Rotary Club of York

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Charting the History of York    With a record attendance of 75 members and guests on April 13th, we were delighted to welcome Dr Peter Addyman CBE (and a founder member of York Vikings Rotary Club in 1978) as our speaker.  Peter, who founded and ran York Archeological Trust for 30 years, has held many other leading position in the City, and is Freeman of the City of York (thus eligible, he told us, to keep a mare and foal on one of York’s Strays).  His talk was about his latest publication, the Historic Towns Atlas (York). This remarkable and scholarly work incorporates a detailed history of the City from Roman times through to the 1800’s, accompanied by 25 beautifully illustrated maps that show the development of ecclesiastical, defensive, domestic and industrial structures, parish boundaries, and tiny details such as tree positions and topography.  The first edition of 500 sold out within a few days,  and the third reprint is nearly sold out as well.  Peter held everyone’s attention with his immense knowledge and perspective of our City’s history,  and his magnum opus is certain to be the reference book of choise for many years to come on this subject.

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Walking for Physionet   The Club’s annual Charity walk was on April 19th, organised as usual by the International Team, and this year benefitting Physionet.  Nigel and Diana Naish planned the day to perfection (even including glorious sunshine!) and 80 people took part, with many from the Rotary Club of Knaresborough and other supporters of Physionet, as well as an excellent turnout of our own members and partners.  The walks (short and long), from Hampsthwaite and led by Nigel and Mark Sessions were much enjoyed in warm sunshine, and the buffet lunch was terrific, thanks to Diana and her team of Club members and partners who helped prepare, set out, serve and clear up afterwards.  Geoff Brown supplied the enormous and delicious apple pies.  The event raised over £1000 for Physionet, appreciated especially by their new chairman Mike Adams (a member of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club), who was there too.  Mike will be visiting our Club in the next couple of months, where a cheque will be formally presented to him.  Many thanks to all who helped helped make such a successful day.

Flying bombers New member David Marchant was the speaker on April 20th, and outlined his interesting and exciting career in the RAF,  initially as a pilot, getting his wings in 1962 and flying various planes including the famous Vulcan bomber with its 100ft wingspan and very thirsty engines.  Although his time in the RAF never had him “firing in anger”, his anecdotes about some of his RAF colleagues, and flying with nuclear weapons under the wings, were scary enough.  His description of the drawbacks of sitting tightly strapped in for over 5 hours on training flights led to various questions best left to the imagination.  After six years, David trained to become a flying instructor, based eventually at Linton-on-Ouse,  and after retirement for the air force, he took up psychology, gaining a degree from the Open University.  He now leads a much quieter life!!

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A “Friendly” Viking Invasion.  On April 27th we welcomed members from the Bergen Rotary Club, Norway – some 39 in total including members and partners, and led by their President Audun Øisted and his wife Martha Sofie . They arrived at Manchester airport, were bused over to York and arrived at the Novotel for lunch at 1.30. What a lovely group of people they were; and with Norwegian flags showing them where to sit for lunch amongst our own Club members it made for a great conversation and exchange of ideas. Our visitors spoke excellent English – which was just as well, as our Norwegian was rather poor !!  They were visiting York, with a very interesting programme, until the 1st of May. We hope to see them again soon – perhaps on their home soil.

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And from Brazil....  Also joining us for this very international lunch meeting were Jair Silvério, IPP of the Rotary Club of Constagem Cidane Industriale (Brazil, DIstrict 4760) and his partner Raquel Meigeles.

Ein freundliches Wochenende!.  A weekend of fellowship!  in true International style.  From May 10th to 13th we were host to a party of 29 Rotarians and partners from our "twin" Clubs in Erlangen Germany, and Aubusson France.  After 18 months of planning by NIgel Naish and his team (David Jesper and Robin Rich) - to whom many thanks - everything went smoothly and even the weather was perfect!   The excursions included a visit to the Jorvik Centre, a boat cruise on the Ouse, and a full day trip to Whitby across the Moors, including a wonderful "Story-Teller" bringing Whitby history to life, followed by a ride on the North York Moors Railway.  Everyone enjoyed the variety of meals, from the Welcome Dinner on Thursday evening and our Club lunch meeting, both at the Novotel, an Italian supper at the Olive Tree, fish lunch at The Star Inn the Harbour in Whitby and finally our Gala Dinner in the splendid surroundings of York Racecourse.   With great fun, discussion and exploration, the weekend was - judged by fedback from our visitors and the many Club members who attended -a great success.  We look forward to visiting Germany (probably Coburg) in 2020!

A full report of the weekend, with lots of photos is available here

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Sinnington Walk  I wandered lonely as a cloud  Mike S reports...

We wandered, but not lonely, as there were fourteen of us.  

The weather can be changeable in mid-May but we were very fortunate and caught it on the change, from very cold to very pleasant, especially when the sun broke through the clouds that floated over the hills and the vale, through which flows, the River Derwent.  As we climbed along a well-trodden path, northwards towards Cropton, we entered the woods that sit at the south-eastern edge of the North York Moors.  I had advertised the walk as being “floral” but the group seemed taken aback by the sea of wild flowers that grow there. There’s no lake but they were certainly beneath the trees, on the hillsides and beside the river. Despite a ten-minute stop at the half-way point (at a bench commemorating a victim of the Second World War, presumably a local lad), we failed to take a group photo. As we reached Sinnington again, we past an historic and very interesting building.  Attached to the hall is a wonderful old chapel that is well worth seeing if you are walking in the area.  Built in the 12th century it has been a chapel and a Tythe Barn and was owned by Catherine Parr's first husband (she lived in Sinnington).

May walk J Conyers Waite Rose Kylie and Emma (Custom) Kylie Emma (Custom) May walk 2 May walk 3

The John Lewis Partnership On May 18th we were treated to a great double-act presentation by the managers of two local JLP stores - Emma Greendale from John Lewis (Vanguard) , and Kylie Gilson who manages Waitrose.  The JLP is a visionary and successful way of doing business, boldly putting the happiness of Partners at the centre of everything it does. Founder, John Spedan Lewis’ combination of commercial acumen and corporate conscience, so ahead of its time, is what makes John Lewis what it is today. It began trading in 1864 on London’s Oxford Street (still there today) and has grown to become the largest Omni-channel retailer in the UK. The Group now consists of 50 John Lewis shops and 353 Waitrose supermarkets with some 85,500 permanent staff all of whom have a responsibility to “challenge the Chairman and get involved in the decision-making process”. Playing an active role in the local community matters with stores having £1000 available each month to donate to worthy causes and employees are also encouraged to donate time to the community. Emma & Kylie gave us a real insight into The John Lewis approach to business.