After some changes for the Jubilee and Olympics last year, we’re back in the traditional August slot for Bloxwich Carnival this year, and once again we’re looking for applicants for the Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud.
The selection event this year takes at the Bloxwich Library Theatre on Thursday evening, 23rd May.
World Book Night takes place this week. People were invited to request one of 20 book titles on offer (there are 25,000 of each) with the intention of distributing them to people who don’t normally read. World Book Night Ltd is a charity dedicated to the promotion of literacy and the celebration, sharing and enjoyment of reading amongst teenagers and adults. The first World Book Night was held in the UK in 2011. In 2012 World Book Night was celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA on April 23 and saw tens of thousands of givers share the joy and love of reading with millions of people who don’t regularly read.
Our Rotary Club has been involved in each year the event has taken place, and we will be announcing our plans for this year very soon!
We’d noticed the National Trust had a free weekend, and although some of us are members, some aren’t, so it seemed the ideal opportunity to take in a visit and picnic.
The house which stands proud on the site was built in the late 1700′s under the instruction of Lord Berwick. The Berwick family lived in it for just five generations, but they have left behind a wonderful site for us all to enjoy.
We didn’t make it around the house itself, but managed a couple of walks and a visit to the Walled Garden before stopping for our picnic on benches alongside the children’s play area.
The weather was fantastic, and although there were loads of people there it was large enough to not feel at all crowded (except perhaps in the shop on the way in and out).
After our picnic we continued on a walk which took us alongside the River Tern and around the front of the main house before we returned to where we’d started to end our visit.
A very impressive place, and well worth a visit – I’m sure we’ll be back to visit the house.
Some pictures from our visit are available on our Facebook pages.
Several of us had decided to take short weekend break in Halifax as an alternative to our original plans to attend a nearby Conference, which we decided against on grounds of cost. A little bit of research and some favourable reviews on Trip Adviser led us to spend the day at Shibden Hall, just outside the city.
This is an old house and parkland, with loads of things to do and see. The house itself was first built around 1420, and changed by various owners over the years. Of particular interest was the number of things brought into the house following the dissolution of the monasteries – there were no priest holes here!
As well as the excellent house and associated buildings, there were many other amenities on the site, including a small train, a boating lake, a couple of rides, a play park and café, and plenty of walks. It really was a good place for a day out, and the weather was good for most of the day too, until showers later in the afternoon – when fortunately we’d decided to go around the house and museum.
Rough Wood Chase is made up of six separate nature reserves, which lie on the western edge of Walsall Borough. It comprises Rough Wood (the largest oak woodland in Walsall), Bentley Hay, Wood Farm, the Piggeries, Sneyd Reservoir and Oily Goughs. The site is situated about 2 miles from Willenhall Town Centre and approximately 3 miles from Walsall Town Centre. Our walk took us round parts of two of these, Rough Wood, and the Piggeries.
On our short walk we managed to collect a quite considerable amount of litter which has now been safely disposed of. Along the way we saw a variety of trees, plants and wildlife, and not inconsiderable amount of mud!
Analysing the litter we have a scientific profile of the average litterbug. They are likely to smoke, drink copious quantities of cheap lager and eat Walkers crisps. and they hop everywhere on a single shoe. There is a chance our scientific methods may not be accurate.
One question though. Why on earth would someone collect their dog’s poo in a convenient plastic bag, then throw away the bag in the woods?
A few years ago a new campaign was launched by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland to promote our ongoing efforts in the worldwide drive to eliminate Polio. The purple crocus was chosen as it is generally in flower around the time of Rotary’s birthday, on 23 February each year, and the purple colour matched the dye painted on the fingers of children in other countries who had been immunised against Polio.
We here in Bloxwich planted crocuses in the garden/lawn at St John’s and All Saints, and also around our tree in the Bloxwich Park.
The tree, originally planted to mark Rotary’s centenary, is now surrounded by a band of the beautiful flowers. We’re just one of many hundreds of clubs around the UK who have supported this awareness campaign. This has now expanded into a worldwide crocus campaign with themed pin badges.
Worldwide, fewer than 650 polio cases have been confirmed for 2011, less than half the 1,352 infections reported in 2010. Overall, the annual number of polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the initiative was launched in 1988, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. This progress continued into 2012 and we are now very close to our goal of eradicating this awful disease forever.
Our annual fundraising competition based round the Formula 1 Championships is back for 2013. This year we have selected the top three teams from last year together with our pick of the top driver from each of the next two teams.
Entries cost just £2.50 and need to be back with us before the first race on 17th March. 50% of the money is given back as a prize to the overall winner, with the other 50% going to the Rotary Foundation charity.
Entering is easy – we even have lucky dip option, and this year we have updated our computer program to adjust the guesses it makes as the season progresses, so even the random entries should have a better chance this year.
For those of you who follow the season, you can amend your entries and take part in what is a very hotly contested competition.
The entry form is available here.
We look forward to your support!
Our regular monthly collection of small donations from members saw £20 being donated to another excellent cause on Global Giving, a website dedicated to causes where small amounts can make a big difference.
This month we are supporting Mama Mtoto/Mother Child Story Time, which will teach 75 young mothers how to read story books to their pre-school children in 5 libraries in diverse areas of Kenya, promoting literacy and a love of reading. This ties in with the Rotary International focus for March, which is Literacy.
Our small donation is enough to buy a set of six books to allow another mother to participate. Children in Kenya often do not have access to books, promoting a vicious cycle: because there are no books, a reading culture isn’t developed, and the resulting low demand for books ensures that they will remain absent in all but the big cities in Kenya. Developing a love of books, however, is about more than simply providing them. They must be introduced in comfortable environments, and in relevant and inspiring ways, so that readers can see themselves and their lives reflected in the pages.
Studies show that reading at early ages has positive cognitive affects on children. Further, women’s education has been shown to be directly related to the education of children, particularly girls.
If you’d like to join us in supporting this worthwhile cause, you can do so through the following link:
Quite a few of us had been to the cinema to watch the most recent James Bond film when it came out last year, but there were still a few who’d not seen it, and so Helen & Steve hosted a showing of the Blu-Ray release of the film, to coincide with World Rotary Day.
Alongside the film we’d ordered a couple of take-away meals, and so it took us considerably longer than the published running time to watch the whole film. It was generally well received by those present, apart from Steve A, who thought it was too long and that the main baddie looked a bit like a 1970′s porn star. But what does he know?
We’d originally planned this event for late January, but had delayed it following the heavy snow and bad weather.
The idea of the evening was to auction off lots of small items, books, CDs, DVDs, etc, to raise some funds towards our youth projects, whilst having some fun and saying a BIG thanks to everyone who’d helped us over the pre-Christmas period with collections, Santa Sleighs and other events.
Our normal venue, the Ivy House, provided an excellent buffet, and there were plenty of people attending, giving some tough competition on some of the more popular lots. But, everyone, hopefully, went home happy with one or two bargains.
We managed to take £240 on the auction, an excellent total.
Our thanks go to everyone who supported us. We hope you enjoyed the evening.