Club Bulletin for September 2017

The Club Bulletin for September 2017

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                                   ROTARY CLUB OF CHELTENHAM NORTH

                                              BULLETIN – SEPTEMBER 2017

From Vivien Barr – Gloucestershire Young Carers Day Out

Recently Peter and Pat Watson and I met three members of the Glos. Young Carers staff and 12 children (8-13 years) at the Racecourse railway station to take the train to Winchcombe to have a BBQ at the Keenans.

Most of the children had not met before, and we introduced ourselves and tried to remember their names. We had a First Class carriage reserved for us, recently restored, very grand, and the engine was The P and O, which caused much excitement to Peter and Andrew, who were waiting impatiently at the Keenans look-out to see us on our way into Winchcombe station.

On the train the young passengers were given quiz/colouring books to use which kept them quiet, and the volunteer staff came along to see us and chat with the children, and later let some of them try on the guard’s hat, and wave the green flag.

On arrival at the station the children had fun looking at and playing with a large selection of assorted teddy bears before we walked up to meet Peter, Janet, Andrew and Gill, who had been busy preparing the BBQ and other food.

The children had a lovely time exploring the garden, playing hide and seek, football etc while the food was cooked, with strawberries and ice cream to follow. They were all very cheerful and well behaved and had good appetites. One girl who had come last year asked about a tree she had seen on the embankment then. We were able to identify it as a pear tree, and I was very pleased that she had held the memory of that visit for so long.

These Young Carers miss out on a normal family life due to their circumstances and this one day gives them a chance to have a good day out with other children with similar problems.

I would like to thank Peter and Pat, Peter and Janet, Andrew and Gill for their very good natured help with this occasion, and the Club for funding this special day, it is money well spent.

From Peter Keenan – Solar Lights Lunch Parties

It was so nice to see everyone at our two lunch parties and thank you very much for all your generous support for Cheltenham North's solar light projects in Zambia in partnership with the Rotary Club of Lusaka and the charity SolarAid. We would particularly like to thank those who donated such wonderful sweets - Rosanne's mouthwatering chocolate cheesecake , Sarah's superb Swiss role and raspberries , and Shirley's magnificent trifle artistically fruit decorated by David who went on to show outstanding skill on the wine bar. Our very grateful thanks also go to those ( not least John with his outstanding washing up skills) who did all the clearing and washing up for us so that almost magically everything was clean and in order at the end.

The total raised for the project was £376.00 which, when added to the £285.00 raised by our first lunch party, makes a grand total of £661.00.

From Ann Putnam – Drayton Manor Trip for Children from Chernobyl

The Belorussian children much enjoyed their day at Drayton Manor which is always one of the highlights of their stay. The number of people at the Park was down on previous years so the children were able to go on all the rides without waiting in long queues. Also the extra hour was a real bonus as the crowd had thinned out and the children were able to walk straight in to repeat favourite rides

From Gill Rouse: This is the 4th year that RCCN has supported the Chernobyl Children’s project by funding the coach to take them to Drayton Manor for the day. A different group of children come to England each year for a month to give them respite from the increased levels of radiation that still exists in and around Chernobyl. Studies have shown that taking them out of the area for even a month reduces their chance of developing leukaemia.

From Nigel Gilhead – RCCN Boules

With the season coming to an end, we recall the opportunity to christen the new terrain in Sandford Park, by nominating it as our home terrain and using it for our September practice sessions starting at 3pm on Tuesday afternoons, when several sets of boules are available, for you to try out the game. September will see out this season, before we pause, until next spring.

Following several calls and emails, I have been invited by Cheltenham Council’s Green Space Development Team, and by The Friends of Sandford Park, to join their committee to increase the use of the terrain. I am happy to do this and to promote RCCN in the community. Our Tuesday practice sessions could welcome all, bringing them in, to play the role of our opposition. I have generated a new email site to be used for any such public notices: nigel.petanque@gmail.com

Our first D1100 League match was at home versus Sunrise. They won but the excellent atmosphere afterwards and fellowship experienced during the game was extended to the Sandford Park Alehouse where we all agreed it had been a great evening.

Our next matches were away, on 26th July versus Cleeve Vale, which we lost and on 7th August versus Cotswold North A, which we won; both played in Prestbury. On the 14th we had a home fixture against Evesham, following the usual 6.30pm start; with its call to the Sandford Park Ale House giving numbers for baps and chips (we arrive after their kitchen has closed) we won; giving us two wins, so far.

Our next match, which will be the last for this season is on September 18th, although they have lights on the Prestbury terrain, Cotswold North B, have asked if we can start earlier because the pub staff probably will not know where the switches are located. I will poll our members about this suggestion.

Winning comes with practice, confidence and more tactical knowledge, so it is good to see the Club has a generated a cheerful pool of players, who are happy to play against other Clubs. We are looking forward to more members joining the boules group, if you have any questions, please talk to Nigel, at the next Club meeting.

From Nigel Gilhead – Visit to Safran

Tony Hughes arranged for 35 of us to visit SAFRAN in Churchdown, near Staverton airport, on 23 August 2017. Many knew the former Dowty site, but were keen to find out what went on in the big grey sheds, behind the SAFRAN sign.

On our arrival we were greeted by Peter Hall, Public Relations Manager who gave us a presentation, during which we learnt that SAFRAN is the leading European developer, manufacturer and maintainer of aircraft landing and braking systems, the company is proud to trace its local heritage to the work of Sir George Dowty. With a global stretch they have recently sold into the US / Boeing aircraft market, with Airbus remaining their main customer. Their worldwide supply chain is constantly moving parts between SAFRAN factories.

Following the presentation we were split into three groups each one assigned a guide who gave us a comprehensive tour of the Churchdown manufacturing site for single aisle and wide body aircraft landing gear. We were shown the forged ingots of steel

(that will need painting) and titanium (that will not need painting) as they arrive in the factory. SAFRAN then machine them. We were shown how they test the products, and how they assemble the complete landing gear with brakes. Each landing gear costs between $1M and $2.8M.

We all found the buildings bright, and organised; the technicians and managers were well informed about the company and their products, all very keen and motivated. The visit concluded with a lovely lunch.

The group was very grateful at being made so welcome. The author, who has a background in a similar field, found it a very rewarding experience to be given an insight into such a successful global enterprise.

From Eric Labrum

Over the weekend of August 19/20th August Jill and myself visited Liverpool to see our son Rupert leave port at the start of the 2017/18 Clipper Race on the Yacht NASDAQ sponsored by the American stock exchange. This race is between twelve identical yachts each one crewed by twenty volunteers at any one time, plus one professional Skipper. This race takes about 11 months to complete the circumnavigation taking in some eight legs and thirteen individual races. A points system operates reflecting your finishing position.

Participation in this race is open to anyone irrespective of experience at sea. It is determined by ones suitability in health and aptitude, commitment and financial ability. Those who take part can do the entire circumnavigation or just one or more legs.

On our arrival on the Saturday we were able to stand alongside the Yacht Nasdaq where the crew were being briefed. Twelve yachts were lined up in Albert dock. As friends and supporters of Nasdaq we were allowed to stand on the jetty next to her. At this time Sir Robin Knox Johnston, the first man to sail solo around the world came on board to wish the crew well. He addressed its supporters and named the Yacht Nasdaq.

That evening we with Rupert's wife Susan and her children and parents celebrated the occasion at a dock restaurant and acknowledged the fact that it would be a few months before we would be able to make personal contact with him.

The following day we were up early to see the crews assembled and then go off to their respective yachts. By 9am each yacht had left in turn and paraded into the outer harbour before proceeding into the

Mersey river and past all the friends, relations and general public assembled to wave them off. Each yacht sailed out with their entire crew lined up waving good bye. This was the point where the emotions kicked in! Proceedings were fully explained to all visitors over the speakers by Radio Liverpool.

The procession of Sails was greeted by triumphal music adding to the electric atmosphere everyone was feeling at this time.

All twelve yachts proceeded down river and then turned with the westerly wind behind them to come back to the start line and then to start racing. The first leg takes the yachts to Uruguay, and then onto South Africa. Rupert has decided to leave the race at this point before rejoining it on the West coast of USA-Seattle - this will be next year. In between times the race continues via Australia, and China. The final legs are via the Panama canal up to New York and home via Londonderry-Northern Ireland.

The race can be monitored every day showing the positions of yachts pictorially and their longitude and latitude positions. The internet shows developments up to the minute, and this was confirmed recently when one skipper was being air- lifted when he experienced a serious hand injury.

This event in our life was totally unexpected, but never the less very exciting to be part of it. We now look forward to seeing how well Nasdaq does and the time when we are able to meet Rupert on Terra Firma.