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Bideford Water Festival 2020

Our crazy cardboard boat regatta was a model boat regatta in 2020 and streamed on social media. Funds raised were donated to RNLI & the local community.


Foundation and End Polio Now




£113,000 RAISED IN 15 YEARS! We support Shelterbox as this charity can really move quickly to get assistance to desperate communities around the world where and when it is needed.


About us


Do get in touch if you want to find out more about our club or about Rotary: President, Jacquie Willoughby (Tel: 07980 767279) would love to hear from you. We are still meeting weekly but all meetings will be conducted through Zoom until further notice

Bideford Rotary Club Members Photo 2019

Some of the Club of 2019/20 (New officers take over on 1st July each year)...   Photograph taken on 24th October 2019, World Polio Day which is why you will notice many of the club are wearing purple (it represents the purple dye used on the finger of children to mark that they have received their immunisation). Our lovely guest speaker, District Governor Simon Woods went over time so unfortunately many of our younger, working members had to leave before the photograph. Taken on the stairs of our regular meeting venue, The Royal Hotel, Bideford

We traditionally meet on Thursday lunchtimes but at least one meeting a month is an evening meeting and often at an altrenative venue so please do check if you would like to join us


Rainbow Benches for North Devon District Hospital

Two beautiful rainbow benches were presented to our local hospital in Barnstaple, a unique design made by an English company, TDP Ltd, for the Rotary Club of Bideford with the inscription "THANKFUL FOR OUR MANY POTS OF GOLD"

Jacquie Willoughby, President of the Club, said "We wanted to do something special to bring a smile or two to this difficult year and rainbows have been a central theme. The benches are to remind NHS staff that they are appreciated for all they have done and continue to do every day, every week, every year - they are undoubtedly "pots of gold"!

We also hope that patients and their friends and families who sit on these benches will find them uplifting. We want them to try and smile and be thankful for the good things in their lives, to focus on their personal pots of gold rather than on disapointments and bad news.

The benches are made of recycled plastic, which is how the colours are so vibrant. "only yellow is a really difficult colour" occording to Ellen Fineran, Customer Service Manager of TDP Ltd.who helped their design team to make these special rainbow benches for Bideford Rotary. "They are particularly durable and should last for at least 20 years so will be a positive reminder of the Covid pandemic for many years to come"


Last year we were building cardboard boats for the Water Festival. During the Covid Pandemic we can't get together in the same way but we built MODEL cardboard boats this year for our crazy coardboard boat regatta which was streamed on social media. For more details see the Water Festival page of the website.

Model boat on the President's head, Bideford Quay2020             Model boat on the President's head, Bideford Quay

Visit to our Twin Club in Uelzen, Germany

On 31st May last year, 10 of us enjoyed a fabulous long weekend in Germany, hosted and entertained in style by members of our twin club, Uelzen. Many old friends were reunited and memories of previous exchange visits regaled... lots of new friends were made with wonderful new memories to add to the archives!

It was HOT! we lost our luggage! we were wined and dined to the point of collapse! enjoyed fascinating visits to the monastory in Ebstorf and the village museum in Hosseringen; we were hosted by the town Deputy Mayor at a buffet supper to celebrate all the service clubs in Uelzen but the highlight of the trip was President Morris' speech of thanks in german - we have no idea what he said!


We are wondering how long before we are popping over to Europe again. We have invited our German Rotarian friends to visit in Spring 2021 - fingers crossed that the Covid travel restrictions will be long gone by then!

The fellowship of Rotarians all round the world is extraordinary. Many Bideford Rotarians are hoping to visit Biddeford-Saco in Main(USA), in May next year, to help celebrate their 100 year Charter Anniversary.

   £1200 was sent to Shelterbox following collections at The Big Sheep Christmas Markets. This brings the club’s total Shelterbox contribution over £112,650.00 - WOW!

Our Big Sheep collections at the Saturday Farmers Markets throughout December were well supported again this year. We are pleased to collect funds for such a good cause. Thank You to The Big Sheep and everyone in North Devon for your continued support

Memory Cafes

We were pleased to welcome in October, Julia Hadley, co-ordinator for Northam and Bideford Memory Cafes and organiser of a 'Singing for Health' group for people with memory issues in Torrington. She gave us a fascinating insight into dementia and some alarming statistics: In Bideford 25% of the population is over 65 but it is estimated that by 2025 this will have doubled! Those of us diagnosed with dementia has doubled in recent years and it is now the number one cause of death. 

At the end of the talk Rotarian Mike Plamer, presented Julia with a cheque for £720 to support the ongoing development of the memory cafes.

Club History:

The Rotary Club of Bideford was formed in 1925, the Club Charter being granted from 27th May 1925. The Mayor of Bideford, Dr E J Toye was appointed the first president of the Club. A cable expressing congratulations and best wishes was received from the Biddeford & Saco Rotary Club in Maine, U.S.A. 
In 1955, using the spade which the Duke of Edinburgh had used to plant a tree to commemorate his visit to Bideford in 1952, President of Bideford Rotary Club (D.W.Friendship) planted the first of five trees at the rear of the Port Memorial Gardens to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rotary Movement. 
In 1975 in celebration of Bideford Rotary's 50th anniversary, a new �5,000 ambulance was presented to the St. John Ambulance Association.
2005 was the year of Rotary's Centenary, and Bideford Rotary's 80th anniversary. Visitors from Biddeford & Saco were hosted, and at the special luncheon there was a display of photos relating to the relationship between the American and Devon Clubs. President Ron Blick dedicated a bed of 100 roses in Victoria Park.

In addition to the links with the namesake club in the U.S.A.,there are similar links with the Rotary Club of Uelzen in Germany. Despite the Brexit problems we really enjoy maintaining close links with our European partners. Visits are made to both clubs, and we host members of those clubs in return. Last year we were delighted to work with the Uelzen club on a major project for the Children's Hospice South West. By working together we applied for a Rotary Global Grant to boost funds raised locally and were delighted to donate to Childrens Hospice South West (Littlebridge House) nearly £40,000.in February 2019. 

Picture by Grahem Hobbs: Cheque presentation to CHSW

Happening soon...

Meetings and events happening soon

Thu, Jan 21st 2021 1:00 pm


Tue, Jan 26th 2021 7:00 pm


Thu, Jan 28th 2021 7:00 pm

Club Council

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Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

We meet on Thursdays at 12.55 or 19.00
(At least one Thursday a month is an evening meeting )
Meeting at present on Zoom

EX39 4AE  (01237) 472005

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