Cheltenham North News

This is a summary of our activities, other than our normal Club Meetings,.over the past twelve months. You can also view our Club Meeting Notes and Club Bulletin in the "What we Do" area of the Home Page of this website.

                                                    CHELTENHAM NORTH NEWS

                                  This is a selection of our activities over the past twelve Months

Club Christmas Dinner 6th December 2018

The Club annual Christmas Dinner was held at the Lilley Brook Golf Club

The members, partners and guests present were provided with an excellent meal and entertainment.

Pictures from the evening can be found in the Club Website home page under menu or the "What we Do" area and either Pictures of Events or Photo Galleries.

Kevin Gwilliam a New member for Cheltenham North November 2018

PDG Rodney Hill formally introduced Kevin to the members; he and Kevin had become acquainted while members of 41 Club. SVP Michael Rouse read the Object of Rotary and the President inducted Kevin as a member of RCCN. Kevin expressed his thanks for being accepted as a member and undertook to play a full part in the activities of the club.

Cheltenham Fireworks 3rd November 2018

A group of Cheltenham North Rotarians and Partners supported the Annual Round Table Fireworks Display held at the Cheltenham Racecourse

They acted as stewards and assisted in raising funds for local causes.

Visit to Westons Cider Mill 10th October 2018

Members, partners and friends totalling 22 drove through the lovely autumn countryside to Much Marcle, home of Westons Cider. With the sun beating down many of the group had coffee and a chat outside the old buildings before Tom, our guide for the visit, assemble us beside the old farm house and began a very informative talk about the Weston family and the production of cider on the site.

The farmhouse was built in 1611 and since 1880 cider has been produced on the site, the old press is still positioned near the house. Westons cider now produces 40 million litres of cider a year and exports to 40 countries worldwide with up to 25 varieties. Not only do they produce cider but there is a farm with prize organic Hereford cattle and sheep which are fed the mash from the apples.

Around ¼ of the apples are grown on site with the remainder coming from local farms within a 50 mile radius of Much Marcle. Every year around 35,000 tons are required which come from 350 growers. The cider is sold around 1 to 1 ½ years after it is pressed. They do produce a small amount of Perry cider.

We were shown the various stages of production, from the gravity fed washing system (most of the water used is from their own source and is recycled), the 40 oak vats, where the cider is stored, for between 3 and 18 months and later the outside storage tanks. The names of the oak vats and the storage tanks have such names, reindeer, football teams to ladies names, ‘Bubble’ & ‘Squeak’, two large storage tanks hold 42, 000 litres each.

Although most of the cider leaves in kegs, between 2,000 to 3,000 leave each Wednesday or Thursday, there is also a large bottling plant which we were able to view from windows high above.

Following the tour a short tasting session took place, one of the favourites was cider and rhubarb, a new variety, before having a very pleasant lunch in the restaurant…. . of course cider was used in all the main dishes!

What impressed many of the group was that not only is this a large family run organisation, employing up to 250 people, situated in a very rural and picturesque location but the family also have a keen interest in the heritage of cider making and the environment.

Many thanks must go to Sally Whittal for organising such an interesting visit on such a beautiful day.

Peter Watson


Our £2,000 donation has provided 20 bags for those children without a bag.  50 bags have been reserved for the new intake in April.
Following a request from Luke Simon CEO of SIB the remaining money has been spent on a laptop and projector.  Shree Kalinka school particularly asked if this was possible.

Lis Foy, from SIB, who many of you will have met at our Curry Lunches and at the District Conference, was in Tenkanpur yesterday to present them to the school.

I am sure you will agree, as does the International Committee, how pleasing it is that we can see first hand how our donation is being spent.


Monday lunchtime and the team started to gather at the hotel after a sunny journey down to Devon.

In the afternoon most took an afternoon stroll over to Dartmouth Castle and en route Adrienne enlisted the aid of a burly builder to administer first aid to her failing walking shoes!

Following an extended refreshment stop at the Castle some walked on into Dartmouth, others caught a local ferry into town while others retraced their steps and back for the first very enjoyable evening meal at the hotel.

Tuesday dawned blue again and a hardy group made their way down to Start Point via the first of AW’s “alternative ”routes following the road closure at Slapton.

However, after a very successful first three quarters of the walk with reports of “ your two old boys soaking up the sun on a seat – tell the others to save us a pint at the pub”, matters took a distinctly serious turn when it became apparent that PK had taken a nasty “bump” to the head after stumbling over a boulder. With no mobile signal, Adrienne enhanced her already impressive reputation, this time enlisting the assistance of a local young gardener chap and hitching a lift in his van up to the pub. Calls were made to the emergency services and soon a First Responder and three burly blokes from Coast Guard Rescue were in attendance. When the Air- Sea Rescue helicopter from Newquay arrived it was all getting rather dramatic. Soon PK was swinging high amidst the blue and was transferred to a waiting ambulance for a rather bumpy journey to Torbay hospital.

With Janet’s return to the hotel later that evening came the news that Peter was reasonably comfortable but would have to stay on for observation until Thursday and the journey home.

Wednesday dawned blue again and a modest walking team gathered at East Soar for a gentle walk round the coast to Overbeck’s. Not 20 minutes into the walk we came upon the East Soar Walkers’ Hut, a wonderful arrangement set up by a local farmer providing DIY facilities for coffee and cake which set us up nicely for the none too arduous walk to Overbeck’s garden and a rendezvous with the non walkers and lunch in a wonderful setting overlooking the Salcombe estuary.

Our final evening at the hotel was spent going over the events of the previous 48 hours or so over a lovely meal with much bonhomie.

Thursday morning was blue yet again and it was time for dispersal after breakfast with some calling in at Greenway and Coleton Fishacre en route.

I would like to thank everybody on the trip for their encouragement and participation in true Rotary spirit.

Boules Update September 2018 Nigel Gilhead.

Away vs Tewkesbury, 13th September

We travelled to their home piste, conveniently situated in Gotherington. We all played three rounds, with a clear win for Cheltenham North of five games to one.

The last games were played in fading light, so we were grateful to have brightly coloured jacks to aim for. After the match, we all retired to the nearby Shutters pub, for a traditional pub supper

Garden Parties Janet and Peter Keenan 5th and 30th August

33 members and partners attended the second garden party lunch held this summer at Orchard House, Greet on 30 August. As the weather, although fine, was a bit cool the meal was held in the garden rooms where we managed to seat everybody at 4 tables. The various delicious puddings were given by some of those attending. It raised £538.00 . 

The first party was attended by 27 members on 5 August- both parties raised a total of £1,027.00 thanks to the generosity of those attending. 

The £1,027 will go a long way towards the cost of this year's solar lights project in Zambia by the Club joining with the Rotary Club and Rotaract Clubs of Lusaka and the English charity, SolarAid operating in Zambia. The project is to assist disabled children in some 300 poor families and and to provide solar lights for 3 clinics and a hospital (which sees an average of 1834 patients a quarter) which are without electricity.

Boules An Update August 2018 Nigel Gilhead

Boules at Evesham, we sent them down the river 

We fielded five members, John S, Richard P, Nigel G, John and Beth P, with four to play at any time. The terrain is on the flood management area, out of sight of the road, but we found it and the narrow car park entrance.

For openers John S won his singles game and Richard P, John P and Nigel G won their doubles. Beth held the tape measure.

For the next two rounds Richard P and John S partnered each other in the pairs, and after some persuasion Beth P partnered John P. To the delight of our President, who started the evening as a boules novice, this combination won all four of their games. A six-nil win to Cheltenham North.

We then crossed the road, to the Northwick Hotel annex/bar, where we enjoyed a sociable drink with the Evesham players.

Cleeve Vale came to play, it was rained off.

Having surprised the landlady as we arrived early at the Sandford Park Alehouse in the pouring rain, and asking for our sandwiches to be served early; we were unable to arrange a new date before the competition ended. So we agreed to move on to the skittles season.

North Cotswolds (Rams) came west, we sent them south

Once again we fielded five members, John S, Richard P, Nigel G, Tony H and Andrew W, with four to play at any time.

For openers Nigel G won his singles game and Richard P, Andrew W and Tony H won their triples. John S caught his breath and practiced, on the ever changing terrain.

For the next two rounds Richard P and John S partnered up again with Tony H and Andrew W forming the other partnership. Despite having to break for 10 minutes while the rain lashed down, in that configuration, now playing on a dry-damp-drying-surface, we won two of the four doubles games. The result was clear win by Cheltenham North of four games to two.

We all, retired to the Sandford Park Alehouse, almost taking over the upper room, for a drink and supper, in a warm and dry, sociable environment

14th August 2018 Gloucestershire Young Carers Day Out Vivien Barr

Recently Peter and Pat Watson and I travelled with 2 members of the Glos. Young Carers staff and 8 children (8–13 years) from the Racecourse railway station on a very shiny steam train to Winchcombe to have a BBQ at the Keenan’s home. Before we got to the station we saw the Keenans and Worthingtons waving very hard to us from the special look-out in the garden.

When we arrived at Winchcombe station the children had fun playing with a selection of teddy bears dotted around, as this was a Teddy Bear Special Tuesday which the volunteer railway staff put on during the holidays. Further along the platform we found a railway carriage with push-button toy trains to play with, and so this was another fun thing for them to try out.

Then we walked along the road, and on seeing the balloon on the gate post the children then rushed up the drive to see what was around the corner.

It didn’t take them long to start playing football or jumping up and down on the trampoline while the chefs started cooking the food.

It didn’t take them very long either to clear their plates and enjoy the ice cream cornets with strawberries. After this they were led on an expedition to pick blackberries, and you can imagine the colour of their hands and some faces when they returned. All too soon it was time to go back to the station for the return journey. Once again we were waved on our way by Peter and Janet, Andrew and Gill, to whom our very grateful thanks for their BBQ skills and the generous welcome

they gave to the Young Carers.

This group of young children miss out on a normal life due to their family circumstances, and this one day gives them a chance to have a fun day out with other children who have similar problems.

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

25th July 2018 Visit to British Motor Museum Gaydon

A group of members and partners visited the British Motor Museum at Gaydon organised by Tony Hughes.

They enjoyed a one hour private guided tour of the museum, followed by free access to the museum and the adjacent car collection centre for the rest of the day.

Lunch was taken in the cafeteria.

19th July 2018 Club Assembly for 2018/19

Our President for 2018/19 Beth Phillip introduced the evening with an overview of the Club and its membership and activities.

This was followed by presentations from the Committee Chairmen that included a review of the previous Rotary year and our aspirations for the forthcoming year.

The evening concluded with a summing up by President Beth and a review by District Representative Assistant Governor Graham Ogden.

11th July Mischief Movie Night at the Everyman

A group of Members and Partners visited the Everman Theatre to watch the Production of "Mischief Movie Night". Prior to the performance we enjoyed a meal in the Theatre Restaurant 

We are grateful to Janet Keenan for arranging a very enjoyable evening.

5th July 2018 Visit to the Club Miss Cheltenham 2018

Our Guest Speakers were Sophie Lydia Smith a former Miss Cheltenham and organiser of the competition and Ms Katy Van Hemelryk Miss Cheltenham 2018. They gave an excellent presentation on the event plus an overview of their careers. 

5th July 2018 Presidential Handover

At the meeting on the 5th July President Steve told the Members that it had been at an honour and pleasure to have served as President for the past Rotary year.

President Steve then inducted SVP Beth as President for the forthcoming year 2018/19. 

Beth duly presented a SVP medal to Michael Rouse, and JVP medal to Richard Purdon, and Steve an Immediate Past President badge.

Beer and Cider Fest 23rd/24th June

The “Beer and Cider Festival” was a great success. The sun shone, as ordered by Committee Chairman John Phillip, and the beer and cider, plus the odd glass of wine, flowed. Financially this was the most profitable year for this event and we have already arranged for an interim payment of £3,500 to the Hatherley and Redding Cricket Club, co-organisers of the festival, as Treasurer John is confident that their half-share of the proceeds will be at least that amount.

16th June Belmont School Funday

On Saturday 16 June the RCCN provided helpers to man the car park and organise the BBQ for Belmont School Funday – the following is a letter of thanks that we received:

Dear Cheltenham Rotary,

Thank you SO much for supporting our Belmont 2018 Family Funday. Despite grey skies the event was a huge triumph, raising over £2,400 towards projects in both the Senior and Junior areas of our school. This was by far our most successful year to date.

13th June Kids Out at Cattle Country

A record 45 pupils and 25 staff from The Ridge Academy contributed to a total attendance of more than 700 children and 200 adults, itself a record. Clearly Rotary has found yet another service which our community greatly appreciates. Once again the sun shone and the children raced from one favourite feature to the next. Except, of course, for those confined to wheelchairs or walking aids. The dedication of staff never fails to impress. I discussed her responsibilities with a young carer from St Rose’s School in Stroud, who was patiently feeding one of her palsied charges through a port directly into the stomach because swallowing was impossible or likely to cause inhalation pneumonia. The intense feeling of relief that one is not similarly burdened on a daily basis is hard to describe.

I am very grateful to Roberta, Mary Ann, Ann (W), Beth, Mike (B) and Richard (P) for their contribution to such a successful and worthwhile event.

9th June Tea Cruise with The Willow Trust

On 9th June we enjoyed an “ Afternoon Tea Cruise” with the Willow Trust, one of our nominated charities for 2017/2018. We were blessed with excellent weather and it was a wonderful way to pass a sunny Sunday afternoon.

A donation of £2,500 has been given to Willow Trust.

31st May Club Meeting at the Pudding Club

Forty Four members Partners and Friends attended the Pudding Club to have a very enjoyable lunch including a selection of five puddings, which were voted upon.

We are grateful to Eric Labrum for making the arrangements.

19th May Elvis Tribute Concert

The Elvis event was in the excellent venue of the Parabola Arts Centre and everyone there seemed to have a really good time. As an added bonus, the event actually made money, raising approximately £900.

17th May 2018 Club AGM

The Club AGM was held on the 17th May with Club Assembly being postponed until July to accomodate District.

10th May Visit to Jet Age Museum

On 10th May we had the visit to the Jet Age Museum, which was very interesting with excellent explanations from the museum volunteers, followed by lunch at the Gloucester Old Spot.

May 2018  Cheque Presentation to Sue Ryder – 8 May

President Steve Wood and our treasurer , John Smith, presented a cheque for £6,000 to Sue Ryder as proceeds from the Wine Festival.

April 2018 Phase 2 of Project for Solar Lights in Zambia now approved

Cheltenham North has now approved to provide the monies $1516 for Phase 2 of the project, please see message below for details 

"Good morning everyone,

I have attached a bunch of pictures that show the lights being given and installed on  the 3 orphanages, which completes Phase 1.   The handover was done by myself and Drew for the SunnyMoney representatives as well as 2 from the Rotaract Club of Lusaka.   All of the lights have been installed according to the information given, and you can see some of that here in the pictures.   I have requested pics from them showing the lights at night, but this seems to be hard to get.  I will continue working on that.   

As for phase 2 and 3, we are ready to go whenever you are.   We have plenty of the lights in stock and could do phase 2 at any time.  The cost for Phase 2 is about $1,516.   For phase 3, we will need to have a set of lights arrive to be able to do that phase, and they will be arriving in July, so we are able to conclude Phase 3 in August or September time?    As schools are out until the 2nd week of May, we could certainly do the handover in May or June time when the schools are back in session.   Phase 2 is working with 12 schools that are very rural and have no electricity in any of the areas.   We will be doing a schools campaign there in the next few weeks, so this will be a great time to get the lights out and have the teachers and community educated on what solar is.

I will let you advise about the financing part, and then we will go from there. 

Kind regards,


Karla Kanyanga
Operations Director

SunnyMoney Zambia"

April 2018  Cheltenham Wine Festival

Over 400 enthusiastic wine lovers celebrated and raised a glass to the wonderful world of wine in the elegant Regency surroundings of the Pittville Pump Room on Saturday 7th April 2018 for the third annual Cheltenham Wine Festival.

The event was again sold out before the day. Lucky ticket holders enjoyed an unmissable fine wine experience as they travelled by taste, discovering and savering samples from over 340 wines from some of the best wine regions in 20 countries. Additionally, foodies delighted in tasting delicious treats from the award-winning artisan cheese, charcuterie and chocolate producers present.

The 30 wine experts exhibiting at the festival were on hand to guide those attending as they tasted an exciting range of wine styles and grape varieties giving them an opportunity to learn about the people and places behind them.

We were delighted to welcome our Guest of Honour, Cheltenham Mayor Klara Sudbury, and would like to thank all those attending the festival for helping us to raise nearly £10,000 for both our Charity Partners Sue Ryder Leckhampton Hospice and Rotary Charities.

With something for everyone, beginners to wine connoisseurs, The Cheltenham Wine Festival has become a much-anticipated event for wine lovers in Cheltenham’s busy festival calendar .

We are already looking forward to next year’s exciting event on Saturday 6th of April 2019 and wine lovers can register their interest in attending now by visiting our website at

It is hoped that the event will raise in the region of £9000 for Rotary Charities

April 2018 Stroke Awareness

In conjunction with Cheltenham Rotary Club members took part in a Stroke Awareness campaign in the Regent Arcade Cheltenham

During the afternoon 101 people had their blood pressure checked and 28 had been advised to seek further medical advice. Bernie, Mike and Geoff had operated the pumps and 8 other members had encouraged the public to avail themselves of the opportunity.


Robin was proposed by David Rust, Michael Rouse read the Aims and Objectives of Rotary,

and was inducted by President Steve. Robin was warmly welcomed into the Club by all the members present.


Vivien reported that she had presented a cheque for £2,500 to Gloucestershire Young Carers from the Club

School in the Bag Update March 2018

The email below is one received received from Luke Simon:

It gives me great pleasure to send you pictures from the recent SchoolBag distribution that took place at Shree Kalika School last week on International Women’s Day. In all 80 School Bags were handed out to the children. The photos are lovely and not only show off the children and their School Bags very nicely but also provide good context to how the stock is transported to the school and how they are packed at the premises.

You will notice that construction is still taking place at the school and some of the children are still learning in their TLC (Temporary Learning Centre).

On behalf of the children at Shree Kalika and us here at School in a Bag, thank you so much for your continued support. We are so grateful to the members from the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North.

March 2018 District Skittles John Phillip

Those of us who have played the game will readily agree that skittles for the mature participant is more a game of chance than skill. Take as examples our two most recent fixtures against Evesham on the 19th and Tewkesbury on the 28th. The alley at St Ecgwins Club is long and beautifully maintained whilst that at The Bluebell pub is short and bears the scars of frequent use and infrequent maintenance. Unsurprisingly, the pub feels obligated to offer a damp cloth in order to remove the dust and debris from the balls before use. But that is not all! Over the years the impact of ball on skittle has reduced the diameter of the skittles and therefore increased the size of the gaps between them.

Dear reader, you will surely have guessed where all this leading. Your enthusiastic representatives prevailed by 7 shots playing under the elegant conditions of St Ecgwins but succumbed to Tewkesbury by 10 shots. Suggestions that our Tewkesbury friends had concealed sandpaper in the ball cleaning towel are scurrilous. The CCTV recordings would have confirmed this view but, unfortunately, they had been removed for routine maintenance!

We have one remaining fixture this season. Worcester Vigornia failed to raise a team at the first time of asking. A walkover would significantly improve our record.

March 2018 Theatre Visit

There was a group visit by Members and partners to the Everyman Theatre to see " Pressure", a play about weather forecasting for the D Day landings

This was an excellent production that was enjoyed by all. We are grateful to Janet Keenan for making the arrangements and obtaining two for one tickets.

February 2018 District Quiz

We were second in the quiz to North Cotswolds, beating Cleeve Vale into a distant 4th place. The the final scores were :

North Cotswolds           70

Cheltenham North         65

Glos. Kingsholm            63

Cleeve Vale                   51

There was the possibility that we would have had to advance to the next round as highest scoring second placers but I have learned, that another second placed team has exceeded our score.


February 2018 Tour of Cheltenham Ladies College

 Eleven people attended in the end – some had dropped out due to illness. After coffee and biscuits the group had an amazing tour of the college learning about its history and admiring the wonderful stained glass. The tour, led by the college archivist, took over an hour and the group thought it was incredible.

February 2018 Skittles

 We have now had our first match of the season against Cleeve Vale. It was a very good fellowship evening but unfortunately we lost with a result of 311 for Cheltenham North and 324 for Cleeve Vale.

Unfortunately our Match against Worcester Vigornia had to be postponed, the new date to be advised later. The dates for the two away matches against Evesham and Tewkesbury are as follows;

Evesham Monday 19th March

Tewkesbury Wednesday 28th March

More Information to follow.

January 2018 Cheltenham North 2018 Further project bringing Solar lights to Zambia.

At the Business meeting the members approved the first stage of the project in Zambia

Our Club, as in 2016 and 2017, is joining with the Rotary Club of Lusaka, this year largely through its satellite Rotaract Club , and the charity Solar Aid, operating through its branch.

This year's project is to provide with solar light, at a cost to the Club of circa £3500, a further 150 orphaned children in 3 orphanages and 28 schools which cater to over 10,000 students in Zambia.

It is distributing solar lights to impoverished orphanages and schools in a radius of some 200 miles around Lusaka city. The projects are making a major contribution to the spread of solar lights throughout Zambia where, those outside the main towns, are without electricity and reliant on expensive, dangerous and unhealthy kerosene lamps, or candles, during the daily 12 hours of darkness throughout the year.

A total of 616 SM100 solar lights were distributed in 2016 -7 to very poor orphanages and schools, some of the day school children being allowed to take one home at night. In 2017 a total of 26 health clinics were supplied with much larger appropriate sized lights - babies, for example, could then be delivered with adequate light instead of bad kerosene or candle light.

December 2017 Cheltenham North Carol Concert 

This festive event was held on the 12th December in the Princess Hall of Cheltenham Ladies College.

Over 500 people joined us for the evening that was our 40th Carol Concert. It was compered by Mark Cummings from BBC Radio Gloucestershire and with Rotarian Michael Sanger Davies on the Organ.

There were performances by; 

Leckhampton Primary School Choirs

Churchdown Male Voice Choir

Gloucestershire Symphonic Wind Orchestra

Soloist Danielle Smithson


We are grateful to the support received from our sponsors Renishaw, Randall and Payne and Spirax-Sarco.


We hope to raise over £5000 from the event from which we will be supporting Gloucestershire Young Carers, Kids Out, Linc. The Willow Trust, and other Rotary Charities

December 2017 Tree Planting for the Environment

The project for the current President of Rotary International is to help the environment by planting 1.2 million trees around the world.

To support this project President Steve and the Club Council of Cheltenham North agreed to provide 45 trees.

These have now been organised by Rotarian Richard Purdon and delivered to Belmont School in Warden Hill Cheltenham, where planting has commenced.

Update March 2018

26 of the trees have now been planted with their protective wraparounds and are situated around the extremity of the playing fields.

The balance will be used to be part of a project for an external space which hopefully will take place after the Easter Break.

December 2017 Christmas Luncheon

Our Christmas luncheon was held at the "Manor by the Lake. 
Over 60 Rotarians, Partners and Guests were present. We are grateful to the excellent arrangements made by Rosanne. 

December 2017 Christmas Hampers 

The Community committee has been busy shopping lately to provide Christmas food hampers and presents for three young children and their families, all referred to the Communities Caring for People - CCP - through their social workers for the “Adopt a Family” for Christmas scheme.

We were allocated three little boys, Robby, aged 1, Noah aged 3 and Paul aged 7.

We were given a list of non-perishable food, except for Christmas cake, Stollen and mince pies, of about 50 items, per family.

Gwynne Tucker Brown will be helping with the major Hamper Scamper effort soon.



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