Latest News

On this page is a round-up of some of the last 12 month's activities. We hope that as well as being informative our readers will see that we enjoy what we do. Want to come and join us? All you have to do is email and we'd be delighted to meet you.

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The Clackclose Hundred Community Project - meeting 29th October

In a nutshell, the objective is to create a catalyst to recreate the ancient environment of self-sufficiency, sustainability and overcome the effects of the continuous decline in funding from central and local government which has created social deprivation, depression, a disconnected community with low
aspirations across the entire community to support children, NEETS, mental health, the elderly and others.

The objective is to establish The Clackclose Hundred Community Benefit Society which is designed to provide a range of programs and support services for local non-profit organisations that operate in
Downham Market and in the 33 surrounding Rural villages/Parishes.

The first phase has been achieved - they have secured the ex COWA Training Centre at the Priory Centre from 1st November. A new name is being discussed but it is proposed to be called the ESTEAM Community, Skills and Enterprise Centre.

There is an open invitation to our 29th October meeting at the Castle Hotel for a meal (cost £12) and to hear about the Project.  The promoters of the scheme will explain the reasoning and plans for this initiative of community engagement.

Please email the Club if you would like to come along.

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We are delighted to announce that SKF Cooper have come on board to sponsor our annual schoolsTechnology Tournament.  See coming events page and youth projects page for more about the Tournament


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What an evening!  Our Murder Mystery and 70's disco on 21st September not only lifted the Town Hall off its foundations but also raised large sums to support local good causes.  Thanks to all those who came along and supported us and really special thanks to Paradise Garage, Dent's butchers, Morrisons for the super hamper, Downham Garden Centre, The National Trust (Oxburgh Hall) for a cream tea voucher and family day pass, the Hare Arms, Downham Tandoori, Tesco, Boots, The Tile Shop, Iceland and West Dereham Plant - all of whom donated wonderful raffle and silent auction prizes. Thanks too to Haynes Eaton Signs for our banners. Without the generous support of local companies we couldn't make the evening so successful in raising money for local good causes. Thank you all.

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Our most senior member, George Bell, celebrates his 90th birthday this week!

Our most senior and youngest members together - George with Kay Lincoln

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Our continuing summer saw a good turnout for our 'President's Pot golf day at Ryston Park Golf Club on 3rd September.

Winner on the day Tony Firrell accepts the President's Pot from our President, Stuart Dimmock.  Organiser John Ebbage is checking the score sheet 'cos he doesn't believe it!








Runner-up Joe Flogdell receives the Ashville Trophy (is that a smirk on Peter Robert's face?)


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August Bank Holiday and it's the charity fund-raising Fenman Classic Motorcycle meeting in Wimbotsham.  As ever, we helped out at the car park.  The organisers report a record income this year - the final result will be a huge boost for local causes.  Here are just a few of the hundreds of bikes that turned up.  All photos courtesy of Kevin Fawkes.  Thanks Kevin!

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This year our annual golf tournament was held at Swaffham Golf Club.  A successful day - yet again raising a substantial sum to fund local good causes here in Downham Market.  Overall winner was Max Mace, 2nd Neil John, and third David Ball.


Winner of the ladies prize, Patsy Parker with Rotary Club president Stuart Dimmock










Winners of the team competition Daniel Ball, Max Mace, Neil John and John Dye with Stuart





Great fun was had by all at the 2018 HIlgay Raft Races on 15th July and substantial sums were raised for East Anglian Childrens Hospices (EACH) in the process.

and finally the flour bomb dwarfs hard at it the day before!

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Outgoing president Martin Chilvers hands over the reigns to our new President, Stuart Dimmock, 2nd July.


Our new president, Stuart Dimmock, congratulates President Elect David Yabbacome

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Tickets going fast - book yours now for our Murder Mystery evening

Ticket bookings now open.  Available from Independence Travel in Wales Court, or email us, or call Howard on 01945 430880 to book your tickets.

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Our latest member, Chris Heath, was welcomed to the Club by President Martin Chilvers on 11th June 2018.  Chris' name will ring a bell locally with many (yes it is a pun - email if you've worked it out!)

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Rtn. Roger Gee and Pat Dimmock taking a break from raising lots of money from our generous Downham Market residents at the 2018 Festival
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Rotarian Jackie Westrop and president Martin Chilvers with the 'Three Norfolk Broads', Sandra Squire, Kate Palmer and Helen Hogan, the intrepid ladies preparing to row the Atlantic in the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, who came along to the Club to tell us all about it. GOOD LUCK!
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Club presents £1,000 to Downham Dementia Support Association

Martin Chilvers presenting the £1000 cheque to  Sarah Fisher, Cafe Mgr. D'ham Dementia Cafe.  This has allowed the facility to add further open afternoons for those suffering from dementia and their carers.

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C'mon baby light my fire - well perhaps not!  Some of our Rotarians who  'manned the pumps' at the recent 'Crucial Crew' event in King's Lynn when we guided around 150 schoolchildren to the various safety talks.


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Tandoori Tickle ends
 Customers of Downham Tandoori put their £1 coin in the Rotary envelope on their table and won themselves a £25 voucher for food at the Tandoori.  They are:

Winner 1:  Dr Girdler of Magdalen, Winner 2:  Miss Coles, Shouldham, Winner 3: Nancy from Downham Market and Winners of the final draw: Mr & Mrs Holley-Smith, Downham Market

Thank you to everybody who entered the draw.  The Tandoori Tickle has now ended and we are most grateful to Mr Anwar Ali of Downham Tandoori for agreeing to host the 'Tickle' to raise money for local good causes.

Our President, Martin Chilvers, with Mr Ali

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Rotary International's 'Purple for Polio' campaign is to highlight the need to eradicate completely this horrible disease. We've almost done it - there are only a couple of countries left with small pockets of affected population. It's been a huge effort of innoculating children. Why purple? Because when the child has been given the medicine a finger is dipped in a purple dye so that those who haven't received treatment can be identified. So we've planted lots of purple crocus around Downham. Here is the display in the Memorial Garden, Lynn Road.

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President Martin Chilvers with Rtn. Jackie Westrop greeting Lorraine and Alan Bliss at one of our recent meetings - Lorraine is CEO of St Ed's, a charity teaching life and work skills to young people who need help and guidance.

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We were delighted to host Tim Jenkins, area fundraiser for East Anglian Children's Hospices (EACH) at our meeting on 5th March.  Tim told us of the forthcoming developments at EACH - a superb charitable organisation.
If you would like to donate to EACH click here

Tim Jenkins with President Martin Chilvers
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Another great Technology Tournament
On 22nd November we held another of the local school challenges in the Town Hall.   Terrington St Clement High School and Witchford Village College scooped the prizes this time round.  Best team effort prize presented by RAF Marham went to Witchford Village College.  A selection of pictures from the Tournament is shown below.






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A Huge Thank-you to Tesco and its Downham Market Customers

We submitted our annual Technology Tournament project to the Tesco 'Bags of Help' scheme.  Customers receive a disc in store which they are invited to use in a voting box near the exit.  We are delighted to announce that we have won a grant which will cement the future of the annual Technology Tournament.  Thank you to Tesco for approving our submission and for the generous grant, and a special thank you to Tesco customers who voted for us.

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Rotary members along with pupils from Nelson Academy and the Montessori School, and the gardens team from the Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk planted crocus corms in the Community Orchard Garden.  These will produce a splendid display of purple crocus to celebrate the enormous success of Rotary International's 'Purple for Polio' campaign which together with the Bill Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation has almost eradicated polio from the world.  We also planted some corms, with the help of pupils from Hillcrest on the Howdale.
Here are some pictures of the Memorial Gardens plantings and the Community Orchard to which we have donated three trees.

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Our annual charity golf day was a roaring success.  This year it was at Swaffham. The winning team were K Clifford , I Osler , D Leake and B Sewell .  We had a nearest the pin competition on two par 3’s for a litre of whisky each . The individual prize winner was Maggie Ward with 38 points showing the men how to do it . Lots of raffle prizes were generously donated by our members , enough for 1 prize in every two tickets bought!  We introduced a special “ shot “ called a mulligan , basically you buy a voucher for £5 before you start to play and you can use this voucher once if you make a cockup of your tee shot , a lot were bought and used !!!  All in all a successful day.  Lots of enjoyment but more importantly lots of money raised for good causes.

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A huge welcome to our 5 latest members; from the right Anne Guymer, Julian Snape, Jackie Westrop, Richard James and Robert Waring with President Martin Chilvers
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This plaque proudly displayed at Koravatichi School in Belarus following Rotarian Carole Samuel's and her team's efforts to improve conditions for the descendants of the terrible Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 


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