Urgent Notice - Please note that due to COVID 19 all our events and meetings are cancelled until further notice. See our emergency calendar here.


For Our Calendar from 24th February to 10th July 2020
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The Club also has an arrangement with Riviera Travel, providing the Club with a percentage of the booking from a Club member.




On the 22nd September we have a talk in aid of our Disaster Fund from Lauren Woodwiss who, in January 2019 with her rowing partner Jemma, rowed in to Antigua across the Atlantic. More Here.

Our Latest News

We are still Working for the Community

Even during the lockdown our Rotary work goes on. Besides ensuring all our own members are safe and being looked after, we have found time to help the Community by donations to worthwhile causes. So far during the lockdown we have given £500 to the West Northumberland Foodbank, £250 to the Hexham Youth Initiative, £500 to help the Syrian Refugees and, to commemorate VE Day, £250 to Blind Veterans UK.


Almost immediately after our President's Night, the country went into lockdown because of the Corona Virus but the club is still functioning. We hold our Club Council over the internet via ZOOM and have also had a successful club meeting that way on Easter Monday. Look out for the date and time of the next meeting. We also publish a fortnightly newsletter to keep our members informed and have established a "buddy system" to keep in touch. We are also seeing what we can do to support the local community. Our emergency calendar can be seen here.

Wednesday 25th March

Although all our face to face meetings are now cancelled until at least the 1st July. Club Council still meets virtually on a fortnightly basis and will ensure that information, advice and help is available to all. Just contact us on

Saturday 14th March

Tonight we held our President's Night which was organised by our PE Neill. It was a splendid evening with 60+ attending. More details and pictures are available here.

Wednesday 11th March

Today, we presented a Certificate of Appreciation to AYP for their efforts in support of our Christmas Card appeal - more details available here.

Monday 2nd March 2020

Today, Marc Fenwick from Fundr talked to us about Fund Raising and Project Management. Fundr have a website at which gives more details of their organisation. They are basically a Social Crowd Fund Raiser that provides a complete service for organisations who wish to promote a particular project. Marc described the facilities they offer and the way they manage projects. An interesting introduction to crowd fund raising.

Monday 24th February

The 23rd February is Rotary's Birthday - it was founded in 1905 - and to celebrate at our dinner in Hexham Golf Club, Past Rotary Director Gordon McInally gave an inspirational talk on Rotary. He and his wife Heather braved the elements to drive over Carter Bar from Kelso to be with us for the evening. He emphasised the changes Rotary had made in the world and praised the Club for its efforts and fund raising. Pointing out that Rotary gave people in deprived areas hope and, in many cases provided necessities such as clean drinking water, he went on to say that every Rotarian had a part to play in the good work and age or gender were no bar to membership. He was warmly thanked for his talk.

The Korean War

At our evening meeting on Monday 10th February, Mel Wall gave an account of the Korean War. In an excellent presentation, he covered the events leading up to the war and then followed this with an account of the war itself. He finished by pointing out that technically North and South Korea are still at war and there is only an armistice in place.

The Many Shades of Green

Our first meeting in February featured a talk on "The Many Shades of Green" by Nick Rossiter. Nick gave an enlightened talk on how to interpret Climate Change and the various green movements. He advocated a holistic approach that considered the pros and cons of each based on science and research without necessarily following particular causes.


At our evening meeting at Hexham Golf Club on the 27th January we had an inspiring talk by John Dowling on the Diocesan Justice & Peace Refugee Project. Set up by the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, the Refugee Project aims to help refugees of all faiths who have arrived in the Newcastle area. The project relies entirely on donations and provides practical help with everyday living to people who are practically destitiute. They currently have well over a thousand refugees on their books who, between them, speak over 67 languages. Besides those waiting to have their Asylum Claims determined, they support those who have had their claims refused and are awaiting repatriation or are appealing the decision. The appeals can take up to 6 or 7 years and during this time the refugees are not supported at all by the Government. The Refugee service needs all the support it can get.

Northumberland Log Bank

On Monday 20th January, we were fortunate to have an excellent talk on the Northumberland Log Bank by Kate Thick. This is an enterprise that provides wood for families that are fuel poor and works in the same way as a Food Bank. Indeed many of the people needing fuel are referred to them by the local Food Bank. An excellent talk on a subject we could all support. For a full account click here.

Our Christmas Collections

The week before Christmas showed us busy in Fore Street collecting for our charities. This year the money we collected will be going to The Tynedale Hospice, Hextol and other local charities. More here.


Jaipur Limbs

On the 9th December Josy George talked to us about Jaipur Limbs, a charity that works mainly in India but also in Afica and the Far East providing artificial limbs for amputees. This charity started in Jaipur in India and now works around the world providing and fitting low cost limbs. We look forward to helping them in the future.

A Busy Lunch Time

Today, 2nd December, we had a very busy lunch time the highlight of which was the introduction of a new member to the club. Andrew Rigg, our President formally introduced Richard Thornton as a New Rotarian. more here.
Almost immediately afterwards, Andrew gave to Immediate Past President Roy, the Citation from the President of Rotary International which honoured the whole club for their achievements in 2018/19. more here.

After that it was the turn of Club Member Max Hamps to receive the trophy for the heaviest salmon caught by a Rotarian in the NE of England 2019. It was handed over by Andrew who was the previous winner of the trophy.

We were thentreated to a talk on Global Sight Solutions by David Houpt of the Newcastle Club. He explained how a small project started by the Guildford Club in Surrey had now become a world wide charity helping restore sight to many in the third world and also actively preventing blindness. A sustainable Rotary project that is doing a great deal of good work.more here

A Grand Day Out

On Monday 18th November, instead of our usual lunch meeting, our President, Andrew Rigg had arranged a day out in Durham. Leaving Hexham at 9.00 am by coach, we travelled to Durham in beautiful sunny weather and spent the morning being guided round the Cathedral. After an excellent lunch overlooking the river Wear, we were taken to Harrison and Harrison, the organ makers and restorers, where we had an enthralling tour of their works. This was a day to remember and more about it can be found here.

Tree Planting 16th November

Hexham Rotary are committed to combating the joint effects of the deadly tree disease of Ash Dieback (Ash Chalara) and the increase of atmospheric CO2 by undertaking to plant many Oak trees in Hexham. To this end, the Club President, Andrew Rigg, arranged two tree planting days. The first on Saturday 16th November to be followed by another on the 7th December. More here


A New Paul Harris Fellow

At our weekly meeting on Monday 11th November, the President of Hexham Rotary announced that the Club had decided to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to Mike Coleman of Core Music in recognition of his dedication to making music available to everyone and his continuing hard work in making a success of Core Music which brings music within reach of everyone.

At the same meeting Mike had just explained to the Club how Core Music worked in Hexham. More details.

The Knights Templar

On Monday 4th November, we were entertained by Kevin Stannard, Prior of the Northumberland Chapter of the Knights Templar. Kevin has recently retired as an Eye Consultant in Newcastle and gave us an excellent account of how the "modern" Knights Templar came into being. They are part of the FreeMasons and to become a member of the Knights, a candidate first has to be a Freemason. Kevin described their charitable work which, for the English Province is centered on providing eye care in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank to those who cannot afford it.

He went on to describe the original Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitallers in what was a fascinating and illuminating talk.

The North West Passage -Rob Caskie Talk
Triumph and Tragedy in the Arctic Ice
- 23rd October 2019

For decades Britain, Europe and America wished to find a route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, to shorten the great ocean journeys to the East.

Finding a route between Greenland and the Bering Sea would prove well nigh impossible, notwithstanding the Arctic Ocean's icecap and sea ice. A number of attempts to find the fabled North-West Passage had failed, many ending in disaster. This talk was a great success and raised over £2000 for our charities.More here.


25 Years of Serving the Community

Today, October 7th, Anne Dale was our speaker at lunch. She recounted her 25 years of service on Parish, Tynedale District and Northumberland County Council and the ways in which Council Service had changed over the years. Her guiding principles were to get the greatest benefit to the community particularly for children and the less well off. An interesting talk from someone dedicate to Community Service.

Medical Advances in the Peninsular War

On the last day in October, we had our evening meeting at the golf club in Hexham and were well looked after with an excellent meal and service. Our speaker for the evening was Prof Alec Crombie who talked on the Peninsular War and the differences between the French and British Armies. He contrasted the efficient French medical services with the poorly implemented British ones and the way this led to improvements on the British side.

A scholarly and informative talk that was very well received and, judging from the questions, provoked much interest in the history of the campaign.

Estate Planning

This Monday, 23rd September, we had an interesting talk by Patrick Deane of Octopus on Estate Planning or how to avoid legally giving money to HMRC. He pointed out that HMRC had collected £5.4 billion in Inheritance Tax in 2018/19 and expected to raise £5.5 trillion over the next 30 years. Briefly, he said, we can spend money, gift it to children, give to charity, put into pensions, life insurance or trusts. However there is another way and that is to look at the possibilities of Business Property Relief. He is a specialist in this field and it offers opportunities!!

Hurricane Dorian Disaster

We have sent and immediate donation of £375 to ShelterBox to help with the relief work and will follow this up with further donations when the situation becomes clearer.

Is it Witchcraft - Monday 9th September

Professor Michael Green was our speaker at our evening meeting this week. Although born in South Africa, he is now Professor of English and Creative Writing at Northumbria University. His recent book "The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong" has just been published and is the story of a young housemaid who lodged a complaint with the Justice of the Peace in Newcastle about being bewitched in Riding Mill. He read a passage from his book in which she describes in great detail what happened to her. Having walked in January 1673 from Riding Mill to Newcastle to lodge her complaint, it appears she was not believed. Michael's book has excerpts from this complaint and others she made over the next few months but nothing appears to have happened. She was aged about 14 but then disappears without trace. An intriguing story well supported by evidence from the Public Records Office at Kew.

Michael certainly kept us enthralled.

An Interesting Meeting - Monday 19th August

This Monday our expected speaker was unable to come due to family committments but we had two visiting Rotarians who offered to talk about their clubs.

Chris Rees from the RC of Caloundra in Queensland, Australia, was here on a short visit. Currently the President of his club he described life in Queensland where they experiwnce everything from severe droughts in the West to flooding in the North. He described their work with schools and police to run Young Drivers Awareness Courses to try and cut down the high level of single vehicle crashes of drivers in the 18-25 year range. Over the last ten years, they have put 10,000 students through this course.

Ian Hughes is, by contrast, alsmost a local from the RC of Welshpool in Powys. He is the cousin of Jan, one of our Rotarians and has been a Rotarian for 43 years serving as President in 1988! Currently their biggest project is an exchange scheme with Canada where 8-10 local students spend 10 days in Canada and this is reciprocated with ten students and their teachers visiting Welshpool.
These talks were most interesting and greatly appreciated. Both speakers were warmly thanked by the President for their interesting stories.

Monday 12th August - Rewilding the Countryside

At our evening meeting at the Beaumont Hotel, Victoria Lancaster described a rewilding project in the Ennerdale Valley in the Lake District. Conservationists all over the world are worried about soil degradation and loss, as, without maintaining good soil quality food production will decline. One way of improving soil quality is to use the land less heavily. The project in Ennerdale has shown that farmers can make a better living by reducing livestock levels and allowing the land to return to nature, provided that farming subsidies are tailored to this aim. Thus by reducing the number of sheep and introducing Belted Galloway cattle to replace pedigree milkers, the land is allowed to revert to nature. The farmer has less work yet can make an adequate living and the soil and wildlife thrive. A very interesting presentation with much to recommend it.

Monday 5th August - Let's Get Growing

Today we had an excellent talk by Katrina Padmore and Ross Menzies on the work they do at Minster Acres Peace Garden. Let's Get Growing is a registered charity which uses the therapeutic benefits of gardening to help people with physical or mental health problems as well as those adjusting to life challenges and transitions. A most interesting talk that engendered many questions and discussion. They are funded partly by fees from those who can afford them but mainly by charitable donations. Those interested can contact Katrina on07748 600498.

A New Venturecastle

Monday 29th July saw a new venture for our club. On the last Monday of each month we have an evening meeting with a special speaker. Tonight saw us dine for the first time at Hexham Golf Club. The evening was a great success in our new venue and we were well looked after. Our speaker, Catherine Bush from District Foundation was excellent and gave us a succinct account of the workings of the Rotary Foundation, our own charity.

A Special Occasion

Very seldom is Dilston Castle and Chapel open to the public, but thanks to Michael Saxon. a party of Hexham Rotarians managed to visit them on Monday 29th July. Full story here.

An Excellent Evening Visit

Instead of our usual meeting in the Beaumont Hotel, Monday 8th July saw us visiting Lanbshield Garden and then adjourning to the Boat House in Warden for supper. Full Story Here.

A New Rotary Year - A New President

On Monday 1st July 2019, Andy Rigg took over as the new President for the Rotary Year 2019/20. Story here.


This site was last updated on 21st May 2020

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