Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club

                 President 2018- 2019 Keith Futter.  

Meets every Monday at 1.00pm.  (not Bank Holidays ) at The Imperial Hotel, North Drive, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. NR30 1EQ   Tel. No. 01493 842000

Please note....on some historical pages on this website the old venue address will still be seen.



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December 30th 2013


                           No meeting......    Happy and Healthy New Year 2014 to all. 



December 25th 2013



                           Happy Xmas !





December 16th 2013


                           Evening meeting for the Ladies Xmas dinner.... full report and photos here !


December 9th 2013


                        On Monday 9the December club member Keith Futter talked about his time working as a Turf Accountant Bookmaker. Keith started work at 15 engaged in collecting bets from a variety of locations within the town, a practise that would not be allowed today. At that time there was no night racing or Sunday racing but now you can place a bet seven days a week and at any time of the day.  Keith worked for the family business which was at that time based in Cobbs Place.  He then went onto to explain how the business expanded and the implications to the industry as a result of changes to the licensing laws which made it easier to open betting shops.  At one point they had six shops but later expended to 16 some of which were located within the local Holiday Camps and Caravan Parks. Keith no longer works as a bookmaker admitting that new technology  and Internet betting has once again made advances that even he has difficulty following. Brian Nichol gave the vote of thanks.   On Wednesday the Three Club Evening of Christmas Music and Carols took place at Christchurch Great Yarmouth with soloist Megan Storer playing the flute and the Junior and Adult Choir from the Edward Worlledge School performing to the delight of the audience.  Megan played several pieces including ‘Annie’s’ Song’ by John Denver and ‘Dance of the Mirlitens’by Tchaikovsky. The school choir sang ‘Fix You’ by Cold Play and the Adult Choir performed ‘Wonderful Christmas’.  The collection on the night made just over £400 and this will be shared between two charities namely the Salvation Army and ‘Fields of Life’



December 2nd 2013


                        The club members raised their glasses to celebrate the birthday later this week of member Leslie Serbert.  Whilst no mention was made of his age Leslie did reveal that he is now entitled to a free TV Licence   Many charities visit our club and at this Monday’s meeting it was the Senior Fund raiser for ‘Break’ namely Sarah Dunn who talked about the work they undertake.  This organisation was formed some 50 years ago by Geoffrey Davidson his fiancée Judith and friend Leslie Morley providing holidays for problem children and their families.  Over the years they have increased their services to include day help for adults with learning disabilities and have acquired a small family home to cater for four children aged seven to seventeen.  They also provide out reach services to families working very closely with social services and other child agencies. Sarah then talked about their funding structure and how important it is to raise capital to allow them to support the vulnerable and those with special needs. The presentation included the launch in 2012 of the Fostering Service for children under 17 who require therapeutic re-parenting. This Charity is the largest provider of voluntary childcare throughout the County and is now in the process of helping the over 18’s as they try to establish independent lives outside the guidance of the caring agencies.  The President then presented Sarah with just over £63 which was the proceeds of a ‘Heads and Tails’ initiative.  Colin Smith thanked Sarah for coming to the club to talk about her Charity. 

The Tri Club Evening of Music and Carols will be at Christchurch Deneside on Wednesday 11th December at 7 30pm.  Megan Storer will be playing the flute and once again the Year 5 Choir and Adult Choir from the Edward Worlledge School under the direction of Krista Ribbons will be performing a variety of songs.



November 25th 2013


                           President Ian announced that the wonderful appeal that had taken part at Potters Resort at Hopton for the Disaster in the Philippines, had raised £3675 .  The Potter family then very generously matched
this amount to a grand total of £7,350. Ian also gifted an amount to enable the purchase of 13 ShelterBoxes. This cheque was accepted by President Ian on behalf of Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club at a ceremony at Potters resort.

At our club meeting on Monday , our International committee proposed our club donated a further £1180  to purchase 2 more ShelterBoxes. This was endorsed by a majority of our members.

The speaker at the weekly meeting was our own club member George Ermini. George has been working in the Motor Industry for 42 years, and is the Proprietor of Sidegate Motors Ltd, the local Peugeot Main Dealer and is celebrating trading for 30 years.

George gave a most informative and interesting talk into the history of the motor car and how new technology had been expanding fast over the last 20 years compared with the progress over a 100 years. A modern car has between 30 and 40 computers which make for reliability and energy saving and fuel. Electric cars would be the future but to run would be expensive. More likely at the moment would be the development of Hybrid cars , having both fuel and electric components. In fact the new Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 would be the first Diesel hybrid on the market in early January. George's knowledge was put to the test by the number of searching questions by the members and it was Jack Thorpe who thanked George for his lucid presentation.

Several members and guests would be going next Tuesday evening to the Thursford Xmas Extravaganza, meeting at The Burlington Palm Hotel at 4.00 pm.


November 18th 2013


                          Haven has been a member of the ‘Overseas Friendship Club’ for many years and has links with the ‘Windschoten Rotary Club in Holland . So with this in mind it was quite fitting when club member Charles Lewis gave a talk called ‘Tulipmania’ and its connection with Holland .  Charles then gave a brief history of the Netherlands and explained that tulips were introduced into that country in the 16th and early 17th century.  The Dutch love affair with the tulip was a result of their desire to make the expensive affordable and the rare commonplace.  The Turkish passion for tulips was becoming well known in the west by this time and plant collectors were keen to acquire them as curiosities for their gardens.  The Dutch were a vibrant trading nation and it was through this trade that the species from Turkey and Central Asia became the ancestors of those that are cultivated today.  At one point an Antwerp merchant mistook the tulip bulbs for onions and after eating them through them on a compost heap but were recognised by a visiting merchant who rescued them.  De L’Ecluse better known as Carolus Clusius experimented with growing tulips from seeds and crossing varieties which laid the foundations for the Dutch Tulip Industry.  Charles talked about the tulips commercial dominance making reference to the speckled jagged shredded varieties which became very valuable.  However the business of growing buying and selling became a gamble and such was the wild speculation on prices that it is seen now as the first recorded speculative bubble in world history.  Charles Lewis never disappoints the members with his history presentations and this was no exception.  The vote of thanks was given by Ted Witton.


November 11th 2013


                         At this weeks business meeting Richard Delf presented Jonathan Bloomfield with the Corporate Duck Race Trophy which took place in September at the Yarmouth Waterways.  The club welcomed back Brian Potter who has been recuperating from recent surgery.  Alan Spinks Chairman of the International Committee reminded the members that a club project which provided a toilet block at the ‘Our Lady of Merces High School’ in India was awarded the John Grant Trophy at the recent District Conference for the best International Project within District 1080. Alan then presented his report supporting a donation to the Laura Goodman’s Project in Kenya and a literacy and Training Project in Lusaka Kenya that the Diss Rotary Club is promoting.  There was an agreement to send emergency aid as soon as possible to the Philippines and to provide more support once it was established what form of help was needed.  Bill Cook Chairman of the Community Service Committee announced that as a result of a donation to the Charity ‘Asthma Relief’, 3 Nebulisers were now in use at the James Paget Hospital .  It was also agreed to give a donation to the Charity ‘Nelsons Journey’.  Robert Lovick from the Vocational Committee asked the club to pledge a donation to help the Air Training Corps based at Suffolk Road to acquire a small marquee to be used at various events and to promote the Corps at recruitment drives.  The club members backed this requested for support. Lesley Seabert from the Foundation Committee updated the members on the Polio Project and the concerns that the disease has been diagnosed in Syria . Each Chairman gave an overview with regards to the numerous fund raising events that were being considered. Next weeks speaker is Charles Lewis.

November 4th 2013


                         Rotarian Colin Smith  born on the Barrack Estate and educated at the Greenacre School was this week’s club speaker.  Colin began training as a stone mason in 1957 at funeral directors Brundish.   After several years as an employee Colin decided to branch out on his own and still works at his premises in Hammond Road. He has carved many stones and plaques throughout his career and nearly all of the plaques displayed in the Town have been made by his very skill full hand.  He restored the memorial stone of David Bartleman, master of the brig Alexander and Margaret who on January 31st 1781 defended himself off the Norfolk coast against a notorious pirate called Fall 'and fairly beat him off'.  He is currently working on a plaque for the Bradwell community to remember the fallen from the World Wars. He then produced several pictures depicting his work and was very proud of one particular picture where he is seen preparing the plaque for the Queens visit to Great Yarmouth in 1985.   Whilst he has embraced the use of technology within his workplace he still prefers to use his hand tools when ever possible and confessed that many of his tools are those that he had when he first began his training.  Colin is never without humour during his talks and naturally it was his experiences as a young trainee that the members found most amusing.   Colin has a lot of knowledge of the history of the town and his workplace is a constant reminder to him of the families that go back many generations.   He is a great ambassador for his profession and having completed over 10,000 headstones (including plaques) it is a testament to his skill and professionalism that keeps him at the top of his trade.   Robert Lovick gave the vote of thanks.


October 28th 2013


                      The stormy weather abated allowing the club proceeding to go ahead as normal.  The President thanked Ian Thomson for organising a trip to ‘Brooklands’ in Weybridge Surrey the home of Mercedes Benz famous racing circuit.  Apart from the slight detour on the way home it was a most enjoyable experience by all those who attended.  This week’s speaker was Colin Lang the Chief Executive of the Norfolk Charity ‘Nelsons Journey’.  Colin has been in post for nearly 2 years and explained the services offered to bereaved children up to the age of 17 years.   When a child is confronted with the loss of a family member it is not always easy for those closest to him to offer help and this is where the Charity can offer support which enables the young person to express and understand their emotions.   The Charity offers therapeutic residential weekends, activity days and bereavement groups which can increase their self esteem and gives them the opportunity to meet others who are in a similar situation.  He talked about the referral process and the fact that a young person over 16yrs can if they feel the need self refer.   This Charity like many others relies on donations to provide the services and whilst they do get some funding from the ‘BBC Children In Need Appeal’, plus other corporate support they still need to raise further funds to meet their yearly costs.  After several questions from the floor Colin confirmed that some of young people using the service  later become volunteers performing a variety of roles.  The vote of thanks was given by Robert Lovick.


October 21st 2013


                  For club members who are passionate about sport it was a real delight to welcome Sammy Morgan who talked about his career in football.  Sammy moved to Norfolk from Northern Ireland at a young age with his family and he was immediately selected to play for his school and later for Gorleston Town..  In 1970 he joined Port Vale and became ‘Player of the Year’in 1972 before winning a move to Aston Villa the following year.  Sammy was not a first team regular so in 1975 he was sold to Brighton-& Hove Albion and in 1976 he helped  Brighton to promotion from the Third Division .  His next move was to Cambridge –United, where his devotion and commitment meant that his club would gain promotion before he moved onto Sparta, Rotterdam in the Netherlands.  He played for two other clubs in Holland before returning to Norfolk to take up a position in the Football Academies in Norwich and Ipswich.  He won eighteen caps for Northern Ireland between 1972 and 1978.  He also talked about his time playing with some of the legends in football namely George Best who had a very relaxed attitude about arriving for training and matches on time, something which Sammy could never quite understand.   Sammy amusing stories certainly  entertained the members  and it was left to  Charles Lewis to thank him for sharing his experiences with the club. 


October 14th 2013


                       The Rotary District 1080 Conference was held in Norwich on October 12th.
There are many distinguished and interesting speakers.
Every year there is a presentation of The John Grant Trophy Award, which is recognition of the BEST International Project undertaken by the clubs in the District.
10 were submitted for the final which was whittled down to 4. Our clubs project was in the last four. The judges were The President of RIBI Nan Mccreadie and District Governor of 1240 Peter Dowse.
Both judges unanimously decided the project of Great Yarmouth Haven, to build a new toilet block in a high school in Goa India, was the best . The presentation of the trophy was given to Alan Spinks , Chairman of the International Committee. Indeed a great honour for the Club recognising the good work that Rotary does both in the local community and abroad.
At this weeks meeting, Ted Witton introduced Derek George, secretary of Caister Lifeboat.
Derek made a most interesting slide show of the involvement of the Caister Lifeboat in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Adventure Celebrations along the Thames river.
Much planning and security arrangements was necessary over 2 years prior to the event. The Caister Lifeboat was the only active lifeboat on show amongst the 1000 different types of vessels.
The selected crew took the lifeboat down to London , 147 miles from Caister to Tower Bridge, and this took 3 and 1/4 hours as the sea conditions were very favourable... the return journey was much more adventurous taking 10 and 1/2 hours !
However amid massive security and checks on the day of the pageant , the crew, family and friends enjoyed a historic day celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth 2 Diamond Jubilee.
The heritage Visitor Centre at Caister follows over 200 years of lifeboat history and the fastest lifeboat in the country can be seen there, together with the completely restored " Shirley Jean Adye " which was on station from 1973 to 1991.
Derek's talk was fascinating and most interesting and he was thanked on behalf of the Club by Wally Ladmore.
Next week Bert Collins would provide a speaker.



October 12th 2013


                      Today was the 84th District 1080 Conference at The Holiday Inn Hotel near the airport Norwich.

Rotarian Alan Spinks attended this on behalf of the Club.

The attendees were welcomed by the Worshipful the sheriff of Norwich.

RI Director Steven Snyder and RIBI President Nan McCreadie addressed the audience before the speakers were introduced. The general tone of these speakers was "Service above Self" and " Membership ".

The following speakers were most interesting ...  Jean Best, District 1020 Peace Officer, on the project of Peace and Conflict Resolution with the help of PeaceJam students.

PDG Amanda Watkin, now RIBI Secretary, on Membership and retention.

Patricia Parker MBE, the founder of "Kids for Kids" , a moving story of her projects in Dafour Africa.

Rory Mackenzie, an amputee who had been serving in Afghanistan and decided to do unusual fund raising things and formed Row 2 Recovery ? Help the Heroes.6 amputees rowed across the Atlantic and what a fascinating talk that was !

Richelieu Allison on a Rotary Peace Scholar project...he was from Liberia and had seen his family torchered and murdered when he was 15.

Kevin Bales , co-founder of Free the Slaves, made a presentation on " Child Slavery".

The final part of the day was to show 1080 district projects of last rotary year. There were 10 whittled down to a final 4. Our project of building the toilet block in Goa India was one of them.

After short speeches from Ribi President and The DG of 11240 Peter Dowse, the judges, it was unanimous that our project was the winner and The John Grant Trophy for best District project was presented to Alan Spinks by RIBI President Nan McCreadie.

A very interesting day full of content and really worthwhile taking the time to attend.




The John Grant Trophy is awarded in District 1080 for the best club International Project.
This award is recognised at The District 1080 Annual Conference where all submitted projects are shown to the delegates.
This year 2013 The Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club was honoured to receive the award.
Photos show Rotarian Alan Spinks, International Service Committee Chairman receiving the Trophy and certificate from RIBI President Nan McCreadie and Peter Dowse, District Governor of District 1240 who were the judges of the 10 entrants.
The award was unanimous in favour of " Our Lady of Merces High School " Toilet Block building.
Our thanks go to all in the Rotary Club of Panaji who made this successful project possible at the school to benefit so many.
The Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club also recognise the significant contribution made by The Worshipful Company of Plumbers and The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors Charity in funding this project.



October 7th 2013


                      Senior Vice President Jack Thorpe addressed the members to toast the birthday of Alan Spinks. Alan took the opportunity to read out a card which compared the cost of living in the year of his birth to the present day.  So with comparisons firmly on the mind of the members it was quite fitting when this week’s speaker Carolyn Bondi who is a marketing strategist began her talk going back to the 1970’s. Carolyn who is the daughter of member Peter Bondi explained how marketing has evolved with the creation of ‘Loyalty Cards; and the impact this has had on our lives.  In the 70’s the strategist tracked people in general but as we approached the year 2000 the data was extracted from the individual which meant that they would have all the necessary information to identify what kind of consumers we are.   Carolyn then explained the changes over the years and the way that companies use the information to manufacture goods that we as consumers want to purchase.  It was evident that mobile phones now play a big part in delivering information to marketing companies and their use can now allow the consumer to compare prices and availability of stock at the touch of a screen.  As for the future Carolyn highlighted innovations such as the voice command system namely ‘Siri ’, ‘Google Glasses’, ‘Flexible Displays’ and ‘3D Printers’.  This was a most interesting talk that as Rotarians and consumers our profiles will continue to be stored and analysed to meet the aspirations of future generations.  The vote of thanks was given by John Westgate.


September 30th 2013


                           The members were in fine voice when it was announced that John Clark was celebrating his birthday and in true Haven style wine accompanied the meal.  This week’s speaker was Rotarian Craigh Page who is a Chartered Architect and the Director of Pure Architecture which is based in Bells Road Gorleston.  Craigh gave a presentation about his company’s entry for the architectural design of the Palliative Care East Unit at the James Paget Hospital which is now named the ‘Louise Hamilton Centre’.  Craigh began by giving overviews of how the company had considered what facilities were needed in the centre and how they had undertaken their research. Once this had been completed they set about incorporating their vision and at the same time promoting an innovated design whilst working within the remit set out by the client.  The designs were very impressive with pathway lighting and a large garden area with large expanses of glass using structural features that would enhance the building. The plans of the building were put on the screen which gave the members the chance to see the layout and the overall design.  Whilst Craigh and his team did not win the competition he can draw comfort from the fact that his entry came second.  The power point presentation included a short video which was very moving and there was no doubt that a lot of research had been undertaken before the plans were submitted.  There were many questions from the floor and it was evident that some building designs will always provoke healthy debate.   Philip Hunt gave the vote of thanks.


September 23rd 2013


                            This was a business meeting today when Committee chairmen briefed the members on decisions made and approved by Club Council.

Following International Committee's donation to purchase Personal LifeStraws, Chairman Alan Spinks invited Dr David Watson along to be presented with 300 LifeStraws which he would take to a school in Kihihi Uganda where the water was so pollute that Diarrhoeal diseases was most prevalent amongst the children there. This would be a great asset to the community as a result of education these LifeStraws would save lives.

     Presentation of LifeStraws to Dr David Watson



September 22nd 2013


                           The annual Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club's 14th Duck Race took place at The Waterways, North Drive last Sunday.
The weather was perfect with little breeze and an afternoon of sunshine. Hundreds of spectators came along for this fun event and Mayor John Burroughs and Mayoress Jenny were there to start the three races. Selwood Pumps provided the impetus for the ducks to complete the course between the two bridges.
Organiser Alan Spinks wished to thank the first-aid team of Ikon Ambulance Services Ltd and the Lifeguards from Potters leisure for providing the necessary health and safety cover.
Once again the event was well supported by The Gorleston Boat Club who had a wonderful display of model boats and demonstrated their skills in the water and keeping the ducks up to task during the races.
The event over the last 14 years has raised over £75000 for local community projects and charities as well as helping international projects.
A special thanks to local businesses who helped to sponsor the Corporate race and everyone who contributed by buying the ducks to make the event so popular.
The winners were..
Green Race ...... 1st Mr Robert Dempsey of North Walsham, 2nd Mrs Jenny Tilley,  3rd  Mr Philip Ladmore.
Yellow Race.......1st Mr Monty Spandler,  2nd Mr D Harbord of Scratby, 3rd Mr Matthew Stock.
Corporate Race.... The winner was J. Bloomfield Accountants...for the second year running !, 2nd Colin Smith Stonemasons, 3rd  Val Cole ltd.


September 16th 2013


                           Our speaker on Monday was Gemma Newson introduced by Bill Cooke.  Gemma is profoundly deaf, she was selected to play in goal for G.B. ladies deaf football team to take part in the Deaf Olympics held in Bulgaria in July this year with temperatures searing to the mid 30 degrees centigrade.    They beat a strong German team in the group stages but lost in the semi-finals to the U.S.A., the eventual winners.    They managed to beat Poland in a penalty shoot out after extra time, finishing in third place and winning a bronze medal.    Gemma was injured in the semi-final so was not able to play in the play off game but is now fully recovered and is looking forward to representing England and G.B. again in the future. She was thanked by George Ermini.

Alan Spinks was again able to thank all those members who had returned their duck race cards and hoped there would be a good turnout next Sunday with helping the organisers.



September 9th 2013



                        Our speaker this week was our own member, John Westgate.
Last year John went on holiday to Peru and showed many photographs of his visit to Lima , Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.
John explained with lovely illustrations of Lima the capital city of Peru with its many tourist attractions, Cusco, gateway to the famed Inca Trail and ruins of Machu Picchu.
Cusco is a city of 291,000 people nestled in the Andean highlands at 11,200 feet, 724 miles southeast of Lima,  Machu Picchu, a famous 15th century Inca civilisation, only discovered in 1911 by American Higham Bingham and immediately became a famous tourist attraction. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest and Lake Titicaca which sits majestically at 12,500 feet above sea level backed by the snowcapped peaks of Bolivia's Cordillera Real range. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and South America's largest fresh water lake, covering 3,200 square miles that extend across the border between Peru and Bolivia.
Johns talk was most enthusiastic and interesting and thanked on behalf of the club by John Dawson.
Next week Malcolm Loveland would organise a speaker.
Alan Spinks reminded all members of the forthcoming Duck Race at The Waterways on Sunday September 22nd.


September 2nd 2013


                         There was a good attendance at Mondays meeting following the August bank holiday break. Ian Thomson was to find a speaker and said how difficult it was getting to bring speakers along to talk.
However it gave him the opportunity to offer the floor to Ted Witton, who had a lot to say on the Equality and Diversity document published recently. Ted ruffled a few feathers with the members but gave them the chance to think about the forthcoming Annual Duck race on September 22nd at The Waterways Great Yarmouth. At the International Committee meeting that evening, Chairman Alan Spinks confirmed that everything was in hand with the organisation and hoped for a good attendance to this fun free event. As other years The Gorleston Boat Club would be showing their skills on the water with their model boats.
Next Club Council meeting would be Tuesday September 17th 7.00pm at The Imperial hotel.


August 26th 2013


                      No meeting ... August Bank Holiday.

The annual Haven Golf day took place on Wednesday afternoon August 21st at Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Course. As usual 18 holes were played under Stapleford Rules with full handicap allowance. Those taking part were Alan Carman (organiser), Robert lovick, Wally Ladmore, Mike Self, Bill Cooke, Alan Spinks, Mick Erskine, John Clark and his brother Peter, Richard Delf, and Keith Futter.

Start was 2pm and the weather was very warm and sunny and a fairly blustery wind. The rounds were slow this year but everyone was able to be in the dining room for the rib eye steak and Apple Crumble by 7:15pm.

As usual there was plenty of frivolity and innuendos and the golfers were joined by President Ian, Ian Thomson, Richard Coller and John Wiseman for dinner.

Taking part is always the only important point but for the record the winners and losers were as follows:- Prizes presented by Ian McCreadie
Overall Winner- John Clark 32 points
2nd Place-Keith Futter 28 points
3rd Place- Bill Cooke 27 points
Nearest line on 8th..... Mike Self
Nearest to Pin-Wally Ladmore
No Shot of the Day..
Lowest Score Trophy - Richard Delf

After dinner everyone has a go to lose the putting competition !! Mike Self was the only one not able to find the hole !! and retained the trophy !

David Bluck Worst Putter Trophy- Mike Self
Great fun enjoyed by all. Once again many thanks to Alan Carman for organising .


August 19th 2013


                    At our Monday meeting Ted Witton introduced his speaker, Simon Gray. Simon is the Chief Executive Officer of EEEGR.
The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) is the industry association for energy in the East of England, representing over 400 members across the supply chain.
They are a non-profit, business-led group committed to the sustained development of the energy sector in the East of England and the continued success of their members. Their members operate throughout the energy sectors from oil, gas, wind, wave & tidal, bio-energy, and nuclear through to decommissioning, carbon capture & storage (CCS), distribution and transmission and conventional generation.Simon emphasised how important the East of England was in the energy world, as was evident with the Windfarms, Gas industry at Bacton and the Nuclear reactors at Sizewell. Also it was necessary to keep our ports up to date and active to allay the competition from across the North Sea.EEEGR has a close relationship with government. This ranges from Westminster to governmental authorities throughout the region. When it comes to matters of energy, EEEGR is leading the way in representing the region.They also work closely with the region’s academic institutions, sector skills councils and industry bodies. The group encouraged businesses to keep jobs local to the area but there was a shortage of the necessary skills to operate in the energy industry. 25 to 40% of the nations electricity was generated in the eastern region.Internationally, EEEGR is growing in both significance and influence. They work with overseas institutions and organisations and welcome a growing number of internationally based companies within their membership. They recognise that inward investment is crucial to the continued and sustainable prosperity of the East of England and EEEGR is at the forefront of marketing the rich portfolio of assets that we have within the region.Simon explained about the controversial topic of "Fracking" and said it had been going on with no problems for many decades. Many questions were forthcoming from the members and Simon had most of the answers. A most interesting and informative talk and Malcolm Loveland thanked Simon for his presentation.

Next week was August Bank Holiday so no meeting.



August 12th 2013


                      Business meeting...minutes available from secretary.


August 5th 2013


                  The club moved away from our normal meeting place and went to How Hill near Ludham and with ideal weather and drinks on the terrace  there  was time to enjoy the idyllic broads landscape.   This was real treat for some of the members who had never been to the venue before.  The day was arranged by Richard Coller who lives near the house and whose family were involved in the design of the building in the early 1900s.  The speaker was Simon Partridge who became the Trust Director in  2011 giving  the members an overview of its history up to the present day. The concept of letting young people visit the centre for educational purposes  was the brainchild of Lincoln Ralph who has a relative still alive today who still actively promotes his ideals. Simon like so many local people has lasting memories of How Hill having spent time there as a pupil whilst at Caister. Today they still have children who board or come as day visitors  to enjoy the
ecology and the many activities that are available. Several years ago the house and grounds were owned by Norwich Union and the  Norfolk County Council but with ever increasing costs it went into Trust status in 1984.  Sadly the staff numbers have been reduced and with running cots of £830 each day it is important to hire out the building and its facilities at every opportunity.  Once Peter Gethin had given the votes thanks, several of the members then took up Simon’s offer of a tour of the water gardens and he was very keen to show us the very special ‘Dawn Redwood Tree’ which nestled between an abundance of exotic plants and foliage.  A perfect day in a perfect location.


July 29th 2013


                The Club continues to support the literary meeting where members are encouraged to select a favourite short story a poem or create their own piece to share with the members.
We had a variety of entries including a poem from Junior Vice President Peter Gethin that was called ‘Wheels’ and was readout at the speed of a train which the members found quite amusing.  Philip Hunt with his theatrical experience read out a short story and then delighted the audience when he read out his own poem about two fictitious characters that enjoyed a game of tennis and who were obviously very much in love and it was this relationship that was dramatised in the written form with feeling and passion. There were several other contributions from Bob Price, Wally Ladmore, Des Sadler and John Westgate.   The club then welcomed Nicholas Fitch who was a guest of the club having been nominated to receive the Haven Performing Arts Bursary.  Nick who is currently attending the East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston is a jazz guitarist studying Music, Photography and Media Studies and took the opportunity to talk about his studies and his aspirations for the future.  He also attends the Royal Academy of Music having successfully auditioned for their Junior Conservatoire in 2012.  Nick has another year at the Sixth Form College and once this has been completed he is applying for possible placements in London and Boston in the USA.  The members then sat back and enjoyed 3 pieces of music which included ‘How High The Man’, Caravan and ‘All The Things You Are’.   Senior Vice President Jack Thorpe congratulated Nick on his performance and then presented him with a cheque for £500 and wished him every success in his musical career.  Next Monday’s meeting will be at the normal time but will take place at How Hill near Ludham.




July 22nd 2013


                At our Monday meeting, Past President Bob Price introduced this weeks speaker, Frank Grinnell.

Frank Grinnell is Research Study Co-ordinator and also the lead diabetes specialist nurse with more than 12 years’ experience in diabetes at The James Paget Hospital . He is a non-medical prescriber. Frank splits his role between clinical and research work in conjunction with the Eastern Region Diabetes Research Network.

Frank’s research includes medical devices, in which he has previously provided expertise and opinion in the development of an insulin administration device. He has also provided post-marketing appraisal and surveillance of two home blood glucose monitoring systems and ongoing development.

Diabetes is a huge worldwide problem with type 1 and type 2 There are 3 million patients with diabetes in the UK and this figure is likely to be 5 million by 2020.

This is a huge expenditure for the NHS about 12 billion pounds per year.


Our large catchment area which includes rural populations north and south and taking in the higher density population areas of Caister, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft with some 245,000 patients across 24 GP practices.

The diabetic population is some 240000 patients in our area, about one tenth on insulin and the remainder with type 2 on tablet medication.

A big problem is the high cost of blood monitoring kits, and although  they are given free, the cost of £14 per tin has to some extent been reduced due to the purchase of cheaper items from the Middle East. New drugs and new equipment has seen the price go up and up and is big business for the Pharmaceutical Companies.

Frank explained in simple terms the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the way it should be managed with diet and life style. The talk was most interesting and informative and the Members asked many questions. The vote of thanks was given by Richard Delf.

Next week would be a Literacy lunch and also a surprise presentation.


July 20th 2013


               Members and guests enjoyed a splendid day out at Newmarket Races. Thanks to Richard Delf for organising.


July15th 2013



              Today, Jo Bridges and Ali Smith from ‘Home Start’ talked to the club about their Charity and the work they undertake to
 support families who seek help coping with children under the age of 5.  Like most charities they depend on volunteers who undergo specialist training in order that they have the necessary skills including being a good listener and communicator so that they can assist  families with a range of problems.  Jo also explained the process in which the families are referred and the importance in working closely with other child agencies. Home Start does receive some funding from the Norfolk County Council and the Health Service.  Bert Collins gave the vote of thanks.


July 10th 2013


                This Wednesday evening after a relaxing riverside drink several members and guests visited the Strawberry Fields close to Coltishall which is operated by Place UK, who grow Strawberries and other fruits for leading supermarkets.  Managing Director Tim Place was on hand to conduct the group tour explaining the very complex growing process and the logistics in getting workers from abroad to pick the fruit. The farm manager John Blazey was also in attendance having worked for the Place family for a number of years.  The business was formed in 1954 and technology has brought about many changes to the industry as it competes with other European growers.   This was a most interesting visit and once the group had picked a carton of strawberries it was off to the local pub for a meal and a chance to reflect on the evening tour.




July 8th 2013


            At this week's meeting Bert Collins introduced Mandy Jordan and Helen Chapman from Macmillan Cancer Support who are responsible for fundraising in the East Suffolk and Waveney area.   Bert and his wife Maureen have been chairing the Great Yarmouth Fundraising Committee for many years so they have first hand experience in organising events to support this charity.  Macmillan was set up in 1911 by Douglas Macmillan whose father had cancer and after his death, he vowed to promote cancer care which began by distributing financial help plus essentials such as food and warmth. In the 1960s he began fundraising for hospices and in the 1970’s the first Macmillan nurses was appointed.   Mandy then explained the services that Macmillan provide and how they offer practical, medical and emotional support whist striving for better cancer care.  Mandy gave the current figures of cancer patients in Norfolk and the expected rise during the next ten years and the future challenge for Macmillan to raise funds to cover these services.  This charity depends on donations from the public which in Norfolk alone has 47 Macmillan nurses plus clinical psychologists and social workers who work with people and their families experiencing emotional problems. This was a very moving subject which meant that there were several questions from the members. Richard Coller gave the vote of thanks.

July 1st 2013


               Presidents Handover meeting....   Click here for photos and report.


June 24th 2013


On Friday 25 members enjoyed a most memorable evening at the annual club Charter Night with guest speaker Simon Nichols.   Simon's informative and amusing talk was proceeded by a number of anecdotes reflecting the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of human nature, subsequent to which he recounted with zest and enthusiasm some of his fascinating experiences as a solicitor, in particular working at the Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court.   During the evening President Bob announced that Alan Spinks who was unable to be at the event had been awarded ‘Rotarian of the Year’.
At the Monday meeting John Clark introduced this week's speaker namely Jon Smith who talked about the history of the Great Yarmouth Borough Police.  Jon a retired Norfolk Police Officer was well placed to seek out information from some of the retired  Police Officers who had served in the Borough Force.  Jon started his talk relating to policing in general and how it evolved prior to and after the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act when Police Forces were formed.  He covered in some detail the different policing styles that were expedited by the Chief Constables who were in charge of the Borough Police.  They were all characters and bearing in mind there was no training manuals it was a case of using basic methods to apprehend the criminal.   He handed around several photographs one of which  depicted a scene outside the Old Gorleston Police Station which was located in the High Street.  One of pictures shows the Borough Police Force with Firemen
which was a role the police also undertook until 1942 when the services separated.  The Borough force had its characters and a name familiar to a lot of people was George Brown who related many stories to Jon and in particular a n incident whereby he chased and apprehended a burglar and with no transport to call upon he walked him back to the station only to be reprimanded for not wearing his Police helmet. Jon gave the members a well researched and interesting insight into the history of the Yarmouth Borough Police and Peter Gethin gave the vote of thanks.



June 21st 2013


                 Charter Night Annual Dinner.  Report here !


June 17th 2013


                 On Monday President Bob Price welcomed assistant Governor East Hugh Davies to the Club Assembly and after lunch handed over the chair to Senior Vice President Ian McCreadie to conduct proceedings.  He made reference to the theme ‘Engage In Rotary and Improve Lives’ and then outlined his vision and goals as  his term as President gets ever closer.  Jack Thorpe (Senior Vice President elect) will be chairing the Club Service Committee and thanked all those members who continue to undertake specialist roles within the club. He said that he was looking forward to his year in office and would naturally be seeking help and advice from past Presidents and committee members.

Bill Cooke continues to chair Community Service and felt that as a club we should be utilising the skills of the membership to undertake hands on projects highlighting his desire to look at local environmental initiatives that the club could embrace.  Malcolm Loveland having been the Vice Chair with the Vocational Committee now becomes the Chairman and took this opportunity to wish the outgoing Chairman Peter Gethin every success as he becomes Junior Vice President.  Malcolm outlined his plans for the coming year whereby he would continue to support the newly formed Arts Bursary and would work hard with the other two Rotary clubs to support a RYLA candidate for 2014.   The International Chair Alan Spinks is recovering from a car accident so it was left to Richard Delf to formulate their future strategy.  Leslie Seabert who was absent from the meeting takes over from John Burroughs as Chairman of Foundation.


June 10th 2013


                Business meeting.

June 3rd 2013


               This week’s guest speakers were Laura and Sean Goodman who were introduced by Ian Thomson.  In 2006 Laura and her husband decided to visit Kenyaand naturally the main part of the holiday would be a safari and general sight seeing. . However whilst they were there they decided to move from the tourist trail and visited a local sponsored school namely the ‘SilverstoneAcademy’.  As Sean is a magician he was soon performing some of his tricks for the children who were mesmerised by his magical powers.  Having seen the poverty and the poor state of the schools for themselves they returned to Kenyain 2008 and visited the ‘God of Our Father Orphanage’ and decided to purchase a desk and a school uniform for one of the pupils.  Once back in the UK Sean managed to get sponsorship to help the children of the orphanage from The Masonic Angel Lodge and having returned to the area this year they discovered that it had expanded to cater for the increase
 in children needing the facility.  Due to outside sponsorship all of the children now receive a formal state education.  During their visit they were made aware of a young girl called Mary Achieng whose family could no longer afford to pay for her education which meant that she would have to leave the school.  Naturally Laura and Sean stepped in to offer financial support which meant that she could return to her old school.  The power point presentation highlighted the sheer joy of Mary having been told that her schooling could continue and it is a testament to both Laura and Sean that their passion and kindness has made such a significant contribution to the lives of children whose one desire is to have a basic education.   


May 27th 2013


                No meeting....May Bank Holiday


May 20th 2013


                 Last Friday was our annual Car Rally. Well organised by Leslie seabert and John Burroughs, the event raised about £200 for Rotary's Foundation Fund. 51 people took part in very inclement weather around the Acle area. A splendid meal and prize giving at The Huntsman , Strumpshaw, with the winners being The Sadler family with runners up The Bill Cooke car.
At our Monday meeting, firstly Brian Nichol introduced 2 of his friends from the Cobulture Rotary Club in Australia, who were here on holiday. Brian ,previously one of our Past Presidents ,had been a member and President of the Australian Rotary Club during his 10 year stay in Australia. Peter Gethin announced the success of The Gourmet evening at the Yarmouth College and that over £470 had been raised for the Members fund.
Our speaker was District 1080 treasurer Keith Basanko from the Lowestoft East Point Rotary club. With so many changes and confusion about monies, Club Trusts  within the Club and related queries to Charity organisations, it was good that Keith's presentation fully unraveled some of the  points that needed to be clear and transparent. After many questions , Alan Carman gave the vote of thanks.
Next week there would be NO meeting as Bank holiday. Our Club Assembly has now been changed back to June 17th.
On June 3rd, Alan Spinks would be introducing Sean and Laura Goodman to talk of their travels and work with a community in Kenya.



May 13th 2013


                 Haven’s Secretary Mike Self announces the Committees Chairs for the forthcoming Rotary Year with two new appointments namely Malcolm Loveland becomes Chairman of Vocational and Leslie Seabert heads the Foundation Committee.  The guest at this week’s meeting was the outgoing Mayor Colleen Walker.  She talked about her year in office and highlighted some of the special moments during the past 12 months.  Colleen has lived in the Great Yarmouth area all her life and has held office as a County  Councillor and as a local Councillor. She recalls visiting some local residents who were 100 years old and the very remarkable gentleman who was 101 and was building a replica of the ‘Titanic’ from matchsticks.   Colleen then talked about her chosen charities which were linked to the local emergency services including the air ambulance.  She made particular reference to those residents in the Borough who were involved in voluntary work and
the vital role they play in a variety of activities.  She is planning to raise money for local Para Olympic  Jessica Applegate in her desire to travel to the Rio Games in 2016  and intends devote much of her time to this task once she hands over office.  Her trip to Buckingham Palace in June of 2012 was a very special occasion during the Queens Jubilee Year.  Having attended well over 700 functions during her term in office she wished incoming Mayor and Club Member John Burroughs every success as he becomes the next Mayor at a ceremony later that evening.  At the end of the meeting President Bob Price and Bill Cook presented a cheque totalling £500 to the family of Daisy Newman who are raising money to take her to Disney World in November. This donation was match funded by Rotarian Brian Potter.




Community Chairman Bill presents cheque to Newman family.                 President Bob presents cheque to outgoing Mayor Colleen Walker for her personal Charities.


May 9th 2013


                Successful Gourmet evening organised by Peter Gethin.


42 attendees, Rotarians, Partners and friends. 

£472 raised from ticket price and a raffle.


May 6th 2013


                 No meeting....  May Day Bank Holiday.

April 29th 2013


                  Business meeting..... Ask Club Secretary for minutes.


April 22nd 2013


                  Our meeting this week welcomed a very special visitor as guest and speaker. The District Governor of Rotary District 1080, Trevor Sayer.
After thanking the club members for great hospitality and an excellent meal, DG Trevor talked about how the club had entered in to the spirit of Rotary through the various projects both in the local community and abroad.
He particularly emphasised the districts initiative of " A Wheelie Good Idea ", which Haven had taken part in .
The objects of this was to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games, promote fellowship between clubs, promote Rotary through local publicity and to fund raise for "WheelPower ", leaving a lasting sporting legacy in the wake of the games through the purchase of manual sports wheelchairs for worthy young disabled recipients in East Anglia. 
A young lad of 15 years, had already been earmarked for a sports wheelchair which cost £3000. He lives in Acle and is at the top of his sport in wheel chair tennis.
It is hoped to find 5 more worthy recipients, all of whom will benefit by having a top class sports wheel chair.
DG Trevor also spoke of Rotary's contribution to helping to rid the world of the crippling Polio disease. The time is getting closer and only 3 Countries, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have still dormant areas, particularly due to the mountainous areas. It is a big challenge for Rotary and the finish and eradication may be 2018.
Our Haven Rotary Club has always supported and donated to the End Polio Now fund and would continue to the final goal.
DG Trevor quickly outlined the changes that would be happening in Rotary Worldwide and the local Districts, such as change of structure at the Board headquarters and re-districting which would make less Districts but of more clubs in each. A new structure for the future of how projects are funded would come into operation this July, allowing Clubs more freedom and choice and less paperwork. The next five years for Rotary would be very interesting and exciting.
Rotarian Ian Thomson gave the vote of thanks. Next weeks meeting would be a business meeting.


April 17th 2013


                  The golf Haven A team of Bill Cooke and Alan Spinks, went to play the first round of The District Knockout Tournament at Bungay GC against a pair from Norwich Blackfriars.

The new format this year is a team of 2 on a match play basis.

It was a tight game with Bill playing well to keep us level. The last 9 holes proved more successful with both Bill and Alan playing well.

The result was a win for Haven 4 & 2.

A nice fellowship afternoon out, and the team now await to play Lowestoft East Point on May 23rd.

The team will be Alan Spinks and Alan Carman.


April 15th 2013


              The Club has continued to work hard to secure new members into the Rotary family so it was a pleasure to welcome back a past member namely Albert Smith who rejoined the club after a long absence.  Senior Vice President Ian McCreadie read out the principles of Rotary and Albert then took the opportunity to address the club.  This week’s speaker was David McDermott who is a regular visitor to the club and therefore required no introduction.  David is a collector of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston memorabilia and brought with him diaries of the late Les Gould who was a local photographer with the Eastern Counties newspapers. In 1936 Les joined the RAF as a Boy Entrant and trained to be a photographer so he was deployed taking aerial pictures during the war effort. He then joined the Norfolk News Service and remained in the County throughout his career.  His diaries were not only a record of his work but highlighted many of the historic events that occurred in the Borough.  He made many visits to the port when the fishing industry was at its height and took pictures of Yarmouth's growing Industrial sites as the town expanded including the opening of the newly built Birds Eye factory at South Denes.  He recorded the twinning ceremony with the French Town  Rambouillet and the fact that our mother club Yarmouth played an active role in setting up the link.   Les was certainly a character at the Yarmouth office and was ‘The Man of the Mercury’ for over 30years and many of his pictures are still used today.  David read out many of the entries which gave the members the chance to reminisce on days gone by.  Philip Hunt thanked David for bringing the dairies and his decision to retain the books for future generations.  The District Governor Trevor Sayer will be visiting the club next Monday.



April 8th 2013



              After the Easter break the members were in high spirits celebrating John Burroughs birthday and in true Haven tradition his age was not divulged.  This week’s speaker was Gemma Newson from Caister aged 21 who suffers from a genetic disorder called Ushers Syndrome which affects her hearing and sight.   Gemma has been deaf since birth and has recently undergone surgery to have a cochlear implant fitted in the left ear. This has helped her hearing immensely but she still lip reads to communicate with the hearing world, having done this all her life.  Her passion for sport started at a very young age and she quickly became involved in football realising that her goal keeping skills would soon be recognised and she was selected to play for Norfolk and Norwich City  PDC.  She made her first debut for Great Britain at the Euro’s in 2010 against Russia.  At first Gemma had to quickly learn many of the signs used by other footballers but after a period of time she could use sign language to communicate.  She explained that she had taken part in the World Fustal Championship in Sweden which is more like 5 a side at a faster pace and requiring more skill.  Gemma is currently training with the England side at the European Futsal Championships in November 2014.  Gemma is now studying at the University of Bedfordshire having to abandon a scholarship in Texas due to communicational problems.  Bill Cook then presented Gemma with a cheque to the sum £300 to assist her in her costs while training for the ‘Deaflympics’ which takes place later this year. After several questions from the members Keith Futter gave the vote of thanks.



April 1st 2013


                 No meeting as Easter holiday weekend. 


March 25th 2013


                  It was our Senior Vic President Ian McCreadie who gave the floor to Rotarian Philip Hunt who was this week’s speaker. Philip had recently taken his father- in- law who is registered blind to St Dunstans situated in Ovingdean near Brighton.   He explained about the history of St Dunstans which was founded in 1915 by Sir Arthur Pearson who was also blind and wanted to provide treatment for service personnel during World War One.  Sir Arthur Pearson was first given a house in Brighton for this purpose but it soon became clear that a larger centre was needed so land was acquired and the new St Dunstans at Ovingdean was built.  The original design was built in the shape of an aircraft and in 1938 it was taken over by the Navy and renamed HMS Vernon for the duration of the war.  Over the years it has undergone many upgrades to meet the needs of the patients.  Today it has a purpose facility that has individual rooms that can accommodate the patient and visitors who accompany them.  He then talked about the help his father- in- law was given and the specialist equipment that was available including a mail reader, gloves, magnifiers and glasses that would distinguish certain colours.  This visit highlighted the high quality of care that the staff  gave to the patients and the wonderful facilities that were available on site including a Swimming Pool, Gym and Workshops to help those who were partially blind to keep active.  Philip was humbled by this visit which gives Ex Service Personnel the opportunity to improve their quality of life. Ted Witton gave the vote of thanks.



March 18th 2013


                     Business meeting....Committee chairmen gave their reports after approval from Club Council meeting. Secretary Mike will, in due course, circulate the minutes to all club members.


March 11th 2013


                    Two distinguished guests were speakers at our Monday lunchtime meeting. Our International committee is pleased to be participating in a new Rotary Matching Grant Project in a school in Goa, India ,with 700 students, to build a new Toilet Block separate for boys and girls.
The Haven Club were honoured to receive a cheque from Charles Yuill, Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers for £1000 to assist in their project.
Charles talked of his warm welcome to the Club and a short history of his association with donations to various Charities and the work done in raising millions of pounds for water and sanitation projects.

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers is one of the most ancient Livery Companies in the City of London having been formed as a Craft Guild in the Fourteenth Century.  Then, as now, one of the Company’s principle aims was to promote excellence in the plumbing industry.  They try to bring some co-ordination to what is a very fragmented industry and take initiatives at national and governmental level to ensure the highest possible standards.  As an example, you will shortly be able to read in the national press about a Water Safe Scheme similar to the Gas Safe Scheme .


There are in excess of 100 Livery Companies based in the City of London and between them they give more than £40 million pounds to charity each year.  The Plumbers concentrate their somewhat limited resources and efforts upon education and training for the plumbing industry as well as providing grants to worthwhile water related projects throughout the world.  They give bursaries and other financial support to plumbing students and apprentices, they present awards for excellence to young servicemen in our armed forces and they recognise through prizes and financial support those schools and colleges providing training in their industry.


Charles said, it is always pleasing to see the charitable work undertaken by other bodies and individuals particularly when that work has something to do with water or sanitation, and was delighted to come to The Great Yarmouth Haven Club to support their very worthwhile project in India.


President Bob also introduced his speaker. Henry Cator OBE DL who is the present High Sheriff of Norfolk.

Henry explained the role of Sheriffs over the ages, since Saxon times and was a great honour for him to be Sheriff of Norfolk as a fourth generation in his family. Basically the role was to look after High Court Judges who travelled to Norfolk to administer the Queens justice. It was a privilege to meet so many people over his year of office. He had a desire to leave a legacy and to this end he set his goal on being a fund raiser for a charity. For this one needs Patience and Persistence. He decided to support The Norfolk County Foundation... its motto Nourishing Norfolk Together. Henry was passionate about his support for vulnerable young people and to date had raised £80000. He thanked the Rotary members for doing  wonderful work as volunteers and could see the good work being done with fun and fellowship. Ted Witton thanked Henry for his very interesting talk.



President Bob receives a cheque for £1000 from Charles Yuill, Master of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers.

This very generous donation will be used for our project of building a new Toilet Block for boys and girls at Our Lady of Merces High School in Goa.





March 4th 2013


                  At this weeks meeting retired local GP David Watson gave a power point presentation about his work linked to the Charity ‘Fields of Life’.  This organisation works with local communities and churches in East Africa to bring change through the provision of quality education clean water, health promotion and other initiatives. David retired 5 years ago and was passionate about helping disabled and disadvantaged children living in Uganda.  His first set of slides depicting the locality and the health issues affecting the local population were heart wrenching and admitted that if children reached the age of 5 there was every chance that they would survive into adulthood.  David has made several trips to Africa and Uganda and soon recognised the stigma suffered by the children with disabilities and other health problems.  So his charity has built schools and orphanages that will board up to 100 children some of whom are sponsored and others are fee paying which will give them a reasonable level of education.   The Charity not only promotes education and health awareness but has been involved in sanitation projects, boring for water, and training teachers to work in the schools. . It is important to liaise with other charities undertaking similar projects so that resources and expertise can be shared. David then talked about many of the ongoing initiatives and is planning another trip to build another school in Kihihi Southern Uganda and is now organising fundraising events.  Tony King congratulated David on his achievements and wished him well for his next big project.





February 25th 2013


                         The club welcomed President Alan Mason of the Norwich South Rotary Club together with 3 of his members who had decided to travel to Yarmouth to enjoy the fellowship that Haven has to offer.  Club member Peter Howkins was this week’s speaker and naturally his talk was about his time as an Antique Dealer.  Peter started work at the age of 16 as a trainee in the family business collecting antiques on a wheel barrow and took them to their premises in King Street.  Prior to the 1960s there was not a lot of interest in antique furniture but after that period business improved with a strong domestic and foreign market.  Peter explained how some of the business deals operated telling how he reminded his staff that with regards to the customer never ’judge a book by its cover.’   He delighted the members with his memories of dealing with ‘Romany’ families from Ireland, Scotland and England.  He explained that you have to understand their ways and their methods of bartering which is quite unique.  However some of the local dealers never quite understood the Romany traditions however Peter found it quite challenging and enjoyed the banter and felt quite at ease in their company.  In those days several of the Romany families were antique dealers in their own right and many local dealers did eventually conduct business with them.  He recalled the time when the travellers had set up home on Mousehold Heath Norwich and he decided to go to the site to meet them but upon leaving he was confronted by Police Vans and Police dogs who had arrived to evict them.  Peter’s talks are always humorous and interesting and it was the task of Dick Fiddy to give the vote of thanks on behalf of the club and the guests.



February 18th 2013


                     There are several club members who have been involved in sport for many years so it was a delight for them when this week’s speaker Mike Smith (brother of Member Colin Smith) came to the Club to talk about his passion for Cricket.  He first began his working career in the RAF which gave him the opportunity to travel and take part in the sport in many different countries.  He retired from the RAF after 30 years service but then took up a position as a Civilian employee with the Norfolk Constabulary which meant that he could remain in Norfolk and continue playing in County matches.  However his talk was not about its history or the rules of the game but how older players can continue to play in league matches.  It was soon realised that there were many players over the age of 50 so the Spitfire League was formed in 1983 and matches were played on a County level.  As the players became older an over 60’s team was formed and later naturally came the over 70’s group.  However due to certain health issues it was becoming increasingly difficult to put a team together so it was decided to link up with Suffolk.  He explained that there will always be problems seeking out new players due to a variety of reasons but the distance that many have to travel can be off putting for any prospective player.  Mike plays in the Spitfire Championship and has been named in the England Squad for the over 70’s Test Match series with their Australian counterparts in August of this year.  Mike reiterated the importance of Cricket being a ‘Gentleman’s Game’ and his commitment to Norfolk County Cricket has ensured that he maintains this very special standard.  John Burroughs thanked Mike for addressing the members and whished him every success for the coming season.



February 8th 2013


                     Several members attended a Real Ale tasting evening at The Apollo Tavern this evening.

Members paid £10 towards the beer and snacks which the proceeds would go to the Foundation committees funds. Most members had a choice and had 6 half pints of quality brews of different % 's. The beers were Cliff Quay, Master Brew, Little Sharpie, Wolf, Ghost Ship, and Broadside. The general opinion was that Wolf was best followed by Broadside ! Thanks to John and Jenny for organising this pleasant event.


February 4th 2013


                 This week’s speaker was retired Detective Superintendent Michael Cole who began his career in the Metropolitan Police but later transferred to the Norfolk Constabulary.  He was soon promoted through the ranks and spent much of his career working in the Criminal Investigation Department spending many years in Great Yarmouth as a Detective Inspector.  During the early 80’s the then Chief Superintendent of Yarmouth Division Peter Howse  set up an American Exchange scheme whereby 6 officers spent time in the State of Illinois to study their methods of policing.  One of the first officers to be selected was Michael and whilst on his vocational studies he noticed an initiative whereby money was offered for information with regards to certain crimes and local businesses would donate the money.  Having been operating for some time in America he soon realised its potential and decided to bring the idea back to Great Yarmouth and Crime Stoppers was launched here in the UK.  The local press supported the idea together with the Chair of the Crime Prevention Panel namely Jim Carter.  Michael explained to the members how this initiative worked and its ultimate success.   There were a few hitches getting the scheme up and running but there is no doubt that it was Michael who had the foresight to bring this initiative to Norfolk which would later be adopted by all UK Police Forces.  Later this year the local press will be featuring an article to celebrate 30 years since its launch and a ‘Blue Plaque’, commemorating its inception will be placed on the building where the Old Mercury Office was situated.  The vote of thanks was given by Robert Lovick.



January 28th 2013


                    Today  15 members took the opportunity to visit the new Palliative Care East unit namely the ‘Louise Hamilton Centre’ which is situated in the grounds of the James Paget Hospital. The Club having made donations to the Charity since its formation had a chance to view the building and to learn about the facilities together with the various services that the centre will provide.  Palliative Care Consultant Bernadette Auger and several members of the Palliative Care East Team were on hand to deal with any questions. 

The lunch time speaker was Aaron Bartlett  who had been nominated in 2012 by the Three Rotary clubs to  attend  Leadership course at Grafham Water Centre in September  and he addressed the members to give an overview of the course.

Aaron admitted that he was unsure of what to expect but it soon became clear to him that he would experience a variety of exercises including assault courses, orienteering, sailing, canoeing and formulating a business plan which included applying for finance to keep a project afloat.  This course brings together groups of young people who are unknown to each other and it teaches them to work as a team but at the same time creating a bond that would assist them during the course.  Aaron explained what he had gained much from the course and reflected on its impact since returning to work.  It was quite evident that Aaron had become more confident and better prepared to deal with tricky situations.  Robin Wright who is the District RYLA Representative gave a short update of this year’s course. A Course  Certificate was then presented to Aaron by President Bob Price.



January 21st 2013


                     Business matters meeting.   


January 14th 2013


                      Today the guest speaker was local Estate Agent Charles Bycroft who many of the members knew both professionally and personally.  Charles has over 45 years experience and moved to the Great Yarmouth area in the late 70’s . He began his talk by highlighting  his early experiences as an auctioneer including the time he split his trousers just before a sale.  However all was not lost when a colleague managed to repair the split just in time to carry on with the auction.  He was also alerted to the fact that there were two sovereigns in a draw of a cabinet which had been valued at  a low price.  So Charles  decided to split the lot and this resulted in a very  handsome return for the seller.  He mentioned his time working in the Kings Lynn area and being sent to Wisbeach where he discovered a house with a particle interesting feature. Included in the  basement area was  a brick lined corridor with an arched feature, which he later discovered was thought to be a bonded area to secrete spirits that were illegally smuggled into the nearby port and brought to the house by a secret tunnel.  Charles then went on to say that he had the misfortune of valuing a house for a client with a sitting tenant and having taken tea with the occupier he later discovered to his dismay that it was the wrong address.   There is always a non glamorous side to his work and this was highlighted when he talked about his exploits when visiting houses that were covered in animal excrement, human waste and other unpleasant odours.   Thankfully these situations are quite rare but as an Estate Agent one must always be prepared for the unexpected.  After several questions from the members it was Brian Potter who thanked Charles for sharing his memorable moments.  The club will deal with business matters at next week’s meeting.



President Bob presents a cheque for £250 to Alan Spinks, Chairman International Committee.

The donation towards the Project in India was given by The Association of Plumbers and Heating Contractors.

Members, Richard, Ian , Ted and Bert of the International committee were on hand at The Apollo following the

evening committee meeting.




January 7th 2013


                    After the Christmas break the club was on top form with a good attendance and much joviality throughout the meeting.  President Bob initiated a new member into the Club namely Tony Smith who then gave a short speech stating his commitment to Rotary and looking forward to good fellowship and making his own personal contribution to the club.  The first speaker of 2013 was Angie Buxton-King who is the fund raiser for the Charity ‘East Coast Hospice’.  Angie joined the Charity in the Autumn of 2012 after spending several years working within the NHS.  This presentation highlighted what the proposed Hospice would provide and its desire that having acquired land on Beacon Park a building housing ten beds would provide care for terminally ill patients.

Angie acknowledged that the majority of terminally ill patients would prefer to remain at home but those wishing to use Hospice services would  at present have to use the facilities at ‘All Hallows’ situated at Ditchingham, a situation she believes could be addressed if there was a hospice available in Gorleston.  Each member was given a pamphlet outlining the plans of the proposed Hospice which will be called ‘Margaret Chadd House’ and sets out the services that will be available to patients and their families.






    to all our Members, Friends and Visitors !!




Updated: 31/12/2018



The club meets every Monday (except Bank Holidays) at  The Imperial Hotel, North Drive, Great Yarmouth NR30 1EQ at 1.00 p.m. 


Telephone: +44 1493 842000


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