A number of us were able to make it along to the Locksmith’s House in Willenhall on Saturday 16th October for the last one of the very limited number of 2014 Open Days. In fact, we made up about a third of total attendance during the two hours the museum was open.
The Locksmith’s House celebrates the efforts of the small family run lock making businesses which thrived over a century ago. Working from the back yards of their own houses, hundreds of small family businesses evolved in this area.
The house is recreated with the actual belongings and furniture of the Hodson family of lock makers, the last inhabitants of 54 New Road, Willenhall. The working class family home is accompanied in the back yard by a two-storey workshop building. A working forge and machinery adds to the atmosphere.
The day was only possible through the efforts of a small number of volunteers, and sadly there were no costumed guides or working furnaces or machinery. But, it was a great chance to go along to see this special place, which is now mostly closed to the public.
Sadly, a special Christmas event taking place there early in December unfortunately clashes with our Santa Sleigh evenings.
We’ve not had resounding success in the District Quiz in recent years (in fact, never). But in days gone by we did sometimes progress beyond the first round.
So, it was with no expectation of success that our team made its way to the Bradford Arms, the warm and friendly venue for our first round this year. The quiz was taking place in the upstairs room, and we were one of five teams, the others being Wellington B, Wednesfield, Brewood (our hosts) and Penkridge.
Following a quick review of the rules for the night, the quiz began with a General Knowledge round. We scored 14/20, not too shabby, but firmly the worst of the five scores. Things didn’t really improve for the second round (Art), after which we were trailing the fourth placed team by 3 points, and the leaders by 8.
Round Three (Science) was our worst score so far (10/20)… but, we were, perhaps surprisingly, joint top scorers in that round, and clawed back two points on three of the teams, now six points behind the leaders, and just two behind the fourth placed team.
Could we improve? Well, Round Four was Transport related, and our 14/20 was middling, but enough to lift us from bottom space to third, and then came Round Five (Fish). This was a great round for us, and we got 20/20 – the only team to do so on any round all night, and suddenly we’re only four points behind the (now) joint top teams of Wednesfield and Wellington B.
After a short interval, we continued with the final five rounds; we were top scorers in Round Six (History) with 16/20, but slipped slightly with just 14/20 on the next round (Geography) – but by now we were (just) in second place, and six points behind Wednesfield.
As it was, Wednesfield proved too strong, and despite another perfect score (Round Nine, Sport), we ended the quiz eight points behind them, in second place. But, with 146 points on the night, we’re hopeful we might progress beyond the first round.
After the quiz food was served – an excellent pie (choice of Cottage, or Steak & Ale) with chips and peas, and time for some discussion and general chatter before leaving for the drive home. Congratulations to our team (Troy, Steve H, Neil and Steve A) on their better than expected performance!
Each month we choose a project from the many listed on the Global Giving website. Then, at one of our meetings during that month we ask members to pay £1 ‘fines’, or give small donations, to be passed on to support the chosen project. For October, our members have selected a project based in rural Kenya, which is aiming to build a trade school so young people may learn valuable skills such as carpentry, agriculture, cooking and hairdressing that will enable them to get jobs and become self-sustaining members of their society.
The project is being managed by the Tumaini Miles of Smiles organisation. They explain…
“Most children and youth living in rural western Kenya will not receive an education beyond the 8th grade, because they cannot afford to continue their education and many will not have the academic qualifications to attend high school. As a result, many youth are unable to get jobs to support themselves and help their families because they do not have technical skills and so they continue to live in extreme poverty. Hundreds of youth from the community will benefit from the trade school.”
“A trade school will give youth from the community the opportunity to learn valuable trades such as carpentry, masonry, welding, sewing, tailoring, dressmaking, leatherwork, beadmaking, cooking, hairdressing and agriculture, giving them skills that will allow them to get jobs and become productive, self-sustaining members of society.”
“The trade school will allow these youth to get jobs and be able to support themselves and their families, creating a chain reaction that will improve the economic situation for many individuals and families, thus building the local economy and allowing other children and young adults to continue their education by learning trades. Many hundreds of children and youth would benefit directly from the chance to learn a trade, giving them hope to break the cycle of poverty they were born into.”
We raised £40 for the project this month; that’s enough to cover the cost of schooling for one pupil for just over three months. If you’d like to donate to the project, you can do so via the project website.
We’d wanted to hold a coffee morning to support the MacMillan fund raising day, but with most of our members working on the actual day, it seemed sensible to hold it when we had lots of people available, so that’s what we did.
Long time members of the club, Lisa & Troy, hosted the event, and provided tea, coffee and copious quantities of cakes, the numbers of which were increased with donations of more cakes from some of those who attended.
The morning went well, so well in fact that it was almost evening by the time we wrapped up proceedings and totalled up our donations for the day, which came to £75 – a great total which we’ll be passing onto MacMillan.
Thanks to Lisa & Troy for hosting the event, and thanks to everyone who came along and joined us for drinks and cakes, and helped towards the total.
Each month we choose a project from Global Giving, an online directory of good causes, which we then support with small donations from members at a meeting during the month. For September, we have chosen to support a project which is providing education for 300 children in rural Kenya.
Hundreds of thousands of families in rural Western Kenya that have lost breadwinners to HIV/AIDS are stuck in systemic poverty cycles where children lack access to healthcare, education, food and shelter. Our chosen project fights poverty by empowering these children, through free, quality education, healthcare, and basic needs. The Tumaini Miles of Smiles Centre not only houses, feeds, and clothes the orphans, abandoned and the poor, but goes deeper to provide quality education to enable them to become whole people in their society. Currently they are educating 300 children.
You can read more about the project on their Global Giving page. Small amounts can make a big difference to these projects, for example just £7 will provide a school uniform for a child, while £13 will feed a child for a month. Monthly sponsorship schemes are also available. The £23 we donated (which included a £10 donation from our RYLA student, Felix) will pay for one student for a whole month.
If you’d like to add your financial support to this project you can do so via their Global Giving page, or by clicking here:
We’ve been regular supporters of this annual event for some years, but this year’s event was quite possibly the biggest and best yet. It certainly had a very high profile, with the organisers (including our esteemed honorary member Bev) managing to secure Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as a visitor on the day. She spoke to everyone at the start of the event, and stayed around all day to present awards at the end too. The event even secured a small slot on the local BBC evening news!
For those who’ve not been, or read about the event in previous years, it’s a day of sporting based events for anyone with any kind of disability (and their friends and families) to come along and take part in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
We have a number of people whom we welcome back year after year, and everyone is sure of a good time. There are medals and awards, and these are at times hotly contested, but the emphasis is on fun and friendship.
The events are hosted by Rotarians from many clubs around the area, and include golf, bowling, badminton, table tennis, football, darts, croquet, and lots more, including a hook a duck competition. Our club hosts an obstacle course, and this year’s winner was very fast indeed!
For the last couple of years it has been held on the second Sunday in September, so if you’d like to come along and join in, either to take part, or to help us provide the games, let us know.
We had some great support for our curry night, held at the Sultan Cottage on September 12. Some great food and great company helped us on our way to an excellent night which raised £270 for Rotary Jaipur Limb.
Rotary’s Jaipur Limb project was formed in 1985 and became a registered charity in 1995. The bulk of their work in India revolves around Limb camps, with as many as 3000 patients turning up for help, but in Africa and other countries outside India they establish new permanent centres and provide on-going support for them by way of technician training, materials and equipment. The Jaipur Limb itself is an artificial leg, developed at the Mahaveer hospital in Jaipur, India. The unique component is the Jaipur foot, a clever combination of wood and various densities of rubber vulcanised into a realistic looking brown foot.
The Jaipur limb is hard-wearing and will last for three or four years, longer if worn with a shoe. One of the major differences between the Jaipur technology and western technology is the cost – whereas a western limb will cost between £1,000.00 and £2,000.00, a Jaipur limb can be made and fitted for as little as £30.00, meaning our curry evening might well positively change the lives of up to nine amputees.
And all we had to do was turn up, pay for our meal, and enjoy ourselves – a win-win if ever there was one. Our thanks go the excellent Sultan Cottage restaurant and its staff who made us very welcome and gave us an excellent deal on the food which made the night possible.
We’re pleased to announce a curry night being held next Friday, 12th September. For just £15 you get poppadoms and salad, a choice of starter, and a choice of main course, with rice and naan bread. So a great meal for just £15 and the profits we make are going to the Rotary Jaipur Limb project.
The evening takes place at the Sultan Cottage, 123 Wolverhampton Road, Pelsall. WS3 4AD.
Places must be pre-booked – for details see here: http://bit.ly/BPCurryNight
The evening is open to everyone – so please invite your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours…
Ebola has been fairly high profile news recently. The Ebola virus is highly contagious, has no known treatment or cure, and is fatal within days or weeks in most cases. Since early this year, an outbreak of the most lethal strain of the Ebola virus has spread through Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. As of the end of July, the outbreak has resulted in more than 1,200 reported cases of the disease and almost 700 deaths, making it the most deadly Ebola epidemic in history.
At the start of each month our members donate small ‘fines’ to a selected project from Global Giving. This month Global Giving are coordinating a relief fund to work in the care, treatment, and reducing the spread of this deadly disease. This fund will ensure that aid organizations on the ground in West Africa have the resources they need to stop the outbreak. Funds will be used for medical supplies to care for those already infected, protective equipment to keep health workers safe, and educational campaigns to inform the public about Ebola and how it spreads.
Organizations that are deeply-rooted in local communities are often in the best position to provide long-term support for disaster victims. By funding the relief efforts of local organizations, donations to this fund have the potential to build stronger disaster-response capacity so that these organizations are better equipped to face future disasters.
We’re glad to be able to add our small donation of £24 to this cause. If you’d like to add your support you can do so via the project website, or directly by clicking on the Give Now button here:
We had managed to get hold of a special offer for our tickets to the ‘Ironbridge Museums’ which meant we each got unlimited access to each of the ten museums in the collective for a whole year for a paltry £13.75 each – an absolute bargain. Sadly that offer expired today, so it’s too late to tell you about it! And so, after a very pleasant breakfast in the town, we met the rest of our party on the bridge before the first of our four museum stops today at the ‘Museum of the Gorge’. In here we found out more about the history of the area, and of the river and gorge in particular. Of note to several of us was that Thomas Telford wasn’t involved in it at all – apparently a common misconception (which did make those who thought he had feel a little less silly). Also in that museum were some slightly scary pointers to the height of previous flood waters.
After that museum, we took a gentle walk back up towards the bridge, managing a short pub stop and an ice-cream on the way, before a quick visit to the Bridge tollhouse – worth doing as it’s not open as often as most of the attraction, being, as it is, staffed entirely by volunteers. From here we walked back to the main through road to catch the £1 (with the passport tickets) day ticket for the museums bus service. We travelled anti-clockwise, passing the Jackfield Tile Museum before alighting at the Tar Tunnel for our third attraction of the day.
The tunnel started life in the late 1700’s, but as it was being dug, the miners hit bitumen, which can still be seen today dribbling down the walls and in pools to the sides of the tunnel. The history and reality of the tunnel was equally fascinating, and the short walk on the available section with our hard hats on was one of the day’s highlights.
Another quick pub stop later, we had walked the short distance to our last museum of the day, the Coalport China Museum. This was perhaps a more traditional museum, but still full of interesting things to see, and the buildings are worth seeing in their own right too.
We ended our day after travelling back to Ironbridge with a night in Telford, for yet another excellent club weekend trip.