The Year of President Ray Thornton (2009-10)
Diary July 2009 - July 2010
26 June 2009. Upper Eden Rotary Club Change-Over Night
In a break with tradition the annual change-over night was held in Soulby Village Hall, and was enjoyed by everyone who attended. Retiring President Roger Jacobs outlined the highlights of his year, or half-year as he pointed out through his low attendance due to work commitments. His final act as President was to present one of the founder members of the club, Colin Jenkinson, with a Paul Harris fellowship, in recognition of his service to the club over the years, particularly as Chairman of the Vocational and Community Service Committee. Roger then handed over the presidential chain of office to Ray Thornton, and John Andrew and Bill Barr received their vice-presidential and second vice-presidential insignia respectively from the new president. Ray’s first act as new President of the Club was the induction of John Houston and Richard Todd as members of the Club, bringing our membership to a record level of 30 with two honorary members.
14 July 2009. Blood, Sweat and the Hand of Glory
Peter Davy introduced his wife, Elizabeth, who gave a talk entitled Blood, Sweat and the Hand in Glory. She dealt with the historical features of the present A66 between Brough and Bowes. This was once part of the Roman road across Stainmore, which linked the Brough fort of Veteris, built around AD71 by Agricola, with Carlisle and the west coast in one direction, and with the York area and the eastern links of Watling Street in the other. Along the route were Roman forts and signal stations and at Maiden Castle, a camp. The route had a military purpose but also opened up the trade of the area and continued still in use after the Roman military occupation of the area ended. In the 10th century, legend has it that Eric Bloodaxe, leading the Norse invaders, met his death on Stainmore, either killed by Oswald, Earl of Bamburgh or in battle. The Rere Cross, which may have marked the boundary between the pre-conquest kingdoms, has now disappeared. A hundred years later, William Rufus used the old line of Roman forts to build his strongholds at Brough and Bowes to defend the land from the Scots. For several centuries this was an area of frequent invasions and small scale but damaging skirmishes. Brough castle was partly burnt in the l2th century, and raids continued on both castle and village for the next two centuries. This remained an unsettled area, a haunt of footpads and outlaws, yet commerce continued to grow. By the 17th century the road was known as the King’s Great Highway, although its condition caused many a traveller to complain about the state of its surface. It was turnpiked in the mid 18th century. Carriers and coach services linked Brough with Penrith and Carlisle, with Kirkby Stephen and Kendal and with Barnard Castle and Darlington. Celia Fiennes, John Wesley, and Charles Dickens all made their way across Stainmore. More important was the use made by local people: the farmers, coal miners and the poor in search of jobs. Brough developed as a service centre for travellers with inns and workshops. A line of hostelries grew up along the road; the Punch Bowl, the Blue Bell, Cooper House, and on the boundary with Yorkshire, the Spittal. The Spittal, a medieval foundation, provided accommodation, in pre-Reformation days, between St Mary’s Abbey, York and its parish centres in Westmorland. There was still an inn with a farm there in 1797. The story of the Hand in Glory dates from this time. It echoes the folk tales of other areas where an old woman in disguise arrives late at night, waits until the family is in bed, and then attempts to keep the family asleep using the charm believed to have been produced by a candle stuck between the fingers of a severed, withered hand. Then the ‘woman’ unbolts the door and calls up a gang, only to find that the innkeeper’s maid has stayed awake, and, by throwing milk over the hand, revokes the spell. Michael Metcalfe-Gibson expressed the thanks of the club for this enlightening talk.
11-18 July 2009. Cross Fell ShelterBox Challenge finances 84 boxes
Funds to finance 84 ShelterBoxes were raised by the Cross Fell ShelterBox Challenge, held from 11 to 18 July 2009, with a camp made up of 10 ShelterBox tents, pitched on the summit of Cross Fell, the highest peak in the Pennines at 2930 feet above sea level. Celebrities, politicians, and business leaders were offered the opportunity to stay for a night and be given dinner prepared by local chefs, all in exchange for “buying” a ShelterBox, at a cost of £490, to be used in global emergencies when needed.
Over 70 guests signed up for the Challenge and the hospitality began on Saturday night, with guests in camp until Thursday. The Appleby Rotary Club celebrated the 60th birthday of their president, by joining him on Cross Fell summit, all in evening dress, to hold their highest Rotary meeting ever, and induct two new members – it’s all down hill from now! The Challenge went well and ran as intended until our tactical withdrawal in the face of 'upland gales' on Friday. We entertained the last 12 participants to lunch on Cross Fell on Sunday 2nd August by way of compensation for missing their night in camp with us. Publicity was enhanced through exposure on ITV Borders Lookaround on Monday 13 July, and Radio Cumbria later in the week. Feedback was most favourable and participants were very complimentary. ShelterBox founder Tom Henderson is reported as being delighted with everything and has expressed his thanks.
Some interesting links on the event:
A lasting momento of the event has been produced by local artist John Sibson who donated a watercolour of the encampment on the summit (pictured on this page) and a limited edition of prints of it to assist us. Unmounted copies are available for £25 plus £2 post and packing. Cheques for £27 payable to 'Appleby Rotary Club' can be sent to Arthur Littlefair, Rancroft, Christian Head, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria CA17 4HA. All proceeds will go to ShelterBox. The original was auctioned and funds donated to ShelterBox.
21 July 2009. A Virtual Walk through Kirkby Stephen in Old Photographs
Douglas Birkbeck, a native of Soulby, entertained the Club with a series of historic photos of the Upper Eden area. Beginning in Brough, and moving through Winton, his photographs concentrated on Kirkby Stephen, before going on to Nateby and Ravenstonedale. Members were able to recognise some of the people portrayed, as well as Stuart's grandfather's horse, Charlie.
27 July 2009. Kirkby Stephen - The Best Village in England
Kirkby Stephen, the home of the Upper Eden Rotary Club, has been nominated the Best Village in England for 2009 in the Calor Village of the Year competition, having won the Cumbria competition in 2008, and the North of England regional prize earlier this year. The Upper Eden Rotary Club played a significant part in the presentation to the judges, including an outline of the Mali Aid expedition in autumn 2008, the ShelterBox Cross Fell Challenge, happening during the week of the judges visit, and a display on the Mallerstang and Nine Standards Yomp. The competition entry was compiled by Rotarian Mike Walker, who also coordinated the judging programme.
28 July 2009. Yomp Cheque Presentation evening
At this meeting President Ray Thornton had the pleasure of presenting cheques from proceeds of the 2009 Yomp to Eden Mencap, Eden Valley Hospice, and the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team. Kath Winder and Kate Milbourne spoke about the new kitchen being developed for Eden MENCAP and the items which our donation will provide. Colin Powell spoke about the Eden Valley Hospice and how our donation will help to bring life to the Hospice. Rotarian John Andrew accepted the cheque on behalf of the Mountain Rescue Team and told us about the GPS equipped radios which the team now has. The President also presented a cheque to Roger Frank as the club's contribution to a ShelterBox as part of the Cross Fell Challenge. The cheque to the Lifeboats will be presented later in the year when we will be entertained to a talk and DVD of the work of the Lifeboats.
4 August 2009. Clays and Quoits at Flitholme
Members of Appleby, Barnard Castle & Wensleydale Rotary Clubs joined us at Fred Hayllar's farm at Flitholme to shoot poor defenceless Clay pigeons, and try their hand at quoits. The winner was Lee Robinson who shot a perfect line in the final against John Bainbridge. Those not involved in either of these sports assisted with the barbecue. Thanks to Fred and Judith for hosting this event once again.
5 August 2009. Slash and Strim Club
The Slash and Strim Club attacked the verges around the entrance to Jubilee Park and then carried on down into Melbecks as far as the old Tyre Service building, tidying up the town in preparation for the Britain in Bloom judging.
11 August 2009. Carlisle Castle present a cheque for ShelterBoxes
Andrew Bailey and Lucy Metcalfe of the recently formed Carlisle Castle club joined us to present a cheque for ShelterBoxes, following their epic adventure pushing a cart carrying a ShelterBox from Carlisle to the summit of Cross Fell during the recent Cross Fell challenge week. On their journey they were presented with donations from the general public, and farmers! In total they were able to raise enough money for 4 ShelterBoxes and handed over a cheque for £1960.
15 August 2009. Ravenstonedale BBQ
William and June Ellis hosted a barbecue for members and wives on a Saturday evening at the beginning of August. Although the weather had been inclement earlier in the day, it cleared to allow this outdoor occasion to proceed as expected, and most participants remained outdoors until late. It was a very relaxing occasion at which members and their partners could extend their friendships.
18 August 2009. The Biggest Slum in Kenya
John Andrew introduced Tim Coburn as his guest speaker. After an eminent career in the Army followed by work in an outdoor activity centre, Tim worked in management training with the BBC, Motorola, and finally Rolls Royce, seconded to Kenya Airlines in Nairobi. During his time in Kenya he was introduced to the Kibera slum in Nairobi, and are where 1 million people scratch a living. Tim read out his recent article from the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald (15/08/09) about his experiences, and told the club that he had now been appointed as a tutor in journalism at the girls school in Kibera, where he found motivation and the desire to better themselves considerably higher than in some groups in UK. Bill Watkin thanked Tim for his moving account of these experiences and thanked him for sharing them with the club.
20 and 22 August 2009. Brough and Ravenstonedale Shows
The Club put up displays of club activities at these two local shows using a ShelterBox tent to house the exhibits. Visitors were greater at the Brough show, mainly due to the inclement weather and people needing shelter, whereas the sunny weather at Ravenstonedale conspired to keep visitors outside! Nevertheless we were able to demonstrate to visitors, Rotarians and others, that we have a varied number of activities, most of which provide benefit to the community.
25 August 2009. Visit of Mick Eady, District Governor
The Appleby and Upper Eden Clubs joined together for dinner at the Black Bull, Nateby, to listen to Mick Eady, the District Governor, speak about the overall impact of Rotary globally, and explain the strategic plan for 2007-2010. His major message was that everything begins at Club level, and we choose what to do within the framework of Rotary. However, he did ask for us to achieve certain targets, and outlined the desire to mark Rotary day (23 February) in 2010 with a campaign in support of "End Polio Now" together with the community and local schools, using a "window of opportunity" to publicise our efforts.
8 September 2009. Tales of a Wedding Photographer
Ivor Allonby introduced Mike Brown of Lancaster Rotary Club who is now a professional photographer, following a career in the Health Service. He showed various cameras from his youth which had inspired his interest in photography, and spoke about the various issues arising during weddings. where he seems to have to act as coordinator, master of ceremonies, family counsellor as well as trying to take professional saleable photographs. Mike showed the club various end products of his work, somewhat different from the wedding photographs which many of us remember. Although pleased with the effects which digital photography brings, Mike is now considering a return to film photography to experiment with the effect he can achieve with the chemical medium. John Houston gave a vote of thanks for his presentation.
13 September. Kirkby Stephen Community Fair
Kirkby Stephen Community Fair was held on the 13th September at the Rugby Club, the idea was to demonstrate to the people of Kirkby Stephen what is available from many of the organisations within the town. We again demonstrated how the Rotary Club of Upper Eden is involved in the community and as you see from the image, the sun shone, we had plenty of room and sandwiches were supplied for lunch. A good day. The picture shows an interested member of the community looking at the information!!!
22 September 2009. Before you start up the ladder, make sure it's against the right wall
Litini Newcombe, a solicitor recently qualified, having done part of her training with Hewitson & Harker and now in the practice of Killvington Associates in Kirkby Stephen was introduced to the meeting by Rotarian PP Geoff Hastwell. Litini gave a lively talk starting off with her having been in the teaching profession for 15 years both in the UK and Poland with her last post being Deputy Head at Kirkby Kendal school. That school happens to be the same place where Rotarian PP Peter Davy served as Headmaster before his retirement. Litini went on to explain how one day she perused some careers posters and she noted a saying "Before you start up the ladder, make sure it's against the right wall" which made her think about what else there was in the outside world besides teaching and decided on a change to Law. She gave up her very lucrative career in teaching and headed back to university to begin re-training in law at which she was successful and is now a fully fledged solicitor. There was a lively session of questions and answers and Rotarian Bill Ellis proposed the vote of thanks. It was interesting to note that after our meeting closed Litini was besieged by Rotarians seeking free advice on a range of legal topics !!
25 September. Upper Eden Rotary 30th Charter Anniversary Dinner
Our Charter Night at the Tufton Arms Appleby saw the gathering of 77 Rotarians from across the District, including most of the Upper Eden Club and their wives, to celebrate 30 years of Rotary in the Upper Eden Valley. Guests included Albert Johnson, District Governor Elect and his wife Lizzie, Gordon Sharpe, president of the Probus Club and his wife Margaret, and the main speaker for the evening, Reverend Carole Marsden, Rural Dean of Appleby Deanery. The evening began with the presentation of a cheque for 3 ShelterBoxes raised by Vice President John Andrew from his run up Cross Fell in July, to John Taylor, President of the Appleby Club. John followed this with a toast to Rotary, and Albert Johnson replied to this, in turn toasting the Upper Eden Club. President Ray Thornton replied to this, outlining the various lively activities which are a feature of the Upper Eden Club. He then toasted the Guests and Visitors. Rev Carole Marsden responded to this toast with highlights from her life "vicaring" which entertained the assembled throng. All too soon the evening drew to a close, thorughly enoyed by everyone.
26 September 2009. Cheque Presentation
President Elect John Andrew ACA presented honorary member Mervyn Jones with a cheque for the Zipper Club, in memory of the late Brian Seagar, who for many years has provided free printing for The Yomp. Mervyn has co-ordinated this facility. Brian's son, John, now runs the business. His father benefitted from the support of the Norfolk Zipper Club, a charity which assists patients who've undergone major heart surgery. We felt it appropriate to show our support by presenting a donation from the proceeds of the Yomp. Our second picture shows Mervyn handing over the £250 cheque to John Seagar for the local branch of Zipper Club in Norfolk.
29 September. Northern Paragliding Club - A Slide Show and Presentation by Ian Currer
Ian Currer gave a very informative and educational talk on paragliding, the Northern Paragliding Club is one of the top three paragliding organisations in the country, they not only sell all the equipment, they train and qualify personnel and have branched out into publishing books on the sport. They are based at the top end of South Road, here in Kirkby Stephen, a true local high flying company!! So if anyone is thinking of taking the sport up, they are the people to talk to for the equipment and training. The venues used for training are both local and also in continental Europe. A very interesting presentation to which Arthur Littlefair gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the club.
6 October 2009. Presentation of £1000 Yomp cheque to Lifeboats
At the meeting of the Upper Eden Rotary Club on 6 October 2009, Mike Walker introduced Guy Potter, Chairman of the Northwich Branch of the RNLI. Guy spoke about the work of the Lifeboats and showed a DVD highlighting the involvement of young people in this totally voluntary service. Guy was presented with a cheque for £1000 for the Lifeboat service, part of the proceeds of the 2009 Yomp. It was pointed out that although Upper Eden is far from the sea, many Rotarians use ferries and other sea-going craft, and the RNLI does not discriminate who it rescues according to postcode! Laurence Cowin thanked Guy for his talk and the club showed their appreciation in the usual way.
7 October 2009. Eden Valley Rotary Clubs hand over £40,800 to ShelterBox Charity
The Rotary Clubs of Appleby and Upper Eden were greatly honoured by the presence of Tom Henderson, the Rotarian from Helston in Cornwall, who set up the ShelterBox Charity in 2000, at their meeting at the Tufton Arms Hotel, Appleby, on Wednesday 7th October. After dinner Tom was presented with a cheque for £40,800 one of the largest donations the charity has ever received, being the funds raised through the clubs joint Crossfell Challenge Project. The money being sufficient to procure over 83 ShelterBoxes. Tom is the hands on leader of the world wide ShelterBox charity and travels to all corners of the globe checking on how their operations are working. Tom describing himself as an ordinary Rotarian. Highly trained ShelterBox disaster response teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary Clubs. Since 2000 ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following over 80 disasters, in more than 52 countries. The Charity instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. Each box, which costs £490 to put together and deliver, supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they rebuild their lives. The contents vary depending on where the boxes are going to be delivered in order that they provide the right items for the conditions, all the equipment being new. Currently the ShelterBox Charity is working in Indonesia and other Pacific countries affected by the recent earthquake. The Crossfell Challenge was a fund raising event thought up by Arthur Littlefair of Kirkby Stephen and implemented by a team of Rotarians from both the Appleby and Upper Eden Rotary Clubs and included; Roger Frank, John Taylor, Ray Thornton, Arthur Littlefair, Alastair Bell and Martin Stephenson plus many other club members. The project involved erecting several of the tents used in the ShelterBox kits at the top of Crossfell , the highest point in the Pennines, for a period of one week from July 11th to the 19th in which supporters who had sponsored one of the boxes could stay the night with all the meals provided, cooked by top flight Chefs. Support for the project came from over 25 Rotary Clubs throughout the North West and beyond, local hotels, businesses and local schools, for which the clubs are very grateful. Some members of the Carlisle Castle Rotary Club even pushed a ShelterBox from Carlisle to the top of Crossfell and raised enough money to buy five boxes. This fund raising event was one of the biggest ever held in aid of the ShelterBox Charity stated Tom Henderson on receiving the cheque for £40,800. “This huge amount of money is a terrific boost to the world wide ShelterBox Charity at a time when funds are greatly needed in view of the current emergency aid required in various parts of the world. These two Rotary clubs have done a fantastic job raising this enormous sum for which the Charity is extremely grateful”. Tom Henderson and his wife Jane were presented by the Appleby and Upper Eden Rotary Clubs with a framed picture of the Crossfell camp as a permanent reminder of this unique fund raising project.
10 October 2009. An Evening of Music
Kirkby Stephen Parish Church was the venue for “An Evening of Music” organized by the Rotary Club of Upper Eden and attended by over one hundred music lovers who were treated to an excellent and varied selection which included piano duettists Daphne Lester and Hugh Stalker, Flautist Sam Magorrian, Soprano Karen West and the Fourum Folk Band. Sam and Karen were accompanied by Margaret Gowling on the piano. Past President, Peter Davy, introduced the artistes and thanked them all for giving so generously of their time and talents to raise funds which would go to support Rotary’s worldwide scheme for the total eradication of Polio, the Eden Valley Hospice and other Rotary sponsored charities. He also expressed sincere thanks to the Vicar and Wardens of the Church for allowing its use for this occasion and to all those attending the event. The first half of the concert was devoted to a most varied selection of the more classical styles of music and after the interval five members of “The Fourum” group of folk singers performed a selection of close harmony vocals from their wide repertoire of self composed songs whilst playing from a varied range of instruments which included, for one song ,a large set of knitting needles. The audience were encouraged to join in with the chorus lines for several of the songs and appeared to get most enjoyment from the songs based on life in the Dales around Richmond and the lead mines of Swaledale although the “Hartlepool Monkey” song was also well received. Club President Ray Thornton brought the evening to a conclusion by thanking all performers, the audience and PP Peter Davy for his bright idea and his work in setting up the event.
14 October 2009. Vision Aid
Rotarian PP John Bainbridge took delivery of 100 pairs of secondhand spectacles that had been collected in The Green Tree Pharmacy of Kirkby Stephen in support of the charitable organization “Vision Aid Overseas”. John has in turn delivered the spectacles to a local Optician. This is how they recycle spectacles:
- Members of the public donate their spectacles which are delivered to local opticians.
- The glasses are transported to Vision Aid Overseas by the specialist optical delivery provider, DX Network Services.
- Staff and volunteers sort the spectacles at our headquarters in Crawley to remove any that are in bad condition.
- The spectacles are then transported to prisons through the UK where prisoners have been trained to clean, grade and pack the spectacles ready for their use in the developing world.
- Finally the spectacles are sent abroad with Vision Aid Overseas teams. Spectacles are only dispensed after a full eye examination and great care is taken to match them to the patient.
18 October 2009. Lunch at the Woodman Inn, Burneston
Once again a party of Rotarians, spouses and families travelled across to Burneston near Bedale for Sunday lunch at the Woodman Inn, run by Jon and Jacqui Cook who were our hosts at the Black Bull Nateby for a number of years. An excellent lunch was provided and it was good to renew our friendship with our hosts. Bill Watkin was also able to get instruction in Nintendo DS tactics from Ben Andrew after lunch.
20 October 2009. Macmillan and Age Concern Community Support Project
Moira Gaine, from the Macmillan and Age Concern Community Support Project, spoke to the club about the project she is running to provide community support for older people affected by cancer. The activity is supported by Age Concern, Macmillan Cumbria and the NHS, and aims to assist anyone affected by cancer, whether patient, relative or carer in the age group over 50 years of age, and emphasising that it is not about cancer, but about life. Projects identified include befriending schemes, support groups, volunteer drivers, information drop-ins, shopping, dog-sitting and activity groups. The work emphasises networking with existing organisations rather than setting up new systems. Richard Todd thanked Moira on behalf of Rotarians and their wives.
3 November 2009. Houston - we have a problem!
John Houston gave his Job Talk to the club. The presentation was not reported and John's past is a mystery to those who were not able to attend the meeting but watch this space!!
10 November 2009. The new Rector of Kirkby Stephen
Stuart Johnstone introduced his guest, Richard Hall, the recently installed Rector of Kirkby Stephen. Richard hails from the Dumfries area, and was educated at Sedbergh. Richard outlined the path he took to Cumbria to the Upper Eden Rotary Club. Following a history degree at university, he decided on a career in the church, furthering his studies with qualifications in theology. After three years as a curate in Hemel Hempstead, Richard trained as an army chaplain, doing the so-called "Vicars and Tarts" course at Sandhurst. He had numerous postings, in London, Cyprus, and Ripon, interspersed with tours of the Falklands, Omagh, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was attracted to the vacant living in Kirkby Stephen and having connections with the area, persuaded his family to move to the Eden Valley and took up the post in late summer 2009. Michael Metcalfe-Gibson thanked Richard on behalf of the club, and we look forward to further contacts as he gets established in the area, with a direct invitation from John Andrew to consider the Yomp for 2010.
17 November 2009. Cheque presentation to Cancer Research
Claire Lumley, Chair of the Kirkby Stephen Cancer Research Committee, joined the meeting on November 17 to accept a cheque for £1000 raised from the Hog Roast and Clay Pigeon Shooting at Fred Hayllar's farm earlier in the year. The presentation was made in the name of Kath Bainbridge and Dorothy Beedom.
24 November 2009. Caverns Measureless to Man
Arthur Littlefair introduced his guest, Alistair Renton, a member of the Mountain Rescue Team, and an enthusiastic caver. Ali showed us photographs of cave exploration in the Guilin area of China. An informal international team of cavers has been carrying out surveys for the past few years, of massive caves and passages in the limestone karst. The exploration is encouraged by the Chinese authorities, who are looking for tourism potential, although the 500 foot single rope access, abseiling down, and prussiking back up again, may allow some caves to be conserved rather than exploited. Ali demonstrated his expertise by delivering his talk from the floor, having accessed the area from beneath the table. David Garrick thanked Ali on behalf of the club for allowing us to see his spectacular photographs.
1 December 2009. Upper Eden First Responders - David Prince explains!
David Prince told the Rotary Club why he had been absent for a number of Tuesday meetings in the past two months. Following the identification of a lack of emergency ambulance cover in the Upper Eden Area, Kirkby Stephen and surrounding parishes are developing their own First Responders team, where local volunteers will respond to an ambulance call and being local, will be able to offer basic support and assistance to victims before the ambulance arrives. David has volunteered to be one of the team providing emergency cover. The idea of the team was developed by the Upper Eden Community Plan group who had received concerns from Parishes who felt vulnerable as the Upper Eden Area is not well covered by the Ambulance or Out of Hours Doctors service. This lack of cover is mainly due to the fact that Upper Eden is further away from an A&E Hospital than any other area in England. The Community First Responder recruiters were invited to attend the Upper Eden Community Fair in September in Kirkby Stephen, which was funded by the Cumbria Community Foundation. Following this recruitment drive, a total of 25 volunteers have now signed up and team development is well underway with 16 responders training in order to go live in the New Year. The role of the responder is to provide emergency first aid and reassurance to victims in the time lag between an ambulance being triggered and the ambulance arrival. This is not a replacement for the ambulance service as the ambulance is still on its way but basic help from a trained volunteer is there to offer support and assistance until the professionals arrive. The team will shortly begin fund raising activities as start up funding is needed to purchase 3 Defibrillator machines for the area, one to be based in Ravenstonedale, one in Kirkby Stephen and one at Brough.
10 December 2009. Bingo at Mill Gardens
A strong team of Rotarians turned up to arrange a Bingo session for the residents of Mill Gardens. Participants were few in number due to a rival session in Brough, but managed to have an enjoyable evening despite our efforts! Calling began with a session by Lawrence Cowin, "The Vicar", followed by President Ray, Mike Walker, Arthur Littlefair, and by popular demand, Ivor Allonby. Prizes were awarded for lines and full houses, and everyone went away a winner.
12 December 2009. Rotary Christmas Dinner
Around 40 Rotarians and partners enjoyed the Christmas menu at the Black Swan, Ravenstonedale with convivial company and free-flowing wine. A good time was had by all.
15 December 2009. Rallying in the Middle East
Ian Udale introduced Simon Nutter, his brother-in-law, whose father had once been a member of the club. An experienced rally driver, Simon told us of his early exploits in northern England, being revered by dry stone wallers for providing them much work. An advertisement in a motoring magazine led to involvement in a series of rallies in the Middle East, where rules were interpreted liberally. Creative navigation appeared to be the order of the day in early rallies, with some cars taking a direct route across the sand, others following the officially rough road, and the occasional maverick using the tarmac highway to gain an advantage. One driver even created his own road overnight to help his exploits. Simon told us of his many brushes with royalty; the girl he asked to take his photo was a princess, the man asked to change a punctured wheel was a prince of the royal family. Mike Walker thanked Simon for his entertaining talk to the club, and suggested that we may use these ideas for a quad-bike Yomp in future years! The club showed their appreciation in the usual way.
16 December 2009. Presentation of Christmas Raffle Prizes
Kirkby Stephen Co-op was the venue for the presentation of the prizes for the 2009 Upper Eden Rotary Club Christmas Raffle, whose winners had been drawn at the switching-on of the Christmas Lights in Kirkby Stephen. President Ray Thornton handed over a voucher for £100 to Jean Brunskill, and £50 to Jennifer Handley. Mel Watson and Mrs Marshall, who were not present, received £25 each. The money raised through the raffle, around £1000, was used for Christmas gifts for the elderly, which Rotarians are delivering in the days before Christmas, and other Rotary charities.
22 December 2009. Christmas Dinner
19 club members battled through the snow and ice to the Black Bull Nateby for the evening meeting and a traditional four course Christmas dinner. Unfortunately the carol singers were unable to make it so we had a relatively quiet evening. Hats varied from the traditional Father Christmas style to a “Made on the Spot” crown made by a lad from the bar for poor Bill Barr who hadn’t managed to find one. Several of the “Ravenstonedale Gang “ wore hats emblazoned with the Guinness logo but it was noticed that they were supping pub’s bitter. Rotarian Arthur Littlefair drew lots of comments on the “Charlie Chaplin” style of bowler hat he wore. It was suitably decorated with festive style bunting. President Ray Thornton presented a bouqet to Landlady Becky (who wouldn’t give him a kiss while we were all looking but promised she’d give him one later!) and he presented our two waitresses Sophie and Jane with nicely wrapped goodies. The President wrapped up the evening by wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
5 January 2010. Via Ferrata in the Dolomites
Michael Metcalfe-Gibson introduced Richard Tolley, who spoke to the meeting about climbing various Via Ferrata in the Dolomites. The history of these wire-rope and laddered routes dates back to the First World War when the Sud-Tirol was fought over by Austrian and Italian troops. This was a static war with both sides dug into trenches on opposite sides of deep valleys, with access along precarious paths and wire ropes. The major hazard was avalanche and 60,000 troops died in snow falls, more than from gassing on the Western Front. After the Second World War these routes were restored and extended by various climbing clubs and now provide relatively safe access to the high peaks of these picturesque mountains. Richard showed various grades of Via Ferrata, from the easiest to the most severe. Upper Eden Rotarians were daunted by the easiest paths along precipitous slopes, whilst the more difficult routes left them speechless! Richard pointed out that the major hazard in the summer was lightning, fairly predictable, but of concern when attached to a wire rope across a mountain slope! Richard's talk was accompanied by superb photographs highlighted with the routes, encouraging some to consider visiting the Dolomites. Bill Barr, who has been there, gave a vote of thanks and promised to consider attempting the Via Ferrata on any future trips.
19 January 2010. Northern Inter School Christian Union
Mrs. Rachel Milburn was the Speaker at our Club’s Meeting on Tuesday 19th Jan 2010. Rachel is a Project Coordinator for the organisation, which is operated under the umbrella of the Joseph Rank Trust. Rachel has her main office in the Heritage Centre at Appleby and is assisted by two Youth Workers. The main objective of the organization is to teach our local young people that although life can be hard for us all there are two sides to every story and there are millions of people, young and old, facing the harsh daily realities of poverty, hunger and disease in many areas throughout the world. We are very well off in comparison. Rachel is working on a project with the aim of setting up a “Music Night” as a regular feature for young people in our area and they have so far attracted 18 young folk to the venture. They are seeking financial support from local sources and hope that our Club will be able to offer some such support.
26 January 2010. Charles Thornton, Eden TIC Network Manager
Mike Walker introduced Charles Thornton, Eden's Tourist Information Centre Network Manager, with responsibilities for Penrith and Kirkby Stephen TICs. He outlined the difficulties experienced over the recent past, but showed tremedous enthusiasm for the future, leaving us with the message that it is "business as usual." However, in trying to outline ways to maximise income to the TIC, questions turned to his suggestion of charging for handling Yomp entries and no early resolution was found. Negotiations continue. Arthur Littlefair gave a vote of thanks and Rotarians thanked Charles for his talk, in the usual way.
26 January 2010. Display in Cleator's Window, Market Street, Kirkby Stephen.
As part of our contribution to Rotary Day on 23 February 2010, we have put together a display highlighting the Polio Plus campaign, together with other Upper Eden Rotary activities, featuring an Aquabox, the Yomp, ShelterBox and Aid to Mali. With kind permission of Andrew Cleator we have the use of the window from early January until the end of February. We keep the display updated with information on use of ShelterBoxes in response to the earthquake in Haiti.
6 February 2010. Wine and Savouries Evening
Around 60 people enjoyed the traditional Wine and Savouries evening held at the extended Upper Eden Rugby Club on Saturday evening. The food, prepared by the ladies (and a few men!) was varied, ample and delicious, and the wine flowed freely through the evening. Activities during the evening included a raffle, the auction of a stick donated by Harold Mason and a game of skill won by Andrew Harvey of Winton. A display of Rotary activities highlighted the Thanks for Life Campaign to eradicate Polio and the deployment of ShelterBoxes in Haiti. An interesting summary showed that the Club has raised almost £74,000 for Charity in the last 10 years. A creditable achievement for a small club. The evening raised in excess of £600.
10 February 2010. Indoor Bowling Competition
February again and time for the annual three way competition Indoor Bowling Competition between Appleby, Barnard Castle and Upper Eden, however, this year it was just a straight one on one between Appleby and Upper Eden. The evening started well with a very nice meal and a good chat over the tables, then it was down to business "The Match". Upper Eden started well and totally astounded the Appleby "A" team by beating them 14 - 1, however, over the remaining matches, the Appleby team clawed their way back into contention and it was all down to a nail biting conclusion where the overall result rested on the last wood of the last match, with Appleby eventually winning overall by one point. Clearly a disappointment for Upper Eden and a great relief for Appleby. However, a good evening was had by all. It just remains to say "Bring On 2011" as there was hidden talent that came out over the course of the evening, namely "dead eye, how do I play this game" John Houston and "Twinkle Toes" Michael Metcalf-Gibson to name but two!!
12 February 2010. Ladies Night
The venue for Ladies Night was once again the Appleby Golf Club where nineteen members and their partners enjoyed a three course dinner and a great social evening, a highlight of which was the induction by President Raymond Thornton of new member Ben Lyon. Ben was accompanied by his wife Kim and they were warmly welcomed by all present. The Club now has more members than at any time since its formation. The total is now thirty plus two honorary members. Flowers were presented by Vice President John Andrew to both Raymond's wife Dorothy and also to Ben's wife Kim.
19-20 February 2010. Edensyde Tree Planting
Rotarians helped plant 450 ash, oak, rowan, alder, hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn trees on the land at Edensyde as part of a project to improve the land and provide a worthwhile public amenity.
23 February 2010. Dr Joan Barnard
The President welcomed two guests to the Club Meeting . A visiting Rotarian Gordon Joynt PHF of the Rotary Club of Carlisle South and our speaker for the evening Dr Joan Barnard from Ravenstonesdale. Dr Joan is in business under her maiden name but is in fact the wife of Club Member John Houston. Husband John took great delight in introducing the speaker and surprisingly didn’t make any mistakes!! Dr Joan referred to her time in the Clinical Development Dept of International drug Company, Smith Kline and French, better known these days as Glaxo Smith Kline. She spoke about the development of a drug Tagamet developed in the 1960’s which was widely used in the treatment of stomach ulcers which previously had only been treated by major surgery. This drug was highly successful and was known as a “Block Buster” due to the fact that it reached sales of over a Billion Dollars per year. Dr Joan described her work in offices in the UK and Philadelphia where she worked in the Clinical Development Department and was appointed Medical Director in the UK office. One new drug developed for possible use by people suffering from Angina was a drug named Viagra. Subjects were monitored for side effects and a picture emerged of an interesting side effect which after its launch in 1998 propelled the drug to the Blockbuster status by early 1999. Dr Joan mentioned another side affect noted when initial tests were carried out on hamsters – it reduced the effects of “jet lag” on those little creatures. Needless to say it wasn’t ever marketed on that basis !!! Dr Joan is now in her own company giving specialist advice to the Pharmaceutical Industries on how they should operate to stay within the bounds of all of the regulations demanded in The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authorities Rules issued by the British Pharmaceutical Industries Association which were established after the tragic events linked to the drug Thalidomide. After a lively question time Rotarian Ben Lyon proposed the Vote of Thanks.
2 March 2010. St Kilda Ahoy!
Charles Wildman showed the club his photographs taken during a voyage on the sailing boat "Goodbye Girl", from Ardfern to St Kilda during the summer of 2008. The route took them via Tobermory (Ballamory). North Uist, and Leverburgh on South Harris. They then made a 9 hour passage across to Hirta, the main island of St Kilda, now a World Heritage Centre and uninhabited (except for a military presence!) since the residents asked to be evacuated to the mainland in 1930. The generous Government confiscated their sheep and sold them to pay for the resettlement. Nothing changes! Inhabitants lived on eggs and birds from the nearby island of Boreray, and on one occasion the usual two week collecting trip for 4 men was extended to 6 months due to an outbreak of cholera. It was interesting to speculate why Boreray was still covered in birds, yet Hirta and Soay and the various stacks showed no signs of life. The return voyage took them back via Skye.
15 March 2010. Bingo at Mill Gardens
A team of 6 Rotarian stalwarts entertained 15 residents of Mill gardens and their friends to another evening of Bingo. An enjoyable evening was had by all, and everyone was a winner thanks to donated prizes.
16 March 2010. History of Cumbria Classic Coaches
Will Hamer made a welcome return to the club to practice a presentation on Cumbria Classic Coaches which he is giving to a meeting of Bus enthusiasts later in the spring. He told the club of his early desires to have a lorry as a hobby, but the fostering of children by Claire and Will often meant having to transport up to nine children, so a bus was deemed to be a better option and they bought one from Tomintoul. In 1997 the family moved to Bowber Head and decided to run a professional bus company based on vintage half-cab vehicles. One bus led to another (in case of breakdown!) and an opportunity to extend the fleet came with a bulk purchase of 5 buses from York, some of which were disposed of fairly rapidly. Passenger pressure led to the acquisition of a double decker, which was unique in that it was a genuine convertible, running without a roof in the summer months. Servicing 140 weddings a year led to a need for a smaller vehicle, and an internet search found a 1936 Rover 14. On telephoning the number provided, Will found that it was in New Zealand! Undaunted, a container was arranged and the car shipped back to UK. More recently a 1937 Austin taxi was found on e-bay and added to the fleet. As well as weddings and various registered bus routes, the Cumbria Classic Coaches are in demand for television programmes and holiday trips. The 2010 trip is by double decker to the Shetland Islands. Will mentioned the Commercial Vehicle Rally held at Easter, and thanked the Rotary Club for its support for this key event, kick-starting the tourist economy of the area after the winter months. Roger Frank thanked Will for his splendid presentation and the club responded in the usual way.
23 March 2010. Visit of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar
Stephanie Kollister, the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar for 2009-2010, spoke to the meeting about her background and her studies in both USA and Lancaster. Stephanie hails from Houston, Texas , and has been involved in Rotary for many years. She was a member of an Interact club from 2003 till 2007 and was president for 2 years, and Interact District Governor in her last year of High School. At her University, Texas A and M (Agricultural and Mechanical), she joined Rotaract and has acted as Rotary Relations Officer, requiring her to visit many other Rotary clubs. This led to the Scholarship allowing her to spend a year studying in Lancaster. Texas A and M was founded in 1876 as the first Higher Education establishment in Texas. With 49,000 students it is the 7th largest university in USA and around three times larger than Lancaster. Even its football stadium holds 80,000 spectators! The University has a large military school, and is the home of the George Bush Sr. library. The Rotaract Club is involved in a number of projects, encouraging communities and Schools in Nicaragua, links with Mexico, provision of baby supplies to Nicaragua and South Africa, and the Purple Pinkie project for Polio Plus, where donors have their little finger dyed with the stain used to denote children have been vaccinated. During her year in Lancaster Stephanie has bee majoring in Kinesiology and Psychology. Her social life has included tea with the mayor of Leicester, hiking in the Lake District, swimming and playing water polo for the university, and organising a Thanksgiving dinner for her flatmates. She has also visited Rotary Clubs in our District. John Andrew said that it was inspiring to see young people involved in Rotary, and John Bainbridge gave a vote of thanks, stating that the ambassadorial scholarships aimed to improve links between cultures and countries, and it was obvious from Stephanie's involvement in Interact and Rotaract, that she was able to carry out this very effectively.
27 April 2010. Dog Walking Project
At the club meeting Lesley Begg wife of Rotarian John Begg gave an illustrated presentation on her “Project.” The Project is a 500 mile sponsored walk with her dogs starting on 1st August 2010. The walk is being carried out to raise money for Rotary, Cancer Research UK and the Dogs Trust. The dogs walking are three Great Danes and a Collie cross. Due to the difficulties in undertaking walks on roads with regards to marshals etc, the walk will take place on disused railway paths, canal towpaths and a few long distance walks which have been checked for suitable access as the difficulties in getting a 10 stone dog over a stile are not difficult to be imagined. During questions at the end of the presentation Pearl, a Harlequin Great Dane was brought into the room to meet the members. Sponsorship details together with the route and a daily update on the progress will be available from 1st July on www.danewalker.co.uk. John Bainbridge gave a vote of thanks at the end of the presentation and the members showed their appreciation in the usual way.
April 2010. Rotary Business Challenge
Following presentations by winners of the KSGS/Rotary Business Challenge certificates were presented.
11 May 2010. Certificate of Honour for Roger Frank
District 1190 was presented with a Certificate of Honour by the Association of Physically Handicapped People, in recognition of the assistance given to Mali through the provision of wheelchairs, crutches and walking sticks. This began with the delivery of medical and other supplies by Pink Ice Cream van, and followed by the Mali Aid expedition in 2008. At the Rotary meeting of 11 May 2010, Roger Frank was presented with an individual Certificate of Honour for his part in these projects.
18 May 2010. Alistair Boston - A Deer Do!
Will Ellis introduced Alistair Boston of the Deer Initiative, who spoke to the club about his role in managing SSSI Woodland, especially regarding the impact of deer. He explained the various species of deer in England, and told the meeting that because they have no predators, numbers are increasing, and their range is spreading. There are deer now within 1 mile of Manchester City Centre and grazing roundabouts on the M25. Of increasing concern is the number of road traffic accidents involving deer, costing insurance companies in excess of £17M per year. Part of this rise in population is due to the increasing numbers of Community Forests, and it was noted that the new Edensyde Wood in Kirkby Stephen had to be protected due to the possibility of local deer damage. Alistair advised us that 15-30% of the population needs to be culled each year to maintain stable numbers. There is an increasing market for venison, and good business for stalking. Further information can be obtained from the following web-sites:
Mike Walker thanked Alistair for explaining the complexities of woodland and deer management, and members responded in the usual way.
25 May 2010. Huntin', Shootin' and Fishin'!
David Garrick introduced his guest, Steve Woodhall, the Northern Regional
Officer for BASC, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (www.basc.org.uk).
Steve explained that his organisation was founded in 1908 as environmental
and animal welfare issues began to impact on wild-fowlers providing food for
the market. The name was changed recently to emphasise Conservation, and
rural land management. Shooting brings £1.6 billion into the UK economy and
supports 70,000 jobs. The aims of BASC are to provide a unified voice for
shooting, to ensure balanced media content, to provide a continued
opportunity for shooting sports, and to maintain high standards. the latter
is provided through appropriate training, for young shots, ladies and
adults. Much of the training includes a holistic approach, shooting,
dressing and cooking game, ensuring the appreciation of the link to food.
For stalking of deer the meat hygiene issues are important, in order to use
the carcase as venison. Steve also told us that fly-fishing was covered by
BASC, partly because the hand-eye coordination of this is similar to that needed for shooting. Fred Hayllar, one a 5 keen shooters in the club, thanked Steve for his talk, and members responded in the usual way.
6 June 2010. Yomp Mountain Challenge
The annual Yomp took place on the first Sunday in June. Reports, Results and Photographs can be seen at http://www.yomp.org/yomp_results
15 June 2010. Rotary Business Challenge Presentation Evening
The students from KSGS together with staff members Mike Sunderland and Sue Bennett, gave their winning marketing presentations to the club members. John White and Edward Hird presented J & E Farm Services, Joe Ferguson presented The Ferguson Climbing Centre, and Nicole Nicholson told us about Shenanigans Play Centres. The students all spoke confidently and passionately about their business plans demonstrating why they had been selected as the best in their year. Mike Sunderland made a presentation of wine to John Begg in respect of all the support given by him to the school.
22 June 2010. Club Assembly
On Club Assembley evening we were joined by The Assistant District Governor: Alan Hoggarth. During the course of the meeting, the chairman or representative of each committee presented their relevant committee reports. At the end, The Assistant District Governor gave his thanks for the reports and commented on how very active The Rotary Club of Upper Eden is and he had no problem with the membership. He passed on greetings from District and also from Workington club. To round off the evening Alan presented President Raymond Thornton with a "Presidential Citation" in recognition of the achievements of The Rotary Club of Upper Eden.
29 June 2010. Upper Eden Walking Club
An evening walk (mountain climb) was undertaken by the Upper Eden Walking Club members, this also included wives. Everyone assembled at Helbeck Quarry for a "stroll" to Mount Ida, with our intrepid guides (Fred and Judith) leading us in their 4x4!. Fortunately, the weather was good and a great view was appreciated by all at the top. Following this, everyone retired to the Black Bull for a meal and evening of recovery.