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2015 diary of upper eden rotary club

The year of President Ben Lyon (2015-16)
Diary July 2015 - July 2016

July 3rd 2015. Change Over Night

“Change Over” night was held at the Inn at Brough where members and partners enjoyed a relaxed evening of food, drink, companionship and chat. Outgoing President; Graham Curtis handed over the chain of office to incoming President Ben Lyon with Ian Udale as President Elect and David Caldow as Second Vice President.

Change over night 2015 Change over night 2015 Change over night 2015 Change over night 2015

July 14th 2015. Quoits at CB Inn

Tonight saw the annual pilgrimage to the CB Inn in Arkengarthdale for quoits tournament against Wensleydale Rotary Club. A good time was had by all followed by an excellent meal at the CB Inn. I believe the evening was even “Midge” free.

July 28th 2015. Clay Pigeon Shoot

A mixed weather evening for the annual Clay Pigeon Shoot and BBQ at Flitholme, courtesy of Fred and Judith Hayllar. Although it was damp evening, the shooting was excellent as was the food cooked by Ray Thornton, Will Ellis and John Begg with all the food arrangements organised by Judith and the ladies, thank you.

August 4th 2015. Talk by Tony Taylor

Tony’s subject was “Train Spotting – By Train” and said he enjoyed travelling by train and his talk was about travelling by train from Appleby through Kirkby Stephen, Mallerstang, Garsdale, Dent (the highest station in England) the through the Bleamore Tunnel (built by Irish Navvies), Ribble Head Viaduct where the Irish navvies who built the viaduct lived underneath, then down onto Settle, Long Preston, Gargrave and onto Skipton. An interesting talk about one of our local transport links and about its ups and downs over the years.

August 7th 2015. Sport and Business Evening

The evening took place at the Upper Eden Rugby Club and was supported by the Rotary Clubs of Appleby and Upper Eden. It was well supported by Rugby Club members, local business people and also Rotary members from both clubs. There were two speakers, the first being Thinus Delport who had won 18 international caps for the Sprinboks and had also played for Gloucester, Worcester, the Japan. He is now a commentator for Sky Sports. He spoke about the 2007 Rugby World Cup final and also rugby professionalism since the 1990s. Second speaker was Richard de Jager, he is the South African RFU international exchange manager, he gave a brief report on the good progress made for players after playing for Upper Eden. He also  explained how, since the Springboks victory in the 1995 World Cup, it had been a turning point in the social and political evolution of South Africa and how now, it has seen a vast increase in the number of black people playing at junior level. A great evening enjoyed by all.

Upper Eden Rugby Club business evening Upper Eden Rugby Club business evening Upper Eden Rugby Club business evening Upper Eden Rugby Club business evening

August 11th 2015. Job Talk by David Scott

David talked about his career from when he started as a painter in a shipyard before moving onto the Ford Motor Company, how he has been involved in parts management, warranty returns, procurement, outsourcing and supply chain involvement. He has had spells working in Daventry, Cologne and Valencia. We all tend to think of cars and parts being available when we need them, not realising just how much work goes on to get the there ! Roger Franks gave the vote of thanks.

August 25th 2015. Yomp Presentation Evening

Our normal Tuesday meeting was the focus for saying thank you to all the Yomp helpers and also for giving out the donations to the various nominated charities, namely, Myeloma UK, Medecins Sans Fontieres and Upper Eden Memory Club, plus, donations to Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team and Kirkby Stephen Scouts. Each recipient spoke a few words about their specific charity and President Ben Lyon also thanked all the volunteers, friends and family who helped on the day.

Yomp presentation 2015 Yomp presentation 2015 Yomp presentation 2015 Yomp presentation 2015 Yomp presentation 2015

September 4th and 5th 2015. Beer n Bangers Festival

The weekend saw the third annual Beer n Bangers Festival organised by Upper Eden Rotary Club, Kirkby Stephen Mountain rescue Team and Kirkby Stephen Scout Group. With music acts on Friday and Saturday evenings plus a community day on the Saturday with stalls, food, beer and a Ceilidh, it was an excellent weekend. Now the planning starts for 2016 !

Bangers and Mash Kirkby Stephen Bangers and Mash Kirkby Stephen Bangers and Mash Kirkby Stephen Bangers and Mash Kirkby Stephen

September 15th 2015. Rusty Trucks

Tonight we had a visit to Rusty Trucks in Appleby where we were hosted by Father and Daughter, Paul and Debbie Brook. They explained how the business was set up and showed members all the restoration work in progress, ranging from a tank transporter to a fire engine to a world war two staff car. A very interesting visit, for which we thank both Paul and Debbie for their time. Following the visit, we retired to Appleby Golf Club for an excellent meal.

Rusty Trucks

September 22nd 2015. Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Business Challenge

Tonight was the annual presentations by the winning three teams for the Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Business Challenge, sponsored by the Upper Eden Rotary Club. First to present were Caitlin Potter and Jessica Harrison, their business was “JC Cakes & Bakes” which offered a range of cupcakes which in the future would also offer specially themed cakes for events and occasions. Second to present was Leah Dodds with “Dodds Inks” which specialised in the refilling of ink cartridges to the local area. By refilling cartridges, this would encourage recycling and reduce landfill, delivery and installation of cartridges would be an option for customers. The third and winning presentation was from Marianna Stephenson and Catherine Marston with a “Taste of Eden”. Their idea is to have a local farm shop which not only sold locally sourced and produced food, it also explained where different types of food came from. Each team showed their business plans, including accounts, marketing etc. Three very good presentations. President Ben Lyon gave the vote of thanks and Head Teacher Ruth Houston gave a vote of thanks to the club for their support and sponsorship.

Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Business Challenge

September 25th 2015. 36th Anniversary Charter Night

Tonight was the 36th Charter Night Anniversary Dinner of the Rotary Club of Upper Eden. This year it was held at the Upper Eden Rugby Club in Kirkby Stephen where a total of 50 members and guests enjoyed a less formal evening (no dinner suits) of celebration and fellowship. Club President; Ben Lyon, welcomed everyone to the evening. Guests included Assistant District Governor Wendy Aldred, local Probus Chairman Raynor Shaw and the guest Speaker Tim Coburn. Tim gave an illustrated talk on a slum project in Kibera, Kenya, a project he has been involved in for a number of years, this was followed by a poem about the peaks in the Lake District. The evening closed with President Ben giving the final toast “ Rotary Fellowship and Peace the World Over”.

Charter Night

October 6th 2015. John Burrows, Model Railway Exhibitions

The speaker this evening was introduced by David Scott, who is organising a model railway exhibition at the Upper Eden Rugby Club next May. John, who is a member of Rotary in Newton Aycliffe, organises exhibitions in their area and David has been liaising with him. John, who worked in the railway industry for over 30 years, explained the best way to go about organising such an event, who to invite, exhibits, trade stands etc. An interesting talk that gave everyone involved, pause for thought. A vote of thanks was given by Roger Frank.

October 2015. Annual Coop/Christmas Raffle

This took place in the Kirkby Stephen Coop Store, where member of the club and their partners sell tickets to raise funds for Christmas presents for the over eighties in the Upper Eden area. The event not only raises the funds, it also promotes Rotary in the local area and also to passing visitors over the six days. The draw takes place on Friday 27th November at the Kirkby Stephen Christmas lights switch on in the market square.

October 27th 2015. David Vigar, Battle of Trafalgar

Our speaker this evening was David Vigar and he was introduced by Michael Metcalfe-Gibson. David’s subject was The Battle of Trafalgar, or rather, the events leading up to it. He explained how the British organised the battle fleet, how the French and Spanish got together and also how the French and Spanish commanders did not trust each other so causing friction and mistrust which ultimately did not help their cause! Further understandings showed that the French and Spanish fleets were mainly manned by “press ganged” crews, whereas the British fleet were fully trained sailors which resulted in a magnificent win for the British. The vote of thanks was given by David Scott.

November 3rd 2015. World Scout Jamboree in Japan

John Andrew introduced his daughter Hannah and also Tom Higgs from Kirkby Stephen Scouts. Both Tom and Hannah attended the Jamboree along with 17 scouts and 2 leaders (Tom being one of the leaders). They explained how the selection process worked with team building, mixing and working together, camping and cooking plus understanding cultural requirements. Fund raising was a major challenge as the total cost was in the region of £66k.Travel was via Qatar then Japan. There were 33,000 people at the opening ceremony and they found it interesting living and staying with Japanese families. David Whitehead gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the club.

November 24th 2015. North Korea: Raynor Shaw

Tonight’s guest, introduced by Dave Prince, was Raynor Shaw. Raynor spent many years in the far east and travelled extensively. His illustrated talk tonight was about North Korea, a visit he made a number of years ago, which was many months in the planning. He started by giving an overview of the history of the country and how it has evolved into the country today. Although a very secretive state, he was allowed to see many of the sights and celebrations. His talk gave a very interesting insight into the country and its people.

December 8th 2015. Ankoma Outreach

Club members Roger Frank and Carl Hallam were the speaker’s this evening, they spoke about their  recent visit to Ankoma in Ghana. Partners and guests were also invited to hear about their exploits. Ankoma is a small village about a four hour drive from the capital Accra, it has no electricity, three schools with little equipment and a health centre with nurses but no doctors. Roger and Carl helped with buildings and decorating, plus Carl helped with Polio vaccinations travelling around with a nurse on an old Chinese motorbike! Ankoma Outreach is a “not-for-profit organisation”, who support the village in the Kwahu District in Ghana. The Outreach team aim to help the people of Ankoma fight the poverty they face. At the end of evening, a bucket collection raised £250. For more details go to: and

January 19th 2016. Visit of DG Arthur Jones

DG Arthur’s first task was to induct new member Litini Newcombe, the first lady member of the Upper Eden club. He then told how the district had distributed £100k through the clubs for flood relief in Cumbria. He mentioned there are three main challenges: Membership and he encouraged everyone to see what could be done to recruit new members. Polio, which hopefully be total eradicated by 2018 and lastly, Technology, where he is asking all clubs to embrace the use of technology and commented on how Upper Eden had won the district website competition in 2015. Lastly, he talked about “My Rotary”, a discount scheme offering up to 10% for members and where 2% also goes to RIBI.

Litini Newcombe, the first lady member of the Upper Eden club

January 26th 2016. Burns Night plus Geoff Wall Job Talk

The evening started with the ceremony of “Addressing the Haggis” . Addressing the haggis was performed by the Son-in-Law of President Ben, he also plunged the knife into the haggis cutting it open from end to end. Following the meal, it was the turn of Geoff Wall to give his job talk, covering his early days in tailoring, then he thought about the Police, however, he was not tall enough through to teaching, where he learned to play the guitar. He then moved into sales selling office supplies before starting his own business cleaning conservatories. He finished the evening by giving the club a music recital with a song and playing his guitar.

February 2nd. 2016. Talk by Jabz Zulu

Tonight’s speaker, introduced by Ivor Allonby, was Jabz Zulu who had been over in the UK working with Upper Eden Rigby Club in a coaching and playing role. He talked about South Africa and how rugby has played a big part in his life and how now, there are many more black people playing rugby. He also talked about how he had previously been to the UK and various other countries with the sport of rugby. Moving onto other topics, he explained that from the UK he was flying to Dallas to propose marriage to his girlfriend. He then gave a very interesting and entertaining talk about the marriage rituals and negotiations that have to be observed leading up to the actual marriage. A very interesting talk and David Garrick gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the club.

February 23rd 2016. Sailing from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia by David Caldow

Tonight’s speak was Upper Eden member David Caldow who gave an illustrated talk about sailing the Atlantic in his 40 foot yacht “Anika”. Starting on the west coast of Scotland, he started by sailing down the west coast and then on down to Northern Spain, Portugal, Lanzarote and Las Palmas which was to be the starting point before crossing the Atlantic. The distance from West Scotland to Las Palmas was 1957 nautical miles. From the Canary Islands, the plan was to sail to St Lucia in the Caribbean. David explained about the preparation required, the start, the journey and finally the arrival in St. Lucia. An excellent talk, which showed the highs and lows of the sailing trip, then finally the ultimate high of achieving an ambition.

David Caldow sailing the Atlantic David Caldow sailing the Atlantic David Caldow sailing the Atlantic David Caldow sailing the Atlantic

March 1st 2016. Vision Aid

50 pairs of spectacles sent to Vision Aid Overseas

March 22nd 2016. John Begg: Great Dun Fell, Then and Now

John’s talk was about the radar station where he had worked for many years. It is part of the air traffic control system for northern England and southern Scotland. John’s illustrated talk showed the construction and maintenance required, which at times would not have met todays health and safety requirements! It was started in April 1985 with a plan to be functional in December 1986. It was commissioned and in service in 1988. An interesting talk, showing some of the problems with building and running a site which is over 2700 feet above sea level especially in a Cumbrian winter. President Ben gave the vote of thanks.

April 5th 2016. Calvert Trust Talk by Richard Staley

Richard came along to talk about his son Robert and his visit to the Calvert Trust. Richard explained that Robert was 20 years old and has Asperger Syndrome. Richard felt that his son gained a lot from his time there. He enjoyed the cycling and also the opportunity to talk to others and has come back with a more positive view. Richard thanked the club for giving his son the chance to attend the Calvert Trust and felt it to be a very worthwhile experience.

April 5th 2016. Keith Scobie Young: Cumbria Clocks

Introduced by David Caldow, Keith explained how he moved to Cumbria from Gloucestershire and originally he had wanted to make musical instruments, however, he ended up studying horology. The company was set up about 26 years ago and today they employ 13 people in Cumbria and also in Exeter. They cover the whole of the UK and also have carried out work in Fiji. Keith went on to explain about different types of clocks and also the history of their development. The company have worked on the restoration of the clock at Big Ben in 2007. Ivor Allonby gave the vote of thanks.

April 26th 2016. David Scott: Gloucester & Warwickshire Steam Railway

David gave an interesting talk on the history of the railway. It originally ran from Cheltenham to Stratford upon Avon, built between 1900 and 1906. When it was originally built, there were various viaducts and when they were built, some of the arches collapsed. The line was closed in 1976 to passengers, however, in 1982 the preservation of the line was started, along with engines. It is managed by 850 volunteers with a £1.5m turnover. Just repairing bridges has cost £500k. The club’s resident railway engineer gave the vote of thanks.

May 10th 2016. Michael Roberts: PFK Valuer

Michael Roberts is a valuer of fine arts and antiques for PFK in Penrith. Introduced by Ray Thornton, Michael explained how he moved to Cumbria from Canterbury to take up the post of valuer and auctioneer. PFK have a fortnightly auction in Penrith selling rigs, antiques, books and many other items. Dinky toys and LPs are also popular with collectors. Club members and partners had brought along various items for valuation. Sadly, no one went home with thoughts of being a millionaire. David Caldow gave the vote of thanks.

May 27th 2016. Foundation Night at Raisbeck

Roger and Carola Frank organised a Foundation fund raising event at their home in Raisbeck, the purpose of which was to raise club funds for Foundation and also to launch the “Iron Lung” trailer which is going to be used to promote “Polio Plus”. Many members, partners and guests came along to enjoy a Spanish evening with Sangria and Paella. People were invited to experience lying in the iron lung. The Iron Lung will be used to promote what Rotary is doing to raise funds to help rid the world of this dreadful disease. The iron lung and trailer was put together by Roger Frank and is available for other Rotary Clubs to use, the attached image comes from Silloth Rotary Club when they used it. A good evening was had by all and also funds raised for Foundation.

Rotary Iron Lung

June 5th 2016. The Yomp Mountain Challenge

This year was the 34th running of the event and it was also one of the hottest days on which the event has been run. Nearly 400 people took part this year, on one of the three courses of 6.5 miles, 11.5 miles or 23 miles on the fells around and above Kirkby Stephen. A full description of the event and results can be found at

Yomp 2016 Yomp 2016

June 14th 2016. Club Assembly and New Member Inauguration

Club assembly took place this week in the presence of Assistant District Governor; Wendy Aldred. One of her tasks whilst at the club, was the inauguration of Upper Eden’s second lady member, Rosemary Varley. Rosemary was introduced by Tony Taylor with President Ben also giving some background to Rosemary. Following the membership ceremony, Rosemary was welcomed by all the members. During the club assembly, each chairman gave an overview of what is planned for the next year with the Treasurer also giving a summary of what has been achieved in the current year as far as charitable contributions were concerned. Wendy summarised at the end and a pleasant evening was had by all. Attached image shows from the left, President Ben, Tony Taylor, Rosemary Varley and Wendy Aldred.

Inauguration of Upper Eden second lady member, Rosemary Varley