Fordingbridge Christmas Lights 2016

Every winter, Fordingbridge’s Christmas Lights are a spectacle that is appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

This year, on 2 December, there will be the usual Switch-On event in the High Street, with shops open late to offer refreshments as well as bargains, side-shows, music, and a visit by someone called Father Christmas.

Fordingbridge Rotary will be involved by closing the road and directing traffic.  They will also have a stall providing information about Rotary and raising money for Rotary charities and good causes.

There is some video of last year’s event on YouTube.

Avonway Community Wellbeing Day

wellbeingday2016Avonway Community Wellbeing Day, organised through the Fordingbridge Carer Hub, was held on Wednesday October 26th with the objective of showcasing the many and varied services and support organisations based in and around the Fordingbridge area.

Many have a relationship with the Avonway Centre, who hosted and sponsored the day. Visitors were invited to chat to a social worker about their needs or enjoy tea, coffee and home made cake, try tai-chi for arthritis, or have their portrait taken by the Camera Club, with many other activities presented at the centre.

The Rotary club of Fordingbridge also provided a stand so that we had the opportunity to explain who we are, what we do and how we can help them.


A New Roof in the Playground

During half-term, members of the Fordingbridge Rotary Club were involved with another community
project in the Fordingbridge area.

As a result, St. James’ CE VC First School, Alderholt, now have a new roof on their playground store.

Elliotts, the builders’ merchants in Fordingbridge, kindly provided the roofing materials.

Water Survival Boxes

In September six members of Fordingbridge Rotary and Inner Wheel visited the warehouse of World Water Works run by the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge at the Westfield Trading Estate, Midsomer Norton.

The visit was organised by our International Committee member Dennis Wilson and once we were able to find the warehouse, members soon rolled up their sleeves and got down to some work. 

For ten years now the Chelwood Bridge Club have been putting together water survival boxes and distributing them quickly to red-alert disasters throughout the developing world.

These boxes are designed for families of four and cost £150 each inclusive of air freight costs. They contain an amazing array of items in addition to the water purification equipment such as cooking utensils, tools and personal hygiene.

Many thousands of people caught up in natural and man-made disasters such as Aleppo, Syria have benefited from these boxes. During this visit members filled three pallets or 60 boxes costing £9,000 making them ready for the airport. During a production break Club President John Oram presented Chelwood Bridge Rotary with a cheque on behalf of Fordingbridge Rotary.

Update 11 October 2016: the boxes we packed have already been sent to hurricane-stricken Haiti, and Fordingbridge Rotary has pledged an extra £500 to the cause.

Rain-Water Harvesting Project, Hillcrest, South Africa

hillcrest1We have been working on a Rotary Global Grant since Dennis Wesley of the Hillcrest Rotary Club came to the District Conference in Bournemouth in October 2014.

You will be pleased to know that this project has now well under way.

In essence the total cost of installing the rain water harvesting plant at the orphanage is $60,000. Our club has allocated just under $6,000 and together with contributions from Hillcrest Rotary, Winnipeg Rotary, Karlsbad Rotary (California), and the Rotary Foundation, we now have the money.

hillcrest2Following discussions with Dennis Wesley a group of us are going to South Africa, to see the development at Hillcrest, which is near Durban, during February.

As you can see the foundations are laid and Dennis & Eileen Wilson, Richard Westlake and myself leave on 16th February to visit the project, visit the club and look around the local area. We return on the 28th February.

Mike J.

5th Grand Quiz Night

rotaryquiz2016flyer-200Fordingbridge Rotary Club’s 5th Grand Quiz Night will be held on Friday 11 November 2016 at Avonway Community Centre, Fordingbridge.

All 17 team places have now been booked for this year.  Look out for next year’s quiz and get in early to avoid disappointment.

There is a maximum of six people per team, and the cost is £10 per person, including a cold supper.  There will be a licensed pay bar.

Celebrate World Polio Day

World Polio Day will be taking place on Monday 24th October 2016, so it’s time to get thinking about how your club can mark this important occasion!

Here in Great Britain and Ireland we are encouraging you to celebrate with a Purple Pinkie Day. This means you can do anything purple related, whether it’s dressing up all in purple, illuminating buildings in your community in purple or co-hosting a family fun day with other local organisations.

This is a fantastic way to engage your local schools, businesses and communities at large. We have prepared a Briefing Note for clubs to give you some top tips!

End Polio Now have also prepared a number of digital assets including social media images and a World Polio Day toolkit for clubs to promote Rotary’s fight to eradicate polio.

Please let the communications team know what you’re up to and also submit your event on the End Polio Now website

From RotaryGBI

“The AA Man”

David Weller and Vera Hughes, of Chester House Productions, present "The AA Man"

David Weller and Vera Hughes, of Chester House Productions, present “The AA Man”

In August guest speakers David Weller and Vera Hughes (pictured) delivered a dramatised talk entitled “The AA Man”, taken from the memoirs of the association’s first secretary, Stenson Cooke. They described the early days of motoring when sneaky plain clothes police officers measured out a furlong and used a stopwatch to detect motorists exceeding the 20 mph speed limit. Outraged by this underhand practice some motorists got together and a new organisation was born to ‘fight for the open road and protect the motoring industry’.

One early idea was for cyclists to go ahead of the cars and search out the traps. In the ‘Fairmile’ case a member pleaded not guilty to speeding but was found guilty and fined £5. An ‘AA’ Scout however was arrested for perjury and although found not guilty faced considerable costs. To pay for his defence the ‘AA’ launched an appeal and raised £360.

An ‘AA’ badge was introduced, Scouts adopted the practise of saluting members and the membership soon rose to 940.

Police speed enforcement activity increased and the ‘AA’ appointed agents to stop motorists by use of a pole and advise them of the police activity ahead. Other initiatives included the development of road signs, free legal advice for members, uniformed Scouts and ‘AA’ sentry boxes.

A northern office was established in Manchester and by 1908 the association had 5000 members. Members wishing to drive on the continent were assisted with the necessary documentation and cars were shipped as baggage.

Another Scout prosecuted for warning drivers of a speed check was convicted of obstructing the police and a subsequent appeal was dismissed. ‘AA’ members were then advised to stop if not saluted and so receive a more subtle warning of trouble ahead.

Other developments included Scouts being trained in first aid, road safety instruction for children, and the introduction of the hotel star classification system.

By 1914 membership had risen to 83,000 but declined with the onset of war. Motor cycle and sidecars were introduced after the war and ten filling stations were established for use by members. This proved so commercially successful that within five years filling stations were established by the petrol industry.

The ‘AA’ became a political pressure group and succeeded in its campaign for the abolition of the 20 mph speed limit.

From a shaky start when the association was despised by the establishment the membership had grown to half a million by 1933. Its long serving secretary Stenson Cooke was knighted for services to motoring.

Speaker secretary Karl Jung thanked the speakers for their talk.

John Oram