MelBel News

chart-for-web-pageMelton Belvoir Census Report 2016  –  Summary

A census survey of club members has been carried out and compared with a previous (2008) survey and also with RIBI demographic surveys from 2003 and 2014. A complete presentation of all the results from our club survey is available on the club website under the Membership page either as a PowerPoint presentation or as a PDF file for viewing.

In 2008, membership was 26 and has since reached a peak of 42, although due to recent resignations and illness we are likely to see this number fall to below 40. The influx of new members after 2008 has added greatly to the range and diversity of skills and expertise within the club. Over the same interval, the average age of club members has risen from 66.5 to 71.3, a trend echoed across RIBI

Full details of the survey can be found here, in the Membership and Extension section in the Members ONLY part of the website


President’s Challenge – Club Came 2nd…….

At our latest Inner Wheel/Rotary Challenge at the Bell Pub in the Skittles Alley, the Inner Wheel came out as victors.
The Presidents Inner Wheel won
How can I put this?
As Bjorge Lillelien of Norwegian T.V. said
” Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Atlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana!
Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me, your boys ( Mel Bel Rotary ) took one hell of a beating”
They think it  is all over. Well it is not. We shall return.[RA]


Stroke Awareness – What’s Your Blood Pressure?

The team topping up their cholestorol levels ....

The team topping up their cholesterol levels ….

Once again the Rotarians in Melton Mowbray joined forces to support the Stroke Associations annual Know Your Blood Pressure Day, this year held on April 23rd. Those of us who were up and about gathered at 8am to have a hearty breakfast so that we would see the morning out!

This year we had support from the local town medical practice with both clinical and admin staff coming to help. Our fellow Rotarians duly donned a tabard and went onto the streets of Melton encouraging people to come and get a free BP test.  The purpose of the free tests is to check that people are not walking about with a dangerously high BP which puts them at a much higher risk of having a stroke. The aim is not to frighten people but to make them more aware of their own health needs.

4 Encouraging the Public to have BP Checks

We began to get a steady trickle of people coming to see us, both young and the more mature, all hoping that their BP would be within the guidelines laid out by the Stroke Association. Fortunately the majority of people went away with a smile on their face but some needed to be retested and then advised to call in at their local medical practice the following week due to the high nature of their readings


Tilinanu Students Graduate

 The Tilinanu Vocational Centre recently held a graduation ceremony, to praise and honour all the incredible students who have worked so hard to achieve academic excellence.  An impressive 21 students graduated, 5 with Distinction, 10 with Credit and 6 passes! This is a wonderful result, for the students themselves and for the Vocational Centre as well.

The students were congratulated by the Centre staff and by the many Guests of Honour, including the Honourable Biznowaty MP, Bishop Manda of Living Waters church, Councillors, Chiefs and guardians.


The Centre remains in desperate need for laptops and any computer equipment. If you have any IT equipment that you no longer use and would be willing to donate it to the Tilinanu Vocational Centre, please contact Rtn Robert Asquith or Rtn Tony Wallace.


A Great Start for Youth Speaks 2016

The Club’s long term support and commitment to Youth Speaks was again amply rewarded when the Vale of Catmose College team which is sponsored by Melton Belvoir who won the trophy for best Intermediate team. The team comprising (from left to right) Elizabeth Mott (Speaker), Georgia Bell (Chairman) and Florence Brown (Vote of Thanks) was presented their award by District Governor, Geoff Blurton.Youth Speaks 2016 sponsered RC Melton Belvoir

The VCC team made excellent contributions, to beat those of competing teams from Gainsborough, Bridlington, Elland, Skipton Craven, and Bourne (who were runners up) and they forward with our very best wishes to the National Final in Preston on 7th May.


MelBel Christmas Roundup

As ever, the end of the calendar year brings a host of Club events in quick succession.  December seems to have hardly begun when suddenly it’s time for a glass of sherry,  Carols from Kings and Christmas dinner roasting gently in the oven!
Santa 2

Things kicked off with Santa’s many visits to the town, during the day at the one of Melton’s increasing number of supermarkets and then back in the evening with his sleigh and diesel-powered reindeer. Raising funds for Rotary charities, the daytime crew, ably lead as usual by Dennis Hurst, raised just over half the magnificent total of £6,583.94. With too many people to thank individually, special mention must nevertheless be made to the ever-generous people of Melton, and to the ACF, Round Table, Inner Wheel and our many friends who helped Club members in their endeavours.  Click here to see Ken’s not-to-be missed movie of the evening events.

Event continued with collections of food from supermarket shoppers in support of the annual food parcels initiative, for which our Club’s involvement is lead by John Bartley. This was closely followed by the Club Christmas Party, where either David Brown’s “world’s widest tie” or his excellent quiz kept everyone amused.

Xmas Party 2015











Finally, Rotarians from the CommuRotary Carols Service 2015nity and Vocational Service Committee chaired by Keith Yates hosted two carol concerts. The first of these was held at the sage Cross Methodist Church and was lead by Anne Yeats and Tony Pick. More than 100 people enjoyed the service – and the tea that followed it!


SCalford Court Carols 2015

A small group of Rotarians and Inner Wheelers also gathered more informally to sing carols at Scalford Court .

That brings this roundup of Club events to a close and all that remains to do is to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and an excellent 2016




Christmas is ‘a Coming!Santa cartoon

Christmas is ‘a Coming and Santa’s on his way!  Here’s when and where to look out for him

MelBel SANTA`S SLEIGH   2015

Evening Routes

Mon 7th Dec        6.00pm to 8pm   Nottingham Road   Start The Welby

Tuey 8th Dec        6.00pm to 8pm  Scalford Road        Start Wymondham Way

Wed 9th Dec        6.00pm to 8pm  Dalby Road            Start Queensway

Thu 10th Dec       6.00pm to 8pm   Edendale Road      Start The Cherry Tree

Fri   11th Dec        6.00pm to 8pm  Burton Road           Start Baldocks Lane

Sat 12th Dec        5.00pm to 7pm  Thorpe Road           Start Beechwood Ave

For detailed routes, see our Facebook page 24 hrs in advance


Daytime Supermarket Collections

10am – 4pm each day

Mon 7th   Sainsburys
Tue  8th   Sainsubrys

Wed 9th   Morrisons
Thu  10th  Morrisons

Fri  11th    Lidl

Sat 12th   Coop

Santa’ Sleigh Saved!

With extensive re-development work under way at his grotto, it became necessary to find a new home for his sleigh (see video here) and team of reindeer. But with Christmas only weeks away and no new home in prospect, Santa was getting very worried. Oh dear, this could mean calamity, many disappointed children – what could he do?The Elves at the North Pole searched high and low for a shelter for his sleigh – but to no avail.Step forward the intrepid and resourceful little helpers of the Melbel Rotary Club.  They were on the case as soon as the alarm was sounded. They put out the word and came up with some brilliant ideas. Santa was able to relax – a little.

Numerous offers of help came forward; the good people in and around Melton could not imagine Christmas without the MelBel Rotary Sleigh.

They rallied to the cause. Hurrah.

Tesco offered the optimum solution; they have done Santa proud.  Tim Halstead (Produce Manager) after reading of the crisis in the Melton Times immediately contacted Sleigh headquarter at Melbel Rotary to offer space at their store.  The room is so big that the fully assembled sleigh with the Reindeers attached can be left there, whilst waiting until Santa is ready to go. This is brilliant because then Santa’s Elves do not have to dismantle it each time it is used.

For the rest of the year when the sleigh can be taken to bits and stored in a smaller space, a very kind local agricultural business has offered to look after it.  Let’s hope that they, as well as everyone at Tesco’s, and perhaps MelBel Rotarians and  everybody that helps with the Christmas Collections will  get a visit from Santa this year – they have been good little helpers!

That is one less thing that Santa has to worry about in December, he will be able to see all the children in Melton as usual



President’s Party

MelBel members and guests enjoyed a visit to Rutland Water, hosted by President Martin and Moira Hart, and organised by Rtn David Brown.
The event began with a dinghy race between President.Martin and Rtn Paul Dickinson, along with their scratch crews, which was officiated by Vice-Commodore Rich.Trevarthen. Although not exactly Cowes Week, this hotly-contested contest was eventually declared a draw by Rear Admiral Trevarthen, who by all accounts appeared to have been using a scoring system of his own devising.
We then enjoyed a splendid lakeside barbecue before embarking on the Rutland Belle, hoping to see the Ospreys that live in the conservation area at the Western end of the lake. After a very cruise with an excellent commentary, we were privileged to see an Osprey catching a large trout for its supper!
All the guests were full of praise for this well organised and very sociable event and express their thanks to everyone involved for such and enjoyable afternoon and evening
Click here to watch Rtn Ken Eggleston’s excellent video of the event

Handover Party

Sunday, July 5, 2015 saw the Presidents Handover at the home of Graham and Lynda Madeley, at the start of the new Rotary Year
President Martin Hart (centre), freshly returned from the wilds of Alaska, took over the reins for the coming year and then inducted the new Presidet Elect, Robert Asquith.(right)
Over 45 Club Members and guests, enjoyed a barbecue lunch on a fabulous summers afternoon, and everyone was fulsome in their praise for the Retiring President, now Past President, Tony Pick,(left) who has done a great job steering the Club for the last 12 months with humour and dedication.
The weather was mostly kind as the heavensDavid's Natty Hankie Hat didn’t open until most of the guests had left. We even had some very sunny spells for which some members were evidently unprepared! Does the Sgt at Arms have a fine category for unstylish headwear? If he does, then let’s hope that Rtn David Brown, seen here sporting a natty corner-tied napkin hat, has deep pockets …!
Many thanks go to Graham and Lynda for their generous hospitality and to the many helpers – notably Barry and Sheree – who made everything go so well

President’s Charity – Presentation to the Warning Zone

One of the final events of President Tony Pick’s year has been the handing over of his President’s Charity money. During his term of office we have raised £3,000, including a District Grant of £1,000, which was donated to Warning Zone ( to enable them to build their new Internet Safety Zone.

Photo 30-06-2015 18 06 10 Unfortunately President Tony was unable to attend the official opening of the E-Zone but Maggie Saunders presented the donation to Simon Wright, Chair of the Trustees, at the event attended by members of our club and numerous other Rotary clubs in the District.



Presidents’ Challenge

The Premier League? Not a chance!.

The 6 Nations? Only for wimps!

Wimbledon? Not even close!

No, the greatest sporting event of the year took place on 1st June when we took on the ladies of the Inner Wheel at Indoor Curling.

Despite them cheekily bringing a ringer – an Inner Wheel “Lady” who is 6’6” (both ways) with bulging farmer’s muscles? you’ve got to be joking, not even a skirt! – we still thrashed them.

The presidents

They’ll already be plotting their revenge in next year’s challenge. But have no fear, we stout-hearted MelBel Rotarians will be ready for ‘em.  Bring it on!


We know how to tell people where to go – in the nicest possible way!

Rotarians are here to lend a helping hand. But never was that so literal as on Sunday 17 May when a bunch of Melbel Marshalls pointed people to parking spaces for the big annual fund-raiser and open day at Dove Cottage Day Hospice.Dove Open Day Poster

And let us not forget the more skilled ones, those who were elevated in status, given charge of the “Go-Stop” sign on the bridge. Many of us aspire to one day reach those heights of prestige and power!

We are proud to make one more small contribution to the sterling work done by the staff and volunteers at Dove. Dove raised £4,000 that day. People got a chance to look around the hospice and have great fun at the family dog show, bring-along-your-antique-for-valuation event (who said that is a reference to our older Rotarians?? The price would be low there, wouldn’t it?), listen to Stathern Primary School Choir and tap feet to the Morris Dancers.

The community of the Vale and wider district really value the cheerful and loving help Dove’s carers give to people in great need. The least we Rotarians can do is tell where people to go!


Rtn Sandy Saunders receives Lifetime Achievement Award

More than 70 years after it was founded, a group for badly burned Second World War aircrew who received pioneering plastic surgery, has been honoured at a military awards ceremony. The survivors of the acclaimed Guinea Pigs Club of badly disfigured servicemen under the care of Sir Archibald McIndoe, including our own Club member, Rtn Dr Sandy Saunders, have now been honoured by a military charity.

The club was started as part support group and part drinking gang, and its remaining members were given the lifetime achievement award at the 2015 Soldiering On Awards in London on Saturday night.


Wing Cdr Tal Lambert, chairman of the Soldiering on Through Life Trust, which supports injured service personnel, their families and promotes military charities, said: “To the Gurkhas and the Guinea Pigs, to our service personnel, their families and the charities that support them, you have a special place in the nation’s heart. You are an inspiration to us all. You are all winners tonight.”

The Guinea Pigs had more than 600 members by the end of the War. There are believed to be 29 surviving. Dr Saunders, 93, received the award with fellow members Des O’Connell, 95 and Jack Perry, 89.

Well done, Sandy, we salute you


A Word from the Boss …..President Tony

As I enter the final third of my Presidential year. I am still amazed that this remarkable Club honoured me with the position of their leadership!

Such a lot has happened since last July. Some sad but mainly very happy occasions. We have had a number of our Rotarians or their partners suffering from ill health and one being bereaved. All have told me how much they appreciate the friendship and practical support of club members.

At the heart of Rotary is the desire to share in the joys and sorrows of deep fellowship which crosses cultural and religious boundaries.

For the most part the year has been very busy with fundraising activities and great times of fun. To name but a few. – our main fundraising activity takes place in December with Supermarket Collections both for money and food items, enabling us, along with other service organizations, to deliver Christmas parcels to the elderly and housebound. For a week around the same time we take out our Santa’s Sleigh to collect for our charity funds which helps us to support other people in need.

One of the most enjoyable occasions was when we enjoyed a visit from our twinned club from Coesfeld in Germany. Great fun and fellowship were had as old friendships were renewed and new friendships formed.

Melton Belvoir is a great Rotary club. If anyone reading this would like to hear more about Rotary please contact me on 0116 3487923 or by email ( and I will be happy to give you more information.


Rtn Tony Pick,


The Tilinanu Lilongwe African Orphanage

Alice Pulford from the Tilinani Orphanage in Malawi visited the Club recently to give us an update on the work that they have been doing recently.TN001

The orphanage is based in Area 49 in Lilongwe Sector 4, Malawi. There are over 400 children that are supported by the village. These are either orphans with no parents or children with one parent who are not able to support them. At present, all of the orphaned children are housed through the kindness of families in the surrounding community.

Alice, with the support of her family and following a gap-year in 2007, started to develop the idea of the Tilinanu Orphanage in 2009. Since then, working along side the Mkandawire family, it has gone from strength to strength making their dream a reality.

Outreach projects have resulted in the vaccination of over 70000 people; helped to build a school for 900 children; drilled bore holes to provide clean water and offered workshops and micro loans to give people the skills needed to help others to achieve a life worth living.

Both the Melton Belvoir Rotary Club and Inner Wheel are supporting this project. One of our members, Robert Asquith, will be visiting Tilinanu in May and is planning to use his horticultural knowledge and experience to work with local people to grow Moringa. This is a herb which grows readily in Malawi and has a wide range of uses in health care and can also be used as a food supplement. Robert is keen not only to grow the herb but also to develop it as a community wealth-generation commodity.


Youth Speaks – semi finals

The District 1070 semi-final for the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition was recently held at Bourne Academy.

Teams from Kesteven Selective High School Academy, Sleaford; Catmose College, Oakham; The Priory Ruskin Academy, Grantham and Bourne Grammar School took part.

The adjudicating panel of Philip Marston, Fran Rhowbotham and Pastor Peter Damen, were given a difficult but enjoyable task by the teams’ wide ranging choice of subjects, such as ‘Upside Down World’ and ‘A Rebel with a Cause’.

YSSF005Winning through to the competition finals, which will be held on March 14th, were two teams from Catmose Collge . The impressive Intermediate team of Liam Bottomley, Anand Raghavan and Sian Willard addressed the issue of “ To infinity and beyond” – about the value of space travel and its importance to the survival of humankind. The senior team comprising Holly Jones, Yaznia Pourmozafaria and Isaac Costa was outstanding, tackling the subject of “Boys will be Boys” – a humorous take on why boys underachieve at school and what can be done about it.

Both teams faced stiff opposition, especially from Bourne Grammar SchoYSS004ol, who on this occasion were runners-up in both competitions.

Assistant District Governor Bill Martindale of the Sleaford Kesteven Rotary Club presented the certificates and complimented all the contestants on their presentations and subject knowledge and paid tribute to the hard work and support of the teachers and families.


Santa’s Special

Once again, the Club’s major fundraiser of the year proved to be an outstanding success. Santa 1The remarkable dedication of the Club’s team of Santas and theiSanta 2r devoted elves, from the Club, Inner Wheel and Melton Round Table, was matched only by the magnificent support of the people of Melton, who were as unstintingly generous as ever in support of our charitable activities.

We were particularly grateful to the organisers of the Victorian market and to the management of Tesco, Sainsburys and Coop superstores for their continued support and we were very pleased to be able to add the Grange Alpine Restaurant to the list of venues for the first time.  As always, special thanks are due to Chief Santa 3Elfingeer Barry Cragg and his team for breathing life into the reindeer once again!


The total sum raised this year was £6534 – a truly remarkable achievement at such a busy time of year


Club NewsGeoff Theobald

We recently welcomed two excellent new members into Melbel Rotary. Here President Tony welcomes Geoff Theobald and John Adcock into membership of the Club.

John AdcockPresident Tony was also very pleased to announce the appointment of Rtn Robert Asquith to the position of Vice President. Robert will serve as Club President following President-Elect Martin Hart, in 2016-17


30th Charter Celebration

This year in celebration of its 30th birthday the club organised a dinner for over 120 people at Beedles Lake Golf Club.


The guest speaker was Gail Stuart, daughter of the late great comedian Eric Morecambe, who spoke about her life with one of this country’s national treasures and provided some very amusing anecdotes.


Youths Speak

The annual Rotary Youth Speaks public-speaking competition was held held on Wednesday 26 November at Quorn Lodge Hotel. Speaking to a packed room, teams from Catmose College, Oakham tackled such diverse topics as boys’ attitudes to education, space travel, school meals and the salaries paid to footballers and other celebrities.


The winners were

Holly Jones – chairperson
Yaznia Pourmozafari – speaker
Isaac Costa – vote of thanks

Liam Bottomley – chairperson
Anand Raghavan – speaker
Sian Willard – vote of thanks

The winning teams will go forward to the next round of the competition early next year, representing the Rotary Clubs of Melton Mowbray and Melton Mowbray Belvoir.



Coesfeld Visit

The Club recently hosted a party of visiting Rotarians from our twin club, The Rotary Club of Coesfeld in Germany. President Heiner Schwaaf was accompanied by ten members of his club and their partners

A welcome party travelled by coach to meet our visitors at Birmingham airport and once all the formalities had been sorted out, the group went on a guided tour of Stratford on Avon. On returning to Melton, we called into the new Council offices and were warmly welcomed by the Mayor, John Wyatt.


On the Saturday, the visitors were entertained by their host families who organised a variety of different outings. That evening the two clubs enjoyed each other’s company, an evening meal and a programme of home-grown entertainment at the Grange Alpine Restaurant. There was also a very friendly conkers competition which, as it wA pair of presidentsas the first time the visitors had ever heard of conkers, turned out to be hugely amusing and enjoyable.

On Sunday, before returning to Coesfeld, the visitors were treated to an excellent brunch at the Belvoir Alehouse followed by a brisk walk along the Grantham Canal to burn off some of the calories! To round off the trip, we had a guided tour around the new facilities at Dove Cottage Hospice, followed by a cream tea – just in case the effects of the “Belvoir Brunch” were wearing off!

A number of members worked tirelessly to put together a very interesting programme of events and to ensure that the event ran without a hitch, but particular thanks must go to Kim and Ken – well done chaps!


Skittles Evening

On Monday 13th October, twenty seven members attended a social fundraiser for the President’s selected charity at the Royal British Legion Club in Melton MowbrHow many Rotarians does it take to replace a pin-ay. The members were randomly split into two teams for the first game in the programme which lasted about an hour. After that game a magnificent buffet was served which received compliments from everyone present.


After a lengthy break enjoying the refreshments it was generally agreed to abandon the skittles and continue with the fellowship, which everyone seemed to be enjoying. The awarding of the prizes was then made to the best male and best female playerbased on the one game. The two winners were, Best lady – Joy Pick with a score of 17 and she received a prize of a box of chocolates (after dinner mints actually) .

The big prize

The Best Man was Peter Field, also with a score of 17, and he received a bottle of Whisky, albeit a miniature one.

Everyone enjoyed the event and we managed to raise a small amount (£62.50) for the President’s Charity “The Warning Zone”.




President Takes the Plunge for Warning Zone

Our intrepid President Tony “Ice” Pick raised £95 for his nominated charity, The Warning Zone, on Monday evening by braving the dreaded Ice Bucket Challenge.  Bucket wielders,



Rtn Jenny Barnes and Trude Hein from Quorn Lodge had allegedly promised not to put too much ice in with the water, but judging from the expression on Tony’s face, it looks like they might have been somewhat economical with the truth.

Congratulations, Tony – let’s hope the teeth stop chattering soon!


Global Harmony Concert Raises Over £1100 for Dove

On Saturday 5th July, a concert, organised by Vice President David Brown was given by the local choir, Global Harmony as a fund raising event for the 2013/14 Presidents Charity. It was held at the Pera Conference Hall, which is a wonderful venue for such events, and was last used by MBRC for a similar concert in 2011. The beneficiary of the event on this occasion was Dove Cottage Day Hospice.

GH choir, Pera

Around forty members of the choir were involved in the performance, singing a variety of songs from around the world, hence the title, “A World of Song”. No charge was made by the choir as this was a charity fund raiser, and we are indebted to them for their generosity.

The event was attended by 153 paying guests and a raffle and light refreshments were available on the night, both of which were well supported. The net profit from the event amounted to £1,110:00 and will be presented to Dove Cottage, together with other monies raised on their behalf over the previous twelve months, on Sunday 29th September, when we will be visiting the Hospice together with our twin Club of Coesfeld.

Rtn Richard Trevarthen, the MC for the night:said, “I can only sum it up by saying just brilliant. The variety of music, and the way it was presented was just super. I hope it won’t be too long before we meet again.”


President’s Petanques

President Tony’s first social and fundraising event was held on July 21st, when a group of members and partners joined together for an evening of Petanques (Boules) at the Horse and Groom in Rearsby.

IW President Anne Yates contemplating a tough shot

IW President Anne Yates contemplating a tough shot

Playing in teams of two, each couple participated in three matches and the teams with the two highest scores competed in a tense final. This was won by Rtns Eric Ward and David Sharp who comfortably beat their opponents, Rtns Peter Goodwin and Richard Holton. Perhaps the longer final match coupled with our Sgt of the Hot Tarts fabled inability to count into double figures proved his team’s undoing!

The winning team receiving their prize

The winning team receiving their prize

Referees Rtns David Brown and Sam Crossley were on had to advise on rules, arbitrate on close decisions and break up fights, although in the end the evening went ahead with only the occasional threat of a yellow card and no sendings off!

A hearty meal of curry or lasagne was provided by the pub and everyone enjoyed the evening, which kicked off the President’s Charity by raising just over £200


Club Member’s Double Celebration

The Club celebrated Hon Rtn Geoff Wrottesley’s 90th birthday and 50 years as a Rotarian at an extended meeting on Monday 28th July.  54 Rotarians, guests and friends were present, including Geoff’s wife, Joan, their daughter and son in law and friends from Holland

General shot

AG Rtn John Dehnel said a few words on behalf of Rotary and the main tribute was given on the Club’s behalf by Rtn Eric Sylt. President Tony presented Geoff speakingJoan with a bouquet of flowers and Geoff with a bottle of single malt. Reluctantly parting company with this bottle of Scotland’s best, President Tony also offered Geoff the advice that he should never “drink this alone”. Whether this came from a genuine concern for Geoff’s well-being or in the hope that he might be asked to stand duty as a support-drinker was unclear!

Many congratulations, Geoff – we celebrate your friendship and good company. Long may they continue!



The “Boss” takes over

On Monday July 7th President Keith came to the end of his very successful year and he handed over the chain of office to President Elect, Tony

President handover

Tony, who sported a pair of “Boss” emblazoned braces to Club Assembly, thereby rather foolishly providing us with his soubriquet for the year, becomes the 31st President of our Club

We wish you every success for your year Tony. Oh,  and Joy asks if she can please have her braces back…….


Eric Ward – MBE

Club member Eric Ward has been awarded an MBE for his service to the youth and charity sector. Eric is a Trustee of the Air League which gives 100 flying scholarships to young people each year. Based on his experience as a Magistrate on the youth bench for nineteen years, within this organisation he developed the Air League Diversionary Flying Scheme for young individuals who were in the Criminal System, giving them the opportunity to learn to fly, provided they comply with the set criteria; this has proved to be life changing. Eric is also a Trustee of the Air Training Corps which has 44,000Eric Ward cadets.

On the charity front, he is principally honoured for setting up and running the ‘Red Arrows Charitable Trust’, which not only protects the name, the ‘Red Arrows’ but is a multi-million pound Charity administered here in Leicestershire.

Sadly for us, Eric will very soon be leaving the area and heading North to Scotland, thus bringing his association with Melton Belvoir to a close

Very well done, Eric, we salute you, we will miss you and we wish you well!


Summer Concert

On Sunday the 22nd June,  Melton Belvoir Rotary Club hosted a summer concert in the village of Burton Lazars for some of the older folk in Melton. We invited people from some of the residential homes, local churches and the village itself. It was a beautiful day and we had a good response to our invitation. We had a variety of artists performing for us all free of charge as it was a charity event for which we were very grateful.

Guests having tea

The concert opened with Mr Richard Oliver who plays an accordion and who had us tapping our feet to a lovely polka. He was followed by Generation Gap, a group of 9 gentlemen playing guitars and 2 lady singers. They admitted that their average age was 72, but that did not stop them playing some great rock and roll to which our President Keith got up and jived with his wife Anne!

Things quieten down after that with a lovely organ and piano duet from Rtn Peter Field, one of our own members and Mrs Margaret Philips. Our final act was Mrs Rosemary Wright who also played the accordion. She gave us some lovely French pieces but finished with the theme to Wallace and Gromit which was great fun. Rosemary then led us in some community singing so everyone had a chance to join in. We ended the afternoon with tea and homemade cakes very kindly made for us by some of the ladies of the Inner Wheel club of Melton Mowbray Belvoir, delicious! We had a lovely afternoon with some very positive comments from our guests. A big thank you is due to all of our members who helped in any way, especially Rtn Richard Trevarthen who was the MC for the afternoon, our guest artists and the ladies who baked. A very enjoyable Sunday afternoon was had by all.


Waterways funding

Melton Belvoir Rotary Club recently awarded a grant to the Melton & Oakham Waterways Society to support their work to preserve and maintain the Melton Navigation and the Oakham Canal.

Cheque Handover

Here we see MBRC Fundraising Chairman David Brown handing over a cheque for £200 to Richard Nicholson of Melton & Oakham Waterways Society.



Matthew is a Rotary Star!

A Rotary Star was recently awarded to Matthew Gamble a pupil at Old Dalby Primary School. The presentation was made by the Reverend Tony Pick, President-Elect of Melton Belvoir Rotary Club.


This award is unusual as it is not based on academic achievement, but on other qualities agreed by the Head teacher and staff. In Matthew’s case it was awarded for being a good role model, having high aspirations, working hard and encouraging others. Matthew was also praised for being a natural leader, a wonderful team player and member of the School Council helping to shape the future of the school.



Melton’s Young Writer

The winner of this year’s Young Writer Competition is Sophie Ufton, who is a pupil at Brownlow County Primary School, in Melton Mowbray.  Sophie is eight years old and loves writing.  She entered the competition having read about it in the ‘Melton Times’.

Young Writer 07

The theme this year was to write about someone who has influenced your life and it could be someone from history or someone alive today.  Sophie chose to write about J K Rowling.  The presentation took place on Monday, 2 June during the Key Stage 2 Assembly at her school and the photos show Sophie with her certificates, medal and trophy, which were presented to her by Maggie Saunders from the Rotary Club of Melton Belvoir.


President Parades Pigeon Plaque

President Geoff Knipe & Mac Warwick from the Rotary Club of Peterborough Ortons joined our club meeting in February to present President Keith with the ‘pigeon trophy’. The annual money raising event which they organise in September, involves over 1,000 pigeons racing from Berwick, Northumberland to Peterborough, with sponsorship raising funds to pay for polio vaccinations for 50 overseas children. Other District clubs are invited to participate in the sponsorship and as our club sponsored more birds than any other club, other than the host club, we were presented with a trophy, which now sits in the lounge of our hotel meeting room. The event raised £1,100 and although none of our pigeons won any of the 3 cash prizes (£200/£100/350) our club benefited to the tune of £125 – our half share of the individual sponsorship fees

Flight for Life.


Catmose Success in Youth Speaks District Finals

The District finals of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition, an opportunity for young people to develop the ability to speak on a public platform, carry out research, formulate ideas, improve self-confidence and presentation skills, and work as a team, took place on Saturday 1 March at Buccleuch Academy in Kettering.

The Rotary clubs of Melton Mowbray and Melton Mowbray Belvoir each sponsored a team from Catmose College, both teams having previously gained first place at local and district semi-final stages.The competition was fierce with schools from Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Bedfordshire and Leicestershire competing to represent District 1070.

Catmose Winning Teams

The intermediate team took first place in their age group with two team members receiving individual awards as the best speaker and best proposer of the vote of thanks.

This team comprised Holly Jones, Yaznia Pourmozafari and Matthew Hallgarth.  Their presentation entitled “The Sound of Silence” explored the medical condition Tinnitus.

The senior team, comprising Ellen Edwards Cole, Tom Law and Isaac Costa also from Catmose, took first place in their age group, with individual awards being presented to team members for best chairperson and best proposer of the vote of thanks. Their chosen topic was “History – there’s no future in it”.

The two teams now go forward to the Regional Final, of this national competition, to be held in Castleford at the end of March.


Rtn. Glen Arnold

Despite holding positions of Professor of Investment and Professor of Corporate Finance, our newest member, Rtn. Glen C. Arnold, concluded that academic life was not nearly as much fun (nor as intellectually stimulating) as making money in the financial markets. He now spends most of his time running his equity portfolio and a small property development company from a tiny office in the heart of rural Leicestershire, activities he describes as “faffing around”!.Glen Arnold

His main research focus explores the question: “What works in investment?” drawing on the work of the great investors, academic discoveries and corporate strategic analysis. He is happy to share ideas with fellow enthusiasts in the City, such as at Schroders Investment Management, where he teaches 19 days each year. He also organises seminar days for private investors to discuss investment philosophies, company analysis and techniques allowing high returns.

He has written a number of books including best-sellers on investment and UK corporate finance.


Kim Kettle – Paul Harris Fellow

To his complete surprise and obvious delight, the Club recently awarded a well-deserved Paul Harris Fellowship to Rotarian Kim Kettle. Kim joined Melton Belvoir in 2000 and immediately became a very active Rotarian. He served as our President in 2007 and has taken the lead in working with our twin club, the Rotary Club of Coesfeld, organising both home and away visits and leading our involvement in joint projects, such as Itala..

Kim and Ken

To view Ken Egglestone’s excellent video of the event, click here


Norman Spiers

Mowbray Belvoir Rotary Club are sad to report the death of one of it’s oldest members – Norman Spiers (80). Norman joined the Rotary Club of Aberdare in 1984 and was their President in 1993-1994. Prior to Rotary, Norman was a member of the Round Table in Neath. He held a BSc and PhD from Aberystwyth University and was a University Blue in athletics (mainly hurdles & javelin). His wife, Shirley, who sadly passed away in 2008, was a member and Past President of the Inner Wheel Club of Aberdare.
Norman and Shirley visited numerous International Rotary meetings where many friendships were made. They were happily married for 49 years and raised a son Paul and daughter Karen.

After working in the paint industry, Norman joined Dunlopillo as Technical Manager, where he worked until retirement. Norman and Shirley moved to Ashby Folville, near Melton Mowbray in 2001, to be near his son and family and became a valued member of the Melton Belvoir Club. He was an outstanding scientist and a committed family man with five grandchildren. His quiet but outstanding knowledge will be sadly missed by us all.


Santa’s Sleigh

It’s that time of year again!  Santa, his sleigh and his band of merry elves have kicked off the season with an attendance at the Victorian Fayre last Sunday.  Here are the routes he will be taking from Monday 9th

Santa Sleigh Route


Visit to the National Memorial

At 8.45am on Thursday November 7th 2013, a group of around 30 Rotarians, partners and Inner Wheel members visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
Set in 150 acres of trees and memorials within the National Forest it is a unique haven of peace which aims to recognise all those organisations and individuals (military and non-military) who gave, and continue to give, so much so that we can enjoy our lives today.
Arriving around 10.15am, the first objective was to attend the daily two minutes silence service at 11.00am in the Millennium Chapel, a very poignant ceremony given the timing during Remembrance week.

After the short ceremony, the Melton Belvoir Rotary wreath, which had been completed by Jean Eggleston at the previous Monday meeting was laid at the Rotary Ridge, a hedge of cypress trees, sponsored by local Rotary clubs.

This was followed by the laying of another wreath at the Armed Forces Memorial, a stunning piece of architecture, dedicated to all those who have fallen since the end of the Second World War. The names of all those who have died are recorded in date and Service order. The wreath was dedicated to the memory of Corporal Marcin Wojtak from Melton who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.image4-crop-compressed
The remaining time was available to individually explore the 200 and more memorials in the arboretum and for personal rememberance.
Many thanks to President Elect Tony Pick for organising this visit and to Rotarian Jenny Barnes for providing the wreaths.


RC of Coesfeld – Celebrating 20 years of friendshipOn Monday 21st October, we were delighted to welcome Dr Michael Pietch and his wife Rendel to celebrate 20 years of friendship & exchange between MBRC and the Rotary Club of Coesfeld.
Past President Barry Cragg welcomed the couple with a brief account of how the twinning of the two clubs came about, through the arrival of Reinhard Mantau as a work exchange student on the farm belonging to Ken Eggleston’s father. The two became good friends and 25 years on, they both became Rotarians in their respective countries, events which subsequently culminated in a trip to Coesfeld to discuss the possibility of twinning the two clubs. He explained that memories of the trip are somewhat hazy, on account of the generosity of their hosts’ welcome!In 1993, when Barry was President of the Club, Reinhard Mantau – now President of the Coesfeld club – visited us together with 20 of his fellow Rotarians and their wives and the twinning of the two clubs was officially confirmed by Melton’s Lord Mayor.Many enjoyable exchanges between the two clubs have taken place in the intervening years and a number of highly successful joint charitable projects have been undertaken, including the Dove Cottage garden, providing electricity to Itala School in Zambia and others.To mark the occasion and reflecting the Club’s very great pleasure in our 20 year relationship with the Coesfeld club, Dr Pietch was asked to accept a small token of our appreciation on behalf of his fellow members.On a more personal note, Barry then reminded IMG_6608e_edited-1the meeting that the success of ventures such as twinning very often relies on the dedication of a small number of people and in this instance especially, on the tireless efforts of Michael Pietch himself. Commenting that Michael had been instrumental in arranging and organising every exchange since the very first in 1993, Barry then announced that in recognition of Michael’s consistent demonstration of a deep personal commitment to the ideas and delivery of Rotary service, the members of MBRC had unanimously voted to honour him with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award, which was duly presented by our President, Keith.


Raising Funds for the Syrian Crisis
Last Sunday Melton Belvoir Rotary Club held a highly successful charity film show at the Regal Cinema. The proceeds of the raffle and the ticket receipts together raised over £1100 for Shelterbox, which is a Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid  Charity.
The money raised will be used to help refugees made homeless in the Syrian crisis, providing warmth and shelter for at least four families this coming winter.
Anybody interested in making a contribution can look at  or ring 01326 569782 for more information
Around 100 filmgoers wIMG_6567eatched the classic film “Some Like It Hot”, featuring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and the remarkable Marilyn Monroe. This highly enjoyable afternoon  performance was very generously hosted by the Mundin family, the owners of Melton’s excellent Regal Cinema, seen here with President Keith.


Dove Moonlight Walk

Nearly 2/3rds of the Club turned out to join in this year’s Moonlight Walk in aid of the Dove Hospice, either as marshalls or walking one of the three routes. In all, close to 300 people signed up on the night to “Do it for Dove” and such a large event could not run without a well-managed team of marshals. This was provided by MBRC for the second year running, under the ever-capable leadership of Kim Kettle.


More than £15,000 was raised on the night and the total, with on-line sponsorship and Gift-Aid is expecetd to top £20,000


District Governor’s Visit

Club members were delighted to host our new District Governor- Margaret Morley (R C of Corby Phoenix) and Assistant District Governor (Area B) John Denhel (R C of Melton Pres Keith & DGMowbray) to our Meeting on Monday,19th August. Margaret outlined the District & her thoughts on the new Rotary Year and reiterated the most important items presented and discussed at the recent District Assembly. She found it interesting to hear some of our member’s comments,during the Question and Answer session after her audio-visual  presentation. Her main concern is for clubs, particulary in cluster areas, to work more closely together to ‘Engage Rotary & Change Lives’. She was encouraged with the close cooperation of the three Melton Clubs and hoped this would continue.


Help for Heroes – UPDATE

In June, Rotarian David Brown along with two colleagues took part in the Help for Heroes 4 X 4 European Rally 2013, the aim of which is to raise money for the H4H charity. This was the fourth running of the event which has now raised more than £600,000 since 2010. The team name “The Pork Pies” was chosen as they live in the Melton Mowbray area. Before the event took place the team spent months raising more than £4,500 towards the rally total.
David's CarDavid’s Discovery (bottom left) leaving the Airborne Museum in Arnhem
The Rally stated on Saturday 15th June from Littlecote House in Wiltshire which was the Headquarters of the US 101st Airborne Division during WWII, and is now owned by Warner Leisure. The route through Europe emulated that taken by the US 101st Airborne Division following the D-Day landings as depicted in the film “Band of Brothers” and included the Normandy Beaches, Arnhem and Bastogne, before entering Germany, Munich, Dachau Concentration Camp and Berchtesgaden. We also visited the “Eagles Nest”, Hitler’s retreat (at 6,058Ft) in the Bavarian Alps.
The Rally also visited the site of the Somme and the Lochnagar Crater, formed when 24 tons of explosives were detonated beneath a German held ridge at 07:28 on 1st July 1916, before driving to the town of Leper near Ypres in Belgium where “The Last Post” ceremony takes place every night of the year, with hundreds of people attending. We also visited the Headquarters of the “Commonwealth War Graves Commission” where all items used in the various Commonwealth Cemeteries throughout the world are produced, including 66,000 Headstones each year.

CemeteryHenri-Chappelle Cemetery in Belgium where nearly 8000 US soldiers are buried

Every Headstone in every cemetery is replaced at least every twenty five years. They are also responsible for the upkeep of all the cemeteries. Historically, the Headstones have always been made of Portland Stone, but there is no longer sufficient of this so an Italian stone is now being used.
Our aim was simply to complete the Rally without any serious problems, and we achieved this, despite a very busy schedule. The one downside was the weather. Over the fifteen days of the trip, we had one day without rain, and when one is camping, this can be very unpleasant, but it didn’t detract from what was a memorable and very moving experience and most certainly well worth the effort.
Further information about the Rally can be found at


John Sanderson

John Sanderson

The Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray Belvoir has lost one of its longest serving members, John Sanderson. John has recently passed away after a long illness, bravely borne; his cheerfulness and sense of humour was with him all the time. John’s contribution to the community and to the town of Melton Mowbray in particular was extensive, serving as Borough Councillor and Town Estate Feoffee. John was a founder member of our Club and served as President.
A celebration of John’s life will take place at St Mary’s Church Melton Mowbray, on Wednesday, 26 June at 12: 45, followed by a committal at Loughborough Crematorium immediately afterwards.
He will be sadly missed by all


Club Visit to BBC Nottingham

Recently, a small party from the Club, organised by President Elect Keith Yates, visited BBC Nottingham, where they had a great time being shown round the Studios, before adjourning to the pub for a meal afterwards. Here is a short video to give a flavour of the evening.


Help for Heroes

In addition to his tireless work organising Club fundraising events, Rtn David Brown has taken up the cause of Help For Heroes, in support of British servicemen injured in the line of duty.


David has organised various fundraising activities for the charity and is participating in the Help for Heroes 4×4 European Rally 2013, which follows the 3000 mile route of the 101st Airborne, from Normandy to the Bavarian Alps (think, Band of Brothers)

David has constructed an excellent website with details of the team, their fundraising events and the rally – you can find it here

Good luck – David!


Alexander Heddier

The Club was recently visited by 18 year old Alexander Heddier whose father is a member of our twin club, the Rotary Club of Coesfeld in Germany. With the help of Club members, Alexander was found a three week work placement at an IT company at PERA which he competed with a very good report to take back to Coesfeld as part of his education.

David and Gillian Sharp hosted Alexander for the three weeks, while a good number of  Rotarians entertained him for many of the evenings and weekends. We are sure Alexander will remember the variety of events he attended, as below.

Watched European football at Ken Eggleston’s home.
Evening meal at the Crown Inn with Tony Wallis.
Attended a Notts County football match with Keith Yates and a evening meal with Keith and Anne.
Attended as a guest to The Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray Charter at Scalford Hall.
Went to the Nottingham Showcase with President Gerry Short.
Alexander and David Sharp attended the Rotary Club Melton Aurora breakfast meeting.
Attended a Magic performance at Thorpe Arnold Village Hall with David and Gillian Sharp entertainer was from the national magic circle.
Carol Scarborough invited Alexander for evening meal and a quiz at her church.
Sunday lunch at Eric Ward’s home.
Visited local cinema with Sam Crossley.
Chinese meal with David And Carol Brown.
Evening meal with Richard Trevarthen at Loughborough.
Swimming at Barnsdale with Richard Holton and Dennis Hurst.
Visited Nottingham and the castle with David and Gillian Sharp.
Cycled round Rutland Water with Kim Kettle ( Kim muscles ached the next day )

Here is Alexander enjoying a cold afternoon in Nottingham with Gillian



Club Events

Here are some photos from recent New Generations and other Club events

All the Teams

Meet the teams!  Finalists in the Youth Speaks competition

No..this is how it's done,,with style!

Rtn Tony Wallis showing how it’s done – with style – in the bowling alley!

David Ellams & Rhona Tomlyn with the competitors[comp]

Entrants in the Young Chef Competition at Stapleford Park


Returning member Jim Schofield being welcomed back to the Club by his sponsor, Rtn Mick Hirst and President Gerry


A Christmas Cracker

Rtn Eric Sylt has as ever, been busy with his camera (and deserves special thanks from not just your very grateful webmaster, Sgt-at-Arms please note?) so here’s a round-up of a number of Christmas and pre-Christmas events

Christmas Fundraising

Christmas is MelBel’s busiest time of year and is also when our fundraising activities reach their peak. IMG_6080_edited-1


MelBel Rotarians accompanying Santa at the Victorian Christmas Fayre in the town centre

Santa (Richard H) Behaving with Neville & Wendy

Santa and his elves (elves?) also found time to collect donations at Morrisons and Tesco

Christmas Parties

President Gerry waiting-on 02 [comp]President Gerry and fellow Rotarians entertaining our elderly guests from several of Melton Mowbray’s care homes, to a party tea following the Carol Concert lead by Rtn Tony Pick at the Baptist Church

Grateful thanks[comp]

President Gerry sending all our thanks and best wishes to Truda and the staff at Quorn Lodge for all their work on our behalf this past year

Sgt at Arms in Xmas mood[comp]

And whilst the rest of  the Club got into the party mood, our Sgt-at-Arms, ever-mindful of the gravity of his office and the seriousness of his duties, does not give in to the frivolity of the evening (the paper hat being merely a ruse to beguile fellow Rotarians into a false sense of security). Here he is, hard at work, busy calculating how to fine us the most heavily ….


MelBel Medley

Here’s a selection of photos marking a very busy couple of months leading up to Christmas …

Rotary and Inner Wheel Charter Nights

President Gerry & Top TableTop Table

Youth Events – RYLA and Young Chef Competition

Photo0150[comp]David Ellams & Rhona Tomlyn with the competitors[comp]

Our successful RYLA candidate receives her certificate from MelBel member Maggie Saunders

YC competitors with Stapleford Park Head chef David Ellams and MelBel member Rhona Tomlyn

Notable MelBel Members

Games' Maker 01[comp]

Here’s our very own “Games-maker” Rtn Ken Eggleston, giving us a fascinating and moving insight into his experiences at the Paralympic Games

Sandy's 90th

And here’s Rtn Sandy Saunders, about to cut his 90th Birthday cake..


Warning Zone – A Thank You

President Gerry received this letter from the Warning Zone and asked that it be placed on record on the website

Warning Zone TYL


Youth Speaks – Clean Sweep for Catmose

The Rotary Clubs of Melton Mowbray and Melton Mowbray Belvoir staged the annual public-speaking competition, Youth Speaks, on Wednesday 14th November at Quorn Lodge Hotel. The hotly contested competition was won by teams from Catmose College in both the intermediate and senior categories.  Topics included the Paralympic Vision, modern languages provision in today’s schools, the regrettable decline of school music, as well as talks on the pros and cons of social media and the world of electronic gadgets.

All the Teams

This competition usually attracts interest from the borough’s schools. However this year none entered and it is now down to Catmose College to represent the Melton Rotary clubs in the next round of this national competition which will take place in January 2013.The winners were  Isaaac Costa, Ben Ramsay and Ellie Bullough (Intermediate) and Grace Ray, Cara Smithson and Abigail Pople (Seniors).


Race Night!

An enjoyable evening of horse racing was held on Friday 19th October in aid of the President’s Charity “Dove Cottage Hospice”, when seven members and their guests totalling nineteen people were entertained with nine races at Thorpe Arnold Village Hall. The event raised £241.68 thanks to the generosity of seven club members, who each sponsored one race; the eighth race being sponsored by L & H Exhausts, together with a number of other donations. This brings the total raised for Dove Cottage so far this year to over £552.00.


Rotary District 1070 Conference Telford

Four Rotarians from Melton Mowbray Belvoir attended this year’s District 1070 conference in Telford. One of them was Past President David Sharpe. Here’s his report on the event.
The first event on the Friday night was a Best of British Supper and Last Night of the Proms. The tables were very patriotic with many union jack flags and guests in red white and blue fancy dress. We were entertained by the Jackfield Brass band and the Hadley Male Voice Choir. All the band, the choir and guests finish with the last night of the proms.  Even the District Governor, Chris Chew entered into the entertainment when he stripped off to reveal very patriotic underwear in the long johns he had on!!

At the Saturday Plenary session for the first 45 minutes we had a warm up with all in the hall having a West African drum ‘djembes’ to play, well over 500 drums.  We were guided and taught how to play the drums from a group of four professional players on stage it was amazing how we all kept to time.

We had several excellent presentations for the rest of the morning, there was one moving presentation from Colonel Mark Cook on Hope and Homes for Children, Mark introduced Oggi Tomic who born in Bosnia.  Oggi explained he was put into an orphanage institution as a baby.  Life in institutions for children is very traumatic a place with no love and being moved from one institution to another and all children wishing they could be part of a family. Fortunately for Oggi Hope and Homes charity helped him with his education and eventually he gained a degree at a university in Wales.  Mark explained one of the major aims of the Hope and Homes Charity is to get all the Orphanages Institutions closed and children placed into families.

Saturday afternoon our group visited the Ironbridge the first iron bridge in the world constructed in 1790. In the evening we all enjoyed a meal at the Park House Hotel also Rtn. John Dehnel joined us for the evening meal, which proved to be a very late night.  We were up early on the Sunday – well most of us – to get to the conference centre in time for the Sunday Plenary session.  Rtn John Dehnel was one of the speakers in the Time of Reflection.  Later in the morning John was presented with three sapphires to his Paul Harris Fellow award for his work in Rotary Foundation.  Later in the morning we had an address by Michael Portillo, who described his time in Government.  He entered the House of Commons in 1984 and was a minister for eleven years.  He now supports DEBRA which is the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – a painful genetic condition which causes the skin to blister and shear at the slightest friction, or even spontaneously.

On the Sunday afternoon we all went to Blists Hill Victorian Town.  We all had fish and chips in the traditional fish and chip shop (wrapped in paper cones).

We all enjoyed ourselves so much we recommend that all Rotarians should join us for the District Conference at the Barbican York on 27- 29 September next year.


Wallis’ Grand Day Out


The National Lift Tower.

Four hundred and eighteen feet of reinforced concrete – nearly three times the height of Nelson’s column –  50 feet at the base, tapering to 30 feet at the summit. Built by the Express Lift Company in 1980, the tower is one of only two in Europe and is now a Grade II Listed Building.

“Very interesting, ” I hear you say, “but what has this got to do with Rotary?”

The connection stands atop this remarkable structure, the morning sun glinting off his aviator shades. He takes in the stunning panorama (easy does it,  this is Northampton we’re talking about….) all the while congratulating himself on the wisdom of forgoing food for the last 24 hours…….

Then a harness is strapped on. Webbing is tightened, ropes are coiled, carabiners clicked and checked. Our hero is either off to the kind of party favoured by the erstwhile head of motor racing, or about to do something frighteningly athletic.

It is the latter.

And then with a single bound, our hero, the remarkably brave and quite possibly deranged, Rotarian Tony Wallis, is over the edge and gone, suspended above the abyss by just a few stands of Dupont’s finest.

Moments – and 418 feet  – later, is it all over.

Well done, Tony; three cheers from me and I’m sure, from all your fellow Rotarians. Perhaps we should all follow you example and rise to the challenge of individual fundraising by intrepid sporting achievement?

Now, where did I put those conkers……?


 The Allerton Project Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

Members of the Club visited the Allerton Project on Monday evening the 23rd July. The weather was a perfect sunny evening, we chose the right week for the event as it had been wet every day for weeks before.

Before we went on a walk around the site the head of research Dr Chris Stoate gave a presentation using visual projection.  Chris explained the work and research that is being done at the Allerton Project.  The main items covered in the presentation:

  • Growing the farm business for crops and wild life.
  • Boosting biodiversity –
  • Balancing soil, water and farming –
  • Game management and song birds.

The visitor centre is an eco-friendly building.  A lot of the building materials have been harvested from the farm. The walls are straw bales and the loft insulation is processed sheep’s wool. The heating system uses biomass chipped wood thinning’s from the farm woodland.

After the presentation we assembled outside and Chris guided us around the farm fields and woodlands showing us the working research projects. It was a fairly easy walk approximately 2miles, there were very few mud patches, as it had dried up over the previous few dry days. We did a complete circular tour and ended back at the visitor centre, and a thank you was given to Chris for his presentation and guided tour.

After this event we all went for a very enjoyable meal at The Plough, Braunston.


 Flower Demonstration at Stapleford Park

On a bright sunny Sunday afternoon on 22nd July, 81 people sat down to be entertained with three individual flower demonstrations by local florist Susan Martorano who runs her own business “Totally Flowers” from her home in Wymondham.

The venue was the very special “Grand Hall” at Stapleford Park Country House Hotel and mid-way through the entertainment our guests were served a cream tea.
The purpose of the event was to raise money for two local Hospice, Loros and Dove Cottage both of which provide an invaluable service helping to improve the lives of people with a terminal illness.
A raffle was run, with the main prizes being the arrangements created by Susan with a number of other prizes on offer, two of which were very kindly donated by Susan.  The raffle generated a wonderful £319, much more than we had anticipated and which resulted in an overall surplus of £622:15 for the event.  Rtn David Brown who organised the event for the Club said, “I feel sure that club members will want to round that up to say £650 so that we can hand cheques to the value of £325 to each of our chosen charities.”
I’m sure that the Club will agree and well done David for another excellent event!


 Presidents Hand Over

Last Monday evening The Club met with members of Inner Wheel for a joint meeting to celebrate the end of one year – and the beginning of the next. The event saw Immediate Past Presidents David Sharp and Wendy Whait hand over the reigns of office to 2103 Presidents Gerry Short and Margaret Morris.

Well done, David and Wendy – Best of luck Gerry and Margaret!


Visit to Warning Zone

A small number of club members plus partners were joined by representatives from the other 2 Rotary clubs in Melton for a visit to the Warning Zone in Leicester. This is a totally unique venue in the East Midlands designed principally for all Year 6 (10/11 year old) school children in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Its aim is to explore the issues around risk taking, personal responsibility, safe decision making and the consequences of anti-social behaviour.  This is done by the use of 8 purposely designed interactive scenarios where groups of children are guided through by specially trained volunteers.

Normally each scenario takes around 12 minutes but this was reduced to 5 minutes for our whistle stop tour in order to complete the whole visit in the time available. Prior to being taken through the scenarios in small groups of 6, the children are shown a video which highlights typical risky and anti-social behaviour and then asked questions about criminal responsibility and the consequences of their actions.
We were astounded to be told that, in this country, there is no organisation, government body or statutory requirement with the responsibility for teaching this kind of message to children despite the obvious dangers involved and the impact of increased anti-social behaviour in recent years.
Warning Zone is a superb modern facility that enables children to be instructed in an enjoyable and non-judgemental way and as such should be available to all Year 6 children. As always the problem for schools is one of funding as WZ is an independent charity and therefore must charge £5 per child. In addition the schools have to provide transport for their visits.
Rotary clubs are in an ideal situation to support primary schools in their locality by offering to provide funds for Warning Zone visits, which in turn benefits the clubs through closer links with the schools and support for Rotary’s own youth programmes and fund raising activities.
It was generally agreed that all 3 Melton clubs should jointly work together to provide places and transport for all those primary schools in Melton and the wider Borough areas that are unable to fund this project for themselves.
Our thanks go to Alan Godber, Rachel Roark and their team of volunteers for providing us with such an enjoyable and educational evening.


Presidents Challenge 2012

As the Rotary Club Melton Mowbray Belvoir lost to Inner Wheel Melton Mowbray Belvoir last year we were committed to arrange the challenge this year. President David has an interest in the game of Kurling, (similar game to Curling but not on ice).  This challenge was arranged and took place on Friday 18th May at Thorpe Arnold Village Hall which has recently been refurbished.  The rules of the game were explained by President David (with interruptions by his wife Gill).  The game is played with a target laid on the floor at one end and stones with caster bearings are bowled from the other end.  The game is similar to bowls with the only ones counting are the ones closest to the bull’s eye.  Of course the bull’s eye does not move like the Jack in bowls so it is advantageous to be the last player.  This did happen in the final round by Richard Trevarthen as he bowled the last stone and scattered the Inner Wheel stones, enabling Rotary Club to win by one point.  (Although Inner Wheel disputed whether his foot was over the line, thus being a foot fault!!!)  What will next year bring – knitting competition perhaps?
A sociable evening was enjoyed by all those who attended followed by a bring and share supper.


Visit to Coesfeld

The Melton Belvoir Rotary Club is twinned with the Rotary Club of Coesfeld (Germany) and exchange visits take place every two years. This year it was our turn to travel to Germany. A good party of Rotarians and partners made the journey, which was meticulously organised by Rtn Kim Kettle.  Here are the thoughts of one of our members, Rtn David Brown, who was making the trip for the first time.

This was my first Rotary exchange visit and I was unsure what to expect.  The arrangements made by the Coesfeld club for our visit were excellent from our arrival in Germany to our departure three days later.  They had organised two interesting visits, one to the town of Munster and the other to a coal mine heritage site in Essen.  The visit to Munster was wonderful, mainly because it is a town full of seventeenth century house, but they were all built on the 1950’s following heavy bombing during the second world war.  It just shows what can be achieved when the local council consider the opinions of the residents.

The visit to the coal mine which closed for business some years ago, was interesting because the site has been maintained as a visitors centre, and yet it still retains most of the infrastructure of a working mine.

On the Saturday we were taken to a schnapps distillery in a small town called Schöppingen where samples of the various flavoured schnapps were offered, and not wishing to offend we graciously accepted them.  At the end of the tour there was a long queue of people at the shop wanting to take home some full bottle samples.

Following this visit we were taken to the Town Hall in the same town for a formal dinner.  The building was set in a small square and dated back to the 1600’s and is now used only for functions.  We had a  most enjoyable meal and as much wine, beer and spirits as one wished.  A simple method of accounting the drinks was used whereby everyone was given a small card on to which the waitresses marked down the drinks served.  These cards were then handed to our hosts and the total bill for the evening was settled by the host club.  Simple but very effective.

All in all this was a fantastic experience, the hospitality was wonderful and the friendliness of our hosts was excellent.  I feel that I was very fortunate to have stayed at the home of Clemens and Claudia Heddier together with Humphrey Davies, because Clemens is a classic car fanatic and has the most excellent collection of classic cars and memorabilia.  The sight of his collection left me salivating.  I can’t wait to go again

Only 4 years to go, David!


St George’s Day Extravaganza!

On Monday 23rd April, members of the club held a celebration of St. Georges day at the Quorn Lodge Hotel.  The evening began with the presentation of a cheque for £250 to the local Scout Camp following three break-ins to their camp premises near Holwell village.  The evening continued with the investiture of a new member to the club, Mr, Harry Mann, owner of the Quorn Lodge Hotel.

A typical English meal of Roast Beef followed by Apple Crumble was then served and then the fun began.  This consisted of a number of members each doing a brief act relating in some way to the English heritage.

  • Richard Trevarthen described the history of the Cornish Kilt.
  • Tony Wallis reminded everyone of the things that England has given to the world.
  • Keith Yates told the tale of the Lambton Worm with everyone invited to repeat the chorus and with the whole story being told in a very broad north east accent, this was some challenge!
  • A sketch depicting the English class culture was the acted out by Humphrey Davies, David Brown and Keith Yates taking the places of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbet in the well known television sketch.
  • Barry Cragg had prepared a twenty question quiz about various things relating to England, its history and culture.
  • The famous speech from Shakespears Henry V about the battle of Agincourt had been recorded by Tony Field who was not able to be present and was played with animated actions given by David Brown.
  • Dennis Hurst and Richard Holton then gave a hilarious Morcambe and Wise type sketch which inevitably involved making fun of various club members.
  • The evening ended with a communal singing of Jerusalem and the English National Anthem.

In all fifty five people attend the event and the general consensus was that it was a great success.


Bangers and Bikes

This Monday, the Club moved from its usual venue to The Eating House in Sherrard St for an excellent evening of home-cooked bangers and mash to raise funds for the Draisin Bike project at Birch Wood Area Special School, which caters for students with moderate and profound learning difficulties.The project aims to raise money for two specialist “bicycles”, that can be used by children who are not capable of riding on a two wheels, to provide exercise, physical and coordination development … and a huge amount of fun!

The evening’s normal entertainment – betting on whether our esteemed Master of the Hot Tarts will correctly calculate the required number of puddings (there goes another 20p!) – was on this occasion replaced with a remarkable display of table-side magic. Has anyone been able to work out the trick with the two elastic bands? Answers on a postcard, please.

In thanking everyone for attending, organiser Rtn David Brown paid a special tribute to Steve and Mandy and the Eating House staff for an excellent evening and for their very generous donation of raffle prizes. In all, the event raised nearly £320, which will make a big difference to the Birch Wood project.


Catch-up Ketchup!

It’s time to fill up those ketchup bottles and return them to President David! “I’ve had a few returned to me so far which is great, but I need to get the money in before the end of the Rotary year” he told me.

So, we have still got a couple of months to go, but don’t leave it too late!


Festa Della Donna

This Italian festival, known as International Women’s Day, is celebrated each year on 8th March all over Italy and so 65 members of our club celebrated in style at La Torre Italian restaurant in Leicester Street.

A good time was had by all those present and a total of £377 was raised for President David Sharp’s selected charity “Life Education Melton”.  This brings to total amount raised during the current year for this charity to around £1,000. Special thanks go to Bruno and his staff for hosting the event and putting on the excellent food, to Mic Hurst who organised and ran the raffle and everyone who provided raffle prizes.


Melton’s Young Chefs

Following their visit to Stapleford Park Country Hotel, where they had to rise to the challenge of working under the watchful eyes of head chef David Ellams, Lydia Swift of Long Field School and Tom Mallender of Belvoir High School, recently took part in the Northern Rotary Young Chef District 1070 Final in Leicester

With an age range of 11 to 17 the standard at the Final was extremely high and all competitors worked confidently to produce tasty and very professional three course meals.
Lydia’s meal, with a menu of curried parsnip and apple soup; filo pork with apricot stuffing and ratatouille and lime cheesecake cream on a biscuit base, won her the first place, a real achievement given that she was one of the youngest competitors.
Lydia will now represent Rotary District 1070 in the Regional Final to be held in Ilkeston on 24 March 2012.

Well done, Lydia and best of luck!


Santa’s Sleigh Collection

Our major fundraising event of the year has now taken place with Santa and his sleigh appearing at Tesco and Morrrisons during the day and touring around Melton at night. Assisted by members of Inner Wheel and Round Table, Club members raised the amazing total of nearly £7000. Fundraising Chairman David Brown remarked,  “Once again the people of Melton have demonstrated their generosity by giving a record amount at a time when we are all facing greater demands on our finances.  The money raised will be used to provide help to many groups and individuals of all ages within the town.”.

While expressing his thanks to everyone invovled, President David added, “In addition to all those people who gave Santa such a tremendous reception throughout the week, the Club would like to thank sincerely, the organisers of the Victorian Market and the managers of the Tesco and Morrisons superstores for inviting Santa on to their premises, during the daytime


Melton Belvoir Charter Night

President David together with 112 guests and fellow Rotarians met at the Brooksby Banqueting Suite on Nov 14th for our annual Charter Celebration. The 32 members from  Melton Belvoir were joined by 51 Rotarians from 13 other Clubs and 6 members of Melton Belvoir Inner Wheel.  Joining President David were his top table guests, including Assistant District Governor, Garner Roberts, The Mayor of Melton Mowbray, Alison Freer, Senior Townwarden, Richard Sage and our guest speaker, The Reverend Ray Sowersby


Rotarians Plant Hope for PolioPlus

During a 10 day period in mid October, Melton Belvoir Rotarians – ably assisted by groups of enthusiastic young volunteers – planted 13,000 purple crocus bulbs as part of the programme to raise the awareness of the work being done by Rotarians worldwide to eradicate polio. The bulbs were planted at the new Melton Borough Council offices and at 10 primary schools within the borough.

Organiser, Rotarian David Brown commented, ” The welcome and support we received everywhere we went was fantastic. The schoolchildren were very interested to learn about polio and what is being done to eradicate this dreadful disease“. Club President, David Sharp added, “This is a tremendous effort from David and his team. Well done to everyone who took part!”

I’m sure we all agree with you, David – but should you really be sitting down on the job?


The Melton Mowbray Belvoir Club are sad to report the death of one of it's oldest members - Norman Spiers (80). Norman joined the Rotary Club of Aberdare in 1984 and was their President in 1993-1994.Prior to Rotary Norman was a member of the Round Table in Neath. He held a BSc and PhD from Aberystwyth University and was a University Blue in athletics (mainly Hurdles & Javelin). His wife,Shirley,who sadly passed away in 2008,was a member & Past President of the Inner Wheel Club of Aberdare. They both visited numerous International Rotary meetings where many friendships were made. They were happily married for 49 years and raised a son Paul and daughter Karen. After working in the Paint industry Norman joined Dunlopillo as Technical Manager and from where he retired. Norman and Shirley moved to Ashby Folville,near  Melton Mowbray in 2001,to be near his son and family and became a valued member of the Belvoir Club. He was an outstanding scientist,and a committed family man with five grandchildren. His quiet but outstanding knowledge will be sadly missed by many.
Keith Yates,President