Read about our History.

Rotary International was formed in 1905 in the United States of America by a Chicago lawyer by the name of Paul Harris as an association to encourage fellowship among members of the business community.  The movement grew and other clubs were formed in other parts of America and in other countries. The first clubs to be formed in Great Britain were the London and Dublin Rotary Clubs, both of which were founded in 1911.

Four years later, the Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne was formed, the first in North Eastern England and only the tenth in the UK. The idea came from a conversation in a railway carriage between a member of the Manchester Rotary Club and a Newcastle architect, The Club was officially founded on 20th August 1915 with a membership of fifty . Over the years the Club expanded and by 1954 the membership  was over 170. Many prominent businessmen and leading citizens have been members of the Club over the years.

The Club had the opportunity to help in the sponsorship and development of no fewer than 25 Clubs in District 1030 and beyond. These are: Berwick, Bishop Auckland, Blaydon, Blyth, Carlisle, Chester le Street, Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Gosforth, Heaton (now dissolved), Hexham, Jarrow, Kendal, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne West (now dissolved), North Shields, South Bank & Eston (also now dissolved), South Shields, Stockton, Sunderland, Wallsend, Hartlepool, Whitehaven and Whitley Bay.

In 2015 our Club celebrated its centenary with a number of events and succeeded in raising nearly £20,000 for charitable causes.

In 2022, due to a reduction in membership caused partly by the pandemic but aslo by the fat that many of the Club members were long retired and suffering fro the effects of age and increasing infirmity, it was decided that the Club would reform in a different format, meeting in a flexible way to make it accessible to younger people.

We hope that in the future we will be able to continue to provide the benefits, both to Club members and the community, both local and international, that the Club have been able to offer over its long history.

OUR HISTORY sub-pages:

List of past Presidents

more Complete list of all of the past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne since the Club was founded in 1915

1923 Annual Dinner

more On April 6th,1923 the Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne held their annual dinner. We are grateful to Past President John Gillespie, who has a copy of the original programme, for letting us publish some of the pages, which are displayed below.

Significant events

more Details of significant events and projects that have taken place during the life of the Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne

Meeting Places

more The Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne has met at various venues in the city over the years.

Club Archives

more Details of further documents relating to the History of the Rotary Club of Newcastle upon Tyne