Clacton Air Show Parking 2019

What an event!

An excellent turnout of rotarians, partners and friends supported the Clacton Airshow car parking over the three days. The weather was extremely kind and heatstroke was more of a threat that soggy feet. A good supply of water, tea, coffee and cakes kept our sugar levels up, sustaining members’ efforts throughout the day, which were outstanding.

The setting-up on Wednesday afternoon was completed in close to 3 hours, and after much discussion, including the movement of some of the signage on-the-day, we achieved a very workable layout. Clearly we would benefit from an agreed drawing of the layout etched in stone. Hopefully, one of our members will put pen to paper before the corporate memory fades.

The car park was full on both days by around 1300hrs. The plan to only use signage to direct cars onto the site worked extremely well and the three entrance points at the top of the drive ensured that there was very little queuing, if any, on West Road throughout the two days.

The final figure of takings is yet to be calculated but I am advised it is between £16k & £17k gross, evenly split between online bookings and money at the gate. A great success for charitable causes!

A very warm congratulations to Community Service Committee Chairman, PP Mark Penn and his Team for organising such a successful event; and to all club members, partners, friends and Clacton Jubilee members who helped on the days. A special mention to the Club’s Liaison Team of PP Ray Hansen and PP John Tingey who ensured that we were well supported by Tendring District Council and worked within the legal restraints.

Although signage was crystal clear, several cars remained on site after 1800hrs and 2 were still there when the gates were finally locked at 1830hrs. PP Mark received phones calls whilst eating his supper and returned to site after he finished his meal, only to find that they had vaporised, or escaped by alternative routes!

The Motley Crew

President Steve’s First Induction

President Steve inducted Kenneth and Justin Guilder into the Club after lunch on Thursday 11th July. His first induction, and the first father and son to join the Club on the same day!

They were warmly welcomed into the Club by all members and we all look forward to getting to know them better.

Presidential Handover

President Mark Penn officiated at his final meeting on 27th June and handed over the reigns of the Club to our 2019-20 President Steve Grimwood. He took the opportunity to thank Club Officers and members for their support throughout his presidential year.

We have been looking through the records and believe Steve is our first American President in 91 years. He will be the fifth president of the Clacton Club living in the parish of St. Osyth. He is also a member of both the Historical Club and the Horticultural Society in the village.

The 2019-2020 officers are, from left to right:

Hon Secretary Ray Hansen, Vice President Gerry Atkinson, President Steve Grimwood, President Elect John Brett and Treasurer Nick Lee.

Porridge and Pens

By way of introduction Gemma explained that after completing school, and before attending university, she had decided to take a gap year. She wanted it to be adventurous and chose to teach english to school children in a small free school in Ghana. It was to be her first venture away from Brightlingsea, a small village on the east coast of Essex, and it turned out to not only be adventurous, but a life changing experience.

She was hosted by a relatively prosperous local family who she lived with and saw the difficult conditions that the poor local children and families live within. Befriending the family’s young live-in maid she thought she could make a difference and certainly did and has.

Gemma explained that Porridge and Pens works with some of the poorest children in Kumasi, which lies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, by providing ongoing grants and support to schools, orphanages, families and individuals in the region.

“She said that we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential by having food to eat and a place to learn.”

Porridge and Pens makes measurable differences to over 200 young lives every day through a Fruit Feeding drop, Girl Power grants and the Brightlingsea Child Care Centre.

In 2014 Porridge and Pens joined forces with Ben Antwi, a passionate and dedicated Graphic Arts Teacher and Exams Officer in Kumasi. Ben’s family have always worked in education and they are passionate about supporting development in the village where the Brightlingsea School stands today. Porridge and Pens worked with Ben to help him build a school in a rural and remote area of Kumasi, now known as the Brightlingsea Free School, pictured below.

The full story can be found at . Porridge and Pens © 2015 – 2019 UK Registered Charity No. 1166497.

The school has gone from strength to strength. Gemma Wilson has made a difference and should be very very proud of what she has achieved. Surely this should be the type of project that Rotary and our Club should be involved with.

On behalf of the Club, Past President Tony thanked Gemma for her outstanding presentation; an audience spell bound throughout her talk and clearly full of admiration as to how someone so young could achieve so much in such a relatively short time.

President Mark reminded all that next Thursday’s meeting would be International Night and that there would not be a lunch on that date. Dress smart casual 1830 for 1900 hrs at Clacton Golf Club.

Clacton Rotary Club Support Corbeau Seats Rally 2019

Clacton on Sea Rotary Club supported the second Tendring car rally which was a great success. Although the weather was not as brilliant this year as last, there were still thousands of people who turned out to watch at the spectator areas and at the service area on Clacton seafront. The Club thanks goes Penny Smith for allowing the Club to use her fields.

Supporting the Local Community

Les Nicoll delivered his 45 minute talk in half that time, never pausing to catch his breath or to search for words. What he had to say however was truly impressive. The impact that his organisational and fundraising skills have brought to the local community with the backing of the Fire Service are enormous, and to think that lacking any depth of knowledge of his achievements we were somewhat wary of supporting his request for funding last year! Thank goodness that we did, and for which he was extremely grateful.

To list just a few of those projects we can include raising funds for Christmas Hampers for the needy at Christmas, collecting clothes for those without, cutting fire deaths through fire alarm installations, homecare projects including those involving safeguarding, domestic violence, dementia and child protection; cooking with dementia courses at Clacton Fire Station supported by Tesco; walk and talk outings on Clacton seafront for dementia sufferers; ‘Speed Dating’ meetings to introduce personnel from the various community agencies to each other …. and much, much more. It was quite an eye opener.


Clacton Rotary Club lit up the Town Hall to celebrate the great work Rotary has done over the past 30 years and still continues to do to eradicate Polio.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has helped to reduced polio cases by more than 99.9 percent.

It’s crucial to eliminate polio from the last three countries where it remains endemic and to keep other countries polio-free.

If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, it is likely that polio could paralyse as many as 200,000 children each year.

Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal

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President Elect, Steve Grimwood, presenting a cheque to Sarah Millierick & Valerie Kruse, from Marie Curie for their Daffodil Appeal. They gave an interesting and detailed explanation of the work of their charity of which 33% is with non-cancer patients. It is a sobering thought that every 5 minutes in the UK somebody dies without having received care. The charity now runs 9 hospices and a careline. They are also consulted by government, which is just as well, as the original ‘grand plan’ for a revised National Health Service made no provisional at all for healthcare. Needless to say that omission has been addressed following consultation.

Rotary Supporting PhysioNet

For the past two years and in coordination with Saffron Walden Rotary Club, Clacton’s International Service has supported the Yorkshire-based charity, PhysioNet, by collecting unwanted mobility and physiotherapy equipment for distribution to developing countries. After delivery to PhysioNet’s Yorkshire depot, the equipment is checked and where necessary refurbished.

The third lorry load of equipment from Clacton was collected in January 2019 for onward transmission to PhysioNet.

A container load is already on its way to the Rotary Club of Northcliffe in Johannesburg, which supports a wheelchair repair shop providing local employment. Demand in South Africa for mobility aids is enormous and a second 40ft container will be sent to Northcliff shortly from PhysioNet’s Yorkshire base.

Chairman of Clacton’s International Committee, Brian Henesy, said: “He was proud of the work by his fellow Rotarians and thanked Garry Wood the Area manager for Violia and the Rush Green staff who sort out mobility aids for us”.

In June PhysioNet was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017. The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark her Golden Jubilee, to recognise excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.


St Helena Hospice

Toni Night explained that St Helena help local people face incurable illness and bereavement, supporting them and their families, friends and carers. She went on to say:

“We also support children and adults who are facing bereavement. We reach out to members of our community, helping them make their own choices and live with dignity. By focusing on their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, we aim to bring comfort and relief to all those who need it, offering the people of North Essex individual care and total support, regardless of their diagnosis or personal circumstances.

We rely heavily on the help and generosity of our fundraisers, donors and volunteers. Without them we wouldn’t be here.

We all share a common goal: to be there every step of the way for everyone who needs us, helping life to go on in the face of dying, death and bereavement.”

Following questions about the recent article in the local news, Ian Dawson explained that the planned closure of the Tendring Centre does not mean the closure of services – all services currently run at the Centre will continue at an alternative location in the local area.

Drinks with President Mark

Drinks with the President, was again kindly hosted by Past President William and Pam Stevens in their delightful home. The sports and social committee ably led by Past President Clive had organised the magnificent event, and a special thanks has to go to all the wives who did so much work in preparing the delicious spread, setting it out on the day and then clearing and washing up afterwards. A special mention should also be made of the scrumptious deserts that had been prepared and it should be mentioned that a number of Rotarians were seen returning to the table more than once despite the calorie count warning!

President Mark, resplendent in his cheery tan, from his recent hols in the sun, addressed the gathering and thanked all Rotarians and their partners for their support over his first 6-months in office. He spoke of the first-rate work all had achieved over the summer period, including car parking duties and more recently with the Carol Concert, the Santa Grotto, the numerous street collections and the Christmas day meal served to some 200 elderly locals and helpers. He mentioned that it was not only Rotarians who were involved in these events but we had received a good deal of support from local organisations and individuals.  To mention a few it included:

The West Cliff Theatre management and all staff who helped host the Christmas Carol Concert, raising over a £1,000 and to St James’ Church, who allowed the use of there excellent hall for the performers to change in and for the celebrations afterwards, both a no cost!

The Principal and staff of the CCHS for their help and support together with Pinnacle for the use of the kitchen and dining room and all the Caretaking staff that contributed so much to making the day a great success.

The staff and children of Engines Primary School that raised over £450.

President Mark finished by presenting bouquets of flowers to our host Pam Stevens and the main power behind the organisers of the event Margarett Gowers and Pam Norris. All receiving well deserved rapturous support from the throng.

Christmas Day Lunch

On Christmas Day, the Rotary Club of Clacton-on-Sea was able to serve Christmas lunch and entertain over 160 local elderly and lonely folk at the Clacton County High School. Some 50 Rotary members, their partners and other local supporters gave up their Christmas Day to assist in welcoming the guests, preparing, cooking and serving a traditional Christmas lunch and assuring that they were well looked after throughout the event.  Most of the guests were transported to the venue by a fleet of Tendring Community buses manned by volunteer drivers.

Without the support of all the helpers the function would not have been possible.

The event was organised by the Rotary Club and funded by the generosity of the local community. Over the past 4 weeks the Rotary Club has been organizing local events to raise funds, the biggest of which was the Christmas Carol Concert at the Clacton Theatre, raising over £1,000 on the day. You may also have seen Rotarians collecting money outside of cold, wet and windy local supper markets and on the high street to make the event possible. Support came from many directions, including the catering staff of Clacton’s Golf Club, cooking the turkey breasts in advance and provision of the christmas cakes beautifully decorated by Tendring Creative Sugarcraft of Holland-on-Sea.

Engines Primary School also made a very generous donation of £450.24, raising the money from collections after their Christmas performance. A big thank you to their Head, Jackie Irwin and their Finace Assistant, Debbie Cole, and of course to the pupils of the school who were the stars of the show.

Past President Kevin Harkin planned and coordinated the whole event and said …. “it was a great example of Rotary acting as a catalyst to draw together organisations and businesses in the town and in doing so giving joy to some less fortunate people”.  His very busy and stressful day was well rewarded by the smiles and congratulations from all the guests.

Our main thanks must go to the Principal and staff of the CCHS for their help and support together with Pinnacle for the use of the kitchen and dining room and all the Caretaking staff that contributed so much to make the day a great success.

And finally, a big thank to Councillor Mark Platt, Chair of Tendering Council for finding time in his busy schedule to visit the event; it was much appreciated by all.



Christmas Collections

With a target of £3,000 Christmas Collections started at the end of September and along with Santa’s Grotto were completed on 23rd December.

Engaines School Donation Helps Christmas Day Meals

President Mark Penn with Debra Cole of Engaines Primary School and a selection of pupils who helped raise over £450.

President Mark Penn with Debra Cole of Engaines Primary School and a selection of pupils who helped raise over £450.

The pupils of Engaines Primary School and Nursery have raised over £450 from their Christmas performances this year. The money was handed over to President Mark Penn by Debra Cole of Engaines.

The money will go towards feeding up to 200 people who are either disadvantaged or isolated during the Christmas period. This will take place at Clacton County High School on Christmas Day, where the Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea will serve them dinner, entertain them, and give them a goody bag to take home with them.

President Mark Penn said this was an amazing achievement by the school, and thanked everybody involved, including the teachers who organised the performances, the pupils who took part, and the parents who donated the money. Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea would like to wish all involved a Very Merry Christmas!

Prostate Cancer Collections

In aid of Movember Bob Welton organised a week of collecting in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. In all a total of £987 was raised.

Celebration of Christmas

The Club’s Celebration of Christmas at the Clacton Theatre on Sunday 9th December was a great success, ably led by The Rev Crawford Logan. His relaxed, joyful and inclusive manner put all at ease and a thoroughly good time was had by not only the audience but also by the performers.

The Tendring Brass Band performed very professionally throughout the evening, supporting the Tendring Male Voice Choir and Clacton County High School Choir. The choirs’ enthusiasm shone through and it was a delight to hear them sing such a wide range of popular songs and hyms.

Readings were by the Rotary District Governor, Lesley Sulley, Jordan Hatherley, Penny Smith & Sonia Grantham. The Night before Christmas was read by Megan, Louise & Grace Penn and the Christmas Message was delivered in style by Rev Crawford. No-one fell asleep!

President of the Rotary Club Clacton on Sea thanked all of the performers and the whole of the audience for making it such a memorable event. He went on to thank all of the team that put in a great deal of hard work and enthusiasm, making it such a joyful occasion. A special thank you should also be made to the West Cliff Theatre management and their staff who kindly allowed us to use their excellent facilities, and to St James’ Church, who allowed the use of there excellent hall for the performers to change in and for the celebrations afterwards, both a no cost!  A special thanks to Past President, Clive Gowers, who coordinated all the support and to Margaret Gowers who coordinated the kitchen. A great day.

Rev Crawford thank all for their generosity. The collection, raising over £1,000, will go towards the Christmas Day meal that the Rotary Club members and helpers will prepare and serve to the local elderly and disadvantaged at Clacton High School on Christmas Day.


90th Charter Night Celebration

The Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea celebrated its 90th Anniversary in great style at the local Golf Club on Thursday 22nd November. Over 110 guests and members dressed formally for the occasion, enjoyed a sumptuous meal, great fellowship and were royally entertained.

Speakers included Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, Councillor Mark Platt, Chair of Tendring Council, President of the Club Mark Penn and Past President Dick Farrow.


All spoke of their experiences and support for the Club and the great work Rotary does both locally in Clacton and Internationally. Dick Farrow’s trip down memory lane said it all: “Rotary has the finest motto ever created “Service Above Self” that goes hand in hand with Fellowship”.

Guest also included Immediate Past District Governor Nick Sillitoe and his wife Jane, Assistant District Governor Dave Willis and his wife Angela, President of the Inner Wheel Eva Lewellen, President of Clacton Lions Jim Godden and his wife Liz and Chairman of Probus Robin Smith and his wife Margaret.

It was a great evening thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended.







Presentation of Paul Harris Awards

Notable News for Members Archives - East Lansing Rotary Club

Past President Dick Farrow and Past President Graham Syrett were deservedly presented with Paul Harris Fellow Awards at the Clacton Rotary Clubs 90th Anniversary celebration.

The Paul Harris Fellow award is a Rotary award dating back to 1957 that recognises individuals who  have contributed greatly to the Club and to Foundation of Rotary International.

Trinity Methodist Church – £5k Donation

President Mark Penn and Vice President John Brett were delighted to present a cheque for £5,000 to Trinity Methodist Church, Pier Avenue.

The Church applied for a donation towards refurbishing its kitchen. Many groups use their facility, every day of the week and it is also used to feed and support people in need. This is an on going refurbishment project by Trinity Methodist Church, and Clacton Rotary Club was delighted to be in a position to support the Churches excellent work in the local community.

Both Mark and John said the application had been received by the Club’s Community Committee, and that the request had been strongly supported by its members.

President Mark said, “This wouldn’t have been able to be funded without the excellent work carried out by Rotarians and our supporters at the Clacton Air Show Carpark in August each year. The proceeds from the carpark generate funds that enable the Club to support deserving projects such as this, both locally and within the international community.


Induction of Rotarian John Tingey

Born in Chelmsford in 1949, I lived in and around the town and now a City, until moving to Clacton in 2005.

I finished my education at the King Edward IV Grammar and started work in a construction design office specialising in reinforced concrete. Apprenticeship served I then moved away from that career path and eventually joined Essex Police in 1978.

23 years service followed before I was forced to retire on medical grounds due to a lower back injury that I had nursed since my school days.

The move to Clacton came about through working part time for the original Crusader Holidays coach company and I remained with them during the transition to its current ownership with Motts Coaches of Aylesbury – in total some 10 years.

Outside of employment I have been and remain a member of the Scout Association, The International Police Association, The National Association of Retired Police Officers [for which I am the Secretary/Treasurer of Colchester & N.E.Essex branch, responsible for 294 members] and in July 2018 I “retired” from the voluntary posts of Education/Presenter and Visits Officer linked to Walton & Frinton RNLI Station.

Becoming a Rotary member is a progression of the “service” that has been a way of life for me and will give me new challenges no doubt, whilst at the same time providing me with a whole new circle of friends.

Induction of Paddy Bellis

Paddy is a yoga instructor and her yoga journey has seen her develop her skills as a personal fitness trainer into a qualified yoga teacher. She understands that Yoga is so much more than just movement and that it connects one to a deeper source within oneself which we can be draw upon when one need’s strength and or tranquility. It’s a never ending journey because around each corner we find a part of us that we never knew existed. “Yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self” (The Bhagavad Gita).

Yoga for Paddy is a blend of poses that takes one on a journey inwards to discover “new”, always with a smile on ones lips because Yoga shouldn’t be hard, it should be enjoyable.

Her journey into Rotary allows her to help the local and international community.

Induction of Sarah White

Sarah White becomes a Member of the Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea

Sarah White was inducted as a full member of the Rotary Club of Clacton on Sea. This is a historic moment for the Clacton on Sea branch of the Rotary Club as Sarah is the first lady member in its 89 year history. Sarah was introduced to Rotary by her previous employer who was a Rotarian and has given talks as a guest speaker at the Clacton Rotary Club lunches. After visiting the club and hearing more about the activities they are involved with Sarah decided she would like to become a member of the club and was kindly invited to join as an associate.

In addition to Sarah joining, Thompson Smith and Puxon are supporting the club by sponsoring their Clacton Air Show Car Park Appeal. The idea of the scheme is to offer guaranteed parking close to the air show with all funds raised going to local charities. Last year the car park scheme raised over £15,000 for local charities. The car parks are all manned by Rotary members and Sarah will be joining them as a volunteer this year. You can find out more about the scheme and book your parking here.

Induction of Gerald Atkinson

I was born and brought up in Woodford Green which was notionally in Essex. I spent five years as a an apprentice toolmaker and draughtsman designer, before heading off to The City University to study Mechanical Engineering.
This led to my first post graduate job working for Davy Paxman in Colchester (then part of the English Electric Company). I lived in Weeley and then Great Clacton for a short while before heading back to London to follow a career in as a Quality Engineer. This I did initially with Hoover in West London and then with The Rank Organisation in Chiswick.
Observing the rapidly demise of colour television industry in the UK I moved onto Dunlop Ltd., as a Senior Buyer in central London. Recognising the signs of change and decline once again (nothing to do with me in either case) I joined a family owned company in Tottenham, North London. The company had factories both there and in Glemsford, Suffolk. I Stayed with them for twenty-six years initially as their Chief Buyer, then Group Purchasing Manager and finally as Purchasing Director for the AVENT company which was spun off from the original business.
I retired in 2007 and moved to Frinton-on-sea for four years before moving to Somerset to be near family that had settled there. I returned to the East Coast of Essex in July of this year 2018.
My Rotary journey started in Frinton in 2008/2009 and continued in Frome, Somerset for seven years where I was invited to become President for the year 2016/2017. I am now delighted to be able to continue my Rotary journey by becoming a member of The Rotary Club of Clacton-on -Sea which I did as soon as I could when invited to do so in October of this year.

Presentation to Benin

Hazel and Deniz gratefully accept a cheque for Benin from President Mark & Past President Brian Presentation to Ben

International Night – 8th March 2018

President Tony welcomed everyone to International Night.

He was delighted to welcome our special guests Ray Clark and his wife Shelley and Eva Lewellen. It was also good to see Colin Hance, IPP Harwich RC and his wife Gillian, and members of Clacton 41Club, Simon Anselmi, Matt Bareham, Richard Weeks and John Kemp, not forgetting, of course, the wives and partners of members.

PP Dick Farrow was called upon to say Grace, which was appropriate for the occasion.

Before a pleasant meal, efficiently served as ever, PP Brian Naylor explained the need for generosity in the purchase of tombola tickets in the hope of winning some of the impressive array of prizes. As one would expect from BN this was an efficient and seamless exercise and raised £256.

Although an informal occasion your traditional and old-fashioned correspondent was delighted to see PP Hollis arrive in a dinner jacket – old habits die…..!

The raison d’etre of the evening was to raise funds for the School of St Jude in Arusha, Tanzania. Our very own Paddy Bellis gave an excellent and very inspiring presentation on her involvement with the school. The aims of the school are, against incalculable odds, to provide free, high quality education by instilling “Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Kindness” into gifted children who come from very poor, socially deprived backgrounds. Inevitably the running of the school depends on voluntary donations with no government funding. Let us hope that with Paddy’s guidance we can continue to support this most worthwhile project.

PP Brain Henesy, chairman of International was able to announce that the evening has so far raised in excess of £900, including a very generous gift of £500 from the family of the late Ken Lewellen, a much missed member of the club.

President Tony introduced our guest speaker, Ray Clark of BBC Radio Essex talking on “Memories of Pirate Radio”. Ray, with over thirty years experience as a DJ and radio presenter, demonstrated, not only his gift for public speaking, but also his abundant effervescent enthusiasm for his topic.
He took us on a journey from the beginning of offshore pirate ships to the present day. Much emphasis was inevitably about Radio Caroline and it’s near proximity to our own coastline, and his own experience of being a DJ on that iconic vessel.
If you were unable to be present on Thursday and are interested, I suggest purchasing Ray’s book: Radio Caroline-The True Story of the Boat that Rocked”.
After some interesting questions PP Graham Syrett gave an appropriate vote of thanks on behalf of all present.

Congratulations and thanks are due to PP Brian H and his committee for all the hard work in organising a super and successful evening.
Although it was encouraging to resurrect International Night, especially when one of our own members is closely involved in the charity. It was, nevertheless, disappointing that less than 40% of the members were present.


Clacton Rotary International Night 2018