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Rotary is represented in Keynsham by the Keynsham Rotary Club. Rotary Members join together weekly to socialise, make friendships and to undertake work to support the community and local, national and international charity organisations.

Visit from District Governor - Joan Goldsmith PHF

Our new District Governor, Joan Goldsmith, was welcomed to our meeting on Wednesday 8th August by President Roger Spooner who commented that both he and Joan had the common denominator that they were both quite new to their new posts. Following our meal Joan spoke about her career background and explained how she had come to join the Nailsworth club. She commented on the Rotary "Four way test" and how this is important to Rotary clubs to ensure we uphold the integrity of the organisation. She stressed that with social change we need to seek new ways in which to operate so that younger members can be attracted to join. Joan congratulated the club on being active in the community although our membership is not large. A very pleasant evening with much humour and fellowship.

Jessie May charity & Keynsham Rotary support

We are well aware of the valuable work this Bristol based charity has carried out since its establishment in 1996, benefitting local families where a child has a life limiting condition. Jessie May was adopted as this year's "Nominated Charity" at the South Gloucestershire show and they requested assistance from our club members with fund raising at the event. Being keen supporters of this remarkable charity, we were only too keen to oblige with sales of raffletickets. Our picture shows (left to right) Helen Mackie, Jessie May Community and Events Officer and Roger Spooner our President with Helen Spooner and Lucy Hazzell in the arms of Big Ted alias "Goliath". We have just heard that this event raised just over £1000.

Sunflower Growing Competition

Four years ago we instituted a flower/plant growing competition for local Infant/Junior schools, to run alongside our Spring Plant Fair in May.  The original idea came from a former club member, Roland Reed, who felt strongly that youngsters should have the pleasure from and gain an interest in plants and gardening. His legacy has flourished, in that all the primary schools in Keynsham and Saltford took part in this year's sunflower growing competition.

Club members went to each school on Tuesday 17th July to measure the results. For a second occasion, Saltford Primary School were the winners with a massive sunflower over 2 metres in height. Well done to them! They received the Roland Reed cup and certificate. Our picture shows a group of very pleased pupils receiving the award fromRotary President, Roger Spooner, accompanied by Rotarian Lynne Pike who organised the event. Thank you to all who participated in this event.

The Order of the Handbag

A few years ago when Jenny became our first female President, she instituted a sort of sanction for "un-Rotarian like" behaviour - dubious jokes and comments, misdemeanours  etc. She brought along a handbag full of cheap nail varnish which were awarded to transgressors, varnish to be worn at the next meeting! At each change of President the bag is handed on to the next "deserving" individual and has come to be known as the "Order of [the] Handbag" or OAFH award. Here we see Alec sporting his well earned (?) award - lucky chap. Pity about the colour though - not really his style - you got it for a year Alec.

Handover to our New President

Another year completed! Retiring President Norman James hands over the Collar of Office to Roger Spooner, who will be at the helm for the next twelve months. In his retiring comments, Norman outlined the club's achievements during his year, thanked his team and all club members and their partners for their enthusiastic support and wished Roger every success for his year of office. Roger responded by thanking Norman for his stewardship of the club and hoped to emulate his success in making the forthcoming year interesting and above all enjoyable.

Chandag Infant's School Summer Fete

With all this fantastic summer weather everyone is seeing a great turn-out for outside events. No sooner had we supported Chandag Junior School summer fete than we were at it again for the Chandag Infants School on Saturday 7th July. This time we were running four stalls with the good old favourite "Splat the Rat" being a popular event. We also had Teddy Tombola, Jungle Bean Bags and Hook a Duck. Our picture shows one of our Rotarians on his knees (well it was hot!) but our young fisherman, with a grin of success, won a prize. Again we are pleased to help local schools with their fundraising and get involved in supporting the local community.

Chris Essex & Saltford Community Association.

Each Rotary club throughout the world has the opportunity to recognise and honour individuals with the "Paul Harris Award". This award, named after the 1905 founder of Rotary International, is given to a person who, in the opinion of club members, has made a significant and valuable contribution to his or her community. Chris Essex has been involved with Saltford Community (SCA) association over a number of years and the Rotary club of Keynsham view his efforts for the Association as being very worthy of this award.

On Thursday 5th July, five Keynsham Rotary club members, led by our President Norman James, descended on a committee meeting at the Saltford Hall, not quite un-announced, but Chris was completely taken by surprise. After comments of appreciation, President Norman handed over a citation certificate and lapel badge to Chris with an invitation to attend one of our future meetings and tell us more of the activities undertaken and the success story of the Saltford Community Association.

Chandag Junior School Summer Fete

Chandag Junior School held their Summer Fete on Thursday 21st June and weren't they lucky with the weather. A fabulously warm and sunny evening brought in a great crowd of parents and pupils. Seven volunteers from Keynsham Rotary helped to run three of the stalls. Most popular was the coconut shy (above top) where one young "deadeye dick" managed to win no less than four! Not so easy was "Splat the Rat" but a few managed to get him. With the many other stalls and activities we hope that the school has been able to raise a useful contribution to the coffers. We are pleased to have been able to help with this event as part of our community efforts.

Bristol Heart Institute - cheque presentation

Lydia McGivern, on behalf of the Bristol Heart Institute, accepts our cheque for £1000 which resulted from our Plant Fair held on 19th May this year. We are very well aware of the valuable work carried out at the Institute, which is heavily involved in both treatment and research into heart disease. Lydia outlined some of the ways in which our donation will be used for the benefit of the local community. So thanks again to the public who supported us and enabled us to achieve a worthwhile result.

Photo above - President Norman James & Lydia McGivern.

Bad Hair Day!

Didn't know hair can grow that quickly! Last March we pictured Helen and Norman when they pledged for charity to have a hair growing race to try and outdo each other for the longest locks. Today we see that only Helen is a pretty sight and Norman looks like a recently emerged cave dweller. Actually it is all a bit of a cover up as underneath there really are signs of growth. We will keep up to date on progress. Want to sponsor? Contact us via e-mail on this web site.

Special Guest Night speaker

We were pleased to welcome the Avon & Somerset Police Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens to our special guest night on Wednesday 23rd May. Some 85 members and guests assembled for dinner which was followed by a most interesting talk by Sue. She uncovered some of the more obscure statistics relating to police activity and highlighted development in some of the technical skills now being employed in crime prevention. The main objective being to prevent crime in the first place. This of course is all taking place against a background of financial cuts which in turn create difficult choices of where emphasis should be placed. We are grateful to Sue for her most interesting talk.

Some folks will do anything to make a sale!

These overgrown daffodils were not for sale at our Plant Fair on Saturday 19th May. They were spearheading our event advertising on the day - guaranteed to raise a smile. And smile we did. Despite competing diversions elsewhere in the country, our loyal supporters did not desert us. Granted the footfall was less than we would normally hope for, but we still managed to raise over £900 for the Bristol Heart Institute, this year's chosen charity for our support. We are most grateful to the public who came to buy and indeed for the support we have had from Andrews Property Group, Broadleaze Nurseries, Shelia's Plants and Keynsham in Bloom.

Viv Stinchcombe

We are very sorry to record that former Rotarian and member of the Keynsham Rotary club, Viv Stinchcombe, passed away peacefully on 14th May. Viv's association with the Keynsham community goes back many years since, at his retirement, he was Head teacher at the Chandag Junior school and will be known to many local people. Viv was a member of our Club for 25 years during which time he actively supported events including organising and being part of our quiz team and turning out to play inter club skitttles. Viv also produced our newsletter for many years and would get his inspiration wearing his trusty baseball cap, looking like a true editor. Viv had a wonderful sense of humour and was a marvelous raconteur. We will certainly remember with pleasure the entertainment and the friendship he gave us. We offer our deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.

Rotary puts the "Tea" in ChariTy

We were pleased to host an Afternoon Tea on Saturday 12th May at the home of club members, Jane & Rob Thurston. Many thanks to them for all the arrangements. Thirty five Rotarians and guests were present , with Rotarians from Leatherhead Rotary Club, Simon Evans; Gloucester Rotary Club, Andy & Helen Jarrett; Rotary District 1100 District Governor, Alan Hudson; and  Assistant Governor, Judy Powell. Everyone enjoyed a splendid afternoon in perfect weather whilst savouring tea, Pimms and homemade cakes, all in the aid of eradicating polio worldwide. This disease, once the scourge of many countries, including the UK, is now virtually eliminated thanks to a relentless campaign in which Rotary is proud to have been a major participant. The Tea Party raised a fantastic sum of £300 which will go to Rotary Foundation to further assist in the efforts in finally beating polio. We're almost there!

The Bujagali Trust

At our meeting on 9th May we were given an update on developments in Uganda from various activities undertaken by the Bujagali Trust. This small, Bristol based charity, has had a major impact on four under-resourced schools where attempts were being made to educate children in schools lacking desks, books, water and toilet facilities and sometimes even basic buildings. The enthusiasm for education in Uganda is legion but basic facilities are essential to provide the right environment for this to flourish. We were pleased to learn that 100% of our previous donations have gone to help this worthwhile project in providing some of these critical facilities and we are certain that our latest contribution of £2000 we be well spent by this dedicated group of the Bujagali Trust. We look forward to hearing more in future. In the picture John Griffiths (Bujagali Trust) and President Norman James.

Biocat! What's that?

Nothing to do with moggies! At our last meeting on 25th April we were given a very enlightening talk by Ray Long, M/D of Citadel Environmental Solutions Ltd, at Grittleton. They manufacture and sell a product called "Biocat"which comprises biological organisms which speed up the process of breaking down waste. It is used extensively in biogas plants, which are just taking off in the UK, whereas there are currently more than 9000 in Germany. This product is also used to clean up polution such as oil spills and polluted rivers. "Before and after" photographs were quite amazing and this material has even been approved for use in the food chain to promote animal growth. It is apparently a completely harmless natural product harvested from sea water. Started only six years ago, the company is already exporting to twenty countries worldwide and expanding fast. To get a further understanding of the product, the club members will be making a visit to a fully functioning biogas plant at Warminster on 27th June 2018.

Picture above shows President Norman James, Ray Long, and Ken Cookes

Obituary Roger Webb

We are very sorry to learn of the death of one of our former members, Roger Webb, who passed away on 12th April 2018. Roger joined the club in 1979 and was an active member in supporting our many fund raising and community events. With a career in education, Roger's interests focused on community issues and educational matters, but at various times he was responsible for editing our news bulletin and was also interested in our international activities. He became Junior Vice President in 1988/89 and was duly elected President in 1990/91. Although Roger resigned from the club a while ago, we will remember him as a dedicated and loyal Rotarian and recall with pleasure the friendship and fellowship he gave to the club. Our thoughts and sympathy are with Anne and family at this difficult time. The funeral is to take place on 9th May 2018 at St Mary's church Saltford, at 1:30p.m.

The Stonehenge Tunnel

Our meeting on 11th April was addressed by Jeremy Demerel who is closely involved with the Stonehenge Tunnel project. We were shown the latest plans to upgrade the A303 road and integrate the adjacent link roads to greatly improve traffic flow. All this is taking place with the utmost care so as not to disturb the possible ancient artefacts lying close to the surface. Ultimately the whole area surrounding Stonehenge will become accessible to the public for cycling and walking. An interesting and impressive project long overdue and put over expertly by Jeremy. Many thanks to him.

Grow Your Hair Day!

Over the weekend of the conference at Bournemouth Helen and Norman challenged each other to see who could grow the longest "mane" of hair over the next twelve months. All for charity of course. So the photos above show the hairlines at the start of the challenge and we will be keeping an eye on and reporting progress. Norman drew the line at including his beard in the deal! 

Dementia Care in Keynsham and Saltford

This year our President, Norman James, has strongly promoted support for the local charity KDAA, "Keynsham Dementia Action Alliance". This small group are actively working to make the Keynsham and Saltford community more aware and supportive of those affected by dementia, their families, friends and carers. Denmentia is an ever increasing problem but there are ways of making life easier and better for sufferers. The KDAA website has much information on this and about their activities and goals. Our Rotary Club has heard first hand from Alan Hale, who spoke to us last year about their work, which prompted us to try and assist them. Last December we held a concert at St John's church, Keynsham which was very well supported  and raised £1000 for KDAA. On 22nd March 2018, President Norman visited the "Memory Cafe" in Keynsham to present our cheque to them. Pictured above are Alan Hale of KDAA and President Norman.

Conference time again

Our annual conference was held at Bournemouth this year on a rather grey and damp weekend. But we didn't go for the weather. Instead we were treated to some truly inspirational speakers dealing with humanitarian issues both at home and overseas. The conference always gives us the opportunities to renew acquaintances, compare notes and get new ideas for our own club. This year's conference certainly didn't disappoint and our own club members were able to let their hair down as well! Well some were anyway. We are grateful to Alec (above with Sharon) for organising our attendance and accommodation and look forward to next year's conference in Torquay.

When I was Your Age!

President Norman James and Rotarian Nigel Hutchings were invited by Chandag Infants School to give a talk about their experiences and changes they have noticed in Keynsham, over the years. The Year1 children were intrigued by what they heard and were particularly fascinated by the story of warming the frozen milk bottles by the stove at school. All part of strengthening bonds between generations.

Scatter meetings

Occasionally we have to vacate our normal meeting venue due to the needs of Saltford Golf Club, but this is a great opportunity for club members to "escape" to pastures new and visit other Rotary clubs within reasonable travel distance. Our President Norman James and President Elect Roger Spooner travelled to Cirencester RC where they spent an enjoyable evening in the company of President Shaun Gibson and his colleagues.

Spring is in the Air!

Most definitely it is. The 5,000 purple crocusses we planted at Manor Road last autumn have made an appearance. We hope this adds pleasure to the natural surroundings which all the community can enjoy. The purple colour is highly symbolic, as this reminds us that polio is now virtually eradicated worldwide. After receiving the vaccine the childrens' little fingers are dipped in purple dye to show they are immunised against the dreadful disease. It is not so long ago that this disease was prevalent in the UK and the western world when many succumbed to polio. Rotary is proud to have been a major player in this fantastic project of eradication and we must remain vigilant to ensure polio never returns.

Guest Night meeting 28th February 2018

Our speaker at our "Guest Night" on 28th February was local Estate Agent, Matt Gregory. He has spent some 15 years in estate agency work and for the last three has run his family business, "Gregory's" in Keynsham with a staff of six. Living in the town, he has extensive knowledge of the local property scene and displays an enthusiasm for the Town and its future. Matt gave us an interesting insight into the ways that estate agency has changed over the years and has developed its on-line market place. He did, however, promote the need for face to face support for buyers and vendors and explained why he looks for staff with good local knowledge and unique selling abilities. A very enjoyable evening.

Former Keynsham Rotary Club Member

Former member of the Keynsham Rotary Club, John Lee, sadly passed away on Saturday 23rd December 2017 after a long illness. John was a former President of the Club before moving to Dorset a few years ago and joining the Wareham Rotary Club. Originally living in the Bath and Keynsham area, John retired from teaching locally to spend some of his leisure time on his great interest in breeding and judging nationally Dexter cattle. John was a loyal Rotarian and we are extremely sorry to record his passing but remember with pleasure his valued friendship and fellowship in the Keynsham Rotary Club.

Christmas Greetings

The members of the Keynsham Rotary Club send greetings to all friends and supporters and to other Rotarian colleagues with whom we have had the pleasure of sharing Rotary activities during 2017. We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Christmas get together

Following our pre-Christmas tradition, we held our festive dinner on December 13th at Saltford GC. After an excellent meal we were entertained by the Kennet and Avon Handbell Ringers, a group of half a dozen people playing up to 82 handbells, not altogether of course. Then we were treated to an impromptu rendition of Cinderella performed by club members pressed into character mode and completely taken by surprise. This made the performance all the more entertaining and chaotic. Great fun indeed. A very pleasant evening was then rounded off with a few traditional carols.

Christmas Tree Lights at St John's

It has become an annual event at St John's that various local community groups decorate the church with christmas trees and lights. The Rotary club of Keynsham is pleased to support this event and help raise funds for the church fabric restoration. Well done to Nigel and Ruth Hutchings for once again organising our tree, which, along with many others, made a splendid Christmas picture.

Santa Dash at Saltford, Sunday 3rd December

Over the last few years, at the beginning of December, our members turn out to support the Saltford Santa Dash, a circuit run between Saltford & Keynsham. Acting as stewards along the route we offer encouraging comments whilst quietly thinking "I'm glad it's not me running". Well done to all participants. Each year proceeds are donated to a local charity which this year was the Jessie May Children's Hospice at Home. This is a well deserving charity which our Rotary club has also supported financially in recent months.

Winter Concert at St John's Church, Keynsham

The evening of Saturday 2nd December was not especially pleasant for being out and about but some 300 people braved the weather and gathered at St John's Church, Keynsham for a great evening of Christmas music. With three choirs performing we had a great variety of musical styles to entertain us and there was much humour from the Musical Directors which added to the overall enjoyment. The Mendip Male Voice Choir (pictured above) opened the proceedings, followed by Cantilena Young Singers with the Silver Ring Choir of Bath rounding off the first half. Presented by the Rotary Clubs of Chelwood Bridge and Keynsham, the proceeds of £1800 will be split equally between Children's Hospice South West and Keynsham Dementia Action Alliance. Many thanks to the choirs for their splendid performances, thanks to all who helped the organisers and thanks to the public for supporting our event. Special thanks are due to St John's Parish Office and the Coventry Building Society for selling tickets.

Above Cantilena Young Singer's Choir

Silver Ring Choir of Bath

Keynsham Winter Festival

A sure sign that Christmas isn't far away is the occasion of the Keynsham Winter Festival. As in previous years, the club ran a hot chestnut stall with members helping to prepare the chestnuts and manning the stall. The evening was very crisp indeed but dry, which brought out a really good crowd. Our club was very well represented with no less than 75% of the membership turning out to help with the chestnut sales and also marshall the Santa parade. It was a great evening and enabled us to make £152. It was interesting to note how frequently we heard the comment "Roast chestnuts, I haven't had any of these for years".

Education at home 

At our meeting yesterday (22 Nov), we were given a very interesting insight into the various aspects of home education and why parents might be drawn to this mode of learning. Naomi Wiggins, who is herself a teacher, gave us a case study of why she self educated her daughter for a short period and commented on the varoius issues she encountered. Her daughter returned to full time schooling when Naomi could see she was ready to do so. Plenty of issues to ponder in times where children are usually starting school at four years old and this may not be best for all. A very interesting talk. Pictured above, President Norman James, Naomi Wiggins and Rotarian Graham Hoyle who gave the vote of thanks and is Naiomi's father.

Special Assembly at Chandag Infants School

On Friday 17th November, we were invited to a special assembly at Chandag Infant's School, as a follow up to the firework display, where we assisted with stewarding. Some of the  pupils had volunteered to pick up the rubbish from the playing field for which they received good citizen certificates. Our Rotary representatives were Norman James (President), Lynne Pike, Graham Lenton, Graham Hoyle and John Pike (taking the photo). Our President also received a certificate from the school in thanks to the club for assistance at the fireworks.

Bristol Rotary Club 100th Anniversary

Bristol RC is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their charter this year and Keynsham members felt it appropriate (as a daughter club, so to speak) to mark the occasion with a memento. The Rotary Club of Keynsham was set up by the Rotary club of Bristol in 1954. Four Keynsham members (President Norman James, , Richard Eaton, Graham Lenton and Adrian Dodd) attended the Bristol RC meeting on Monday 20th November, when Norman James presented an inscribed tankard to Bristol President, Jim Currie. Thanks Bristol for your warm welcome and a most enjoyable meeting and best wishes from Keynsham for many more successful years of Rotary.

Gardener's Question Time

Several times throughout the Rotary year we hold a guest night when non Rotarians are especially welcome to our meetings. We try and make the evening of general interest with a variety of interesting guest speakers. Yesterday evening was a first for us when we held a "Gardener's question time". After dinner, President Norman chaired a question and answer session in which our local expert Przemek Szczodry, of Bristol Gardens (landscape gardeners) very ably dealt which all manner of questions from our guests. This was indeed a very interesting and successful evening when members and friends were able to gain some very useful knowledge. Pictured above are President Norman with Przemek.

Keynsham support for Bujagali Trust

For several years past, our Rotary club has been actively supporting  the Bujagali Trust, a small charity based in Bristol. The charity is concerned with improving educational facilities in Uganda, particularly with 3 schools at Gulu, and one at Kumi. We heard stories of laboratories without basic equipment, libraries without books and lack of desks and the desperate need of water and toilet facilities. It was felt that a relatively small investment would make a substantial difference. This has been proved the case as our regular updates from the Bujagali Trust show. They are now moving a long way forward in raising the standards of education and the facilities in these poorest of locations, where there is a real thirst for education. 

Most of our "latest news" is generally home spun but Rotary takes the widest view when it come to international crises and action. We support international initiatives such as the eradication of polio, disaster relief and humanitarian aid to alleviate suffering and deprivation but also are keen to undertake our own targetted action where we can make a real difference.

Pupils at Kumi school, Uganda.

Visit to Keynsham RC by Alan Hudson DG

We were pleased to see our DG, Alan Hudson, on Wednesday 8 November, especially as this coincided with the presentation to Dani Phillips (YCA). It was great to have Alan make this presentation on behalf of Rotary. Following those formalities Alan gave us an intriguing insight into his "Rotary' journey, illustrated with musical vignettes which we were asked to identify (who would have thought Alan was once in a rock group!). It was an entertaining way of putting over Alan's philosophy and linking his career path to Rotary. Thanks Alan, we look forward to more of this at the conference next year.

DG Alan Hudson with President Norman James

Young Citizen of the Year Award 2017 (YCA)

We are delighted to announce that Dani Phillips of Keynsham has won our Young Citizen Award for 2017. She was presented with a cheque for £50 (to be donated to a charity of her choice),  the YCA perpetual cup, a framed citation and medal. Dani has demonstrated a keen interest and concern for her community and has taken positive steps to promote the ideas of younger members through her work with "KeynshamNow" youth group. Dani also actively supports the Butterflies Haven and CLIC charities. Dani and her parents were invited to our Rotary meeting on 8th November to receive her award. It is now hoped that Dani will enter for the national Young Citizen Award and that we will find another similarly deserving young person next year to receive our club award.

Above President Norman James, District Governor Alan Hudson and Dani Phillips.

Pictured above Norman James, Alan Hudson, Jamie Phillips, Dani, Andy Wait (KeynshamNow mentor). Liz Phillips and Lynne Pike (Rotarian organiser for the award)

Anniversary dinner at Ashton Gate

We joined with several hundred other Rotarians to celebrate the Rotary Club of Bristol's centenary on Saturday 4 November. The Rotary club of Keynsham was formed by Bristol Rotary club in 1954 and we were pleased to have 26 club members and friends attend the dinner at Ashton Gate.

Rotary Club of Bristol - 4th November 2017

Firework display at Chandag Infants School

A group of club members assisted as stewards at the Chandag Infants School, with their annual firework display on 3rd November. Nearly 500 pupils and parents gathered to watch. The weather was fine and the firework display was superb.

It's Planting Crocus Bulb Time Again

With autumn well and truely established, it is time to get our springtime bulbs into the ground. Last year we planted purple crocus bulbs at Queens Road, Keynsham, to symbolise the international Rotary effort in the eradication of polio worldwide. The colour purple being the color of the ink which is used to identify children as they are immunised. This year club members (above) are planting another group of crocusses in Manor Road to enhance the local scene in spring and remind ourselves that we cannot relax our efforts to ensure we achieve our goal of ERADICATING POLIO. 

Donations to local charities

At our club meeting on Wednesday, 25th October, we were pleased to welcome representatives of the Jesse May charity, Helen Mackie and Russel Pocock, Treasurer of Mencap, to receive cheques from our President Norman James. We support both these charities which are making a difference to less fortunate members of our local community.

Harvest Supper 

The Club held its annual Harvest Supper on Saturday 14th October which was presented by the International Committee, led by John Pike. After a splendid supper, comprising game pie & salad folowed by apple tart and cream, President Norman expertly launched into an auction of the donated produce and other items. Plenty of good tempered rivalry for the lots and good humour as well. A very worthwhile evening, raising between £750 and £800. 

Edward Cannock memorial

Our former member, Edward Cannock, was an enthusiastic supoporter of the charity organisation, "Tools For Self Reliance",(TFSR) a branch of which operates at the Kingswood Heritage Museum, Warmley. Over the years Edward collected many unwanted tools for TFSR and on Tuesday 5th September, members gathered together with Rotary club members to see Hazel Cannock unveil a memorial plaque in Edward's name, in appreciation of his long association with the charity. Edward left a legacy to TFSR which has been used to purchase essential items of equipment for their work and the Rotary club will continue to support the valuable work of TFSR.

Club visit to Westonbirt

Our Club visit to Westonbirt on 20th August was a most interesting and enjoyable event. The rarely accessible rooms showed the splendid Victorian building at its best.

Club barbecue

Club members gathered at President Norman's for a BBQ last Sunday 23rd July, to raise funds for Rotary Foundation, our own Rotary charity. We managed to dodge most of the showers and enjoyed a great social occasion in the very pleasant suuroundings of Norman's garden. Rotary Foundation is an important aspect of Rotary work, funding grants for major international projects, responding to major natural disasters with humanitarian aid and raising funds for the eradication of polio wordwide. 

New Club President Installed

The Club Handover to the new President took place after a splendid lunch at Cameley Lodge restaurant on Sunday 9th July 2017. In summing up his year in office, retiring President Richard Eaton (above left), ranged over some of the events and activities in which Club members had been involved and thanked members and officers for their hard work and support on community projects and fund raising activities. New President, Norman James, thanked Richard for his successful year and his leadership. Norman outlined plans for changes to the Club meetings and administration, which it is hoped will make it easier for new members to join and participate in rewarding community activities and international projects. Before finally vacating the President's chair, Richard presented Paul Harris Fellowships to John Wetherill (who sadly passed away last year), and to Adrian Dodd. New President Norman also presented Trevor Ewins, who was 90 on Monday 10th July, with a Paul Harris Fellowship. These awards are presented by the Club, for service to the Club and the Rotary organisation.

Chandag Infants summer fete

Hook a duck, Splat a rat or win a Ted! Chandag Infants School certainly chose a great day for their summer fete on Saturday 8th July. Keynsham Rotary members turned out to help man these stalls for the school. Not too many rats were splatted but plenty of ducks got hooked and prizes selected by the winners. We hope the stalls raised a good sum for the school and, as a club, we were pleased to contribute to a great day.

Blood Bikes!

Kevin Slater gave us a very interesting talk on the volunteering group named "Freewheelers" who deliver and collect urgently needed medical supplies and samples for local hospitals and laboratories. They can cover anything up to 30,000 miles in a year delivering items such as blood for transfusions, small items of medical equipment, baby's breast milk and samples for testing. This is another example of how much we depend on volunteers to support our Health Service often without realising the extent and importance of their work. We are grateful to them for providing this service and helping to save lives.

Trip on the Pyronaut at Bristol Docks

Following a talk to the club last November, Clive Brain subsequently arranged a trip for members on the Pyronaut vessel on Bristol Docks. Members were taken the length of the floating harbour and treated to the fire pumps working full bore. This vessel, with Clive at the helm, took part in the river Thames flotilla celebrating the Queen's jubilee.

Supporting Keynsham in Bloom

In support of Keynsham in Bloom, one of our members rummaged around in the garage for a redundant bike and cleverly decorated it as the "Rotary Bike". Keynsham in Bloom is making a feature of old unwanted bikes being decorated with plants to make a colourful display and support its Britain in Bloom entry. Good luck in the competition.

Helping Syrian Refugees

Also, at our guest night on Wednesday, our speaker was Lesley Bowes who has been heavily involved in helping a small number of Syrian families who are in desperate straits and are now trying to rebuild their lives in Bath. Major problems exist from cultural to language difficulties. However a substantial team of volunteers has been assembled with a wide range of practical skills to help settle the refugees into homes and jobs. These people are highly traumatised and vulnerable and we applaud the work that Lesley and her co-workers are doing.

Children's Hospice South West

Following our Plant Fair on Saturday 20th May we are pleased to report that a sum of £1000 was raised  for the Children's Hospice South West. We are grateful for all the support we have had from Andrews Propery Group, Broadleaze Nurseries, Fonthill Nurseries and Sheila's Plants and to all members of the public who came along. At our guest meeting yesterday 31st May, Senior Vice President, Norman James presented the cheque to Hazel Thompson representing the charity.

Plant Fair20th May

Our Plant Fair was held on Saturday 20th May and has successfully produced £1000 for the Children's Hospice South West. We also had books for sale as well as a coffee and cake stall. Our success has been materially assisted with support from The Andrews Property Group, Broadleaze Nurseries, Shelia's Plants and Fonthill Nurseries. Thanks to all these and to the public for coming along and contributing. Enjoy your purchases in your gardens this summer.

Tea Party but no Mad Hatter!

Last Sunday the Club held a fund raising tea party in aid of Polio+. Newest members, Jane & Rob Thurston hosted the event at their house welcoming some 45 Rotarians and friends. The event raised £300 for Rotary Foundation and the eradication of polio. We are always pleased to welcome people interested in our work and more information can be found at .

1st Keynsham Scouts get a new floor!

The Scout HQ at Ashton Way has for many years been the focus of their activities. So much so that the floor has worn out and become unsafe. Last year they started fund raising to raise a mammoth sum of £25k and have now reached that total. Great effort. Our Rotary Club has given support with a donation of £1.5k which was formally presented at last Friday evening's meeting.

St Keyna School, Keynsham

Last year, the Rotary Club of Keynsham was approached by St Keyna School to see if they could get our help with refurbishing some of their outdoor furniture. We agreed to help but were waiting for better weather as we were faced with working outside.

Then, in December last year Rotary received an enquiry from Rick Staples (NCS, Bisley Group), asking if we had any projects they could assist with. Immediately St Keyna's outdoor furniture came to mind. The next piece of good fortune was that David Dover of AkzoNobel (Dulux Paints) agreed to provide the paint. Work progressed at NCS workshopsduring December and January, resulting in two benches being re-varnished and two picnic tables being given a complete makover. We thank our friends for their help, a comment echoed by St Keyna school. One of the students, Sophie, had the great idea to make the rainbow picnic tables "buddy stops" where students can go if they are having a bad day and their friends would know they might like to talk to someone. In the photo above we have (l to r): David Dover, Rick Staples, Richard Eaton (President RC of Keynsham) and in front, Sophie, Jasmine and Leo.

Seasonal Greetings

With seasonal greetings and good wishes to all our Rotarian Friends, colleagues and public supporters who have contributed to our efforts during 2016. We wish you a very happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

Rotary Club Guest Night

The 30th of November evening meeting was our Guest Night when partners and friends attend our extended meeting. We usually try to find a speaker with a more unusual story and in Clive Brain we certainly found one! Clive regaled us with his exploits on several historic vessels which are still going strong at Bristol Floating Harbour.  The Mayflower, John King and Pyronaut are vessels that have been brought back into working condition and are still to be seen at the harbour. Clive also told us how he took part in the Queen's Jubilee procession of small boats on the Thames with Pyronaut, a fire tender, operating its water jets full bore. A very interesting evening indeed.

Santas helpers!

Whilst some of our members were roasting chestnuts, others were helping to escort the children's parade along the High Street. Great evening all round - and it was dry!

Keynsham Winter Festival

Christmas is not far away, heralded by the Keynsham Winter Festival, held on Friday 25th November.  Festivities were in action all along the High Street and Club members were on hand to help sell roasted chestnuts to passing customers. Sales were steady and it was interesting to hear comments like "I remember these from way back" and "What do they taste like?".  We were raising money for the Rotary Foundation, which is our own charity, which funds major projects in areas of natural disasters as well as supporting the Rotary campaign to eradicate polio worldwide. Thanks to all who supported us.

Rotary "End Polio" day

Last Saturday a number of our members planted purple crocuses at Queens Road, Keynsham, in support of the Rotary "Purple4Polio" Campaign. They were joined by the Deputy Town Clerk, and representatives of Keynsham in Bloom, Community@67, and the Keynsham Green Team. We are celebrating the major impact that has been made in reducing the incidence of this crippling disease from around 500,000 cases per annum in the 1960s to no more than a handful today. Working with WHO, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary has contributed over US$ 1.6 billion to immunize 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. After immunization, the children have their little fingers dipped in purple ink to register this and hence our purple crocuses. We hope the springtime will bring enjoyment from our planting and thank all those who have donated to our project over the years. Our aim is the complete eradication of polio but we still have to be vigilant until that is achieved.

Sponsored weight loss (2)

At the same meeting we were given a presentation by Stuart Walker on the activities undertaken by Diabetes UK. He outlined the growing incidence of this disease and then covered the research and development areas to look for future treatments and possibly cures. Rob presented Stuart with a cheque for £527, commenting that both charities were important and he held them as particularly important to him.

Sponsored weight loss (1)

Over the last few months club member, Rob Thurston, has lost 2st 8lbs in a sponsored weight loss, in the process raising £1054 for charitable causes. At our meeting on 28th September Rob presented a cheque for £527 to John Griffiths for the Bujagal Trust. The Trust was formed in Bristol in 2003 and has provided basic but essential support to Ugandan schools at Gulu and Jinja. John expressed thanks on behalf of the trust, stating that the money would go a long way in Uganda.

Cheque presentation to Prostate Cancer UK

Earlier this year we held a very successful Plant Fair at the Fear Institute, Keynsham, raising £1000 for Prostate Cancer UK. In the photo Roger Spooner (JVP) presents the cheque to Pauline Blacker (PCUK volunteer). This organisation is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease, providing support to patients and funding research into new treatments and medicines. In our club we have experienced above average incidences of prostate cancer and we are well aware of the need to have appropriate tests to catch the problem early. Cure is possible but early diagnosis is essential. We are pleased to support the work of Prostate Cancer UK.

Tour of Britain and Bath Cycle Relay Race

Since the successes in recent years of our cycling athletes there has been a burgeoning of interests in the sport generally. A number of our club members were present at the finish of the "Tour of Britain Race" in Bath yesterday (8th Sept) and thoroughly enjoyed the excitement and enthusiasm of the ocassion. But we were not just spectators. We were on a mission to advertise our own event called the Bath Cycle Relay. Organising member, Ken Cookes, engaged in conversation many interested folk.  So we are hopeful for a good turn out. The event will be held on Sunday 23 April 2017 and full details will be available from our dedicated web site . Take a look and why not take part with friends and family.  

District governor's visit

We were pleased to welcome DG Richard Purdon and his "driver", Helen to our meeting on 7th September. Richard outlined his highly amusing experiences in the lead up to taking over as DG and referred to a number of issues confronting our organisation. Notably encouraging like minded people to join us. He also referred to our highly successful polio eradication programme and commented on the need for continued support for the project to complete the task and prevent a resurgence over the next few years.

Celebrating a new member

At yesterday's meeting, 7th November, President Richard Eaton inducted Jane Thurston to membership of our club. We extend a very warm welcome to Jane and hope she will enjoy the friendship and enjoyment and the activities we pursue. Jane is no stranger to Rotary, coming from a family with a long association and understanding the Rotary ethos. Great to have you on board Jane.

What is he up to?

During our visit to the Bath Soft Cheese Dairy we had to be cover up to minimise the chance of bringing in some unwanted bugs. We had to wear hair nets, beard nets and shoe covers and thoroughly wash our hands. The dairy was spotless! The picture captures John overdoing the hair net bit with Ruth wondering if he's quite got it on right. Picture improved?

Visit to Bath Soft Cheese Dairy

Occasionally we like to make visits to local enterprises and production establishments to learn about their business procedures and activity. Yesterday, 27th July, we visited the Bath Soft Cheese Dairy at Kelston, Bath. Hugh Padfield conducted us through the processes of making award winning cheeses from their own organically produced milk. Four types of cheese are made, probably the most well known being "The Wyfe of Bath", a name inspired by Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. At the end of the tour we were treated to a glass of wine and samples of the superb cheeses. Making our way along the road to Bitton we finished off our most enjoyable evening with a meal at the Swan. Interestingly, the UK now produces a greater variety of cheese than France and these niche producers deserve our support in producing quality goods.

Chandag Infants Summer Fair

Hardly had we finished measuring the onions and we were back at Chandag Infant's School to help the PTA with their Summer Fair. We were asked to man the stall where you had to guess the number of balloons in a small car. We had a great deal of interest - no wonder as the prize was a family ticket to the Science Museum at Bristol plus a bottle of Champagne plus a family photoshoot. Luckily the weather held up resulting in a good attendance. As a Rotary Club we are keen to support our local community, and are ready to help with these sort of events.

The Great Onion Growing Competition

This year, as part of our Plant Fair event in May, we have run a competition at the Keynsham Infants and Junior Schools to grow the biggest onion before the end of the summer term. We are pleased to report that all the schools took part and a number of onions grew to a very presentable size, despite rather unhelpful weather conditions. The winning onion, measuring 10cm across, was grown by Chandag Infants School with Chandag Junior School coming a close second. The Chandag representatives were Josh, Lucy and Joey who received the Roland Reed cup as well as a certificate, some crayons for the class and a voucher for 10 minutes extra playtime (very popular - but subject to teacher's agreement!). We are planning another Plant Fair next year and will be running a similar competition - so watch this space. This year's Fair raised £1000 for Prostate Cancer UK, thanks to public generosity. 

Keynsham Music Festival

Rotary members turned out on Sunday 3rd July to assist with the annual Music Festival in Memorial Park, Keynsham. After a week of indifferent weather Sunday proved to be ideal with plenty of sun and summer temperatures. Club members assisted on the gates as stewards and four of our members had dishes of strawberries and cream and cherries for sale. It was a great family day and the Rotary Club of Keynsham is pleased to support this great community event.

A Proper Handbagging

At our Handover last Sunday, awards were handed out by Jenny our outgoing President. John A received a proper handbagging from Jenny because of his outrageous humour and pithy comments during her year. We all enjoy them John, keep them coming!

New Club President

At our Handover lunch yesterday 26th June, our new President, Richard Eaton received the collar of office from the retiring President, his wife Jenny. Jenny expressed her thanks to members for helping to make her year a great success. We took part in many local activities and through our events raised £2000 for The Hive at Kingswood as well as £1000 for Prostate Cancer UK. Richard sees us building on the last year's success with particular emphasis on encouraging new members to join us. He has promised to become more familiar with using IT!.