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

The New Rotary Theme for 2019-2020


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




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April 1st 2019


                Members were treated to an interesting and informative talk about the 30 year RAF career and subsequent time Mick Smith spent after his military career. Leaving Grammar School in 1957 he joined the RAF as an apprentice with the aim of the joining one of the Commonwealth countries services in due time. He particularly liked the idea of going to New Zealand!

However, after some 6 years the programme of transferring was stopped and he then decided perhaps training to be a sports teacher offered a better future. However the cost of the training was prohibitive and after some consideration he decided to sign on of another 12 years. During his last years he was working as a ‘war emergency planner’ in London.

On retiring after 30 years service, he was given every help by the RAF settle into civilian life, being offered training and resettlement courses. He saw a post advertised by the local police force for an emergency planning officer and was fortunate in being appointed to the post which entailed the Norfolk area was fully informed of any possible nuclear attack. Mick retired from this post after some 16 years.

A Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian Colin Smith, Mick’s brother.


March 25th 2019


                      Once again we had one of our members giving a talk. This was Ian Tilley. Having once been a driving test examiner, Ian gave an insight into things that affect driving as one becomes older. Tips on care of ones body ( eyes, hearing, body ) and also maintenance of your car before setting out on a journey.  Tony King thanked Ian for speaking himself and noted after 38 years of our Club, it was getting more difficult to find speakers.


March 18th 2019


                     Today our PP John Burroughs reflected on his past and his introduction to Rotary 2003. Mike Butcher invited John to join after meeting at an auction. On his return from 18 years in Spain , John was landlord of the Lord Nelson Pub in Gorleston in 1999. For many years John organised the purchase and rotation of members at Potters of Teddy Bears tombola. For this he was nominated as Rotarian of the Year in 2004 - 2005.He recounted many visits abroad and how the little Rotary badge emblem was recognised worldwide and was great for introduction. He recalled visits in Venice, Australia, and particularly in Melbourne.  His eventual meeting with Bert Collins introduced him to local politics as a Councillor on GYBC in 2010.  John had enjoyed his 16 years in Rotary making lots of new friends and being involved with many of the Clubs social activities.  Philip Hunt thanked John for his interesting talk.



March 11th 2019


                   Business meeting, Extra -ordinary Club Council meeting and Duck Race committee meeting.


March 4th 2019


                   This week club members were given a very moving and informative talk by Emma Roache concerning her journey from being a 16 year old girl who was turned out of her home by her mother through no fault of her own, to becoming  the independent young woman she is today.  She was initially given accommodation by the local council and continued with her ‘A’ level studies at a Notre Dame High School in Norwich, which meant long hours of travel from Great Yarmouth.  She was successful in her studies and obtained 3 ‘A’ Levels.   

On completion of her studies she worked for Norwich Union and two firms of Financial Advisers, gaining her Financial Planning Certificate.  Emma then moved on to working for a Not-For-Profit Organisation in Norwich, called WEETU, supporting women back into the work place. 

When the funding for the project she worked for came to an end, Emma decided to travel the world for a year and has even published a book about it.  On her return home she worked in corporate for a while, before moving back into the voluntary sector to support a young lady with an acquired brain injury, alongside working with high risk offenders, and at the same time studying for an OU degree in Combined Social Science and Criminology. 

Emma now runs her own successful coaching practice and has founded her own social enterprise, Embrace PFC CIC, supporting people within our local community.

A Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian Derek Garwood .


February 25th 2019


                         This week our own George Ermini gave an interesting and informative talk about his life in England since coming from Greece as a 12 year old. His upbringing in Great Yarmouth and how he developed his car business over the years. Colin Godfrey thanked George for his talk.


February 18th 2019

                         This week Alison Hall, Venetian Waterways Project Co-Coordinator, for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, gave us a talk about the history and progress to date of the restoration of the Waterways.  The Waterways were originally built in the early 20th Century when Great Yarmouth was the largest Herring Port in the country, if not the world, with some 1,000 drifters using the harbour.  However, following the first world war herring catches were greatly reduced and in 1919 there were some 1,160 people registered as being unemployed.  An application to the National Relief Fund to help relieve the situation was successful and the construction of ornamental gardens completely different from earlier gardens was started, employing 127 men for 27 weeks.  Their pay was 1 shilling per hour!  The project was completed and opened in 1926.  Seating and rockery areas were added to the scheme in 1929.Post war 1950 were the ‘heyday’ of the Waterways having survived World War 2 ,relatively unscathed, but due to changing economic conditions there was a gradual decline in the use and popularity of the facility.  The Council decided to refurbish the system and work is well underway with many specialist firms working on the project as well as a number of volunteers including those from local schools and the East Coast College.  The work is well underway and it is anticipated the formal re-opening of the Boating Lake project will take place in May. However the South end will be ready by Easter and the Great Yarmouth haven Rotary Club will be holding their Duck Races on Easter Sunday April 21st.  The presentation talk by Alison was very informative and interesting and a vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian George Ermini.

February 11th 2019


                       Colin Smith, a member of Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club, gave members a talk of a nostalgic trip around the shops and buildings of Great Yarmouth  of some 60 years ago.

He mentioned a number of past Publicity Officers for the Borough and then went on to talk about the many shops and businesses that operated in the town, particularly the shops that served people on a daily basis as there were no domestic refrigerators in those days. He talked about a number of businesses and organisations that are no longer with us today including Stewart and Patterson the Brewers, Norfolk Line Shipping, Birds Eye Foods and the ferry which crossed the river conveying many workers to the factory. He also mentioned the significant part played by the fishing industry and activities on and around the quayside. Colin also told us about a barber who not only cut children’s hair but entertained them to magical tricks resulting in a visit which might last between 2 to 3 hours!  Colin's sharp memory of the shops that have now gone, provided a most interesting past history of parts of the town.

A Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian Richard Delf.


February 4th 2019


                      Our Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club was entertained with a fascinating talk by Richard Hughes who is Chef Director of the Assembly House in Norwich.

Richard began his talk by outlining the training he received as a very young trainee/apprentice at the Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth. His background was from an isolated village in the Fens which had two pubs and no restaurant! He is to this day amazed he was offered an apprenticeship having never been in a restaurant before. He was very nervous and somewhat naïve and had his leg pulled a number of times. However, he quickly learned to follow instructions at all times although it took a lifetime to learn the business.

In due time he started his own first business and was distraught at a report on ‘trip advisor’ which rated his business at 1 out of 5. He subsequently found the writer had looked at the menu posted outside his premises, did not like what was on offer and went home giving a poor assessment!

The business at the Assembly Rooms is different from years ago. Today it is about providing food people will like, at the customer’s needs and with a degree of entertainment. It is widely used by many groups including men only cookery classes. The building is owned by a trust and the business privately owned. It opens at 7 a.m. until midnight 365 days a year. A very demanding schedule but which Richard loves.

A Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian John Clark.



January 28th 2019


                      Sad News...Today our friend and Past Founder member Alan Hall passed away ...sincere condolences to daughters Gillian and Lesley.


This week Rotarian Mike Self introduced Rob Handford, a former teacher to give us a talk on the lighter side of education.  Rob commented that his talk included some matters which had directly resulted from his own position or that of his wife who had also been a teacher and between the two of them they had spent some seventy years in Education. 

The talk started with a few amusing but real names of children on the register, for example Cherry Stone, Tanya Hide, and Annette Curtain before moving on to some of the absentee notes sent in when children have been absent from school ‘Elizabeth was absent because her mother had twins.  It won’t happen again.’ Or ‘Billy wasn’t in school because there wasn’t a newspaper delivered so we thought it was Sunday. 

From this Rob moved on to letters of complaint from parents one of whose children had been told by the teacher he was illiterate.  The child went home upset and complained to his mother who wrote to the school to set matters straight that no’ little jimmy’ wasn’t illiterate she and the child’s father were married long before they were born. There were letters with spelling errors some corrected by the parent e.g. Whot was corrected to Wot.  Moving onward we came to examination answers. ‘A buttress is the wife of a butler.’, A Goblet is a male turkey.’ 

Rob conclude with a story of the Art class where a young student was painting a depiction of God. “Don’t you think it’s a good likeness” she asked the teacher. “I can’t say, he responded “No one knows what God looks like.” “Well they will do when they’ve seen this the student replied. 

Rob was thanked on behalf of the members for a highly amusing talk and for his long service to education by Rotarian Alan Carman.


January 21st 2019


                    Business meeting.


January 14th 2019

                      Our Haven Rotary Club was informed and entertained with a fascinating talk by David Jamison who has an aviation background and who talked about the development of the Super Marine Spitfire.

The original plane was the result of an Air Ministry 1934 specification to replace the biplane models which were in service at that time.  The first flight of the new plane took place at Southampton in 1935 and an order for 310 planes placed with the company.  It was so large the work of producing them had to be sub-contracted out by Vickers Armstrong the manufacturing company building the planes.  The new aircraft was the first to be constructed with an all metal skin.  Various marks from Mark 1 to 19 were produced over some 20 years, the last flight being in 1954 in Malaya.  Developments ranged from increased flying height to 50,000 feet, over 400 m.p.h., bomb carrying and armament developments and an ability to carry out 8 hour recognisance missions covering the whole of Europe.The last Spitfire was built in 1948 but there are still some 80 planes flying in the world today.

A Vote of Thanks was given by Rotarian Malcolm Bugge.


January 7th 2019

                     A history of one of Great Yarmouth's oldest buildings, namely The Fishermen's Hospital, was explained in great detail by one of the Club's members, Richard Fiddy. It was opened in 1702 ,built in a Dutch style , and was for the fishermen of the Port of Great Yarmouth who had reached a stage in their life of being unfit and very often homeless after a life at sea. Some taxes from the Government were given to the Borough who then purchased the land, now familiar near the Minster .The retired fishermen had to be over 60, no women allowed unless married, and a widower could only remain if remarried and with the permission of The Trustees. Originally housing 60 , today there are only 8 flatlets for the elderly. Richard illustrated his talk with many old slides and after questions was thanked for his informative talk by Rotarian Peter Bondi.

December 31st  2018

No meeting................ 


Updated: 01/04/2019



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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