The Rotary Club of Retford

by | 28 July 2017 | Rotary

The Rotary Club meets every Monday with the exception of Bank Holidays. So you would expect May, with its two Bank Holiday Mondays, to be a quiet month. Well, think again! The month began with a stall in Carolgate as part of the Charter Day celebrations. This was organised by the Community Service Committee chaired by John Dickinson. Two hampers were raffled; a chocolate and wine hamper was won by Mrs Dawn Cragg whilst the food and wine hamper was won by a Mr Frank Jacks from Carlton-in-Lindrick. The event raised £200, which went towards the Idle Valley Boardwalk Project.

With only one speaker meeting in the month, the lack of quantity was made up by the quality of a talk by David Dawson, of the Chesterfield Canal Trust with ‘The Story of the Chesterfield Canal’. David explained that, before the canal, the only way to transport coal from the Chesterfield area to fuel the new factories of the Industrial Revolution was by pack horse. The canal changed all that. It was originally surveyed by no less a personage than James Brindley, the famous canal builder. Like the majority of the canal system, it was soon superseded by the railways. However, before its demise it did transport Anston Stone on the way to building the Palace of Westminster. The fall into disrepair and more recent restoration as a leisure site was also explained.

The social side of the Club was not ignored in May. Past President Linda Cadman organised an annual walking holiday for members. This year the venue was Whitby. Over the weekend of 5th to 8th May a party of 30 went to the Holiday Fellowship Hotel Larpool Hall in Whitby. Three walks were arranged for both the Saturday and Sunday — long, medium and short. Members had a great time despite having to cope with a brisk northerly wind that kept temperatures down to around 11˚C.

On Sunday 14th May, the Club held a Fun Walk for members of the public at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve. There were various walks from the amble around the lake at 1.4 miles to a purposefully marked out walk of 4.5 miles, and this could even be extended to six miles. Anyone wishing to participate in one of the walks was asked if they would make a donation to the Rotary fund for building a boardwalk through the now defunct Willow Arch. Once the boardwalk is built the Willow Arch will be re-instated. In conjunction with the Fun Walk, members manned their purpose built gazebo selling raffle tickets for three fantastic hampers.

On Saturday 20th May, the Youth Services Committee chaired by Marjorie Crookes organised a concert at the Well in Retford. The Well was full to capacity for a fantastic concert given by the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra. There was a full complement of very talented young musicians aged between 14 and 21 years old. They played an excellent programme of well-known jazz and big band numbers. Dennis Rollins, a famous trombonist, was the conductor and at times treated the audience to his fine playing. This Orchestra is one of four ensembles under the umbrella of Doncaster Jazz founded in the 1970s by John Ellis MBE. Just as at the event last year, everyone really enjoyed themselves yet again and there were cries at the end of the concert for another concert next year. It raised £815 for local youth activities.

The day after, John Dickinson’s Community Service Committee was back in action litter picking as part of Bassetlaw Spring Clean Week. They managed to fill about 15 bags in total from areas of Babworth Road, Asda by the canal and the Riverside Surgery area.

President David Tower’s year is rapidly drawing to a close. He must be ready for a rest!