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Past-president John Roberts presided at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield held at the Olde House, Newbold, on Friday 29 September 2017.  He was deputising for president Peter Barr who was away leading the club delegation at the Rotary District 1220 conference in Llandudno.


Rotarian Ian Gordon


A minute’s silence was held in memory of rotarian Ian Gordon who had suddenly passed away after a short illness in hospital. Details of the funeral arrangements for Thursday 5 October 2017 were circulated. There is a committal at the burial at Boythorpe Cemetery at 10.30am, followed by a Thanksgiving Service at St Andrews United Reformed Church at 11.15am.  Members are invited to both or either event, and then afterwards to the Olde House.  Members noted that past-president Geoff Mitchell had temporarily taken on Ian Gordon’s vocational service role for co-ordinating the forthcoming Art Exhibition. Future vocational service matters would be discussed by club council.




The president welcomed regular visitor, past-president Frank Clifford (Bolsover), and guest speaker, rotarian Malcolm Darroch (Wollaton Park), who brought greetings from president Rosalie Hanotte and the members from the Rotary Club of Wollaton Park.


Information Boards


Information boards circulated included:- Invitation by the Satellite Club to a Social Evening at the home of Rotarian Paul and Alison Davies on Saturday 7 October 2017 (7.30pm); details of the 49th Charter Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Clay Cross at Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel on Thursday 15 October 2017, with a former Concorde captain as guest speaker; details about the club sponsored Chesterfield Senior Schools Art Exhibition at St Andrews United Reformed Church on the weekend of Sat & Sun 7th & 8th October 2017; details of the club’s 95th Charter Anniversary Luncheon at Ringwood Hall Hotel on Sunday 5 November 2017 (12.30pm for 1.00pm) with highly rated guest speaker Lydia Slack with hilarious tales about growing up on a Derbyshire Hill Farm; news of a Charity Quiz Night being organised by the Satellite Club at the Fox & Goose on Thursday 16 November; attendance register; club calendar of duties and events;


Rotary Satellite Club of Chesterfield


Past-president Geoff Mitchell reported that he, along with past presidents Stuart Bradley, Alan Clarke, and Rob Wadd, had attended the monthly meeting of the Satellite Club at Brampton Manor on Wednesday 27 September 2017. The members had presented a cheque for £3,800 to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.  This donation was part of the proceeds from the Chesterfield Rotary organized 2017 Classic Car & Bike Show for which satellite club members had played such an important part.  Satellite club members had also agreed to make a £250 donation in support of Friends of Somersall Park for the relocation of children’s play equipment.  They were informed about the forthcoming club sponsored Art Exhibition and the club’s 95th Charter Anniversary Luncheon.


Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice community fundraiser, Lucy Rathbone, receives

a cheque from treasurer Martin Swain (left) and chairman Peter Blant (right)

with support from the other Satellite Club members


A Bridge in Time – the story of the Bailey Bridge


After-lunch speaker, rotarian Malcolm Darroch (Wollaton Park), was proud to share the fascinating story of the development of the Bailey Bridge, which was a major contribution towards the Allied victory in WW2. In his illustrated presentation, he explained how the original concept for this innovative portable, pre-fabricated truss bridge, by Rotherham born Donald Coleman Bailey, was developed by the British for military use and saw extensive use by British, Canadian and US military engineering units.    A Bailey bridge had the advantages of requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to assemble. The wood and steel bridge elements were small and light enough to be carried in trucks and lifted into place by hand, without requiring the use of a crane. The bridges were strong enough to carry tanks. Bailey bridges continue to be extensively used in civil engineering construction projects and provide temporary crossings for foot and vehicle traffic to this day. Members were delighted to hear that past-president David Jenkins had first-hand knowledge as he had worked in an army engineering unit constructing bailey bridges.


   Rtn Malcolm Darroch (centre) with past-president John Roberts (left) and

speaker host, past-president Cyril Bates (right)


A formal vote of thanks for an enlightening presentation was proposed by past-president Cyril Bates.


Next week


The meeting was brought to a close when the closing toast was proposed by past-president Rob Wadd.  The next club meeting on Friday 6 October 2017 is the monthly business meeting, which also includes a District Conference report.  There will also be a cheque presentation to Derbyshire Stroke Services.  Duty rotarian is Bryan White.