Kids Out 2016


Children from Exeter House learning about penguins at Marwell Zoo

Last Wednesday (8 June) about a dozen members of Fordingbridge Rotary took part in Kids Out 2016, helping to escort children from Exeter House School on visits to Paulton’s Park and Marwell Zoo.

It was all part of The Big Day Out.  Every June, the Rotary Organisation throughout Britain and Ireland together with Kids Out take over 25,000 disadvantaged children on a great big day out. The children visit the seaside, theme parks, adventure playgrounds, and zoos giving them all wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.



Purple4Polio-logo-300x97For over 30 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. The number of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two, with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.

With eradication now closer than ever, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio, is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.

The campaign ties in with the 100 year anniversary of The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own and only charity, which has played a key role in making polio eradication become close to a reality, along with hundreds of other projects both in Great Britain and Ireland and overseas.

Rotary and the Royal Horticultural Society

It’s time to get your green fingers at the ready because one strand of the Purple4Polio campaign is an exciting partnership between Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.

The partnership will allow Rotary clubs to join forces with the RHS’s community-based Bloom Groups and work in tandem to bring people together, transform public spaces to brighten up the local area and promote health and wellbeing by planting 5 million crocus corms. This community ethos is a value shared by both Rotary and the RHS, and, with the purple crocus planting also helping the RHS’s Greening Grey Britain campaign, we will together be adding a purple splash of colour and vibrancy to areas up and down the country.

Resource library and Purple4Polio Menu

As part of the Purple4Polio campaign, and RHS partnership, Rotary has produced a number of materials and resources for Rotary clubs, RHS community-based Bloom Groups and other participating organisations and members of the public to use, including leaflets, image libraries, logo downloads and some top tips to help you with your planting!

A Purple4Polio Menu has also been developed, with a variety of ways you can get involved with the campaign. Relevant information and electronic resources will be accessible behind each Menu item in the coming weeks. Click here to check it out!

How can you help Rotary and make a difference?

To be a part of making history by helping Rotary to wipe out polio forever, use our Club Finder tool to contact your local Rotary club. See what activities are taking place in your area, or even share your own great fundraising idea with them and see how you can work together to drive it forward. You can also contact the Fordingbridge Rotary with your enquiry and we will help you to be put in touch with the right person.

If you want to help, you can also set up your own fundraising event by visiting our VirginMoney Giving webpage. We cannot wait for you to get involved!


Rotary Club Citizen of the Year 2016


President Jo Bonello presents Ian Cole with the Fordingbridge Citizen of the Year Award for 2016

Ian Cole became involved with the Recreation Association in Alderholt shortly after moving here about 30 years ago and has continued his unstinting support ever since.

Alderholt has grown since then to about 3500 residents.

The Recreation Association is responsible for running the recreation ground in the village which supports several football and cricket teams as well as having tennis courts and a large children’s play area with swings and slides and other apparatus. There is also the  Pavilion and Sports Club on site.

He was Secretary of the Cricket Club for over 20 years but has served on the Recreation Association Committee for longer. He is currently both Treasurer and Secretary and carries out the tasks efficiently, effectively and without complaint and on a totally voluntary basis without even expenses being paid, though he was recently persuaded to accept a small honorarium.

For several years he has been involved with proposals to enlarge and enhance the facilities at the recreation ground. This has involved numerous hours of meetings and correspondence with Councils, Planners, Architects and Fund-raising bodies etc, yet despite some frustrating set-backs at times we are at last hopeful that all the plans may come to fruition in the next year or two.

He is one of those unassuming, unsung heroes who quietly carry on with the aim of providing and improving sport and recreational activities for so many of the residents of Alderholt and surrounding villages and I feel he thoroughly deserves the award .

Ian worked for the Ordnance Survey at Southampton, hence his move to Alderholt. His interest in Cricket created the link to the Recreation Association as already mentioned, now retired Alderholt has been the beneficiary of his time and efforts.   

School Trip to Breamore Station

Breamore Station in 1955

Breamore Station in 1955

The old Salisbury and Dorset Joint Railway station at Breamore echoed to the sound of steam again on 6 May. Fordingbridge Rotary Club set up a “pop-up” museum for children from Fordingbridge Junior School with film of the steam trains and the sounds and staff of the old railway.

More than 60 children led by Head Teacher Nicola Graham walked some 4 miles round trip to visit the station, enjoying en route the linear nature reserve that the old track has become. The teachers successfully overcame the major challenge of getting a group of this size across the busy A338.

Under Breamore Railway Bridge.800At the station, kindly made available by its current tenants Mr and Mrs Granger, the children were able to see film and old photographs and to handle railway artefacts.

Many enjoyed following the old tracks under the bridge where they tested the famous echo by shouting their names and hearing them come back to them.

The Rotarians shared their railway knowledge and discussed a wide range of railway-linked subjects including science, maths, and history brought up by the enthusiastic group of pupils.

Along the tracks.800After eating their packed lunches in the sunshine on the now grassy track-bed, the happy group returned to school with new knowledge of the history of our Avon Valley and its historical transport network.

Another successful Railway Exhibition

views-1-800On Saturday 16 April, we hosted “Railway Pastimes” — the Fordingbridge Model Railway Exhibition — for the second time.

Seventeen layouts, plus traders and other attractions, took over the whole of the Avonway Community Centre.  Hundreds of visitors turned out to look and wonder and talk and buy.

views-2-800The “Station Café”, run by Inner Wheel and Rotary members and other helpers, was a particular highlight, and was praised by exhibitors and visitors alike.

This is a biennial event — the first was in 2014 — so look forward to the next one in 2018.

A Century of Doing Good in the World


The Rotary Foundation has been improving lives since 1917. Learn about our work and be inspired to join us in meeting humanity’s greatest challenges! This short video is a history of The Rotary Foundation – Doing Good in the World for 100 Years.

This video premiered at the 2016 Rotary International Assembly.

Visit to Wimborne Railway Society

Nine members spent a pleasant afternoon and evening visiting the Wimborne Railway Society today.

The WRS will be exhibiting at our own Fordingbridge Model Railway Exhibition in April, so this was an opportunity to meet up with members of the Society and get an idea of what they do.  We were made very welcome by Gordon Edgar and the other enthusiastic members who patiently explained their OO gauge layout and showed us how it worked.

We all had lots of chances to drive engines, solve puzzles in the shunting yards, and cause havoc by trying to run the signal box, before sharing a fish-and-chip supper.


Iain and Penny forming goods trains in the Up Yard.


Kevin, John, and Trevor manning the signal box

Another Quiz-night Success

The Rotary Club of Fordingbridge held its 4th annual Quiz Night at Avonway on Saturday 21st November in aid of the Town’s Christmas Lights, which are short of ongoing funding.

The evening was a sell-out and enjoyed by all who took part.

The Quiz was won by one of the two Town Council teams who entered: “”.  They certainly weren’t confused as they scored 95 out of a possible 115!

Look out for our 5th quiz at the same time next year, and join in! All abilities welcome!

4th Grand Quiz Night

Fordingbridge Rotary Club’s 4th Grand Quiz Night will be held on Saturday 21 November 2015 at 7pm for a 7:30 start, at Avonway Community Centre, Fordingbridge. A maximum of 6 per team, £10 per person including cold supper. Licensed pay bar. Organised by the Rotary Club of Fordingbridge in aid of the Fordingbridge Christmas Lights. Download an entry form now!

Malcolm Connelly awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship

At the Fordingbridge Rotary meeting on 30 June 2015, Malcolom Connelly was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) for services to Fordingbridge. 

The Fellowship is an award named after the founder of the Rotary International movement.

The presentation was made by Sue Willcocks, wife of our President Sid Willcocks who passed away in March.

Malcolm has supported Rotary interests since our first presentation to the Town Council eight years ago when he was Chair of the Amenity Committee. We were requesting the use of the Recreation Ground for the first Fordingbridge Summer Festival. He allowed Stan Broomfield as Festival Chair and David Hales, Festival Secretary, time to present our proposal. This was promoted to full Council by him and since then we have enjoyed their full support without any cost.

He has also supported many other Rotary events and projects within his Town Council duties in recent years, including six years as mayor.

Malcolm joins two other very worthy PHF public members in Fordingbridge: Malcom Adams and Elizabeth Connock, both very community-minded people who quietly provide that extra input to Fordingbridge.