6 May 2015             Annual General Meeting

Borderland Rotary Club held their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday during which the committee Chairmen reported on the donations made throughout 2014/15.

Internationally, support was given to;

Africa; through the `Bikes for Africa’ project, which raised 90 bikes and £900.00. Then £80.00 to the Ebola Appeal.

Vanuatu; £320.00 to the disaster appeal.

Nepal; £300.00 to the `Simikot’project providing basic infrastructure.and another for training in basic healthcare. Then a shelterbox which costs £590.00 was donated for the earthquake appeal.

The `Shoebox appeal sent 186 boxes to Eastern European deprived families.

With other smaller donations, the total given to international projects was £1720.00

A total of 60 floats took part in the 2014 Christmas Parade with an excess of 3,000 people watching around the route. £3,390.00 was raised and donated to Rotary charities including Oswestry Rotary club and Porthywaen band.

The 2014 Dairi-Pak Mountain Bike Challenge sponsored by Dairi-Pak raised £5,537.Donations were given to: St Johns Ambulance; Air Ambulance Wales and County Air Ambulance; Raynet and Rhiwlas Village Hall.

Beneficiaries in the local community were wide ranging. The largest being the Macmillan Cancer Care £1850.00. Then Derwen College, Fusion Arts and Dolywern Care Home.

With numerous other donations to needy causes the total community fund so far is £4983.00.

The funds available  to give this support were raised at numerous events, the largest of which were ; MacMillan Coffee Morning £600.00. ; Concert at Marches School, £4340.00. ; Various book stalls at fetes and regattas locally.

The officials and members of Borderland Rotary wish to extend their deep gratitude to the people of the local community for their generous support during the past year.


22 October 2014            RYLA Presentations

Following the recent Rotary Youth Leadership Award residential course at the Arthog outdoor adventure centre, the two students who were sponsored by the Club, gave a presentation on their experiences and received their certificates.

Danni Langdale, from Adcote School described her nervousness on the first day, when the students were instantly thrown into a challenging excercise. Then at the end of a week of adventurous activities with review and feed-back sessions, her confidence had increased sufficiently to stand and talk to a large group of adults. Danni already leads her school cadet force and now is confident of being accepted into the R A F Officer Cadet School.

Bethan Meincken, attends Oswestry School and also achieved a significant increase in her confidence level from completing the various challenges through the week. Since RYLA, Bethan has joined her school public speaking team and hopes totake part in competition. All this experience will help along her chosen career path in the study of Law.

On behalf of the Club, the girls were thanked by John Croft who is a retired teacher at Oswestry School.

Pictured are Danni Langdale, Linda Butler (Club President) and Bethan Meincken.


13 October 2014                Young Writer Competition

Oswestry Borderland club has created an award for the Young Writer competition run annually by RIBI. The John Cranwell award is awarded to the best essay submitted through the club to the District heats in the annual RIBI competition. This trophy was designed and crafted by Greg Morris of "Seasoned Joinery Ltd." Greg, a local master-craftsman employed traditional materials to produce the elegant work fitted with a small drawer in the base holding a memory stick with all the essays recorded on it. John Cranwell was a local Antiquarian Book Dealer and a prominent figure in the world of International Hockey as well as a founder member of Oswestry Borderland, John passed away earlier this year leaving a sum of money to the club a portion of which was used to create the trophy.

10 October 2014                Rotary Shoebox Appeal

Once again, with Christmas looming, Borderland Rotary Club is supporting the Rotary Shoebox scheme, hoping to send hundreds of boxes full of gifts to people in Eastern Europe.  The Club supplies specially made boxes to participating schools in the area for the children to fill with gifts suitable for people of four categories;-  teenagers, babies, elderly people and youngsters of their own age.

 The filled boxes are collected and  sent to a central warehouse ready for distribution across Eastern Europe and hopefully will arrive in time to put a smile on hundreds of peoples faces this Christmas. The children can include messages and pictures among the presents and decorate the boxes to make each one individual.

 Last year over 300 boxes were sent to countries such as Moldova, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. They were distributed to orphanages, hospitals , disabled children and needy people. Borderland Rotary hopes to exceed that total this year.


Eleven year old Richard Jandrell from Oswestry has qualified for the Unified World kickboxing Championships this year at Lake Garda, Italy in October. Richard qualified by winning the North Wales Open Championships in his age and weight category this year.

Competitors, coaches and parents of juniors need to be at the venue for a week, where seven or eight bouts must be won to reach the finals. Richard's coach, Brian Nelson is sure that he has the potential to become champion since he is already the English Light Contact Kickboxing Champion in his age group.

Another local man, Jack Jerrard, will be in Italy competing in the men's open lightweight category. Jack is sponsored by a local Italian restaurant.

Training at the boxing club takes place every Tuesday evening from 6.00 to 8.00pm in the Memorial Hall, Oswestry. More details can be found at

Pictured are Richard Jandrell, defending his sponsor cheque from coach, Brian Nelson who is three times World and European Champion.

31 July 2014            Scouting for Adventure

In response to an appeal from Oswestry Mustangs Explorers,  Border land Rotary Club have sponsored a group of four adventurous scouts who are canoeing down the river Wye from Glasbury, near Hay on Wye, to Ross on Wye. A distance of approximately 62 miles. This is their final expedition challenge towards their Queen's Scout Award, the highest accolade in the Scout Movement.
Harry Breese, Toby Roberts, Jack Vincent and Rohan Hodson will begin their journey in two canoes on Monday 28th July. They have to haul all their own camping gear and food for four days and three consecutive nights,  finishing on Thursday 31st.

Pictured, wishing the scouts good fortune are President of Borderland Rotary, Linda Butler with Harry Breese in the bow and Toby Roberts in the stern of one of the canoes.

18 June 2014        Adcote School Update

On Wednesday 18th June, Rotarians from the Oswestry Borderlands Club, meeting at Sweeney Hall were entertained by Rotary member, Gary Wright, Headmaster of Adcote School. Gary informed the club of the latest developments at the independent day and boarding school for girls, located near Nesscliffe. 

Borderland Rotary is actively sponsoring the Interact Club at Adcote.  The new Interact Club President, Olga Unigovska. is pictured with Gary Wright the headmaster and Merrick Corfield, President of Borderland Rotary who presented Olga with her chain of office at the school assembly this morning.

At the Wednesday meeting, Gary spoke about the exciting developments at the school, including a multi-million pound investment program from Chinese investors over the next few years, coupled with an international admissions office in Birmingham and in Beijing, China. 

Construction has now begun on the first state-of-the-art boarding house, which will include 50 en-suite double rooms, a relaxing common area and a dedicated Internet connection. Other new buildings on the campus will include a sports hall and additional teaching and catering space.

In what is a very exciting time for Adcote School, Gary told Rotarians of the growth of the school over the last few years, from just over 100 pupils to nearly 300. The majority of the schools pupil roll are from the UK, with around a fifth of pupils from 20 countries around the world.


Borderland Rotary Club, in association with Fullwood Ltd of Ellesmere, and the British Ironworks Centre, held the annual Technology Tournament at the Marches School last Friday 7th March.

Four local schools took part, Marches, Adcote, Saint Martins and Oswestry sent a total of 17 teams. They were grouped into foundation, intermediate and advanced levels and their task was to assemble a machine to remotely lift a load from within a box then place it on a target, from a distance of 150 cm.

Points were scored for a portfolio of plans, strategies and drawings before construction was completed and testing carried out.

Oswestry Town Mayor, Chris Scofield and Mayoress, Val Schofield attended and enjoyed seeing the intense concentration and endeavour of the groups of pupils.

Chief Judge was Chris Lakey of Fullwood Ltd, assisted by Clive Knowles of British Ironworks Centre who provided miniature anvils as trophies for the winners.

Results were:          Foundation level -     Marches School
                                    Intermediate level -   St Martins School
                                    Advanced level -         Marches School.

Individual awards for Young Engineer, 2014 went to Finley Hudson of  Marches and  Diana Roman from Adcote

Organiser Cliff Wood from Borderland Rotary Club said, This years task is very challenging but each year I'm very impressed by how quickly young people can come up with an effective solution to the challenge.  Cliff Wood is also a STEMNET Ambassador - working with local Schools to promote interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

28 January 2014        BORDERLAND ROTARY STIRS IT!

Borderland Rotary President Merrick Corfield and Vice President Linda Butler have collected spoons for the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry for the challenge by Uri Geller to create a monstrous 12 ft gorilla statue from old spoons.

Uri Geller, famous TV personality and mystifier who opens his gardens to charity five times a year.  He has asked Clive Knowles, Ironwork Centre Director to create a gigantic gorilla sculpture from a mixture of iron and spoons collected from schools and members of the public from around the country.

Mr Geller has said: "I use the sculptures in my garden to inspire poorly children. I am not a healer, but when children see the items I have, they are in awe.

The unveiling of the "spoon gorilla" will be on the 17th May 2014 at the British Ironwork Centre open day in Oswestry, when Uri will officially reveal the sculpture for the nations press and media crews.

Borderland Rotary club have joined with Clive to collect in excess of the 5,000 spoons needed to sculpt the 12 foot high gorilla . If anyone has any spoons they don't want then please take them along to the Black Country Iron Works on the A5 out of Oswestry towards Shrewsbury.

6 February 2014            NEW MEMBER WELCOMED

At their weekly meeting last night, Borderlanders welcomed new member; Clive Knowles into the Club.

Clive is a native of Wolverhampton where he started his own garden hardware manufacturing company. He moved the main part of the business, his home and family to Whitehall near Aston, eleven years ago. This was a successful move, with all children doing well at local schools, colleges or employment.

A member of the board of Governors at Woodside School and a member of the Shrewsbury Flower Show committee, Clive has integrated fully into the Shropshire community.

Currently, due to the business location and the land acquired, they hope to become one of the most significant tourist destinations here in Oswestry. Recently having taken over one of the Ironbridge Museums; (The outdoor Museum of Outdoor Steel Sculpture ) integrating this into the British Ironwork Centre and creating Shropshires only Sculpture park, here on the outskirts of Oswestry.

Current projects include working for Buckingham Palace this year, the House of Commons, numerous TV programmers and celebrators, hosting training for Blacksmiths and offering support to all community schemes and charities. All this has been recognized by a Community Champion Award.

Feeling part of a community and helping improve it, having the added friends and associates, has enriched the lives of all the family.

30 October 2013  Three new members for Borderland Rotary Club

Club President Merrick Corfield and Members were pleased to welcome the District Governor,  Philip Horwood, who was here to induct three new members to the club.

Jenny Holderness is a retired BT technician who is now helping with local charities, mainly the Mothers Union and the Garden Society.

Jonathan Edwards is a Chartered Accountant working at a company in the Wirral, He is a collector of Classic Cars.

Jim Griffiths is a retired local shopkeeper who now supports rugby clubs at Oswestry and Llangollen.

In welcoming these three new members, Governor Philip spoke of the work of Rotary Clubs and the worldwide projects in service of disadvantaged communities. Especially the attempt to eradicate polio from the three or four countries in the world where it is still endemic.

The Rotary Foundation also sponsors Peace Scholars at several universities.

Pictured are the three new members,  Jonathan Edwards., Jenny Holderness and Jim Griffiths.

19 October 2013   Borderland Rotary's ShelterBox helps a family in North Korea!

Borderland Rotary Club have been informed by Alf Evans, one of the ShelterBox Response team, that one of the ShelterBoxes  sponsored by the club has been deployed to North Korea in response to their latest natural disaster   Typhoon Bolaven. The box was identified as one of ours from the unique tracking number given to each box.

Our box was one of very many deployed to the area when the  Typhoon left over 26,000 people homeless in the coastal areas.

Despite the large scale of the catastrophe, there was no publicity or communication with the outside world so the scenes of devastation went almost entirely unseen.

The people of North Korea are arguably some of of the most vulnerable in the world. There is rarely enough food to eat and they have to harvest everything by hand. Everything was lost so the families were very grateful to receive there Shelterboxes  that contain a tent for a family of 12, blankets, sleeping bags, water filtration, cooking stove and utensils and basic tools to enable them to survive.

ShelterBox are a truly international organisation now and very often are the very first group on the ground when a natural or man made disaster strikes.

The global support from the Rotary network is the cornerstone that ShelterBox is built on and Borderland Rotary sponsored two of the life saving green boxes at 590 each last month alone.

16 October 2013        RYLA Students' Presentation

Two students from Oswestry School who were recently sponsored by Borderland Rotary Club to attend the Rotary Young Leader Award course at Arthog, received their award certificates last night.  Daniel Renwick and Robin Edwards gave a mature and confident presentation to the members of the club at their weekly meeting. Accompanied by a photographic presentation, they described the challenges, physical and personal which were faced and the rewards (mainly in terms of confidence) gained.

The summary of their presentation follows:-

The main aim we had this week was the improvement in our confidence, not only in ourselves but also in social situations. This course pushed us out of our comfort zones and into situations with people we had never met before thus forcing us to react and become more rounded and socially conscious people as a whole.

There are many skills we can take into the future from this course: learning the practical skills from so many different activities, from surfing to gorge walking to rock climbing. Apart from the physical skills we picked up I think that to take into the future would definitely be the confidence gained on the course in situations with strangers, where you have to adapt to work together to get a task complete really does make you think more socially as you have to interact and get points across to people you have never met. This skill was obviously going to be useful for later life but closer to this date and time we will be going off to Uni and the wider world to start our lives as adults. The RYLA course has really given us the impetus to push ourselves and get out there and work with other people to the best of our abilities

9 October 2013            Rotary Shoebox Scheme

Once again Borderland Rotary Club is supporting the Rotary Shoebox scheme, hoping to send hundreds of boxes full of gifts to people in Eastern Europe.  The Borderland supplies specially made boxes to schools in the area for the children to fill with gifts suitable for teenagers, babies, elderly people and youngsters of their own age.

The boxes are sent to a warehouse ready for distribution across Eastern Europe and hopefully will arrive in time to put a smile on hundreds of peoples faces this Christmas.

Judy Bristoll, Shoebox scheme coordinator for Borderland Rotary Club, recently visited Holy Trinity  CE Primary school  to explain the scheme to the children and show them the sort of things that can be used to fill the boxes. The children were keen to include messages and pictures among the presents and to decorate the boxes to make each one individual.

31 AUGUST 2013        Four local teenagers show their potential

Borderland Rotary club once again organised the Districts Rotary Youth Leadership Award  week at Arthog Outdoor Education Centre near Barmouth recently. Four teenagers from the Oswestry area were part of a group of 26 girls and 15 boys from the North West District for a fairly intensive course on the skills needed to become an effective leader. On the night of their arrival, they had to complete an obstacle course whilst blind folded and staying in contact with their group by sound or touch.

The next four days, presented challenges of increasing complexity and discomfort; requiring communication skills, mutual support, trust in the leader, mental agility under pressure and a high degree of boldness. The exercises took the students to mountains, rock faces, underground slate mines, lakes, rivers and the sea. Typical days were of 14 16 hours duration with breaks for food and drink with a bit of recreation, followed by review and feedback sessions.

Evenings were livened up by having the whole group partake in a mass drumming session lead by Jay Moore of Fusion Arts Oswestry, using oil drums, plastic bins, buckets and even chairs.

At the end of the week there were many tearful goodbyes, many new friendships made and all the students declared it The best week of their lives

picture shows:

From left to right Cliff Wood, Geoff Barre, (Facilitators)-  Robin Edwards, Daniel Renwick sponsored by Borderland Rotary Club and Haydn Sanders and Rhianne Lloyd sponsored by Oswestry Rotary Club.   - Merrick Corfield, Mike Lade, (Facilitators). Kneeling is Jay Moore, Facilitator and Drummer.



At the weekly meeting on 14th August, the Chairman of the International committee Linda Butler, introduced Kathryn Egerton (20) who was a recent award winner at the Arthog week and had returned from a month of volunteering as a teacher in a Ugandan school. Kathryn was sponsored by Borderland Rotary for the trip and credited much of her confidence to undertake the journey, unaccompanied, to her experience at RYLA.

Using a photographic presentation, she described how Ruhanga Development School was set up from scratch by another committed volunteer, Ann McCarthy and has now over 500 pupils of primary age. Kathryn was required to integrate with the local teaching staff who, unsurprisingly, had very different notions on how to engage with a large classroom full of energetic pupils.

The whole experience has not deterred Kathryn who intends to pursue a career in teaching.

7 AUGUST2013             Borderland Rotary Sponsors Civil War Newsletter

At the weekly meeting on 7th August, members were pleased to support an event to be held at Oswestry Library as part of the Oswestry Heritage Open Days programme.

Children from the age of eight and over will be invited to produce a news-sheet in the style of 17th century literature describing some events from the history of that era.

Their entries will be on display at the Library and those judged to be the best three will receive a prize of a book token and an illustrated dictionary (donated by Borderland Rotary Club).

22 MAY 2013        Borderland Rotary sponsor new Interact club at Adcote School

At the weekly meeting of Border land Rotary Club last night, the Charter Certificate of Adcote Interact Club was presented.  4 Girls who are founder members of the club, accompanied by their Headmaster, Gary Wright, were present to receive the charter from Rotary Cub President, Mike Tomley.

The girls each gave a brief presentation describing their background, educational aims and future ambitions.

Evie Ford (17) from Telford, hopes to study history and/of politics.

Tamilone Odunaiya (17) from Nigeria, hopes to study law and politics before returning to her home and working to improve her country.

Charlotte Price (17) has a background in farming and wishes to study veterinary science.

Basmah Baeshen (18) from Saudi Arabia, is keen to study modern media communication and public relations.

The first project undertaken by the new interact club is to provide an afternoon picnic tea for the residents of a local care home.

Pictured are Mike Tomley, Borderland Rotary President. Evie Ford,Tamilone Odunaiya, Basma Baeshen, Charlotte Price and Gary Wright, Adcote Headmaster.

3 MAY 2013                            "All by Water"

Borderland Rotarian Arnold Grayston is to take on the All by Water challenge of circumnavigating Wales by sea and inland route - all by water in aid of Seven Hospice!

Everywhere somebody has lost, or is losing, a loved one through one of the horrible Cancer diseases.  Love, care and support are freely given.  Then comes a wretched frustration when one can do no more and become desperate for help.  Love alone is not enough.  When that help is there, to provide some relief, some comfort and maybe dignity --- it is priceless.  However, there is always a cost, and that is often covered by the many donating to the organisations providing that help. Just before Arnold's wife Karen died from  cancer she asked for something to be done for the Hospice and their care at home.  This Appeal project is dedicated to her.

It is possible to circumnavigate Wales with an inland route using  connecting waterways in England.  It is not easy and there has been no commercial need to do so.  Private individuals may have done so but, few occasions are recorded.  Although the English canal waterways can be used from Chester to Sharpness this challenge is exceptional because of the route using the wild and uncertain rivers through Shropshire and Worcestershire with many weirs and rapids.

Arnold aims to capture the imagination of the donating public by enduring physical and mental hardships and to ask people to donate money for the hospice for his effort.

Donations may be made through   and Barclays Bank All By Water collection account at  20-77-85  63110540. More information on the All by Water challenge can be found on