Club Speakers 2023/24

Club Speakers 2023/24

        Club Speakers 2023/24        
Club Speakers

Mon 7th Aug David Hoyle --- Guitarist
Mon 21st Aug --- John Tilson - The Battle of Waterloo.
Mon 25th Sept --- Ashley Peatfield - The Funzi and Bodo Trust.
Mon 2nd Oct --- Yorks Air Ambulance - Helen Murray Sharpe
Mon 22nd Jan  -- Kirkwood Presentation and talk.
Mon 29th Jan --- Heather McInnes Insurance Fraud.
Mon 5th Feb --- Rotarian John Broadhead - Travels of a Civil Servant
Mon 12th Feb --- Chris Tomes The work of Citizens Advice
Mon  26 Feb --- John Wilson Journalist
Mon 11th March ---
Creating a Railway Garden in deepest Birstall
Mon 25th March --- David Garfield Holm Valley Mountain Rescue.
Mon 17th May --- Joe Tong Garden Centre
Mon 27 May --- 
Callum McInnis Paramedic and Senior Clinical Advisor with 111

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker David Hoyle - Guitarist - My life in Music.
On Monday 7th Aug David visited Batley Community Centre and gave a talk about his life with guitars.
David said he has always been obsessed about music. They had a piano at home and his first record was Downtown. His older sister played the Cello and his brother played the Viola.

He was a chorister at  Holy Trinity church in Ossett.
When David was 13 he talked about his French exchange where he played the guitar for the first time. From this he saved to buy his first guitar.
When he was 15 he joined a school band where he bought a bass guitar for £19.95. for his hosts.
David talked about being thrown in the deep end by playing base guitarist in a band.
He plays with two bands the Roosters and the Welsh T band.
David said he has played in bands for the last 50 years and still does.
He has 28 guitars in his collection. David brought 5 with him to show different sounds.
David had cancer 5 years ago.
Jeremy gave a vote of thanks for David explaining his similar path with his life in music.

Above President Mary pictured with David and his guitars.

See Davids talk at the club on his video Part 1.
Part 2

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker John Tilson
The Battle of Waterloo.

On Mon 21st  Aug John Tilson visited the club at the Batley Community Centre and gave a talk
on the Battle of Waterloo.
The talk was very well attended by Luddites and partners.
John talked of the build up to the battle explaining the background of Napoleon, his previous battles and the politics in Europe in the period before and after the battle.
John went through the battle, explaining the strategy and moves of Wellington and Napoleon through the day.
Also talking of the various Generals on each of the French, Prussian and English armies.

John Broadhead gave a vote of thanks to John and then was thanked by his partner
President Mary for his talk.

Short You Tube video of the Battle of Waterloo.

Professor Andrew Lambert from Kings College London explains the period and Battle of Waterloo

Below John giving his talk.

Below John and President Mary.


Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker Ashley Peatfield
Funzi and Bodo Trust.
On Mon 25th Sept Club Speaker Ashley Peatfield spoke to the club about how his Charity started from his holiday in Africa to the present where the trust run 2 medical clinics, a birthing room, toilets and freshwater, and rebuilding of 2 schools clinics.
Ashley spoke of how he loved his first visit to Bodo Island which is surrounded by mangroves and bird life  and his story is an inspiration to all Rotarians how one person can evolve such an incredible Charity.
The Charity is based in Morley

Funzi and Bodo Trust Story

The Funzi and Bodo Trust was started by journalist Ashley Peatfield and his teacher wife, Sara, over a decade ago. Shocked by the poverty and suffering in the villages they began by building a small medical clinic. Working with villagers they restored an old building on Funzi Island.  Two weeks later it opened with a nurse, assistant and medicines to treat sick patients.  Since then  the Funzi and Bodo Trust has become a registered UK charity run entirely by volunteers. Ashley and Sara still lead the charity but are backed by trustees and supporters with expertise in many areas including medicine, education and business.  It now provides extensive medical and educational services, sanitation and clean water as well as projects to end poverty. The charity works both on the island of Funzi and on the mainland in the village of Bodo. The Funzi and Bodo Trust’s policy of being entirely volunteer led in the UK means money raised and donated reaches those in need.

Ashley on left addressing the club.

President Mary thanked Ashley for his visit and talk. 

Funzi and Bodo Trust

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker Helen Murray-Sharpe
Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
The Kirkwood Cheque Presentation and talk.

On Monday Judith and Joe from The Kirkwood came to the club to receive a donation cheque for £1600.
£1000 of this was collected in Past President Steves year of office and £600 collect to date from President Marys year
Joe from the Clinical services gave a talk about what The Kirkwood do.
Explaining Judith then gave figures about running The Kirkwood.
The staggering sum of £27500 per day to run The Kirkwood.The latter has 18 shops plus an Ebay outlet and,
  Lottery gaining £1 million .

Past President Steve gave a vote of thanks to Judith and Joe for their visit and talk.
Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker 
Heather McInnes Insurance Fraud. 

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Club Speaker
Rotarian John Broadhead "Travels of a Civil Servant".

On Mon 5th Feb Rotarian John gave a history talk about his work as a Civil Servant.
John decided to skip University and enter the Civil Service in Sept 1963. He entered the MOD and did a year training in Northern Island before being posted to Hong Kong. This journey John said was enjoyable on the P&O SS Cathay and took 6 to 7 weeks.
From there he visited South Korea and visited the North Korean Border.
In 1971 he was back to UK in MOD Whitehall for 3 years.
John then held a senior role in the UK Saudi Arabia Lightening contract flying back and forward to Saudi Arabia.
He had Senior roles for Armed Forces pay and then the  7 nation cruise missile negotiations in USA.
He was promoted to Director and dealt with armaments for the Gulf war.
John negotiated contracts for UK Tank contract leading to the UK Challenger winning the contract.
He became South America Regional Director visiting many countries, on one visit he accompanied the UK Minister Michael Portillo.
John visited Israel in armament contracts.
John finally closed the doors to the MOD and in 2011 he took retirement.

President Mary thanked John for his enjoyabe and intesting talk

John in South America with Micheal Portillo.


Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Speaker Chris Tomes
The work of Citizens Advice.

Chris came to the club and gave a talk about the work of the Citizens Advice.
Chris was born in Gomersal and worked as a Project Manager.
He has worked for Bradford and Harrogate Citizens Advice as a Generalist Adviser.
Chris said there were 1.87 million calls for advice by phone, 729 thousand by email and 46 thousand face to face.
In Kirklees people can get advice in Dewsbury on Monday and Tuesday and in Huddersfield on Thursday and Friday.
Chris explained all the different 
services given by Citizens Advice .

He highlighted two good tools to help . and turn2us are benefit calculators.

resolver  is a free tool for complaints and claims.

Thanks to Keith for his projection and computer work.

Rotarian John Broadhead thanked Chris for his talk.

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Speaker John Wilson -  Journalist and Laypreacher.
On Mon 26th Feb John came to the club and talked about his career for 51 years as a Journalist in newspapers and the media.
In June 1973 John started work at the Dewsbury Reporter as a trainee and spoke of the early workings where there was 1 typewriter for 10 reporters and copy was written by hand with a carbon copy for backup.  John was Editor in Chief for 7 years and worked for Johnson Press as head of learning. He has worked at Hudds Univ Media dept. He now assists at Leeds Trinity Univ lecturing new journalists.
Today new journalists have to know how to do short videos and do search optimisation.
John gave figures on circulation of the Yorkshire Post which today only sells 10K copies per day but has one million hits per month on line. The YEPost sells only 5K per night.
John spoke of his life as Editor of Dewsbury Reporter dealing with politicians and councillors.
Rotarian David thanked John for his visit and talk.
Read more about John in the link below
LINK Journalist who inspired a generation of new recruits bows out

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites

Club Speakers Martin and Donna. - Creating a Railway Garden in deepest Birstall
On Monday 11 March
 Martin and Donna visited the club to talk about their garden railway in deepest Birstall.
Martin was a School teacher in Richmond where Donna was a local nurse. 
Martin became a gardener and a University lecturer.Martin started their talk explaining about the community
pub they set up in Swaledale 
 where they had a shop a library in the pub. 

Martin and Donna then moved to West Yorks and settled in Birstall.
Martin and Donna then talked about their back garden and how they built a garden railway starting with one line and building now to 8 lines. Martin explained how Donna did the construction of the tracks through the garden shrubbery and paths.
Martin showed his locomotives and the gauge of the tracks.

Martin didn't show pictures of the railways as they want visitors to come during the Birstall in Bloom garden
open day on 7th July.

Robert Jackson thanked Martin and Donna for their visit.

Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Speaker Joe from Tong Garden Centre.

How to make a flower basket.

Gardener Joe made his second visit to the club and gave a hands- on demonstration of 
how to plant a 15inch wire basket with flowers.
Joe started by filling the wire basket with moss around the outside to halfway up the basket, then filling the 

bottom layer with fertiliser and plants.
More moss added to the top of the basket and more plants to finish off the basket. Jo added many different plants only an expert would know then all.
Joe emphasized the need to feed the baskets, he recommends feeding every 3 to 4 days
alternating after watering days.
Joe then talked about garden pests and the best way to control them, slugs, weevils, snails, cats, spider mite and worst of all Botrytis which causes a lot of plants to be thrown away.
He recommends bbc gardenersworld web site to give the jobs that need to be done at any time.
Joe donated the basket and President Mary gave members a chance of taking the basket home by a number for a pound draw. Lucky winner was Bill.
Joe took questions from members.

Mary thanked Joe for his popular visit.

LINK Tong Garden Centre



Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites
Speaker Callumn McInnis
Callum McInnis Paramedic and Senior Clinical Advisor with 111

Callum started as an Apprentice Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service in 2013. Paramedics are required to study with the Open University which includes practical learning combined with a degree based course.

Due to the level of violent crime in London, including stabbings, shootings etc, Callum moved to York in 2020 during the second lockdown, where he found life and work to be much quieter. 

Callum explained how 999 calls are categorised with a target response of 7 minutes, though the average response time is 18 minutes!
There's been a massive change in the service since the days of the 'old-fashioned' ambulance drivers. Although technicians still work for the service, these are being replaced by highly qualified paramedics. In addition, First Responders work hand in hand with paramedics and they can administer more medication, including higher levels of pain killers. 
Specialist units are also being developed including Mental Health Teams and specialist units who deal with things like chemical spills. Victims of strokes, heart attack, burns, RTA's are all taken to specialist units in specialist hospitals. 
An NHS 111 health advisor assesses a patient by using a script to obtain vital information which allows the call handler to advise the next move which may mean a call to 999, speak to a clinical advisor or doctor or refer a patient to their GP. NHS 111 also gives medical advice and repeat prescriptions.
Callum touched on the work of the Trade Unions of which there are three, who help to ensure a fair working environment and offer support to staff where needed. 
He then finished by telling us of the practical help paramedics give, especially to older people; spending time talking to them, making cups of tea, changing light bulbs....whatever they need really!

Following questions, President Mary thanked Callum for a very interesting and informative talk and members showed their appreciation in the usual way. Jeremy


'What We Do' Main Pages:

Club Speakers 2023/24

Rota Kids and Interact in Birstall and Batley schools.

Rota Kids and Interact in Batley and Birstall Schools.


Birstall Luddites and Polio Plus


Club Speakers 2022/23


Service Projects


Club Admin.


The Club involves itself in helping the Environment, Cutting and burning at Oakwell Hall, Help with work for the Birstall in Bloom project.


Public Relations


Birstall Luddites New Generations (Youth)


International. Shelterboxes are an important example of rotary help to world crisis. Birstall Luddites sponsor two students in India with their schooling.


About Birstall


Birstall Luddites in the community. Dictionaries 4Life Project. Kids Out. Birstall in Bloom work. Santa Sleigh.


What we did in 11/12 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18 18/19 19/20 20/21years


Club Speakers over the years. View the many Club Speakers from Birstall Luddites Archives


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