The royal treatment

| November 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

The latest news from the Rotary Club of Bradford West. By Tony Caunt.

All Rotary clubs have their charter when first inaugurated, and Bradford West is no exception. They were chartered on 19th August 1974, so the 39th Charter was held on 26th September this year.

The guest speaker was Terry Slocombe (no connection to Mrs Slocombe of Are You Being Served? – although it is rumoured that Terry is the love child of Mrs S!). Terry, a former Copper, told the members how he went from a lowly PC to the exalted rank of Commander in the West Riding Constabulary.

District Annual Conference in Scarborough

District Annual Conference in Scarborough

Jennie Bond

Former Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond

Some of the members attended the District Annual Conference in Scarborough on the weekend of the 11-13th October, where they enjoyed a fun-packed programme. This included some excellent speakers: Dr David Bryon, the former managing director of bmibaby, one of Europe’s largest low cost airlines; Lt. Col. Mel Pears, the commanding officer of the Personnel Recovery Unit (PRU), based at Catterick Garrison; and Jennie Bond, the BBC’s former Royal Correspondent and a journalist for over 30 years. Jennie entertained a very large audience for over an hour, telling them of her many interesting assignments. These included an intimate audience with Princess Diana; a chat with Nelson Mandela when the Queen and Prince Philip visited South Africa; and a visit to Japan with Charles and Diana, among many other stories.

Peter Todd, the commercial director of Welcome to Yorkshire, spoke about the forthcoming Tour de France on 5-6th July 2014; Tricia Stewart, one of the original Calendar Girls, announced that they have made over £4 million for leukaemia research; and finally we heard from Sheila Dibnah, the third and final wife of the famous Fred. Sheila was born in Bolton and can imitate old Fred Dibnah MBE to a tee!

The programme for November is as follows: on the 7th, Rtn. Andy Parsons will speak on the Firefly Project (more about this next month). On the 13th, members and friends will visit Halifax Theatre to see The Pirates of Penzance. On the 14th, Frank Leonard will talk about the quarries of Thornton, and on the 21st there will be a business meeting. On the 28th, Robin Naylor will talk on his proposed canoe journey from Malham to Goole in aid of Water Aid.

The features for December are as follows: on the 2nd it will be the Annual International Dinner at the Ring O’ Bells, Thornton. On the 5th, Granville Dobson will recall experiences on the footplate, followed by the Christmas lunch at Sandal Farm restaurant.

To hear more about this vibrant and friendly club, call John Ellis on 07970 253371 or visit

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