Aylsham Rotary

Aylsham Rotary Information

Rotary International is an organisation with over 1.2 million members in Clubs all over the world. Rotary clubs are based in local communities where members meet on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others. Clubs utilise the skills, expertise and dedication of their members to help improve the lives of people in communities both at home and abroad.  We focus our efforts in six areas: promoting peace, preventing diseases, providing access to clean water and sanitation, enhancing maternal and child health, improving basic education and literacy, and helping communities develop.


We do this, in Aylsham, by meeting weekly to listen to interesting speakers, visit unusual places or to plan our forthcoming events. The members have a great time socially, attending Club parties, dances, BBQs etc. We hold regular fundraising events to collect the monies we need to help others both here in Aylsham and the surrounding area and overseas. Our projects range from installing benches in quiet places in Town for residents to rest on, organising events such as the Christmas Carol Concert and helping local organisations eg: Aylsham in Bloom and our local Schools. Overseas, we respond to natural disasters and help by delivering education, clean water and better health care to many in the developing world.  So the essence of Rotary is helping others, and keeping high standards in your professional life whilst having fun with like-minded people.


If you would like to join Rotary as a member or a friend of the club, volunteer your time to a community project or register your interest please contact us at info@aylshamrotary.org.uk or call 01263 585020 and we will get back to you. Thank you. 

The History of The Rotary Club of Aylsham

The Club which was sponsored by North Walsham Rotary Club held its “Inaugural Luncheon” on 23rd July at The Ship Inn 1952 and was admitted to Rotary International on 1st January 1953. The Charter Presentation was held on3rd March 1953 in Aylsham Town Hall. All the members had businesses in Aylsham or were managers of very prominent firms in the town, all were working, no -one was retired, and included a really good cross-section of the key male citizens of Aylsham. Meetings were held at lunchtimes as it was half day closing in Aylsham.

In 1963 Aylsham Rotary met at The Dog on the Norwich Road, and then at The Ship in White Hart Street. In 1968 the club met weekly in the basement of the Town Hall, members ran their own bar and organised their own catering. This continued until the early 1990s when the club moved to Aylsham Lodge, then Bramleys, The Greens and finally back to Aylsham Lodge where meetings currently take place.

In the early days Charter nights were held in the Town Hall, helping the business in the town and only on the late 1970s and early 1980s started going to different venues in the county.

The club’s aims were much less ambitious in the early years; £100 total fundraising was regarded as a good achievement.  One of the early fund raisers was an Art Exhibition which continued until the early 1980s and many other clubs used this successful idea. In 1980 there were 226 paintings and the programme cost just 20p!

Fellowship has always been very important and early events included a Valentine’s evening when members had to wear a hat representing the name of a song and a boat cruise on the Mosel in Germany!

In 1973 Kevin Johnson became the first Aylsham Rotarian to become District Governor and in the following year he was succeeded by Charles Bizley. During the year that Stanley Dale was president, Aylsham hosted the District Conference at Aylsham High School.

The club is always prepared to try new things and these have included a variety of fund raising events, social events, a French twinning (which unfortunately did not last) and better links with local clubs through the “7 clubs” initiative. Now a much more relaxed and informal club, the Rotary Club of Aylsham is proud to be one of the most active and highly regarded clubs for its size in the District.

The founder members of The Aylsham Rotary Club would be amazed at the changes during the last 67 years; evening meetings, the amazing amount of money raised each year, mixed membership with the majority of members now retired and only a few still working, but the key principles still remain at the heart of all that club does.

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