Exmoor Rotary Club



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Exmoor Rotary: Club News 2007-8

Club News on this page follows the main events in which the club has been involved this Rotary year - from July 2007.


Exmoor Handover July 08

At a splendid carvery supper at the Quarryman's Rest on July 2nd, a capacity turnout celebrated the achievements of the Rotary year, and the mantle was passed on from immediate past president Richard to President Humphrey.

The occasion was graced by the presence of our new District Governor George, and by ADG Paul.

Youth Challenge Presentations

ISCA PresentationAt a special ceremony at ISCA in Exeter on June 25th, no less than six presentations were made to winning teams in the Exmoor Youth Challenge. Students packed out the hall to see their friends presented with trophies for the best teams in five of the six available categories, a very remarkable achievement.

ISCA were also presented the award to the best team (out of the 115 teams who took part) achieving a near perfect score. A cup was also presented for the best fund-raiser in the college, and a cheque for almost £1800 was given to President Richard as sponsorship money, adding to the massive total to donate to Children's Hospice South West. Terrific! - we look forward to seeing them again next year.

New Member

New Member - Nick

On Tuesday 24th June, Nick was inducted as a new member of our club. He had been a frequent visitor for some time, and President Richard warmly welcomed him to our midst.

Nick had already earned his spurs at the recent Ironman event by not only joining in at a very early hour of the morning, but also 'selling' his bottles of energy drink to the cyclists with verve and gusto, at not a little personal danger.

Frances At Home

Again a very successful event held by our International Chairman at her home in aid of Rotary Foundation, Polio Eradication, and the Eye Clinic in Ethiopia project.

Approximately 1000 canapes were demolished enthusiastically, and quite a number of bottles of wine sunk in aid of these very important projects. Over £2000 was raised, thanks to the generosity of the guests.


Cycle Ride

Land's End to John O'Groats

From Eddie of RC West Wirral, cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats for charity: "We completed the challenge on schedule after ten days and 1070 miles but will not know for a week or two how much we finally collect for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association or Mersey Region Epilepsy Association. However we want to say a very big thank you to District 1170 and in particular to yourself, Kay Bickley, Richard Evans and his wife, and John Broom for making our day in Devon so happy, so memorable. The attached photo shows Dave handing our bannerette to John for RC Exmoor."

Youth Challenge - Seward Cup

The winning team 3 from Abbotskerswell Primary School receive their trophy and medals from the donors of this new trophy, Brian and Caroline Seward.

The team of youngsters did exceptionally well in their group which included 14 year olds - they managed to get around the course will no penalty points at all.

Seward Cup presentation

Ironman UK


Ironman UK at Wimbleball Lake 15th June - the club turned out in force to run a cyclists' service station in the wilds of Exmoor. Kick off was 5.45am! - in spite of which we were all bright eyed and bushy tailed by the time the competitors (all 1300 of them, with two laps of the course) reached us for water, energy bars, gels, and juice. As the lycra flashed by, we attended to their every need.

We hope to raise several thousand pounds from our participation is the event.

President's Night

Friday 13th June - but the omens were very good. An excellent evening was held at the Anchor Inn, Exebridge for eighty-six members and guests, including visitors from 8 other clubs, and 5 presidents.

The food was enjoyed by all, the speeches were short and pithy (and included some dreadful jokes) an ode was read by the club bard, and the disco provided a Saturday Night Fever atmosphere allowing some quite remarkable gyrations from people whom one would not have thought could.

President's Night 2008

Exmoor Challenge Shield

Exmoor Challenge Shield changes hands

At the club meeting on May 27th we were graced with the presence of no less than two district governors and one district governor elect. The occasion was the handing over of the Exmoor Challenge Shield by 1170 District Governor Felicity to the DG of 1200, Brian Hellin. As seen in the photo, President Richard supervised the event. ADG George Kempton applauded from the sidelines, and vowed to get the shield back next year.

District 1200 won the challenge this year by just 4 points - the contest will resume on April 5th 2009!

Exmoor Challenge - Sponsorship Money

On Tuesday 20th May the Club were delighted to see at their meeting past District Governor Denis Watts. He brought with him Peter Brightwell from Braunton, who presented the club with £360 sponsorship gained from walking in our Rotary Exmoor Challenge. The sponsorship raised will be going to Children's Hospice South West.

Sponsorship from the Challenge

Visit of GSE

This year our club hosted Rotary Group Study Exchange - a team from Columbia. The team leader, Jaime, is seen here on the right presenting a Rotary Club of Bogota banner to our President Richard.

The team were with us for a week.

Exmoor Youth Challenge

Held this year on May 3rd, we had a record number of teams taking part. The results are published elsewhere on this site, and we were glad to award, for the first time, the Seward Cup for the best Primary School team to complete the challenge - this time, Abbotskerswell School.

We hope that the sponsorship raised will contribute a significant sum to Children's Hospice South West.

Rotary Exmoor Youth Challenge

Cheque Presentations

Cheque presentations

At a special supper at The Anchor, Exebridge, on April 17th, President Richard presented three cheques totaling nearly £5000. This was mostly from money raised by the club's involvement in Ironman UK last year.

Seen with the President are representatives of Diabetes UK, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, and Children's Hospice South West.

Exmoor Challenge

April 6th was very cold (snow/hail as well as sunshine!) but nevertheless Rotarians from Devon and Somerset were locked in battle on Exmoor, trying to gain the most points for charity walkers. District 1200 won this time, by only 4 points. We hope to raise at least £3000 from this event for Children's Hospice South West. More info.

It was particularly good to see Eddie Farwell, founder of the hospice, on the walk himself.

Exmoor Challenge 2008 - helpers

District Pub Quiz

This time it was the three pubs in Dulverton who entered the quiz challenge which took place simultaneously at 70 locations across the county.

The results were extremely close, but the winners were The Bridge Inn team.

Cabaret Night

A very successful evening was held on Feb. 15th in aid of Diabetes UK and Bampton's New School. The Riverside Hall was the venue for songs by Bob Newman and Carole Gordon, along with comedian Slim Pickins. A fork supper was provided, and with a bar and raffle the sum of over £700 was raised.

The picture on the right shows President Richard preparing the Diabetes UK balloons for lift off.

Cabaret night

Charity Sunday Lunch

Community Sunday Lunch in aid of Shelterbox

This is the fourth year the club has run this event, the first being immediately after the SE Asian tsunami disaster. We now provide an annual carvery lunch in Bampton's Riverside Hall in aid of Shelterbox.

120 guests enjoyed the lunch and the community atmosphere and a short film was shown of Shelterbox being deployed in life-saving conditions all over the world. Thanks to the generosity of those providing food and drinks and raffle prizes, £1450 was raised at this event, enough to purchase three more Shelterboxes to add to the 32 the club had already provided. The photo shows Edward and Richard and the host of helpers who made it all possible.

Youth Speaks

Two very successful Youth Speaks competitions were held in January at Dulverton Middle and Community School. The junior section of the competition was won by Bolham School - pictured on the right with the shield.

For more information and photos of all the teams click here.

Youth Speaks winners 2008

Christmas Dinner

Club Christmas card

A week before Christmas day, the club celebrated its Christmas dinner in style - over 30 people were present and a very good time was had by all.

A new feature this year was the club Christmas card (pictured left). This was made by Jo, one of our members, and inside everyone wrote their greetings to everyone else. The money saved by not sending each other individual cards was put into a convenient sock - and £80 was thereby raised for charity. Thanks to Alan O. for this idea.

We also had another half-way-through-the-Rotary-year ode from our resident poet, Dennis!S

Santa Collections

This year we raised a record amount from our Santa collections around Dulverton, Brushford, Bampton, Shillingford, and Morebath. Our sincere thanks to all who so generously donated money which this time goes to Children's Hospice South West and Diabetes UK. The total raised was £1253 - plus a carrot for Rudolph from a very thoughtful little boy (who one day may make an excellent Rotarian!).

Santa's wagon 2008

Coffee Morning for Mwea

 Mwea Children's Home

Thank you to everyone in the Club, including partners for their marvelous support and generosity at the Coffee Morning on November 14th in aid of Mwea Children's Home in Kenya.

The final result was £541-50p. With the generous donation of £250 from the Club, the total raised will enable a fence to be erected around the compound of the Home and keep the 58 children and staff safe from predatory animals and people.

Quarryman's Supper - DVD Release

An excellent carvery supper was had by members and guests at a special evening at the Quarryman's Rest. After a certain amount of food and drink had been consumed, two films were shown. The first was an excellent short film showing how Shelterbox is making a huge difference in disaster areas across the world, and was very moving. The second was the world premiere of "A Year in the Life of Exmoor Rotary", a 15 minute DVD highlighting the events of Edward's presidential tear 2006-7.

The DVD is being sold to club members to make money for Rotary Foundation.

Club DVD

Distract Conference in Torquay

District Conference - the St Trinian's mob!

What can one say? The photo shows how club members looked as they set off for a St Trinian's Night at the Conference. The nice girl in the middle was a member of the hotel staff.

As well as being fun, the Conference provided some good talks and opportunities to catch up with old acquaintances.

Bampton Charter Fair

Whiskey Galore again made a good profit at the 749th Fair - some £300 was raised to give to charity.

Some of our members arrived in the costumes they had been wearing for the mummers' play, others in the costumes they had acquired for the District Conference (see above!). Whether this attracted punters to our stall or drove them away we're not sure.

Bampton Charter Fair

Camel Racing at Brushford

Tony supervises the camels

A new venture for the club, camel racing! This took place on October 13th in Brushford Village Hall, and it attracted support not only on the night but from sponsorship from local traders.

As a result, a great time was had by all, and a profit of £500 was made which was donated to Diabetes UK and to Dulverton Youth Project.

Pub Quiz Night

At the Rotary Pub Quiz night on October 4th, the four pubs were again involved in competing for the Brainiest Pub in Bampton (Oct. 4th), which was again a very successful venture and much enjoyed by all. 57 took part, of which 24 were at the Quarryman’s. Proceeds go to Wheelchair Foundation.
The results were (out of 195):
Blackberries  170, Quarryman’s Rest  136, The Swan133, The White Horse   119

Blackberries wins

Senior Citizens' Outing

Outing to Arlington Court

50 senior citizens enjoyed an outing which involved a coach trip across Exmoor and a visit (with cream tea) to Arlington Court; this National Trust property has extensive grounds and gardens, and the national collection of horse-drawn carriages.

They were accompanied by 12 members of the club - two are seen here providing the motive power for wheelchairs around the lovely walled garden.

Donation to CHSW

On 6th September at a special meeting over a splendid meal at the Anchor, Exebridge, a cheque for £7,000 was presented to Children's Hospice South West; very remarkably, this made the total donated to the hospice by the club in the last year to over £11,000. We were honoured to have with us Eddie Farwell (right) to receive the cheque - Eddie is the founder and chief executive pf the hospice.

Cheque presented to CHSW

Bampton Open Day


Duck Race



Secondhand book sale

Two Rotary fund-raising events were held on the annual Open Day (August Bank Holiday) in Bampton.

For the first time we ran the duck race which was great fun and eagerly supported by both businesses and families. The local businesses had their own race, when various objects representing the businesses were floated down the river: these ranged from a plastic pork chop (butcher) and a rubber jam tart (caterer) to a bottle full of flowers (florist). It was won by the Blackberries restaurant.Over £400 was made from the event.

Also we ran our tried-and-tested secondhand book sale in the old Methodist chapel and hall - wall-to-wall books of every description proved very popular with many customers leaving with armfuls of books. The book sale made about £350.

The money raised is being divided into two, with half going to Diabetes UK and half towards the new Bampton Primary School.

Dunster Show

Waving the flag for Rotary (and the Union flag as well), the club set up its now infamous 'Whisky Galore' stall at the annual Dunster Show on August 17th. Although foot-and-mouth restrictions meant there were no cattle or sheep this year, the event was extremely well attended by the public who founds loads of entertainment as well as many bargain stalls.

Rotary stand at Dunster Show

This is the second year we have joined in with Somerset Rotary clubs from Wiveliscombe, Minehead, and Quantocks, and the larger exhibition space was a big improvement. Shelterbox tent and equipment was on show, as was a Water Aid pump for children to operate enthusiastically.

Money was raised for these charities by the clubs - as well as our whiskey raffle, there was a treasure hunt and a golf game.

New Member


Barbara, our sixth lady member, was welcomed as a new member of the club by President Richard on August 14th.

She was presented with her badge and a booklet describing the many features of the work (and play!) undertaken by Rotary.

DG's Visit

The club was delighted to welcome Felicity, the new District Governor, to our meeting on July 24th. She is pictured here with President Richard.

Felicity gave an amusing and poignant talk about how she saw the future development of our Devon district. She was also presented with the - now engraved - Exmoor Challenge Shield following 1170's success at Easter time.

DG's visit

Aunt Sally

A good time was had by all at a club 'Aunt Sally' evening at The George in Brompton Regis. This ancient rustic game involves chucking lumps of wood at a doll on a post. Beer is drunk. You want to know what happened?

Aunt Sally

"King Richard’s Courtiers threw off and scored 1 doll. The Secretary's Scribes managed 2 dolls but the Treasurer's Cashiers took the lead with 3 dolls after the first round. Round 2 saw  King Richard’s lot and the Secretary's each add 2 dolls but the Treasurer's team added an unheard of (for us) score of 6 dolls. The final round saw the Cashiers move further ahead to win with a score of 13 dolls against 7 for the Courtiers and just 4 dolls for the Scribes. The best achievements of the evening were Tony H and John C each scoring 4 dolls, Tony H’s individual round score of 3 dolls, Heather scoring in each round (the only player to manage this) and all the Cashiers team scoring at least 1 doll."

Handover - July 4th 2007

The moment when the annual transfer of responsibilities takes place. Here last year's President Edward gives the new President Richard his chain of office.

The event was marked by an excellent meal at the Quarryman's Rest in Bampton enjoyed by the members and guests.

Handover 2007