• York Rotary

Tales of Rotary past...

Eileen reports...

Who knew? Well, obviously many of the older Members, but they were reminded and more recent Members entertained by tales from the past on August 6th, when we heard about six events and activities once enjoyed by York Rotary; part of our Centenary talks series.


President David kicked off the session, speaking to the Pigeon Shooting fundraiser, a joint activity with RC York Ainsty. 1999 President Jim deLittle had to fend off complaints from the wildlife lobby but Brian Houghton and a team organised for 200+ guns to participate - and quadrupled the £500 target. Some shenanigans were hinted at….!!


During his long membership of the Community Service Committee, Dennis Adamson most enjoyed the hands-on Blood Pressure Testing years, in association with the Stroke Association. On April days 2003-13, Rotarians gathered tents, furniture, leaflets, banners, the caravan and personnel at a city centre location and marshalled 5,000+ people who were tested by professionals persuaded to help by Rtns Mike Wilson and David Porter. About 400 were referred on GPs.

Between 1986 and 2002, York Rotary organised car boot sales.

Barry Campbell explained how receipts had gone from £370 to £1,400 over the period and how Jim DeLittle was instrumental in getting the goods on sale, collecting, washing, cleaning and pricing the items - and then transporting them with his famous trailer.


These sales gave way for the Dragon Boat Challenge after 2002.

A vocational visit to York Minster to see the damage caused by the July 1984 roof fire was recounted by President David who then asked John Lacy to add background. John had been called to Museum Gardens in the lightning storm which almost certainly caused the fire. John and his team transferred quickly to the Minster and helped to remove artefacts and secure the scene. Rotarians were present at one of York’s most famous events.


Robin Rich related the story of thinking big to plan the 1997 Drive York - Land’s End - York - John o’ Groats - York. This fundraiser grew out of the desire to help Hope and Homes for Children and founders Col.Mark and Caroline Cook supported the event, as did Kate Adie who spoke at the pre-drive Dinner.


4 drivers - Robin, Vic Brookes, James Conyers and Mike Saville - two on each leg - drove the car in two-hour shifts; various Rotary clubs welcomed them at journey stops along the way.


The whole trip took 2 days and raised over £3,000. Amazing!

Mike Saville

One of Rotary International’s great achievements is the Polio Plus initiative .

Brian Houghton explained how the 100 or so members of York Rotary 1986-7 responded to the request from RI that every club raise some initial funds. The allocation of £10,500 became £12,000+ once York Rotary grasped the nettle. Some projects were done alone, some with RCs Ainsty & Vikings, but the list of activities was exhausting.


Brian Houghton



Every opportunity was grabbed, including a stall at the York Car Show, a concert in the Minster, promises (including a cartload of manure!) and covenants, a frugal lunch, Sportsmans’ Dinner and many more.








Rotarians have always been “People of Action” and enjoyed fun and fellowship whilst helping others. Over the years, the type of activities reflect the context and restrictions, but nothing daunts those who are inventive in generating fresh ideas and determined to persevere once started. Teamwork underpins all that we do. I found a new respect for what has gone before; it was almost too much to take in; any one of the six would make an interesting presentation in itself. We must not lose sight of such creativity, expertise and experience.

York Rotary News