Andrew leads safaris of three or four groups of between six and 12 people a year.

Andrew Beckett

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SHROPSHIRE TO HAVE AN AIR AMBULANCE THAT WILL FLY AT NIGHT

Rotarians have been told that Midlands Air Ambulance is purchasing a helicopter to fly at night.

The �really exciting news� was given to members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire by the organisation�s community fundraising manager Maria Jones.

She told Rotarians in a talk entitled �Saving lives by saving time�:  �In the next few months we shall have a new helicopter which will be based at RAF Cosford. 

�The new helicopter will have on board a doctor who will be an anaesthetist and able give specialist drugs.

�It will be operational 365 days a year, will never have a break and will fly at night.  The ability to fly at night is really exciting news for us.�

Said Maria:  �A doctor on board each of our aircraft is the aim.�

She said that Midlands Air Ambulance was the largest service of its kind in the country, covering six counties including Shropshire.  She told Rotarians it cost �6.5 million a year to keep three air ambulances operational which provided a service to 5.6 million people.

She said Midlands Air Ambulance, which was self-funding, relied on volunteers and people who had been air lifted were among its fundraisers.

Maria added:  �The people of Shropshire are very good at supporting us and appreciate the service we provide.�

                        Maria Jones with Club President Geoff Lloyd

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ROTARIANS ASKED TO CONSIDER SATELLITE CLUBS

Satellite clubs and corporate memberships have been recommended to a local Rotary club. The idea has come from Rotary District Governor Trevor Davies to members of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

 DG Davies said satellite clubs were for people who �want to get on with things�.  They decided  their own agenda and what they wanted to do, but belonged to the mother club. ï¿½They are there to call on for help with activities such as the Santa Sleigh or selling tickets for theatre events,� he told Rotarians. He also spoke of Rotary having corporate membership � companies belonging to the club with one of their senior members joining the Rotary club. ï¿½The company pays the subscription which is an attractive way of bringing people into Rotary. ï¿½These are tools and you can make your choice whether you use those tools.  We want members and don�t want to leave it until their age profile makes it difficult,� he added.

 The DG also promoted the website for people who used the facility.  �The website is not only for the club, but for other people out there.� And he told the Rotary club:  �Don�t be afraid to fail, but do be afraid not to even try.�

 Finally, he said the �good news� for Rotarians was the fact that there had been no new cases of polio for three years.

 

 

Left to right Gareth Watkins (President Elect), District Governor, Geoff Lloyd (President), Alun Humphreys (Sergeant at Arms) and Chris Yaxley (Treasurer).

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CLUB SPONSORS DANIEL ON SUMMER CAMP

 A young Shrewsbury man who plans to join the army is being sponsored on a summer camp by a local Rotary club.

 Daniel Evans, of Ditherington, who is hoping to join the Royal Tank Regiment at Harrogate in September when he will be 16, will next month spend six days at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp � thanks to the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

 The RYLA camp, at Kibbleston, near Stone, Staffordshire, will run from 6 o�clock in the morning until 9 at night between August 12-17 and comprise mostly outdoor activities.

 The camp is run by professionals and Rotarians are mentors throughout the whole week.  The young people taking part live in dormitories.

 Rotarian Philip Gillings, Shawbury and Mid Shropshire Rotary club�s district youth officer, described RYLA as �one of the best youth activities that Rotary organises for youngsters.�

"Daniel is the sixth young person the club has sponsored and those who have previously attended the camp come back changed people, looking at the world with a different attitude and a willingness to do something for others�.

 ï¿½They build up a great family of friends whilst at the RYLA camp,� he added.

 Daniel, who has met members of the Rotary club, will return after RYLA to talk about his experiences.

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Dr. David Owen, RTTP, OBE, has been inducted into the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire.

He is the second doctor to be inducted into the club which earlier this year marked the 25th anniversary of its charter.

David, whose specialism is biosciences, is the inventor of a key patent of the drug ropinirole; trade name Requip which treats Parkinson�s.

He is an umpire in the Shropshire County Cricket League and is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.

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ROTARY GIVES SCHOOL LEAVERS DICTIONARIES FOR LIFE

The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire has presented 22 primary school leavers with dictionaries for life.

The presentations were made at St. Mary�s C of E Primary School, Shawbury, where the pupils were thrilled to find their names inside the dictionaries.

Said Rotarian Philip Gillings who organised the presentatons:  ï¿½The children were very grateful for the dictionaries which have been donated by the club and members of staff commented on the quality of the books.

�St. Mary�s School, although merging, will be working to raise money for Rotary ShelterBoxes for world disasters.�

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Our Rotary club shows it is in good hands.

As one president, Willie Strachan (right) leaves office, a new president, Geoff Lloyd (centre) takes over.

And waiting in the wings is newly installed vice president Gareth Watkins (left).

They are the new senior team leading the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire into another Rotary year which for this club has just begun.

President Geoff Lloyd is inspired by Rotary International�s President John Minhinick whose goals he is keen to emanate in Shropshire.

�Ending the scourge of polio remains a very important challenge.  We must re-focus on fundraising, re-visit successful events and re-engage with the public.

�Membership is an area for urgent attention in terms of numbers, age profile and overall diversity.  As members of Rotary, we must ask the questions what can we build on? What can we begin?

�What can we do for the local community that will still be going, still be moving and still be changing lives for better � long after we have left office.�

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 SUPPORT FOR CHARITY MOUNTAIN CLIMBER PHIL

The Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire has donated �250 following a talk by a university student who is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for an international children�s project.

Phil Bamber, of Shrewsbury, who is studying geography atLoughborough University, told Rotarians he would begin the four day climb of the 5,895 metre mountain � the highest inAfrica ï¿½ in early July.

His target is to raise �2,450 for children�s charity Childreach International which works in nine countries around the world promoting education, health care and safety and protection for children.

�What appeals to me is the way they run projects which are more sustainable and beneficial to local communities,� said Phil, 21.

�They run projects differently to other charities and get more out of their investment which is tailored to local communities.�

He will be among 14 students from Loughborough Universitywho will fly to Tanzania on July 1 for a few days of acclimatising and visiting a Childreach project before beginning the four day ascent.

Phil was sponsored by the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) summer camp four years� ago following which he bought a Rotary shelter box which he donated to North Pakistan.

�Since the Rotary club sponsored me on the RYLA course my leadership skills have improved tremendously,� said Phil who added:  ï¿½I am most grateful to the Rotary club for the opportunity they gave me and feel I am now repaying some of the faith they placed in me.�

Willie Strachan, president of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, who proposed the �250 donation, described the project as a �worthwhile charity to support.�

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LEAGUE OF FRIENDS HELPING TO ATTRACT TOP CONSULTANTS

Donations of equipment to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospitalare helping to attract top quality consultants to apply for jobs, a Rotary club has been told.

Chair of the League of Friends, Jayne Mott, who was speaking at the last meeting of the Rotary club of Shawbury and Mid Shropshire, said the extra money was attracting doctors with the skills to bring even more finance into the trust.

�This saves us travelling to specialist units because we can provide the specialist care within our own hospital,� said Mrs. Mott who is married to a doctor.

�Every single penny from donations, legacies, fundraising and profits from our four shops is spent on the hospital � not many charities can say that and it is something we are very proud of,� she told Rotarians.

�More and more, the League of Friends is providing absolutely essential equipment to the hospital.  Without the League of Friends, some services could be lost.

�And if a service isn�t able to be provided because there is no money to fund equipment that service will go outside the county.

�We have already lost gynaecological cancer services to outside the county and once these services are lost it is very hard to get them back.  We want to help our hospital and attract the good consultants.�

League of Friends organising secretary Sue Hurdiss said that since its formation in 1966 they had presented over �8 million.

The money had been spent on much needed life saving equipment required by doctors.  Whoever was asking for items of equipment had to present their case before the money was allocated.

�We actually look after the money until we agree to fund a particular project,� said Sue.

She added that the League of Friends of the RoyalShrewsbury Hospital ï¿½ which had a membership of 1,000 � was proud to be in the top 20 nationally giving �vital support� to their hospital.

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Where and when:

We meet on Tuesdays at 1900 for 1930
(No meeting on the Tuesday after a bank holiday. )
The Lord Hill Hotel, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, email:reception@thelordhill.co.uk SY2 6AX  01743 232601

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