Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club


             President 2017- 2018 Philip Hunt.  

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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April 23rd 2018


                 Monday's lunchtime meeting was addressed by Ted Witton ,one of the members of the Rotary Haven Club. As Chairman of The Foundation Committee he outlined the work and progress of Rotary's only Charity, The Rotary Foundation. He quoted many worldwide statistics of where Rotary donation money is spent. The Foundation helps in so many ways, Saving Mothers & Children, Supporting Education, Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Growing Local Economies and a gift to Rotary's Endowment ensures a strong future and a continuous stream of income that will fund programmes in perpetuity. There are 3 Foundation Themes, the Implementation of Projects, Arranging worldwide Scholarships and The Eradication of Polio.This massive programme supported by the Bill Gates Foundation is almost complete with only 8 cases of polio reported in the world this year. Although a confusing subject to many , Ted was able to answer many of the queries from members. Rotarian John Wiseman thanked Ted for his informative talk.



April 16th 2018


                The Club was treated to a talk about 60 years of education and teaching abroad by Paul Wiseman, O.B.E. a Head Teacher for the past 24 years.

He commenced with a brief update of a period he had talked about to the club he had spent in Brazil by explaining many of the politicians he was then familiar with are now in prison.  The political situation is very difficult!

It was in 1958 when Paul started school and he disliked it intensely.  However, he was asked to go to a local shop to buy a bottle of squash.  He appreciated the trust the teacher had placed in him and it remained with him for the rest of his teaching career.  Since those early days Paul has always had the view that children should be inspired and supported.   In his view education is not just completing notes but learning from individuals and experiences and above all to be supported by teachers.  In these days of ‘fake news’ and questionable truths children do not know what to believe  and are likely to become cynical and untrusting of people in authority.

Paul finished his teaching career in Boston which was a commercial organisation and part of a group of schools that was recently sold for £4b.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian John Westgate


April 9th 2018


                 Rotarian John Westgate spoke to Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club this week on the subject of comedic songs.  He opened the proceedings by relating that in the days of his youth the radio was punctuated by comedy songs but that nowadays there appeared to be little if any comedy music produced.

 John’s talk was illustrated, if that is the right word, with examples of comedic music, from Stanley Holloway’s “With her head tucked underneath her arm,” a story of Anne Boleyn’s untimely death, to the Goons’ ‘Ying Tong song’ an illustration of the mayhem they produced vocally, given that Sir Harry Secombe was actually a renowned tenor – “Had he been thinner”, Spike Milligan may have quipped, “he would only have been a fiver!”. 

Most of the songs were recognised by the members attending and caused humour amongst them but there were one or two surprises, The Shadows, “What a lovely Time”, the flip side of ‘Guitar Tango’.

We also have examples of the spoken word with excerpts from Bob Newheart’s ‘Driving Instructor’ and Victor Borg’s ‘Punctuation’

Some unusual renditions too with former Shakespearian actor Bernard Bresslaw’s ‘Mad Passionate Love’ released in 1958, a song about two little bird’s canoodling.

An interesting dissertation which has at least got me seeing what else in the comedy spectrum of music I can find as well as looking into the biography’s of the various artists.

It was a change to have a comedy presentation punctuating the usually more serious talks by charities telling of their services.  John was thanked for his presentation on behalf of the club by Rotarian Ian Thomson.


April 2nd 2018....No Meeting Easter Monday.


March 26th 2018


                   Club Members were given a most informative and interesting talk and update on The East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity. Holly Marshall,the Capital Projects Fundraising Organiser was introduced by Colin Godfrey and explained the objects and workings of all aspects of the service . There is a critical care unit based in Chelmsford where final decisions are made when an urgent call comes in for the Air Ambulance unit to be tasked. Life changing incidents such as road accidents, cardiac arrests and horse and farming accidents are paramount for the dispatching of the service. There are now 5 helicopters and a rapid response vehicle covering all East Anglia based in Cambridge and Norwich. There is no Government funding hence the need for massive fundraising projects. There is at present no 24/7 service but over the next few years this is a top priority for the service. Trialing has already started for 4 nights a week but naturally there are more problems with night flying. The Norwich operation is based at Norwich airport but there is only limited facilities for the air crew when waiting for a call or having been out on an serious incident. A new facility is planned on the outskirts of Norwich costing 5.7 million pounds. The Charity is well on its way to meet this figure. It is hoped that this will lead to an Academy for first aid training of CPR for the public thus generating an income stream for the Charity and also incorporating a Visitor Centre. The opening will hopefully be in 2020. The public if wanting to support in the future should look out for " Mission Critical. Building for the Future". Rotarian Jack Thorpe thanked Holly for all the interesting information following many questions from the club members.


March 19th 2018


                  At today's meeting the Club welcomed Rotarian Sally Green from the Rotary Club of Lowestoft East Point and introduced by Jack Thorpe. Sally is a director of the charity Waveney Sailability. The Charitable Trust helps disabled people from 9 years upwards, from all walks of life,  to find more enjoyment from life and experience the thrill of sailing. It was set up by volunteers in 2004 with help from local Rotary clubs. The support,training and equipment enables all those with disabilities to enjoy the challenge of a physical activity in a safe and friendly environment. Originally started with 3 dinghies and were pleased to have the support of Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club and the use of their club house. There are up to 70 members with the help of 50 volunteers and many are recommended by various organisations and care workers. In 2009 Princess Anne visited the site of the new boat house which had been funded by a lottery grant and The Trust and was necessary to store the boats particularly in the winter months. The sailing takes place every Tuesday from mid April to October and the wait for sailing and instruction is greatly anticipated by the members, especially with the afternoon tea and homemade cakes. With the costs of insurances increasing and equipment needing replacement ,it was gratifying that the need to raise over £10000 was achieved by the generous help of Rotary grants. For the sailing there are 30 instructors and shore helpers all trained in first aid and necessary expertise. The Trust publishes a newsletter 4 times a year and all information should be viewed on their website

Sally was enthused about the sailing and social time that those disadvantaged people had when she heard about it through Rotary in 2009 and has been involved ever since, now being the booking secretary. Her talk was full of information and interest and Rotarian Ian Thomson thanked Sally on behalf  of the members.


March 12th 2018


                     Business meeting....all members had received copies of Club Council minutes of meeting March 6th.


March 5th 2018


                  The leader of Great Yarmouth District Council, Graham Plant, an ex member of Haven Rotary Club gave a very interesting update on the work of the council. He pointed out that the council does not own any shops but is heavily involved with the tourist industry and business community. He also pointed out the Council was determined to improve the access and appearance of the town and its approaches. The ongoing road works which began before Christmas and now continues cost many millions of pounds and will be concentrated on road, pavements and cycle tracks.

The changing of road numbers, A12 to A47 enabled the council to obtain money to help upgrade the road from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft. It is anticipated further improvements will be made as more funding is obtained.

A large number of companies are based in Great Yarmouth. One reason is the port is the shortest sailing distance from rigs and wind generators. The port is also involved with specialist services such as oil, gas and de-commissioning of redundant oil rigs.

The Council is also concerned with some of the deprived areas  and are working to improve conditions with a team consisting of police, fire officers, housing officials and community groups. A most interesting update of the forward looking schemes of the Borough Council and provoked many questions from members.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Bill Cooke.


February 26th 2018


                        This week our speaker was last year's Mayor Councillor Malcolm Bird. He was introduced by Rotarian Colin Smith. Malcolm gave a brief history of his early days having been born in Birmingham but moved to Great Yarmouth when he was one year old. He was involved with Tourism and Community work throughout his life in Great Yarmouth and was honoured to have become Mayor in 2016.  He said he was impressed with the good work that Rotary and Rotarians did in the community both locally and abroad.  When he was 16 he studied in engineering in Ipswich in 1971 but was called back to the family business as a hotelier. It was then he formed The Residents Association. He was invited into politics by Bert Collins and in 2014 became a councillor with UKIP, but latterly left their organisation and joined the Conservatives. Malcolm was educated locally finishing at Duncan Hall  School. He took over The Winchester Hotel which he ran for 30 years with his wife Donna, herself a resident from Great Yarmouth.

Malcolm was also a member of Great Yarmouth Lions Organisation. The highlight of his career was undoubtedly his year as Mayor with which he had attended over 450 events. It was a full time occupation and hard work but most enjoyable being able to be involved with so much of the local community. He recounted his trip to France when meeting the Vice President. He was proud to have supported his 2 main Charities, mainly Palliative Care East and Autism. Rotarian Alan Carman thanked Malcolm for his interesting talk.


February 20th 2018....  Visit to site of donated defibrillator cabinet.


                      The Friends of Great Yarmouth Library together with The Growing Together Gardening Group invited The Great Yarmouth Lions and The Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club to meet at the Library to view the new installation of a Defibrillator outside the entrance for which they had made donations to secure a cabinet.


Some time ago Great Yarmouth Library had been gifted a defibrillator and whilst it has always been available for any medical emergency it was kept in an office in the library so only available during library opening times.

The Friends of Great Yarmouth library along with the Growing Together Gardening group made it their mission to raise money to allow them to buy a secure cabinet and install it on the outside of the building therefore making it accessible to the local community at all times.

The Friends Group work tirelessly to raise money for the library,  this money is used to enhance the library service and supports a lot of the children’s activities and events. Generally the fundraising consists of selling refreshments at special events in the library, making and selling crafts and cards as well as the odd raffle and tombola but the amount required for the defibrillator cabinet needed a more intensive approach.

The groups, ably led by Grace Edwards who recently won a Norfolk County Council OSCA (Outstanding Contribution Award) for her volunteering work, conducted some serious networking and this resulted in generous donations from both the Great Yarmouth Lions Club and Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club securing over £800 needed for the project.

As can be seen from the photos, the defibrillator is now fully installed and registered with the East Anglian Ambulance Service.

The Friends of Great Yarmouth Library are most grateful to the groups for their donations.

If anyone is interested in joining the Friends group then please contact the library on 01493 844551.






February 19th 2018


                      Shaun Platten was the guest speaker today. Introduced by Colin Smith, Shaun talked about his time with The Norfolk & Suffolk Youth Football League. He told of its history and formation and how it has grown so successfully over the last 20 years. He emphasised the importance of respect and discipline being gendered in the youths and how the information was displayed at all matches. A very informative talk and Shaun was thanked by Mike Self. Sammy Morgan also was present as a guest of Bob Price.


February 12th 2018


                    This week Neil Duffield entertained us this week, not with a talk about lifeboats, which we had anticipated, Neil being former crew, but a talk about the bungalows on the River Thurne at Potter Heigham.

It all started in the 1920’s when Neil’s grandfather received a £60 endowment payout and in wondering what to do with it thought it would be nice to have a holiday bungalow on the riverbank. Negotiating with the then appropriate authority he acquired the highest plot of land he could and set about building his bungalow, four rooms only, no electricity and no sanitation (use a bucket and bury it!) The annual lease rent was the equivalent of £3.60. Electricity followed in 1930 but mains drainage has yet to arrive.

More bungalows appeared but not all were kept in good order and in the early 1950’s there was a campaigned to have them removed, fiercely and successfully fought against but the Thurne Bungalows Residents Association formed for that purpose.

Neil's own memories as a child were of friendships made with the children coming on holiday, treats out and learning to sail on the river and swim in it.

Privatisation of the then landlord, Anglian Water in the 1980’s, brought a requirement to divest itself of all property not relevant to its trade and the Head lease passed to the Broads Authority who saw it as another opportunity to get rid of the bungalows, this time defeated following the Tenants Association petitioning parliament.

Following the actual talk, which was delightfully presented Neil showed a few pictures of the various changes to the riverbank as they took place.

On behalf of the club Rotarian Leslie Seabert thanked Neil for such an entertaining talk full of memories.

    Neil addressing the interested members.




A splendid Quiz and Fish & Chips evening of February 7th at The Cask & Craft Tavern raised £ 453.18 for Rotary Foundation. Thanks to John Burroughs for organising the 47 attendees and evening, and a special thanks to Monty Spandler for controlling the quiz itself ! Winning team of Michael Muskett.

February 5th 2018

                   Colin Lange MBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Anchorage Trust gave a very positive and upbeat talk about the progress the trust has made since his last talk to us in October 2017.  He explained the good relationship they have with its landlords who are guaranteed rents to properties they provide for young people under the care of the trust.  The young people who become homeless and are offered accommodation are between the ages of 18 to 30 years and single.   They will not be admitted if they take drugs, or drink alcohol in the building.  Trust members advise and supervise the young people in their care giving help and advice as needed.  It is common practice to visit a tenant twice or three times per week to ensure all is well and to see they will look after the property.  The trust is currently looking for more accommodation to increase its provision. The debt which existed when Colin last spoke to us has now been virtually eliminated due to working hard on grant income, good housekeeping, careful attention to expenditure and the use of computer records.  Due to a generous donation they now have money to employ a fund raiser who will widen income from local authorities and other sources. The main aim of the trust is to get young people off the streets which are a serious problem in Great Yarmouth.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Des Sadler

January 29th 2018


                    Members were treated to a talk by Jackie Noy from East Coast Truckers about the beginnings and development of the organisation.  They were originally formed by a group of East Anglian Truckers to support drivers who were caught and prosecuted by using C.B. Radios.  The legalisation of the C.B’s led them into helping others and working with schools for special needs children for an outing one weekend a year in order to give the children a unique chance to ride in a truck.  This was the beginning of the famous convoy to take children on a trip to the coast on August Bank Holiday.  From a very low number of trucks initially there are now 100 + taking part.In 2000 East Coast Truckers became a Charity and with the money raised enabled them to take the children out more often to various placed including The Hippodrome Circus, Banham Zoo, The Dinosaur Park, North Norfolk Railway and many more places of interest.A few years ago, lady would stand at her window and watch and wave to the children as they passed her by.  The truck drivers would all toot their horns as they passed.  In her will the lady left a substantial sum of money to the Truckers which was invested whilst deciding what the needs of the children and their families were.  It was decided Respite Care was the top priority so a large static caravan was purchased and adapted for wheelchair access, having a low sink and cooker, sliding doors to the bedrooms with a mobile hoist, an extremely large bathroom which accommodates wheelchair access and a shower compartment.  They also have a chalet at Vauxhall holiday park at Gt Yarmouth which is mostly for children who do not need wheelchair access.The organisation is manned by volunteers, there are no paid employees and expenditure is kept to essentials such as stationary, postage and maintenance and service on the exhibition trailer, representing a small percentage of funds.The group are looking for volunteer Marshalls and other helpers.  Details can be found on their web site:

The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Bob Price.


January 22nd 2018

                        This week former Irish International and mainly Aston Villa FC Footballer Sammy Morgan came to talk to Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary about Cancer of the Oesophagus and Stomach, the fifth most common cancer and one that was discovered in him three years ago.  It is the fastest Growing Cancer in the UK and only 30% of patients are diagnosed at a stage when a cure can be attempted.  With 16,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year it is important that early diagnosis is made.For his own part Sammy had no symptoms and it was only discovered after a routine examination for Thyroid issues.  As Sammy’s circumstances were he underwent a six hour operation in which along with the tumour his stomach was removed and then he underwent a course of chemotherapy to ensure that every part of the malignancy was destroyed.  He comments that the treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital was wonderful and commented on how grateful he was to have had a surgeon who was acknowledged to be the best in his field operating on him.  His thanks to the team included treating them to watch Norwich play Liverpool with Lunch beforehand.Sammy is now, as well as assisting with Norfolk and Suffolk Youth Football League seeking to raise awareness of Oesophageal Cancer and raise money for the Oesophageal Patients Association to promote knowledge of the symptoms of this type of cancer, Difficulty in swallowing, Reflux, heartburn, indigestion, unexpected weight loss, coughing when eating, Hiccups when eating, change in taste, nausea and Anaemia.A serious talk peppered with memories of football.

On behalf of the club Rotarian Michael Muskett thanked Sammy for such an informative and thought provoking talk.


Attached photo by Alan Spinks

Left to right.... following Sammy Morgan’s talk “ Blowing the whistle on Cancer “.

Shaun Platten ( Norfolk & Suffolk Youth Football League ), Colin Smith ( Haven Rotary Club & former league Referee ), Sammy Morgan, Bob Price ( Haven Rotary Club & former League Referee ), Philip Hunt President Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club.



January 18th 2018           It is with sadness that our Past President & Honorary Member, Bert Collins , passed away today. Our condolences to Maureen and their family and friends.


January 15th 2018


                      Our member Des Sadler addressed the Club today with what was supposed to be a musical extravaganza....however the gremlins wer about and all did go well with the equipment. Howver a vote of thanks for effort was given by Colin Smith.


January 15th 2018.......  A special item from International Committee Chairman Ian Thomson was discussed and voted upon as the Club Council meeting for the 16th January had been cancelled.

                                   An International project is being organised between our club, RC in Australia and The RC of Panaji Goa India. The project is " Menstrual Hygiene Management ". 75 schools will be provided with Sanitary napkin vending machines and Sanitary napkin incinerators. Full training and use and follow up by teachers and Rotarians to ensure necessary education to the 2500+ school girls in the poorer areas of Goa.

Proposal... To support the installation of 5 schools at approx. £342 each ...a total of £1710. This to be doubled by the application of a matching grant from District 1080 funds. This process already nearly completed.

Proposer...Ian Thomson   Seconder ... Ian McCreadie.     Members voted unanimously to support this worthwhile International project.



January 8th 2018

                      This week a club member Rotarian Charles Lewis gave a light hearted talk about his experience of household pets.  After mentioning the need for daily walks with a dog and expensive vetinary bills he then talked about the hunting instincts of cats with small mammals and birds.  However, his daughter acquired a tortoise about 40 years ago which has remained with Charles ever since enabling him and his wife to observe its behaviour over the years.  Aldie, as she was called, had a large enclosed garden in which she was free to roam.  She would disappear in the autumn and re-appear in the spring with no trace of where she had been.  On one occasion she emerged earlier than expected and set off walking down the road.  Fortunately a neighbour spotted her and she was returned.  On another occasion Charles and his wife moved house after Aldie had hibernated leaving no trace of where she was.  The new owners of the property spotted Aldie walking the garden after her hibernation and she was returned to Charles in the spring of the following year.On one occasion Charles’s wife had a feeling all was not well with Aldie so Charles went looking for her.  He eventually found her at the bottom of the fish pond!  He had no idea of how long she was in the water but seemed fine when she was removed.One year, after hibernating had begun the weather warmed up and Aldie came out of hibernation.  The weather then changed to cold and wintery and she went into hibernation again.  The weather changed yet again and the process repeated itself leaving her frail and washed out.  Charles was concerned and looked for help and advice from the Norfolk Tortoise Club who carried out an initial health check on Aldie.  The result was Adlie was female not male, in excess of 60 year old and country of origin was Greece!  Charles came to the conclusion that whilst dogs are for life, not just for Christmas, a Tortoise is ’for ever’ with a life span of over 100 years.The vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Ian Thomson.

January 1st  2018

No meeting................ 


Updated: 23/04/2018



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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