York Rotary

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     Mansion House Restoration     1999


York Rotary's Legacy in the Community

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When York’s Mansion House was splendidly restored to its former glory in 1999 on the initiative of the York Civic Trust, the Rotary Club of York as its contribution to the restoration work, paid for the cleaning of the portrait of the famous York antiquary Francis Drake which hangs over one of the two fireplaces in the Dining Room.



Drake compiled and in 1736 published Eboracum, the first and most influential history of the City. The Portrait, believed to be by Philip Mercier, shows Francis with the two Volumes of Eboracum, which he gave to the City and which remain in the Mansion House Collection.




York Mansion House portrait of Francis Drake


     York Centre’s Tactile Model      2001

The bronze tactile model of York City centre, located beside the west front of York Minster, was the gift of the three York Rotary Clubs to the City to mark the Millennium.



The concept of such a model for York was that of the Rotary Club of York Vikings, after they had seen a similar model in Munster during one of their exchange visits to the Rotary Club of Munster; and became a joint Millennium project with the Rotary Clubs of York and York Ainsty.



The model, presented to the Lord Mayor on 8th May 2001, was designed by the Dog Rose Trust, an innovative charity which works to make all environments accessible to people with visual and other sensory impairments.  


The bronze, which was cast in Edinburgh, is mounted on a stone plinth made in the Minster Stoneyard.   The £30,000 cost of the project, which took four years from concept to unveiling,  was met by the York Conservation Trust.

York Mansion House portrait of Francis Drake


York Tactile Model outside York Minster


     Minster Gates Clock     1971

The public clock mounted on the wall in Minster Gates carries the inscription-


This clock was given to the City of York

in its 1900th year by the Rotary Club of York

in its 50th year – 1971

York Minster Gates clock

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Wooden model from which the bronze casting mould was made


     Tree Planting     2005

To commemorate the centenary of the formation of Rotary in Chicago on 23rd February 1905,  the three York Rotary Clubs developed, administered and managed  the


                                   York Rotary Family Tree-Planting Partnership 2005


The parents of every child born in York in 2005 were offered the opportunity to have a tree planted to mark the birth of their baby.  This was done without any cost to the parents because of the generosity of the group of partners who cooperated to support the Rotary project.


All the native species trees were donated by the International Tree Foundation.


The City of York made suitable land available at Monk Stray Heworth and Rowntree Park. The planting was done,  under the supervision of Askham Bryan Agricultural  College staff and students, by young offenders and by volunteers from ITF and the Rotary Clubs. The offer leaflet was designed by Dreamworks Design and the printing paid for by CPRE York & Selby Branch.


The City Registrar issued, with every birth certificate, an application form, to be returned to BBC Radio York for processing by Rotary.


The first planting of 100 trees was at Monk Stray on 23rd February 2005 launched by the Rt Hon  Lord Mayor of York Clr Janet Looker.


300 trees were then planted in Rowntree Park on 9th December and a further 300 at the final planting there on 23rd February 2006. The last tree was planted by the the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York Cllr Janet Greenwood in Rowntree Park.


Over 500 babies had trees planted to mark their birth. No trees are allocated to specific children. Their names are recorded in a Register available to the public in the Central Library and in the City Registry Office.

DSC00016 DSC00009 DSC00003A Tactile detail Clock detail


 York Rotary has, for over 95 years, been making an impact on our local community in numerous ways.


 Some of the specific "physical" projects, with a lasting legacy, which we has been involved in are recorded here...

clock and Minster

It was the idea of that year’s Club President, Vincent Fisher; the cost of £600 being met by the donations of Club Members.


In making the Presentation on 27th September 1972, the Rotary Club of York President Cy Read asked the Lord Mayor, Councillor Vic Boulton, “to accept the clock as an acknowledgement by each Member of the Rotary Club of York of the happiness derived in fellowship and service and in the pride and privilege we feel in our citizenship of this great City”.



In acknowledging the gift, the Lord Mayor described it as "most sensible, most useful and a reminder of our ancient heritage.”  

photo courtesy Lewis Outing

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