Featured Post

Another Block in the Wall


Our appeal to give kids in Sierra Leone a safer school. See the video in the full article, just click below.

Banbury Rotarian, Alan Wolstencroft first visited the Liverpool Community School, Freetown, Sierra Leone in January 2013. Since then he has co-ordinated the funding to build and equip 8 classrooms and 2 toilet blocks at the school.

Unfortunately last month the school was broken into, items were stolen and some damage caused to the buildings.

A small retaining wall had been built to prevent a stream overflowing and affecting the school in the rainy season and it is now planned to extend this to form a security wall around the entire school – a 240 metre perimeter!!

It costs just £1 to buy a concrete block, all of which are made on site thus providing work for local people.

You can donate by e-mailing alanwooly@msn.com, ringing 07800-558524 or visiting alanwooly.co.uk and obtain bank details from the Buy A Brick Newsletter

They just want an education
But they need a, security wall
To stop the break-ins to their classrooms
Help us build these kids their wall
All they want is just another block for their wall
All they need is, a load more blocks for their wall

Thank you in anticipation of ANY support you may be able to offer

Cycling for Gambia

Two Banbury Rotary Club members are saddling up to raise money for good causes.

Bernard Goodchild and Andrew Fairbairn are both taking part in the Broughton Castle Sportive cycling events on Sunday, July 10, to raise money for a clean water project for Prospects School in Gambia.

Mr Goodchild is participating in the Cotswold Classic, a 50-mile route that twists and turns through the Cotswold scenery.

Mr Fairbairn will tackle the 100-mile Cotswold Monster which consists of a figure of eight course and takes in several steep climbs of the area and the smaller but no less leg sapping Cotswold hills.

The borehole project they are raising money for is a joint undertaking between the Rotary Club of Tonbridge and the Rotary Club of Banbury with the work being project managed by the Rotary Club of Banjul in Gambia. When finished it will enable present and future students to have access to clean water. Currently the children often only have access to dirty water that can host a number of water-borne pathogens and parasites.

Mr Fairbairn said: “All donations will be gratefully received. Especially by the children who are at the school now and others who will be educated there in the future.”

He added: “All children should be able to drink clean water.”

To sponsor the pair contact Andrew on andrew@whitecommercial.co.uk.




Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2016

Your opportunity to be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Banbury.

The Rotary organisation is about building a better society both locally and internationally. The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is Rotary’s way of giving young adults the opportunity to take part in developing qualities of leadership, team working, initiative, communication and problem solving at the start of their careers. The week long course includes activities such as; abseiling, navigation, canoeing, sailing, high ropes.

Who can take part? The short answer is that there is no particular type of person. Indeed the success of the course depends on there being a good mix of different ages between 18 and 25, backgrounds and experience, all with leadership potential. However, this is a very demanding course, so candidates must be both mentally and physically fit. The course takes place at a specially adapted centre in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. There is no attendance cost to candidates, as these are met by the Rotary Club of Banbury.

RYLA1A team of local Rotarians will interview candidates who apply before the successful individual is selected. This participant must be prepared to contribute to as well as benefit from the RYLA course, and will be expected to give a short presentation of their experiences during a later meeting at the Rotary Club.

The next programme takes place from 16-23 July 2016. If you would like to know more or apply for a place please contact: Nigel Randall on 01295-810233, or e-mail.

2016 Banbury Young Musician of the Year

logoEntry to the 2016 Banbury Young Musician of the Year is now open. Full details, including guidance for preparing for the competition, the rules, and entry forms are available by following this link.

President Ian

ianOur new President Ian Calderbank wishes everyone in the International family of Rotary a very happy New Rotary Year.

President Ian, his incoming team, and all the members of the Rotary Club of Banbury have pledged themselves to “Be a Gift to the World”.

Ian said “Our Club will continue providing support to those locally, nationally, and internationally who are in need of help, and at the same time have fun and enjoy the fellowship of being part of such a wonderful international family of Rotarians.  I wish each and every one of you a very happy and successful New Rotary Year.”

Gala Midsummer Concert


We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Banbury Young Musician of the Year competition by hosting a Gala Midsummer Concert, which is taking place at Tudor Hall School on Sunday 21st June.

The celebratory Midsummer Concert will see the return of some past competition winners including the very first winner in 1991, Marcel Zidani, who went on to be a professional musician and has performed in Europe and received glowing reviews for his Piano recitals. 

Other past winners who will perform on the night include:

  • Bethany Porter  2000
  • Kris Reader        2004
  • Umito Choji        2007
  • Lucy Downer      2003
  • Serena Holbech 2012
  • William Dibble who came runner up in the Rotary District 1090 competition in 2012.

This unmissable event will take place at 7pm on Sunday 21st June at the main music hall of Tudor Hall School in Banbury.

Monies raised on the night will go to Katharine House Hospice.

Tickets are on sale for £10 at Fashion Fabrics in Parsons Street in Banbury.

Tour de Trigs


Tour de Trigs

As a Club we have an abundance of formal events dependent upon Rotarians  getting involved throughout the year in the planning so critical to their success. Saturday 18th April saw our septuagenarian 1st Vice President adopting a ‘hands-on’ approach on the road (or more accurately primarily fields, tracks and cross country) checking out first-hand what it is like for entrants who have the following options for this test of orienteering, logistical and team skills allied to mental and physical stamina:

  • A 15 mile taster;
  • A 30 mile tester ; or
  • The full 50 miles challenge (within 24 hours).

In addition to enjoying some fabulous and hidden views of the local countryside (i.e. only available to those prepared to don their walking boots), en-route Ian Calderbank met up with, amongst others, school children from Warriner School undertaking their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition (77 out over the weekend), some of whom are considering entering the Tour de Trigs (the club is giving a presentation to the students later this year and, together with the Tour de Trigs committee, is arranging training days to provide advice on what is involved and what to expect).

Although not experiencing the more severe conditions likely to be prevalent in December (when the event takes place), nor undergoing the full 50 miles, Ian looks pretty fit in this photograph having just completed 21 miles in 7 hours. Keep an eye out and you may see him as he seeks to increase the mileage throughout the year.

More information on this Rotary supported event is available on www.tourdetrigs.org.uk.

Past President Bill Trinder

bill trinderT

On Saturday 28th March Mrs Cynthia Turner, Bill Trinder’s daughter, helped the Banbury Civic Society and Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society with the ceremonial unveiling of a commemorative plaque to mark the birth of the world-wide railway preservation movement at 84 High Street, Banbury.

Bill Trinder is shown above cutting the tape at Wharf Station in Tywyn on the first day of TRPS operation 14th May 1951.

You may be wondering what a small shop in Banbury High Street has got to do with The Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society and steam railways all around the world.

The answer is that Banbury may fairly lay claim to be the birthplace of the Railway Preservation movement because of the endeavours of local businessman, enthusiast and committed Rotarian, Bill Trinder, who ran his radio and gramophone record shop from 84 High Street.

It was a defining moment in the bid to save the Talyllyn Railway, when Bill Trinder’s friend Tom Rolt walked into the shop at 84 High Street and showed him a copy of the Bill to nationalise the railways in the winter of 1947/8. The two men were gripped by this news and it transpired that the ancient but failing Talyllyn Railway in Mid Wales was to fall outside the net of state control. During discussions in Bill’s flat above the shop, Trinder and Rolt resolved not only save the Talyllyn Railway, but to run it using volunteers. Following the inaugural meeting of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society in 1950, Bill Trinder was appointed its first Chairman.

Following the success of Talyllyn -the Talyllyn Railway turns 150 years old this year and remains a leading example of its kind – there are now countless heritage railways around the world, most of them wholly or substantially staffed and run by volunteers, following the model pioneered by Trinder and Rolt. Every one of them can trace its origin to Trinder and Rolfs decision to save the Talyllyn, and thus to 84 High Street, Banbury.

The Banbury Civic Society and Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society have jointly commissioned the commemorative plaque which is situated just above the shop where everything started – 84 High Street – now occupied by The Men’s Room hairdressers.

Bill Trinder and Tom Rolt made their first visit to the Talyllyn Railway in the last weekend in March 1948, hence the chosen date for the unveiling.

As a past President of our Club, Bill was a definite trend setter as it was Bill who first made the first approaches to our Contact Club partners in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, starting an international circle of Rotary Fellowship that is still thriving today.

End Polio Now Crocus Concerts


The two “Crocus Concerts” this year will be held in St Mary’s Church Horsefair on Thursday 5th and Tuesday 10th March, both beginning at 7.15pm.

The 6500 additional crocus bulbs planted by students and Rotarians on school sites, in Princess Diana Park, Bridge Street Park, at Sanctuary Housing’s Retirement Living Schemes and in St Mary’s Churchyard will hopefully be in bloom. The fundraising target is again £1 per crocus planted.

The venue is booked. The schools have chosen their music. Harry has delivered posters, flyers and tickets to each school. Roger has sent invitations to all on our guest list. Heads and Chairs of Governing bodies have all been invited.

We planted some 6,500 crocus bulbs back in the autumn and our fundraising target is once again £1 a crocus. Last year the project enabled 45,000 children to be immunised. This year it would be nearly 60,000 if we reach the target.

The challenge for each school is to sell 75 tickets. That leaves us with 50 tickets to sell through Rotary for each night and 50 to sell to the public via the box office at Fashion Fabrics. So – please support if you can by taking posters/flyers, buying tickets, letting people know how enjoyable last year’s concerts were and inviting them to come along. Just £5 a ticket!


Thursday 5th March


St Mary’s Church, Banbury

featuring Choirs from Banbury Academy, Chenderit School, and Sibford School

Tuesday 10th March


St Mary’s Church, Banbury.

featuring Choirs from Bloxham School, North Oxfordshire Academy, Tudor Hall and The Warriner School.

Young Musician of the Year Finals

On Saturday 28th February we have over 50 young musicians competing in 9 different classes and 3 different age groups to be the Banbury Young Musician of the Year 2015.

Prizes are awarded for each class winner, and winners will be selected to go forward to the RIBI District Finals on Saturday 14th March 2015, following which the successful winners will go through to the National Finals.

The finals will be a showcase event of the many local talented young people. The Junior competition commences at 4.00pm and the Intermediate and Seniors Competition at 6.30pm at Sibford School.

Admission by programme available from Fashion Fabrics, Parsons Street Banbury or on the Door.