Join in! Come and meet the volunteers and fundraisers supporting local charities.

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Raising a glass for Dr Pendsey

Raising a glass for Dr Pendsey

Dream Trust founder Dr Sharad Pendsey died recently and on what would have been his 70th Birthday members were asked to raise a glass to celebrate his life

Club evening meeting 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

Club evening meeting 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

Club handover with President Geoff Bartrum passing on the chain of office to President Elect Janet Appleton and President Nominee Alicia Ridout with an additional surprise. Apologies to

Aireborough Beer Festival: It was great while it lasted!

Aireborough Beer Festival: It was great while it lasted!

The 6th Aireborough Beer festival proved a resounding success with all three partners Aireborough Rotary, Guiseley Theatre and Rawdon St Peters Parish Church delighted with the outcome.

Will the real John Kitching stand up please?

Will the real John Kitching stand up please?

Always kept a surprise President Geoff Bartrum presents a Paul Harris Fellow Award


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Come and meet the volunteers and fundraisers supporting local charities. 

                                 PLENTY FOOD FOR THOUGHT WITH FOODSAVERS 

This was a very lively presentation from Bradford Bronte Club member  Maria Voley- Tawfik, Relationship Manager and Local Foodsavers CEO Juli Thompson. Maria began by relating the talk to RIBI's tagline for the year 'the Magic of Rotary' - across the globe create lasting change. She had taken her passion for food into the realm of helping individuals. In passing she mentioned that one of her past jobs was making meals for a Rotary Club's members and at the time as the door closed on their meetings she did wonder just what they talked about and now she knew.

As part of Foodsavers she was encouraging people to eat properly and familiarising them with healthy start vouchers. There was now a Foodsavers network with 24 pantries (Horsforth St James Church being the latest addition) throughout Leeds, Calderdale and Bradford through which 450 tons of surplus food had been turned into wholesome meals. On each visit clients paid £6 (£1 of which went into that individual's Credit Union account if they so wished). For their £6 they had a choice of food as well as advice on what to make with it and how to do it. Foodsavers had become a bridge for them, a kind of filling in the sandwich.

And what did the individual gain from this: a behavioural change, choice in their lives, dignity, empowerment and financial inclusion. This final gain had seen 157 participants save £3000 since joining the programme with 65% having at some time relied on loan sharks who had sometimes been work colleagues. They could have been referred to Foodsavers or found their own way. Kitty's Kits were also available to buy providing a selection of seeds to grow their own food.

Of interest to members was the fact that businesses like Virgin Media and  Unilever had employees volunteering to work with Foodsavers as part of their Social Responsibility projects. Comic Relief had also shown interest which would be a beneficial feather in their cap. Our speakers received a well deserved round of applause with following up on this presentation sure to be high on the Aireborough Club's agenda.                                            


This was a joint lunchtime presentation between Laura, the manager and Lisa and Jo who are outreach workers. The close links between the Centre which was set up in 2008 and Aireborough Rotary were stressed with Janet Kerr being our main involved contact and trustee. The Centre has bases in both Queensway where there is a nursery and in Guiseley Primary. The small team cover fundamental experiences of children under 5, a total of 1820 with siblings to add to this figure.

Activities fall into two categories 'universal' and 'targetted' with the former including stay and play, baby weigh and nutrition, often introduced because clinics are no longer avaiable. 'Targetted' are covered within caseloads to help vulnerable people by visiting households, identifying needs and then working on solutions. Outreach workers will offer support on a range of problem areas including domestic abuse, mental health and finance stemming from deprivation and poverty which are not confined to specific areas. Referrals will come from children's social services, midwives, police and schools with child protection of particular importance.

Aireborough Rotary was pleased to help re-instate the 'trip to the seaside' with support on transport and individual bags for the children with a few surprises. On the stocks now are plans for a Toy Library to be supported by the Rotary Club aiming at robust items making sure there are some specifically for children with additional needs. Janet Kerr gave a heartfelt vote of thanks and President John Kitching handed over a cheque for £1140 for the provision of Counselling Sessions to be arranged by Centre Staff. This came from a bid for Rotary District funds by the Aireborough Club.

                                       NEW YEAR MESSAGE 2023

The message began with humour following Brian Whitham's advice to Phil Maud to come dressed casually, part of Rotary's plan to attract younger members. This ended with a meaningful look around the room and a special greeting to Alicia Ridout. Eventually from an array of t-shirts Phil had chosen one with the simple slogan of 'Humble - Kind' designed by an ex-dyslexic pupil setting up a business in t-shirt design and sales.

He had prepared a board of press cuttings beginning with some of the problems the world was facing. The Ukraine was one and he spoke of 46000 refugees coming to this country last year and his contact with 120 people currently living in the Parkway Hotel. He also mentioned Alzheimers, for which he had a t-shirt - slogan - 'All in this together' and one of his heroes Jackie Stewart who had moved to Switzerland to be near to his wife in a clinic having donated £2m to help with research. This was a man who stated he had lived his life with an 85% fear of failure. He also made regular mention of another of his heroes 'Sir' Kevin Schofield because of his playing career, his leadership of the team  and his subsequent drive to aid his long time colleague Rob Burrow raising phenomenal funds in the quest to build a new clinic to combat Motor Neurone Disease. Doing this alongside building a new career in coaching in both Rugby League and Rugby Union culminating in his new role with the England team to which he would take his strongly held beliefs and attributes.

He had done some research on Rotary including checking Aireborough's website and picked out some items: Paul Harris starting Rotary in February 1905 inviting three friends to a meeting, the promotion of peace, fight against disease, Aquabox as the provider of clean water for disaster areas,  Rotarians as people of action as leaders within their communities and providing economic help worldwide to start up businesses. 

He then tested members' brains by putting A-Z on his Board and asking for a relevant word for every letter relating to Rotary activity. Thank heavens for Zarach was the final item. He also talked of an external website which simply featured acts of kindness but praised Rotary because its whole ethos revolved around 'intentional acts of kindness'. This was possible because as members joined Rotary their vocation was recorded and their skills and experience were subsequently pooled for the benefit of all.

President John in his vote of thanks mentioned his long term friendship with Steve through both scouting and the church, thanked him for his praise for the Club and saw Rotary and its members as intermediaries, aiming to see problems as they arose both within our communities and as they arose, the world outside, and coming up with potential solutions.



As from 1 February 2022 the Club has returned to its regular meeting dates and times. Meeting times for Tuesday meetings at Horsforth Golf Club are 12.00 noon for 12.30 p.m. finishing no later than 2.00 p.m. Information about Club meetings for the next month will be available on the website. For those unable to attend in person the meetings will also run on Zoom.Thursday meetings will begin at 6.00 p.m. at Horsforth Golf Club again with a Zoom option.

If joining the Club is of interest to you then contact Membership Chair Brian Whitham for further information on 0113 2936745.                               



John Moorhouse's imaginative Garden Wander was the first Aireborough event where Rotarians, wives and friends were able to mingle and chat outside whilst enjoying the hosts' four different locations.

By 27 July Zoom meetings had been replaced by the first Club evening meeting of the year an informal social gathering back at our home  - a somewhat changed Horsforth Golf Club. Tuesday, Thursday and Board meetings soon followed suit with projects to pursue and events to organise.

Throughout the school break an enthusiastic rota of Rotarians, wives and friends have produced sandwiches for the children on the Healthy Holidays activity weeks and planning continued for the Aireborough Charity Beer Festival, the novel Autumn Seed Trail at Rodley Nature Reserve and the Annual Brass Band Concert, all grear community events but also fundraising for the many charities and organisations with which the Club is so actively involved. Members now have their Handbooks and on Tuesday 26 October we will be celebrating another successful year for the Rotary Club of Aireborough at our 68th Annual Charter Evening with guests, including or Speaker veronica Bird O.B.E. former Prison Governor and our District 1040 Governor Stephen Ellis. We will also be pleased to welcome visitors from other District Clubs. 

                                KEEPING ROTARY GOING THROUGH LOCKDOWN - MARCH


Zoom has become the new home of Aireborough Rotary for both Tuesday and Thursday meetings. The Club has welcomed a variety of speakers, keeping in touch and supporting old friends like the British Red Cross and learning about new ones including Autism U.K. and their imaginative social enterprises. This week we heard from Mike Storr of Castleton, Nottingham talking on ‘Masters of Mirth, a history of Music Hall, a talk he has given more than 500 times. Actually visiting Clubs would have been the equivalent of travelling twice round the equator. Fees for his talks support Asthma U.K.

Several Club members have taken part in District arranged Focus Groups looking at how Clubs are currently functioning, what effects the end of lockdown may bring and how Clubs are making changes to attract new members. The recent webinar ‘the Time is Now’ also gave members the chance to hear dynamic speakers from both Australia and the U.S.A. with their advice and ideas on establishing new Clubs.

For the first time in history, a seventh Area of Focus – Supporting the Environment has been approved by Rotary International.  With growing interest in environmentally-based projects in recent years, the decision is a great win for Rotary, the planet and its people. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the Aireborough Club to forge new links and source projects within our community. Our District Environment lead has this week launched a project to plant a forest across our District so Aireborough will be discussing playing our part, perhaps building on our original tree planting in Nunroyd Park, Guiseley.

With all major fund-raising events cancelled because of COVID-19, successful virtual events have been devised and implemented enabling the Club to continue financial support to a wide range of charities. On 10 April the Club is launching a 100 Club Lottery with three prizes a month with all profit going to charity causes. Cost of buying your entry number is £60 for the year. For more information contact or see the Aireborough Rotary website.

                              CONTINUING TO DO GOOD IN THE WORLD

The Global Grant funded Computer Suite at Mnyakanya High School relied on partner Eshowe Rotary Club in South Africa for the annual report. When open during the pandemic, the suite was extensively used and the introduction of CAT (Computer Applications Technology) as a subject will help pupils’ future job prospects.

The Yorkits sewing team producing sanitary kits for girls, including those at Mnyakanya has been on hold but there is plenty material to make the pads and shields once production re-commences.

The micro loans project continues to perform well within the current global situation. Six loans totalling $450 have been made to budding entrepreneurs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and India. Enterprises include a restaurant, farming, livestock, fishing and motorcycle transport. With the fishing loan already repaid, recycling the initial funds has begun.

Aireborough is a partner with New Zealand’s Takapuna Club in a Global Grant project called ROMAC. This provides life saving and/or dignity restoring treatment to children under 15 from developing countries not available in their own country. On hold because of the pandemic, this crucial work will resume as soon as is possible.

 With the change to contents meaning more items, including the life saving water filters, now need providing by Aquabox itself, it is likely eight Aquaboxes will be the last the Club will transport to Wirksworth ready to be shipped to disasters around the world. The Club is indebted to Geoffrey and Heather Barton, both Paul Harris Fellows, for the dedication, application and ingenuity they have shown over more than 40 years. They will continue as Aquabox ambassadors whilst the Club will instead make planned financial donations to this irreplaceable project.

After welcoming as speaker Dr Sharad Pendsey from the Pendsey Dream Trust the Club decided to sponsor two young girls in India with type 1 diabetes whose parents cannot afford the four times daily insulin injections. Both girls receive a three monthly supply of insulin and syringes. In addition Ridhima (11) was provided with a school bag and contents and a glucometer. In addition Purvi (6) has received economic support for her family through the Covid fund as well as a bicycle. Letters, mailed regularly, will keep both girls in touch with the Club.

Following ‘the Time is Now’ and Supporting the Environment, Aireborough Rotary sees both of these as presenting both a challenge and an opportunity in the quest for new members. Looking for linked causes and potential projects within our community is now high on the list of reactions.

                               AIREBOROUGH’S JANUARY ANTICS

·       With the annual fun day out for children at Lightwater Valley cancelled, the Kids Out Charity, sought funding for Christmas presents for 51 children in three Leeds refuges. Encouraged by Assistant Governor (Leeds Group) and Aireborough member Janet Appleton the Leeds Clubs together donated the £1275 needed to ensure all the children woke up to an exciting Christmas Day. Altogether District 1040 helped 200 children through this Toy Box initiative.

·       Leeds Clubs recently nominated deserving charities to the Community Committee of an anonymous Leeds company. Organised again by Janet Appleton, this led to 13 local charities receiving £20,000 in total in December.  Aireborough’s put forward Martin House Hospice, Rodley Nature Reserve, Hope Pastures (horse and pony refuge), Hidden Homeless and the Leeds North and West Foodbank.

·       A recent Zoomed International Committee meeting discussed the Club’s current projects. The Global Grant report for the Computer Suite at Mnyakanya High School relied on visits from our partner the Eshowe Rotary Club in South Africa When open during the pandemic, the suite continued to be extensively used with the school still intending to introduce CAT (Computer Applications Technology)  to help pupils’ future job prospects.

·       The Yorkits sewing team producing sanitary kits for girls, including those at Mnyakanya has been on hold. Funds are in hand to buy briefs, flannels and zip bags and there is plenty material to make the pads and shields once production re-commences.

·       The micro loans project continues to perform well. Six loans totalling $450 have been made to budding entrepreneurs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and India. The enterprises comprise a restaurant, farming, livestock, fishing, motorcycle transport and fish sales. The fishing loan is already repaid so the intention to recycle the initial funds begins to be met.

·       Aireborough partners New Zealand’s Takapuna Club in a Global Grant  project called ROMAC. This provides life saving and/or dignity restoring treatment to children under 15 from developing countries not available in their own country. On hold because of the pandemic, this crucial work will resume as soon as is possible.

·       Aireborough has two Aquaboxes packed and six waiting to be filled for shipping to disasters around the world. More items, including the life saving water filters, now need providing by Aquabox itself, so it is likely these will be the last the Club will transport to Wirksworth. Geoffrey and Heather Barton have run this project for more than 40 years and will continue in their roles as Aquabox ambassadors. The Club will reluctantly make planned financial donations to this irreplaceable project.

·       After learning about Dr Sharad Pendsey and the Dream Trust in Nagpur the Club decided to sponsor two young girls with type 1 diabetes whose parents cannot afford the four times daily insulin injections. Both girls receive a three monthly supply of insulin and syringes as well as a glucometer. Ridhima (11) was also provided with a school bag and contents, Purvi (6) has received economic support for her family through the Covid fund as well as a bicycle. Regular letters will keep both girls in touch with the Aireborough Club. 

                                          AIREBOROUGH’S DECEMBER ANTICS

Club members were delighted to get back on the fundraising trail for Rotary charities with their Bottle Stall at a resplendent YeadonTown Hall Christmas Market. The picture shows Sally Mohan and Geoff Bartrum enjoying their socially distanced charitable stint. 



The Club also hosted a Virtual Balloon Race to Lapland beginning on Christmas Day at 12 p.m. and lasting seven days. This offered the opportunity to buy, create and track a balloon for yourself or as a gift for others with the added enjoyment of watching its progress.

Second Zoom meeting of the month welcomed Vasu Mani, nephew of the Club President who described his career in Medicine.  After six years at the University of Leeds and two as a Junior Doctor he moved on to Military medicine at the School of Infantry working with the celebrated Ghurkhas and later at RAF Leeming. As a General Practitioner he had the opportunity to develop patient relationships and holistic care. Alongside this work he qualified in sports medicine and held roles in rugby league, rugby union and football. His Clubs included Castleford Tigers Academy, Grand Final winners Leeds Rhinos in 2017 before spells with Hull Kingston Rovers and latterly football’s Rotherham United. This all entailed great responsibility overseeing sporting injuries within a variety of demanding sports.

With the annual Christmas Meal cancelled because of the pandemic Club members enjoyed instead a social evening including Christmas carols and songs, duetting pianists, a Christmas Quiz and seasonal poetry. Since Charter Night at the end of September was also cancelled the nomination of members as Paul Harris Fellows was moved to this meeting. Three Rotarians Graham Davies, John Moorhouse and Janet Kerr were honoured to received this accolade plus two non- Rotarians Diana Oldam (a sapphire pin) for dedicated work throughout the pandemic and Heather Barton for lengthy service on the Club’s Aquabox project.

Picture shows John Moorhouse receiving his award from Barry Bootland.


Over the past year the Club has worked closely with a volunteer group working with destitute individuals living on the city’s streets providing clothing and finance for sleeping bags and blankets as well as hot food. Aireborough Past President and Assistant Governor (Leeds) Janet Appleton recently worked on a bid on behalf of the Hidden Homeless to the Leeds branch of health insurance and healthcare group Bupa, which has proved successful to the delight of the group. Picture shows members with goods for the Hidden Homeless.

                                                 HEATHER READ R.I.P.

A wonderful, highly respected Rotarian and friend Heather Read, Aireborough Rotary’s first Lady President in 2017 passed away recently after a short illness. She was introduced into the Club by Bill Kerr in 2013 whilst she was volunteering in the Martin House, Yeadon shop, one of several charity organisations he knew she regularly supported. ‘She was always helping others.’ 

She soon brought that community spirit into Rotary becoming an active and integral member of the burgeoning Thursday Evening Group. One of six female members joining the Group early she helped change the face of the Club making it more responsive and inclusive. But she was soon also actively participating in Tuesday lunchtime meetings. It was not long before she found a niche for herself setting up a productive sewing group within the Club producing sanitary kits for girls unable to attend school during their periods. She was delighted to receive a picture of smiling Mnyakanya, Kwa Zulu Natal pupils, not now having to miss school, brought back by the Bambisanani team from St. Mary’s, Menston. The team’s developing work was also featured in a Rotary video now on YouTube. The Group’s social events were just as important, part of their identity, time to celebrate another successful year helping others. 

Heather was quickly nominated to take on the Presidency and her year as President saw her leading a successful cycle of events including both a Proms and a Forties evening as well as welcoming new members and having a prime role in fundraising, leading from the front. Her choice of speaker for the Club’s Charter Birthday Celebration was Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart, another female groundbreaker, ensuring a full house with Martin House Hospice, Caring for Life and Myasthenia gravis as her charities for the year. The award of Rotary's highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship was brought forward from its planned Charter evening presentation date in late September so Heather was aware of the fact.

She was also full of enthusiasm for events involving young people - Young Musician, Youth Speaks and the Rotary Youth Leadership Award/Bambisanani team evening. Current President Raj Mani admired her easy effectiveness in meetings ‘always in control and retaining a sense of humour. I will always remember the ease with which she calmed a few ruffled feathers. Was it her experience as a Deputy Head in Special Schools? No she was a natural’. She had been Assistant Head at Braithwaite Special School, Keighley. 

Praise has followed from many members – ‘she was an amazing lady and will be forever remembered and loved’. ‘Beautiful flowers arrived today for my birthday, typical Heather still thinking of others during her illness, I can only aspire to her kindness and generosity of spirit’. ‘She was an inspiration, a wonderful woman and I was in awe of how much she gave to the community'. 'All her energy and dedication will be sorely missed and unsurpassed’.

Behind all this were her strong faith and her enthusiastic work and support for Rawdon St.  Peter’s Parish Church where she served as Churchwarden. She was part of the ‘Open the Book’ team delivering assemblies at Rawdon St. Peter’s Primary School where she was also a Governor. 

But she was happiest when surrounded by her loving family – her favourite place to be - a loving sister, mother, mother-in-law, aunt and grandmother. Her husband, Geoffrey predeceased her and she is survived by her children Sam and Tim.

Because of current arrangements Church members, Rotarians, Inner Wheel members and friends will be lining the streets as the funeral cortege passes dressed in her favourite bright colours. They will also be watching a recording of the funeral service later the same evening      






The Club was chartered in 1953 with the Rotary Club of Otley as its mother Club. We now have 37 members, 12 of whom are female. There are now nine Clubs in the Leeds Group the oldest being the Leeds Club chartered in 1916. Aireborough’s first meeting place was Yeadon Airport which over the years has developed into Leeds and Bradford Airport with international connections. The Club now meets in Horsforth Golf Club.

Traditionally the Club has met on Tuesday lunchtimes retaining much of the original formality with a grace, updates from Committee Chairs, speakers, toasts, a meal and a concentration upon fellowship.

Some years ago, the Club decided it had to provide another option for members who could not attend lunchtime meetings. Meeting options were increased from four to six a month, meeting on the first and third Thursday evenings from 6.00 to 7.30 p.m. Meetings are informal with no meal and concentrate upon developing and discussing projects and fundraising ideas. There was never any intention for this option to break away and become a separate Club, it is simply another attendance opportunity. The first female members to join the Club came via this option and two have gone on to become Club President.

At the same time the Club welcomed two Associate Members, local company Bartletts, insurance brokers for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland and Leeds Trinity University. The University has been the base for the Sponsored Walk, has provided lecture theatres for showing the Polio film ‘Breathe’ and staging Youth Speaks. It will also help us target participants for a Rotaract Club, part of our Membership plans. During Freshers Week last year the Club hosted a stand for the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation Charity’s donor drive ‘Bone marrow Registry – Sign Up Now – Get on the list’ and collected 45 signatures from students joining the stem cell donor register.

In Membership we have also recently set up a Friends of Rotary group approaching sponsors advertising in event programmes or volunteers who have assisted on fundraising projects.

Over the years the Club has been heavily involved with hosting Ambassadorial Scholars coming to study for a year in local Universities like Leeds and Bradford (including Bradford’s Peace Studies Centre). They have travelled from Japan, U.S.A. and Brazil. This even resulted in an invite to a wedding in Sao Paulo and meeting Rotarians there. As a Club we have also welcomed Group Study Exchange teams from Sri Lanka, Africa, U.S.A. and Australia and Andrew Wilson led a reciprocal team to Australia. Sadly, these programmes were discontinued though Youth Exchange still exists.

Currently the Club is strong in the area of Youth and Education having organised Young Chef, Young Musician, Young Photographer and Youth Speaks as well as regularly sending candidates on the District Rotary Youth Leadership Award programme. We are helped by having four Secondary Schools and eleven Primary Schools in our area.

The Club is also very active in helping organise and run the annual Leeds Technology Tournament for Secondary School pupils.

Part of our Community Programme is to supply Usborne Illustrated English Dictionaries to Year 3 pupils in the Primary Schools totalling 512 this year. Some members also go into schools to help with reading.

Every year the Club takes a coachload of special needs children on a day trip to enjoy the exciting rides at Lightwater Valley Theme Park accompanied by the most resolute of Rotarians.

We have also supported the charity ‘Sal’s Shoes founded by C.J.Bowry who, when her child grew out of his shoes, did not simply want to throw them away. In September when children in England go back to school in new shoes, we ask them to bring in boys’ and girls’ shoes, trainers, sandals, wellington and football boots. Some children cannot attend school if they have no shoes.Over 6 years she has now collectedtwo million pairs and sent themoffto 46 countries including Great Britain.

Much work has also been carried out with the Aireborough Children’s Centre which deals with a wide range of deprivation issues within families. Rotarians have prepared breakfasts and lunches for children on organised weeksduring school holidays. Books have been delivered monthly to their homes for children beginning to read through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and toys and clothes have also been collected.

Aireborough Rotary has also paid for a creche to be available so new parents struggling to cope with parenting new-born children can attend courses so they can ensure both the wellbeing and understand more about the development and behaviour of their children.

One Secondary School, St. Mary’s, Menston sends sixteen pupils plus teachers to Mnyakanya High School in Kwa Zulu, Natal, South Africa each year to run a Sport Leadership programme (called the Bambisanani Project) and to help in classes. This enabled us to apply for a Global Grant linking with the Eshowe Rotary Club to have built and equipped a Computer Suite with computers and whiteboard which will help both educationally, gaining qualifications and enhancing career opportunities.

At the same time a sewing group was established within the Club, to help girls missing out on schooling because of their periods, to supply sanitary kits to obviate this problem. The group linked up with Yorkits founded by a York Rotarian, Issy Sanderson.

The Club also organises a 5km. or 10km. Sponsored Walk each year   under the slogan ‘You walk, we run it!’ This is for people including school pupils who wish to raise funds for a specific charity, group or project (like going to South Africa) where we charge a token fee for entry and they keep all the sponsorship monies they raise.

Internationally we have also always been strong in the provision of Aquaboxes (target 24 a year)since we are one of the few British Clubs allowed to buy and supply all the contents except the filters thanks to a resident Club expert Geoffrey Barton.

Three of our Rotarians and an Inner Wheel member wife spend six months of the year in New Zealand (Tony and Anne Scaife) and Thailand (Roger and Carol Ward). Through this link we have supported Takapuna Rotary Club (N.Z.) on a global grant project. This trained medical staff in Vanuatu and brought babies to Starship Hospital Auckland for catheter or open-heart cardiac surgery.

In Thailand Roger and Carol have seen Micro Loans in action and have become involved in several projects with the Royal Hua Hin Rotary Club.

On the fundraising front the Club runs three major projects yearly. They are an Easter Egg Hunt with a variety of stalls, free to attend but with a massive chocolate tombola, donated by local supermarkets, Rotarians and friends, a Brass Band Concert in Yeadon Town Hall with a well-known conductor from BBC Radio and a two day Beer Festival with a wide selection of beers, ciders and prosecco.

During the pandemic members have made and supported financially the production of items of Personal Protective Equipment for hospitals and Care Homes. Donations have been made to struggling local charities and two Past Presidents walked 2.6 miles a day for 26 days (termed the Marathon Challenge) to raise sponsored funds for a Live at Home Charity.

A fund-raising Photographic Competition entitled ‘Life under Lockdown’ has also been held with 50 entries raising £250.

Socially events include the Annual Charter Dinner, an Interactive Quiz, Theatre visits, a Bowls afternoon, a Christmas Party and a Barbecue. We also send a good contingent to the Rotary District Conference by the seaside at Scarborough less than two hours away. This also helped raise funds to buy three Robotic Cats for local Care Homes when member s had to guess the distance Sally Mohan’s dog Jake walked along the beach and seafront on Saturday afternoon.

For the last four years the Club has also arranged with Yorkshire County Cricket Club for members from the 100 District Clubs to visit its Headingley headquarters for ‘A Day at the Test Match’ at discounted rates. Teams seen have included Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan.

The Club’s website is regularly updated, and a weekly report is published in a local weekly newspaper the Wharfedale Observer. Press releases are also sent to the Yorkshire Post and Evening News. A weekly fact sheet ‘the Aireborough Bugle’ also wings its way from New Zealand to keep members informed. We are working to increase our output on facebook, twitter and What’sApp appreciating their importance and need for more attention.

Over the year 2019/20 the Club is confident it has met the criteria for the Rotary International Presidential Citation recorded on Rotary Club Central including targets for both Polio and Foundation fundraising.                          

                                           HANDOVERS WITH A DIFFERENCE                                           


Handover time took on a whole new aspect this year. For Aireborough Rotary Zoom was the medium with imaginative sleight of hand seeing the chain and ribbons of office handed over to the right people on computers and laptops. 

Incoming President Raj Mani has already introduced a flourishing Tuesday yoga class to Club members and friends as well as welcoming our mentor Francis Riley as a Friend of Rotary. Raj aims to see this type of beginners’ class introduced more widely in our community. He acknowledged, like all Clubs, Aireborough will have to re-set its fundraising aims and efforts given the cancellations the pandemic has caused. 

Innovatively he will soon be signing an agreement on the Club’s behalf with the Madras Chenna Patna Rotary Club in India enabling Aireborough to learn from a relatively young Club full of entrepreneurs. His wife Bagshur has been a quietly productive member of a Club team producing essential PPE equipment. Aireborough Inner Wheel had two reasons to celebrate with pride as Anne Parker took on the Club’s Presidency and Pat Mirfield became Inner Wheel District 4 Chairman for the coming year. Surprise visitors, the two Annes, Waite and Parker brought her the gift of a rose from the Club in Inner Wheel colours on her first day in office. 


Bambisanani Partnership and Rotary Club of Aireborough help transform teaching                             and learning in rural South African school

St. Mary’s School, Menston and Mnyakanya High School in KwaZulu-Natal started the Bambisanani Partnership thirteen years ago and throughout that time the Rotary Club of Aireborough have supported the now charity that operates in one of South Africa’s most deprived rural areas.

The local Zulu community had identified a pressing need to bring computers and the internet to the school in order to transform the education at the remote rural school of Mnyakanya which is situated in an area of extreme poverty and depravation. Three years ago, working with the KZN Department of Education, the partnership discussed an ambitious plan to create a computer based classroom (Media Centre) at the school. Following extensive research and consultation, long term Bambisanani supporter, Tony Moodley, Senior Advisor at the KZN Department of Education, produced a comprehensive three phase plan proposing a ‘Computer Technology solution’ at Mnyakanya.

Back in the UK Catherine Chattoe, Bambisanani Coordinator at St. Mary’s began discussions with Bill Hudson, Graham Davies and Janet Kerr from Aireborough Rotary Club about the possibility of applying for a ‘global grant’ to implement Phase 1 of the plan from Rotary International based in the USA. The total estimated project cost was £30,000 with Aireborough Rotary Club committing to £10,000. Further liaison took place with Graham Chennells and Nick Phillips from Eshowe Rotary Club in South Africa who had also been long term supporters of the partnership. Eshowe Rotary Club consequently offered to support the project and Catherine, Graham and Janet began the rigorous process of the grant application. Late last year, following considerable hard work and commitment, the ‘in principle’ grant for the remaining funds was approved by Rotary International. Over the last year the installation plan at Mnyakanya School has been put into place with the project managed by Nick Phillips supported with technical expertise from Eric Kruse.

Following three years of extraordinary international collaboration the Media Centre was opened at Mnyakanya High School this month. The purpose built classroom with enhanced security has full internet connectivity for twenty modern computers with associated software and additional hardware including projector and screen. The grant will also fund significant training for teaching staff together with technical support and connectivity fees for the next five years.

A delighted Catherine Chattoe said: “This is a great achievement for The Bambisanani Partnership, Aireborough Rotary Club and Eshowe Rotary Club. Providing twenty computers and access to the internet will make such a difference to the students and teachers at Mnyakanya High School. The teachers will be able to use the facility to improve their teaching and students will be able to use the computers to aid their learning and access valuable information that may impact on their futures.”

The Secretary of the Rotary Club of Aireborough, Graham Davies added: “We are pleased to have been able to facilitate the funding of this project which we know will have a massive positive impact on the lives of both the students and the teaching staff at the school. We are looking forward in conjunction with the Bambisanani Partnership to seeing how they have all progressed.”

The Media Centre is known as ‘Mary’s Room’ with respect to St. Mary’s School and to Mary Jowett, former teacher and Deputy Head at Saltaire Secondary School, Bradford, who left a legacy to Aireborough Rotary Club which helped to fund the project. The Rotary District Governor in KZN Jaco Stander visited the school recently to officially open the new facility.

The opening of the Media Centre has already had a major impact on the teachers and students, many of whom walk two hours to and from school each day:

“We thank everybody concerned for the new Media Centre which will help transform our school for both learners and educators. We have already applied to the Department of Education to introduce Computer Application Technology as a subject across all grades to ensure that our learners are well equipped to face the real world and play their part in it. “Ronnie Ngeleka, Principal

“The New Media Centre is opening a new page of life for the Mnyakanya Community. It will make the life of educators and students easier. Students will start to learn how to use the computers as early as from grade 8 and will learn how to complete school work on them. This had been a big challenge for ages. Our learners will have a better chance of reaching tertiary institutions and will not be disadvantaged when they get there.  This Media Centre will also help to train young people from the community how to apply online and search for employment opportunities without having to always travel to towns and cities to search for jobs. This will really change life for our community. This Media Centre is marking the beginning of a computer literate society and an introduction of the importance of technology in our community. We as Mnyakanya School would like to pass our massive thanks to the Bambisanani Partnership and the Rotary Clubs of Aireborough and Eshowe.” P K Zondi, Bambisanani Coordinator at Mnyakanya

“With this new Media Centre our community is equipped with a tool to communicate with the world.  Our community will live the lifestyle of a well-developed society where technology is a fundamental part of the society. Our students will have easy access to information. They will find the learning process as interesting as playing the games. This will lead to a bright future for learners, educators and the community at large. The Media Centre will pave a way to easy success to tertiary institutions and to job opportunities.” Boh Mbambo, Mnyakanya teacher

“Our New Media Centre will really change our lives at Mnyakanya. Our standard of education will rise with the best, even if compared with those of urban schools. This Media Centre will attract many students to come to Mnyakanya because very few schools in rural South Africa have computers. This Media Centre will save time for educators because, less work will be written by hand on chalkboards. This will also save school funds in buying more chalks and exercise books. This is really amazing! May this partnership grow stronger.” BM Mthenjana, Mnyakanya teacher

“We would like to thank the Bambisanani partnership and the Rotary Clubs for opening this technology opportunity to us. I am a grade 12 student this year. I am so excited to get an opportunity to learn how to do typing from the computer. The Media Centre has helped me to search for different institutions where I can pursue my studies next year. It is a great opportunity for all young people who will come to Mnyakanya after me and even for our generations, to become a computer literate society. I would like to thank all involved in making this dream come true.”Valentia Mkhwanazi, student

“It is really unbelievable that I am using a computer at school to write my school assignments and projects and also to browse for information. It’s amazing! Life is becoming so easy! Learning is so interesting. This new Media Centre will encourage even those learners who feel schooling as a boring journey. They will start enjoying to come to school .Those who dropped out earlier will come back to school. This will lead to a more educated society with technology. Siyabonga Kakhulu (thank you very much) to the Bambisanani Partnership and Aireborough and Eshowe Rotary Clubs.” Lindelani Zuma, student

Discussions are already underway at Mnyakanya School to use this initiative as a catalyst for further development that will further raise educational achievement. Priscilla Guliwe from the KZN Department of Education is recommending that the school is reclassified as a Technical School which will bring curriculum development and enhanced resources. Nick Phillips is also discussing the possibility of employing a specific Computer Application Technology teacher at the school as from January 2020.


David Geldart, Founder and Chairman of the Bambisanani Partnership was full of praise for all involved in bringing the project to fruition: “An exceptional amount of hard work has gone into this, with Bambisanani friends, supporters and colleagues in both countries collaborating to make it a reality. My special thanks must go to Catherine, Graham and Janet for driving the proposal forward to a successful outcome. The new facility at Mnyakanya is modest by UK standards but simply massive in the context of this remote rural area. It has the potential to transform education at Mnyakanya School and give already extensively disadvantaged students some of the same opportunities that we take for granted. In an area that has 90% unemployment this initiative will give the community a boost that will inspire hope and aspirations.”





President Janet Appleton welcomed more than 70 guests to the Rotary Club of Aireborough’s 66th Charter birthday celebration. Nine other Yorkshire Clubs were represented including mother Club Otley.

In listing the Club’s achievements over the year Janet highlighted a visit to Corporate member ’s Freshers' Day where 31 students signed up with Love, Hope, Strength Foundation , one of her charities for the year, as potential donors to their bone marrow register.  Pictures were also circulated of ‘Mary’s Room’ the computer suite at , Kwa Zulu Natal funded by a Rotary Global Grant with Aireborough’s share of the funding coming from Mary Jowett’s bequest to the Club.

Bradford Rotarian and District Governor Manoj Joshi praised Aireborough for its innovation and wide-ranging projects both within the community and abroad. He presented his unique friendship scarves to Presidents Peter Heald of Otley and Bill Baker of Otley Chevin as well as Assistant District Governor  Craig Burton of Leeds White Rose. He then presented a surprise Paul Harris Fellow Award to Aireborough’s Brian Whitham for his contribution over many years to scouting and continuing unsung support at the Grove Methodist Church as well as for the past ten years as multi talented member, Youth Service leader and President at a time of dynamic change for the Club.

President Elect Raj Mani led the toast to guests and visiting Rotarians mentioning his plan to add a health oriented yoga class to Aireborough activities.


Guest speaker for the evening Guiseley born Jane Sowerby gave an inspirational and informative talk, taking her audience through the development of her charity Access Adventures following a fall of 13 feet down stairs at a friend’s house which eventually brought a premature end to her career in the music business. Time at both Stoke Mandeville (3 months) and Hedley Court where she initially thought about ‘what she couldn’t do’ led her search for an adrenaline rush, discovering the sport of sit skiing and a place as a Paralympian at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. ‘It made me realise that there was still so much that I could do with my life’. With two friends she concluded that it was difficult for people with disabilities to gain access to adaptive adventure sports and Access Adventures was born. Camps now include wakeboarding, water skiing, landsailing, kite surfing and scuba diving bringing a massive psychological benefit to both participants and volunteers. Jane asked for no speaker’s fee from the Club but a donation will be made.     




With the Rotary year beginning on 1 July this week’s meeting was the time to hand over the reins. Tony Scaife, Barry Bootland, Brian Whitham and Heather Read had shared the role last year and each gave a brief summary of the highlights of their term. 

These included: the innovative work on Rotary2, 350 dictionaries presented to 11 local Primary Schools, the 65th Charter Dinner with Lisa Thiel of BBC TV’s Eggheads as Speaker to a full house, with  the dedication of the annual Brass Band Concert to the memory of Gerald Long, the Fun Quiz night with a surprising winning team, the record breaking Easter Egg Hunt, the Lord Mayor’s Charity Dinner fundraiser, the success of the Days for Girls project and the computer suite at Mnyakanya High School and the recent third Beer Festival which had raised around £5500 for the Guiseley Theatre, Rawdon St. Peters Parish Church and Aireborough Rotary partnership.  

Heather represented the four ex-Presidents who had shared the role last year in formally investing Janet Appleton with the chain of office for 2019/20, our second female President. In thanking the Club for the honour of receiving the presidency Janet praised the Club for its diversity, friendliness, community links and innovativeness and announced as her charities for the year: Martin House Hospice and Leukaemia research with Stem Cell research as an allied project. In their turn Raj Mani and John Kitching, both relative newcomers to the Club, were welcomed as President Elect and President Nominee




Hot off the press is the news that the Club had another extremely successful Easter Egg Hunt with around a thousand children completing the circuit to take home their prize with the Easter Bunny biscuits proving a winner once again. 

The tombola with 230 eggs donated by local stores, members and friends did a roaring trade and all the other stalls for plants, books, hook-a-duck, Aireborough Inner Wheel’s Sand Game, the Aquabox display, the skipping rope maker, the face painter and the Sausage Man were run off their feet for four hours. Our picture below shows the first customer of the day!

Thanks go out to all who helped on the day from Rotary (22 participants in all), Inner Wheel, friends and of course the staff of Rodley Nature Reserve. The event brought in around £1800 with £839 in the donation buckets alone for local and Rotary charities as well as funds and an introduction to the marvels of Rodley Nature Reserve, often for the first time, for many visitors. 

But above all Aireborough Rotary is immensely grateful to the general public for their continuing support and words of encouragement for this so satisfying event. 

We are also indebted to Rodley Cricket Club for allowing us to park so  many cars on their outfield which literally saved our bacon. The car parking attendants did a magnificent job and the tweet praising Petros' helpfulness exemplified their efforts.


The Leeds Technology Tournament for secondary schools took place at the John Charles Centre on 12 March. This year 13 schools brought 38 teams with half in the Key Stage 3 Foundation category and one school participating for the first time. Each team has four members, is given the appropriate materials to complete the task and provides its own power and hand tools. Each team is judged on planning teamwork, design, described in a portfolio, manufacture and testing. Every participant receives a certificate for the day.

This year’s task saw Rotary beginning a major project in a developing country with limited resources. Finding a way to publicise this work to the people around was the basis of the challenge.

Meritoriously the prize for Innovation in Design went jointly to two Foundation teams (Years 7, 8 and 9): Read School , Drax 1 and Cockburn College of Arts 2. Winners of their categories were in Foundation, Morley Academy 2: in Intermediate (Years 10 and 11), Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) and best of the Advanced teams (Years 12 and 13) with the most difficult target of making the light flash ten times in ten seconds: Abbey Grange.

Before the winners were announced four of the judges, Fay Best from Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Jules Ferguson, Carly Bray and Susan Hayes all from SIEMENS talked about their current demanding roles within their companies to the assembled teams.

The Lord and Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Councillors Graham and Pat Latty circulated with interest amongst the teams visiting every table as did the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of  West Yorkshire, Rotarian Michael Fox.

The Tournament could not go ahead without the financial support of enthusiastic sponsors, which included the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and the West Yorkshire Society of Architects. The efforts throughout the year of a team of volunteers filling a diversity of roles from the six Leeds Rotary Clubs were once again also critical to the success of the Tournament. Thanks go to all these involved parties.


The feedback forms from both pupils in teams and from their teachers are now being studied and will help to enhance, wherever necessary, next year’s event on 10 March 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SONGBOOK

Five months ago the  grandchildren of Gerald Long  - James and Sarah Long, James' wife Cheryl and Sophie and Chloe Stead together with the valuable help of Sophie’s boyfriend Leigh Coleman decided to organise a concert both to honour Gerald’s memory and to raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance who airlifted him to hospital following his September car accident.

Deciding just which pieces of music to include was a lengthy process initially involving discussions with local musician John Webb complemented by their own extensive knowledge of their grandad’s love of musical theatre. It was no surprise that the final playlist featured heavily the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.

For the occasion, the Hall had been converted to a café layout using other family members' skills - Sarah in event management and Cheryl from television. Working together they succeeded in attracting very close to a full house, unsurprising given Gerald’s active involvement in so many local groups

Key to the evening’s success was a group of experienced jazz musicians each given opportunities to showcase their individual talents throughout the evening – Joe Lee on bass, Alex Ridout – trumpet, Leigh Coleman – vocalist, having lately sung with and supported Joss Stone, Matt Carter – pianist and Tim Carter – guitarist and drummer, but displaying the latter skill on the night. Together the group launched the evening imaginatively on its way with individual applauded solos in an intricate instrumental version of Jerome Kern’s ‘Yesterdays’. 


Leigh Coleman was lead vocalist throughout the evening linking the numbers as well as supplying biographical details of the composers and their prolific outputs and introducing his fellow artists Sophie and Chloe Stead and James Long. Described in the programme as a jazz and soul singer he adapted easily and mellifluously to singing a range of his favourite Songbook numbers beginning with ‘It had to be you’ and ‘Every time we say goodbye’ to duetting with Sophie on ‘The way you look tonight’ and applauding and appreciating the solos of his co-performers throughout.

There was also the opportunity for James to deliver a comedic version of Rodgers and Hart’s ‘To keep my love alive’ introduced by Sophie with the reminiscence that Gerald and Geoff Hall had presented ‘Brush up your Shakespeare' on this very stage. Chloe then took centre stage confidently and melodiously with ‘They can’t take that away from me’ before joining   Sophie in a show stopping rendition of Ivor Novello’s ‘We’ll gather lilacs’.


Andrew Long thanked all involved with the presentation of the show but particularly the musicians for making the long journey.  He also praised the programme advertisers who had ensured that all income from ticket sales would be given to Yorkshire Air Ambulance taking the original £3200 donation displayed on the cheque past the figure of £6000. His final thanks went to an appreciative audience who had certainly received value for money from a poignant evening. 



Young people were celebrated through two long running projects – the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) scheme and St. Mary’s, Menston’s Bambisanani project at in Kwa Zulu Natal.

First on stage was Leona Parry of , one of 37 young people on the daunting summer RYLA course at Hebden Hey. Her team, each taking it in turns to manage the group, endured a series of tasks, at times wet, cold and miserable but with the overall benefit of learning about leadership. With constructive feedback rounding off each task, raising morale, improving their communication and engendering trust were some of the skills learned along the way. Leona put a massive rise in self confidence as her chief gain.   

Lucy Hings and Lily Humphreys of St. Mary’s, Menston then confidently described and illustrated their time in training pupils as leaders through the medium of three sports – netball, hockey and rounders. For them it was a humbling but uplifting experience seeing the potential influence of education on pupils with an entirely different outlook on life. They took hours to walk to school but could never take for granted in school ordinary items like shoes, pens and paper. The 16 strong group spent time in a high school, a primary school and an orphanage, where HIV and AIDS had been the major cause. They took in DVDs and books seeing shy children, eager to learn and make friends, grow massively in confidence.

Supporters of the Bambisanani project for more than 10 years, the Rotary Club of Aireborough is delighted to be sponsoring two projects complementing St. Mary’s ground breaking work. This year via the ‘Days for Girls’ project a team of female Rotarians and friends produced and sent to Mnyakanya with the St. Mary’s team more than 80 sanitary kits to ensure no pupil is absent from school during menstruation. On receipt the smiles on faces told all.

After gaining a Global Grant through Rotary, the Club is also leading a project to provide a computer suite in . This will be named ‘Mary’s Room’ in memory of local ex-primary school Headteacher Mary Jowett’s bequest to the Aireborough Club and recognising at the same time St. Mary’s magnificent achievements.    



In November two events have taken place under the Youth and Education banner. First was the Aireborough heat of the National Young Chef competition hosted by Guiseley School with five competitors, three from Benton Park and two from Guiseley.


Judges were Alyson Wort and John Kitching who reported: ‘we had a very enjoyable morning judging the competition with five young people coming to cook a two course meal for us. The skills and techniques they demonstrated were outstanding, from making their own pasta, to shortbread, onion and balsamic reduction to perfect chocolate dipping sauce. How we suffer for Rotary!

As a vegetarian Alyson declined the majority of the main courses so I would not be eating again until Tuesday lunchtime. It was a very difficult decision to select our winners but successful on the day and going through to the next round, the Leeds Final, were Evie O’Connor from Guiseley and Amelia Lockwood from Benton Park. Both presented wonderful stuffed chicken dishes and wonderful desserts’. 

A week later St. Mary’s School, Menston held their GCSE Prize Giving evening, which was extremely well attended by students, staff and parents. The Rotary Club of Aireborough awards two prizes to the school, one at GCSE level and the other at ‘A’ level but for ‘Service above Self’ Rotary’s original motto.


The GCSE prize was awarded to Blythe McCaul for her altruistic activities. The ‘A’ level award will be presented to Sixth Form student Mary Monaghan at a prize giving ceremony on the 20th December.  



Frank Renton returned triumphantly to Yeadon Town Hall  for the 18th time, conducting the Hepworth Band, helping to raise funds for Aireborough Rotary Club’s manifold projects.

As always this gave the audience opportunities to both listen to, learn about and above all enjoy masterful performances from everyone on the stage.

As presenter and conductor Frank first expressed his pleasure on returning to his roots, particularly as each year someone different from his youth appeared to test his memory, then without notes but with humour displayed his encyclopaedic knowledge of each item on the programme and appreciated and revelled in the skills his baton drew from band members.

His original plan was to include music from British composers and arrangers and as usual the choice became wide-ranging from film - Vaughan Williams ‘Prelude to 49th Parallel’, comic opera – ‘A Sullivan Fantasy’, ‘Folk Music from the U.K.’ and Malcolm Arnold’s ‘Cornish Dances’. Frank’s view that Brass Band music initially reflected the original popular music of the day from music halls led to his inclusion of two salutes to ‘rock stars’ – Freddie Mercury and Queen’s ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Paul McCartney’s ‘Norwegian Wood’, Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Got to Get You Into My Life’.

Virtuoso performances were provided by the soloists for the evening: Andy Holmes (cornet) with ‘’, Sarah Billard (tuba) with ‘Song of the Skies’ and Kate Bentham (Flugel) ‘Beneath the Willows’ with band members enthusiastically showing their appreciation alongside the audience.

The evening ended in memorable fashion with a stunning rendition of Peter Graham’s ‘Gaelforce’ where, as well as taking their solos, Andy Holmes and Kate Bentham masqueraded with sheer audacity and straight faces as ‘Riverdance’s’ Michael Flatley and Jean Butler. Judging from Frank Renton’s reaction this had not been part of the previous evening’s rehearsal.


Frank wrote in the programme ‘Gerald Long had been a great supporter of these concerts, so it is good that tonight’s performance should be dedicated to his memory’ and what a tribute it was!




A Tribute to Gerald Long


I have known Gerald most of my life from the  Aireborough Grammar School days, growing up, watching local amateur dramatics and finally through Rotary, especially through the fellowship side of Rotary and Inner Wheel. He and Vera were stalwarts at Rotary Conferences.   They were always good for a laugh with stories and appropriate words.   He was an expert on theatre performers of the pre and post war years.  Light music was his speciality, Noel Coward and Ivor Novello were among his heroes. In contrast, Vera loved opera, which he wasn’t too keen on. 

When he joined Rotary he gave his first ‘My Job’ talk and what a fascinating career he had. He started his working life on the railways at Apperley Bridge, then into the office at James Ives’ Mill and later at Peate’s. When the mill closed he wrote to places that interested him including Harewood House. He was asked in for interview, told he would be kept on file, eventually called back in and offered the post of Events Manager. 

This July he gave us his second my job talk, at my request. He told us about working at Harewood. He produced a book of memories and photographs of the people he met at Harewood - Royalty, Statesmen, Official Country Delegates.   I do know that the Earl and Countess of Harewood had the greatest respect for Gerald’s capabilities as he did for them. 

His manner and his acting ability always shone through, there for all to see in the local productions, making him excellent to watch. With his humour, I could listen all day long to him and his professionalism in organising events was there for all to see.  

And all this came from a lad from Yeadon. 

Rest in peace old friend. 

Brian Waite 


Having recently attended the funeral of the Countess of Harewood, one of his former employers, Gerald mentioned that he would eventually appreciate a celebration of the same nature – full of laughter and humour.

His children Andrew and Jacqueline made the thought reality in a Yeadon Methodist Church  bursting at the seams, with a congregation more than double its capacity. It was a fitting tribute to a family man who, selflessly, had taken the time to be an active and enthusiastic member of fifteen community organisations.

Andrew gave an entertaining, absorbing and all encompassing eulogy full of amusing anecdotes and little known facts preceded by memories from primary school to present day interests by lifelong friend Bryan Stott, Aireborough Historical Society colleague Carlo Harrison and the Reverend Leslie Holmes.

With music and theatre being an important part of Gerald’s life there were poetry readings from Jacqueline and grandchildren Chloe Stead and Sarah Long, ending with a solo rendition of ‘Someone to watch over me’ from grandchild Sophie Stead accompanied on guitar by Leigh Coleman.

Applause frequently became an integral part of the celebration.                                               





This year the Rotary Club of Aireborough has once again enthusiastically donated 350 Illustrated Usborne dictionaries to a whole year group selected by 11 local individual primary schools. Members are keen to participate as improving literacy worldwide remains one of Rotary’s prime targets and Club members also regularly volunteer within schools to listen to pupils read.

Each presentation also enables members to tell pupils something about Rotary’s work both in the community and internationally and to encourage them to look out for Rotary at local events.

Pupils evidently look forward to the time when they receive their own dictionaries and it was particularly heartening to hear pupils saying that they were following their brothers and sisters who had received dictionaries in previous years.

Handing over the dictionaries to each pupil is a pleasurable task in itself as the pictures show but the main enjoyment comes from seeing them immediately leafing through the books to find a topic in which they have particular interest.




The Primary Schools involved from Guiseley, Horsforth, Rawdon and Yeadon were: St. Oswald’s, Guiseley, Yeadon Westfield Junior, Rufford Park Primary, Rawdon St. Peter’s C. of E. Primary, St. Margaret’s C. of E. Primary, Broadgate Primary, Newlaithes Junior, Queensway Primary, St. Peter and Paul, and Guiseley Primary.   



The 6th Rawdon Village Show organised by Rawdon Community Library and the Yeadon Carnival both gave Aireborough members the chance to root out their fundraising tabards?? and show the community at large what they were about. Both presented an opportunity to encourage a new audience to donate to Rotary charities but also to tell them about just one of Aireborough’s projects which affected people in disaster areas worldwide.

The Sand Game (new to us but borrowed from Inner Wheel), the ubiquitous Hook-a-Duck and the teasing Bottle Stall over two afternoons added around £400 to Club funds.

Thanks go out to a steadily growing band of volunteers both old and new from the early morning gazebo erectors, to the salespeople/ perormers with their steadily improving patter, to the Aquabox demonstrators and drinkers of potable water, to those who ensured what was forgotten eventually arrived and to the disassemblers who followed instructions ‘to the T’.

And they accomplished all this whilst bravely battling against the effects of a World Cup quarter final. Well done All!

Pictures show the range of activities from prizewinner to water testers and ‘a day in the life of a typical Aireborough Rotarian’….shame about the early morning!




The second annual Aireborough Beer Festival began at Guiseley Theatre on the 14th June with a rousing VIP opening night, an opportunity to thank sponsors, advertisers and supporters before getting into full swing with 2 full days on 15th and 16th of June. With 37 different draught beers, 8 ciders, bottled beers and Prosecco on offer, visitors had a very wide selection of drinks to choose from. This year's festival was based on the Wars of the Roses with all the draught beers being brewed in either Yorkshire or Lancashire. A number of smaller breweries were also featured with 5 making their festival debut. 

Of great relief to all Tykes was that votes on leaving showed a preference for the great Yorkshire pint over its Lancashire alternative by 60/40%. However of all the individual beers on offer the outstanding beer selected by festival goers was the Lancashire brew Underdog, a Chocolate Treacle Porter brewed by Northern Monkey. This was just ahead of a nano brewery offering from the very close to home Horsforth Brewery’s Aubretia a Black IPA. 

Great support throughout came from a steady stream of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) members, including intrepid Festival followers from Doncaster, Grimsby and Wakefield. A welcoming party greeted Pat Langford and Kate Seal, the Doncaster Duo who this year ticked off 23 previously untasted beers and added 3 new breweries to their computer listings. Having taken away 2 XL Aireborough Beer festival shirts last year they will be rewarded in 2019 with shirts that fit. 




Popularly received festival food was produced by a hard-working team from Rawdon Parish Church whilst music was supplied each night by a number of local performers. They included Nigel Passey who provided 2 great sets on the VIP night. On Friday night the audience enjoyed the sweet and powerful music of Peculiar Blue, the jazz-blues tunes of Christy Herron Trio and Fleetwood Tracs (a Fleetwood Mac tribute act making their first ever live performance). Saturday saw a wide range of sets from the acoustic Motown sound of Cornell Daley, rock cover band Easily Distracted, the melodic indie folk sound of Boo Sutcliffe with the final stunning performance of the festival supplied by the Blind Dead McJones with energy, humour and consummate musical skills. All the performers were warmly appreciated by the audiences. 


The festival, in its second year, is run jointly by Rawdon St Peter's Parish Church, Guiseley Theatre and Aireborough Rotary with the profits being split equally between the 3 organisations. An amazing £6,000 was raised for good causes locally, nationally and internationally. Organisers are now having a well earned few weeks rest before starting to look at arrangements for next year's festival which will be held on 13th,14th and 15th June.


More than 800 people descended on Lightwater Valley  for Kids Out with Aireborough taking their fair share with 27 pupils, 17 carers and 6 Rotarians led by our new Community and Vocational Chair Sally Mohan and bedecked in our newly designed t-shirts and this year’s blue hats.

As usual several groups went their separate ways choosing their favourite rides before coming together for a picnic lunch. There were rides to suit all ages and their varying levels of bravery or bravado. Most rides were sampled by some starting with the Carousel and the Skyrider moving up through the gears of the Flying Cutlass, Wild River Rapids, and Raptor Attack on to the Thrill Rides, the towering Ultimate (ridden by three) and the terrifying Eagle’s Claw with Janet Kerr the sole champion. High winds stopped the Black Pearl from running at full capacity.

As his travelling companion on the Ultimate John Knaggs rode with a continental Health and Safety expert who had come through the Channel Tunnel and driven up from to make sure that all rides were functioning admirably. Just hope John gave him a full report on getting back to earth!

On the way out the team picked up Lucky Bags for all the contingent prepared by Inner Wheel.


This is obviously a highlight of the year for a lot of the pupils who talk about it lengthily both before and after - so long may it continue!

Greetings from other Clubs were too numerous to mention though some polite conversations did ensue.


The full team comprised Sally, Janet K, Barry, Johns Knaggs and Moorhouse and Robert who had failed to check the battery on his camera beforehand. 


When I was the President of the Rotary Club Bill was my Conference Secretary and I wanted to change how the weekend format would be. Bill was very good at organising stuff and as you can imagine it was just what I wanted and very enjoyable for all.I didn’t know Rodney Braker but I did know Bill Braker. He was a good friend and I liked him. We started within a few months of each other at the Rotary Club and when I retired I tried to sit with Bill at lunch so we could catch up with things. Bill was always the first to say ‘I can do that!’

I had a tough time as President but Bill supported me and talked to me when I was feeling low, encouraging me to keep going with the changes we wanted to make in the Club. He decided to fill the space when my President Elect decided not to take on the job. Bill yet again saved the day. We had a hard job that year but when it came to Bill’s year as President everything was fine.

He really enjoyed his year as President and he and Maggie worked hard to set up the Easter Egg Hunt, again encouraging others to follow suit.

I remember going to the R.I.B.I. Conference in Harrogate and Bill put his name down for a cruise draw thinking like we all did that we didn’t have a chance. He rang me a few weeks later very excited to say ‘We’ve won a cruise Brian’. Others were not as happy as they hoped they might win it. Now was this the start of the cruising? Probably ‘yes’! He and Maggie enjoyed it so much they booked two more and got one free.

Bill used to tell me how much fun it was meeting lots of different people and how much they found it interesting on board ship. One day after a cruise he mentioned something about being an Ambassador on board the cruise ship, and then told me all about it. I said that sounds like your kind of job. He loved talking to people and making new friends. The downside he said was they would be away an awful lot cruising the world. ‘Not a bad thing’ I said.

He did pop into the Club meetings when he could and it was always a great pleasure to see him again with that firm handshake and hearty laugh.

I was sad when Bill told me he and Maggie were selling up and moving near Downham Market but glad he felt it was the right move for them.

Then last year Bill rang to tell me about his diagnosis while on their world cruise. I was devastated for them both but Bill as always was positive and strong. ‘I’ll be coming up to for the treatment, Brian’ he said. So we arranged for them both to come round and tell us how things were going. It was in the early stages but I could see Bill was different. He was still that man I had met in 2010 but the spark was gone. He still had the firm handshake though, which we called the Rotary handshake.

We called to see Bill and Maggie last year while on holiday in and saw the new house they were making their home again. Bill said ‘it’s a bit of a building site but it’ll be fine when it’s finished’.

We kept in touch by email and phone until Bill rang me a few weeks ago to say the hospital had given him the all clear to eat and drink a pint of beer again. He had just been in the garden and done other jobs around the house. I could sense the joy in his voice that things were on the up. When Maggie rang me a week later to tell me the news of Bill’s death, neither I, nor Mitzi nor Maggie could believe it.

So Bill, I hope you have your golf clubs with you on your next journey as I am sure you will get to play a round wherever you are. We shall all miss you Bill.

Brian Whitham




Instead of using Scatter Week to visit another Club, President Heather organised a special treat for members at the Re-cycling & Energy Recovery Facility or RERF for short, one of six zero waste facilities in the country owned by French company VEOLIA. The French designed iconic building  has received awards for its ultra modern, striking architectural design.

Leeds, with 40% of its city’s waste currently recycled is aiming to reach the 50% Government target by 2020 with the help of this plant costing £170m turning waste into a resource.

We soon met up again with Leeds City Council employee Gus who had come to talk to us in October. Before letting us venture into the plant we were given safety instructions and a test as well as seeing a film, available on Youtube entitled ‘Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility’ showing just what happens to the city’s 165,00 tonnes of yearly black bin contents. There is no point my trying to explain the process just spend 3 minutes 56 seconds watching the video.  

Suffice to say that by the end nothing goes to waste with the energy from one tonne of coal being replaced by that of 3 tonnes of waste with a reduced carbon footprint. The sole activity we saw on the day was the massive grab, functioning automatically, moving the residue left in the storage bunker after several optical and infra red robotic sorting processes. 

The chute fed 20 tonnes an hour to the furnace to be burned at temperatures of up to 850ºC. Even the ash left in the furnace was transported elsewhere in to be converted into aggregate for roads. En route the furnace also produced steam driving the plant’s turbine.


Suitably garbed in safety boots, high viz jackets, helmets, safety glasses and gloves we were then conducted by our guide around the various floors of the plant seeing into the furnace and eventually climbing the 80 steps to the outside viewing balcony, 30 metres off the ground. To enhance the outside of the building there is a magnificent growing wall covered in plants taking the outsourced gardeners four weeks to tend on their regular visits.



The plant has 58 people on a variety of shifts. On our visit we saw six

 employees including two men in the control room the nerve centre of the plant.


Hopefully the pictures will enhance the story and give you several pleasurable minutes determining just who is who!


Every Rotarian in Great Britain and ireland was set the challenge of planting a tree in the Rotary year 2017/18. District Environmental Officer and Aireborough member Janet Appleton set about sourcing a variety of saplings from Rotary’s partner in the enterprise, the Woodland Trust, and worked with Leeds City Council (LCC) to find a suitable location.

To make a sizeable dent in the Aireborough target six enthusiastic Rotarians, under the guidance of LCC’s Justin Williamson completed the planting of 30 saplings on the Queensway edge of Nunroyd Park  in Guiseley and will keep a close watch on the growing process. 



This year’s Leeds Technology Tournament attracted 37 teams with an encouragingly increasing number of female members from 14 different Leeds Secondary Schools to the John Charles Centre.

The challenge they were facing this year was described as follows: a train carrying hazardous materials in a container has been derailed. You are a member of a team required to design and build a crane, which will be used to recover the chemical container from a safe working distance. The container is in a cylindrical open topped rail truck. Your crane must be controlled from a set distance and have a magnetic hook for lifting. It must pass between guide rails and under a bridge. 

The reward for every participant was an individual certificate and this year a specially designed glass coffee coaster designed as a hobby by Bob Spishak a Leeds Rotarian.

Trophy winners in the three sections were:

Foundation: Roundhay

Intermediate: Grammar School at Leeds

Advanced: Grammar School at Leeds

Innovation Award: for the most original solution to the task – Abbey Grange’s Foundation team

As always Aireborough had a sizeable role in the event. Andrew Wilson chaired the organising committee and M.C.’d the proceedings on the day. Brian Whitham acted as a judge in the winning Foundation grouping and Robert Mirfield, Graham Davies, John Knaggs, Sally Mohan, Sofia Prassa and Alyson Wort carried out the multi-tasking job of stewarding. also took some excellent pictures. Geoff, Graham and Robert were also there the evening before getting the cavernous hall ready.

The most arduous and taxing role fell to Geoff Bartrum, a first timer at the event, in designing and building the example model to solve the complex issues implicit in the task – and boy did he do well!


It will all happen again in March 2019 on a date to be finalised – newcomers always welcome to what is an inspiring and enjoyable day.  

Pictures from the top: a completed model, Innovation winners, Abbey Grange Foundation, then Foundation winners: Roundhay and Intermediate and Advanced winners both from Grammar School at Leeds.




 Another first for the Rotary Club of Aireborough was achieved with a local heat of the National Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ competition. Seven teams took part from Guiseley and St. Mary’s, each made up of a Chairperson, Speaker and Vote of Thanks provider, speaking for 12 minutes in all. The speaker also had to respond spontaneously to a question from the floor.

Teams chose their own topics and were they challenging? – Demonstrably so! They included ‘The impact of social media on the mental health of young people’, ‘Tax credit cuts of April 2017’ and ‘Vegetarianism – the future of mankind?’

The Intermediate 11 to 13 years category was won by Majid Qahwaji, Qiange Mao and Owen Sage with their chosen topic ‘A reconsideration of British foreign aid’ policies’. The senior 14 to 17 year group saw Ross Tanner, Ally Lloyd and Beth Dillon taking the prize with ‘The essence of education has it been lost?'. Both winners came from Guiseley School .

Teams included in their presentations thanks for the opportunities the competition had given them including facing an attentive audience.

Every participant received both a certificate and a medal with the winners, who will move on to the District Final in March also taking away £30 cheques for school funds.

A large audience at the Grove Methodist Church  expressed their appreciation and admiration for the efforts of every team throughout this daunting experience.

Event organisers were Geoff Bartrum and Brian Whitham. The difficult task of judging and providing constructive feedback was entrusted to Alyson Wort, Tony Scaife and Robert Mirfield with the role of inquisitive questioner being filled admirably by President Heather Read.

Pictures both with Club President Heather Read show: Intermediate winners Majid Qahwaji, Qiange Mao and Owen Sage and Senior winners – Beth Dillon, Ally Lloyd and Beth Dillon

There is a prize for finding the modest and elusive Geoff Bartrum in the final picture.




This year’s local heat of the national Young Musician 2018 competition hosted by the Rotary Club of Aireborough attracted six talented performers from three local secondary schools.

They were Yingzhe Feng (piano) from St. Mary’s School, Charlotte Smith (cello) , Ellie Barraclough (a first for Aireborough – voice) and Harry Turner (another first this time on drums), all from Guiseley School and Mark Holland (oboe) and Phoebe Moorhouse (piano) fromHorsforth School.

 The three judges Liz Kenwood, Mitzi Whitham and Philip Livesey gave each individual competitor constructive feedback and advice on their performance admitting that it had been a difficult task to select the two eventual winners.

They also congratulated each entrant on having the courage to stand up and perform in front of what was a sizeable audience at the Grove Methodist Church, Horsforth.

There were joint winners who will move forward to the next stage, the District Final in in February. Yingzhe Feng was praised for his ‘beautiful sensitive touch, smooth flow and confident control’ in playing Chopin’s Nocturne opus 72 no.1. Mark Holland’s Elegia by Nino Rota was ‘a real performance that came alive demonstrating a technical facility and a warm tone’.

All competitors received a certificate and the winners’ cheques were presented by Club President Heather Read. Brian Whitham organised the evening and made the introductions. 

Photos: President Heather Read between Yingzhe Feng and Mark Holland 


Competitors and judges: Philip Livesey, Brian Whitham, Yinzhe Feng, Mark Holland, Phoebe Moorhouse, Charlotte Smith, Ellie Barraclough, Harry Turner, Mitzi Whitham and Liz Kenwood


There was another good turnout for the annual Christmas Meal hosted by President Heather with 70 members and their guests attending. It was good to see several old faces returning to share this evening of fun.

The call for festive dress was answered in all manner of means by a percentage of the assembled crowd with jumpers, ties and glasses proving most popular.

The balloons hidden in the crackers tested the ingenuity and stamina of many with longest, highest and noisiest flights greeted with resounding applause.

The entertainment provided by the Rock Choir, an amalgamation of several wide-spread choirs including Horsforth and lived up to expectations. Their enthusiastic repertoire moved effortlessly from carols to rock under the vibrant baton of their dynamic conductor bringing the best out of her protégés in complementing with practised movement the messages of their songs.

The choir charged no fee but £2 from every ticket sale went to their chosen charity Nordoff Robbins delivering life changing music therapy to both children and adults.

The ubiquitous and popular raffle also had a specific charitable aim helping the Days for Girls project reach its self imposed target.

A good time was unquestionably enjoyed by all! 










For an event celebrating youthful achievement, organised by the Rotary Club of Aireborough’s Youth Service Chair Brian Whitham, students staff and their guests from Horsforth and St. Mary’s were welcomed to an evening meeting.

Qiyu Cai from Horsforth and Kristiana Barzanov from St. Mary’s had both recently undertaken the arduous Rotary Youth Leadership Award week at Hebden Hey and in a spirited presentation summarised the challenges overcome and the resultant benefits gained, particularly in self-confidence, during a taxing stay. The fact that one of them was in the team that won, over the week with the other one point behind, added spice to the occasion.

Picture shows Cindy Stephenson(Course mentor), Qiyu Cai, President Heather Read, Kristiana Barzanov and Simon Rebecchi  (Course mentor)


Catherine Chattoe, the Bambisanani project leader, together with pupils Ewan Copsey and Pauline Hall then brought members up to date on the school’s latest impressive and rewarding annual visit to Kwa Zulu Natal. During their stay they had also taken shoes for all the children in a neighbouring orphanage as well as giving their time to pupils in a local junior school.

Their main task however was, as always, to take a group of Mnyakanya pupils through a short Sport Leadership course which enabled the new leaders to pass on in a final sports day what they had learned about the new to them sports of rugby, rounders and netball. Pupils in the group also spent some of their time teaching classes before an always appreciative audience.

Aireborough Rotary had been one of the first groups to support the school in its Bambisanani enterprise, most recently supplying tablets for grateful pupils’ use. To mark this 10 year partnership Catherine presented Club President Heather Read with a recently published book illustrating St. Mary’s adventurous project.

The school and the Rotary Club are now working together on a grant proposal to enable the school and its pupils working with very basic facilities to dramatically improve its current situation. 

Picture above: Ewan Copsey and Pauline Hall present President Heather Read with the 10 year record of the Bambisanani project. On the right all the players in the Bambisanani project.    



Aireborough Rotary’s ‘Festival of Brass’ concert began strikingly with Club President Heather Read walking on to an empty stage to welcome and thank the expectant audience and to introduce compere and conductor Frank Renton. What followed would be a mystery he confessed before moving away to allow Hepworth’s Principal Trombonist Yvonne Embury to take centre stage as soloist on Lennon and McCartney’s ‘With a little help from my friends’. The stage then gradually filled as individuals and sections took up their places whilst playing, till the whole ensemble came together. They moved without a break into a breakneck rendition of Fred Jewell’s ‘Galop, They’re Off’.


Back in his familiar position Frank congratulated Heather on becoming the Club’s first female President in 64 years with the comment ‘now that’s what I call progress!’

The programme he had drawn up with the band would not appeal to all brass band aficionados containing as it did rarely played and unfamiliar but this was certainly no swansong as he pledged to return ‘as long as you still want me’.

The Hepworth, a Championship Section Band, followed their unusual on stage with a masterful performance of an eclectic programme ranging from the Beatles ‘Ticket to Ride’ through Elgar Howarth’s ‘Music from the Elizabethan Court’ to the concluding ‘Shine as the Light’ by Peter Graham with its ground-breaking aleatory conclusion.

As ever every player took pleasure in and applauded each other’s solos later describing Isobel Daws’ playing as ‘fabulous’ and praising their own Steve Ridler on his soulful interpretation of ‘When I Fall in Love’. Their presentation of ‘Three Haworth Impressions’ was decidedly atmospheric and evocative and Derek Bourgeois’ ‘Serenade’ provided a delightful encore.

As his guest soloist Frank had secured as his superb choice 18 year old Isobel Daws, ‘the clear winner’ of BBC Radio 2’s Young Brass Award 2017, currently studying for ‘A’ levels in . Isobel chose a fuller version of her Award winning ‘Rhapsody for Trombone and Band by Gordon Langford as her first piece delivered as a mesmerising tour de force. Later in the programme Arthur Pryor’s ‘Thoughts of Love’ received the same sensitive and confident treatment from a gifted performer who will go far.

Frank Renton’s performance over the evening was a typical miscellany demonstrating his encyclopaedic brass band knowledge plus his unabridged thoughts on composers, arrangers and performers not sparing the Rolling Stones. His humour came out in his introductions to the Witch of Westmorelands and his tall tale about Patrick Bronte for ‘Three Haworth Impressions’.He wrote in the programme ‘it is my yearly trip into the area of my youth and every year gets more nostalgic’ (despite the cold).

Make sure Friday 26 October 2018 goes straight into your calendar.


As well as throwing themselves wholeheartedly into both the Conference Programme and the Rotary Showcase the nineteen enthusiastic members and partners from Aireborough also enjoyed Red Lea’s hospitality for varying lengths of time between Thursday and Monday.


We were proud to see three of our members make the Conference stage, Lynn Rhodes-Holme ('Stroke Awareness') andJanet Appleton (‘Sal’s Shoes’) leading in the Community and Vocational presentation. On Sunday Andrew Wilson confidently fronted the Youth Services Showcase.

All three were all also prominent in the Rotary Showcase, joined by Geoffrey and Heather Barton explaining the merits of Aquaboxes, with filtered water proving its regular attraction. Anne Waite and Pat Mirfield also helped the Inner Wheel stand achieve an all round successful Conference.

The name of Aireborough kept cropping up gratifyingly with the ‘Dolly Parton Imagination Library’ and Aquaboxes being highlighted in the International segment and the impressive and redoubtable Chris Lubbe featuring Aquaboxes as one of the many projects Rotary needed to exploit with greater gusto to a waiting World audience in the dark about Rotary.

Highlights over the two days included Mollie Comish on Dignity Bags and Halifax’s Lucy Hodgson with the best job in the world (Rotary Youth Leadership Award organiser), aided by recent participants.

It will also be hard to forget the multi-lingual and musically talented group of Ukrainian pupils and their video from ‘School No. 3 with English experience’ brought to these shores by the Holmfirth Club.

Three of the Yorkshire Rows team took us through their 3000 mile, 67 days, 5 hours and 2 minute Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from a thoughtful comment in a York Rowing Club to the elation of overcoming a 3 day hurricane, power failures, close encounter with a whale and lots of blisters. Deserved standing ovation followed.

Also receiving a well earned standing ovation was Chris Lubbe, simply described as Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard. His was the story of apartheid from the inside, beginning with his father’s statement that the word ‘coloured’ on his passport would define his whole life. Most surprising was his story of being encouraged by Steve Biko at the age of 9 to write to a World Leader,  being given the Queen and receiving no reply. Later accompanying Nelson Mandela on a State Visit and at a dinner in he was encouraged to open a letter brought to him on a silver tray only to find it contained the self same letter to which the Queen later said she had replied.

For entertainment Aireborough continued to ‘do its own thing’ on the Friday evening with President Heather’s champagne reception and black tie dinner, followed by some impressive dancing to the nameless Chris Rea tribute singer and musician. Barry Bootland and Janet Kerr had several of the judges reaching for their 10s (tens) through both their talent and sheer exuberance. Once the music stopped, the irrepressible Brian Whitham, after interminably explaining the rules, took two competitive teams through a complex game of Pictionary culminating in everyone wearing silly headgear - cue photo.

All this proved a difficult act to follow the next night for Abba Revival.


And, although a year older by then, we only have to wait until 12 October 2018 to do it all again!



Aireborough Rotary’s first female President Heather Read knew immediately whom she would like to invite as guest speaker for the Club’s 64th Charter and her choice proved an undoubted winner.


It is 18 years since the Alternative W.I. calendar, approved at Head Office ‘because it was local and would be small’ first saw the light of day in the Devonshire Arms, Cracoe. Tricia Stewart brought the story up-to date in a hilarious account packed with northern humour bringing gales of laughter from a capacity audience. She reminded us that it all began with 1,000 calendars printed to sell at £5 each and raise £5000 for Leukaemia Research. Since then it has passed through various phases of several calendars, the Movie, the Stage Show and Calendar Girls – the Musical (who is this Barry Garlow?)

During ‘Question and Answer’ Tricia felt the sum raised for the charity so far was around £5m.(Heather with her special guest Tricia)

District Governor Robert Morphet, in proposing the toast to the Rotary Club of Aireborough, recounted the Club’s successes over the year and President Elect Lynn Rhodes-Holme thanked all the guests present and particularly the members of the many neighbouring Clubs taking the time to share Aireborough’s Charter.

During the evening District Governor Robert Morphet also presented two Paul Harris Fellowship Awards. The first went to Andrew Wilson, 32 years a Rotarian, who has held with distinction many roles in the Club, being President in 1995/96 before moving on to District positions, initially as Assistant Governor Leeds and currently Chairing the Youth Service Committee.Proposing the award, Brian Hall also felt his having a telescopic ladder clinched the deal. Graham Davies then introduced the second surprise recipient Inner Wheel member Carol Hall whose design skills allied to the vision of a cartoonist has ensured that any flyer or poster advertising a Rotary or inner Wheel event will be imaginative, appropriately humorous and always delivered on time!   (Carol, Heather and Andrew are pictured)


Proving that Rotary embodies both fun and entertainment as well as ‘Service above Self'  Aireborough Rotary staged a second Proms Evening. This  brought together to perform their own musical selections Opera North’s Joanne Dexter and the Olicana brass Quintet providing something for everyone to enjoy in a richly varied programme.

Love was unsurprisingly a recurring theme in Joanne’s accomplished programme, beginning with items from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ and Edward German’s ‘Tom Jones’ and ‘Merrie England’ (She had a Letter from her Love). Every opportunity was taken to link playfully and humorously with the audience in explaining and acting out the situation in each piece. There was also time to test the audience’s knowledge of lyrics in Franz Lehar’s ‘Guidetta’ ‘on my lips every kiss is like wine’ and their ability to sing in a triple version of ‘O Sole Mio’. Musicals also had a place with ‘State Fair’s’  ‘Grand Night for Singing’ and ‘West Side Story’s’ ‘I Feel Pretty’. But with an amenable Bill fortuitously seated at the President’s table in an enthusiastic audience what better song to include than ‘Showboat’s’ ‘Bill’. George Gershwin’s ‘Someone to Watch over Me’ and the title music of ‘Singing in the Rain’ brought a memorable performance to a very well received finale.

Joanne also took the time to praise her talented, witty and quick thinking accompanist Andy Sherlock.

ThOlicana Brass quintet comprised of members from the Otley Brass Band  also played a stirring role in the evening’s music, exemplifying versatility initially with Ron Goodwin’s ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines followed by an orchestral arrangement of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’. The haunting ‘Danny Boy’ or the ‘Londonderry Air’ also took the audience back to the world of film in ‘Brassed Off’ and nostalgia also had its place in a rousing rendition of the Beatles’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ from ’Help’.

Led by Joanne and the Olicana Brass’ the evening was brought to an end in a suitably roof raising but tuneful attempt by the audience to bring the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ to its northernish outpost in Aireborough.

In her closing vote of thanks President Heather Reid paid tribute to the gifted performers, the supportive audience and particularly the organisational talents of Barry and Lynne Bootland.


Thirty six hours later most of Aireborough Rotary had reverted to fund-raising mood at their Canine Capers event. With the help of the Tailwaggers Obedience Team and this time marshalled by Sally Mohan and Janet Appleton they were raising with the help of a host of dog-lovers a creditable £400+ for Rotary Charities.  



1 Two Global Grant scholars have been hosted over the last Rotary year by the Aireborough Club, Kayono Nakajima and Mark Maccuzzo. Kayono who has been studying Public Health at Leeds University has recently heard that she has secured her dream job, working for a Japanese NGO in Timor Leste (East Timor). 

Tony Scaife was first to hear the news and commented 'good to see young people following their dreams. We congratulate Kayono and wish her all the best in her new job and will try to keep a distant eye on her progress. 

Picture shows Kayono and now President Heather displaying their medals at the annual Bowls afternoon.

2 According to Leeds City Council the Leeds Rotary Technology Tournament has been awarded a certificate on behalf of the Outer Leeds South Community Committee dealing with Community Heroes.

The Tournament is organised by all the Clubs forming part of the Leeds group.

Aireborough will feel particular pride having been heavily involved over several years with participation in various roles from Patrick Glenn, Barry Wilkinson, Tony Scaife, John Knaggs, Brian Waite, Brian Whitham, Graham Davies, Geoff Bartrum and most importantly Andrew Wilson, chairing and steering the Committee over a lengthy period.  

Picture shows a typical group of pupils carrying out a final test of their model under the watchful eye of Brian Waite






In her role as District Environmental Officer, Club member Janet Appleton was asked to source a project in which the 102 Clubs in the district had the opportunity to participate. After lots of research and an eventual visit to Croydon Janet decided Sal’s Shoes a charity founded in 2013 was the one to back.

Camilla Bowry (or CJ) was the driving force who felt there could be a new home for a bag of her son Salvatore’s outgrown shoes.

With 300 million children going barefoot in the world of whom 58 million were not in school and 29 million could not attend because they had no shoes CJ had found a way to make the bag of shoes count. So far shoes have been sent to 34 countries worldwide

After a presentation to a school assembly at Rawdon St. Peter’s C. of E. Primary a date was set in the final week of term for parents and pupils to bring in outgrown and serviceable shoes of any kind including school shoes, trainers, wellingtons, football boots and ballet shoes. Many parents also answered the call to sellotape a £1 coin to the shoes to help pay for transportation costs.

On the day all at the school responded magnificently with 168 pairs of shoes being brought in and boxed ready for dispatching to CJ’s Croydon warehouse. Each box will contain the name of the school and an additional benefit is that CJ aims to send back pictures of the shoes on the feet of their new owners. 

The picture shows Rotary President Heather Read and Rawdon Headteacher Caroline Sibson with two of the pupils who brought in shoes in front of the product of their generosity.

63rd President but 1st Lady



After an action packed year Graham Davies bowed out of the Rotary Club of Aireborough's Presidency at an event hosted by Corporate member Leeds Trinity University.

The meeting included a memory jogging pictorial representation of Leeds Trinity University's 50 year history from the building of the two initial colleges to its present day eminence given by Head of marketing Tania Clarke.

Graham's successor and the Club's first female President is Heather Read. Heather only joined the Club in 2013 via the flourishing 'satellite' Thursday evening option but is now also a regular Tuesday attender.

Heather was Assistant Head at Braithwaite Special School, Keighley has been a churchwarden at St. Peter's Parish Church, Rawdon and a governor at St. Peter's C. of E. Primary School where she still takes part in the fortnightly Open the Book assemblies. She is also a Community Ambassador and volunteer for Martin House Hospice.

She has been joined at the Club by her sister Alyson Wort, who after 16 years at the Rotary Club of Leeds including a Presidential year has now transferred to Aireborough.



The inaugural Aireborough Beer Festival lived up to all expectations as a new, untested and very challenging event, bringing together harmoniously from the very outset a working partnership of equals: the Rotary Club of Aireborough, the Parish Church of St. Peter's, Rawdon and Guiseley Theatre.


The main responsibility for the success goes primarily to the multi-talented volunteer committee whose organisational and technical skills produced memorable results for all to see.

Over the two days and the V.I.P. evening more than 600 eager patrons attended, (seen as a creditable first time response) taking away their branded glasses having enjoyed an excellent choice of 43 beers and 15 ciders as well as Prosecco and red and white wines. Overall more than £3000 was raised to be shared equally between the three partners. 

The partners owe a great debt to all those who either sponsored the 58 barrels, paid for adverts in the informative Festival programme or produced the publicity material. 

Lively, varied and well received evening entertainment was provided by four local bands, Silverlode, Blue Horizon, Little mistakes and Bluesharks.

The most unexpected incident involved the Saturday afternoon arival of two inveterate Beer festival devotees, Pat Langford and Kate Seal. Having seen a flyer some time ago about Aireborough at the Pudsey Beer festival, they had filed it in their diary and subsequently took the train from Doncaster as part of their 35 year hobby of tasting new beers on an almost weekly basis. They were delightd and surprised to be able to add 15 previously unsampled beers to their voluminous and detailed log of thousands of beers as well as passing on tips to theincredulours organisers.

Showing that the volunteering spirit is alive and well in Aireborough and reflecting the community mood, all three organisations provided the cheerful and willing labour ready to set up the bar area before moving on to dispense drinks, prepare and serve food, greet and inform arrivals, brief staff and sell the essential token currency.

Many of those leaving expressed their thanks and enjoyment, promising to tell all their friends and bring them along next year on an already agreed weekend to a bigger and better Festival on the 15 and 16 June 2018.  





 Aireborough Rotary’s fourth Easter Egg Hunt at Rodley Nature Reserve proved an all round winner despite the disappointing weather. More than 300 children completed the course by collecting the six tokens and selecting their well deserved prize of an egg or an Easter biscuit at the end. (Picture shows Janet Kerr sending two children off on the Hunt). 

 As a result of donations and a well stocked tombola boasting 135 Easter Eggs £1097 was raised for Rotary charities including the Martin House Hospice.

For many families attending this was also an opportunity to tour the Reserve and see the massive amount of work carried out by volunteers to repair the flood damage of Christmas 2015 partially helped by a Rotary grant.

Much interest was also shown in seeing the contents of an Aquabox which provides highly effective water and humanitarian aid around the world following disasters. Aireborough Rotary is proud to supply regularly  24 of these life-saving boxes every year. Congratulations to all the Rotarians who drank the water to prove its efficiency!

The Rotary Club is immensely grateful to Marks and Spencer, Pudsey and Briggate, Morrisons (Guiseley, Horsforth and Yeadon) Sainsbury’s, Otley and Thorntons  Leeds LS1 for donating eggs and Palmer’s for their plants which all contributed hugely to the day’s success.


But the greatest thanks must go to the loyal and resolute public who braved the inclement weather in large numbers to support this charitable event. 


Aireborough members again pulled their weight at the annual Leeds Rotary Technology Tournament at the John Charles Centre. In the run-up to the event Andrew Wilson chaired the organising committee which also included Brian Whitham and Robert Mirfield. John Sharples, Geoff Bartrum and John Knaggs joined them the evening before helping to set up what is becoming a steadily growing arena. 2017 expected 51 teams and 200+ participants with accompanying teachers. Next day it was all change for the Aireborough Rotarians to roles as M.C., steward, judge or equipment organiser.

Brian Whitham excelled once again in persuading all four local schools Benton Park, Guiseley, Horsforth and St. Mary's, Menston to bring teams in the various categories of Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. One measure of their enjoyment of the day was that all four schools signed up for next year's challenge on 13 march 2018!
This year's task cannot yet be described as not all areas have had their tournament day but the good news was that every team managed to get to the testing stage in front of the judges.

Even better news was that a local team Horsforth School Foundation 2 won the Innovation prize for most impressive solution, second year running for the school. Other prize-winners were Foundation - Priesthorpe 2, Intermediate - Ralph Thoresby and Advanced - Read School, Drax.  

Pictures show the Innovation prize-winners Horsforth School and one team's entry being put to the test before the judges.






The quiz with its quirkily entitled rounds, its team challenge and its strategic chance to play the joker once again proved a great 'draw' with over 90 attending in 16 teams. With many being encouraged and responding to buying raffle tickets in abundance the evening eventually raised more than £300 for the Club to distribute to local, national and international charities.

But this was once again a great team effort with Janet Kerr as chief organiser and Brian Whitham the ebullient question master. Questions were set by Geoff Bartrum, Janrt Kerr and Robert Mirfield and Philip Livesey invigilated and scored with help from Gill White. Rounds this year included Railways, Bring on the Girls, Stephen and Gardening with the final round, the team challenge comprised of 10 Google maps of well known places.

As usual this was a hard fought and closely contested Qiz with the self-deprecatingly entitled 'Below Par' from Horsforth School coming out on top at the 18th hole.Their team included Connor Brown who learned about the quiz whilst attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Award evening. They were only half a point in front of Seriously      Challenged. The Four Musketeers were just as delighted to go home with the wooden spoon.

As usual we were well catered for by Trina and Chris and their Golf Club staff with pie and peas proving a welcome tonic at the mid quiz break.


Young Musicians Set High Standards

January 18th 2017

Talented, local young people made this another successful year for the Aireborough heat of the national Rotary Young Musicians’ Competition which was held at the excellent venue of the Grove, Horsforth before an appreciative 60 strong audience.

Eleven students from St. Mary’s Menston, Horsforth and  Guiseley Schools took part, with once again the most popular instrument being the piano joined by violin, cellos, oboe and saxophone.


The standard of performance was once again very high, giving the judges Mitzi Whitham, Brian Waite and Philip Livesey difficult choices to make. However their decision in choosing the two winners was unanimous, Dan Cullen from St Mary’s and Naomi Adams from Horsforth. 


Dan Cullen on cornet played a syncopated jazz piece together with a beautiful rendition of ‘My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose’.

Naomi Adams on piano wowed the audience with her rhythmical performance of ‘Strutting at the Waldorf’ contrasting admirably with her own arrangement of ‘Some Day I’ll Fly Away’.

Every competitor was given a certificate and each of the winners received a cheque for £30 and now goes forward to the next round on 12th March in .


All the competitors were thanked and congratulated by Aireborough Rotary Club President Graham Davies and the event was arranged and compà¨red by Brian Whitham the Youth Services Chairman. 



President Graham’s bold move in securing a top class performer and entertainer for the annual Christmas meal paid dividends with what was widely accepted as the best Christmas event for several years.

It was a bonus that very few in the audience had seen Huddersfield’s very own Simeon Wood before but he brought an outstanding stage performance to Horsforth Golf Club. His supreme skills as a flautist were complemented by the ability to play to the same level a range of other instruments, including pan’s pipes, both recognised and invented, as well as the talent to hold an audience with entertaining anecdotes and whimsical humour.


His programme blended seasonal numbers including Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride’ and a Christmas Carol medley with Henry Mancini’s ‘Penny Whistle Jig’ and ‘Pie in the face polka’. He recounted the story which earned a place on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show as well as the Sun headline ‘I played my crutch’ illustrated by use of an NHS device together will his follow up for the Tour of Yorkshire ‘White Christmas’ on a bicycle pump. The haunting ‘Annie’s Song’ penned on a cable car ride by John Denver also had its very own back catalogue.


This was a musical night to remember, keeping the audience in rapt attention and seeing him leave the stage to prolonged applause.

As usual those attending answered the call for festive dress with an imaginative display of Christmas costumes as the pictures show.


In playing their part the staff of Horsforth Golf Club produced and served a splendid Christmas meal with all the trimmings to start the evening on the right note.  



As part of the ‘This close’ campaign and ‘Purple4Polio’ primary schoolchildren in 10 schools in the Aireborough area have been planting  with help from various individuals, 5,000 purple crocus corms or bulbs donated by the Rotary Club of Aireborough.

But why purple? simply because to ensure no child is missed, on receiving the vaccination drops, a purple stamp is put on the little finger of each individual.


And why so close? Because the number of cases worldwide has been reduced by 99.9% from 1,000 per day in 1988, to 74 cases in 2015 and to around half that number in 2016 confined to , and .

Alongside the planting, children have also seen a presentation explaining how the campaign developed and how for every £1 raised by Rotary worldwide the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation adds a further £2 because they have seen at first hand the operation and its results and thet trust Rotary!.

The Aireborough Club is proud of its working relationship with the schools with dictionaries donated each year as well as help with reading, attendance at the Brass Band Concert encouraged by free tickets and now for the second time involvement in celebratory crocus planting.

The schools involved are St. Margaret’s C. of E. Primary, Queensway Primary, St. Peter and Paul Catholic Primary, Rawdon St. Peter’s C. of E. Primary, Broadgate Primary, St. Oswald’s, Guiseley, Yeadon Westfield Junior  Newlaithes Junior, Rufford Park Primary and Guiseley Primary.



Pictures show groups comprising pupils, local Councillors and Rotarians at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Primary and St. Margaret's, Horsforth.    



District Conferencewas different this year in that because of unforeseen circumstances we were hosted by the Weston Hotel instead of the Red Lea. The Weston proved an admirable choice with choice of food a particular highlight, staff who measured up to every request and with a room provided for our Friday evening self-made entertainment.

But why go to the District Conference in the first place? Speaking from a prejudiced point of view the Rotary Club of Aireborough provides good company so above all we enjoy ourselves. We are an open minded bunch so we take the opportunity to learn new things and listen to speakers who will motivate us and subsequently to go back to our meetings with a spring in our step! And where else do you get the chance to try and explain to an intelligent Japanese scholar just what a dressed crab is?!!

The variety of speakers and their messages were a credit to the organising committee.  Top marks in my personal book went to Mary Clear from Incredible Edible Todmorden showing how to galvanise a whole town behind a simple slogan ‘if you eat, you’re in’. The best way to kill any project is to form committees and write reports – just get on with it. Note: organise a trip to Todmorden.

Along the way we heard uplifting and amazing messages from Canine partners, about the incredible progress of Yorkshire Air Ambulance from 2001 to present day and the stupendous fund raising efforts to keep their life saving helicopters flying £4.4 million per year) and from Jean Best working as a Peace Officer with young people struggling to come to terms with 21st century living.

Humour came once again from Geoff Mackey with his own idiosyncratic methods of encouraging us all to keep recruiting for the future of Rotary, with communication a key tool ‘what are you sinking?’ Jennifer Angus portrayed all that is best in Inner Wheel, Eric Knowles enthusiastically championed Rotary Foundation and Geoff Miller coming on as a late 12th man played a blinder.

As always Aireborough provided its own entertainment and this proved a wise choice with the result being Logo1 Davro nil. Question Master and game provider Brian Whitham presided over a close run contest with team B (pictured) snatching victory at the last through President Graham’s detailed knowledge of Landrovers.

The second half of the evening saw a hilarious procession of mystery guests including Boris Johnson, Shrek and Wayne Sleep testing the ingenuity of the label wearing volunteers.

On Saturday afternoon we saw our very own Andrew Wilson signposting Youth Service programmes and ending by bravely reading the winning entry from the Young Writers competition which Aireborough will add to its portfolio this year.

The polished performers of Tenors Encore took us to musical theatreland on Saturday night before the nucleus moved on to Abba Revival dancing until the music stopped and the Weston bar was still open.

There will be a District Conference next year and an Aireborough contingent will be there in force. ‘Sometimes the ones who give the most are the ones with the least to spare’ – Mike McIntyre







Frank Renton, on his 16th visit to Yeadon, supported by the evergreen Hepworth Band and guest soloist Daniel Thomas delivered a scintillating tribute to late Aireborough Rotary Club member John Armstrong in front of a hugely appreciative audience of brass band enthusiasts. Lifelong friend Frank selected a programme of music to include some of John’s favourites from ‘Salute to Sinatra’ to Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.

As always in his introductions Frank mixed tongue in cheek humour with serious well researched information. He began with ‘Colonel Bogey’, named after the inexpert golf playing Argyll and Sutherland officer who whistled up his Russell Terrier with the March’s opening two notes. Later he confided that the gold plated piccolo trumpet used by a session musician and paid £50for the gig at the studios on Paul McCartney’s ‘’ was later sold as unique – 15 times

The Hepworth Band performing with guest soloist Daniel Thomas played items including Peter Graham’s ‘Bravura’ and later ‘A Troika’ by Karl Jenkins with undoubted verve and enthusiasm. Throughout the evening the band portrayed both a genuine flair and an overall enjoyment which was evident in every item. They showed their appreciation of fellow band member Yvonne Emburey after her solo ‘In the wee small hours of the morning’ and repeated applause for the virtuoso playing of Daniel Thomas, who joined them later as second euphonium – ‘a true bandsman’ in Frank’s words


Frank introduced Daniel, winner of Radio 2’s Young Brass Musician of the Year’ with ‘you will marvel at his playing, but all we on stage know just how good he is’. Playing throughout with a smile on his face Daniel followed ‘Bravura’ with in Frank’s words the highly technical and frighteningly modern ‘Solitary prayer’ by Marco Putz. His final piece dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster to his fellow Welshmen was the moving and poignant ‘In gardens of Peace’ by Peter Graham, ‘expansive but with an acerbic tinge’.

As the show ended, commenting on the photograph Frank said ‘we’re already booked for next year’ so for those who missed out this time round the date is Friday 20  October 2017.  

Already looking to the next generation of concertgoers Rotary members had donated 60 tickets to the 10 local primary schools the Club supports over the year in encouraging progress in literacy. 




There was a full house, including many guests at Horsforth Golf Club for Aireborough Rotary Club’s Proms Night interpretation. This first time event was the brainchild of Barry Bootland’s Community Committee, celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Choice of programme was in the reliable hands of the interchanging performers Joanne Dexter, soprano with Opera North and the Olicanian Brass quintet which saw the audience right royally entertained by the eclectic selection of music.

Joanne’s versatile and vibrant contribution began with Puccini’s aria ‘O Mio Caro’ followed by Rossini’s ‘La pastorella’ with helpful introductory insights. She later moved on to operetta in the form of Carl Zeller’s ‘Der Obersteiger’ taking the opportunity to interact the role with unsuspecting audience members and ‘Velia’ from Franz Lehar’s ‘the Merry Widow’. She ended with contrasting songs from 3 relatively modern musicals ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and the rousing ‘Oklahoma’, high on the Queen’s list of favourites she added.

Olicanian Brass comprising two cornets, a tenor horn, a trombone and a euphonium also enjoyed presenting a varied repertoire beginning with ‘Hogwart’s march', music from a film the audience failed to name. This was followed by an American Shaker version of ‘Amazing grace’ and Ivor Bosanko’s ‘Share my yoke’.The quintet moved smoothly into New Orleans jazz mode for ‘Just a closer walk with thee’, before entertaining versions of ‘Drunken Sailor’ and the Monty Python theme tune ‘Liberty bell’.

The evening ended in time honoured ‘Last night of the proms’ fashion with ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ – tuneful singing, flags and Union Jack hats an optional extra.

The Club was pleased to welcome Japanese Rotary Global Scholar Kayono Nakajima, studying Public Health at Leeds University, to the evening’s entertainment adding to her already growing knowledge of British life and tradition.




Having supported Geoffrey and Heather Barton in their sterling work over many years on the Aquabox project 16 Aireborough Rotary Club and Inner Wheel members leapt at the chance to go to Wirksworth, Leicestershire to see the founding volunteers in action.

Our visit enabled us to see a DVD outlining the history of the project, to see a demonstration of the modern day Aquafilter converting foul water to a drinkable liquid as the demonstrator showed and to talk to the volunteers downstairs dexterously packing the boxes with items from a carefully compiled list derived from experience – solar lamps now replacing candles for example whilst upstairs another team was assembling the pumps.

The volunteers in the warehouse including Rotarians, Inner Wheel members and members of the community number 70 in total working five mornings a week to pack the boxes and assemble the water filters.

Last month they were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the M.B.E. for volunteer groups by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire. Their most recent advert in the Rotary magazine recounts – 100,000 boxes donated with a current value of £12.5m. to over 50 countries, 20 years support and ½ million lives saved. The water and humanitarian aid they provide can only be accomplished ‘working hand in hand’ with other aid providers and disaster relief distributors to pass on your gift of life’.

In 1992 two Rotary Club of Wirksworth members, an industrial Chemist and a water treatment specialist, concluded that following any international disaster the immediate supply of water, safe to drink (or potable in their terminology), was the most critical factor and hence Aquabox was born. Aquabox is now the leading provider of clean water and humanitarian aid to disasters around the world.

The first boxes contained water filters and chlorine purification tablets and the Wirksworh Club arranged transportation and distribution of the boxes through reputable aid agencies already established and trusted in disaster affected regions.

Today the robust plastic tank (originally tested for suitability by being dropped from the warehouse’s first floor) contains 70 items selected for their usefulness with a maximum shipping weight of 25 kg. The lid’s design enables the Aquaboxes to be stacked efficiently one upon the other in a container. The most important item is the Aquafilter developed by John Griffin of the Safe Water trust. Each Aquafilter family water purification unit is capable of producing a minimum of 18, 000 litres of potable water – enough for a family of five for at least 18 months.

The Boxing Day 2004 tsunami on the west coast of India and Sri Lanka is one example of their humanitarian intervention continuing right up to their recent support in Syria.

The Rotary Club of Aireborough, under Geoffrey’s leadership, has regularly delivered 24 packed boxes to Wirksworth each year. With his past service at the Rotary Club of Pudsey included, he and Heather reckon their Aquabox total has recently attained the grand total of 500.

Support for Aquaboxes will remain high on Aireborough’s list of projects to be supported year on year.




This was another innovative event generated initially through the Thursday group because of Doreen Hodgson’s membership of the Tailwagger’s Obedience Display team abetted by her dog Barney, who has participated in several Club Charity Walks.

The venue was the Jubilee Field in Rawdon and was publicised in a variety of ways: by large posters at Yeadon Tarn, Horsforth Hall Park and the venue itself, by flyers in schools , by press releases (well done the Squeaker and the Wharfedale Observer) as well as through social media.

The Tailwaggers team, professional and engaging  in their two displays kept the audience entertained as well as encouraging members of the public and their dogs to take part in a Fun Dog Show with an amusing selection of imaginative classes including ‘waggiest tail’, ‘the dog the judges would most like to take home’ and ‘cutest ears’. With 6 rosettes for each class many delighted dogs went home with proud owners.

The cream teas and the 101 dalmatians proved very popular, the stalls, particularly the tombola, pulled in the crowds and well done the pupils from Horsforth School who once again attended to raise money for their Borneo trip through their cake stall as well as helping on the tombola.

There was also a first appearance for Lynn’s imaginative and striking membership stand which brought encouraging results.

This is an event likely to be repeated once a comprehensive review of the arrangements have been made in which comments from all who took part are very welcome. Ways to increase the goodish attendance and timing will be high on the list

Thanks go particularly to everyone who attended but also to those who made scones for the afternoon, who ran the stalls, advised on car parking, worked in the kitchen and erected and struck (so I am advised) the marquee, with a plethora of chiefs directing the action for this is Rotary.

As a result of this event around £400 will go into the Club’s funds for local and international charities.


There was excitement in the playground at Benton Park as blue capped Green Meadows pupils filed out with support staff to board the bus for Lightwater Valley and another fun filled Kids Out day. This year 6 intrepid, calm on the outside Rotarians, including two? first timers Andrew and Graham joined the throng ready to test their nerve against the Ultimate, Raptor Attack, Twister, Apollo and the Black Pearl.Groups  split up to cover their selected rides, some going for the quieter life but all having their own targets to achieve. For Graham's group this included encouraging each pupil to have their photo taken with a bird of prey perched on their arm and resulted in great congratulatory displays once all pictures were safely to hand.

It was not the best of days, certainly not a day for getting soaked twice on the Falls of Terror and the Wild River Rapids but there is always someone ready to lead by example from the front. The daredevils were disappointed to find the Ultimate was not up and running first thing but bided their time and completed two runs later in the day.

But the Black Pearl was calling and there is no greater satisfaction than telling two excited young people that hanging upside down on a pirate ship for what seems like an eternity after being told it is best to leave your spectacles on the ground will be no problem. Telling them there was not really time to do it again was simplicity itself.


All good things have to come to an end and after a tour of the souvenir and sweet shop it was time for our group to board the bus for home with stories of their exploits to tell to waiting parents whilst Barry B, John K, John M, Graham, Andrew and Robert slept soundly that night after a job well done. All were grateful for the tremendous financial support Yeadon Charities gave once again to this event.

                      ALL IN A WEEK’S WORK FOR ROTARY 

Earlier in the year the Rotary Club of Aireborough agreed a request to sponsor one of Guiseley under 8s football teams and early in May it was swimming’s turn.

With over 200 members aged from four to eighty, any Aireborough Swimming Club (ASC) night is busy poolside at Aireborough Leisure Centre but a group photograph was soon eagerly arranged for the young Rotary sponsored competing swimmers 11 years and under and their coaches surrounding Club captain Jack Buckley.

With a year to go to its 50th anniversary this Swim 21 accredited Club has aims ranging from helping people learn to swim and keep fit through to improving their swimming strokes and swimming competitively. Having as past members both Alistair and Jonny Brownlee is something of an accolade for the Club.


Just two days later the focus changed to fund-raising with a difference at the Rotary Club’s annual Charity Walk where sponsorship raised by walkers went to charities of their choice. Around 30 mums and dads completed the buggy friendly and medal rewarded Treasure Hunt with around 60 intrepid walkers taking on the marshalled 5km. Horsforth circuit or the 10km. route including a canal side stretch from Rodley to Newlay. With a picture quiz with prizes to negotiate along the way there was little chance to daydream.

In a draw following a tie Julie Boocock won the 6 week gym membership at Leeds Trinity University (LTU) and a Brear family member the day pass to a multi-activity summer camp at the same venue. 

As well as Rotarians walking to raise funds for Club projects there were also sponsored groups and individuals from St. Margaret’s Primary, Horsforth, Yeadon Westfield School, Rawdon St. Peter’s P.T.A., Yeadon Charities and Christian Aid. 

Three enterprising pupils from Horsforth School also used the opportunity to raise funds for their 2017 Borneo project by selling cakes and buns to receptive walkers.

Club corporate member Leeds Trinity University was delighted to share the overall organisation of the day by hosting the start and finish points.

This successful event is sure to be repeated next year.



It does not seem like ten years since David Geldart of St. Mary's, Menston introduced the Aireborough Club to their South African project, Bambisanani (Working hand in hand), building leadership in students through the medium of sport at Mnyakanya school in Kwa Zulu Natal. This year's reporting back session was as lively and encouraging as ever, enhanced by videos from both pupils and the headteacher thanking our Club for what its latest donation had produced. 

The team for the evening this year comprised teachers Cath Chattoe, Giles Wikes and Tom Pringle together with students Mairenn Collins and Joseph Copsey who had both made the trip. As always the working visit centred on developing leadership skills in school pupils through sports like handball, football and rounders culminating in a grand final sports day where course members could utilise their new talents on fellow students. 


Pictured are Bill Hudson, who made the first contact with the project, Giles Wilkes, President Tony Scaife, Joseph Copsey, Mairenn Collins, Cath Chattoe and Tom Pringle.

Both Mairenn and Joseph also delivered science lessons in classrooms with few facilities and to classes of very large sizes but full of unbounded enthusiasm which helped boost their own confidence no end. They also derived great benefit from seeing at first hand the difficulties students faced, yet were constantly happy and motivated by the attention and training they were being given. Theyalso saw the effect their relatively short visit had on the pupils with whom they worked and on how grateful Mnyakanya students were for the opportunity to be tutored by their Yorkshire peers. 

This year's £2000 donation from the Club had helped generate matched funding from a local Leeds company thereby doubling the provision of computer tablets bought for use throughout the school. Mnyakanya's teachers had undertaken training, with some trepidation they admitted, but now recognised the massive help this modern equipment would give them in developing their pupils.


Brainchild of the indefatigable and irrepressible Janet Kerr, this year's 'Quiz like you've never seen it before' consisted of 7 rounds entitled Mexico, Stewart or Stuart, ABC, Birds and the bees, Space, Cars and motoring and Colours with the chance to play a Joker and gain double points adding to the uncertainty.

On its third runout this unpredictable Quiz drew its largest group of participants ever,104 in number, in 18 imaginatively named teams from 'Hallmarks' to 'Hasbeens' from 'Six under par' to 'Golf mudders'. It was good to see teams from both West End  and Belle Vue Schools as well as the Martin House Yeadon shop team and the 5 teams made up of 30 guests cajoled into entering by Brian and Carol Hall.

In a tense picture round finale of 'Famous Yorkshire people - living and dead' the 'Wilmot Andy's Son' team (pictured and including one Rotarian) triumphed by the small margin of 4 points from the 'Sons of the Alecarts'. The still smiling 'Decorators' each left with a choice of wooden spoon or spatula.


Special thanks go to question setters Philip Livesey, Doreen Hodgson, Janet Kerr and Robert Mirfield with Philip also taking on the role of all knowing Question Master handling the temperamental microphone with aplomb. Pat Mirfield and Gill White excelled in their raffle ticket selling and Bill Kerr and Janet Appleton scored and monitored wherever necessary.

President Tony Scaife closed the evening by reminding everyone of upcoming events, thanked each and every one of them for attending or helping to organise and publicise an event which would contribute well over £300 to the Club's funds for supporting local and international charities.


Organised by the Club for the fourth successive year, fourteen students took part in this heat aiming to be Rotary's Young Musician of the Year 2016. All four local high schools took part: Guiseley, Horsforth and St. Mary's, Menston. together with host school Benton Park at an event very well supported by parents, siblings, Rotarians and music teachers.

Six of the performers were pianists facing the extra challenge of playing an electric piano - not an easy task compared to the usual upright acoustic version. Other instruments comprised flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and the seldom heard viola and recorder. Composers chosen ranged from Bach to the ever popular Einaudi


This year the competition was split into two age groups and once again the standard was very high, giving the adjudicators Elizabeth Kenwood and Mitzi Whitham an unenviable task in choosing two overall winners.

Ben Pritchard, a trombonist from Benton Park School, won the Key Stage 3 category producing a stylish and confident performance with Piece en Fa Mineur by Morel. In the Key Stages 4 and 5 section Oliver Horan, a pianist from St. Mary's lyrically played John Field's Nocturne No. 6 in F major with warmth and sensitivity.

President Tony Scaife presented a certificate to every performer and £50 cheques to each of the winners who will now go forward to the District final at the Early Music Centre in York on 13 March.

Special thanks went to Dave Pritchard (Head of Music-Benton Park) for once again hosting the event and to all the accompanists, supporters and refeshment providers. The event was organised by the Education and Youth Activities Committee and was compered by its Chairman Brian Whitham. 


The Club's annual Christmas Dinner drew an impressive array of festive gear from the assembly with some having already taken advantage of early retail sales. Gratifyingly most also came bearing gifts thereby ensuring that a fair number of local households would enjoy a better Christmas provision wise with Heather Read organising this Foodbank collection.

Following the welcome traditional meal it was over to volunteer M.C. for the evening Brian Whitham aka Lil Elf to enliven and manage the evening's proceedings. First on the menu was community carol singing. Which tables excelled was difficult to choose before 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' provided a more challenging task.  The President's table following instructions with care produced the most lively performance (some said).

Off the cuff items of humour were then bravely offered by Pat Wilkinson, Patrick Glenn and Robert Mirfield before Janet Kerr brought the audience encouragingly to its feet for 'Stand up, sit down bingo'. With some members delighted to be swifly eliminated, last person standing was once again a lady with Anne Waite taking home the hamper after what seemed a record breaking series of numbers.

Early musical attempts to encourage dancers on to the floor fell on stony ground - blame the 'Strictly hangover' before the adventurous duo of Bill Hudson and Pat Wilkinson broke the ice with a quickstep. After that Lil Elf's evening improved with sixties and even fifties music bringing people unselfconsciously to their feet in celebratory fashion and giving cause for more lively after dinner conversations.

Eventually drawing the evening to a close President Tony applauded all those who had helped to make the evening such a success, particularly M.C. Brian, thanked all those who had attended for their support before wishing everyone both a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  


So you are told at interview these courses are all about developing leadership skills. Some weeks later you find yourself in totally alien surroundings with a group of people you have never met before, facing taxing challenges on the high seas, with a plastic bucket as your best friend, or being regularly soaked to the skin by pouring rain in a place seemingly miles from anywhere. Yet on the final day of your week away you can hardly tear yourself away from your new mates and you are seeing yourself in a newly positive light. Result or what?

Jeremy Naylor-Wardle and James Bedford from Benton Park School and Caitlin Elliott and Laura Kitching from Horsforth School, with the help of photographs of their exploits, subsequently spent more than an hour explaining to interested Rotarians, guests and parents just how this conclusion was reached. This in itself provided real proof of just how much their communication skills and self confidence had been improved.

For Jeremy and James their testing ground was the North Sea between North Shields and Whitby taking in one 82 mile 11 hour excursion on the Ocean Youth Trust's 60 foot schooner Ocean Venture. Highlights were the sighting of dolphins and a whale and taking command of the group when they felt most vulnerable on the daunting night sail. 

In Caitlin and Laura's case their challenges were met during long days on a Rotary Youth Leadership Award course in never to be forgotten Hebden Hey. Top of their list were finding and rescuing an injured hill walker by stretcher as well as raft building and learning from inspirational speakers with their all round results making their by now close-knit team the overall winners. 

All felt they gained massively from bonding into and operating as a successful group, which each of them had to lead, motivate and manage in turn. Putting trust in others was paramount and became second nature. Skills learned overall could in their view be applied and transferred thoughtfully to thier eventual career choices. 'We learned just how much we could realistically achieve out there'.

All thanked Rotary and the Aireborough Club in particular for being given this opportunity and pledged payback in the future through local community work. Their progress will be watched from a distance with great interest, especially on the new found art of cleaning out fridges!


Regulars attending our annual Brass Band Concert have a very good idea just what they are going to hear and enjoy and this year proved to be no exception. Twelve years since he first took to the Yeadon stage Frank Renton returned bringing with him his now regular choice of band, the Hepworth, and giving another opportunity to a former band member as vocalist.

Frank's encyclopaedic knowwledge of brass band music and his opinions on composers and arrangers mean that each item is introduced entertainingly with performers subsequently praised and applauded. On the way this time Frank took time out to correct the programme notes, debate which of two individuals on the stage was the younger 14 year old to join the prestigious Black Dyke Band and to muse over the phrase 'radio veteran'. He even halted and re-started one item to point out his own error in tempo note reading and to congratulate those band members who had ignored the conductor.

This year's theme, chosen by band organiser Steve Hoppie, was 'A Musical Affair' giving the band, complemented by named guest musicians plenty of opportunities to display their talents. The euphonium/baritone section shone in 'Surrey with the fringe on top' and the trombone section took the lead in the brash 'Seventy six trombones' before the appreciative audience were encouraged to join in with the closing medley 'Abba goes brass'.

Iben Maersk, the former band member 'who sang a bit' returned for a second time now well on her way through her music degree. Beginning with the soulful 'I don't know how to love him' from 'Jesus Christ Superstar', she breezed her way through the bouncy 'Got the sun in the morning' from 'Annie get your gun' before finishing with the testing 'Defying gravity' from 'Wicked'. It is always noticeable how band members enjoy each other's performances and are quick to join in the applause.

This year the Club experimented with handing out 90 tickets to the primary schools we support throughout the year so perhaps this evening introduced a new batch of recruits to brass band music.

This is one occasion when the whole Club's membership has a role to play and with Brian Whitham as paparazzo the picture gallery will eventually tell the story.


This year 25 Rotarians, their partners and Inner Wheel members enjoyed the District Conference before departing the Red Lea Hotel for at least two years.

Following the President's champagne reception and a lively private black tie dinner the move away from 'Aireborough's Got Talent' to entertainment provided by the hotel provided an early unimagined and at times unintentional highlight. Or was it just superbly orchestrated? Comedian cum vocalist Adam North's first view of his audience, dressed in their finery prompted his first salvo of 'class' jokes before Janet Kerr enlivened proceedings by supplying him with the stream of ammunition for a hilarious spontaneous impromptu double act. Soaking up the barracking and quickfire repartee the rest of us filled in as and when required as the Last of the Summer Wine, the Chuckle Brothers, Hinge and Bracket and the Witches of Eastwick.

Then it was back to reality with Conference as always providing the range of speakers designed to motivate, educate and above all entertain.

Kathryn Leverett of Action on Hearing Loss provided the most poignant moments with her video of the immediate responses to cochlear implants by individuals from baby through to teenager and adult. 

Luke Simon and Clive Knowles provided the impetus to get up and do something. Luke's loss of his brother, 4 feet away when the tsunami struck Thailand, leading to the setting up of the Piers Simon appeal and School in a Bag with 56, 000 schoolbags so far delivered to children in 27 countries. As an immediate result 5 Camem Bears have arrived in one Aireborough household, each one ready to collect 15 pound coins in his natty rucksack to help 5 more pupils.

Clive Knowles from the British Ironworks Centre  introduced 'Save a a Life - Surrender a Knife' so far 30,000 fearsome weapons collected on his way to a 100,000 target prompted an immediate visit to an M.P.'s surgey to see if West Yorkshire Police had taken up his imaginative offer. His progress on building his 26 foot high knife made Angel Sculpture will be watched with interest.

Major Lil from the Rotary Club of Himalayan Ghurkhas detailed how funds from District 1040's generous response  to the Nepal earthquakes brought satisfaction that Aireborough had done their bit.

Colin Alderson, Head Pastry Chef to the Royal household via a farm in Arkengarthdale and Scarborough Technical College, deserved first of all our respect for his enterprise but then entertained both cooks, bakers and menial washer-ups with his behind the scenes anecdotes including 'lost 2,000 gold spoons'. Ann Widdecombe, after a 6 hour car journey from Devon brought the proceedings to an end with laughter showing that life after the Houses of Parliament can be enjoyably different while still presenting the opportunity for caustic barbs aimed at erstwhile colleagues??

The afternoon breakout sessions saw President Tony take a leading role in the Visioning section of the Membership and marketing presentation at the same time as the ladies enjoyed a memorable? Spa afternoon. Both produced stunning results.

Later everyone enjoyed the Northern Showtime Orchestra's 'Story of Frank Sinatra' particularly when the adjoining bar opened! One courageous couple expertly took to the the floor even upstaging the flamboyant Louis Marciano and several sported fashionable trilbies.

And then the next morning the platform told us the dates for next year! Aireborough's views have been forthrightly expressed to the planners and there has been an immediate welcome response with the next 2 years' dates on the District website.  








 The two main items on the evening’s programme saw the Club making Leeds Trinity University (LTU) its second Corporate member and St. Mary’s, Menston being given an award for its ground-breaking Bambisanani project in Kwa Zulu, Natal.

Welcoming LTU as a Corporate Member President Tony described this as part of the Club’s efforts to both widen and increase its membership with a resultant effect on its abilities to support local organisations and individuals. Kim Somerville. Director of Marketing and Operations described the University’s development and its striving for excellence particularly in the teaching subject area. The local community was most important to the University and the links to Rotary would enable that connection to be enhanced.

District Governor Hazel Haas praised the Aireborough Club for its innovative approaches to Rotary life whilst at the same time keeping fun as a major element. Internationally there had been great news for Rotary with their long -running End Polio Now campaign seeing Africa being finally declared polio free. She ended by presenting a Paul Harris Award to David Geldart and Cath Chattoe of St. Mary’s, Menston for their Bambisanani Project.

David Geldart thanked the Club for becoming the school’s first partner and for its continued support over a six year period.  With their financial help close to a hundred St. Mary’s pupils had benefited from their time in South Africa raising the aspirations and awareness of Mnyakanya pupils through the yearly young leadership sport programme.

President Tony Scaife was looking for a more informal atmosphere for the Club’s 62nd Charter and the musical entertainment with a mission by Liz Kenwood and Mitzi Whitham brought a boisterous and fitting finale to a notable evening.



The third Back to School Barbecue hosted as usual by Bill and Janet Kerr did not enjoy quite the same brilliant weather as the next day's Tea at the Dorchester but contained its own by now characteristic features.

The kitchen was its habitual well oiled hive of activity even before anyone had consumed their first drink preparing a variety of salads and desserts with internet sourced experimentation to the fore. 

Chief barbecuer Graham with a brand new set of implements ( tools to some) was aided this year by Brian Whitham resplendent in his genuine Harrods apron and together they kept the assembled diners well supplied with food befitting the occasion.

Conversation and fellowship continued well into the evening before the crowd dispersed carrying unexpected gifts of tea towels and garden cuttings.

Well done. particularly to the hosts, but to all who attended helping to raise £150 for the President's charities.


Returning to schools as old friends for the seventh or eighth time to present Illustrated Dictionaries to excited pupils continues to be a yearly pleasure. So far this year seven primary schools have welcomed visitors bearing gifts and telling them a little bit about Rotary. 

A receptive and at times boisterous welcome has been met in Guiseley at St Oswalds, in Yeadon at Rufford Park, Queensway, St Peter and Paul Catholic and Yeadon Westfield Junior and In Horsforth at St Margaret's C of E and Broadgate Lane. 

Next term Newlaithes Junior and Rawdon St Peter's will be added to the list bringing the total number of recipients up to a record 408 and underlining one of Rotary's main messages the importance of literacy for everyone.

For many of these pupils the dictionaries will hopefully help their transition to secondary school. Eight years on it would be marvellous to know just how far these dictionaries have travelled and how they have helped their owners' development.


Though the challenge this year was not as fierce numerically or the team names quite as imaginative, all took to the green in hight spirits on the evening when the Rufford Bowls Club bravely opened its gates to enthusiatic amateurs (for the most part!). The four ends offered a range of tests beginning and finishing with the three ringed targets. Cunningly placed coins pointed the way to success as long as the term 'bias' was understood and bowlers had the ability to tell their fingers from their thumbs (evidently not all did). The middle two tasks, the bottles and the tyres, relied more upon brawn and a requirement for the advisers to be fleet of foot.

The winning team, Bill and Janet Kerr, Brian Hall and Robert Mirfield benefited from a solid contribution from each member and accepted their prizes from President Tony with undue modesty and a minimum of posing.  A plentiful, well earned supper followed, prepared and provided by Inner Wheel members accompanied by yet another of Carol Hall's brain teasing quizzes - this time on the theme of sport. Prize for the best answer had to go to 'quidditch'!.

All proceeds from yet another successful social occasion went to the Inner Wheel Club of Aireborough's charities for the year.  Thanks go to all responsible for the evening's organisation, Brian Hall, Janet Mills and their helpers as well as the Rufford Park Club.


President Barry Mills brought down the curtain on an impressive year for the Rotary Club of Aireborough with a typically thoughtful and humorous summary at his Outgoing meeting at Bradford Golf Club. It was almost a full house as far as members were concerned befitting his final evening in the hot seat. Although he ended by presenting cheques to his chosen charities for the year : Childline, Martin House Hospice and the Forget-me-not cafe, Yeadon plus the stop press addition of Candlelighters, his main message was to spell out enthusiatically the magnificent range of charitable activities, projects, fund-raisng initiatives and social events which members had wholeheartedly supported throughout his soon to end year.


It would be unfair to pick out highlights: every individual Aireborough member will look back with personal pride on their part in a favourite episode duly recorded on this website as the year has moved steadily on.

President Elect Tony Scaife thanked Barry for his exemplary leadership through yet another success filled year (Rawdon Fun Day excepted)  before four days later taking on the mantle of 'the easiest job in the Club' that of President for 2015-2016.




Almost a year ago Aireborough was one of the first Clubs to respond to Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s request to come and talk to us about the development of Headingley. One year on we gathered together a party of 50 to attend the England v New Zealand Test match and along the way somehow encouraged another 301 Rotarians and friends to join us from Clubs throughout Yorkshire.

Some were keen cricket fans, for others it was their first visit to Headingley and for a few it was their first glimpse of cricket in action. It was an unusual day for a Test match in that over 400 runs were scored (most by the opposition) and 10 wickets fell. More hot drinks were consumed than beer and most Rotarians following a ‘Be prepared’ motto came dressed for skiing or hill walking. Hats were the order of the day. (Talk to Graham Davies some time about sunburn!). Some having initially sought the warmth and sanctity of the Long Room complete with televised Test Match on a big screen plus the bar camped there for the day.

Pictures come courtesy of Headingley and Northallerton Mowbray Clubs.

So was there any real benefit for Aireborough? Thinking of and organising this day out has given other Clubs another reason to remember us. Whether our banner was seen on television worldwide or the cake Angela Hammond baked for the Test Match Special team earned a mention – no one has told us. How many tweets #YorkshireRotary were posted or re-tweeted remains unknown.  But plenty of people thanked us on the day (except for the weather) and have e-mailed encouragingly since, so something did go right. Seven of us (+ District Governor Rod) are diligently seeking opportunities to wear an already out-of-date, produced for the day shirt.

Incoming D.G. Hazel Haas is already looking forward to next year and Mark Arthur has told us the visitors are Sri Lanka and the date will soon be announced, which takes us back to the title. Perhaps we should be thinking already about a reception for the team so we can tell them about the school District 1040 funded in Sri Lanka. Anybody know a chef??





Earlier in May, nineteen walkers + Barney the dog completed a selection of different routes at different times around the reservoirs of Fewston and Swinsty or both to raise funds for charity. All were delighted with the weather which provided good conditions for walking, swimming in the case of dogs, ducks and geese and fishing for the immensely patient. This year thankfully both Friday and Saturday were good days for walking.

All were grateful to Brian Hall for patrolling encouragingly the car park at Blubberhouses and to Gerald Long for pointing the way between the two reservoirs. Brian and Anne Waite also provided very welcome sustenance for tired limbs at the Stack Point car park on Swinsty.

We were joined this year by a couple, friends of Brian Whitham, walking with sponsorship for Rotary as a result of their daughter attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Award week this summer.  We were also joined belatedly by two Leeds Rotaract members grateful for being given this fund-raising opportunity.

Most walkers and stewards adjourned to the Washburn Heritage Centre for their well-earned bacon sandwiches with Philip Livesey as ever the hard working genial host and his team rustling up a fine array of sandwiches, salads and especially cakes.


The final sum raised will take some time to collect and calculate but will be announced as soon as possible.



President Barry Mills began the week by returning to St. Margaret’s, Horsforth to present a cheque for £200 to some of the children who took part in last term’s successful Scootathon. Their selected charity was the Christian Revival Centre in Uganda. Other charities to benefit from the event were Martin House Hospice, Children’s Air Ambulance and Chameleon-Developing Education in South Africa.


Later in the week the Club received 400 Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries which will be presented in the near future to eight local Aireborough Primary Schools.


The St.Mary’s, Menston Bambisanani (working hand in hand) project was next on the agenda with teachers Barbara Pounder, Catherine Chattoe and Giles Wilkes, together with Head Boy Myles Hanlon and Deputy Karl Verspyck bringing members up-to-date on their June 2014 visit to the Mnyakanya School in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Their presentation illustrated graphically how school pupils were developed as Sports Leaders including introducing them to cricket and being 

unceremoniously outmuscled at netball. St. Mary’s pupils also delivered a range of lessons to large classes as part of their own targeted development. Over 100 St. Mary’s pupils have now made this rewarding venture. Aireborough’s donation of £2500 to buy tablets for the school has led to another sponsor matching their funding, all to the benefit of the school.



This leaving comment from a happy family aptly summed up all Aireborough Rotarians could have hoped for from a splendid second Easter Egg Hunt.  Rodley Nature Reserve provided the perfect surroundings, which was one of the main reasons many of the families attending stayed to enjoy every aspect of a gloriously sunny day.

It had all begun well with Rodley staff setting up the gazebos ready to be stocked with the mountainous clutch  of Easter Eggs and the goods from Good Fridays Make and bake day. The publicity they generated in the months beforehand also helped indisputably to swell the numbers attending. (The Nature Reserve attracted around 2000 visitors over the Easter weekend, a record as far as they were concerned with their takings rising accordingly).

Since entry to the event had to be free the immaculately staffed front desk giving out egg boxes for collecting prize winning tokens and their indispensable map relied entirely on donations which at the end of the day almost reached a staggering £300. Each child completing (estimated number was 200) received either a mini egg or a gingerbread rabbit.

Maggie Braker had surpassed last year's brilliant effort by this time cajoling donations (totalling 140 eggs) from stores far and wide: Morrisons (Yeadon, Horsforth and Guiseley), Hotel Chocolat, M & S Owlcotes, Guiseley and the M & S Outlet Crown Point, poundstretcher and Wilkinsons Leeds. This meant the tombola had a particularly busy day raising half the events eventual magnificent total. Nearly all the eggs left as raffle prizes but an impromptu fire sale was needed to finally empty the shelves.

The next part of Rotarys triple whammy was the Hook-a-duck, whose prizes included duck whistles and zany sunglasses as well as edible nests and which attracted an enthusiastic crowd throughout the day. There was also a welcome donation from the grilled sausage crew Smak.

Well done to all who ran the stalls, directed traffic expertly in and out with their walkie-talkies and especially to the tirelessly good humoured Graham Davies who organised the car park with unfailing patience.

Best news of all was that altogether the Egg Hunt raised £1080 towards President Barry's charities of Martin House Hospice, Childline and Forget-me-not cafe (Alzheimer's).






                  Aireborough Club members and guests warmed up for the forthcoming Easter Egg Hunt with their second boisterously enjoyed Sheepstakes evening. Eight races culminated in the Winners' Finale won by the dexterous Brenda Milnes on Dolly, carrying off the bottle of Sheep Dip Whisky before a noisily supportive Martin House contingent.

                  As usual the unsuspecting sheep jockeys were drawn randomly from the audience before being encouraged to wind their wooden charges to victory.  This calmed the anxiety of one early arrival who queried 'do we really have to ride the sheep?'

                  The Ploughman's Supper served after the third race seemed to have a beneficial effect on the energy of both jockeys and shepherds.

In closing the evening President Barry Mills thanked sponsors, programme designer, the backroom crew but chiefly the raucous audience who had all helped raise £720 towards his year end charities' donations to: Childline, Martin House Hospice and the Forget-me-not-cafe.


Pictures show the race winners on their marks for the Grand Finale as well as the tireless sheep.








Thanks to the tireless, sterling efforts of Brian Whitham and his Education committee members Benton Park, Horsforth, Guiseley and St. Mary's all submitted teams making up around a third of the overall 14 school 42 team attendance.

This year's task on the day entailed building on a base board, a roadway and bridge which could carry a one kilo weight and be opened to allow a tall ship to pass through.  There were different elements of difficulty for the 3 age groups of Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced.

The winning teams were Foundation: Pudsey Grangefield, Intermediate: Morley Academy and Advanced: Leeds Grammar School attending for the first time. The Innovation prize went to the Intermediate team from Silcoates School.

Feedback from teachers and pupils of schools attending has been encouragingly full of praise.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Michael Fox presented the prizes and other guests included the Lord Mayor Councillor David Congreve and District Governor Rod Walmsley. Five Aireborough Councillors were kind enough to donate a total of £600 from their MICE funds to help support the event.

Andrew Wilson M.C.'d the proceedings in exemplary fashion, Brian Whitham acted as a judge and John Knaggs and Robert Mirfield helped with stewarding.

Pictures show a proud Benton Park team with their entry and the Leeds Grammar School's Advanced team admiring their prize winning handiwork. 




Gerald Long and Bill Hudson turned an idea into entertainment action when a group from Guiseley AODS presented a top class programme of songs at the Club's Valentine's Evening.  Carlene Wood set the ball rolling encouraging enthusiastic?? audience participation and later providing intros for each performance and even a glimpse into the Society's President's diary.

There was humour from Katherine and LeAnne with 'Musical Theatre Boys' and later with a boisterous presentation of 'Don't rain on my parade' from Funny Girl. Safina added a haunting a cappella version of Etta James 'At last' alongside Nigel with the laid back standard 'That's Life' and repeating his recent pantomime success with 'Walking on sunshine'.  'Out here on my own' gave show choreographer Amy the chance to change hats with true style. Carlene and Holly duetted in character as twins with a song from the musical 'Sideshow' and backing it all was accompanist Jamie confidently managing the changing moods.

President Barry maintained the tradition of providing a gift for the ladies after the meal as well as emulating Pearl, Dean and Younger with a polished summary of keenly anticipated future events.

Bill Hudson finally took to the floor to supply a well earned vote of thanks to the talented troupe.

In the absence of the forgetful paparazzi Brian Whitham�s phone provided the only photographic evidence of another successful evening � Amy, out there on her own.


Eight teams locked horns at a new venue of Rawdon Conservative Club to test their mettle against deceptively designed question categories in the second interactive quiz. Topics included Cabinets, Submarines, Social media and More, Moor and Moore.  Plentiful exercise was provided for the runners bringing answers to the tellers with especial praise being merited by the efforts of President Barry and the long-running Brian Hall.

The team challenge, the photocopier, was devilish in the extreme, calling for photographic memories from the bemused team members.  Brave attempts were made to transfer the picture comprising multi-coloured geometric shapes onto their A3 sheet. It is no surprise that the winning entry by Us and im is already a hot favourite for the Turner Prize!

At the end of all the rounds 'Them squares' who took their name from the tables' beer mats took home the Smarties in a close-run contest.

There was a welcome break mid-stream for the pie and peas supper, locally sourced and superintended by gourmet Bill Kerr.

Thanks go to Janet Kerr for her overall ingenuity and drive, to question devisers Janet again, Heather, Robert and Philip who once again shone as M.C. and coped with the occasional audience remonstration, to venue organiser Brian Hall and to all who participated so enthusiastically. 'I've never been to anything like this before' should help pull in the crowds as the byline on next year's flyers.

A well supported raffle helped bring the evening's outcome up to £220 which will be shared between Childline, Martin House Hospice and the Forget-me-not cafe.





 Rotary's 'Young Musician of the Year 2015' saw the Aireborough Club host a very enjoyable, competitive heat in the music suite of Benton Park School.

This year's event comprised two categories for secondary school pupils, Intermediate and Senior, with nine local entrants from Benton Park, Guiseley and Horsforth schools.

A sizeable and appreciative audience heard entrants with varying lengths of experience play a wide range of music choices from composers including Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, James Curnow, Scott Joplin and Gerald Finzi. Each competitor introduced the piece they were to play and all performed subsequently with an amazing calmness. At the end of a contest which aims to give young people the opportunity of playing in front of a live audience they also heard the judges give helpful, critical yet supportive summaries of their performances explaining the reasons behind the selection of the evening's winners.

President Barry Mills thanked host school Benton Park, performers, supporters, and judges for their attendance on a wintry evening and presented certificates to all the participants. Cheques for the winners, both on clarinet, went to Tom Salmon of Horsforth School in the Intermediate 9 category and to Evie Rae of Guiseley School in the Senior age group. They will now progress to the District Finals in York on 7 March.



The evening's judges were Liz Kenwood Herriot, Mitzi Whitham and Brian Waite.






After last year's disappointing entertainment, members had asked for home-grown and they greeted the evening's surprises in boisterous fashion. Festive dress was called for and arrived in a variety of imaginative ways including Santa, Postman Pat, the Wicked Queen and the best Primark and Matalan could offer with Elton John's favourite spectacles not far behind.

Matt Whitham entertained in a range of guises, first playing divertingly throughout the meal next showing his keyboard virtuosity in a selection of Christmas medleys, moving on to confining himself to one note in the Anklung Orchestra before ending the evening leading the assembled multitude through a sequence of well loved carols.

If there was a highlight to the evening it had to be the premiere of Snow White and the Dwarf Representative played by the talented quintet of Barry and Lynne Bootland, Carol and Brian Hall and Gerald Long aka the Deadpan Players. They received a well deserved ovation for their timing and their restrained but hilarious portrayals. Theirs will be a hard act to follow.

There was a second appearance, following Scarborough, of the Anklung Orchestra, once more attempting to get to grips with their Indonesian instruments. Those plucked from the audience also struggled to count to four whilst also having to follow the music and respond to the single note of the scale their instrument represented.

Last person on their feet at the end of the 'Stand up, sit down bingo' was Doris Barrett for whom the game lasted quite long enough. She received her prize 'a Christmas hamper' from Janet Appleton, who has recently joined us from Roundhay. The Bingo raised more than £80 for Childline.


President Barry thanked everyone attending for their enthusiastic participation and for all those responsible in any way for the overall organisation particularly the Whitham family for their leading roles.





November's evening congratulated three very different achievements by local young people. The 440 pupils of St Margaret's Primary, Horsforth had designed and taken part in their very own half hour Skip, Scoot and Hoop-a-Thon to raise funds to be shared equally between four child related charities. These were Martin House Hospice, the Children's Air Ambulance, Chameleon-Developing Education in South Africa and the school's chosen charity of the year the Christian Revival Centre in Uganda. Every pupil took part, receiving their own individual medals from the Rotary marshals on the day and enabling teachers Jenny Moor and Melanie Robinson to present a superb cheque for £800 to President Barry Mills.

Four secondary school pupils faced entirely different challenges in recounting to a large but attentive and receptive audience their individual experiences during one recent action packed summer week.

6th formers Ellie Piggott (Benton Park) and Tom Filarowski (St Mary's, Menston) were part of a 30 strong group divided into four teams from throughout Yorkshire attending a Rotary Youth Leadership Course at Hebden Hey in Calderdale. Awakened daily at an unheard of for them 6 a.m. they undertook a sequence of daunting tasks testing them physically and mentally both as team leaders and supportive participants. Careful planning beforehand and critical examination afterwards aided their learning.

For Chardae Chaggar-Brown (Horsforth School) and Sam Floyd (St. Mary's, Menston) their destination was the North Sea, from Amble to Hartlepool, and their week an adventure under sail on the at first sight smallish Ocean Scout. Part of a team of thirteen they quickly learned seamanship skills including ropework, taking watches and sailing the ship as well as carrying out chores of cooking and cleaning in cramped conditions. One highlight was being shepherded closely by curious dolphins.

All four gained from the varied exploits in their teams, with visibly increased confidence, new skills under their belts and an ability to look back at and learn from their adventure and to see how it would benefit their futures.

Members were as usual suitably impressed regarding this annual project as one to savour and undoubtedly continue!



Last year tuba player Iben Maersk emerged in uniform from the B flat bass section of the Hepworth Band to draw spontaneous applause from an appreciative audience at the Rotary Club of Aireborough's Annual Brass Band Concert.

As a result BBC 2's Frank Renton came up with the idea of basing this year's concert around the theme of the Great American Songbook and it proved worth the wait.

The Hepworth Band who regard their annual return to Yeadon Town Hall as one of the highlights of their year produced a spectacular performance. They took with aplomb all the opportunities offered in a diverse programme ranging from Bernstein's 'West Side Story', Irving Berlin's 'It's a Lovely day tomorrow' and Richard Rodgers 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue'. Flugel horn player Catherine Bentham captured beautifully the mood of Stephen Sondheim's 'Send in the clowns' with her solo.

Frank Renton's inimitable compering reflected his habitual, careful yet entertaining research and was delivered with immaculate timing and throwaway humour. Did we really want to know, he mused, that Irving Berlin began life as Israel Isidore Beilin?  Pity the unfortunate band member whose badly parked car added a further dimension to the raconteur's flow.

Iben Maersk, now in her second year at the Royal Northern College of Music, showcased her growing talent beginning with a soulful 'Summertime' from Porgy and Bess through Barbra Streisand's signature song 'People' from Funny Girl to a raunchy 'All that jazz' from Chicago. And finally there was the chance to reprise last year's success with 'Maybe this time' from Cabaret.

As usual all profits from the evening will be used to help local and international charities.

Thanks go to all our advertisers and the flock of Rotarians who did a superb intro for Frank, bill posted, ushered, ran the seating plan,served tea and ice cream, ran the bar, sold seats and raffle tickets, cajoled advertisers, lit up the theatre, arranged adverts and publicity in the press,ran the box office, applauded and handed out 323 programmes and all with smiles on their faces. Anyone I've missed will be thanked next year!



The Red Lea Hotel once again welcomed a 26 strong party from Aireborough for the District Conference ready to enjoy the weekend in their own inimitable fashion.

For the third year the Rowntree Room reverberated on Friday to the splendidly unrehearsed 'Aireborough's Got Talent' featuring poetry, humour and song all accompanied when required by the talented Mitzi Whitham. But this year's surprise was the debut of the inexperienced yet accomplished Aireborough Anklung Orchestra boisterously getting to grips with their wooden Indonesian instruments and at times producing recognisable melodies!

 The evening ended with a community version of 'Songs from the Shows' not quite scaling the barricades but setting a high standard for the professionals. Congratulations must go to all the 'willing volunteers' who once again delivered and made this thoroughly enjoyable evening, well compered by Brian Whitham.

In the Conference Hall the Personal Representative of the R.I. President Maurice Halliday used the vehicle of a new member's induction to illustrate how proud every Rotarian should be of Rotary's achievements through the projects undertaken. Aireborough was able to tick off several items on his list.

Allan Jagger, whose recent O.B.E. was awarded for services to work-based learning and education for young people in engineering in Kirklees gave a no holds barred presentation on the membership crisis facing Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. Change was necessary and Aireborough again had already begun to take much of his message to heart. Becoming really involved in our community remained a challenge.

Aireborough's ability to innovate was reflected in the invitation for the second year to Philip Livesey to speak on setting up a satellite club at Saturday's Membership Break-out session. Other members listened, participated and learned at other sessions, including Youth and Education and P.R. and Communications.

Not only Aireborough excelled in the music stakes with the 'Beyond the Barricades' spectacular and the superb Sunday morning performances of Denise Leigh and her husband Stefan Andrusyschyn, who also manage to raise money for Foresight, the charity funding ground breaking research into sight loss.

John Craven rounded off the Conference in great style describing his adventures and mishaps moving from the Harrogate Advertiser and the Yorkshire Post through Newsround, the television news bulletin for children to the Multi Coloured Swap Shop and ultimately Countryfile.

The Red Lea Hotel has already been booked for next year from Friday to Sunday October 16 to 18. No excuses!



In toasting another year of achievement at their 61st Charter, President Barry Mills and the members of the Rotary Club of Aireborough applauded three particular items in the evening's programme.

The first was to welcome and hear from guest speaker Major Stan Hardy (Rtd.) Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire on how these historical roles came about and just what his current job entailed, including the varying reactions his uniform sometimes caused!

Having in the last couple of years established an evening satellite Club to develop membership, President Barry was delighted to post another step forward in inducting the Bartlett Group as the Club's first Corporate member represented by Judy Picker.

Finally in a tongue in cheek moment he introduced to the assembled company the Club's recently acquired mascot Montague Bear named after the Chicago engraver who designed the original Rotary waggon wheel logo in 1905. This was Montague's second public appearance as he had already received a noisy welcome when joining in the presentation of 60 dictionaries to pupils at Newlaithes Junior School, Horsforth.

There was praise for the Club in having helped 39 different organisations and 50 individuals over the past year from Past District Governor Keith Davison. Highlights included taking a party of 44 to Lightwater Valley for 'Kids Out', supplying 24 Aquaboxes for use in disaster areas and donating 450 dictionaries to 8 local primary schools.

Top table guests on the evening also included Anne Parker, President of Aireborough Inner Wheel and Jillian Deakin of Soroptimist International Aireborough. The Club also welcomed 17 visiting Rotarians from District Clubs near and far.



The second Back to School Barbecue hosted immaculately by Bill and Janet Kerr ran as smooth as clockwork. As well as representing the fun side of Rotary, the guests brought an impressive array of items for the Club's Aquaboxes and raised £180 for Childline.


Graham and Morag Davies, slaving over a hot barbecue, kept three tablefuls of hungry Rotarians and guests happy as the empty plates in the pictures testify. As usual the workload of preparing and baking for the event was shared all round but Janet's trifle, Maggie's chocolate cake and Heather's meringues have to be mentioned without forgetting other delicious contributions to a substantial spread. A great time was had by all!



August 9th dawned as the day when the dedicated members of the Rufford Park Bowls Club entrusted the pristine turf of their beloved crown green to the keen but well meaning efforts of Aireborough Rotarians and their variegated guests.  Not for these competitors carefully attempting to follow the scarcely visible trail left by the jack.Instead, once they had determined on which side the dimple lay, they had to pit their wits against four challenges watched by a critical, expectant and on rare occasions knowledgeable crowd.

Probably for the first time in the history of these yearly events the evening ended in a tie with two teams scoring 150 points. The Old Gimmers comprising Brian and Mitzi Whitham and Mike and Caroline Pullan eventually triumphed over the Odd Bods made up of Cathryn, Zak and Ellie Brightwell and Amaya Johal  in a tense bowl-off finale.

As the lady in the bungalow balcony, ever ready with helpful advice said ' I don't bother watching the professionals playing, give me enthusiastic amateurs any time'.

Thanks go to Brian Hall for booking the venue, Janet Mills and her Inner Wheel helpers for arranging the supper and to the Rufford Park members for doing their best to keep us on track ('pretend you're 30 feet further back, nearer Morrisons!)'.

The evening earned a splendid £178 towards Inner Wheel President Anne Parker's Charity of the Year ' Whizzybugs'.





Members of the Rotary Club of Aireborough are well on their way to  completing another very successful donation of 450 dictionaries and thesauri to eight local primary schools with mission accomplished at Rufford Park, Yeadon, St. Margaret's, Horsforth, Broadgate Lane, Horsforth, St. Oswald's, Guiseley, Rawdon St Peter's, and Queensway, Yeadon and only  Yeadon Westfield and Horsforth Newlaithes outstanding.

As usual all the Rotarians involved, led by leader of the pack John Moorhouse, found the reception at all schools welcoming and enthusiastic with many pupils expressing their personal thanks for the dictionary signalling their imminent move to secondary school. The team changed at different venues including Barry Bootland, Peter Long, John Knaggs, Brian Whitham, President Barry Mills, Heather Read and Robert Mirfield. Special thanks also go to St. Clair Logan for cheerfully supervising the delivery of 55 boxes of dictionaries and charging no fee for their storage in his garage.

In one turn up for the book, tables were turned and Rotarians left speechless at Rawdon St. Peter's where Deputy Head Mrs Janice Hepworth hijacked proceedings with a surprise presentation on Rotary's history and the community work of the local Aireborough Club.    





 Friday's splendid dinner at Bradford Golf Club marked the end of Bill Braker's eventful term. During the evening he presented a cheque to Alyson Wort representing one of his charities for the year, Martin House Hospice. His second, Children�s Air Ambulance will receive their donation at a later date.

Bill thanked first of all Maggie for her support throughout the year and the Club for giving him the opportunity to serve as President as a relative new boy. He chose as highlights of his year Kids Out at Lightwater Valley, his Tour de France themed Charter Dinner, the annual Brass Band Concert and the continuing development of the Club's satellite group  'the Nomads'. First time events for them this year had been the Great Easter Egg Hunt at Rodley Nature Reserve and the Great Interactive Quiz. He had also enjoyed the invitation to join in Yeadon Charities' immaculately run Bridlington trip last weekend

Bill will be followed as President by another relatively new member Barry Mills who spoke lightheartedly of the encouraging, 'hand on shoulder' preparation for the role given to him by his predecessor.

As a finale to the evening and for the second time in his year, Bill took great pleasure in making another Aireborough member a Paul Harris Fellow, this time the unsuspecting Philip Livesey.

Joining the Club in August 1993, introduced by Graeme Parker, Philip moved on to Council in 2002 becoming Club Secretary a year later. Coupled with undoubted efficiency he was the first to bring to that position a dry humour and wit which meant that when he rose to his feet silence fell and full attention was paid just in case a pearl of wisdom was missed. Since that time he has also occasionally stood in stylishly for the Sergeant-at-Arms ensuring the correct gravitas was naturally accorded to that important position.

He became President in July 2009. If Brian Waite was ever absent during that year attendance was regularly calculated at 112%.


Highlights of his year included encouraging all Club members to let their hair down, dress up and dance at his Hillbilly Spring Fling. His outgoing President�s evening was at Timble where we saw the plans and heard all about a new and exciting project called the Washburn Heritage Centre. Organist and professional bellringer he has supported all things musical within the Club, being a firm fan of Tory Clarke and the Cassia String Quartet, following Young Musicians to York as well as taking on the onerous role for a tall man of Yvette in the unforgettable 'Allo! Allo!'.

Latterly he has led the Club's Membership Committee with distinction, being one of the prime reasons why Assistant Governor Mike Bamford recently spoke of Aireborough as being 'one of the most talked about Clubs in the District'. Philip played a leading role in ensuring the Aireborough Nomads were one of the first satellite Clubs to be formed. Because of that he and Club members have been called upon to spread the enjoyable but sometimes stressful message to other District Clubs seeing satellites as one possible answer to falling membership but 'Do they pay the full subs???'. Leading a session at the Scarborough Conference was a subsequent accolade. Never one for standing still, his most recent achievement has been to bring Aireborough its first potential Corporate Member in local company Bartletts, insurance brokers to Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.

In thanking the Club warmly for the honour Philip thoughtfully recorded he was accepting the Fellowship not only for himself but also on behalf of his stalwart Membership Committee members Brian Hall and Bill Braker. 




This year's contingent was the biggest Meadows Park has entrusted to the Aireborough Club since Kids Out began and they were rewarded with a perfect day. Our team formed part of an overall group variously estimated at 850-880 hosted by 20 different Clubs having the run of the park. 25 young people, 13 carers and 6 Rotarians made the trip with superb organisation all round.

Rides had been selected in advance suited to the individual ensuring that everyone gained maximum enjoyment and had plenty to talk about and remember in the days to come. There was plenty reminiscing about previous years and visits although there seemed to be less daredevil activity this time round. But as the picture gallery will show Rotarians took the opportunity to re-visit past youth.

For the old hands it was a chance to meet up with pupils they had met before and to find out what was on their programmes for next year, including in some cases moves to residential colleges.

Rotarian Maggie (and President Bill) had put an awful lot of work in beforehand to make sure that lunch when it came along provided a sumptuous repast enjoyed by all.

The Club is particularly grateful to Yeadon Charities who donated £500 to help these young people enjoy their day in the sun and return home tired but happy.

Well done and grateful thanks to John Moorhouse, Bill and Maggie Braker, Barry Bootland, Barry Mills and Peter Long!!






After last year's problems with the weather, Fewston and Swinsty reservoir circumnavigators took a wide range of options in selecting when to brave the notorious merry May elements. Robert first footed and reconnoitred on Friday and Barry and Lynne encouraged their troop to make it a Bank Holiday Monday excursion. John Moorhouse, John and Bev Knaggs and Andrew  took the early Saturday morning option followed later in the morning by Barry Mills, Graham, Doreen, Bill Hudson, Tony and Ann Scaife and Patrick. Four dogs also carried an amount of sponsorship.

The indefatigable Brian Hall did his best to marshal the troops from his Blubberhouses pulpit, but following Rotarians' propensity for setting off in whichever direction they thought best at the time, it proved a somewhat thankless task. Robert, filling in for Brian Waite, did manage to provide drinks and energy bars to tiring wanderers passing the Swinsty car park. 

Overall no one managed to emulate the soakings of last year but several caught the back end of Paul Hudson's promised and forecast showers.

The  Mills, Scaifes and Mirfields ended the day paying full justice to the Washburn Centre's renowned bacon sandwiches.

Thanks must also go to the rest of the Club's membership, there in spirit, for their valued sponsorship. A total will be announced as soon as it is available.












There was just reward for the Nomads team embarking on their first ever Easter Egg Hunt, marshalled by the irrepressible Janet Kerr and the quietly confident Barry Mills, , when around 150 children came, searched and conquered the wide open spaces of Rodley Nature Reserve.

With Bill and Maggie Braker setting the example, Rotarians had cajoled a whole string of local shops into donating Tombola prizes supplemented by generous gifts from a host of Club members.

The 'make and bake' afternoon at the Kerrs involved yet more people in dexterously ,preparing six trays of gifts for those bold enough to attempt to 'Hook-a-duck'.

On a day when bad light might have stopped play several times, cars began rolling in well before the 11 o'clock start time and the Secretary's well planned and oiled rota sprang into action.  Sadly, since Rotary is undeniably strong on chiefs, most volunteers had found their niche by 11.30 and thereafter did not venture far from it. Despite or perhaps even because of this, the afternoon was a resounding success all round.

Children, having collected their six prize-winning tokens, eagerly received their egg or rabbit and departed to hook by now reclining ducks. Parents rejoiced in their newly found map-reading skills and the fact that their children had walked voluntarily 'a long way'. They dreamed of future orienteering and made do with eventually finding and carrying home edible riches from the Tombola stall. And all without fail dropped generous donations into the waiting buckets.

The Club is indebted to the Rodley Nature Reserve volunteers for allowing the whole event to happen on their patch and for teaching us how to erect gazebos with the minimum of fuss and injury. We, for our part, hope the Egg Hunt helped to swell their deserving coffers and to attract new clientele.

The main beneficiaries from all this hard work and undoubted enjoyment will be the Martin House Hospice and the Children's Air Ambulance.


The reward for us Rotarians? Well 'We're for Communities'!





The advance publicity promised 'Maggi Stratford and Daniel Bowater (Encore!) conjure up the atmosphere of the French cafe-cabaret of these familiar songs'. Billed as a very early unheralded entry by the Rotary Club of Aireborough to the 100 day Cultural Festival preceding 'Le grand depart' this event exceeded expectations. Maggi introduced each song with details of the interwoven lives of the singers and songwriters, bringing the audience closer to Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet and Charles Aznavour.  With each song she managed to take on a different personality for each  'chanson populaire' exploring the age old themes of love, loss and sorrow aided by the accomplished and versatile Daniel Bowater on accordion, keyboard and guitar.

Humour, however, was never far away � was it really true or a 1940's urban myth that on the train hugging the Narbonne coast where he composed 'La Mer' the only paper available to Charles Trenet was Izal? Mastermind also interposed briefly with a question about an Armenian Ambassador to the United Nations, who also wrote and sang 'Tous les visages de l'amour' an English hit as 'She'.

An attentive and appreciative audience described by Maggi as 'a serious bunch' were simply scrambling in the back catalogue for their long forgotten school learned French.

Adding to the entertainment were those flamboyantly dressed in keeping with the tenor of the evening complementing the French styled menu and the red, white and blue table decorations.


Marie Curie Cancer Care, official charity of 'Le grand depart 2014', is encouraging fundraisers to 'Go French! Go Yellow! Go Cycle!' With stage 1 completed, where next for the Rotary Club of Aireborough?




A capacity congregation at St. John the Evangelist, Yeadon amply illustrated the different strands and facets of Peter's crowded life with the service itself containing poetry, classical music, rousing hymns and the final tribute to his favourite football team Portsmouth, from which city his family originally came.

A fact-filled eulogy, reflecting his sense of humour, described the major events and interests in his life and showed how he took care to maintain contact with various circles of friends as his life progressed.

His love of sport was fostered at Alleyns School, Dulwich including playing (Rugby) fives, later graduating to real tennis, and also entailed his cycling across London to watch cricket at the Oval and football at Stamford Bridge.


Once in Yorkshire Peter became a member at Headingley for his cricket but travelled worldwide to watch rugby sevens in Hong Kong, football in Tenerife where he relaxed regularly and the Ashes in Australia. His final achievement in the sporting sphere occurred only last year when he made the journey south to accept the invitation to become a Lords Taverner,

Peter was the youngest of six children and the loss of both his parents by the time he was ready to leave school influenced his changed decision to study for his dentistry degree in Leeds, rather than in London. He stayed initially with a brother in Huddersfield but soon recognised that his fellow students could stay in bed till five minutes to nine and still get to lectures on time. As a student, moving to Leeds meant a greater social life.

Once qualified, Peter stayed in Leeds practising dentistry throughout his career in Rawdon.

A holiday romance in Lindos initially brought Peter and his wife-to-be Gillian together and soon led to her also moving from London to Leeds.

Peter joined the Rotary Club of Aireborough in July 1984 with the committee of his choice being the Rotary Foundation (TRF). Peter and Gillian were always ready to host visitors through Rotary on projects like Group Study Exchange and maintained contacts made this way over many years. Visiting Rene in Chicago gave Peter the unusual opportunity to seek out a sixteen storey block, Unity Building, 127 North Dearborn Street and to find the office on the seventh floor where Paul Harris hosted the very first Rotary meeting and to sit in his chair behind his desk.

Peter was also a staunch supporter of the Stroke Awareness days at Morrisons (as the 2011 picture shows) and always played in the Clubs annual Presidents Putter competition. He also joined the other golf enthusiasts Barrie King, Dick Gillgrass and David Farnell in making the pilgrimage to St Andrews to take part in the annual International Golf meeting.

Peter was Club President in 1994/5 enlivening his Charter Dinner speech by forgetting his glasses, dispensing with his notes and making up for it by spiritedly speaking off-the-cuff.






When you know it's one of our very own members fronting the show then an uplifting and unexpected lunchtime is guaranteed. There was not much of a clue in Brian Hall's title 'Double vision and a brick-built toilet at the end of the garden ' but once the first splendid cartoon appeared, crafted by the other Hall, Carol, Brian was able to take off on a zany flight of fancy, aided and abetted by three relative volunteers ? Philip Livesey, Barry Mills and John Knaggs.

Unfortunately Bill Kerr, recuperating from his knee operation and resultantly far from being 'fit as a butcher's dog' was unable to bring his Lancastrian humour to the Kerr's Butcher's Shop image but Philip now adept at extolling the Nomads cause accepted the 'Final Toast' as a fitting commentary on the 'Are we into social yet?' plaintive plea rounding off the evening meeting's hard work and thinking.

Next up was the multi-lingual Barry Mills selling and explaining with massive enthusiasm the Great Easter Egg Hunt, Nomads' April project in German, French and thankfully for most, English, with verve and fluency.

John Knaggs revealed his hidden choral talents and something of his early years in musing on the 'Practising Carol Singing' tableau. Full credit to this redoubtable trio, for courageously taking centre stage when, thanks to Brian, they did not have a clue as to what their actual task might be.

Parkinson this was not, but Norman in attempting to make the vote of thanks, joined Brian in an exchange of repartee, more reminiscent of Morecambe and Morecambe, rather than Mr. Pastry.

But pride of place in the meeting went to the absent, talented Carol Hall and her creative, comical and colourful cartoons.





For the third year running four local secondary schools � Horsforth, Benton Park, Guiseley and St Mary�s, Menston provided an impressive array of talent for the Aireborough heat of Rotary�s National Young Musician competition which leads ultimately to a May final. Its aim is to give young performers the opportunity and experience of playing before a receptive audience and of receiving constructive comment from a panel of judges.

An appreciative 50 strong audience heard music from a wide range of composers including Schumann, Beethoven, Handel, Shostakovich, Debussy, Einaudi and Bartok. Ten young people took part in three age groups: key stage 3:11-14, key stage 4: 15-16 and key stage 5: 17-18. The difficult task of selecting group winners rested with judges Mitzi Whitham, St. Clair Logan and Elizabeth Kenwood-Herriott.


The whole group picture shows from the left: Elizabeth Lister, Keerat Thiara, Tom Salmon, Seren Waite, Callum Hawkins, Kathryn Bradley, Alex Chantrell, Emma Illingworth, our very own Bill Braker (Club President), Mingzhe Feng and Matthew Spalding.

All ten competitors received certificates from Bill Braker, President of the Rotary Club of Aireborough and winners� cheques after careful deliberation went at key stage 3 to Tom Salmon of Horsforth School (clarinet), at key stage 4 to Emma Illingworth from Guiseley School (alto sax) and at key stage 5 to Elizabeth Lister also from Horsforth School (violin). The winners� picture has from the left Tom Salmon, Emma Illingworth, Club President Bill Braker and Elizabeth Lister.

With enthusiastic support they will now move on to the District 1040 Final on Saturday 8 March at the National Centre for Early Music in York






Hats and ties were consigned to the back of the wardrobe as the celebrating assembled multitude answered the festive call for imaginative displays. Elvish outfits abounded, snazzy spectacles twinkled, angels winged in, natty headgear prevailed and jazzy jumpers  jingled and assailed the eye.

Chef Becky met the challenge with a meal to fit the occasion. Guest Paralympian David Stone gave everyone the unique opportunity to handle a gold medal from the London Olympics.

The Three Fivers provided the evening�s entertainment blending magic and illusion with the rendition of both carols and popular Christmas songs. There was even an opportunity for Santa�s Little Helper (chosen for his counting ability) to accompany with his inimitably syncopated drumming.

A noteworthy core of regular choristers led the encouraged singing along. Brave efforts were made by the many who would have preferred a song-sheet especially from the third verse onwards.


The photo gallery will attempt to record the colourful efforts made by all. Apologies for the murkiness of many of the pictures, Primark just edging Duracell in the sponsorship stakes!!





The choice of off-the-wall topics (including Sweden, Nuns and the Glories of Yorkshire) for this first Nomads Interactive Quiz meant that the result went down to the wire and the very last round - Superheroes. Pre-match favourites All the President�s etc. comprising the Whithams, Davies�s and the Hipkins, took the crown, despite failing to register a measurable height for their edifice in the Team Challenge. Full points in the final category saw them home by half a point!

Runners-up were the Red Roses, marshalled by Heather Read who had gained 10 points for their towering free-standing construction measuring well over six feet. Booby prize went to the Lads who shall remain unidentified

Philip Livesey controlled the evening immaculately at the microphone encouraging the 8 teams in their frenzied racking of brains for those elusive answers. Janet Kerr, main architect of the evening presided over the event with steadily increasing effervescence. With Bill she was also responsible for the imaginative raffle prizes including Questions the Eggheads couldn�t answer and 50 Sheds of Grey.

The scorers Doreen, Pat and Robert had a particularly hilarious evening listening to the widely divergent solutions offered by the harried team runners with Where would you wear a codpiece and what is it?proving the most entertaining question.

President Elect Barry, emerging from the Eureka Stockade, brought the evening to a close with thanks to all concerned: supporters, participants and organisers with the promise that funds raised (which later proved to be very close to �200) would be donated to deserving charities.  

The only thing missing, due to a mental aberration on the part of the camera wielder, were any pictures of the event.  Are there any out there?







Give Frank Renton, host of BBC Radio 2�s Listen to the band a stage, allow him a rehearsal with a group of enthusiastic and accomplished players and you know you are in for an amusing, educational and above all entertaining evening.

And so it proved at the Rotary Club of Aireborough�s 16th Annual Brass Band Concert at Yeadon Town Hall where the Hepworth Band performed to an appreciative audience for the fourth consecutive year.

Once again the programme was varied and demanding ranging from the modern, Lucy Pankhurst�s �Wired� to the overture from Glinka�s opera �Ruslan and Ludmila�, from film music Elfman�s �Batman the movie� to Dvorak�s �Slavonic Dance No. 8�. There were also opportunities for talented soloists to perform including Daniel Powell - (tenor horn), Katherine Bentham � (flugel horn) and Mike Kilroy � (euphonium) and there was also a first in this long series of concerts when Iben Maersk, band member and sister of the Band�s resident conductor Stig, sang �Maybe this time� from �Cabaret� to a noisily receptive audience.

As always it was noticeable how all band members applauded the expertise of their fellow players.


Rotarians played their roles to perfection beginning with President Bill on stage and others ushering, programme distributing, raffle ticket selling (and how!!), ice cream selling and of course technically in the box office and i/c lighting! They also applauded and laughed at all the right times.

The Club is extremely grateful to both those who attended the concert and our supportive programme advertisers ensuring close to �2800 can be used effectively in charitable funding. President Bill has selected as his charities for the year the Elizabeth Foundation, helping deaf children, the Children�s Air Ambulance and Martin House Children�s Hospice.

Next year�s already booked concert will be later next year on 24 October 2014. The billposters are already in training!!


Pictures show a formal President Bill and the irrepressible Frank Renton, followed by surprise vocal soloist Iben Maersk whom Frank will definitely recognise next year.                        




Aireborough enthusiastically put on its happy face for another Scarborough weekend. How we never win the best attendance trophy remains a mystery since this year 18 Rotarians, 11 Inner Wheel members and 3 wives descended on the welcoming Red Lea for another boisterous stay.

Aireborough once again went its one way to some extent replacing the black tie dinner with its own in house reception, private dinner followed by �Aireborough�s got talent � the sequel�. Once again as the picture gallery reveals the cast achieved a high rate of imaginative participation and costume. Poetry, song, comedy and readings all played a part. The list included, in no particular order � Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, Il Divo, Pam Ayres, Tommy Cooper, Lewis Carroll and Gervase Phinn followed by the whole company of Mamma Mia. Even the Beverley Sisters made a late entry. The Holloways were sadly missed
Oh and not forgetting the Conference itself � the Trussell Trust was supported and plenary sessions were well attended with the Catterick Recovery Unit/ABS � the Soldiers� Charity and the caustic yet hilarious Geoff Mackey outstanding. His mousetrap version of the need in Rotary to sometimes take a chance and go out on a limb will remain long in the memory.
Ian Legge�s take on �Engage Rotary, change lives� struck a chord when transposed to �Engage change, Rotary lives� for this correspondent.
Though not being featured in the �Yes, we can!� video nor receiving a cheque in a well disorganised presentation, Aireborough was given the opportunity in the break-out sessions to explain to an interested and questioning audience how it had taken on the challenge of establishing a satellite group. Eight members backed a confident Philip at this presentation, photographed by the surprisingly reticent Allan Jagger.
To round off the evening in a more hectic manner some members even made it to the dance floor much later reliving the sixties from a range of distances.
For Aireborough there will be some tinkering around the edges before next year but the show will definitely go on! 


                                 CELEBRATING A SIGNIFICANT YEAR 


President Bill Braker welcomed more than 90 guests, including Rotarians from 9 visiting Clubs, to the Club's 60th Charter Birthday Celebration. Both he and District Governor Mark-Stewart-Clarke congratulated Club members on the past year's raising of funds for and then supporting 44 organisations and 10 individuals, both locally and worldwide, with a particular focus on young people.

Guest speaker David Shields, Northern Director of 'Welcome to Yorkshire' supplied an interesting behind-the-scenes insight into how Yorkshire overcame a rival bid for the Tour de France's 'grand d�part' by imaginative use of a helicopter's eye view of the proposed stage routes and a Mark Cavendish presentation on the Leeds Millennium Square big screen.

In his view the Tour's most unusual role was that of stage scriptwriter, pointing out Yorkshire sights and landmarks for the television viewers in the 188 countries ardently following Tour coverage.

The evening's toasts were imaginatively shared between longest serving member Brian Waite, newest member Liz Kenwood-Herriott and Bill Hudson and Graham Davies, son and grandson respectively of the Club's second and third Presidents.

Top table guests included Anne Waite, President of the Inner Wheel Club of Aireborough and Katharine Jex, President of Soroptimist International of Aireborough.

The evening proved particularly memorable and surprising for one Aireborough Rotarian, Robert Mirfield, who received one of Rotary's highest awards, a Paul Harris Fellowship - 'whenever there's anything going on in the Club then he's likely to be involved'. 










Following their successful Sheepstakes Night, the Aireborough Nomads latest fund-raiser featured a barbecue, (in the enthusiastically capable hands of Graham Davies), hosted by Rotary members Bill and Janet Kerr aiming to fill eight backpacks for Mary�s Meals. This charity provides a daily meal in a place of education first attracting then providing an escape route from poverty for half a million chronically poor children worldwide.

To fill the backpacks members from both Rotary and Inner Wheel brought to the event the basic items needed when starting school � pens, pencils, rulers, exercise books, pencil case, flip-flops, t-shirt or a dress and shorts plus most importantly a spoon as the picture shows. A cheque for �200, collected at the barbecue also accompanied the packs.

Pictures show a tableful of the gear brought on the day as well as our chief barbecuer Graham Davies.  

The same week Rotary members visited the last of eight local schools, Horsforth Newlaithes Primary, with 45 dictionaries, bringing to 350 the total number distributed this summer. 








For several years the Rotary Club of Aireborough has given sixth form pupils from four local secondary schools the chance to attend a Youth Leadership Award programme held at Hebden Hey in the Hardcastle Crags Valley.

Last weekend Hannah Childs and Conner Hulme, both from Horsforth School, completed the course made up of four very different outdoor team exercises, including raft building, with the added enjoyment of 6.30 a.m. starts and late finishes. Normality was resumed with a course ending participatory concert. Driving them home Brian Waite commented �They spent most of the trip home reporting back enthusiastically on their adventures and discoveries�the rest of the journey they fell asleep�.

This year for the first time the Club also decided to send two students on an Ocean Youth Trust (North) voyage based on North Shields. Tom Corina from Benton Park and Chris Penny from St Mary�s, Menston were the first to take on this new challenge aboard Ocean Scout. They described as �fantastic� a week which included sailing up the Tyne to the Millennium Bridge as well as to Amble, the Farne Islands, Hartlepool and Blyth, even being given the chance to �Captain� the crew on the final day. Coping with cramped conditions was the order of the day.

All four young people would thoroughly recommend their experiences to next year�s prospective participants.

Barry Mills of the Club�s Education Committee reported �All four proved to be superb ambassadors for their schools and their generation. They met the testing challenges of character-building, outdoor activities and practising leadership. Tom and Chris also gained nautical skills as crew on a sailing craft on the River Tyne and North Sea venturing as far as the Farne Islands�.and all four emerged tired but triumphant!�   

One final challenge remains: - to recount their stories to Club members and to underline the benefits they felt they gained from their experience. 




For the old stagers this was the fifth time dictionaries had been presented to eight local primary schools and as on all previous occasions the initial reception was muted and polite. That lasted until the lining up for the mandatory picture taking when the natural exuberance of the young pupils came to the fore. This spontaneous image from Broadgate Lane perhaps epitomises that best!

Schools involved this year comprised St Oswald�s C of E Junior, Guiseley; Yeadon Westfield Junior; Queensway Primary; Rufford Park Primary; Rawdon St Peter�s C of E Primary; St Margaret�s C of E Primary; Broadgate Primary and Horsforth Newlaithes Junior.

Slight changes this year saw Rawdon St. Peter�s asking for a donation to buy a different kind of book � a thesaurus and Horsforth Newlaithes Junior will present their allocation to the new pupils moving across from Featherbank Junior in September as a welcoming present.

Janice Hepworth, Deputy Headteacher at Rawdon St Peter�s welcomed the Club�s donations as �an important and engaging way of developing pupils� vocabularies�.

As usual a varied selection of members answered the call to arms including President Bill Braker, organiser John Moorhouse, keeper of the dictionaries St. Clair Logan plus in no particular order Barry Mills, Barry Bootland, Brian Whitham, John Knaggs, Tony Scaife and Robert Mirfield.

The visits also enabled club members to publicise to school staff the success of their new satellite group Aireborough Nomads, an evening club aimed at prospective working members.

Pupils were also encouraged to come up with ideas on how the Club could help organisations with which they were involved. 
















The Nomads continue to do their bit, and how, for the membership of the Rotary Club of Aireborough. Heather Read and Elizabeth (Liz) Kenwood-Herriott were the latest to be inducted into the Club by President Brian Whitham as one of the final acts of his Presidential year. This brings to five the number joining Rotary via the satellite Club and all are female.

Pictured are the smiling trio of Liz, Brian and Heather.

Heather Read of Rawdon, a retired College Lecturer came to Bill Kerr�s notice through her work at the Martin House Hospice charity shop in Yeadon. Liz Kenwood-Herriott was introduced by Brian Whitham through their connections at the Grove Methodist Church. An accomplished oboeist and professional teacher of woodwind instruments, Liz, who lives in Horsforth last year acted as a judge at the Aireborough heat of the Rotary Young Musician competition. 




With the start of a new Rotary year, annual handover day for Club President was Tuesday 2 July at Aireborough with Brian Whitham vacating the chair in favour of �Bill� Braker. They are both relative newcomers to Rotary, accepting the presidential chain only three years after joining the Club and the sequence will continue next year when Barry Mills follows them as President.

Brian Whitham�s year ended with events epitomising Rotary�s style. First he joined the  fund-raising Bag Pack at Morrison�s, Yeadon which raised the magnificent sum of �574.01 for dictionaries for local primary schools, for Yeadon Charities and for Leeds Food banks. Then his outgoing evening was a boisterous Ceilidh, bringing out the best in the energetic at St Margaret�s Hall, Horsforth.

For �Bill� September�s 60th Charter Dinner is his first major event with Gary Verity from �Welcome to Yorkshire� as his guest speaker. His charities for the year are Martin House and the Elizabeth Foundation, helping pre-school deaf children with Children�s Air Ambulance being included through the annual Sponsored Walk.





Aireborough�s ninth consecutive �Kids Out� excursion was enjoyed to the full by all those committed enough to take part on 12 June in this Community Service event. Eighteen Meadows Park pupils joined in the five hours of Lightwater Valley fun with nine members of school staff and five Rotarians � John Moorhouse, Barry Bootland, Bill and Maggie Braker and Barry Mills. All rides were explored with Maggie slotting into the daredevil role even taking on the Black Pearl�s 360 degree vertical ride.

Maggie and Bill also volunteered to provide lunches for the whole party, praised by John as �an extremely gracious task� and judging from the pictures enjoyed by all.

Main picture shows some of the group resplendent in their Kids Out t-shirts and hats itching to take on the day�s challenges.

On the Membership front just a week later at the Nomads regular meeting President Brian inducted a further two members into the Aireborough fold in the persons of Heather Read and Liz Kenwood-Herriott, bringing to five the number of new entrants this year.

The following day Fund-raising was the order of the day with our first venture into the wonderful world of Bag-packing at Morrison�s, Yeadon. This time an inspiring thirteen Rotarians and two Inner Wheel members answered the call. Repartee was tested to the full, several principles of packing were learned but   opportunities were also grasped to sell Rotary and its membership whilst also explaining just where the money we raise goes! A terrific response from the Yeadon public produced the unexpected total of �574.01.

Wearing yet another hat three of those involved, Brian Whitham, Peter Long and Norman Gledhill then excelled on the next day by joining more than 300 exuberant trippers on the annual excursion with Yeadon charities �this year to Bridlington � Service Above Self personified!

Socially a good contingent of members attended Sunday�s Inner Wheel �Strawberry tea� hosted by Geoffrey and Heather Barton with some first demonstrating their tent erecting skills. As usual Carol and Brian Hall encouraged active participation with their range of brain and skill exercises and plant sales helped ensure a goodly sum was raised for the I.W. Club�s charities.

Every President chooses his own year ending event and for Brian Whitham it was a �Ceilidh�. It was consequently an energetic band of Rotarians, Inner Wheel members and guests who helped him see out his year. Led by the band with no name, members were slowly talked through a series of seemingly unfathomable manoeuvres before being launched on the floor � chrysalis to dazzling butterfly (in some cases) in the space of a few minutes! Good food, good company and a few laughs along the way made it a boisterous end to Rotary year 2012/3.





Two new members were inducted into the Rotary Club of Aireborough at the last Nomad satellite group meeting. Both need no introduction to Club members, Maggie Braker joining under the classification of Social work and Janet Kerr under Early years education. More members are already in the pipeline.

As the picture shows they also became the first in the Club to receive the new �We�re for Communities� badges as well as the traditional emblem.

The Nomads have already taken a leading role in organising the successful Sheepstakes event earlier in the year and for 2013/14 will be contributing to the overall Club programme through a Barbecue on Saturday 31 August and a Grand Charity Quiz on Friday 8 November.

Membership Chair Philip Livesey and President Elect Bill Braker have also accepted an invitation to speak at the Membership break-out session at District Conference on their experiences in setting up a satellite group. 





The move from the Bingley-Rodley towpath to the circuits of Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs for this year�s Charity Walk tested the mettle of 30 intrepid adventurers and Barney the dog but only because of the inclement weather. Worthy of particular mention is the fact that almost half of the party was comprised of Inner Wheel members, wives and friends of Rotary.

Suitable dress for the occasion had led to frenzied rummaging through walkers� wardrobes and the photo gallery will reveal the varied array of clothing competing for the crown of best dressed walker 2013.

Congratulations and thanks go to all concerned, to those who walked, marshalled, raised or donated sponsorship cash and served refreshments to the weary but ebulliently certificated finishers at the Washburn Heritage Centre.

The marshals had a particularly difficult job keeping track of just who had turned up, who were circumnavigating which reservoirs and from which direction bedraggled walkers were likely to appear and disappear.

Next year when all walkers will be tagged things can only get better! 









(memory permitting)


The month began with all Aireborough Club members present putting their own individual slant on the tagline �we�re this close to ending polio� following in the footsteps of Desmond Tutu, Bill Gates and Jackie Chan. Cases are down by 99% and only 3 polio endemic countries remain � Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.










Close behind came the Club�s significant contribution to the best ever Leeds running, of the annual Technology Tournament at the John Charles centre. Stewards Barry Mills, John Knaggs, Brian Waite and Robert Mirfield and judges Barry Wilkinson, John Armstrong, Brian Whitham and Patrick Glenn oversaw what appeared beforehand the most difficult of challenges. 42 teams or 168 pupils from 16 schools and colleges had to design, build and test a vehicle powered solely by a 200g. weight over a rising track within 4 hours.

Winners were: Basic � Farnley Park, Intermediate � South Leeds Academy and Advanced � Silcoates School, Wakefield. Flying the flag competitively for Aireborough Horsforth School�s Basic 2 team won the overall trophy for Innovation because of an outstandingly produced portfolio.





Next port of call was Guiseley School where Barry Bootland and John Moorhouse presented a made up logo and a gift voucher for �20 to Millie for her winning design of a new logo for the Guiseley Youth Project, where the Rotary Club of Aireborough and Aireborough Soroptimists are long-term partners. Housed in the community room at Aireborough Leisure Centre GYP helps provide facilities for the District�s young people. Headteacher Paul Morrisey joined Millie and John Moorhouse in the celebratory picture.








The month ended with the Club�s members welcoming paralympic cyclist and London gold medallist David Stone to a meeting to round off the Sheepstakes event organised by the Club�s satellite group the Aireborough Nomads. David was delighted to present cheques, each for �350 to Sarah Tarpey of Martin House Hospice and to Doreen Hodgson for the charity she founded Chameleon.

To help him in his quest for the perfect sticky toffee pudding Golf Club chef Becky provided David with two portions � his verdict �yummy�!

How better to show that the Rotary Club of Aireborough epitomises in all respects Rotary�s newest slogan �We�re for Communities.�





Aireborough Nomads, the satellite group of the Rotary Club of Aireborough, attracted a full house to its first charity fund-raising event, a race night featuring competing sheep. 

The fact that the sheep herders for each of the six races were drawn from the audience by ballot added to the tension leading, as the evening wore on, to an increasing number of �knowledgeable� coaches advising the contestants on the best technique to bring their charges first to the finishing line.

The Nomads are indebted to the Rotary Club of Bradford Bronte for coming up with the format and loaning the sheep for one night only. All will be returning safely to the wool city

The evening ended with the six individual race winners (who were all rewarded with a jar of mint sauce) fighting it out for the accolade of Champion of Champions. Robert Outhwaite took the shepherd�s crown, dextrously reeling in �Rosemary� in a noisy, closely fought finale.

Gratefully received contributions were made to the charity total by main sponsor Standard Wool of Bradford and a variety of heat sponsors Horsforth Golf Club, Rodley Nature Reserve, Barry Bootland, Marshall Wooldridge, Walker Computer Services and Matt Hawker Dentist.

A raffle with imaginative sheep related prizes and very busy betting queues all helped bring the total profit to at least �700 to be shared equally between Martin House Hospice and Chameleon, supporting education in Africa.







1 At the Club�s last evening meeting Di Oldam brought us up-to-date for the third time on the hands-on Rotary Ukerewe, Tanzania project which, under the leadership of John Philip, has achieved so much but still has �exciting opportunities� to get the best of.

The team this time round comprised 11 Rotarians, 3 Inner Wheel members, a Ugandan Rotaractor and 6 Rotary friends (Di�s connotation) from Yorkshire, Cheshire, Essex and Helsenborg in Sweden.

Once again the team�s achievements continued to amaze: constructing two blocks of toilets, building a playground, taking water to seven schools, substantially improving the town�s water supply and helping both a group of orphan children and a community of people with albinism. They installed a brand new autoclave, started a bread making group and a fruit juice bar. Innovatively they demonstrated to and trained a group of women in converting rubbish into briquettes for cooking fuel. They also met up again with women who had benefited from previous microcredit projects, congratulating them on their achievements and adding more capital to help the Trustees expand the programme.

It is no surprise that this was considered the best international project in RIBI and recipient of the Connecticut Trophy.

Since returning Di has concentrated upon raising funds for Selestine, a 17 year old boy with cerebral palsy living on the island of Ukerewe, who needs further education to have any chance of gaining employment because of his physical disabilities. The target is �3600 to enable Selestine to go to the mainland for 2 years to take the equivalent of his �A� levels. Di�s recent abseil down the Cow and Calf Rocks, Ilkley on 9 February contributed more than �2000 towards a current team total of �2500.

Giving family support Dr Alison Oldam will be completing a monster triple challenge of the Great North Swim (2 miles), Run (half marathon) and Bike 60 miles to help the fund raising between June and August: contributions welcome at


2 The Aireborough contingent at the last District Council in York were initially disappointed as certificates for Club contributions to Rotary Foundation (Rotary�s very own charity) were handed out. Frowns turned to smiles and discontent to joy, however, when Aireborough made it to the podium with President Brian receiving a pennant for 3rd best District total averaging over $50 per member.

Although all members have contributed to some degree pride of place must go to the shy and retiring Bill Kerr, our long-standing Foundation Chairman. He has found countless ways of painlessly extracting financial contributions. His weekly wine raffles have brought happiness particularly to the Barries/Barrys and Brians in the Club and his Bags2School efforts have led to a welcome culling of the contents of household wardrobes. He was the driving force behind �Allo! �Allo� and is now moving (hopefully) to pastures new with �Sheepstakes.� He has scoured the county delivering talks on �House clearances� (donations to Rotary Foundation, please) and still keeps finding his way home! His District Whisky/whiskey raffle was another winner � long may his Lancastrian enterprise prosper!




Happening soon...

Sat, Jul 13th 2024 2:00 pm

Yeadon Carnival Saturday 13 July

The Club will be running the Bottle Stall for which up to 30 bottles will be needed. We are also being asked to help with the Parade which ensures we can run the stall.

Tue, Jul 16th 2024 12:30 pm

Tuesday meeting 12.00 for 12.30 finishing at 14.00

Business meeting Apologies to Alyson Wort Reception and grace Andrew Wilson

Thu, Jul 18th 2024 6:00 pm

Thursday evening meeting at Horsforth Golf Club

Lessons learned from past events and ideas and plans for upcoming events

Tue, Jul 23rd 2024 2:00 pm

Tuesday meeting 12.00 for 12.30 finishing at 14.00

Speaker - to be arranged Apologies or 07772 521417 Reception and grace Graham Davies

Tue, Jul 30th 2024 7:00 pm

Club evening meeting 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

Organised by Thursday Group Apologies to or 07772 521417 Reception and grace Robert Mirfield

Meetings & Venue

Where and when:

We meet on Tuesdays at 12 00 for 12 30

((Last Tuesday in the month 18:30 for 19.00. For those unable to attend lunchtime meetings there are also meetings on the first and third Thursday evenings in the month (18.00 to 19.30) at the Golf Club, see next 30 days for details. ) Layton Rise, Layton Rd., Horsforth

LS18 5EX  0113 258 1703

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