Welcome to the Fordingbridge Rotary website.
In August guest speakers David Weller and Vera Hughes (pictured) delivered a dramatised talk entitled “The AA Man”, taken from the memoirs of the association’s first secretary, Stenson Cooke. They described the early days of motoring when sneaky plain clothes police officers measured out a furlong and used a stopwatch to detect motorists exceeding the 20 mph speed limit. Outraged by this underhand practice some motorists got together and a new organisation was born to ‘fight for the open road and protect the motoring industry’.
One early idea was for cyclists to go ahead of the cars and search out the traps. In the ‘Fairmile’ case a member pleaded not guilty to speeding but was found guilty and fined £5. An ‘AA’ Scout however was arrested for perjury and although found not guilty faced considerable costs. To pay for his defence the ‘AA’ launched an appeal and raised £360.
An ‘AA’ badge was introduced, Scouts adopted the practise of saluting members and the membership soon rose to 940.
Police speed enforcement activity increased and the ‘AA’ appointed agents to stop motorists by use of a pole and advise them of the police activity ahead. Other initiatives included the development of road signs, free legal advice for members, uniformed Scouts and ‘AA’ sentry boxes.
A northern office was established in Manchester and by 1908 the association had 5000 members. Members wishing to drive on the continent were assisted with the necessary documentation and cars were shipped as baggage.
Another Scout prosecuted for warning drivers of a speed check was convicted of obstructing the police and a subsequent appeal was dismissed. ‘AA’ members were then advised to stop if not saluted and so receive a more subtle warning of trouble ahead.
Other developments included Scouts being trained in first aid, road safety instruction for children, and the introduction of the hotel star classification system.
By 1914 membership had risen to 83,000 but declined with the onset of war. Motor cycle and sidecars were introduced after the war and ten filling stations were established for use by members. This proved so commercially successful that within five years filling stations were established by the petrol industry.
The ‘AA’ became a political pressure group and succeeded in its campaign for the abolition of the 20 mph speed limit.
From a shaky start when the association was despised by the establishment the membership had grown to half a million by 1933. Its long serving secretary Stenson Cooke was knighted for services to motoring.
Speaker secretary Karl Jung thanked the speakers for their talk.
The Rotary Club had prepared the field, the marquee was ready and dawn broke on Saturday to a summer morning, with sun and white puffy clouds.
It was the day of the 8th Fordingbridge Summer Festival. Soon the peace of Fordingbridge Recreation Ground was broken by the arrival of 16 working craft displays, 50 trade stands and, most important, nearly 30 local charities and community organisations and the Fordingbridge Horticultural Society.
The Festival is a great day out for families, so children get in free. 2400 adults and 1150 children came “through the turnstiles”. But it has other purposes. Our community organisations meet regularly but they rarely meet each other. Their stands were manned by around 300 people. On the Festival field they meet, talk and gain new members. So underneath the obvious arena events there is a continuous buzz of conversation and greeting as the community comes together.
The arena hosted a wide range of events. Two groups of heavy horses were popular, as usual, but the show was stolen by the children. They took on Toby the Tractor and beat last year’s two wins out of three pulls with a three-to-nothing walkover: and then there was a training session with the youngsters joining in with the hilarious Male Majorettes. It quickly became clear that the children were better than the men and they have all been offered majorette jobs for next year.
As always we were well supported by local businesses including A E Connock, Elliott’s, Edwards Ford, Hopback Brewery, Fordingbridge Day Nursery, I N Newman, and the many others who bought tickets for the Business Duck Race.
The climax of the Summer Festival is always the Duck Race. The Business Race was run first, won by Dibden Joinery with Hillwood Motors second and Hot & Tasty third.
Then Mayor Malcolm Connolly launched two thousand three hundred well-fed plastic ducks into the Avon by to compete fiercely in the main race. The winner of the £500 first prize and the other prize winners are being contacted but we were delighted when second prize went to Mme Jay, visiting Fordingbridge with the Twinning party from Vimoutiers. In a black week for France it was good to cement this relationship with Duck Race success.
The weather had been warm but not too hot with a gentle breeze to refresh us. As the happy visitors left the field at five an army of more than thirty yellow shirted Rotarians descended. The field was cleared in record time. Festival Chairman Stan Broomfield said, “All quiet now, but we have had a great day for everyone to remember”.
This year was the biggest Festival yet, with
- 70 Classic cars
- 16 Tractors and implements
- 8 Vans, lorries etc.
- 4 Model steam engines
- 9 Catering outlets
- 30 Charities
- 47 Traders
- 16 Working craft displays
- and Fordingbridge Horticultural Society Summer Show
Our thanks are extended to Jo for his year in office and we are pleased to welcome John as our new leader.
John set out his expectations for the year, exhorting all to participate in developing the club.
It was all part of The Big Day Out. Every June, the Rotary Organisation throughout Britain and Ireland together with Kids Out take over 25,000 disadvantaged children on a great big day out. The children visit the seaside, theme parks, adventure playgrounds, and zoos giving them all wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.
For over 30 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. The number of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two, with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.
With eradication now closer than ever, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio, is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.
The campaign ties in with the 100 year anniversary of The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own and only charity, which has played a key role in making polio eradication become close to a reality, along with hundreds of other projects both in Great Britain and Ireland and overseas.
Rotary and the Royal Horticultural Society
It’s time to get your green fingers at the ready because one strand of the Purple4Polio campaign is an exciting partnership between Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.
The partnership will allow Rotary clubs to join forces with the RHS’s community-based Bloom Groups and work in tandem to bring people together, transform public spaces to brighten up the local area and promote health and wellbeing by planting 5 million crocus corms. This community ethos is a value shared by both Rotary and the RHS, and, with the purple crocus planting also helping the RHS’s Greening Grey Britain campaign, we will together be adding a purple splash of colour and vibrancy to areas up and down the country.
Resource library and Purple4Polio Menu
As part of the Purple4Polio campaign, and RHS partnership, Rotary has produced a number of materials and resources for Rotary clubs, RHS community-based Bloom Groups and other participating organisations and members of the public to use, including leaflets, image libraries, logo downloads and some top tips to help you with your planting!
A Purple4Polio Menu has also been developed, with a variety of ways you can get involved with the campaign. Relevant information and electronic resources will be accessible behind each Menu item in the coming weeks. Click here to check it out!
How can you help Rotary and make a difference?
To be a part of making history by helping Rotary to wipe out polio forever, use our Club Finder tool to contact your local Rotary club. See what activities are taking place in your area, or even share your own great fundraising idea with them and see how you can work together to drive it forward. You can also contact the Fordingbridge Rotary with your enquiry and we will help you to be put in touch with the right person.
If you want to help, you can also set up your own fundraising event by visiting our VirginMoney Giving webpage. We cannot wait for you to get involved!
Ian Cole became involved with the Recreation Association in Alderholt shortly after moving here about 30 years ago and has continued his unstinting support ever since.
Alderholt has grown since then to about 3500 residents.
The Recreation Association is responsible for running the recreation ground in the village which supports several football and cricket teams as well as having tennis courts and a large children’s play area with swings and slides and other apparatus. There is also the Pavilion and Sports Club on site.
He was Secretary of the Cricket Club for over 20 years but has served on the Recreation Association Committee for longer. He is currently both Treasurer and Secretary and carries out the tasks efficiently, effectively and without complaint and on a totally voluntary basis without even expenses being paid, though he was recently persuaded to accept a small honorarium.
For several years he has been involved with proposals to enlarge and enhance the facilities at the recreation ground. This has involved numerous hours of meetings and correspondence with Councils, Planners, Architects and Fund-raising bodies etc, yet despite some frustrating set-backs at times we are at last hopeful that all the plans may come to fruition in the next year or two.
He is one of those unassuming, unsung heroes who quietly carry on with the aim of providing and improving sport and recreational activities for so many of the residents of Alderholt and surrounding villages and I feel he thoroughly deserves the award .
Ian worked for the Ordnance Survey at Southampton, hence his move to Alderholt. His interest in Cricket created the link to the Recreation Association as already mentioned, now retired Alderholt has been the beneficiary of his time and efforts.
The old Salisbury and Dorset Joint Railway station at Breamore echoed to the sound of steam again on 6 May. Fordingbridge Rotary Club set up a “pop-up” museum for children from Fordingbridge Junior School with film of the steam trains and the sounds and staff of the old railway.
More than 60 children led by Head Teacher Nicola Graham walked some 4 miles round trip to visit the station, enjoying en route the linear nature reserve that the old track has become. The teachers successfully overcame the major challenge of getting a group of this size across the busy A338.
Many enjoyed following the old tracks under the bridge where they tested the famous echo by shouting their names and hearing them come back to them.
The Rotarians shared their railway knowledge and discussed a wide range of railway-linked subjects including science, maths, and history brought up by the enthusiastic group of pupils.
After eating their packed lunches in the sunshine on the now grassy track-bed, the happy group returned to school with new knowledge of the history of our Avon Valley and its historical transport network.
Seventeen layouts, plus traders and other attractions, took over the whole of the Avonway Community Centre. Hundreds of visitors turned out to look and wonder and talk and buy.
This is a biennial event — the first was in 2014 — so look forward to the next one in 2018.
The Rotary Foundation has been improving lives since 1917. Learn about our work and be inspired to join us in meeting humanity’s greatest challenges! This short video is a history of The Rotary Foundation – Doing Good in the World for 100 Years.
This video premiered at the 2016 Rotary International Assembly.