Rotary came to Thornton Cleveleys largely on the initiative of two Cleveleys businessmen - Clifford Whatmurgh (who was already a leading member of the Manchester Club) and Jim Gray, a well-known local personality. Dr Ikin, the Extension Officer for No 5 District of RIBI, guided the early activities of the new club until the inaugural meeting of 9th January 1936, on which date the new interim club was launched, our Mother Club being Blackpool Rotary Club.
The Charter was presented to the Club on 29th April 1936 and the young Club set to work with a will, its aims and objects being concerned with the issues of the day - disturbed relations in the international field and the evils of mass unemployment.
The outbreak of war caused the Club to suffer, membership dropped to a low level, but much was accomplished in the sphere of service - clothing for evacuees, serving on the local youth advisory committee and the forming of the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The immediate post-war period saw extended activities; a local Round Table was sponsored, the Club winning the RI President's Award in two successive years, 1947 and 1948. The most noteworthy activity in the realm of service to the local community was the Club's sponsorship of the Old People's Welfare and providing funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the 'floating off' of a new club in Poulton.
The middle fifties were characterised by establishing a Social Centre for the Blind to mark the Club's twenty-first birthday. In the field of extra club service we provided a District Chairman and District Secretary and in later years members to various District Service Committees.
In the years which followed the formation of a Probus Club for retired business and professional men was brought into being, as was the Rotaract Club.
Looking back it would appear that much progress has been made in building up a sound attendance tradition, membership of the Club has fluctuated but no effort is spared in attempting to increase our membership.
Fellowship has always been abundant. In fact, the Club was prepared to dissipate its resources by the formation of an evening club to become known as North Fylde Rotary Club.
A close and happy co-operation between the Club and Inner Wheel was promoted quite early and many worthwhile projects, especially in times of international and local distress, took joint form. The Club's involvement in the Rotary Romanian Relief effort is something of which we are justly proud.