East Cliff Rotary meetings 2015-2016

A very interesting and enjoyable assortment of meetings and events

Bournemouth Eastcliff Rotary Club



September 3rd 2015               Uniting the Conurbation

Our own member, Hon Alderman Rotarian David Trenchard gave club members an outline of how Local Government had changed little since Victorian times when horse and carriage was the principle means of local transport and communications was via telegrams and of course mail, with several daily local postal deliveries. Clearly in the modern business and living environment the need for better local governance covering the whole of the marketplace that was the conurbation of SE Dorset was now overdue. He gave examples of how improvements needed to be made in Tourism promotion, improving the appalling transport links to the North and across the conurbation, better planning for Housing and Industry/Employment and of course he exampled how considerable costs could be saved. He introduced the UNITING THE CONURBATION pressure group campaign.

October 1st 2015                    Rotary Business Partners

Rotarian Chris Slocock from Wimborne Rotary Club and District Governor designate addressed us on the very successful introduction of Rotary Business Partners that his club had spearheaded. Many clubs in District had followed this lead and now had many proud businesses linking their names to the work of Rotary and making contributions in differing ways – cash or services – to the work of the host club. Members were very interested and the subject would be investigated closely during the coming months.

October 15th 2015                  AFC Bournemouth

Our own club president had earlier in his business career been the CEO of AFC Bournemouth and had been very closely involved in the development and build of the New Stadium. Andrew gave a very interesting account of how a modern football club is run and the roles of the manager, CEO, Chairman and Board. Members were fascinated to learn how the club had progressed from being virtually insolvent to having a brand new stadium which gave the club the springboard to enable the team to progress upwards and gain the totally unexpected place in the Premier League that they occupy today.

October 22nd 2015                 Ethnic Eating – Chinese Meal at the Wonderful Kitchen

Members had enjoyed meals at this venue before and with their wives and partners, and a few guests, enjoyed a specially prepared buffet incorporating Chinese speciality dishes that the chef of The Wonderful Kitchen thought club members would enjoy. The ethnic event meant that those present were sampling dishes that they would not usually order themselves and gave them a wider introduction to Chinese cuisine.

October 29th 2015                  Ladies and Guest Night  The difference between the life of a housewife and mother in Iceland and in the UK

This was a really interesting presentation by Ragneheidr McQueen. Her background was being born and brought up in Iceland, marrying and having a son but later marrying Don McQueen and relocating to the UK. After her son had finished schooling here she and Don adopted two young boys and started again!  Ragnheidr started by showing a map of Iceland and describing the geography, the climate and some of the history including the hot and cold extremes of this unique environment;  the daylight of summer and short days and darkness of winter; the need for Icelandic women to work all the time and the ways in which the men earnt a living. This was an excellent presentation and all present were given some fascinating insights into them life of the Icelanders.

November 19th 2015              Peace Jam

Rotary District are supporting peace Jam and the Peace Conference in March hosted at Winchester University. Brian Pain, a retired headmaster, from Waterside Rotary Club, gave the members a presentation on the Peace Jam project which is a way to educate young schoolchildren through part of their school curriculum to be more tolerant of others and specifically to learn peaceful ways to handle conflicting views. This included a focussed method of dealing with acts of bullying and the introduction to a project called a Billion Acts of Kindness to try and improve the outlook of those children taking part. The club were encouraged to promote this in their local contact schools and to sponsor students to attend the Peace Conference. We were able to have representatives from Bournemouth ASchool, Harewood College and Avonbourne College present and hoped to be able to support these schools in some way to introduce the project to their pupils.

December 3rd 2015                Christmas Dinner Party

The club members, partners and guests joined President Andrews at the Lord Bute Restaurant for an evening of good food and wine.

December 17th 2015              Quiz Evening

Our member, Rotarian Ian Ro9bertson, organised a quiz evening to try and clear our heads for the serious business of Christmas Festivities with our families and the welcome to another New Year over the next two weeks. A very interesting series of questions involving London Underground Stations certainly brought about some out of the box thinking.

January 7th 2016                    CEO Tank Museum

The CEO of the Tank Museum was introduced to the club. Richard Smith had been appointed following a decision by the Trustees to find someone with a solid business experience and commercial ability to come and turn the museum from just a collection of interesting and historical artefacts into a memorable visitor experience and to modernise and make money to reinvest! After an Oxford University Degree in Ancient History and a business career involving computer technology and the container shipping industry finishing in Hong Kong with two young daughters and an Australian wife, Richard applied for the job in Dorset. His description of progress forward was fascinating and it was clear that the museum had made huge strides to catch up with today’s times and was moving forward with some excellent policies and plans in place. Members were very interested in how the project had progresses and it was probable from the questions and comments that many would visit the Museum over the coming months.

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January 21st 2016                  Why did Bournemouth seem to prosper with many new building schemes through the recession and since?

This was the question the Club had posed to Tony Williams, CEO of Bournemouth Council. Tony came at the invitation of the club to explain how it seemed that Bournemouth Council and The two Universities had been leading Bournemouth through the recent recession with an energetic Building and Development programme that had really put Bournemouth on the Map as a go ahead and progressive council, investing in the Town when all we heard of was cut backs and savings because of austerity and shortage of money from central government grants coming to council coffers. Tony explained how the Council had partnered Morgan Sindall and pushed ahead to develop sites in their ownership. This in turn helped the University who were also improving student accommodation through partnership development schemes. The success of both Universities had improved their reputations considerably and both were very highly considered today.

The prime assets of Bournemouth were the Beach and Gardens and Bournemouth had been early to promote this with the University to help attract students to an excellent location to study and to spend leisure time. The Council had also done well to attract business to relocate here as a good place for business and for employees to live.

Both of these policies were clearly working and Bournemouth was itself investing in the Town rather than cutting back.  The success had helped in turn to attract others such as The Hilton Hotel Group. It was recognised that there were plenty of good Hotel sites that needed redevelopment with modern buildings and plenty of Victorian buildings still to be improved or rebuilt.

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January 28th               Italian Ethnic Evenic

Many of the Club Members, wives and some guests enjoyed a special Italian evening with a full three course menu at Pinocchios Restaurant on Poole Road in Bournemouth.  The food was first class and the ambience and service very good.  A true experience of eating Italian style and it was surprising to note the variety of differing choices made by those present from the options on offer.

February 4th               Ecuadorian Experience

Members had supported a local school pupil, Chloe Larby, who was due to take part in a series of projects to work in Ecuador to try and improve the conditions of some of the people living in quite basic conditions. Chloe had been during July 2015 and came to share details of her month long experience with club members. The group of teenagers had been to 4 x working camps in differing field locations and had helped building a school building of bamboo, clearing undergrowth and planting very small tree saplings involving quite heavy work, clearing paths and improving a recreational area and repairing and improving a school playground as examples of the work undertaken. The group had also experienced some completely different lifestyles and their own accommodation had been a complete change to our own. Her presentation included a photo record showing the stunning scenery and some of the tasks in progress by the team.  An interesting experience was standing on the equator line and seeing the water going clockwise down the plughole on one side and anti-clockwise the other – bizarre.

February 18th                         Moors Valley Country Park

Matt Beaven, A Ranger employed at The Moors Valley Country Park updated members on the progress that the Park had made in providing leisure and sporting facilities since the original concept started by East Dorset District Council acquiring some farmland and getting together with the Forestry Commission which owned large tracts of adjacent land.  The miniature train experience had grown and was run by a franchisee and was very popular, the gold course was now run separately and the original concept of acquiring and rebuilding a medieval barn had been very successful and had to be extended to provide all the facilities now required. Members were shown the various walks and bicycle riding experiences available and learnt of possible changes needed to the treetop walkway.  The entrance fees were tied solely to use of the car park and although the catering franchise was good clearly to get best value a visit should not be just to the centre for refreshments but should be long enough to enjoy some of the other leisure pursuits on offer.

March 3rd.                   Classic Cars and restoration.

This was a welcome request return visit from Kim Henson, a local freelance journalist,  who once again had a range of photos of Classic Cars to discuss with members and to highlight some of the restoration difficulties, rallies or meetings where these had been displayed and how good or bad an experience had been had with them in the past and now.    There is no doubt that this topic interests Rotarians – we welcomed several visitors interested in the subject and the evening was a great success.

Earlier Past President Alan Turle was able to present the cheques for the donations to the charities supported during his year of office and recipients from Julias House, Bournemouth Food Bank, Bournemouth Blind Society, Cruse Bereaved Care and Sudep Action attended the meeting at guests of the club.


March 17th                  Bangladesh

Club Member and past president Professor Peter Jones had been involved in setting up a hospitality training facility through his normal business activities in Bangladesh and had visited several times in recent years in order to get this project under way. He had learnt a great deal about this country of 150M people and shared the knowledge and some interesting facts and figures in a very detailed and professional presentation to the club. This was country which had been created following the Independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 and although everyone enjoyed Bangladeshi food very little was known about the country and its traditions by most of us in the UK. It was not a great tourist destination. Whilst we knew that it was based around the great river delta which flooded regularly during the monsoon season the rest of the country was very much involved in agriculture although there was great poverty with many subsistence farmers with small land holdings. The country was rich in expertise in producing quality clothing, a major export and foreign currency earner.

Saturday March 26th                         Quarter Marathon

In more detail elsewhere this Easter Saturday event is very important in the club calendar and gives great pleasure to many in the local community as well as an opportunity to raise funds through sponsorship and entry fees.

March 31st      The Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth – experiences of their year in office so far  

Cllr John Adams JP and Mrs Suzy Adams attended a Partners and Guest evening which was very well supported. The Mayor was 10 months into his year of office and gave a very interesting report to the club of the activities and events that they were called upon to attend, over