Category Archives: Club News

An Evening with Jacob

The Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg agreed to be the speaker at this past Friday’s Rotary fellowship meeting. Jacob became a Rotarian and member of the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Club some 10 or more years ago.

In his current role within Parliament, Jacob is Leader of the House of Commons and he also became Lord President of the Council, attending cabinet meetings.

He has given talks to the club on a number of instances on a variety of subjects. There has always been keen interest when Jacob has spoken to members and the club was delighted to have him participate on this occasion.

Jacob covered the importance of Rotary and the coming together of volunteers particularly during the pandemic. An incredible positive aspect of the pandemic has been the overwhelming response of volunteers and the importance of utilising this positive energy. He also talked of how the vaccine has been tremendously important and has universities, the private and public sectors all working together and how the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency wasn’t a block but became a partner; altogether consistently beating expectations. Also covered were some of the fundamental changes we have experienced over the last year that have made us aware of the importance of onshore production of essential needs such as PPE.

Jacob made time for follow up remarks and questions arising during the discussions and the overall consensus from well over 40 Rotarians and friends in attendance was that it was a very interesting and informative talk; and briefly having two of Jacob’s children spontaneously join in was a lovely touch. Almost £300 was raised for the club charity account by participants donating a minimum of £5 to attend.

The Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP – 26th Mar at 19.00

The Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg became a Rotarian and member of Midsomer Norton & Radstock some 10 years ago.

In his current role within Parliament he is Leader of the House of Commons and he also became Lord President of the Council , attending cabinet meetings. He is therefore in a unique position to speak on wide ranging topics.

He has given talks to the Club on a number of occasions and on a variety of subjects. There has always been keen interest when Jacob has spoken to club members and we anticipate this evening to be equally popular.

Jacob has agreed to speak on this occasion via ZOOM due to the COVID restrictions and after a short presentation he will answer a number of submitted questions. There may also be time available for some follow up remarks and questions arising during the discussions.

Anyone wishing to submit a question for Jacob should do so please via email at

A number of the questions submitted will be drawn at random and the questioner will be invited to ask this of Jacob during the evening.

Space is limited, so please register early:
A minimum donation of £5.00 is suggested to join this Zoom Meeting. All proceeds will go to our Rotary Charity Trust  No. 1134406.

Reid Speirs

Update (21/03/2021):

We currently have availability for this Friday’s Zoom meeting with our honorary speaker, Jacob Rees-Mogg, please register at:

More jabs – Brue Valley helping with vaccinations

Vaccinations continue apace at Wincanton Community Hospital and the Community Hall in Bruton. Brue Valley Rotary Club, enthusiastically assisted by over 25 family and friends, have been providing marshals at both centres. The main jobs are car parking, providing directions, sanitising (people and wheelchairs) and generally helping to ensure the process is as easy as possible for those attending.
The good humour and the delight of the general public to be getting their jabs are evident, as is the dedication of the clinical and support staff. In Wincanton, we are marshalling alongside staff from South Somerset District Council, many of whom have become quite familiar to us over the weeks.
The operation in Bruton is also manned by Brue Valley Rotarians and several good friends.
It has been a great way for the club to provide service to our local communities, especially given that our normal community service and fund-raising activities have been so curtailed by coronavirus over the last 12 months. It has also raised our profile in the community and, I think, made us a lot of new friends.

Charity Online Auction from Chelwood Bridge Rotary

Auction Now Live. over 70 lotsfrom holidays to helicopter rides, from pamper days to diving courses, something just for you to enjoy whilst supporting Children’s Hospice South West, St Peters Hospice and Designability, and other charities supported by Chelwood Rotary. 

To view and bid, follow the link to Jumblebee and simply select an item you wish to bid on, enter your bid, you will then be asked to, “Log In” or “Register” your contact details.

If you can’t find anything you wish to bid on, and still wish to support these charities, you can always make a donation via our PayPal account.

A small selection below

Mendip Rotarians supporting the vaccine effort

As part of the Clubs efforts during the pandemic, Rotarians Peter Wright and Mike Hiles are involved in the transportation of vunerable adults, who do not have their own transport for their Covid 19 vaccinations. They have transported people to the Mulberry Centre in Berrow and Ashton Gate Bristol. They are also involved contacting people by telephone who are experiencing dificulties during this time including non rotarians through the Cheddar Coronavirus Group. The Club is liasing with the local GP surgeries to provide this service.

Mendip Rotarians helping to prepare an allotment for The Space Charity

The Rotary Club of Mendip has chosen “The Space” as this year’s charity. The Space supports local young people 4-18 years who are suffering mental health issues, which have increased during the current pandemic. The Club is specifically supporting the Community Wellbeing Garden in the Cheddar allotments. The garden will provide opportunities for children, young people, and adults in our community to mix socially, make friends and connect with others to improve their mental well-being.

This is part of a practical solution to help those families and individuals in Cheddar who, for a variety of reasons, are struggling to cope in the society in which we live.

Members of the Club and volunteers from “The Space Charity” were preparing raised beds in the allotment. The activity provided good fellowship in these unusual times.

A new fence has been erected to ensure rabbits are unable to get into the allotment to damage the produce. The members were assisted by Jason Collins from JC Landscape.

All work was done in a Covid secure fashion and a Risk Assessment was prepared.

World Understanding and Peace Day 23rd February 2021

There is a world wide event entitled “The Sun Never Sets in Rotary” which starts and finishes in D3232 India. This will be a non stop cycle of meetings in succesion hosted by Clubs/Districts in different time zones across 6 continents.

The UK event is organised by District 1190 Cumbria and Lancashire.

The speakers are:

Aziz Memon. Trustee – Rotary Foundation. Aziz is a member of the Rotary Club of Karachi Pakistan and will share his story of the challenges faced by Rotary in its immunisation efforts carried out in Pakistan.

Mike Webb. Vice Chair – The Rotary Foundation. Mike is a member of the Rotary Club iof Mendip. Mike is a past President of RIBI, RI District Director and Vice Chair of the Council of Legislation. Mike will speak on “The Power of The Rotary Foundation.

Charlie Ruth Castro. Past President Rotary E-Club Sogamoso Columbia. Charlie will will share her personal experiences of working with women in Columbian prisons, for which Charlie received Rotarys People of Action – Young Innovators award in 2018.

World Understanding and Peace Day

Hands on Harp

At the age of 13, Ellie Prout was given the opportunity to learn local folk music and she immediately knew she had found her calling. At 15 she participated in her first Halsway Manor HotHouse, an opportunity for young musicians to work with leading folk artists, to create performance pieces and perform live. She has since attended three additional Halsway Manor HotHouse courses and performed numerous times with them at the Sidmouth Folk Festival.

Ellie was quickly snapped up as a harpist trainee tutor and has three years of experience teaching other young people to play folk music, arrange pieces and perform on stage. She has accomplished her music A-Level and is a self-employed harpist, harp tutor, harp book author, and overall harp aficionado.

Her goal is to make the harp accessible to anyone drawn to the instrument. Through playing the harp Ellie has worked with many different people from varied backgrounds. Ellie has trained as a harp maker with Hands on Harps and continues to work with them creating new harps and accompanying books for harpists with special education needs.

Now at Oxford Brookes University studying music, Ellie will take us through her journey to becoming the harpist she is today; and only at 22 years of age. The talk will cover:

  • How she started playing the harp
  • Going to folk camps and how they grew her passion
  • Mental health and how the harp has helped her
  • About the harp, different types and how they’re made
  • How she uses her harp skills as a business (e.g., talks, playing gigs, teaching, etc.)
  • 3-4 played tunes
  • Question time between songs

Please join the Rotary Club of Midsomer Norton & Radstock on Thursday, 18 February at 6:30 for what will be an enthusing talk by such a young, talented artist. For Zoom log-in details, please contact the club at:

Wear A Christmas Hat Day

Members of the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Rotary Club donned their festive hats during their on-line Christmas Fellowship Meeting in recognition of Wear A Christmas Hat Day for Brain Tumour Research and donated £100 towards the cause.

At their November Rotary Club Speaker Meeting, Community Development Manager (West), Melanie Tiley, gave a very informative talk with significant and alarming stats on Brain Tumour Research. Melanie explained, “Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer… yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.” For more information on this disease, please visit the Brain Tumour Research website at:

The Christmas Fellowship meeting also incorporated what turned out to be a very entertaining on-screen scavenger hunt innovatively organised by Club Services Chair, Martin Carter. Club President, Nick Candy, said, “It’s been a challenging year with us not being able to meet in person so I was eager for a fun, festive, fellowship night via Zoom and it certainly was that and more. To incorporate the #WearAChristmasHatDay to bring awareness to Brain Tumour Research just added to the spirit of the occasion.”

An invitation to a fun event on Zoom

Welcome to Wrington Vale RC

Rotarians throughout District 1200 and beyond are invited to 

‘Masters of Mirth’

Wednesday 2nd December at 19.00 for 19.30

Rtn Mike Storr, Rotary Club of Carlton (Nottingham) will share

An affectionate look at some of my favourite
Music Hall laughter makers

How Music Hall began:
My favourite characters – Robb Wilton, Stanley Holloway, Bernard Miles to name but a few, 
Examples of their acts including their famous monologues

I have given this ‘Masters of Mirth’ humorous presentation to over 450 Rotary, W.I. Probus & U3A Clubs, within a radius of 50 milesfrom my home in Nottingham…..

And now, via the magic of ZOOM, far beyond!

I take no fee or expenses, but if you consider it to be worthy of a donation,
my chosen charity is Asthma UK.

To register for Zoom Attendance on Wednesday 2nd December, email Wrington Vale Rotary Club:  President Roger Vincent;

From Robert Norris :: Sleaford U3A
“On behalf of the Sleaford U3A committee, I would like to convey our thanks for your most interesting and entertaining talk. Everyone enjoyed it immensely and I can’t remember when I have received so many positive comments for a speaker.

I will be contacting you again soon to book  ‘The Sequel’

From Malcolm Hastings : Speaker Secretary : Nuneaton & Bedworth Probus Club
“Just a brief note of thanks for the pleasure you gave us all on your recent visit.  I think I can say with some confidence that you provided the most entertaining, original and amusing talk we have had in a very long time

This presentation makes an ideal opportunity to invite partners and prospective members to attend.

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