Speaker Meeting, 6.15 for 6.30pm

Mon, Jul 4th 2022 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: Rotarian Colin Hornsby (Job talk)


As a schoolboy Colin enjoyed chemistry lessons so when the careers master suggested he should be a chemical engineer it sounded good.  However at university he found out that chemical engineering is more about maths than it is about chemistry but nevertheless he gained a degree and joined a company on a graduate training scheme.

He was interested in production control and at that time computers were the coming thing. He found himself in a computer department with an ambition to introduce computers into production control.   He met the Production Director only to be told “you’re not bringing your [deleted] computers anywhere near my shop floor sonny”.

Colin joked: “This was the time when memory was something you lost with age, an application was for employment, a programme was a TV show, a cursor was someone who used profanities, a keyboard was a piano, a web was a spider's home, a virus was the flu, a hard drive was a long trip on the road and if you had a 3 inch floppy you just hoped nobody ever found out!”

Those early days were challenging.  For many years it was a case of receiving lots of scepticism when trying to convince people that it meant doing things differently rather than full on automation.  There were uncomfortable moments such as when several wage clerks were made redundant because of a new system of wages and production bonuses. That one got Colin blacklisted by the Union and its members were forbidden from cooperating with him or his team.   On the other hand some changes were pleasantly surprising, like the stock clerk who recorded all the steel in the stockyard in a ledger in copperplate handwriting.  He couldn’t wait to get to grips with the new technology. 

But gradually the opposition eroded.  Today almost everyone has a smart phone which has a million times more memory than did those early computers which were the size of a wardrobe and had to be kept in an air conditioned suite of rooms.

To broaden his experience Colin became a consultant.  He worked in many different industries introducing new systems or replacing old ones.  Eventually, wanting less time on the road and more time with his family, he returned to his roots as an IT Manager and actually ended his working life at a major building society spending £500m to replace a first generation computerised system.

Colin is married to Barbara, a former teacher. They have two daughters; one has followed her mother into teaching and the other has inherited her father’s interest in chemistry and works for a pharmaceuticals company in Ireland.  

Now retired he is looking forward to having more time to play golf and ride around the Country on his beloved motorcycle.   He said: “I like changing things so I am honoured to join Rotary where I hope to make a difference to people by putting Service above Self.”
 

'What We Do' Main Pages:

We have played a role in a significant global public health achievement as the World Health Organization’s Africa region has officially been certified wild polio-free.

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Rotary’s second major donation, of £208,000, was handed over on 7th July 2021 when local Rotarians visited the Great Western Hospital to view the build progress of the nearly completed radiotherapy unit.

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All the funds will go to local charities supported by us

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Smallpox is the only human disease ever eradicated. Let’s make polio the second! Join the fight to end polio with Rotary on World Polio Day

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Brighter Futures launched their Radiotherapy Appeal in 2015. Today, 7 years later, a ribbon cutting ceremony has taken place at the Great Western Hospital

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He's taking part in the Youth Adventure Trust's Virtual Resilience Challenge from 13th to 21st February 2021

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From around the world Rotarians have responded to calls for help.

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£1286 has been sent from our Emergency Disaster Fund to the Disasters Emergency Committee UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL

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£1,250 has been sent to both ​Prospect Hospice and Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service to help bridge the funding gap both charities are currently experiencing.

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Coronavirus is a deadly risk for vulnerable families who have lost their homes. Read more...….

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"In musical entertainment Swindon punches way above its weight. Some of the youngsters we've heard tonight will go on to make a name for themselves"

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A new design for a new name

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Congratulations to the teams from St Joseph’s Catholic College Swindon. The intermediate team (in the picture) was commended and placed joint second by the judges

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Giving money and support to the people in Swindon & district who need it most

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We went to the races in March. It was a meeting with 10 races, 8 riders in each. It wasn’t at Epsom, or Haydock Park, or just up the M4 at Newbury. It was, of all places, in Wanborough Village Hall.

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First place team P.G.Events with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy

The winning team P.G.Events presented with the David Maggs Memorial Trophy to hold for one year by Swindon North Rotary President Mike Helyer

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The Rotary Club hands over £1100 to the Youth Adventure Trust

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Club President Kathy Hobson presents a cheque for £750 to Richard Millard, Chairman of the Trustees

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A brief summary of our Rotary year ending 30/06/2021

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Attendees found plenty at the 2018 Rotary Convention to remind them of the fellowship that binds them and the diversity that Rotary embodies

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Torquay’s Riviera Centre was the venue for the Rotary in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) Annual Conference on 6th April 2018

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Rotarian Terry Williams on his Christmas Tree Plantation

Rotarian Terry Williams has been selling his locally grown Christmas trees again and all the proceeds are going to be divided between two charities

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The new Horizons College Minibus, donated collectively by all the Rotary Clubs of Swindon and District, has been branded with the Rotary logo and other graphics by the Wootton Bassett based company, PG Events, free of charge.

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Rotarian Terry's Christmas Trees enable the Rotary Club to present £1,225 to the Friends of Angel's Orphanage

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The Rotary Club of North Wiltshire (the name was changed to the Rotary Club of Swindon North in 2008) received its charter from Rotary International on 28th September 1966

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Raising funds for the Brighter Futures Appeal

A static 100-mile cycle ride from Highworth to Windsor Castle

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Our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May 2015

Many thanks to everyone who visited our stall at Highworth Market on 2nd May

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The Community & Vocational Service Committee is tasked with organising fund-raising events and functions.

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Rotarian Terry Williams' remarkable and unique fund raising effort, living in a ShelterBox emergency tent for a week in the Market Place, Highworth

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The Club Service Committee manages the administration of the Rotary Club.

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International, Foundation & Youth Activities Service Committee

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Club Council

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Exceeding expectations, President Lynn's challenge to 3 club members to Zumba in the Co-op Foodstore raised £700 for Swindon Young Carers.

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The Rotary Club of Swindon North charity concert featuring the Swindon Male Voice Choir in St Michael's Church, Highworth.

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A Charity Dog Racing event with dinner held at Blunsdon Abbey Stadium on 14th March 2015 in aid of the NSPCC

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We've Zumda'd in the Highworth Co-op, now we've ridden our bikes in there

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