Archive for Month: June 2020

Alan’s Africa Update – July 2020

Members should have received Alan Wolstencroft’s latest ‘Alan’s Africa‘ update.

If you haven’t seen it you can grab the main 2019-20 developments here.

Rotary year 2019 – 2020

The Rotary year runs from July to June. As we approach the end of the year I thought I would summarise what has been achieved this year:

  • Installation of a gravity fed water system providing 4 taps , 2 flushing toilets & sinks benefitting 1,500 people
  • Built 3 school toilet blocks all with water harvesting & handwash stations
  • Water harvesting installed on a two classroom block
  • Converted an empty building into nursery classrooms
  • Installed a water system into a science laboratory & purchased science equipment
  • Purchased additional textbooks & library furniture
  • Set up a micro credit scheme for 3 ladies
  • Supported a community football Club including renovations to their hostel and day to day subsistence support
  • Support for 3 teenage/young adult orphans including Momoh & his carer & family
  • Sunny Girl project – supplying 350 girls with sanitary pads each month
  • Supported 83 school staff during Covid


So far this Rotary year £21,760 has been raised, with a few pledges still to come in, and £19,800 has already been sent to the projects. None of this would have been possible without the great support I receive from a vast network of supporters and to each and every one of you a BIG


THANK YOU for helping me to “Make A Real Difference”. Together we are “changing lives & making dreams a reality”

Since I first started working with my first school in January 2007 just over £264,700 has been raised. This has funded the building of:

  • 32 classrooms (23 with water harvesting & 9 with mains electricity)
  • 8 toilet blocks (6 with water harvesting and handwash stations)
  • Installation of a well, refurbishment of another & the gravity fed water system

Plus many refurbishment projects & other support

Speaker Event – The A12 – Jun 2020

Nigel Randall kindly agreed to speak at a Rotary Zoom Meeting last month and chose a subject close to his heart – an aircraft! It was a famous and special one to interest us all!
Most of those attending had little or no knowledge of this plane, which is not surprising as it was developed and manufactured by the Lockheed Corporation, in the USA, in the early 1960s.
The A12 was developed as a follow- on aircraft to replace the U2, (the existing major reconnaissance plane at the time) to overfly the Soviet Union that was being closely monitored in view of the Cold War.
The new plane was designated A-12 because it was the twelfth internal design for the code-named project ‘Archangel’. In 1959 the Lockheed design was chosen by the C.I.A over its competitors because of its higher specifications and projected lower costs. The aircraft was manufactured from 1962/64 and flew from 1963/68.
The plane began flying missions in 1967 and its final flight was in May 1968.
Nigel supported his presentation with several slides highlighting images and performance details of the very impressive plane in use, After development and production, the first A-12 was transferred to the Groom Lake test facility and in April 1962 it was flown unofficially and unannounced by a Lockheed test pilot. Five days later the first official flight took place and subsequently supersonic the A-12 reached speeds of Mach 1.1 at 12,000 feet.
The first loss was seen in 1963 when a test aircraft crashed but the pilot parachuted to safety. The reaction to the crash illustrated the secrecy and importance of the project. The CIA issued an inaccurate report of the name and model of the plane and two farmers who assisted the pilot were advised that the plane was carrying nuclear weapons to discourage any tampering with the wreck. In addition, a law enforcement officer and a passing family were paid $25k dollar each to keep quiet. Three more losses due to technical problems were seen but each time the pilots ejected safely. The first human fatality was experienced in 1967. The pilot escaped the crash but regrettably he could not separate himself from the ejection seat and died on impact.
The introduction of space satellites meant that the original purpose of the plane was no longer relevant with the superpowers monitoring the activity of each other from space. The planes were used however in the Cuba crisis, in relation to North Korea and the Vietnam war. In 1968 three missions were flown over North Korea following the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo to monitor the subsequent activity of the North Koreans and the potential for a further attack on the U.S.
Even before the A-12 became operational, its intended purpose of reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union became unlikely and unnecessary, as the Soviets improved their radar considerably leaving the A-12 more vulnerable. In any event President Kennedy confirmed publicly that the U.S would stop these flights.
Our thanks to Nigel for making the effort to become the first Friday Rotarian lunchtime speaker at a Zoom meeting. He still has the interesting slides that alongside the Internet offer further interesting facts and performance details regarding the A-12.

Club Speaker – Banbury Cross Players – June 2020


Our speaker last month was Rotarian John Bennett who ran through the history of The Banbury Cross Players first 50 years.

The society was formed on 25th January 1945, before the end of World War II. Their first production on 20th April 1945 was “Hay Fever” and took place in the Great Hall at Bloxham School, there being no other venue available at the time. Because of petrol rationing the audience had to travel by bus, train, bicycle or walk. They decided it was worthwhile carrying on because they played to 400 people over 2 nights.

Over the years their other “theatres” have been Banbury Town Hall, Christchurch Hall, The Church House, College Theatre and their current home, The Mill.

John recalled various successes, failures and heart stopping moments that had happened in their productions up to their 50th celebrations in 1995. He also pointed out that, if it was not for

The BCP committee on their 70th birthday Covid 19, they would have been celebrating their 75th anniversary this month by presenting a festival of one act plays featuring other drama groups from far and wide.

Rotary & Shelterbox 2020

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ShelterBox project.

See here for full details

Draft Committees 2020/1

Please log into the members section to see the proposed committees for 2020/1   here
Because of the prevailing pandemic the starting point has been to keep committees largely unchanged from last year.
Any errors or proposed changes – please contact Peter.

Rotary Convention

Members can join us during the 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention, 20-26 June, for activities beyond the general sessions that will get you moving, help you get involved, and connect you with members from around the world.

You can:
•    Stay active with the Rotary Walking Challenge. Track your progress on a leaderboard, enjoy some friendly competition, and have the chance to win great prizes – including two tickets for next year’s convention!
•    Explore the Virtual House of Friendship to discover Rotary Fellowships, Rotary Action Groups, potential partners, projects, and other valuable resources.
•    Join our Featured Breakouts to learn new skills and engage with fellow members. These take place daily, 22-26 June, with more breakout sessions throughout July.
•    Share how you’re participating by posting a selfie or other photos on our event page on Facebook.
•    Use our Aloha Rotary GIFs and augmented reality filters to engage with your friends and family on social media. Add a GIF to your Facebook or Instagram stories. Snap a selfie or record a video while virtually wearing sunglasses or face paint. Learn how.
Sign up for our free convention today and encourage friends in your network, club, and community to join you. Don’t miss out!

Committees 2020/21

Dear Member.

Please log-in to read this message or check your emails as you should already have received a copy from the secretary.

It is that time of the Rotary Year when we have to consider the membership of our Committees for 2020/21.

In view of the unprecedented  times that prevail The Executive Committee feel that we will keep the membership of the Committees similar to this year unless any member feels they would like a change.

The overall structure of our Committees is altering so that PR and Membership will combine with Rtn Alan Wostencroft as Chair ,and International and Foundation  will join, with Nigel Randall as Chair with Rtn Nigel Deakin as Vice Chair.

Charles Hughes is appointed as Chair of C&V, Youth services will be led by Rtn Ashley Bedding.

Other Officers will remain in their posts for this coming year.

These adjustments will require some changes to personnel.
So if you are content to stay in a similar position as last year there is no need to contact me however if you desire a different position or wish to comment or have any queries please let me know.

For  new or returning members during year 19/20 Executive felt they may wish to rotate through several committees to gain experience.

I would appreciate your assistance in formulating these choices as soon as  convenient.

Peter Wilkins Hon Sec

Still Active through the Lockdown

Many of our activities have ground to a halt during the Covid-19 lockdown and it remains unclear when large-scale, public-facing activities – especially indoor ones – will to be able restart.

In common with a lot of organisations much club contact has had to be online. Although less than perfect this has served to keep most members in touch and able to support each other and to participate in some activities useful to the community despite some members with personal vulnerabilities.

For example our school technology departments have been very active in helping to tackle local shortages Personal Protective Equipment and members of  Rotary Club have been phoning around local care homes and surgeries to ascertain the level of need for such equipment and feeding this information back to schools.

For more on this Topic see