46 Marathons – days 34 – 40

Update from Rachel

Day 34…An early train to Weymouth and then out onto the coast path. Although the day was lovely, there was still a cool breeze, and I had forgotten how much rain we had had. I had a very squelchy walk along the bottom of the White Horse Hill in Sutton Poyntz/Osmington which meant by a third of the way through my feet were saturated. However, the path up and over the hill was well worth the while, and the descent meant that I could call in at The Ranch again to thank them for helping fundraise when I was in Poundbury, Dorchester.

There was a mist which almost completely enveloped Portland and the causeway, bringing back childhood memories when we could not get across to the island from Wyke Regis. It also reminded me of the fog horn from The Bill which would sound on full foggy days, hearing it for seemingly miles away, and the number of times that all cars going off the island would be stopped and boots searched when a prisoner from The Verne had escaped. Happy days!

Day 35…Another early train to Frome followed by a hilly run with a stop to visit the Rotary members running the Frome shop. The shop has to close within a month as the landlords have found paying tenants, and so there is a huge sale of goods…do visit and support this amazing venture as it has raised an extraordinary amount of funds over the years.

I also met up with Radek again, the chap with additional needs who has been supporting my challenge from the start. He ensured that he met me at the end of the day, and escorted me to the station. He also had had a sale of goods in the town, raising £20, and he gave me all the new goods that he had been given by Asda in the town. These goods all still have labels on and should raise a further £50-100 at the next sale in Sherborne.

Day 36…An early start with a train ride to Bath. I was very much looking forwards to meeting members of Bath Rotary Club and the Mayor of Bath in the Mayor’s Parlour halfway through the day. The sun shone, the run was amazing taking in all the sites, and the canal path was particularly fun.

The T-shirt is now attracting a lot of attention! A cyclist along the tow path called out as he past me “Keep going, you’re doing really well!”, followed by “I now have seen someone more nuts than me!” Possibly a Rotary member or just a member of the public who had heard of the challenge? It goes to show that by getting out into busy places with the Rotary Foundation/International shirt on, people are curious. I have been asked many times about what the challenge is, and when I have returned, my treasurer has asked me if I know names that have added small amounts to the GoFundMe. Very rarely have I recognized names, but they have coincided with the days that I have spoken to random members of the public. Every £5 added has ensured through the GoFundMe alone, over £900 has been reached. Please keep spreading the word!

We had a lovely hour with the Mayor…what an interesting history is in the Parlour! The Mayor not only gave us a short talk about the items in the room and what the Mayoral role is in Bath [over 800 community events are attended each year!!!], but he was also incredibly interested in my challenge and what Hidden Needs Trust is all about. He is a larger than life character, full of fun and enthusiasm, with a great wish to support the local community in whatever way is required. A cheque handover was made £150…and so huge thank you Bath Rotary Club!

Day 37…A change of route today so that  could call in on my sister with cancer. A hot and sunny day running over the hills to West Coker, stating at Hardington Mandeville. Not many people out and about today, but once home I totaled up the mileage…998.10 miles which averages out at 26.9 miles per day. On target for the 46 marathons in 46 days, and so I am happy.

Day 38…Another hard West Dorset coastal run which incorporated Colmers Hill, Thorncombe Beacon, and Golden Cap…the highest coastal point in Dorset…ending at West Bay to a tremendous welcome from Bridport Rotary Club. Today was a particularly good day as many people were out in the sunshine and again the t-shirt attracted much interest. One cyclist I past at a field gate said “I keep seeing you everywhere!” which made him question what I was doing.

Bridport Rotary Club were fantastic…bucket runs on the promenade, a finishing tape for me to run through, and then much needed tea at the end. Thank you all so much!

Day 39…Anoher early trip to Trowbridge on the train, complete with night bag as I was staying with parents of one of Trowbridge Rotary Club members at their B and B. I was collected from the station, quickly dropped my bags, and then was off on the canal tow path towards Bradford on Avon, Avoncliff, and Bath. The tow paths were full of walkers, cyclists and families enjoying picnics, the canal boats in both directions busy with all enjoying the glorious weather.

At Avoncliff I bumped into two Rotarians from the North of England, and so for 10 minutes or so we put the world to rights and exchanged ideas on what works/does not work for our clubs. Sadly, their club is dissolving after many years of being extremely proactive due to lack of younger members. It goes to show how important membership drives are!

As I ran later on the tow path I suddenly heard a horn blasting from in front of me…the two Rotarians were on a narrow boat making their way towards Bath! If I had known that they were on the water I may have been cheeky and asked for a lift…I have not been on a narrowboat for many years! It would have been a fun diversion for an hour, just making my day a bit longer finishing off my running miles!

Another fun meetup was with a group of chaps who were on an RNAS Yeovilton narrow boat. I bumped into them three times, and of course then the questions of what I was up to…let us hope they spread the word.

In the evening I decided to take a short diversion off the tow path to explore Trowbridge and to grab something to take back to the B and B for supper. I then returned to the tow path only to miss the bridge that I needed to take, ending up several miles down which added a few miles to the day. Needless to say I slept exceptionally well that night!

Day 40…I was up and breakfasted by 9am and off, again on the toll path towards Devizes and ending up in Lacock. The wildlife is stunning, full of cygnets, goslings, ducklings, and bird song from the rushes and hedges. Everyone on the narrow boats are always smiling and friendly, willing to help with directions or queries that I had.

Having reached Devizes I stopped for a drink and snack, and then decided to run through the villages to Lacock…a long haul but off the main roads, or so I thought! I got spectacularly lost as nothing seemed to be signposted. The roads were full of lorries, cars speeding, little or no pavements and twisting turns meaning running would be just too dangerous. For 3 and ¾ hours of speed walking I tried to find a better way to Lacock, but my sat nav on my mobile cut out [apparently there is little signal in the area at the best of times!], and so I admit I started to panic a bit as I was nearing finishing another marathon in terms of mileage and tired. However, I did come across a farm shop on a junction to a busy A road and called in for some advice. The lady running the shop was with a local lady, and both said that there was no way to Lacock avoiding the dangerous roads. Very kindly, I was offered a lift to the road that would take me safely through Bowden Hill [beautiful views] and on to Lacock which was a complete relief. Thank you Amanda! Tracker off for that 10 minute drive, and then on again as I went off on the final 5 miles. The road was indeed a death trap with lorries going through the narrowest of village roads with a speed limit of 50mph.

Amanda and I chatted about the challenge and she was returning home to get onto the website and to share it with others who may benefit from Hidden Needs Trust in some way.

The last 5 miles seemed to take an age but I ended up in Lacock with over an hour to spare before meeting Stuart Gilbert, our  DG Elect who is taking on the role for 2 years…much more sense than just for 1 year in my thoughts. So, time to take in the village, the history, the architecture, and to buy the essential fridge magnets for the children before having tea and talking all things Rotary. Thank you Stuart for your kind support, and of course lovely to meet Louis the dog!


For those of you who would like to stay in the Trowbridge/Bradford on Avon/Devizes/Chippenham/Lacock areas, where I was kindly put up would be an idyllic location as the tow path is a short walk away and all the towns only a short drive away. Sylvia and her husband are so welcoming, the rooms are all spotless, and they offer a good range of breakfast options.

Paxcroft Cottages B and B
62b Paxcroft
Devizes Road
BA14 7HG
01225 765838

Next time I send an update I will have finished my challenge…the days have past so quickly!

Rachel Goodfellow

President and Secretary of The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles

Founder, Chair of Trustees, and Sole Fundraiser of Hidden Needs Trust

Young Musician Competition 2023

The Rotary Club of Taunton hosted a wonderful afternoon of music from talented young musicians at Queens College on Sunday. The performers had come together from four Rotary Districts spanning roughly the area Penzance /Salisbury /Hereford  / Aberystwyth so several of them had travelled considerable distances to take part.

Over 100 people including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Mr Christopher Davies, the newly-inducted High Sheriff of Somerset, Mr Robert Drewett, the Mayor of Taunton Councillor Sue Lees, and many Rotarians, guests and family members.

Eleven young musicians performed for ten minutes each before a panel of knowledgeable adjudicators who pondered a long time over their decisions before making the awards.

There were two classes, Instrumental and Vocal. The Instrumental Class had a clear winner in Charlotte Kwok, a pianist from Pontyclun in South Wales, who enchanted the audience with her rendering of Schumann/Liszt and Albeniz; Charlotte has several times played for Prince (now King) Charles both at Buckingham Palace and in Cardiff and her mesmeric skill was apparent to all of her audience. There were joint Runners Up in this section, YuYing Fan from Bristol and Dee Dee Redford from Axminster – both very talented young pianists.

The Vocal section was contested by five superb young singers, the eventual Winner being Lucy Speke who attends Wellington School and represented Taunton Rotary Club. She sang a haunting song by the French composer Poulenc, then a piece by Madeleine Dring and finally “Show Me”  from “My Fair Lady” which was rapturously received; her Runner Up was Mared Phillips from Narberth in Pembrokeshire, another very talented soloist. The awards were presented by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant.

While the adjudicators were discussing the performances, the audience was charmingly entertained by Ellen Steward, a young soprano currently at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, who sang four delightful and varied pieces. Ellen first sang in Rotary Young Musician at the age of twelve and in several years thereafter, and it was a joy to hear her lilting and mature soprano again yesterday.

Rotary Young Musician is one of several youth competitions run throughout the UK by the Rotary movement, such as Youth Speaks (Debating), Young Chef, Young Writer, Young Photographer, and others which each year give young people a chance to show what they can do in their chosen fields of skill or interest.

Reported by Rotarian Alan Reeve 

District Forum Report March 2023

Our quarterly District Forum was held on Saturday 18th March in Yeovil and was attended by 90 members of our District.  For the first time 14 of these were viewing proceedings online.

A quorum of voting clubs was in attendance (37 out of 45 clubs).  Accounts for the Rotary year ended 30th June 2023 and budgets for the Rotary year 2023-34 had been circulated to all clubs in advance of the meeting.  Voting Club members  were invited to vote to adopt both these documents and the voting was as follows.
Account for the year ended 30th June 2023 – unanimously agreed
Budgets for the Rotary year 2023-34 – unanimously agreed.

DGE Stuart Gilbert advised members of a proposal to  hold the 2024 Conference as a regional cluster event together with Handovers for all 4 districts, on  28-30 June at Sandy Park, Exeter.   This proposal was agreed unanimously.

District Project Showcase

46 Marathons in 46 days – Rachel Goodfellow , Sherborne Castles Club

Rachel gave a heart felt presentation on the story behind her project to organise and run this district wide fund raising events.  As a mother of a special needs child Rachel knows only too well how hard it is to talk to others and be heard when obtaining the support needed for special needs children.  So she set up the Hidden Needs Trust to give a voice to these parents and children, and she became their main fundraiser with here first 26 marathons event to raise funds for them.

Rachel’s other passion is Rotary, she is about to become club president for the third time, and is well aware of the amazing hummantiarian work done by The Rotary Foundation and is keen to raise funds to support this work.

Rachel is running for both these Charities which are so important to her, so click here to find out how you can support her.

Rotary Shop, Rotary in Frome – Norman Elmer, Frome Club

The Rotary Shop in Frome is a fantastic success story for the town, and is a significant source of charitable funds for local organisations in Frome.  The shop first opened 9 years ago and has moved premises on a number of occasions since, taking over empty shops and each time providing a bigger and better retail experience which has become increasingly popular in the town.  In 2022 alone the shop distributed £172k in the local area.

There are three Rotary clubs in the town, the original Frome clubFrome Selwood and Frome Town.  all of whom are actively involved in the running of the shop.  The current location in Westway Shopping Centre is the largest yet and provides a spacious shop floor, no clothes but a lot of furniture, books, bedding and other household items.  Below stairs donations are sorted, repaired and made ready for the retail area which is open for 4 days each week, Wednesday to Saturday.

Run entirely by volunteers, Rotarians and friends, and by using unoccupied shops in the town, this is a formula where everyone is a winner.

Other Rotary Business

Other items of Rotary projects in our district were discussed including updates on various projects including:

Ukraine – how our district is supporting the people of Ukraine – Stan Jones
The Rotary Foundation – sustaining members – Richard Brind
Supporting Turkey’s earthquake victims – Stan Jones
Youth Projects – District finals for Youth Speaks, Young Chef, Young Musician and RYLA update
New club opening – Satellite club of Weston Bay – Guy Parkinson
Polio update – no new cases this year, but polio is only a plane ride away – Keith Barnard-Jones

If you wish to know more about any of the above please contact the person or club named.

Next District Meeting, District Assembly 20th May 2023

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