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Image of Talkin' Tables logo

Marjorie Hayward, the founder of Talkin' Tables told members and friends how she came up with the idea during the pandemic as a cure for loneliness. Beginning with 5 cafes in Chorley, the scheme now has over 80 spread across the country.

Marjorie was given a 'Points of Light' by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The scheme was also awarded the 2023 BBC Radio Lancashire 'Make a Difference' trophy for Best Community Group.

To find out more about the scheme, your nearest talkin' table, or to get one in your cafe, visit the website here.

Image of Prom Night Balloons

Earlier in the year, the Club received a plea to help fund the first ever school prom for Brownhill School a SEN establishment following which a £500 donation was made.

On 19th June, President Linda and Secretary Bob were guests of honour at the event attended by 16 pupils wearing ballgowns and suits. A great night of fun, food, dancing and laughter followed.

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Rotary Friend, John Taylor told members about the first time he walked the length of the Pennine Way as a teenager.

He reminisced about the weather, where he stayed, or didn't as the case may be, and about how he loved it so much, he took a group of students along the same route several years later.

Passing close to Rochdale, most of the audience had walked part of what was the first national trail in the UK, but no one had done its full length.

Image of Rotary logo

The Club Assembly took place on 16th May, where the various Team Leaders told incoming President Irene Davidson of their plans for the Rotary year ahead.

ADG Ian Cochrane listened intently and thanked the Club for their work and future ambitions.

Image of Sea Shanty Crew

On 11th May, the Lytham St Annes Sea Shanty Crew performed at Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club in front of almost 100 people. The evening was a great success and raised money for the Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Station, one of President Linda's chosen charities.

More pictures can be seen on the RNLI page here.

District Environmental Officer, Angela Robbins visited the Club to update us on the various projects being carried out in the District. President Linda spoke of our projects too. On the Rotary NW Public Image Facebook page, the following was subsequently posted....

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Image of Facebook comments
Image of Oh What a Night
Image of Llandudno

16 members and friends of the Club attended the District Conference held in Llandudno over the weekend at the end of April. The Empire Hotel was our base with the conference itself being held at Venue Cymru.

Speakers from several charities, along with Rotarians from around the country updated and inspired us over the weekend. Entertainment was provided by 'Oh What a Night' who had the dance floor full throughout their performance.

The weather was perfect for a weekend on the coast too.

Image of President Linda and Olya
Image of Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Olya Kurtianyk Chair of the Rochdale branch of the Association of Ukrainians paid a visit to the Club to update us on how they are helping Ukrainians both here and in their own country during the conflict with Russia.

President Linda gave Olya £250 to help in any way she see fit.

Olya also told members and friends about the traditional Ukrainian Easter celebrations, and brought a sample of their colourful Easter eggs.

Image of Inner Wheel Top Table
Image of Bob Chadwick

President Linda attended the Inner Wheel Charter Night at the Royal Toby, where she passed on the good wishes of the Club.

Rotarian Bob Chadwick gave a talk about his expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Image of Rotary logo

Tony Beckett, the District Youth Officer explained to members in a humorous way about how the various youth competitions worked. He certainly gave the Club food for thought.

Image of President Linda and Sushil

President Linda inducted Dr Sushil Marijawala into the Rotary Club of Rochdale. Our second new member of 2024.

Image of Chris Wrigley

Chris Wrigley from the Lytham St Annes Lifeboat station told members about the first 100 years of both the RNLI and the station itself. It's hard to believe that crews at the station carried out rescues using oar-powered boats up until 1932.

Chris will bring the story up to date when the Club visits the lifeboat station at the end of May.

Image of Youth Speaks logo

The District 1285 North East final of Youth Speaks was hosted by the Club at Falinge Park High School on 6th March.

4 teams took part in each of the Intermediate and Senior categories with the Bolton School (girls) team taking the Intermediate title and Bury Grammar School winning the Senior category. The winning teams can be viewed here.

Rtn Ravi Sharma organised the event on behalf of the Club.

Image of Wheel Quiz Night 2024.jpg

A great night of fun, that was the description of the joint Inner Wheel / Rotary Quiz Night that took place at Littleborough Cricket Club.

12 teams battled it out for the top spot and bragging rights for the next twelve months, whilst at the same time raising around £300 for the Presidents' charities.

Image of Youth Speaks stage

Rotary Rochdale hosted a heat of the 2024 Youth Speaks competition at Falinge Park High School. Five teams of three took part during the evening. Falinge Park High School won the Intermediate class, whilst Bury Grammar came first in the Senior class.

Image of Rotary Day Meal
Image of Rotary Day meal

To celebrate Rotary Day, a meal to raise funds for End Polio Now was held at the Waterside Restaurant, where everyone enjoyed a 3 course meal and lots of good fellowship.

With a raffle and Rotary Club card, over £300 was raised, which when matched 2:1 by the bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will allow the supply of at least 4,500 polio vaccines.

Image of Shanty Crew logo
Image of RNLI 200 logo

Tickets are now on sale for an evening with the Lytham St Annes Shanty Crew. This will take place at Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club on Saturday 11th May 2024 and will raise funds for the Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Station which is one of the charities being supported by President Linda.

Tickets priced at £15, which includes a pie and peas supper can be purchased through Eventbrite by clicking here or scanning the QR code below.

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Image of Car Show 2024 logo

On 1st February, bookings for the 2024 Rochdale Classic Car and Bike Show open on the Car Show website, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Image of Moorland Home logo

At the Friend's Evening on 1st February, we were joined by Alison Starrs and Heather Bibbington from Rochdale Children's Moorland Home, who updated us on their activities during 2023, and also about the financial pressures they are facing with the increase in energy and food prices.

Also joining us was Karen Knox to talk about the problems caused by the pandemic to young children's reading abilities. It was disturbing to hear that pupils are reaching secondary school age with a reading age on those starting primary school.

It was a thought provoking evening for all.


Members from the Petrus organisation updated members on their latest activities, and talked about their successful gardens at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.

More information about the 2024 Show Garden will be revealed soon which our Club will be helping to sponsor.

Image of speakers from Foodbank

Our club has had a close association with Rochdale Foodbank since it was formed in 2012 and Rotarians have been regular volunteers. Founders Iain and Margaret Wight and Coordinator Cath Entwistle were welcomed back to the club where they gave an update on recent events.

The move to 14-16 Newgate in 2023 gave much more storage space and was a great success. As well as continuing to provide food parcels (a 10% rise over the past year), a citizens advice service for benefits, housing and debt management is available.


Supermarket collection points particularly Tesco has been a great provider of food. Other collection points have been set up in businesses and voluntary organisations in the borough and Iain described Rochdalians as 'wonderfully generous'.

Image of Bob Chadwick
Image of penguins

Following a delicious Christmas meal, Club Secretary Bob Chadwick gave members and friends a taste of his expedition cruise to Antarctica. Pictures and videos showed penguins, icebergs and brave souls undertaking the Polar Plunge.

Image of Shoebox packing
Image of Shoebox HQ

Club members have been spending time helping to pack up Shoeboxes that have been sent from across the UK for onward transit to Romania.

The Rotary Shoebox scheme is hosted within District 1285 and more information about how you can donate or help can be found on their website by clicking here.

Image of Michael and Mason
Image of Ukraine flag

Michael Buczman from Rochdale Borough Council made a return visit to the Club to tell members about his trip to the Ostoya Roztocze orphange on the Polish - Ukrainian border to install play equipment for Ukrainian orphans.

His story was very emotional and had many in the room wiping away tears by the end.

His story can be read in the Winter edition of Real Rochdale which can be accessed by this link.

Michael was accompanied at the club by his nephew Mason Hayhurst, who when hearing of his uncle's plans, said he wanted to do something to help raise funds towards it. 

Mason described to the room how he ended up running 30 times around the pitch at Rochdale AFC.

Image of craft fair

On Sunday 19th November, the Club facilitated a Craft Fair for Erin Parsons, who has contacted us asking for a donation as she had been very fortunate to have been selected as a representative of Girl guiding North West England, to be a member of a group going to Florida in summer 2024. Erin will be working on a project which focuses on women in STEM and science and visiting the Kennedy space centre. 

Erin revealed she raised funds by making craft, so the Club organised a room, publicity flyers and refreshments, leaving the organisation to Erin and her family.

The event was a huge success despite the weather outside with Erin raising £515 towards her target, and all the stall holders asking her to organise another craft fair in the New Year.

Image of Rotary Rochdale logo

The Club AGM took place on 16th November where the annual accounts were signed off, and officers and team leaders for the Rotary year 2024/25 were elected.

Irene Davidson was confirmed as President, John Holder President-elect and Neil Williams President Nominee.

image of fireground logo

James Earnshaw from the Fireground Museum, visited the Club to update us on their latest activities. He enthused about the visits the Club had facilitated from the Rochdale Children's Moorland Home over the summer. He also told us about how proud the team were that Founder and Curator Bob Bonner had been awarded a BEM in the King's Birthday Honours.

James also tested our general knowledge of Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot as Bonfire Night was nearly upon us. Top marks went to Keith Banks, whereas bottom of the class was President Linda and Bob Chadwick.

World Polio Day 2023 image

The 97th Charter Night took place on Saturday 21st October. President Linda was joined by District Governor Swati Mukherjee PHF along with Rotarians from our daughter clubs, along with our members and friends.

Image of 97th Rotary Rochdale Charter Night
Image of Linda & Ailsa Mainwaring and Paul Kendler

A 3-course meal was followed by toasts to Rotary International and Rotary Rochdale before everyone was royally entertained by the musical performance of Ailsa Mainwaring and Paul Kendler.

Image of John Kay
Image of Elvet Smith
Image of David Acton
Image of Neil Williams and Linda Mainwaring

During the night, Long Service awards were made to Rtns John Kay, Elvet Smith and David Acton. President Linda finished her speech by presenting a Paul Harris Fellowship to Rtn Neil Williams to recognise his sterling work for the club.

Image of Puddings
Image of puddings

Slightly late for World Porridge Day on 10th October, the Club held it's annual frugal meal in aid of Mary's Meals. However in a bit of a twist, we combined it with our Pudding Evening to raise more money for the charity.

11 puddings were made by members and friends, and enjoyed by the 22 people present. A Mary's Meals apron was presented to Heather Williams for the best pudding...well it was the one with least left at the end of the night.

Image of pudding menu
Image of Heather Williams

£350 was sent to Mary's Meals, which is enough to buy 3,500 nutritious meals or to feed 18 children for a full school year.

More information Mary's Meals can be found on their website here

Image of President Linda and Rochdale In Bloom team

On the 5th of October Roy Down Rochdale Horticulturalist and Michael Buczman Project Manager of Rochdale Council's Environmental Management team talked at length about the Rochdale in Bloom programme over the last 15 years.


Roy  described how the Rochdale people has been the key to Rochdale's success volunteering so much time and effort to put on a Gold performance last year. Michael spoke of his role in providing vital council support for the venture.

President Linda thanked Roy for a very amusing and informative talk and Michael for adding more detail of the environmental department's key role.

Image of the Nightingale Singers

On 30th September, a concert was held in memory of Rtn Mike Lucas PHF at Bamford Chapel. It featured The Nightingale Singers, with conductor Ken Greaves and accompanist J. Edward Rigg.

Over 90 people enjoyed a wide range of songs from the choir and soloists. Proceeds from the event are to be donated to the Chapel and to the Dementia Friendly Cafe that is held there.

Image of Sir Gordon Greenidge
Image of Sir Gordon Greenidge

The 2023 Cricket Dinner took place on 21st September where the guest speaker was former West Indies and Hampshire batsman Sir Gordon Greenidge KCMG MBE.

The evening attended by 90 people included a three course meal, stand-up bingo, an auction of a specially commissioned watercolour by local artist Geoff Butterworth and a raffle.

Rotarian John Holder a former Test Match umpire and Hampshire teammate of Sir Gordon organised the event, proceeds from which are to be used to fund Youth Cricket Coaching in the Rochdale Borough.

Image of President Linda and guests

Lyn Jeffries and Carole Greaves from the Dementia Friendly Cafe at Bamford Chapel told member and friends how the cafe came to be and the wonderful effect it has on the attendees.

Image of charity presentation

On 7th September, IPP Selwyn Hodge presented cheques for £2,500 to each of his chosen charities. Sarah Fitchett from Papyrus and Jessica Kateryniuk-Smith from Place2Be thanked Selwyn and the Club for their generous donations.

Image of Hollingworth Lake Animal Centre

22 Members and Friends visited the new HQ of the RSPCA Rochdale Branch at Hollingworth Lake to see how a £6,000 donation by Rtn Merrilyn Chadwick during her Presidency had been used.

David Canavan, former National Chairman of the RSPCA and now Chairman of the Rochdale branch explained about the work of the society and how it is funded.

A tour of the building took place followed by some lovely food in the onsite café, The Woodlands. 

A collection amongst the attendees lead to a further £150 being donated to the Rochdale RSPCA.

Image of cheque presentation

Becky Calverley from Crown Oil presented Rotarian Neil Williams with a cheque for £250. This was raised by their staff in support of the Classic Car and Bike Show and the work that Rotary Rochdale carry out both at home and abroad.

The annual Bowls Evening took place on 21st July, with members and friends taking on each other at Castleton Bowling Club.

Image of bowls evening
Image of crown green bowling

Following the bowls, everyone enjoyed a meal of pie and peas provided by Millcroft Tea Gardens

Image of Neil Williams
Image of Crown Green Bowling

The 2023 Classic Car and Bike Show took place on Sunday 16th July at Falinge Park, Rochdale. 

Despite the inclement weather forecast, over 170 vehicles were on display, 40 craft stalls attended, Roch Valley Radio provided entertainment, whilst the volunteers from Vintage Worx kept everyone fed and watered. The sun appeared around 1pm to leave everyone with a nice warm feeling.

Image of Triumph TR4A

Philip Dean with his Triumph TR4A was presented with the trophy for Car of the Show by President Linda Mainwaring. (Picture courtesy of Ken Rowlett)

Rochdale Rotary would like to thank all the volunteers who helped on the day including members of Round Table, Freemasons, Air Cadets, friends and family. As well as Premier Automotive and Crown Oil for their support.

More pictures from the day can be seen on the Classic Car and Bike Show page here.

Image of Rotary gazebo

On Saturday 8th July, led by President Linda, members attended an Open Day at the Fireground Museum, where we extolled the virtues of Rotary and our Club.

On the evening of 6th July 2023, the Presidential handover took place at the Masonic Hall. Retiring President Selwyn Hodge handed over the reins and the chain of Office to Linda Mainwaring.

Image of Presidential Handover

President Linda then gave the President Elect and President Nominee ribbons to Rotarians Irene Davidson and John Holder respectively.

Image of Irene and Linda
Image of Linda and John Holder

President Linda then presented a bouquet of flowers to Secretary Bob Chadwick to pass on to the previous Immediate Past President, Merrilyn Chadwick, before received a bunch herself from Ann Whitley on behalf of the Inner Wheel President, Anita Sharma.

Image of Linda and Bob
Image of Linda and Ann Whitley

Following the team photograph, a lovely buffet was enjoyed by all.

Image of Presidential team 2023/24

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