Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club

                    President 2019- 2020 Malcolm Bugge   ( left )

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 25th and January 1st 2018...... No meetings.


December 18th 2017


                          The Ladies Xmas Evening  dinner at The Imperial Hotel with 73 attendees. Report here <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


December 11th 2017

                         This week Alan Carr gave us an insight in the way Great Yarmouth Borough Council promotes Publicity and Tourism.  Alan last spoke to the club some 27 years ago when the main method of promoting the town was by use of short films taken from the air showing the beaches, gardens, waterways, the pleasure beach, race course, market, etc of all the areas of the town which could interest potential visitors and when one of the main topics of discussion with the visitors to the town was whether there should be a smoking ban on the beach!  Marketing and analysis today is very different.  Face Book, Twitter, U tube and Flicker are used to ensure the general public is kept informed of Great Yarmouth’s facilities and to assess the needs of the public.  The object is to inspire and give an increased awareness of the town’s facilities and to help build long term relationships.  Since January 2017 there have been 4.1 million page views.  Analysis indicates there are fewer night stays but an increase in day trips.  Comparison with other Sea-Side destinations Great Yarmouth is holding its own. Part of the promotion videos include pictures of various types of accommodation which includes: tents, caravans, hotels, bungalows and boats.  Another video shows food being prepared, cooked and served to guests in an open air location designed to show a friendly and pleasant environment.  Others show individual Great Yarmouth residents in various activities supporting and promoting people to visit the town.

It was fitting that the vote of thanks was given by the last occupier of the post of Publicity and Tourism manager, Rotarian Tony King.

December 4th 2017


                          Business meeting.... details of new 11 week Imperial Hotel menu  sent out to all members.

November 27th 2017


                          This week the Club  enjoyed a nostalgic stroll down the Great Yarmouth sea front which was conducted by David McDermott a local historian, past singer and guitarist, analytical chemist and currently a T.V. personality working on the B.B.C. Antiques Show.

He mentioned a Dr Richard Russell who published papers on the benefits of swimming and drinking sea water in 1732. These proposals gradually spread to Great Yarmouth and in 1840 when the law allowed paid bank holidays many people took holidays in this part of the country. They arrived by train, road and steam ships and it is estimated some 80,000 visitors spent their holidays in the town. They required entertainment and accommodation so a number of hotels were built together with the development of the Marina, Britania, ABC, Regal and many other places of entertainment including Speedway, Horse and Dog racing tracks. At the same time the Herring industry was growing rapidly and it was claimed to be the Premier Herring Port of the world adding further interest to visitors

In 1909 a publication was produced which claimed Great Yarmouth compare very favourably with other sea side resorts in terms of health. It claimed to reinvigorate manual workers, being much more than a summer resort. The members found David's talk to be full of interest and was thanked by Rotarian Colin Godfrey.



November 20th 2017


                  At this week’s meeting,  members were informed of the work of the Civic Society of Great Yarmouth by Mr Hugh Sturzaker.  Hugh commenced his talk by saying he was pleased to see so many surviving ex-patients.  He pointed out Great Yarmouth had a great history and heritage.  His talk was illustrated by a number of coloured slides showing both old beautiful building such as the Minster which is the oldest and largest Parish Church in the country and other old houses in the town.  He also pointed out the decay and deteriation of a number of buildings that now require care and attention.  He also looked at the highways and roundabouts leading into the town.  Whilst some roundabouts were very well planted with plants and flowers and had been sponsored by local companies others were very unattractive and did not impress visitors to the town.  People arriving at the railway station are met by a rather unattractive station building and walking towards the town cross and interesting old footbridge, part of which has been redecorated whilst the other half has been left to decay!  Unfortunately, when one walks around the town there are a number of sights that need to be changed, weeds growing beside pavements, uneven pavement surfaces, road surfaces that need attention as do the ‘Rows’.Hugh then went on to suggest what might be done to improve the situation:Education of the residents; organise cleaning/awareness campaigns; provide awards and enter into partnerships.  As a result of such action we may expect a cleaner town, better integration, increased civic pride, a feel good factor which may lead to improved health, more visitors and an improved local economy. A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian George Ermini .


November 13th 2017


                           Rotarian Michael Murrant welcomed Catherine Ladbroke, a volunteer with Nelsons journey to tell Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club a little about the work that the Charity does.

The aim of the charity is to provide bereavement services to children who have lost a significant person in their lives. It does this through the services of its five bereavement counsellors, the provision of support weekends encompassing fun activities as well as encouraging candle lit ceremonies and memory jars to help children get through the grieving process. Because of the clear need for the service Nelsons Journey has set up clubs in many Norfolk market towns in order to spread the services throughout the county. Uniquely too a supportive youth panel have created a Smartphone app which enables the bereaved child to log a photograph of their loved one and then memories that come to them.

Catherine added that there were only two counties in the country where such services were found. With 788 children using the charity’s in 2016 expected to rise above 1000 in 2017, the need for the service is apparent. Catherine also told us that the most common cause of death was Cancer and that the charity relied very heavily on the 100 volunteers it had.

To provide the services it does will cost the charity £550,000 in 2017 and with a meagre amount coming from Norfolk County Council, who do not provide any similar services.

Catherine who lost her own husband twenty years ago when her children were small spoke not only from the heart but with experience.

On behalf of the club Rotarian Richard Delf thanked Catherine for such an informative and thought provoking talk.


November 6th 2017


                  This week members enjoyed a trip down some 60 years of Great Yarmouth Town football club history.  This was given by our own Rotarian Bob Price.  His father was chairman of Great Yarmouth Sports Club and had a great influence on Bob’s interest in sport.  Bob’s first encounter with the football club was as a programme seller at the north end of the ground.  It was interesting as from where Bob was standing in the Imperial Hotel to give his talk we could actually see where he had been in the grounds and later played all those years ago.  In those days the club was well supported and he sold between 500 and 1,000 programmes with a similar number being sold at the other entrance to the grounds.  Wages were in the region of £12 per week in the winter and £3 in the summer months.  Players from Norwich City football club and from other clubs frequently played for the Yarmouth club as at one time apart from good wages, housing was available in Gorleston to accommodate the players.Bob’s next move was to become a Ball Boy with a wage of two shillings and six pence per match!  His next move was to join the ‘A’ team when he was 14 years old as a goal keeper.  He was invited to play for other teams such as Thetford and Ely but could not get to the ground as he had no transport. Bob faded out of regular playing due to an injury; some of his contemporise are now suffering from Dementia due to ‘heading the ball’ too frequently, others became successful businessmen.   A very interesting talk full of content and wit.


October 30th 2017


                     0ur speaker this week was Bruce Sturrock, Chairman of Palmers Family Department Store who gave an illustrated and humorous brief history of the store from the date it was established, 1837 to today. In those early days it was approximately 750 square foot in area, today it is some 40,000 square feet!

It has served the public through the reign of seven monarchs and enjoyed visits from the Princess Royal in 1987 and His Royal Highness Prince Charles in 2012 when he was presented with a cake. In the early days it was customary for staff to live above the store and detailed rules and instructions were applied. Men and women were strictly segregate, men were not permitted to enter the ladies sitting room and seating for meals at table was in strict order of seniority. At tea time the men’s bread was cut slightly thicker than that for the ladies. All staff had to be in their quarters by 10.30 p.m. and in bed by 10.45 p.m.

Palmers had always been interested in training and apprenticeships’ and in the early days a fee of £15 was charged. This has long since disappeared and in recent times YTS and Modern Training Apprenticeships have been introduced.

In 1939 the store became an Incorporated Family business, in 1941 considerable damage to many stores was caused by war-time bombing but fortunately comparatively little damage was inflicted on Palmers Store. In 1961 the Car Park was opened and in 1967 the coffee room was established which became and still is very successful. In 2007 selling on line was established for home ware.

The past 5-10 years have been difficult trading times partly due to ‘out of town shopping’ but the store is family owned and plans to be around for a very long time.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Brian Nichol .



Also today the presentation was made to the Giant Duck Race winners.  John Burroughs of Cask & Craft Tavern received a cheque for 500.00 pounds , a Great Yarmouth Pottery Mug and Certificates. Runner up was The Old Hall Hair Salon represented by Julie Neve, Ellie and Charmaine, who received a memorative plate and certificates. Third place not present today was The Beach Hut Tearoom cafe.





Photos Alan Spinks


October 23rd 2017


                       Business meeting... club notes sent out to members....any copies from Secretary.


October 16th 2017                 

This weeks  speaker was Julie Kirkham from the Caudwell Children’s Charity which was set up nearly 20 years ago by  John Caudwell a philanthropist who wanted to create precious memories and hope for the future for families with children having terminal illnesses. Destination Dreams is an annual trip to Florida, U.S.A. which gives children and their families the chance to experience a fully supported holiday of a lifetime where they can create precious memories to be cherished forever. Julie has been with the charity for 10 years and spends much of her time together with other volunteers raising funds to support the project.  To date some 20,000 children have benefited from the programme and approximately £39m have been invested. Due to the complex nature of some of the children’s illnesses all volunteers receive health and safety training. Children and families experience a very full and active period which concludes with a leaving party which promote long-term relationships becoming friend for life.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian John Westgate.

October 9th 2017


                    Chairman of the Duck Race organising Committee, Alan Spinks held a de-briefing of the recent very successful Annual Duck Races held at The Waterways, North Drive, Great Yarmouth in September. He reported the event had raised over 12000 pounds for the Club’s charity and this would enable local organisations and individuals in need , to benefit in the local community. Plans were already in place for next year’s event in late September.

The first draw took place of the Haven Club’s 100 Club organised by Wally Ladmore of the Community Service Committee at the Club’s weekly meeting. There were still a few places left at 24 pounds for the year’s entry.

Club member John Westgate stepped in as a last minute speaker on Monday and gave a most interesting talk on many famous and anonymous  people’s quotations. Some very profound and others quite amusing.

This weekend will be the District Rotary Annual Conference, hosted by our own Club member District Governor Robert Lovick, at Potters Resort at Hopton.


October 2nd 2017

                     This week the club was treated to a ‘walk down memory lane’ by Colin Godfrey a member of our Rotary Club.  Colin taught for some 30 years in Special Education, 12 of those years were spent with visually impaired children.  In order to bring a new dimension to children with all sorts of ‘hang ups’ he started with a small group to play 3 hired trumpets.  Over time this grew to a small brass band known as the East Anglian School Band.  In order to make the music more readable on the sheets the notes were written in red ink on white paper.  Colin noticed a significant improvement in the behaviour of what may be described as ‘wayward and difficult’ children to such an extent that their academic performance also improved significantly.  The band continued to develop and they gained several musical awards and gave concerts at residential homes.  As a mark of their competence they were also asked to mark the Silver Jubilee. Colin concluded by saying the band gave boys confidence, they raised money for charity, including hospital equipment, and some are still playing instruments today.  He felt the aim to make wayward young people feel valued and had improved their self confidence tremendously.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Malcolm Bugge.

September 25th 2017


                  George Ermini, Past President and member of Haven Rotary Club, gave a very interesting and informative talk on his recent trip to Beijing China, sponsored by the Peugeot Motors Company. He reflected on the way of life ,industry and hard working population and amazed that despite adverse media reports the City was very clean and modern. His trip also included a visit to Xian the famous area of the Terra Cotta warriors found by a local farmer while ploughing his field. A striking feature of everyday life was the countries internet. This is super-fast but there is no Facebook, Google , Twitter allowed but every person has to disclose their real ID and information. The one child per family has now been abolished but there are many single people and China has the largest dating website.

Following the China trip , George returned to Greece for a holiday and although he should have been on a cruise round Mykonos , found many difficulties with the schedule of the cruises and had to cancel this before returning to Athens and then London. George talked of many interesting items about Greece and members asked some pertinent questions of his visits to China and Greece.

Peter Bondi thanked George for his most informative talk.


September 18th 2017

                 Our speaker this week was the Reverend Michael Woods an honorary member and Past President of our rotary  Club who retired to live in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia and is currently on holiday back in Great Yarmouth.His talk was very interesting and he explained why he had decided to retire and live in Kuching.  Many years ago before training for the Ministry he decided to undergo voluntary service abroad eventually going to Malaysia where he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching and appreciated the way of life he found there.  On retirement he quickly came to the conclusion he would just ‘fade way’ if he did not have a meaningful purpose in life.  Recalling his earlier experiences in Malaysia he prepared a list of implications of a move to live there.  They included: a climate that encouraged gardening and growth of vegetables, a warm and humid climate, no cold winds and the ability to eat out in the open air every day.  He met the father of a boy he had taught who became a very successful academic who was very grateful and wanted to reward him.  However, he did not have money but had plenty of land which he offered Michael.  He accepted an acre on which he built his house.  He now grows lots of fruit and vegetables, has two dogs, two cats , chickens and a fish pond.  He told us of one drawback, they do not have toilets but use the fields!  The local people decided to build a toilet for Michael and it turned out to be a ‘work of art’ consisting of a large rectangular box with a hole in its centre.  Not a very successful facility.He joined the local Rotary Club and became its President during which time the club financed and built three hydro-electric systems for long houses which house many families.  In addition to his rotary activities Michael now teaches English to young children which gives him an eventful and interesting life.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Ted Witton.

September 17th 2017

                    Our Annual Duck Races took place at The Waterways Great Yarmouth.

September 11th 2017


                     Business meeting.

September 4th 2017

                    Members enjoyed a fascinating talk by Rotarian Colin Smith who spoke about his recent experiences recovering from an operation to his spine.  The difficulties started about twelve months ago when he experienced increasing pain in his foot.  This then developed to both feet and legs eventually spreading up to his groin.  This was accompanied by a degree of instability which resulted in him having falls.After having an MRI Scan it was discovered he had problems with two discs in his neck which affected his nervous system and caused the pain in his legs.  It was decided the answer was to remove discs from the lower spine and replace the affected one in his neck.  It was explained the risks were very great and had only some 25% chance of success!  Colin was in such pain he felt he had no alternative but to go ahead with the operation.  An appointment was made for May this year which was then cancelled.  A second appointment was made for July which was also cancelled.  He was eventually admitted in August at 7.15 a.m.  Entry to the neck area was through his throat.  The operation was successful and Colin retired to the recovery ward where he continued his recovery.  After the second day in hospital he was asked by an attractive young nurse if he would like a wash.  He hurriedly agreed and was looking forward to the experience.  However, it was two young men who carried out the job!Colin is now completely free from pain in his legs and looking forward to the removal of the throat bandage and support system.A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Peter Bondi.

August 28th 2017


                    Bank meeting.

August 21st 2017

                    Our speaker this week was Colin Lang MBE, Business Management Director East Anglia Anchorage trust.  Colin has a long background in raising money and helping various charitable organisations.  The East Anglian Anchorage Trust was founded in 2015 to assist young people of 17 to 26 years of age who may be experiencing a crisis such as homeliness, family breakdown, mental stress or being jobless.  The aim is to help them to play an active and positive role in the community.  The trust has 42 young people from Great Yarmouth who are accommodated by private landlords appointed by the trust who share the aim of supporting young people to gain the skills required to be excellent tenants and employees of the future.  The young people are helped by 4 support workers and receive training for part or/and full time employment or education as appropriate together with mental and physical wellbeing.The aim of the trust is to raise its profile and obtain financial support from the local Great Yarmouth community.  A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian John Wiseman.


August 14th 2017


                     This week’s meeting was back at The Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth and the speaker was Group Captain Stewart Blackburn of ‘Veterans Norfolk’.  He told members of a conversation he had with General Lord Dannatt who agreed it was necessary to co-ordinate the large number of charitable organisations then dealing with military veterans.  This was approximately some 15 months ago when there existed a proliferation of charitable organisations which was very confusing to ex-military personnel seeking advice or assistance. 

Veterans Norfolk aim to promote efficiency and effectiveness in co-ordinating military service’s charities across Norfolk.  A ‘one stop’ centre has been established adjacent to Norwich Prison called Britannia Veterans Centre where ex service personnel can obtain one-to- one counselling and assistance on a wide range of problems ranging from finance, housing, employment and health.

Stewart explained there are now 8 trustees and they are working hard to improve the effectiveness of the organisation and to raise funds to sustain support given to veterans.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Rotarian Ian Tilley


August 7th 2017


                    This week the  Rotary meeting was held at How Hill ,when the Haven Rotary Club annually supports The How Hill Trust with donations. The speakers were Rangers, John Ragan and Jon Hopes from the Broads Authority.  John spoke about the establishment by parliament of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Authority in 1988 with funding from central government and licences paid by boat users.  He explained the responsibility of the rangers was to promote the safe use and navigation of the rivers and broads areas, safety management, by-law enforcement, particularly excess speeding, and to create new areas and conserve existing facilities.  They do not get involved with criminal offences but work closely with the Police. In addition, they endeavour to maintain anchorages, footways and clean river banks.

The holiday trade produces much work with some 12,000 registered boats, 1,500 Day (hire) Boats.  A large number of Hen/Stag parties take place each year and can cause additional work!  One area of responsibility is the recovery of large pieces of timber or trees floating in the water which have to be removed before damaging boats.  The work requires 12 full time rangers, 6 summer seasonal rangers and 2 winter weekend rangers.

Jon spoke about his interests which involved birds and animals.  On occasions the service has to recover dead animals, sheep and dogs for instance, a less enjoyable aspect of the job.  On a lighter note he spoke about birds such as the Kingfisher, Reed Warblers and the iconic Bittern, Swallow Tail Butterflies, Swans, Herons, Grebes and Twitchers. His comments were supported by a range of slides. The session ended with a range of questions and answers. 

The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Ian Thomson.


July 31st 2017


                The Club were delighted to welcome a fellow Rotarian, Tom Callis, of the Rotary Club of Brandon and District as guest speaker and hear about his efforts to raise funds to provide solar panels for electricity in a remote poverty stricken part of Northern Uganda. 

Tom also had a story of his own that led him to be involved with this project. 

Through no fault of his own, he was seriously injured in a road accident which left him with life changing injuries that kept Tom bedridden for three years. He was required to learn how to walk again but rendered unable to work through his disability.

 Not one to give up easy he searched for something to do and his Rotary Club Secretary suggested he should find a project that would take his mind off of his injuries. 

Tom looked to Africa and contacted friends in Kenya for ideas and although there was nothing suitable in Kenya, it was suggested he contacted a lady who had taken pity on the plight of the non-warrior children of Gulu in northern Uganda. These children had suffered badly at the hands of adults - boys sometimes as young as five years being trained as soldiers, young girls abused and raped on a regular basis. 

The lady who took pity was Robin Yamaguchi and she decided to do something about it! In 1999 she purchased land and employed local people to use their skills in growing their own crops for sustainability, built kilns to make their own bricks thus enabling the building of their first primary school which ensured the children would get a good education.  

Thus ‘Family Care Uganda’ was established and has been registered in Uganda ever since.

 The main focus was, and still is, establishing a fully self supporting school and facility for orphans and disadvantaged children in war torn Northern Uganda many of whom were born to child soldiers during the Kony war. They developed a horticultural farm, built housing, sustained the school and plan to bring alternative solutions and ideas for poverty eradication to the local communities in the area. It is an area which has one of the highest children-per-adult rates in the country.

 Rotarian Tom Callis is currently presenting his project to Rotary Clubs in our area and is seeking pledges of financial sponsorship so Family Care Uganda can purchase solar panels that will provide much needed electricity to the facility.

 This is a very worthy project and there is every likelihood the Rotary Club of Great Yarmouth Haven will be supporting Tom’s project.  

Thanks were given on behalf of Great Yarmouth Haven Club by Rotarian Monty Spandler. 


July 24th 2017


                 Our speaker this week was Barrie Turner, International Sales Manager of Pasta Foods Ltd. who spoke about the very efficient and productive food organisation based in Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

The Company has the capability to  create high quality, innovative snack pellets across a wide range of shapes, sizes and texture and supplies to a wide range of snack manufacturers across the globe, and in Great Britain.

The expertise covers ingredients including potato, wheat, maize and pulses. In addition understanding  the market trends such as gluten free, healthy eating, low salt and acrylamide levels. Pasta Foods is the UK’s leading dried pasta manufacturer supplying a wide range of food sectors from canned goods, salads, instant, frozen & chilled ready meals in addition to food service and wholesale customers. The Rapido instant pasta is perfect for pot meals and even salads, to low moisture options alongside traditional pastas and theme shapes.

In 2015 an investment of £12m in a new state of the art factory in Norwich to extend the pasta capacity. The Pasta is manufactured on site using the finest Durum wheat from France, being  milled by the Company in the  dedicated semolina mill in Great Yarmouth.. This is important as it gives  total control over quality, offers the customer full food traceability, assurance of supply and not least, saves on food miles. Barrie emphasised that quality is the foundation stone of Pasta Foods business.

He explained the company was formed in 1964, is now privately owned and employs 145 people with a turnover of £28m.  The company is a major supplier of snack products including Ready meals, Salads, Snack Pots and Instant Soup to some 40 counties worldwide.  The home market includes products in Tesco, ASDA, Marks & Spencer, Nestle and Heinz and a number of other companies. The company is always working on producing healthy eating ,low fat content snacks and is currently working on reducing salt content. Barrie's presentation was most informative and  confirmed the Company would continue its Pasta business in Great Yarmouth.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Colin Smith.



July 17th 2017


                 The meeting opened with the President, Rotarian Philip Hunt, installing our new Vice President Malcolm Bugge who was unavoidably absent at last week’s meeting.

Our speaker was Malcolm Metcalf who spoke about his month- long journey across England using his Bus Pass!  The purpose of the journey was to raise money for the East Coast Hospice which amounted to some £16,400.  The journey took four months to prepare and included such meticulous detail as to bus departure points and time including later departures in case of delays.  Malcolm wore a shirt with brief description of the purpose of his journey and people he met were very supportive, one man stopped him and said he approved of what he was doing and thrust a £20 note into his hand and then rushed off.

He was asked to talk to children in an Oxford school where he had attended as a child, all thirty children who attended each wrote a letter appreciating his talk and expressing surprise at how little had changed apart from the desks.  Malcolm was in the West Country when he lost his wallet containing credit cards and £50 in cash.  After returning to the area where he thought he had lost the wallet without success, he was on his way to the next town when he received a telephone call saying the wallet had just been handed in complete with all his cash and cards.  Whilst on his way to Southampton he missed a bus which was seen by another bus driver.  The driver made a telephone call and the missed bus was asked to wait on a lay-by for the first bus to catch up thus ensuring Malcolm’s journey continued without delay.

On returning to Diss he was met with Anglia T.V. reporters who questioned him for some two hours.  When the programme was broadcast it lasted two minutes!

The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Jack Thorpe.


July 10th 2017



 Maxine Taylor, Fund Raising Co-ordinator for the Louise Hamilton Centre and Palliative Care East, talked about the very important support work for families and members of the public the organisation provides for people in the Great Yarmouth area.

In the early days some 2,500 people were estimated to use the facility, the current number has risen to 26,000!  Emphasis is given to providing care and support to people with life threatening illness or diagnosed with prolonged illness.

Carer’s are given a lot of help and advice from a number of trained staff.  They meet regularly and discuss mutual problems with the assistance of the staff.  It takes £200,000 per year to run the organisation, the majority of which is raised by public support.  The next phase of the operation is to add Palliative beds to the Centre.

A Vote of Thanks was proposed by Rotarian Mike Self




July 3rd 2017


               This week saw the installation of the new President, Philip Hunt.  The outgoing president, Malcolm Loveland gave a brief review of his year in office thanking members for their support.  It was agreed the year had been very successful and over £13,000 was raised for charities both abroad and at home locally.  He then presented his chain of office to the incoming president.

Philip inducted the President Elect, Keith Futter.  The Vice President Malcolm Bugge,  was unavoidably absent and will be installed at a later date.  He then thanked all for their support and welcomed District Governor of Rotary District 1080 , Robert Lovick, Derek Houghton , President of Great Yarmouth Rotary Club, and Keith Tovey from the Norwich Rotary Club.

Philip’s first duty as President was to induct Colin Godfrey as a member of the club, and as a member of the worldwide organisation of Rotary.


June 26th 2017

                  Rotarian Bill Cooke introduced the Reverend Grant Bolton-Debbage who attended this weeks meeting of Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club. Grant gave us an update on the Pathway project and the inception of a Pathway choir that had given it’s first concert.  Whilst Grant acknowledged that the choir may not always sing in tune and had to learn their songs by rote, it was encouraging that people who don’t know where they might be sleeping that night can still benefit from music and the enjoyment that it gave them.  Grant also talked  about Music in the Minster a  project with the Priory School where children with anticipated low attainment levels are invited in to the Minster on Mondays to Thursdays for breakfast and music between 7.30 and 8.30 am, in an effort to develop aspirations and encourage confidence and calmness.  Grant cited three examples, one where a young girl attended but would not speak until after three weeks when she almost inaudibly told them she had a loose tooth and gradually her confidence is building.  Another young girl with behavioural issues yet is one of their best musicians with a beautiful voice,  and a young boy with ADHD syndrome for whom music offers a safe space in which to focus and calm his mind.  Grant commented that Music is important in peoples lives to promote hope and that children do have a yearning to learn and perhaps in some cases the problem may be with their parents.

 Grant then entertained the members by playing guitar and singing, Dock of the Bay and Stand by me.  

Rotarian Keith Futter thanked Reverend Grant on behalf of the club for his update and musical accompaniment.


June 17th 2017


                 This was a Business meeting and for the first time was held at our new venue, The Imperial Hotel. The service and meal were very well received by all the members.


June 12th 2017  


                 The Haven Haven Rotary Club was given an interesting talk by Year and Community Leaders from Cliff Park Ormiston Academy on their programme of Enrichment and the creation of confident young people.  The students, Emery Woodsey, Jay Spring, Neraenb Denby & Will Simm, introduced themselves and spoke about various aspects of the programme which included visits to a Magistrates Court to see how the courts work and the roles of its members, visits to the University of East Anglia to see student life and courses available.  They were given £10 to invest and sell the products to students.  Money raised was donated to four charities which were gratefully accepted. They also have links with Gt Yarmouth College giving students the opportunity of trying various activities.  Links exist with local businesses giving an insight as to how they work.

They had visits from Brandon Lewis MP and the Mayor of Gt Yarmouth where they had an opportunity to question them about their roles.

The students were very pleased the ‘student voice’ had been consulted about the new school buildings.

The teacher responsible for the programme, Matthew Warns, explained the school is keen to give a range of experiences and the opportunity to sample various activities.  His aim was to join the Tim Henman Foundation which has links to a range of prestigious schools.

The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Peter Bondi



June 6th 2017   Car Rally and Treasure Hunt


June 5th 2017


               The members of Haven Rotary Club were treated to a trip down memory lane this lunch time with an illustrated talk by Jim Fisk, a member of Gt Yarmouth and District Photographic Society.  Jim’s father, grandfather and great grandfather were actively involved with Bloomfield’s Shipping Brokers and the many fishing drifters and Trinity House ships.

The talk was based on a series of black and white pictures of the drifter fleet which operated out of Gt Yarmouth.  Many of the pictures were reproduced from glass plate negatives originally taken in the 1800’s.

The pictures showed an aspect of Gt Yarmouth which have long disappeared, the very busy scene of fishing boats leaving and then returning to harbour ,the London passenger boat setting off, Port and Haven Commissioners boats trying to raise a sunken drifter located just in the entrance to the harbour.  Other pictures showed the Scottish ‘fisher girls’ cleaning fish, nets being repaired and drying on racks on the key side.

Many of the pictures and other objects are now on display in the Time and Tide museum, including a large wooden panel on which is listed the names of drifters returning home with the biggest catch of the year.  Other miscellaneous pictures showed the visit of the last ‘Museum’ ship that conveyed convicts to Australia and, the first motor lorry in Gt Yarmouth, in the Edwardian times.

The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Alan Carman.


IMPORTANT CLUB DECISION TAKEN.....     Members voted to change venue from June 13th 2017 to The Imperial Hotel.


May 29th 2017


                   Bank meeting.

May 22nd 2017


                  Club Assembly..... President Malcolm welcomed Assistant District Governor East Ian Elliott , President of Norwich Blackfriars, to oversee and comment on the goals and ambitions of our Club over the next Rotary year.

President Elect Philip gave his insight into the goals that he wished to achieve for the Club  and each Committee chairman ( or Deputy ) outlined their thoughts for the next year.

ADG Ian was happy the Club was doing well and would continue to do so with the new Committees as announced by Philip.

In AOB, the " letter of termination" of having our meeting at The Burlington Palm Hotel and having been given 4 weeks notice, was discussed by all the membership. To follow this up and resolve the issue, a 5 man sub committee of Malcolm L., Philip H., Keith F., Bob P. and Des S. was convened and would report back to Club Council at next meeting on June 13th. ( subsequent extra-ordinary meeting convened on May 5th )


May 15th 2017


                  Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club enjoyed and interesting and humorous talk given by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Malcolm Bird, who gave an outline of his many visits and events, he attended during his year of office.  The visits amounted to approximately 450 and frequently it would be four per day!   It is amazing how he kept his sense of humour, particularly telling us about his welcome to a group of cyclists who travelled from Wales through the night intending to arrive in Great Yarmouth between 7 and 8 a.m.  In fact the mayor was awakened at 5.45a.m. to say the cyclists were about to arrive.  He managed to greet them at 6.10 a.m. when they went to have breakfast, washed down with quantities of beer!  They raised some £15,000 for charity.

On another occasion the mayor and his wife were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace together with some 8,500 other guests only to bump into the Principal of Great Yarmouth College for a chat about education and training in our area.

On another occasion the Mayor made and official visit to Ramboullet, twinned with Great Yarmouth.  It should have been a straight forward event flying from Norwich Airport to Paris – unfortunately due to several delays they arrived some four hours late to meet the Vice President of France, who was not amused!

The mayor was very impressed with the technical developments taking place in Great Yarmouth, from the most modern commercial laundry in Europe which is controlled electronically from Spain, to the large Norwegian supply ship with 9 decks containing 40 suites for the crew, again, the ship totally controlled by electronics.

The Mayor concluded with reference to his two chosen Charities, Autism with its centre on Harfreys Estate and Palliative  Care East.  The Club presented a cheque to the Mayor to go towards these charities.  John Westgate thanked the Mayor and his wife Donna for attending our Club and asked the members to thank him for a most entertaining talk.



   Some members paying attention !


May 8th 2017


              Business meeting.... discussion on Hotel meal increases....One pound rise from first meeting in June 2017 and then a further one pound in January 2018.


May 1st 2017


               No Meeting....Bank Holiday


April 24th 2017

                                   Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club was given an interesting and humorous talk by Terry Whitmill, a Great Yarmouth local authority gardening Superintendent, who started Yarmouth in Bloom in the late 1970’s.  He subsequently became a judge for Anglia in Bloom.  He told the story when on a judging trip , an open topped double decker coach was provided ,which sped down an avenue of trees resulting in many twigs, leaves and branches falling onto the passengers including one very important lady  who had been to the hairdresser for a special setting which was totally destroyed!  Judging was delayed when she insisted her hair was washed and set again.  Terry became a Judge for Britain in Bloom and talked about the many mishaps of missing meals, poor accommodation and problems in flying to other parts of the country and in Europe.  He also spoke of the danger of speaking ‘freely’ whilst being televised for Gardeners World.  In one town he was visiting he commented on the large number of cigarette butts on the ground and commented to colleague ’this looks like Fag  End City’ which was duly shown on television!Terry was then appointed as a Judge to assess gardens in Europe which resulted in many journeys and more ‘unusual’ experiences including being sent to the wrong airport, no transport and poor interpretation of language. He was by this time Chairman of the committee and in Hungary where onions are big business, he was awarded a pink sash of honour with a silver medal to make him a Knight of the Onion. Bill Cooke thanked Terry for his most interesting talk on his experiences.

 April 20th 2017

                 Seven members ( Malcolm Loveland, Alan Spinks, Brian Nichol, Des Sadler, Jack Thorpe, Peter Bondi and George Ermini attended the Tri Club dinner at the Pier Hotel Gorleston this evening.  Meeting 6.00p for dinner at 6.30pm. An excellent meal with 3 choices of starter , main meal choice of Haddock and chips or Roast Beef followed by coffee and mint....all for 13 pounds !

President Audrey Church introduced Maxine Taylor ,fund raising co-ordinator for the Palliative East Appeal.

A demonstration was also given by Gorleston RC of their Bollywood night when they will be raising monies for Water Survival Boxes.


April 17th 2017


                 No Meeting....Bank Holiday.

April 10th 2017


                  Today our  Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary welcomed Sema Hussein the Regional Fundraising Manager of Macmillan to talk to us about the work of the charity and give us a brief but greater insight to the work they do... 

Sema first told us a little of her background before asking us to close our eyes and those who had been affected by cancer, personally or through a relative or friend to raise our hands.  When we opened our eyes virtually everyone had a raised hand. 

Sema then told us more of the work of the charity and the expectation that the 2.5 Million currently suffering from Cancer is forecast to rise to 4 million by 2030, that every day in Norfolk 16 people are diagnosed with Cancer and seven die, that for everyone diagnosed with the disease they could expect their monthly costs to rise by £550 on average by the need for treatments and facilities etc.  Macmillan not only finds specialist nurses at a cost of £28 per hour, but also provides financial assistance in twp ways, by unlocking the ability to claim benefits that the patient may be entitled to and by providing grants for treatment, facts supported by illustrations.

 Macmillan also has a support line where an experienced team can help and last year this received 876 calls from the Norfolk area.

 Sema referred to the work done by the Great Yarmouth fund raising group looking to raise £50,000 in its fiftieth year and which will go to support services in the local region.

 Sema was formally thanked on behalf of the club by Rotarian Robert Lovick.


April 3rd 2017

                This week Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary welcomed Seamus Farrelly of the charity Wooden Spoon which is the Children's Charity of Rugby.  The charity has been running for 34 years and over that time has raised £25 million in order to assist children with special needs.  Seamus is one of two volunteers running the East Anglian region and has in the last five years raised £600,000 which is all spent in the region. Funding has to be of a capital nature and locally includes a project at the John Grant school in Great Yarmouth and building a residential unit for Autistic children at Sidestrand and funding two horses for Pakefield riding for the disabled.This year the charity is looking to action seven new projects in the area raising money through and with the support of local rugby clubs as well as international Rugby stars.  Seamus prides himself that the administration costs of the East Anglian Region are nil, all work is voluntary and at the volunteers own expense. There is a fund raising drive in Norfolk originally intended to raise £50,000, but now surpassed £60,000 so aiming now for £100,000 with a 320 mile cycle ride between Rugby clubs in Norfolk.  The money raised will only be allocated to projects in Norfolk and not elsewhere in the region.Seamus spoke enthusiastically about the charity and the work it does and more can be found on its website concisely answered questions posed to him from members and was formally thanked on behalf of the club by Rotarian Richard Delf.

March 27th 2017


                     Today was a change of plan and Ted Witton  interviewed club member George Ermini on his life and his thougjhts on Rotary. This was very entertaining and light hearted. Ian Thomson after some questions thanked both Ted and George and asked the members to show their appreciation in the usual manner.

Next week Ted would be bringing a speaker namely Seamus Ferrally.


March 23rd 2017


                    This evening the Foundation Committee organised a Pub Quiz night at the Cask & Craske pub in Northgate Street. The event was well supported by 39 entrants and after the rounds of quizes by Monty Spandler, John Burroughs had organised a fish & Chip supper. Thanks to Monty for providing a free drink to all those participating. A good sum  415 pounds was raised for Rotary's Foundation Charity.


March 20th 2017


                    Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club welcomed Farmer Richard Hurst to this week’s meeting. Richard who farms cattle sheep and fattens pigs as well as managing a livery yard and butchery also runs a fun park at Hemsby and is chair of both the NFU and Anglian Farmers , was given the choice of speaking to us about whatever he liked and chose to speak on Brexit as it affected farming.


Richard expressed his surprise that 60% of farmers voted to leave the EU and commented that he felt the real driver of the vote was immigration. He commented that fifty to seventy thousand Part time workers are required for seasonal work in the food production industry which has sales of over £100 bn more than the car and aircraft industry put together and accounted for 13%-14% of the total UK workforce.  The seasonal workers have usually come from the Eastern European block because of better wages here, whereas with 4% to 5% unemployment in the UK this amounts to virtually full employment so without the migrant workers the farming industry could hit problems.  Some of the work cannot be done robotically. 

We cannot produce all the food we need and imports are required with some countries, due to different standards being applied.  Richard cited New Zealand able to flood the Market with Lamb, cheaper than we can produce it and the USA with Beef given the hormone supplements fed to the animals that would not be permitted in the EU. 

With requirements to protect the environment 10% of his land is environmental land which affects production. 

A lively question and answer followed.  It is refreshing to hear an individual speak without any notes or hesitation.  Richard was thanked on behalf of the club by Ian Tilley.




Rotarian Alan Carman presenting cheque for £1000 to Tal Williams of East Anglian Children`s Hospices for their Nook Appeal

March 13th 2017           Business meeting..... all have Club Council minutes and information by email.



March 6th 2017


                 The  Rotary Club was given a very interesting talk given by Jeremy Goss, a past Norwich City and Welsh International footballer who talked about the work of the Norwich and Norfolk Association for the Blind (NNAB).

He informed us the organisation has 85 staff supported by some 250 volunteers.  Of every £1 given to the organisation, 92p goes in supporting the work of the association.  No state funding is provided; all finance received comes from legacies, fund raising activities and general good will of the public.  The Queen is Patron of the Association.

More people need assistance as we are living longer and eye issues and visual impairment become more common putting a growing strain on the organisation.  There are many teenagers with visual impairments to their eyes who need help.  Premature children frequently have eye problems and the association offers help to parents as well as the children.  NNAB currently have 35 residents and 20 warden supervised flats.  There is a need to increase this provision.

Jeremy retired from professional football in 2000 and has been working to help improve the provision for the blind in Norfolk since that time.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian Alan Carman


February 27th 2017


                        Tal Williams, from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) gave a very informative and sensitive talk to members explaining how giving care and support to life-threatened children, young people and their families during extremely stressful and difficult times is carried out.

The organisation has establishments in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Tal spoke about the Norfolk Centre presently based at Quidenham.  This is an old building on two floors with narrow passageways and no lift, making movement of sick beds, chairs, etc difficult if not impossible.  However, the centre provides a happy and fun place where young people feel safe, at home where they can spend quality time with their parents.  

It has been decided to replace Quidenham with a new establishment called the NOOK which will be situated just outside Norwich.  An appeal was launched some three years ago to raise the estimated £10m needed for the new establishment.  To date £5m has been raised and five acres of land purchased.  When the appeal reaches £8m building work will commence.  The provision will have a Sensory Room, Hydro-therapy Pool and Music Room.

EACH depends to a great extent on public donations, clubs and societies for its income.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian George Ermini  


February 20th 2017


                        Today the Rotary Club was given an interesting and thought provoking talk by Mark Thompson, Vice Principal  Ormiston HermanAcademy, on his views of the difficulties of educating young people today.

Reminding us that one in four newly qualified teachers quit within four years of joining the profession, he explained that very long hours worked in preparing, marking and dealing with paperwork was too demanding resulting in many working some 18 hours per day!

Concerned that the emphasis in educating children these days was on English, Maths and Science with targets to reflect the effectiveness of the school, teachers were being forced to teach how to pass exams rather than apply logic in solving problems.  He suggested the test and targets should be geared to the individual child.

An initiative set up by the Rotary  organisation in the Gt. Yarmouth area is to present every child in year 7 with a dictionary has proved very successful, and Mark gave an example of the children looking up ‘insects’ to further their studies in the subject.  The books are proving valuable in assisting the children’s studies in a whole host of areas.    

Mark also reminded us that the population of the world was rising together with the need to increase food production and combat growing pollution, and by the year 2050 there is estimated to be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish!  Today’s children will have to deal with these and many other problems society is creating and they need to be educated to understand how to approach dealing with them because targets really don’t work in accessing individuals abilities.  

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Robert Lovick


February 13th 2017

                        Today the Club welcomed three visiting Rotarians from the Lowestoft South Rotary Club and Norwich St Edmunds Rotary Club.  This week’s speaker namely Matt Drake talked about being a member of the Norwich Speakers Club which is part of Toastmaster International.  Matt who is a teaching assistant in Norwich realised several years ago that he was not a confident communicator and he had difficulty with friends who struggled to understand what he was saying.  He was aware of the organisation called Toastmasters and decided to attend a meeting. He admitted  that he struggled to put his name forward to make an impromptu speech and at one stage considered that this Club was not for him. However he persevered and returned to the Club and has now been a member for 3 years and his public speaker skills have gone from strength to strength.   The Club meets twice a month at the Assembly Rooms and it has a steady membership coming from a variety of backgrounds.  Guests are allowed to attend three sessions and then they have to make a decision to join on the 4th visit.  Those attending the meeting for the first time are encouraged to take part in the Table Topic speeches which can be a daunting prospect for those who have never spoken in public.  Matt went on to explain the programme and the various competencies in Communication and Leadership Skills that members can achieve during their time at Toastmasters which will help them on a professional or personal bases.  He will be the President of the Club on the 1st July and will I am sure mentor and assist new members during this period and thereby upholding the Toastmasters Values which include , Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence   Des Sadler gave the vote of thanks.  Next week's speaker will be Mark Thompson who is the Vice Principal of the Ormiston Herman Academy in Gorleston. 


February 6th 2017


                       John Westgate organised a quiz today.


January 30th 2017

                      Today the  Club was both entertained and informed by an informal talk given by Michael Murrant, a member of the Club and a Funeral Director.

He began by talking about learning to play the piano as a child and then joining the army’s Royal Military School of Music to further his skills.  After returning from Germany following an interesting tour of the country the regiment was posted to Dorset.  Whilst there the School was invited to ‘Beat the Retreat’ in the evening.  The afternoon, though was spent touring a local brewery!  The ceremony, televised to boot, involved complicated synchronised marching which thanks to an abundance of liquid refreshment was less than coordinated!On leaving the army Michael joined the ambulance service a time when staff washed bandages overnight for use the next day.  Very different from today’s standards.On retiring from the service he decided to become a Funeral Director, which he did by working without pay with an established company.  To qualify he had to conduct some 50 burial and cremation services.  One very important thing he learnt was to carry out the wishes of the deceased relatives which can be very demanding.  He gave a detailed description of the service he provided for a Chinese man.  Apparently the dead person was asked ‘if he was happy.’  The answer to be given by throwing three small stones, and reading the symbols on them.  Before any activity could take place with the body he had to say yes.  The body was laid in state for ten days with fresh food and tea provided for the daily family visits.  Vote of thanks by Monty Spandler.

January 23rd 2017

                      Business meeting.


January 16th 2017


                       This was a Literary Lunch meeting. Ted Witton organised a few members to read various excerpts from their choice of books and poems.

There was to have been a presentation of the 100 pound Duck Race winners shield but unfortunately , Better Furniture winners were not present.


January 9th 2017


                       This meeting was devoted to a Club Debate. Members were invited to voice their opinions on a variety of topics such as " where our charity money should be spent ", Membership, Centenary of Rotary Foundation, a Club community project and possible promoting another club.


January 2nd 2017


No meeting................ 


Updated: 30/12/2019



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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