Note : Members' home page updated 26/03/2017

Minutes of meetings added for February 2017

Future diary updated 26/03/2017

Wellingborough Rotary Music Festival 2017

The 2017 Wellingborough Rotary Music Festival, the 27th edition, has been another great success. There have been very many outstanding performances in both the instrumental and in the vocal classes in all age groups.

The festival culminated in a wonderful concert at Castle Theatre, Wellingborough. Many of the class winners performed in the concert. These consisted not only of soloists but also of duets, ensembles, choirs and orchestras. The concert was attended by a record audience which included The Mayor and Mayoress of Wellingborough and the festival sponsors from Ryan and Frost Solicitors, 61-62 Oxford Street, Wellingborough, NN8 4JJ.

The results in all the classes are available on the club's music website The prospectus for the 2018 festival will be available on this music website by the end of October 2017.

Megan O'Brien

Shona Cameron

81st Charter Celebrations

Held at Finedon Dolben Cricket Club on Monday 27th February 2017.

 President David Billson, Fellow Rotarians and Guests celebrated in fine style.

See photo galleries for more photographs.


At the Club’s 2016 Christmas Dinner, which took place on 19 December at The Hind hotel, President David Billson presented four Paul Harris Fellowships in recognition of outstanding service. The four who received the awards were David Cross, Stephen Ostler, Joan Barrett and Richard Rowlatt.


David Cross had been Club President in our 75th year (2010/11) and took the role again in 2014/15 when, owing to successional problems, he also had to act as Club Secretary.

During his time as a member of the Club, Stephen Ostler had masterminded our annual Music Festival, and he had organised two innovative fundraising events. One of these was the celebrity conductors evening at the Castle Theatre with the County Youth Orchestra, and the other was the very ambitious and successful Living Advent Calendar, which he staged in the town; a door opening to a different short-duration event in a different location on each of 24 nights in December 2014.

Joan Barrett has long been a stalwart of the Club’s musical events for young people and has worked hard liaising with schools and organising the annual Seasonal Concerts at the Castle Theatre when, during a week of performances, a total of about 1,000 children from over 20 local primary schools sing on stage in front of packed houses.

Richard Rowlatt has in recent years chaired the Club’s youth service and music events committee. He quietly and capably holds everything together so that our major annual events, the November Seasonal Concerts and the March Music Festival and Concert continue to go from strength to strength.

Community Service Group

The Community Group helps to raise funds for community projects.  We are looking forward to the next Kids Out event, scheduled for June 14th, 2017, and considering raising funds for defibrillators to be located in strategic places. Our group has links to the Daylight Centre, where we have funded various projects to help local needy people

President of Wellingborough Rotary Club for 2016/2017

Rotarian David Billson (right) took over as President of Wellingborough Rotary Club on Monday 4th July 2016 and is here being congratulated by retiring President Rotarian Phillip Douglas after the meeting at The Castle.

President David Billson (centre) with President Elect for 2017/2018 David Lawrence (left) and Past President Philip Douglas (right)

Visit to Rushden Transport Museum

On 27th June 2016 (5th Monday of the Month) The Rotary Club of Wellingborough visited the Rushden Transport Museum at the old Railway Station, Rushden

This was a very pleasant evening and enjoyed by all those who attended. A buffet and bar were laid on to satisfy hungry members!

See photo gallery for more pictures

Stow House and Gardens

On Tuesday 17th May 2016, 12 members of Wellingborough Rotary Club visited Stow House and Gardens.

The Rotary Club of Wellingborough

Visit to Stowe House and Gardens

Tuesday 17th May 2016

  The current President of Brackley Rotary Club, Stephen Vanns, acts as an occasional guide at Stowe House and during a recent Rotary District Meeting fell into conversation with our President, Philip Douglas, during which it was arranged that a party from Wellingborough Rotary Club would visit Stowe House for a conducted tour.

  Stowe House is fully occupied, these days, by Stowe School (the former alma mater of Sir Richard Branson for instance) and is run separately from the Capability Brown designed surrounding landscape which is covered by the National Trust.  These landscaped gardens are famous for the many listed buildings, temples, obelisks and statues that are to be found there.

  The visit was extremely interesting and enjoyable for the visitors during which they learnt both the history of Stowe House from 1676 forwards and were able to view the meticulous and ongoing work to restore the fabric of the House being undertaken by the Stowe House Preservation Trust.

  We enjoyed stories of Richard Grenville forcing George III to award him with the Order of the Garter and, subsequently, the dissolute behaviour of the first two Dukes of Buckingham who reduced the family from the richest and most influential in the land to penury and bankruptcy.  This lead to the glorious art and contents of the House becoming lost to the family, in the late 19th century, through their compulsory sale to pay off their debts, and which contents subsequently were purchased and spread around the museums and great houses of the world.

  One could only dream of the heyday of Stowe, with the 400 rooms it contains, when it was the epicentre of European society and political life and few stately homes can have an entrance hall to rival that at Stowe.  We could only be pleased that Stowe House was saved in 1922 when it was taken over to become the famous Independent School which now fills its rooms and the fact that they have made it possible for the public to enjoy the building and the many stories it holds.

Michael Gent

Know Your Blood Pressure Event Results

Wellingborough Rotary & The Stroke Association

23rd April 2016

Swansgate Centre Concourse, Wellingborough


































Age range


15 – 29











30 – 44











45 – 59











60 – 85






















Age not given






No Follow up











1 month FU











1 week FU











In 2016 we had 10 health professionals available, compared with 6 in 2015 so people did not queue for long.

I wish to thank all the Rotarians who came to help, and the health professionals who gave up part of their Saturday to take Blood Pressures, and talk to the public about their health risks.

Dr David Lawrence  Rotarian Organiser

 Wellingborough Rotary Music Festival 2016

The 2016 Festival has been another resounding success, with hundreds of young musicians participating over the six evenings of the festival, and some going on to perform at the Festival Concert at The Castle theatre on March 16th.

There have been many outstanding performances and the professional adjudicators have all commented on the breadth, depth and quality of the musicianship on display during the festival. This is a reflection of the standards set by the music teachers, the teachers in the local schools and by the Northamptonshire Music Service, not to mention the skill and hard work of the young musicians themselves!

The Young Musician of the Year (Vocal) is Isabel Leslie-Carter, and The Young Musician of the Year (Instrumental) is Robert Burton on saxophone.

The winners of all the classes can be found on

The provisional dates for the 2017 festival are Friday 3rd to Friday 10th March 2017.

Festival Secretary Richard Rowlatt; Young Musician of the Year 2016 (Instrumental): Robert Burton (saxophone);and adjudicator Squadron Leader Matthew Little, Director of Music RAF.   


Youth Speaks District Final

The above was held yesterday, (12th March 2016) at Catmose College Oakham  with our entries in both the Intermediates,(13and under), and Seniors, (18 and under), having been successful in the semi finals, taking part.

Our teams were not successful in their endeavours to reach the Regional Final but our Club can be proud to have young people of such confidence and ability represent us at this event.

The picture above is the Intermediate team, left to right, Grace Innocent (Speaker) Cecilia Morris (Chairman) Max Buckby (Vote of Thanks). 

Their subject matter " Should Countries have the right to nuclear weapons in the same way as they have to bear arms".

This picture is the Senior team, left to right, Alex Wardle-Solano (Speaker) Sean O' Hagan (Chairman) Matilda Hanning (Vote of Thanks).

Their subject matter "What can we learn from past wars in our conflict with ISIS".

Our congratulations to both teams on their efforts.

Both pictures show our District Governor, Geoff Blurton, who attended the final.



80th Charter Night Dinner Celebrations

at The Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering

Monday 29th February 2016


On 29th February 2016 - leap year night and 5th Monday- 114 Rotarians and Inner Wheelers met for a celebratory banquet at Kettering Park Hotel to remember the 80th Anniversary of the Charter of the Rotary Club of Wellingborough - founded on 28th February 1936. 
This was a special Charter Night for us as we were both celebrating our 80th anniversary and also welcoming the RIBI Vice-President Elect, Rotarian Denis Spiller,to our Dinner.  As guest of honour he was our main speaker on this occasion.  We were also honoured by the presence of our District Governor, Rotarian Geoff Blurton, and his wife, Heather, plus the Mayor of Wellingborough, former Rotarian Barry Graves and his wife, Pauline.

Guests were serenaded by local Malika String Quartet

The invitation, this year, was extended to husbands, wives and partners of Rotarians and by moving to The Rutland Suite at The Kettering Park Hotel we were able to accommodate everyone.  



Rotary is a trusted 108-year-old global network of inspired business, professional and community leaders, men and women looking for a chance to give something back to their communities who together volunteer their talents and what time they can spare to help make a positive difference locally and around the world, either directly or by putting on fund-raising events.

The Rotary Club of Wellingborough was formed in 1936 and is one of 1,850 Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland, and of 34,000 clubs around the world. It meets weekly and its members participate in many projects and activities whilst at the same time enjoying the camaraderie of working and socializing together.

Our French “Twin” Rotary Club
St Amand-Montrond, Cher

Rotary is a truly international organisation and hence it is quite common for Rotary Clubs in Great Britain to forge links with Clubs on the near continent of Europe such as France.  To give a sense of history and identity to our twinning the year 2015, represents the 50th anniversary of the first visit here by Rotarians from St Amand-Montrond, in 1965.  The twinning, for instance, happened long before the twinning of the Borough of Wellingborough with Niort.

The original coming together of our two Rotary Clubs was inspired through business contacts in the Cher region by Rotarian John Barlow, followed quickly by support from the Rotary Club of Peterborough which was already twinned with Bourges, the nearest city to St Amand and capital of the Cher dà©partement.  Through this contact and with enthusiasm from Rotarians like Stan Wilford and Ted Adams, who was then President in 1965, plus many others, the relationship quickly developed and many Rotarians, past and present, have enjoyed their friendship with a continental Rotary Club over the years.

In Rotarian Stan Wilford we have some clear memories of their first visit on 1 May 1965 when they were entertained to a dinner at The Hind where “Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding” was the main course!  On Wellingborough’s return a year later on 11 June 1966 the French reciprocated with dinner at Le Château de Meillant, serving a main course of Baron d’Agneau á la Broche.  After this opening salvo the twinning relationship settled down to agreed biennial meetings alternating between home and away.  Most recently, in June 2015, twelve Wellingborough Rotarians and partners travelled to St Amand; now it will be our turn to entertain them here in the summer of 2017.

Those that have visited St Amand previously recognise their special responsibility, and wish, to reciprocate the French hospitality when they visit us here in Wellingborough.  Equally they are very aware that many Rotarians miss out on the great opportunity of “entente cordiale” which emanates from these twinning exchanges and, therefore, continue to urge members to participate where possible.  The twinning offers a wonderful opportunity of meeting families from another country with similar ideals and being invited into their homes and finding out, at first hand, how they tick; also to showing off our own country and friends to them when they return.  When you meet at the social and friendly level of these exchanges you find so much more common ground than you probably expected!  And what of the language you might ask?  Well, that sort of happens and with perhaps “school French” plus a lot of sign language it is surprising what conversations and amusing exchanges are possible!

                                                                      (Mike Gent - October 2015)

Le Rotary est une organisation vraiment internationale et donc il est assez frà©quent pour les Rotary Clubs de la Grande-Bretagne d'à©tablir des liens avec des clubs en Europe comme ceux en France.  Pour donner un sens de l'histoire et de l'identità© de notre jumelage, l'annà©e 2015 reprà©sente le 50e anniversaire de la premià¨re visite ici par des Rotariens de St Amand-Montrond, en 1965.  Ce jumelage existait  bien avant le jumelage de la ville de Wellingborough avec Niort.

La rencontre originale entre nos deux Clubs Rotary a à©tà© inspirà©e par les relations d'affaires du Rotarien John Barlow  dans la rà©gion du Cher,suivi rapidement par le soutien du Rotary Club de Peterborough qui à©tait dà©jà  jumelà© avec Bourges, la ville la plus proche de St Amand et la capitale du dà©partement du Cher.  Grâce à  ce contact et  avec l'enthousiasme de Rotariens comme Stan Wilford et Ted Adams, Prà©sident en 1965, et beaucoup d'autres, l'amitià© a rapidement grandi et de nombreux Rotariens, au passà© comme au prà©sent, ont apprà©cià© une amitià© avec un  Club Rotary en Europe au cours des annà©es.

Du Rotarien Stan Wilford nous viennent quelques souvenirs clairs de leur premià¨re visite le 1er mai 1965 quand ils ont à©tà© reçus à  un dà®ner au Hind o๠on a servi comme plat principal le rà´ti de boeuf et le Yorkshire pudding. Pendant la visite de Wellingborough un an plus tard, le 11 juin 1966, les Français ont offert en retour un dà®ner au Château de Meillant,  o๠on a mangà© en plat principal le Baron d'agneau à  la Broche.  Aprà¨s ces premià¨res rencontres le jumelage s'est à©tabli avec un systà¨me de rà©unions biennales en alternance entre la France et l'Angleterre.  Plus rà©cemment, en juin 2015, douze Rotariens de Wellingborough et leurs partenaires se sont rendus à  St Amand; maintenant, ce sera à  nous d'accueillir les Français ici en à©tà© 2017.

Ceux qui ont dà©jà  visità© St Amand reconnaissent leur responsabilità© particulià¨re et veulent offrir une hospitalità© pareille à  celle des Français  lorsqu'ils nous rendent visite ici à  Wellingborough.  Ils sont à©galement trà¨s conscients qu'il manque à  de nombreux Rotariens l'occasion de profiter de « l'entente cordiale », qui à©mane de ces à©changes  et, donc ils conseillent vivement  à  nos membres d'y participer si possible. Le jumelage fournit une merveilleuse occasion de rencontrer des familles d'un autre pays qui partagent nos idà©aux et en tant qu'invità©s chez eux,  de dà©couvrir, de premià¨re main, comment ils fonctionnent,et à©galement de leur montrer notre propre pays et nos amis quand ils sone chez nous.  Lorsqu'on se rencontre au niveau social et amical des à©changes, on trouve beaucoup plus en commun qu'on n'attendait. Et la langue ?  Eh bien, on se dà©brouille et peut-être à  l'aide du "français du collà¨ge" et beaucoup de langage des signes, il est à©tonnant combien de conversations et entretiens amusants soient possibles !                                             (Mike Gent - October 2015)




Meeting Information...

We meet on Mondays at 12.30 or 18.00 (First Monday at 12.30; second, third and fourth at 18.00; fifth at 19.30 at another venue.) The Castle, Castle Way, Wellingborough NN8 1XA tel: 01933 229022

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In the next 30 days...

Speaker : Simon Edens, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police Stewards : Joan Barrett & Mike Chamberlain
Stewards : David Campden / John Cooke
The Wild Life Trust Wellingborough & Rushden Lakes Speaker Ian Hilbert Stewards : Geoff Dawson / Philip Douglas