OUR LATEST NEWS

This is a summary of what we have been up to recently but is only a snapshot of what we do. Some items are mentioned fully while others have a brief introduction with more information to be found by following the blue links.

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 Venture

Monday 29th July saw a new venture for our club. On the last Monday of each month we have an evening meeting castlewith 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.

An Evening to Remember

Our evening in the Great Hall of Hexham Abbey in aid of Polio Eradication was a great success with over 40 people from local Rotary Clubs and their guests attending. Our President, Roy Dallison together with club member George Robertson had made the arrangements. Full story with the Jazz Quartet

Calendar Girls - Talk and Film - 21st June

We were delighted to welcome Tricia Stewart, one of the original Calendar Girls to talk to us in the Forum Cinema tonight. The Calendar Girls film was shown and Tricia talked about how it was made and answered some questions as well as signing her book.The evening raised over £1500 (subject to audit) for our Disaster Fund. More about the evening here.

We Present a cheque to Journey Enterprises

On Monday 17th June, we presented a cheque for £500 to Journey Enterprises in Acomb. Full story here.

Our Club Assembly

Monday 17th June was our Club Assembly. As is customary our President started the meeting but handed over to Andy Rigg, our President Elect, to conduct the Club Assembly where the main points of our programme for the Rotary Year starting on the 1st July were decided. Chris Baylis, the local Assistant Governor was present. Our programme for 2019/20 is now available on the website - click here.

Our President entertains.

Sunday 16th June saw the club invited to lunch at our President's house. Roy and Irene had been very busy and we were made most welcome. There was an excellent cold Buffet and drinks for everyone's taste. After several days of heavy rain, the big question was what to wear? Would it rain? Depending on who you listened to, it would be "sunny and showers" or "rain at lunch time" or "rain at 4pm". Roy gambled on the latter and we enjoyed brilliant sunshine in Irene's beautiful garden. By four o'clock we had all dispersed and it started to rain!!! more here.

Interesting Talks

Since our weekend away, the club has had two interesting speakers at our weekly meetings. On the 20th May, Mike Saxon spoke on St Wilfred, one of Nprthumberland's well known characters from the Dark Ages before the Norman Conquest. He recounted Wilfred's life and how at one time he was exiled before being rehabilitated in his diocese.

On Monday 10th June, Mel Wall entertained us with the story of the Long Range Desert Group who were active with the 8th Army in the desert during WW2. He described how they were formed and how they helped the Allied victories in the desert.

Our Weekend Away

Over the weekend of the 19/20 May, some 20 or so club members and their partners spent a couple of days exploring the Gatehouse of Fleet, near Dumfies in Scotland. Full story here.

An Evening's Stroll

John Robinson organised an evening's ramble for our members around the village of Wall including a section of The Wall. Full account here.

Hexham Clean Up
groupHexham Rotary took part in the “Take Pride in Hexham – Clean Up” organised by the Hexham Community Partnership. Six of us took part, lead by Peter Trevelyan on the 2nd April. More info

We induct a new member.

On Monday at our lunch meeting Kaye Mullen was inducted into the club and welcomed by our President. More here

Collecting for the Mozambique Cyclone Disaster

On Tuesday 26th March, we joined with Tynedale Rotary collecting in Fore Street to send money to aid the recovery in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Teams of two spent an hour each on a cold and windy day collecting from 10 am to 4pm. The money will be channelled to the disaster through Rotary charities ensuring it reaches those who need it intact.

10 Years as an RAF Media Specialist

Monday 25th March was an evening meeting in the Abbey Great Hall and we were entertained by Squadron Leader Tony Newton who gave a fascinating account of his switch to join the RAF Reserve in his forties. His account of the selection process and his trials and tribulations was eye-opening culminating with his description of an exercise wearing full Nuclear, Biological and Chemical protection including a respirator and trying to operate a laptop in an hostile envoronment.

President's Night.

Organised by the President Elect, Andy Rigg, our President’s Night on the 16th March was a great success. 60 members of the Club and their guests sat down to a three course meal in the Beaumont Hotel. Among the guests were the incoming District Governor, Jaqui Molyneux, and the Presidents of Hadrians Wall and Tynedale Rotary Clubs and their partners. More Here.

The Hard Way to Everest

The evening of Tuesday 12th March was an event to raise money for our "Disaster Fund" and for Doug Scott's Nepalese Charity. We managed to fill the Forum Cinema to hear Doug Scott speak on his life, his charity and how he climbed Everest. It was a fascinating evening with the ability to buy Nepalese goods, books by Doug Scott and some amazing posters of mountains. Doug was an excellent speaker who showed us his passion for climbing and his friendship with like minded people. More about his talk is featured here.

Computing and the Classics

Nick Rossiter gave us an interesting talk on Monday 11th March based on his career at various universities. Although a chemist initially he branched out into various aspects of computing and gave an interesting account of how computers had developed over the last 40 years with particular emphasis on relational databases and data management. He finished by showing similarities between his work and the ancient Greek Philosophers.

A Fishy Tale

Monday 4th March saw John Dumbrell talking about his trip to the Jurassic Lake, Lago Strobel, in Argentina fishing for large Rainbow trout. He had time to explore the capital and turned his talk into a travelogue. More details.

A Talk by Journey

Our meeting last Monday (25th Feb) featured Daybreak Journey in a talk by Linzie Metcalfe and Maggie Leadbeater.
Daybreak is a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities and additional needs. Daybreak currently have three hubs; Hexham (Northumberland), Coundon (Co Durham) and Montagu (Newcastle). All their hubs have a fantastic array of activities from a training bakery (Hexham), horticultural market garden (Minsteracres) and a dance and drama programme (Montagu). Each hub provides an extensive independent living skills programme which is tailored to meet individual needs, such as healthy living, cooking, travel training, relationships and employment. have a look and see their website at Journey website

A Visit to Wark and the Dark Skies Observatory

Wednesday 20th February proved an interesting evening for the 26 of our members who had dinner in the Battlesteads Hotel in Wark followed by a visit to their Observatory. More here

A Submariner View

Ian White, at our evening meeting in the Abbey on Monday 28th January, gave us an excellent account of his life in the Royal Navy serving on submarines. His humerous talk took us through his training and eventual service on several submarines and included the pros and cons of submarine life - more cons than pros!!

Robots, AI and APPS

Today, 21st January, our speaker was Dr Keith Morris who gave us a glimse of 21st Century Health Care and what IT has to offer and how he thinks it will affect us. We were told how the Da Vinci Robot - cost £2m) - can help with delicate surgery but is operated by a human so, fear not, the robot does not operate on its own but is merely a tool to help the surgeon and because it improves accuracy and allows smaller incisions, recovery time is improved.We were shown a short video of the robot peeling a grape!!

Likewise, AI does not make decisions on your treatment but by analysing vast amounts of data, can help the doctor diagnose problems and can point out the latest treatments. Finally Dr Morris pointed out that there are many apps available on the internet and elsewhere that people can use. However some are better than others and the NHS has a list of certified apps that can help with one's everyday care. Examples are apps for diabetes, healthy walking and Baby Care.

An interesting and informative talk.

Holiday Disasters

At our meeting on Monday 14th January, Ron Henry gave a slide presentation on two recent holidays. His first to the Cape Verde Islands was to a newly built hotel was marred by teething troubles and a lack of facilities. His second was to Yellowstone in the middle of winter but due to snow, ice, crew changes he never got there but spent three days getting back home. Just hope he is not booked on your flight next time.

Hedley & Juliet Raise £200 for ShelterBox

On Saturday 12th January Hedley and Juliet Novis held a Soup Kitchen in aid of ShelterBox - more

Christmas Collections.

From the 18th to 21st December we collected for charities in Fore Street Hexham and raised the sum of £1,881 which will be shared equally with our three nominated charities, Tynedale Hospice at Home, West Northumberland Food Bank and Hexham Youth Initiative. More and pictures here.

How to Help Local Schools
Katie Innes from Queen Elizabeth High School and Paul Freeman-Myers from Hexham Middle School gave an excellent presentation on how our members could help the pupils. More here.

An Award to Remember.
Andy wins the District 1030 fishing trophy, see here.

A Tall Tales Evening

1 December - an evening of Tall Tales convincingly recited in the Great Hall of Hexham Abbey - More.

Admiral Collingwood

This evening, 26th Nov, we were entertained by Iain Moffat who told us about Admiral Collingwood, Nelson's deputy at Trafalgar who took over on Nelson's death - a fascinating story, more here.

A Visit to Trinity House

On November 22nd 30 Rotarians and Friends visited Trinity House in Newcastle. More

19th November

Today Dr Ann Egan told us about her charity Luocare which helps widows in a remote part of Kenya. More

13th November.

We commemorate the Armistice. On Monday 12th November, at our evening meeting, we had a special reading of letters from the front. Helen lead the way as the narrator and full details are available here.

29th October.

Monday 29th October, we were privileged to have Lord Stevens as our speaker at dinner in the Abbey Great Hall. Lord Stevens is a former Chief Constable of Northumberland, more on his talk here.

15th October

Today, , at lunchtime, we heard the latest about A new Artistic Director for Queen's Hall

12th/13th October

Helen, Brian and Sandy displayed our activities in the Library at Queen's Hall

7th October.

Our Evening Meeting talk was about disabled children in Uganda. Full Story

29th September

Today we celebrated the eighty years since Wainwright's Pennine Journey and raised over £1000 with a sponsored walk from Blanchland to Hexham - a hilly 12 miles. See our journey here.

25th September.

Last Tuesday, a morning outing to the BBC in Newcastle was arranged by our President, Roy Dallison. We arrived at their offices slightly early to complete the signing in details and were then taken on the tour of the facilities by Deborah and Simon – two excellent guides. Full story here.

24th September.

On Monday 24th September, our weekly meeting was held at The Heritage Centre in Bellingham. We arrived by coach just after 6pm and had a most interesting guided tour of the Museum. The Museum is run entirely by volunteers and their enthusiasm for the project was boundless. More here.

17th September 2018

Today, 17th Sept, our Lunch Time Speaker was Karen Richardson from the Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS). She gave an interesting accoun of how NDAS operates and helps those who have been abused. Karen backed up her talk with some interesting statistics. More is available here.

10th September 2018

At our club meeting today, Max updated the club on our Nepal Project. We put together a project costing £27,000 to provide water to a village in Nepal and also installed a rainwater harvesting project in a school. We were helped by other Rotary clubs locally and the RC of San Diego. Full details are here.

1st and 2nd September. Hexham hosts the Americans.

Over the first weekend of September, Hexham Rotary Club played host to Allentown Rotary Club from Pennsylvania from the USA. More here.

23rd August - Hexham win the Quiz Final

The District Final of the Quiz Competition was held in Bishop Auckland on Thursday evening 23rd August. Hexham and Darlington were the finalists and Hexham won by 49 points to 34. More here.

20th August - A Tript to a Game Reserve

Today, Monday 20th August, Veronica Halford spoke at our lunch time meeting. She told us of her interesting trip to the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa. We helped towards her costs as a research assistant that Wallacea sent out to survey the National Park. The survey concentrated on finding leopards and working out where they spent their time. Victoria's full story can be seen here

13th August - Broad band in the Allen Valleys

On Monday 13th August, Brian Bell described how the Allen Valleys are using self help to get a better Broadband connection. More can be read here.

12th August - Our BBQ

This was not only held in Andy Rigg's garden but Andy masterminded the event which was a great success. The aim of the afternoon was to raise money for the Rotary Foundation - a charity which supports good works throughout the world. A full account of the BBQ can be found by clicking this lead.

A Fascinating Evening

On Monday 30th July at our evening meeting, we entertained Derek Harris who gave us a fascinating account ofDavidHarris the 2018 Maundy Money Service.

Derek had been put forward as a possible recipient of the Maundy Money this year for his service in Hexham Abbey and he attended the service on Maundy Thursday this year to receive the money from Her Majesty, The Queen.

Derek who, among other things, has helped guide some of the 120,000 annual visitors to the Abbey, described the ceremoney in detail. His description is;

Maundy money is given by the Queen as a reward for exceptional service to the Church and community. Its origin was Christ’s washing the feet of his disciples on Maundy Thursday. It was taken up by Charles II  when he washed the feet of beggars.
By 1750 washing gave way to a practical gift of money for food and clothing to the elderly poor. Soon afterwards it became the custom to give a number of coins corresponding to the age of the monarch; hence this Easter it was given to 92 elderly men and women. The Queen gives a red purse and a white one. The red purse includes a £5 coin marking 100 years of the Representation of the People Act (female emancipation) and the initials of Elizabeth, Charles, William and George plus a 50d coin. The white purse contains 92 pence in 1d, 2d, 3d and 4d denominations. All coins are in sterling silver, pre-decimal in value and are legal tender. The Queen’s profile is that of her at the Coronation so she has lost 65 years in appearance, better than Botox!

The ceremony involves the Yeomen of the Guard and the Military Knights of Windsor and has historic flashbacks. For instance, the Queen and her retinue carry nosegays of sweet smelling flowers to overcome the odour of unsavoury feet, the Lord High Almoner wears a towel round his waist, a memory of the washing and drying of feet and the rear Yeomen in the distribution procession holds  the purses on a silver tray high above his head to defeat money snatchers. Altogether a ceremony rich in colour, pageantry and in the incomparable setting of St George’s Chapel

Helping with the Tall Ships

6 members of the club helped man the Rotary Information Tent on the dockside in Sunderland near the Tall Ships.ship Led by President Roy Dallison, Rotarians Michael Crick, Brian Sanderson, Paul Wharrier, Jim Yeomans and John Dumbrell manned the stand on Wednesday 11th July from 6 to 10 pm. An interesting time as it clashed with the semi final match against Croatia. For most of the time we had a crowd of 30 to 40 people gathered round the stand looking at the items on display and watching the large TV screen which had been showing what Rotary did all over the world but had switched to following the football !!

ShelterboxThe stand had a large number of Rotary exhibits on display showcasing what we have achieved round the world helping people after disasters. There was a ShelterBox which provides essentials for homeless,  a waterpurification kit which can provide clean water for small communities together with a Literacy Box which helps with learning to read and write. We were welcomed on the stand by the Rotary District Governor, Stewart Atkin shown here with President Roy and a ShelterBox..  

 

A Weekend Away

0n Friday 18th May, a small party of Rotarians and their wives journeyed into Scotland—in past times we might have been armed to the teeth and looking for spoils—but we were a small peaceful group of 20 heading for the Buccleuch Arms at  St Boswell.
At Friday lunchtime, some of us met up at Abbotsford, the famous home of Sir Walter Scott, and after a light lunchabbottsford had a guided tour of the house. He was an amazing collector and the house is full of interesting objects and is preserved as he left it. His writing study and collection of books, from many of which he drew his source materials, was explained to us by a very knowledgeable guide. Sir Walter Scott was perhaps the foremost writer and poet of his age and his income—in today’s money—would have been well over £1m  per annum. Sadly his expenditure on his collections was greater.
After the tour, we went our separate ways. Some visited Melrose and others made their way back to the hotel where we took over the dining room for dinner.
Next day, most of us assembled out side the hotel for a walk led by John Robinson. We spent a delightful morning walking downstream beside the Tweed and back via the country lanes before exploring St Boswell for lunch and souvenirs. Most of the walk followed St Cuthbert’s Way.
The afternoon was down to our individual choices. Jean and I visited Scott’s View, Dryburgh Abbey and Small Holm groupTower, both well  kept by Scottish Heritage and with interesting stories to tell. Others visited nearby historic houses and recounted their adventures at dinner in the evening.
Sunday Morning featured another walk up the Eildon Hills before we found our own ways home. Everyone enjoyed the weekend which had been expertly organised by John and Kate Robinson. They had picked an excellent hotel in a location not too far from home with plenty of local attractions. A really enjoyable weekend and plans are already afoot for next year.