Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District





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Welcome to Great Missenden Rotary Club website ...
President Gavin Plews ..... 

President's Inaugural Speech

Gavin Plews as the incoming  President of The Rotary of Great  Missenden and District, accepted his badge of office from the outgoing President George Rivas and briefly told the Club of his aims and aspirations for his coming year of office. As challenged by the Global Rotary International President Ravi Ravindran, Gavin is very keen to strengthen Rotary within the district by increasing membership of the Club and creating a Satellite Club within the area and has started work to establish interest and support within the Prestwood community.

click here for full speech


At the 8th of July meeting immediate Past President, George Rivas, presented incoming President, Gavin Plews with his badge of office. 

The Rotary club meets every Monday at Missenden Abbey. For membership details, please contact him on 01494 713960



click here



                                      Club President:  Gavin Plews,01494 713960                             

Club Secretary:  Mike Rainford, 01494 863911


LINK - to District website:



What's new and recent events ...

[For earlier news, click News Archive]














On 12th September we were privileged to receive a most excellent talk from Dylan Holmes-Cowan who, at fourteen years old, is probably our youngest ever presenter and certainly one of the best with succinct power point visuals and cogent informative narrative. Dylan summarised the longstanding support activities between his school—Aylesbury Grammar—and Malosa Secondary School in Malawi.

Malawi is among the world’s twenty poorest countries, 8 million of its populace live under the $1.25 per day poverty line and 3 million suffer from malaria. The country’s infrastructure is poor and it is vulnerable to a number of national disasters.

For a number of years 35 senior pupils from Aylesbury Grammar School have visited Malosa Secondary School biennially to provide service assistance and equipment for teaching and recreation. Most recently this has included computer hardware and tutorials to be used as learning aids and as a window on the world. Other assistance has included the provision of 200 mosquito nets and re-roofing a small associated primary school. Future plans include a new classroom for this school.

AGS also fund and lead a small exchange visit by students from Malosa Secondary School to the UK every other year.

The entire cost of this association is met by Aylesbury Grammar School pupils through a formal trust fund arrangement.

Our Rotary Club was pleased to make a donation of £200 to this trust fund and heartened by the generosity and service fellowship of AGS pupils and staff.

















The Rotary Club of Great Missenden finished its Summer activities on a more spiritual note with a guided tour of St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden followed by a convivial meal provided in their home by Gill and George Rivas.

Many thanks to all those who organised these enjoyable entertainments.












On 15th August 2016 The Rotary Club of Great Missenden had a tour of College Lake Nature Reserve led by one of its founder originators.

This was followed by an excellent al fresco meal at the nearby Grand Junction Arms public house organised by Paul McDowell.














The Rotary Club of Great Missenden commenced the Summer Programme with its annual meal at Guido's Restaurant






JULY 2016
















The Rotary Club of Great Missenden  welcomed  Colin Veysey and his wife Joan to the Club meeting on 11th July 2016 in order to present Colin with the David Mitchell Award for outstanding local voluntary service. George Tyler introduced Colin and noted his tireless charitable work in Great Missenden and Prestwood as a Minister of the Prestwood Kings Church and co-director and editor of The Source Magazine. In addition he co-ordinates a car service for local residents with hospital appointments and no transport. He is an active participant in The Prestwood Events Group, the Giles Gate Community and the Prestwood Youth Club.

David Mitchell's daughter Caroline attended the evening with her husband, Tony, and was delighted to present the Award on behalf of the Club.












Ninety years on still going strong so The Rotary Club of Great Missenden decided to help Betty Gill to celebrate her Birthday in a way she would remember.

The Club rose to the occasion and sang Happy Birthday with great gusto and presented her with a bouquet of roses with almost as much gusto.

A little research enabled the Rotary Club of Great Missenden to show the earliest moving film of Trafalgar Square and a series taken around London landmarks in 1929 when Betty was three years old.

A trip down memory lane not only for Betty but for several members of the Club.





JUNE 2016







 On 13th June 2016 Richard Waterfield  invited John McCombe and his wife Pat to give the Rotary Club of Great Missenden a presentation  on their voluntary service with the National Association of Blood Bikes.

John is Chairman and Trustee of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Branch and one of its motor cycle despatch riders who convey blood from a central NHS blood bank to hospitals and some hospices in the two counties. In this they are part of a national network which has developed from small beginnings in 1960.

In 2015 its 809 riders, and 11 controllers made roughly 1000 night and 250 day calls in Herts. and Beds. and were available on a 24 hours basis for all 365 days of the year.

Their service is entirely voluntary and they pay for their own petrol and their own vehicles including maintenance charges for their bikes and a number of four wheel drive cars for inclement weather conditions. In addition, there are other expenses to be met such as rider training, liability insurance, high visibility clothing, mandatory blood box covers and security straps. In all, these represent £200 to put each rider on the road.

All riders meet rigorous national safety and rider/driver ability standards.

Volunteers are expected to participate twice a month but not more than two times a week. Night shifts are from 7.00 pm to 7.00 am and there are four riders and one controller on every shift.

Blood Bikes provides a vital service in support of the NHS and the Club was delighted to contribute £250 to its expenses.






MAY 2016







Death and Disaster, the title of the talk given to the Rotary Club of Great Missenden on 16th May 2016  by Peter Kenyon, Funeral Director. A fascinating account of Peter’s love and involvement with rugby and his work since 1983 with the International Team which attempts to identify the corpses and confirm the cause of death of the victims of major disasters. The team included pathologists, dentists, embalmers and specialist investigators where appropriate.

Major disasters where Peter has co-ordinated the administration of the team have included the Manchester Airport airplane fire, the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise Ferry, the fire on the Piper Alpha oil rig, the 1988 Clapham Train Crash and the terrorist destruction of the Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie.

The team’s response is instant wherever the disaster and Peter kept two suit cases permanently packed for his immediate departure. He finished this harrowing work in 1990 and during his period of service the team’s work helped to identify and explain the fate of many hundreds of disaster victims for the consolation of their relatives and friends.

Peter now lives in Little Kingshill and manages his company’s Beaconsfield Office as the 5th generation of his family’s involvement as funeral directors including their service to the Royal Household  







APRIL 2016








At our meeting on 13th April we were treated to a presentation by wildlife photographer, Tom Way. What a talented, self assured and entertaining young man. He started his adult life at Oxford Brookes University studying sports science and following this up as a personal trainer. Fortunately he found this a no go area and fell in love with photography which has been his profession for most of the past five years.  photography was his only way forward.

Most of because an incredible photo of a hippo led to disaster. His uninsured camera, tripod and 500mm lens ended up on the bottom of an African river. However, after a few months in a suit he realised thatAfrica is his favourite continent and we saw photos of charismatic meerkats in the Kalahari Desert and Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi. His photos proved his feeling that ‘their eyes are truly the windows into their soil’. This was followed by penguins on the Falkland Islands.

Tom ended his talk by telling us how competitive the photography business so the key to having marketable photographs sometimes lies in capturing slightly different images to other people, knowing what to expect from your subject and trying to tell a story.

This is a very talented young man who is passionate about his profession and has a desires to help other photographers on his treks and safaris to take unforgettable reminders of their trip.












The Annual General Meeting of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden was held in Missenden Abbey on Monday 4th April 2016 and attended by Members of the Club and the Assistant District Governor, Vijay Patel, who gave a spirited address urging the Club to tap into the guidance material online at the RIBI website on such issues as membership recruitment, fund raising, publicity etc. This was available to assist clubs and had been successfully adopted by a number of clubs to improve their status, value and membership within their local communities.





MARCH 2016







On 21st March 2016 The Rotary Club of great Missenden  welcomed Sharon Deacon who gave an illustrated update on fund raising activities for the Chilterns MS Centre and told the Club that the 30 mile sponsored walk in September 2015 had raised over  £67,000 and that it would




repeated in September 2016 concentrating around five towncentres including Thame, Berkhamstead and Marlow. It was hoped that Great Missenden Rotary Club would again act as marshalls.

Plans were also explained for the  Prestwood 10k Run on Sunday 15th May where the Rotary Club of Great Missenden would be helping with parking and acting as marshalls.

The Centre continued to host more patients each year including more people in their twenties and thirties and needed to raise more money this year to avoid a funding deficit.












On 14th March 2016, The Rotary Club of Great Missenden received a short presentation from Rotarian Terry Cann on the work of a Rotarian from St Neotts Club’s one woman crusade  in assisting a shanty school in a poor part of Mombasa which was providing teaching and food to some very impoverished primary school children. This was outlined in the presentation and the Club was advised that Little Faces was looking for further financial assistance either as a lump sum to help with running  expenses or towards a new school extension [total cost £43000 for an eight classroom school] or £60  to fund a single child’s teaching and lunch for a year. It was a very appealing prospect and the Rotary Club of Great Missenden agreed to donate £240 to fund four children for a year and pledged this amount for a further two years to complete their primary school education.   












On 3rd March 2016 The Hyde Heath Old Tme  Music Hall Society joined with the Rotary Club of Great Missenden to help raise funds for Rotary supported causes.


The Little Missenden Village Hall reverbrated with 'oohs, aahs and oh nos' as the Company took the audience back to The Good Old Days culminating in a Second World War Tribute.

.Rotary wives undertook to 'man (or woman' the kitchen and provided an excellent hot supper and not only was a good time had by all but the princely sum of £1562 was raised.













On 22nd Febriuary 2016 Rtn.Charlie Carrington from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, gave a demonstration of stage lighting from traditional incandescent to higher performance, lower energy LED lamps. He showed how the later provide instant colour changes and how different colour combinations could be used to achieve different effects. He concluded with a visual presentation and explanation of the lighting for a number of stage productions including those used to enhance or mask a feature. A splendid tutorial to inform future theatre visits.

Thanks to Charlie for this and all his other voluntary work in the amateur local theatre and wider social community.














Photo call for prize winners together with Nick Gallant story teller extraordinaire. 


What is this you may ask yourself - Santa's Trousers of course which received a special commendation from the judges for Lucas Mailey from Chalfont St Peter C/E Academy with 'his story The Christmas Surprise'

I'ts difficult to remember the excitement of Christmas in February but this is what we asked the winners of the annual Christmas Story Competition to do.On Thursday 11th February children, parents, staff and head teachers joined Rotarians from the Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden Clubs in The Damien Hall, Great Missenden for the prize giving of the annual Christmas Story competition. The atmosphere was electric and good humoured as the prize winners waited for their stories to be read out loud by Nick Gallant. 

The event was organised and hosted by Great Missenden Rotarian George Rivas in conjunction with The Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden. There were over 139 entries from eleven Schools and whilst it was lovely to have winners from seven different schools it was a shame that there wasn’t a representative from all eleven schools who took  part. Stories were written with feeling, humour and heart ache and it was obvious that the writers enjoyed hearing their stories brought to life.  Rotarians thanked The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre for donating  Family ‘Golden Tickets’ to the winners and also thanked the schools, teachers and judges who made this event such a success as well as the children for their enthusiasm and wonderful stories.

click for collage











The Club was pleased to welcome Robert Preston, Headmaster of The Misbourne School, to its meeting on 8th February in order to present him with a Paul Harris Award in recognition of his services to education and the community over the past 43 years.

Since 2012 Robert has led the transformation of ‘The Misbourne’ from a failing school under ‘special measures’ to one with an outstanding record of achievement and a lengthy admissions waiting list. In one of these years it recorded the highest level of progress of any secondary school in the country.

The school now has 1000 students, 120 staff, a £5million operating budget and a new (January 2016) state-of-the-arc teaching centre all under Robert’s direct care. In a brief presentation Robert noted that the priorities he had established for the school were:

 A relentless prime focus on teaching and learning

 His own regular personal attendance at classes and a high and visible profile within the school. Also ready accessibility to all its members

 A development program for all staff

 Establishing achievement targets for all aspects of the school’s activities and pursuing them without compromise.

 Improving behaviour patterns and culture

 Accepting that there will be casualties among those unable or unwilling to meet desired performance criteria and aspirations

Robert touched upon these and related topics as the school as a whole seeks to drive up its performance. He noted his appreciation for the growing support from the local community and valued the contribution made by Rotary over the years.




On 1st February 2016 The Rotary Club of Great Missenden agreed to donate £500 to the NHS Bucks Health Care’s Scan Appeal towards the cost of tablet computers and .specialist software This is part of a pilot project to enable healthcare specialists to provide speech therapy on-line to patients recovering at home from strokes and related speech problems. Using computer software they will be able to access speech therapy from their own homes and practise as often as they can. It is anticipated that this support service will reduce costs and patient travel inconvenience. We are grateful to Richard Waterfield for recommending this opportunity to support this new speech recovery service.














On 21st January 2016 Pat and Mike Rainford, Barbara and Terry Cann, representing the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, joined a mass band of volunteers, including Rotarians from Marlow and Wycombe, to man car parks, cafes and to act as stewards for a Snowdrop Open Day at West Wycombe Park in aid of The South Bucks Hospice. It was a brilliant, blustery, sunny day and a delight to stand in this beautiful landscape garden looking out across the lake, with red kites wheeling above the trees, to West Wycombe Church and Mausoleum on the hillside beyond. Lovely also to receive thanks from visitors for the contribution Rotary was making to a lovely day out.














On 3rd March 2014 Bethany Holden visited The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to tell members of her efforts to meet the qualification processes of Project Trust in order to join one of its overseas missions. Project Trust is a charity which supports young British people giving practical service in developing countries through a variety of short term assignments. Bethany was successful and in August 2014 flew to Guyana for a year’s assignment teaching maths and English in its two Primary and Secondary State Schools.

It was a very confident, personable, self-assured and entertaining young lady who arrived at The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District on 4th January 2016 to give an up-date on her experiences during that year before she returned to

her studies at Durham University. This in itself speaks highly of the value of the experience gained during this type of project.The first prolonged time away from home and family was daunting but the friendliness of the Guyanese people was overwhelming including her in everything from household chores to visits to the various religious buildings to take part in worship. She was fascinated by the fact that within the school all religions took part in each other’s festivals with great exuberance and shaken by the fact that punishment was physical, even being sent to the head involved physical punishment. Over the year Bethany established her own rules for punishment and once understood were accepted (the pupils didn’t understand how writing lines could be a punishment.). She also developed an IT section and after school club which the students really enjoyed and looked forward to. Her satisfaction was derived from both the experience of teaching in the school and from students who asked her for individual out-of-school help with reading - watching their progress gave her great satisfaction and pleasure. All were in the same class whether they could read the bible or just a few odd words and multiple lessons were taught in the same room. 

This was a young lady returning from an experience which will undoubtedly shape her life and profession in the future and help her to cope with anything that is thrown at her. We wish her luck for the future.












 Santa and his reindeers couldn't resist the invitation to join the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District on its tour of the Great Missenden, Kingshill, Prestwood, South Heath and Hyde Heath areas bringing a little Christmas spirit to Bucks and help raise funds for several local causes. Some of the static displays were very cold and wet but this didn't deter people from supporting our causes admirably. There was a lot of 'Ho, ho, hoing and laughter as people entered into the Christmas Spirit and at Tesco there was one shopper we really would have liked to join. His trolley was filled with Cobra beer and three bananas!! 

More photos

 Distribution of monies collected


The reward for behaving in the trolley dash, a sweetie from Santa!








Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District are party animals and don't need much encouragement to make merry whether fund raising, socialising or just meeting together so the Club Christmas Dinner on Monday 7th December at  Ellesborough Golf Club was a heaven sent opportunity to wine and dine with friends in the lead up to Christmas. Once again Ed Whymark's organisation was fautless as was the food and waiting staff. Well done Ed and sincere thanks from the Club for a wonderful beginning to the Christmas Season.













On 23rd November Rotarian John Fairclough gave The Rotary Club of Great Missenden a light hearted presentation on the 'Oxford Colleges' .

He told us that once Noughth Week came to an end the university Full Term was reached. New students, or freshers, do not arrive in Oxford but come up; at the end of term they go down  (irrespective of where they live). If they misbehave they may find themselves being sent down by the proctors (the university authorities in charge of the bulldogs [University 'policeman' in a bowler hat. Pub in St. Aldates -see both sides of the pub sign for more information], university rules, etc.), or – for less heinous crimes – merely rusticated, a form of suspension which, etymologically at least, involves being sent to the 'country'











Again The Rotary Club of Great Missenden's shoe box collection went well and in November all boxes from schools, friends and Rotarians had been collected. Here pupils from Great Missenden Church of England Combined School show off the incredible number of boxes which they collected.








Also in November Vijay Patel, District 1260 Assistant District Governor, visited The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to meet Members and pledge his support to the Club in general and in its efforts to recruit new members or form a Satellite Club. Previously he had joined the Club at Guidos Restaurant for the 'Annual Summer meal and get together' which gives Rotarians and Hon. Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden the opportunity to catch up with each other. By nature conversation was restricted but some Rotarians and wives were able to delve, a little, into Vijay's upbringing and family life so this second meeting gave an ideal opportunity to learn of his aims and aspirations within Rotary and to get to know him a little better.











Following the meal on 16th November 2015 Kathy Davies was inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District,  officially introduced to the other Rotarians and welcomed by the President of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District, Gavin Plews.

This was a baptism by fire for Kathy as she found herself volunteering to help with the Christmas Tesco collection, signing up for the annual Christmas Dinner at  Ellesborough Golf Club and indicating that she would be prepared to join one of the Club's Committees.

Welcome Kathy and we look forward to having you on board.  











On 26th October Barney Tyrwhitt-Drake entertained the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with a talk on 'The Drakes of Amersham'. He told Rotarians that the Tyrwhitt Drake family, Amersham and Shardeloes were intermingled as far back as the 1500s. He shared with the Club some of the amusing and personal family anecdotes including reference to the 'black sheep' of the family,  Jack Tyrwhitt-Drake, who was more interested in fox hunting and riding than he should have been the feather in his cap being coming fourth and the following year (1913) third in The Grand Natonal. For those interested there is a commemoration plaque in the church in Little Missenden.

potted history of Drakes & Amersham













Mike and Pat Rainford pictured next to the ‘Buy a Brick’ plaques which helped raise £40,000 a few years ago to raise funds for the hydrotherapy pool which is where they are now displayed.

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District donated £100 to the ‘Buy our Brick’.

The most up to date figure for the 30 days, 30 miles , £30,000 campaign during September in which we all helped has now reached £68,000









On 19th October 2015 the Past President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, George Rivas, at the Chilterns MS Centre presenting Robert Breakwell, Chief Executive, with a cheque for £606.53 being the proceeds from the concert performed by the Wycombe Philharmonic Choir in September 2015 at St. Peter and Paul's Church, Great Missenden. organised by The Rotary Club of Great Missenden..













Charlie Lister from SSAFA was the Rotary Club of great Missenden's speaker on 19th October. She told us that in 1885 Major Gildea founded the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association and following the founding of the Royal Air Force, the name was changed in 1919 to The Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen Families Association (SSAFA)


For over 130 years SSAFA has shown commitment to seeing servicemen and women, veterans and their families get the best possible support when they need it.It works with hundreds of service and non-service charities to make life easier for our Armed Forces, veterans and their families. With every new case, trained volunteers assess what support their client needs and helps them to access this assistance. 

This often involves applying for funds from partner charities.  they provide friendly advice and discuss the support the clients might need.

Last year, volunteers raised an incredible £14.6 million on behalf of individual beneficiaries. During these visits SSAFA works in partnership with other military charities and specialist organisations to ensure that those who turn to them for help get the support they need. The following are examples of some of its partnerships: 

Military Wives Choirs Foundation - This charity brings women in the military community closer together through singing and is a subsidiary of SSAFA

Helping the Homeless with Veteran's Aid - SAFA and Veteran's Aid provide immediate and vital relief to veterans in London. 

Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid - SSAFA is proud to be a partner in this award-winning project to deliver specially designed Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to the Armed Forces community. The MHFA initiative plays an important role in increasing mental health awareness throughout the Forces community. This project is part of a collaborative partnership with MHFA England CIC, Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion.










On 10th October, The Wycombe Philharmonic Choir joined The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to present a fund raising concert in the Parish Church of Great Missenden in aid of The Chilterns MS Centre. The choir's percussionist and instrumentalist was Alison Davidson and its soloists Sacha Tomkins, Hilary Oatley and David Reynolds. Pieces ranged from 'And the Mother did Weep' and 'Are you lost out in darkness?' from Stabat Mater to a medley from West Side Story and the Skye Boat Song.

Guest soloists were Rachel Ridout (Soprano)and Alison Tolmie (flautist). Amongst her repertoire Rachel enthralled the audience with her interpretation of  Mozart'sS'altro che lacrime, Benedetto Marcello's Il mio bel foco and the Laughing Song by Johann Strauss. Alison chose Saint'Saens's Romancefor Flute and Piano and Sonatina by Richard Rodney Bennett

Rachel is currently studying at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she is a first study singer and second study oboeist. This year Rachel competed in The Rotary Young Muscian of the Year Competition winning the vocal section of Luton Someries Competition then won the District and Regional rounds and came third in the National Final in Durham.

Alison has been playing the flute for sixteen years. She recently graduated from Oxford Brookes University in Japanese Studies with Music with the highest score in classical performance the University has ever seen. She has played with High Wycombe Music Centre and the charity Flutewise nationally.













On 28th September Dr. David Reynolds came to talk to the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District on the trials and tribulations of his life as a partially sighted person. His sight has been restricted since childhood but this has not held him back. The Club was intrigued to learn that he is a more than proficient computer expert, regardless of his lack of sight, to such an extent that Microsoft asks for his help with problems and solutions. This was a very humbling talk and made Rotarians realise how lucky they had been. 









                                                  On 21st September, Roger Allen told members   of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden of his work  as a volunteer engineer with Remap.                   

Remap was founded in 1964  and is a charity offering a unique service to anyone unable to carry out daily tasks because of some form of disability.

The charity designs, engineers, makes and    supplies unique equipment free of charge, helping those in need to achieve greater independence   and to enjoy opportunities that would otherwise be  closed to them. Its  work ranges from simple modifications (e.g. to existing household fittings  and appliances), through to developing an entire solution to a problem.


Remap’s pieces of equipment are tailor-made by volunteer experts and given  to the people who need them. Engineers give their time and energies free, taking the trouble to ensure that each item they make really suits the individual person concerned and does the job it is meant to do.


A commercial solution may be customised for a client but will not compete with commercially available equipment suppliers.


The South Bucks Panel covers the south of the county as far as Aylesbury in the north. There is another panel in Milton Keynes. In South Bucks Remap helped nearly 100 disabled people last year and brought them a better quality of life or new opportunities for them to explore.

The Club was pleased to donate £250 to assist with Remap's ongoing work.








On 21st September Rotarian Tony Shaw gave a presentation on his pilgrimage to  Cambodia and Vietnam which was both harrowing and optimistic with photos and clippings from the Killing Fields and Tony and Sheila’s meeting with a survivor, Chum Mey,









                                WALK THE MS MILE



During  September 2015, the Chilterns MS Centre celebrated 30 years of helping people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to lead fuller lives and to mark this anniversary, it embarked on a 30 day fundraising and awareness initiative, called Walk the MS mile. This enabled the Centres clients to participate by joining a one mile walk being held in different villages on each of the 30 days of September. Centre Trustee Linda Oatley, Sarah McCready, and Julie Dean who all have MS, hope to walk and wheel every mile along with fellow clients and supporters.

On 8th September members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden acted as stewards and marshalls for the Great Missenden section of The Chilterns MS Centre’s Walk the MS Mile.

It was so inspiring watching and joining with the clients of the Chilterns MS Centre  that Rotarians also joined them on 18th  September for the Prestwood leg of the walk. So far over £33,000 has been raised.


The Chilterns MS Centre provides comprehensive and holistic care such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy, acupuncture and massage to 300 people each week. It has been providing advice and care to people with MS and their families for 30 years.

Great Missenden Rotarians were delighted to be able to support in this small way.









On 7th September the speaker explained to members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden the project to encourage villages to become dementia friendly communities. 

The Buckinghamshire Dementia Action Alliance is made up of organisations and services that operate across the county who are joining together and committing to make Buckinghamshire more Dementia-Friendly.

With a little help and support, individuals living with dementia and memory impairments can continue to access services, facilities and activities and remain independent, active members of their communities for longer.

Great Missenden is the second area in Bucks to implement a dementia-friendly community following Stokenchurch earlier this year. Plans for Buckingham to follow are underway.One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia in the UK and this will affect their ability to continue doing the things most people take for granted, such as shopping, banking, eating out in restaurants, driving and socialising. In Buckinghamshire, in 2014 more than 6,500 people over the age of 65 were recorded as having diagnosed dementia and this is projected to stand at over 8,000 by 2020.


Members were invited to the open meeting later in September and flyers were circulated by email.










During August Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden met socially to walk the Wendover Arm of The Grand Union Canal. It’s restoration had been the subject of a  previous Monday evening talk so ’the real thing’ proved really interesting. This was followed by a meal in The Raj.

Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden were joined at Guidos by ADG Vijay.

The fourth event was a social meal at Guidos Restaurant, Amersham where we were joined by ADG Vijay whose company we enjoyed and hope that he felt the same.

Rotarians also met at the Chiltern Hospital Golf Course for a game and a meal. 

The highlight of the Summer was a visit to St John The Baptist Church, Little Missenden where the Vicar, The Revd. John Simpson, delighted Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with a talk on the history of the church followed by a meal and wine in the Vicarage which he had prepared for the Rotarians.  

A good time was had by all!






APRIL 2015





At a reception at Missenden Abbey on 27th April, Bev Knuckey  was presented with the Club’s David Mitchell Award in  recognition of her          voluntary  service to the community. This included involvement with the Prestwood Scout Group as Akela eventually becoming its Group Scout Leader;  fund raising on behalf of the Thomas Ball   Charity for children with cancer; assisting with the Kingshill Gym Club; Fund raising secretary to the Prestwood Events Committee and helping with the Spirit of Christmas and the Big Lunch on the      Common every June to name just a few of her voluntary projects. The Award Ceremony was attended by Winifred Mitchell (the widow of the late David Mitchell), Rotarians and guests.

 History of David Mitchell Memorial Award.

The late David Mitchell was a founder  member of the Rotary Club of Great  Missenden and is remembered for his wonderful humour, his capacity for friendship and his concern for the welfare of others. It is for these attributes that we are proud to sponsor this David Mitchell Award for public service.









On 27th Monday April the Club said its sad farewell to Alan and Sandra Maizels who were about to move house to Devon.










President George Rivas (on left) presents Rtn. Paul Mcdowell with the Paul Harris Award

20th April 2015, a special surprise night for Great Missenden Rotarian Paul McDowell when he was awarded the Paul Harris Award in recognition of his work not only on behalf of Rotary but also as a Trustee of the Chiltern MS Centre. Congratulations Paul.The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District was delighted when Paul McDowell was made a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Rotary and also his work as a trustee of the MS Centre. As a sponsor money was donated in his name for extraordinary services rendered. This donation has made both Paul McDowell and the Club a part of the eradication of Polio, a partner in creating peace, supporters of Clean Water and Sanitation where water is worth more than gold as it is measured in lives. It is one of the most prestigious awards in Rotary and thereby named after the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris.  

The Rotary Foundation is a registered charity that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

Programs the Rotary Foundation supports include Polio Plus – a program designed to eradicate Polio from the world.  It supports Humanitarians programs, including grants to fund club and district service projects – and matching grants for international projects. The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District received funding for a Dentaid project. The Foundation also supports educational programs – like ambassadorial scholarships, Group Study Exchange, Rotary Grants for University Teachers, and Rotary World Peace Scholarships.

The Club’s congratulations go to Paul McDowell and the positive future of Rotary International

I would like to think that the pioneering days of Rotary have only just begun. There are just as many new things to be done as ever there were. Kaleidoscopic changes are taking place, many of them without our will. Even to hang on to the fringe of this fast-changing world is about all most of us can do. Rotary simply must continue to pioneer or be left in the rear of progress."

Paul Harris - The Rotarian February 1945






MARCH 2015





On 27th March 2015 Little Missenden Village Hall was vibrating at the seams to the songs and dances of olden days performed by the Hyde Heath Old Time Music Hall Society in aid of Rotary Charities.Rotarians and friends both old and new entered into the spirit of the evening and can really be said to Light up Rotary even if it was to turn the lights up so the audience could read the words on the song sheet. 

This is a tremendous night out so if you missed tickets for this year, make sure your name is on the list for 2016.










On 23rd March the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District learnt a little about the devastation created by brain tumours. Brain Tumour UK is the UK-wide, caring charity committed to fighting brain tumours. Its personalised support is available online, on the phone, by email and through friendly support groups. Scientific research improves the quality of life for brain tumour patients and identifies better treatments. Brain Tumour UK raises awareness to change things for the better, for everyone affected by a brain tumour.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. and five-year survival remains low at just 19.8% yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease.

Figen Rawlinson, of Calvert Green, Aylesbury Vale set up the fundraising group Taylan’s Project, after losing her son Taylan to a brain tumour in 2009, when he was seven years old. Money raised is used for research and to provide UK holidays for children with cancer and their families, and to give financial support to those who need it.











20th – 22nd March the President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District, Rtn. George Rivas and fellow Great Missenden Rotarians attended the first District one day Conference in St. Albans.

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden President deemed this to be a complete and utter success with so many varied speakers and topics that there was something for everyone. Some of the topics covered were child slavery, the RC Tilehouse Haiti Project. 

Dame Esther Ranzen entertained and urged us to help Silverline, by volunteering, encouraging calls

 by those who might benefit, and by donations and Simon Weston OBE telling the story of his devastating injuries. At the dinner on Saturday evening, Dr Gervase Phinn entertained with his stories of young children and their innocent honesty.On Sunday morning there was a Jazz Brunch in the Town Hall, following which there was an opportunity to climb the 600 year old Clock Tower with the Mayor.

  A quick journey home and Rotarians were already looking forward to the 2016 Conference.







Giving from the Heart


The Vision -To see communities thriving in Buckinghamshire.

The Mission -To encourage and enable local giving and philanthropy.

The Values - Inform. Inspire. Involve

On 16th March representatives from the Bucks Community Foundation explained their work to members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District.

Heart of Bucks started in the 2000 and in the past 15 years, its donors and funders have used its services to invest £5 million through grants and loans in 1,600 local community projects in all parts of the county. 

This money has helped to set up or sustain a whole range of initiatives in all parts of the county including, amongst many others, credit unions, day centres, Dial-A-Ride car schemes, foodbanks, sports clubs and youth centres.

Donors use the Heart of Bucks to give to whatever is their particular area of interest. This can save them the hassle of setting up and maintaining their own charity or trust.

The Heart of Bucks Outreach Team is also out and about in Bucks every day giving advice to local groups on how best to increase their income and find other sources of funds.








On 9th March The Rotary Club of Great Missenden had a splendid presentation from Misha Lund on his plans to undertake an assignment in Northern Ghana on behalf of the International Citizen Service. 

ICS is a UK Government funded organisation established in 1953. Its purpose is to support 7,000 UK volunteers aged between 15 to 25 to work on short term assignments with 7,000 local volunteers of like ages in developing countries. The focus of the work is to help promote established human rights in these countries particularly for the physically and mentally disadvantaged minorities. It

also promotes inclusive education for youngsters with such disabilities together with femail empowerment. 

Misha was educated at Dr. Challoners School and the University of Exeter. He plans to extend his education on his return from Ghana in the field of dispute resolution and international understanding. 

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden was pleased to contribute £200 towards to Misha's costs for his Ghanian assignment and looks forward to his future report on his experiences.












On 27th February 2015, in support of National Science Week, The Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden combined once again to organise the annual Rotary Technology Tournament held at the Chiltern Hills Academy. Nineteen teams of four from six schools entered, plus two teams of teachers who had accompanied the students. Competitors were all design and technology students with an interest in engineering and science and were tested on leadership, communication and team co-operation and management. The schools taking part were The Beacon School, Chiltern Hills Academy, Chesham Prep School, The John Colet School, The Royal Grammar School and Chesham School.

Teams were split into foundation, intermediate and advanced levels, with the latter teams’ challenge more difficult. 

The Beacon School

John Colet School     

The challenge was unknown until the morning of the competition and was to deliver a rescue package across crocodile infested river by a cable car driven by an electric motor and pulleys which could be hooked onto a cable already in place across the river.

Foundation award to the Holmer Green School, Intermediate award to the John Colet School, Wendover and the Advance award to Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe.  A combined team of teachers took the Teachers’ Award.

The presentations were made by the Rt. Hon. Cheryl Gillan (MP for Chesham and Amersham), and the town Mayors of Amersham and Chesham.

The Royal Grammar









On 23rd February Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District found out a great deal about calligraphy and possibly themselves resulting from  Judy Whymark's very interesting talk.

Feeling we had missed out by not being at the meeting we did a little research which may or may not have been part of Judy's talk and discovered:. 

If handwriting is an average size and the top of the letters sit just below the centre of line - the writer is well-adjusted and adaptable. 

People who leave large gaps between words enjoy their freedom and don't like to be crowded, while people who write words close together can't stand to be alone and might be intrusive.If handwriting slants to the right the person is open to new experiences and enjoys meeting new people. 

If handwriting slants to the left, that person tends to keep themselves to themselves.

 People whose handwriting doesn't slant in either direction are logical and practical.Personality traits are also identifiable by the way individual letters are written.

Slashes used in the place of dots mean the writer doesn't have patience for inadequacy or are overly self-critical and are annoyed by people who don't learn from their mistakes. 

Long crosses on 't's suggests someone who is determined and enthusiastic, but also stubborn. Short crosses tend to be written by someone who is lazy. 

People who write rounded letters are more creative and artistic while pointed letters are a sign of aggression or intelligence. Connected letters mean the writer is logical. .  

So be careful when you sign off 'with lots of love' you don't know what it may tell people!!











On 16th February Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District were fascinated by an informative talk on the restoration of Westminster Abbey which took many years to complete, particularly when they were told of parts of the building that moved as you leant on them and bits that fell off into public areas.



click for outline of the talk










District Governor Jenny Muir visited the Rotary Club of Great Missenden on 9th February 2015 and reiterated her aims and the challenges she was presenting to Clubs in the 1260 District. A good joke is a joke shared and this certainly seemed appropriate looking at the Secretary, President, District Governor and visiting members of another Club within the District. 










On 9th February Charlie Carrington gave members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District a very informative talk on the restoration of the Wendover Arm of the canal.


The Wendover Arm Trust was formed in 1989 in the hope of restoring the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal enabling it to bring water from Wendover to the summit of the Grand Union and restore full navigation. The Trust is gradually extending the restored length of the Wendover Arm with regular work parties, which undertake substantial works along a former dried-out and leak-prone section of the Arm, towards Aston Clinton and the A41 bypass where navigable headroom has been provided under the new road.  

The canal is in water from here all the way through the original terminus wharf at Wendover.

It was anticipated that the restoration would be done in three phases the first of which was completed on 28 March 2005, when the refurbished section between Tringford stop lock and the new winding basin was opened. Construction had been finished in November 2004, and the new section was re-watered during March 2005. 

Phase 2 involves a 1.75-mile (2.8 km) dry section from Little Tring to Drayton Beauchamp and includes the navigable culvert under the Aston Clinton bypass. As work proceeds, the channel is being re-profiled, and then lined with Bentomat liner. Concrete blocks have been laid over the liner on the side walls of the channel, with turf above water level. When the next section is re-profiled, the spoil removed is used to cover the bed of the canal on the previous section to a depth of 1 foot (300 mm).

Phase 3, from Drayton Beauchamp via Bucklalnd Wharf and Halton to Wendover requires major engineering work to three road bridges. This section has never been de-watered but is environmentally sensitive.  

More details on the restoration and its progress can be found at.









 Once upon a time there was a Rotary Club that wished to fuel the imagination and story telling skills of children so the Rotary Club of Great Missenden joined forces with the Rotary Clubs of Amersham and Chesham to once again organise the  Christmas Story competition which had a marvellous response from local junior schools.  

The fifteen winning stories were read to an invited audience of the prize winners and their families, friends and teachers by local actor and musician , Nick Gallant, in the Damien Hall, Great Missenden on 15th February.          

This was an inspirational occasion which, hopefully, will encourage all those who took part to write and find joy in the   written word.

Our thanks go to all the schools, teachers and judges and also the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre for donating ‘Family ‘Golden Tickets’ to the winners to supplement their Rotary prizes.











We were delighted to welcome Robert Breakwell, ‘chief Executive of the Chiltern MS Centre and Sharon Deacon its newly appointed  Fund Raiser. They updated us on recent progress at the Centre and plans for the 10K Prestwood fund raising run in May. 

Robert noted that the Centre serves over 300 patients a week and its running costs are expected to be around £900,000 this year. 

It is estimated that there are over 1000 sufferers in a 15 mile radius of the Centre but only 40 of these are known to the Centre. The remainder may be unaware of its services or even that they are affected by MS in the early days of its onset. He hoped to extend the reach of the Centre to these people.

At present the Centre earns 90% of its income from various fund raising activities. In this regard Sharon gave details of her aspirations to ‘grow’ the Prestwood 10K and Fun Run to include a wider and greater spread of competitors including special races for children within the playing fields of the Sprinters Leisure Centre which is the base for the event on Sunday 17th May 2015.

Our Club Treasurer, Steve Gill, thanked the speakers and pledged the Club’s intention to support the event by providing marshalls and other administrative help as in past years. He then presented Sharon with a cheque for £1117 as a main beneficiary of our Christmas Float Collection









Bob Davey is one of a three man team in Prestwood which provides a fat local First Response to medical emergencies aprior to the arrival of an ambulance.

He gave an introduction to the scheme at our 19th January meeting noting that it began in the rural areas of the Yorkshire Dales where travel distances and times from ambulance station to patient could be long. Each team is listed in the emergency call network.

However, the growth of traffic now in the  urban environment can also create delays which a localised First Response team seeks to address.

Basically the scheme involves trained volunteers who provide ‘first arrival’ attention to stabilise a patient. An action team will cover typically a five mileish radius and aims to be with the patient within 5 – 10 minutes. Its unpaid volunteers between them provide a 24 hour coverage rota, subject o personal commitments and answer an average of 2 to 3 calls a day.

Each member carries a heart defibrillator and oxygen equipment together with injury support restraints and first aid kit and this equipment is funded from voluntary contributions.

At present our Prestwood team members use their own cars but soon will take delivery of a four

The First Response Team - Bob, Anne and Gary

 wheel drive Fiat Panda car with emergency service reflective livery. This will enable them to reach patients off-road such as ramblers and rural industry workers. The Panda had been funded by local donations including a substantial gift from Sweet Charity, our Prestwood Charity Shop.

First Response is a wonderful volunteer effort and its members deserve our highest regard and thanks. The Club is privileged to donate £250 to their ongoing expenses.









What fun for visitors Mum and auntie fell in love with the long white beard of Santa Rivas


Christmas has started. Santa and his reindeers joined the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to tour the Great Missenden, Kingshill, Prestwood, South Heath and Hyde Heath areas to bring a little of the Christmas spirit to Bucks. Not content with this Santa persuaded Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to join him for static displays giving the children and  in some cases the parents, the opportunity for a close up encounter. Ho, ho, ho he said what a good way to raise money for our charities.

Santa Ed charmed the youngsters outside Tesco was it his Ho, ho, ho or the bucket of sweets?

Distribution of monies








President George Rivas welcomes guests to the start of Christmas

On Monday 1st December 2014, with the help of Ed Whmark, The Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District started Christmas in fine styleat the Ellesborough Golf Club. A traditional and not so traditional Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, crackers, silly hats and good company. What better start to Christmas 

Even at Christmas the work of the Master of Arms is never done!









Rtn. Terry Cann took the Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District through the progress of our matching grant for a Dentaidbox. The Rotary DentaidBox is a self contained package which contains all the key dental requisites of equipment and consumables, to enable a dental professional to deliver, in any locality in the developing world, basic oral health care and emergency treatment to those in need.






On Monday 17th November Jenny Westby joined members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to talk about her and Rtn.  Peter Westby's visit to the historic sites of Libya. These include most wonderful temples and mosaic all of which remain open to the elements which are, mercifully, benevolent. 







Every month The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District has an evening of friendship and frivolity and on several occasions Rotarians have attempted to get the little grey cells working to enable them to complete the Christmas Quiz. They don't appear to be doing a very job of it as this photo shows!







On Monday 2nd November Wendy Gray, her husband Duncan and her brother David Knight (son and daughter of the late Rtn. John Knight) visited the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District to tell its members about the work now being done on the farm under the title of Road Farm Countryways Community Interest Company. The farm had always welcomed visits from Scout Groups and Guides and Brownies and in addition is now aiming to provide a supportive Way to better health and learning in the haven of a Chilterns Farm. Outdoor activity therapy opportunities for those with learning and mental needs of all ages are now provided in addition to educational school visits.

Farm Helpers' could be involved with feeding animals, caring for guinea pigs, checking fences, hedge laying, making honey frames for the bee-hives, archery or just sitting quietly. All activities are taken at a pace tailored to individual requirements and age.

This was an extremely heart warming talk and the Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District look forward to seeing the progress of the Knights.

click for more info

The Knight family with President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District -George Rivas













30 years on still going strong. That's the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District for you and Rotarians proved it at their 30th Charter Dinner on 20th October 2014. Current Rotarians were joined by past Members, Founder Members, District Officials and Rotarians from other Clubs. What a night of memories - of the past, present and future.Laughter, sadness at the death of Rtn. Derek Upcott from the Chesham Club, renewal of friendships, reminicing and hope. 

President George Rivas was in great form leading the Rotarians through fast and furious toasts - after all we are Rtns.Rtn. Mike Rainford reminded us of what had been achieved over the past thirty years with the emphasis on the present and future. Rtn. Dr.       from an Aylesbury Club entertained with a light hearted, humorous after dinner speech touching on the work of Rotary and Chalmers Cursley, representing the DG Jenny Muir, congratulated the Club on its Charter Night.

click for full speech

click for more pictures

3 charter dinn











On 29th September The Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District found that 'the pipes, the pipes were calling but not the ones they were necessarily expecting! Long ones, short ones, thick ones, thin ones, water ones, oil ones ...... 

This was courtesy of John Hammond from the Rotary Club of Baldock and his twenty six years employment with BP as a chartered surveyor.  His experience has been with the Trans Alantic Pipline System from North to South Alaska and Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District were fascinated to learn that this pipeline is an 800-mile-long, 48-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline that is elevated above the ground for 420 miles of its length and buried for the other 380 miles. Eleven pump stations were built to move oil through the pipeline; four of them are now on standby. At more than 800 river and stream crossings, the pipe either bridges the waterways or is buried below them. At 13 locations, special bridges were built. For the 420 miles that the pipeline is above ground, it is supported on vertical support members (VSMs), located about every 60 feet. Valves are strategically placed along the pipeline to permit isolation of sections of the pipeline and minimize the volume of potential spills. What an interesting talk.






On 22nd September the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District went on a lightening visit to Japan with Rtn.Alan Jones and helped him relive his recent holiday.

And so to bed. Rush matting and no shoes

Alan Jones' first cooking lesson






At our meeting on 8th September 2014 David Harris talked us through the Youth Enterprise system







AUGUST 2014 



The final Summer event was on 18th August when Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District took part in a very informative and entertaining evening at the Amersham Organ Museum. The workings and differences between the organs was explained before we were treated to their unique sounds and a potted history of each. This really was a very interesting evening which included a fish and chip supper. The good company was an added bonus.





4th August saw members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District competing in a Golf Tournament at the Chiltern Hospital followed by a BBQ and the following week, 11th August, saw them in the Raj at Wendover where they enjoyed each other's company as well as a superb Indian meal and great, if unintentional entertainment from the waiters.




JULY 2014 



28th July was the beginning of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden's Summer Programme. Starting from the Old Queen's Head Hon Rotarian Margaret Larder led Members on a gentle walk in the Penn area followed by dinner in the Old Queen;s Head. 








Excitement, excitement. On 21st July the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District entered into the spirit of the annual boules competition followed by the usual dinner.








On 14th July members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District were reminded of their youth courtesy of their very own Mike Rainford, Club Secretary, who brought along his guitar and entertained them with songs from the sixties. A great time was had by all and a singalong was most welcome.









On 7th July The Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District welcomed Dieter Shaw who explained the up-to-date process of obtaining Foundation Grants. The Club already had an application in for this year's allocation which had been agreed.





JUNE 2014 




On 2nd June The Rotary Club of Great Missenden & District were treated to an unusual adventure discovering the hidden treasure at Alencon in the La Mancha region of Spain.The Church of San Juan Bautista has a single nave with a barrel vault, and a tower that remains from the early church. The side walls have buttresses that act as small chapels.But its interior now possesses a unique attraction.

it is a most extraordinary thing to see how the murals  at Alencon slowly become visible as the church lights up.

The entire interior has been painted by Jesus Mateo with wonderful modern painted images a fusion of animalistic shapes and forms in deep disturbing colours, swirling masses of images, organic, spectural and disturbingly imaginative.

It is like sitting with children gazing at the sky and seeing trees, or animals or strange creatures in the clouds? Or gazing into a fire and seeing weird and wonderful shapes?This is  what Mateos wants us to do at Alarcon. You can find invertebrate forms, bladders, mollusk siphons, cuttle fish skeletons, flagellated collars, insects, jellyfish, wings of insects that are scattered throughout the mural and sessile organisms to identify a few.



Not everybody's cup of tea but the slides certainly gave members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and District time to use their imaginations and it was surprising what they came up with!





MAY 2014 







Engage with Rotary, change lives; Service before Self and serve the community.

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden does all this and so could you!

The Prestwood 10K is a well established local read race now in it 21st year starting and finishing at Sprinters Leisure Centre, Prestwood afollowing an undulating one-lap figure of eight course through country lanes and Prestwood village.

Great Missenden Rotarians lived up to their motto when they acted as stewards, marshalls, and car parking attendants at the 2014 Prestwood 10K run. The weather was kind, if not too kind, as the sun blazed down on the runners and the temperature steadily increased. The event was sponsored by the Midcounties Cooperative whose Prestwood Manager joined Great Missenden Rotarians  to present prizes and goody bags. Bucks Search and Rescue provided the first aid and route support. The winner, Simon Beedell, came home in just over 36 minutes. As representatives of the Chilterns MS Centre, which was the beneficiary of the event, three squadies gamely propelled one of the centre’s wheelchair bound clients round the course. What a cheer when they came in middle of the road. And a real family event when children joined parents for the great Prestwood finish!

click for results











Following the presentation of the David Mitchell Award and a lively meal Suzanne Brown, Centre Manager od Age Concern Marlow, told Great Missenden Rotarians about the work of its Day Centre. The Day Centre is run by up to 90 volunteers, is fully independent  and relies on donations to keep the Centre running. Marlow Age Concern is not part of or connected with AGEUK.

Guests are able to visit the Day Centre every week day and are provided with a freshly cooked 2 course meal. There is the opportunity to play games, take part in chair exercises and very importantly to meet friends old and new for a chat.

Guests are referred by GPs, District Nurses, Social Services and by invitation.  The Centre also runs the Phoenix Stroke Club each Monday afternoon for those disabled by strokes.  Marlow Age Concern also runs a transport service for people who need lists to doctor’s or hospital appointments.

What Suzanne Brown failed to tell Rotarians was that she had been returned to the role of Mayor for a second term. In her inaugural speech she said  "I am delighted to have been re-elected as Mayor of Marlow. I thoroughly enjoyed being Mayor last year and hope that I can go on to achieve even more this year, especially in my quest to create a volunteer culture for all groups of all ages in Marlow”.










At the 12th May meeting of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden the Club’s David Mitchell Award for public service was presented by Club President, Richard Waterfield, to David Lyddiatt  in recognition of  his  voluntary service to the community in securing finance and support for the foundation and establishment of a meeting centre

 for The Prestwood Youth and Community Group in 1996 and for his continuous inspiration and leadership of the group in providing recreational activities of interest to its members and their commitment to its fellowship and service.

The presentation was attended by Rotarians, representatives from the youth club and Winifred Mitchell, widow of the late David Mitchell.

The late David Mitchell was a founder member of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden and is remembered for his wonderful humour, his capacity for friendship and his concern for the welfare of others. It is for these attributes that the Rotary Club of Great Missenden is proud to sponsor this David Mitchell  Memorial Award for public service.

click for photos











And so Great Missenden Rtn. and DG Gavin Plews' term of office is fast coming to an end.   Aims and hopes have been achieved with increased membership, lives have been changed with the support of Rotary in general from sand dams to clean water and especially and hopefully with the imminent irradication of Polio world wide although there has been a recent slight hiccough which has set the achievement back slightly. Clubs have been formed in both the old and new format and all the while social trends continue and Rotarians everywhere have fun.

Great Missenden Rotarian were out in full force to support their fellow member in his responsibility and played a tremendous part not only in the preparation and organisation of the conference but also stewarding, registering and enjoying the company of Rotarians from other clubs.

The unanimous feeling was that the conference had been a great success embracing both caring projects which had been or were being carried out by clubs together with the fun and entertaining side of the event with the Citiy of Coventry Brass Band, youngsters performing for the appreciative audience and cabaret style entertainment at the conference dinner.

It really did bring 1260 District together and and illustrated Gavin's theme of 'Much Ado about Something'

Did DG Gavin fail to follow the instructions of the Master of Arms?

click for collage

click for photos







APRIL 2014 






What a fascinating talk Great Missenden Rotarians were treated to on Monday 28th April courtesy of Stan McCarthy who talked us through 'how to use our cameras'; the fact that cameras did sometimes lie; there is no such thing as a bad photo; the kind of camera doesn't matter; it is preferable not to do macro shots but to use a high quality setting and then crop the photo to obtain the desired macro shot - and any way you never know what you might have taken unsuspectingly. However your camera must suit your requirements and to really have fun you need a good photo editing programme. Stan reassured Rotarians that most of these have a thirty day trial period so you can decide which works best for you.

On the other hand you can download Gimp and with a bit of homework and a lot of frustration and

 Headless Rotarians perhaps

Neon - Didn't know we were so modern

 misunderstanding produce intriguing photos! But will you remember what you did the next time you want to repeat it - I didn't!!

What will Great Missenden Rotarians see themselves getting up to next?










If you were walking through Little Missenden on 25th April, you may well have wondered about the transformation of the Village Hall into the        Little Missenden Shunting Shed, Song and Supper rooms.  Rowdy, bawdy, jocular and heatedly reverberating at the seams (the bat died), but never, we hope, offensive. If you think it sounds like the Rabble rousing Great Missenden Rotarians with their spouses supported by Rotary Clubs from Amersham, Misbourne Matins and Wendover and District together with many friend, you would be quite correct.

The Hyde Heath Old Time Music Hall Society joined the Rotary Club of Great Missenden to bring to life the genteel and not so genteel characters of days gone by; the toff, the flower seller, the dandy, the humour, the songs, the dress; the audience and the atmosphere of a drinking house in the "Good Old Days", unrivalled, unruly, unsteady, unrehearsed and completely unrepentant. Sagacious socialites with that san-pareil of splendour.  The elegant façade of pretence and performance, from sophisticated and scandalous "young" things.  Wit, humour and repartee.

In true Rotary spirit the community turned up in force to ‘Engage with Rotary and change lives’ by participating in the humour, songs and costumes of the company led by its orchestra, Miss Elaine Brown and kept under control by Chairman Alan Oliver. The inner man was catered for with magnificent cottage pies prepared by Rotarian spouses.

more photos

Some members of the Company were also members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden.  Rtn. Charlie Carrington went native, wooed and was eventually accepted by the native girl to the delight of the audience. Rtn. Terry Cann sang of the difficulties of improving one’s situation; Club President, Richard Waterfield, supervised the kitchen in full evening dress and finally, Rtn. spouse, Barbara Cann, was able to ‘Light up Rotary’ with flashing jewels and the opportunity of ‘Wonderful Parties’.  

In fact, we had a party of our own which encompassed Rotary ideals and raised a substantial amount of money for Rotary supported charities.  






MARCH 2014








Lt. Commander Garth Johnston was our speaker on 24th March.

Garth has a three year appointment with NATO at Northwood, with a multi-national team tracking submarine movements in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.Most of his service has been spent in submarines, and he identified the various types in service with the US Navy which has a fleet of 71 boats. He told us that naval emphasis is now centred on submarines as opposed to carriers and other surface vessels. Modern nuclear powered boats can remain submerged and undetected for very long periods of time – in theory up to thirty years but in reality as long as food supplies last.

Latest periscopes consist of a thin wire with a rotating camera that can scan 360 degrees in a few seconds, and is therefore almost impossible to detect.

A new development is a craft without torpedos, armed with 150 Tomahawk missiles that can strike targets 100’s of miles away.

As you see from the photograph Grant definitely qualifies as our smartest speaker to date.

John and Ann Faircloth with their guest speaker.










At the Rotary Club of Great Missenden meeting of 10th March, at the invitation of Mike Rainford, Candice Eales put the men through their paces after all the Pilates method was developed by a man - Joseph Pilates - who used it to train army troops, interned prisoners and men from all walks of life, as much or more than he trained females and dancers.

Pilates offers functional strength, meaning the body must maintain correct posture and muscle patterns while building strength. This brings the often neglected muscles in to work with the more common muscles trained.It also uses specific exercises and techniques to increase range of motion in all joints and movements of the body.

The Pilates apparatus offers ways to work the core on a deep level, and give the real six-pack strength inside and out.

As the Rotarians didn't have to don leotards, they were quite happy, and actually enjoyed, stetching up and wiggling their little pinkies!









On 3rd March we had a splendid presentation from Bethany Holden on her efforts to meet the qualification processes of Project Trust to join one of its missions overseas. Project Trust is a charity established over fifty years ago and with its headquarters on an Outer Hebridean Island. It supports young British people to give practical service in developing countries through a variety of short term assignments.


Bethany’s ideal was a one year teaching project in Guyana as threshold experience for her planned long term career in teaching. However, first she had to get to her Outer Hebridean Island, fit in with a host family present an introduction to Guyana and complete a number of initiative tests. In these she was successful and is scheduled to fly off to Guyana in August, subject to completing her support fund raising for the project - around £5,000! She will be teaching maths and English within the two Primary and Secondary State Schools.

Guyana has been variously a Dutch, French and British Colony before gaining independence in 1966. Its population is multi ethnic with the descendents of African and Asian slaves joining the indigenous native Indian populace.

Much of the land is protected rain forest and this conditions the national economy.

We wish her well and look forward to her report on her experiences when she returns.

It is a privilege to make our modest financial contribution to her fund raising which includes temporary work at Missenden Abbey.









On Saturday 1st March magician extraordinaire, Ian Keeble enlightened, entertained and engaged Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with his humorous and mystifying show delving into 'The Secret World of Charles Dickens'. 

Ian is a professional magician, mind reader and Member of  the Inner Magic Circle and is acknowledged as an expert on Charles Dickens's magic and spiritualism. 

Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden were captivated by his sleight-of-hand mysteries - how did Jill Rivas end up with a handerchief in the candle holder? Could he really be changing water into wine? We saw it change to red mid-stream and Bryn Neal vouched for the change in taste and he knows a bit about wine! Ian is a very clever man indeed to be able to read Pat Rainford's mind and Rt. Terry Cann looked really worried as his watch was smashed!

A very talented man with an intriguing and entertaining act who was not thrown by anything that happened!

click for more photos

With bottles appearing from no where at that rate he would be welcome at any party! Click link to see him change water into wine.

If I'd known you were coming I'd have baked a cake. First the egg, then the milk; oh perhaps a little bit more; in the cardboard oven and finally out of the hat, not a rabbit but, a superb fruit cake which Rotarians  ate during the interval.







FEBRUARY 2014 - A Time for Caring




Geoff Hopwood's profession is managing woodland and forest in the Chilterns and at The Rotary Club of Great Missenden's meeting on 24th February he joined us to talk about his work in this area of outstanding beauty. 

His presentation was very varied covering the damage done to beech and sycamore trees in the Chiltern area by the grey squirrels stripping the bark off the trees and delighted Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with slides of the red squirrel which in comparison to the grey was considered cute. He also gave details of forestry management in the Chilterns and explained how, in many places, areas around the tree trunks were being cleared to enable the sun to penetrate the canopy and encourage native fauna to grow beneath the trees.

New trees were being planted to replace cut ones and from fencing to pit props to charcoal all parts of the tree were used for something . 








On 20th February excited children, their parents and Members of the Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden congregated in the Damien Hall, Great Missenden for the prize giving of the Christmas Story Competition organised by the three Rotary Clubs.










President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, Richard Waterfield, presents prizes to years 4 and 5 

Ten Schools took part in the three age groups and the stories were both interesting and in some cases quite telling. 

Story teller Nick Gallant joined the throng and in reading the winning stories brought them to life to the delight of both the audience and the authors. It's great to hear your story read out loud and to be clapped at the end by an appreciative audience. Nick did an admirable job and we are extremely grateful to him for joining us once again on this lovely occasion.

We are also grateful to the Roald Dahl Museum  for donating a Gold Ticket to each of the winners and the stories will be on display in the Museum in due course.

Also thanks go to George Rivas, a Rotary Club of Great Member who organised the competition on behalf of the three Clubs.  

The brief of the story was 'something to do with Christmas' and with this very general title it was amazing how many of the stories had a caring theme.

click for more photos









On Monday 17th February Robert Breakwell, the CEO of the CMSC,  gave Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden a tour of the new facility which was completed and occupied in September 2012. 

What a difference from the previous old building. They are now owners of a double hyperbaric chamber which enables 100% oxygen to be breathed through a mask in a pressurised atmosphere. This gives all sorts of benefits to MS sufferers and previously users have told us how they look forward to this treatment and really notice the difference if they have to miss sessions. Trained volunteers operate and monitor the chamber and clients whilst they are in the chamber.


click for report of Trustee Paul McDowell


This is a wonderful self-funding enterprise doing an   incredible job treating clients from the    surroundings of Pitstone, Luton, St   Alban’s, Radlett, Denham, Chesham and surrounding areas to mention but a few. Its professional staff are supported by volunteers who undertake the non-medical work. It is dependant upon donations to maintain services to its 200 weekly clients.  







At the first meeting in February President of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden, Richard Waterfield, introduced Chamalie Kishun as the Club's newest Rotarian. 

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Great Missenden Chamalie and we look forward to working with you.






JANUARY 2014 - A time for reflection



On 27th January at the invitation of Great Missenden Rotarian Paul McDowell, Liddiatt and Hall gave the Club an insight into their work with the Prestwood Youth Club.



David Liddiatt gave an interesting presentation about the youth organisation he runs, on a voluntary basis  with the help of his young friend, to the Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden. He told the Rotarians that Prestwood Youth & Community Centre is now open on Friday evenings from 7 .00pm to 9.00pm for young people aged  from 13-16 years old. Activities over the last half term included a visit to Quasar at Hemel Hempstead, sumo wrestling and an introduction to short film making. The young people also helped with the redecoration of the main hall in the Community Centre. David has been involved with the Youth Club for many years and his talk was quite inspirational. Any work of this nature involves time, patience, assistance and, of course, money and currently David is canvassing, not only for finance, but also volunteers, especially those who may have an interest in sport or art,  to help run sessions  Currently, admission is free with food and tuck items available to buy.






Monday 20th January was an 'evening of fellowship'  Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden entered into the spirit full heartedley and as you can see from the photo, 'a good time was had by all'!






Assistant District Governor, Gerald Peacock, visited the Rotary Club of Great Missenden on Monday 13th January and inspired Club Members with his hope and aspirations for Rotary over the coming months and years.






At the business meeting on 6th January the President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, Richard Waterfield, reflected on the success of the recent campaign to introduce more women to the Club and also on the possibility of starting a 'satellite club'.







DECEMBER - A time for families and for giving





And so the spirit of Christmas past and present caught up with the Rotarians of Great Missenden. Our community tell us that their Christmas really begins when 'the boys and girls and santa's float all come out to play' and spread good cheer around Great Missenden and the surrounding areas. The music played, the sleigh bells rang, santa sat smiling and waving and, for the most part, the rain stayed away. What a fantastic start to Christmas. This is one of the very pleasurable activities that involves the Club with the community and the Club is  very grateful for the support it gets from you all. Remember, Rotary is not just for Christmas and we would love to welcome you into our organisation. We are sure that once you have taken the step you will never regret it.

click for more pictures

fdistribution of takings






Congratulations to George Rivas for masterminding and managing a wonderful shoe box collection for 2013. With the help of 27 schools, churches, companies and many Rotarians, their families and friends, just over 1300 shoe boxes were sent off for delivery to Eastern Europe countries. 

Also thanks to Great Missenden Rotarian Paul McDowell and his staff for transport, storage and packing



Remember, we deliver boxes all year round not just at Christmas. Boxes ready after mid november will be on the next delivery early in 2014  






Twas the Season to be Jolly and Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden did it exceptionally well. Our thanks go to Ed and Judi Whymark for organising the Club's Christmas Dinner at The Ellesborough Golf Club on 2nd December so successfully. What a delightful occasion and opportunity for Great Missenden Rotarians, Hon. GM Rtns and past members to catch up with each other's news and, for some, to have their first meal of Christmas and just a little bit of frivolity. Remember. It's not just for Christmas that there is fun and comraderie all round. Keep it up folks.

click for more pictures









The Rotary Club of Great Missenden held its Special General Meeting on Monday 25th November, 2013









Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden had been asked by President, Richard Waterfield to canvass ladies who may well be prepared to join the Club.The 4th November was the meeting to which they were invited. All seemed to go well and so we wait hopefully now for the result.












The speaker on 21st October was Dave Wainman a Trustee of the Grange Area Trust. What is this Trust? It is a charity operated by a group of volunteer residents who have worked ceaselessly for many years in order to protect 40 acres of green belt land called Widmer Fields which they have now been able to acquire. This field is partly in Hazlemere Parish and partly in Hughenden Parish

In 2000 The Sunningwell (Oxford) Judgement confirmed that Village Green Status confers protection in perpetuity against development on land under the Enclosures Acts and that these cannot be overthrown by compulsory purchase. In August of that year the Grange Action Group lodged an application for Village Green designation for three of the fields of Widmer Farm and won but eventually lost on appeal by Wimpey Homes in the High Court.

In 2007 the fields were designated as Green Belt and Wimpey decided the land was undevelopable. New regulations came into force whereby owners of land could seek Village Green status without the evidence base previously required and the Action Group started to plan a charity with the aim of buying the fields. 

In July 2010 The Grange Action Group now called the Grange Area Trust was granted charitable status.

In September 2012 The Grange Area Trust  purchased almost 40 acres of Widmer Fields. GAT, a registered charity, will maintain Widmer Fields as a conservation and green area for the general public to enjoy for years to come.

The area is now protected from development in perpetuity for the benefit of future generations.

. In July 2013 the Trust was presented with the Open Spaces Society award.

The Woodland Trust has donated 100 broad-leafed trees which will be plalnted in the West Field and yellow rattle seed will be planted in a small experimental area as part of a grass management programme. Daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs are scheduled to be planted in the Ash Grove in the East Field  and the ivy management programme will be extended to the boundary trees around the South Field. 

This achievement represents the culmination of more than 40 years of sustained community effort to protect this rural asset. Provisional plans are now under consideration to improve the accessibility by clearing overgrown footpaths and repairing well-used access points which have become very muddy and difficult to use. The grassy areas will be managed as wildflower meadows, retaining the specimen trees, the small copse, and linear woodland runs. The ever increasing scrub areas of bramble, nettle and blackthorn will be cut back to reduce further encroachment and then managed as an ecology and wildlife habitat. The Trust recognises its very special responsibilities in the mature woodland areas, especially with respect to public safety.











Let us introduce you to 'BOB', the air ambulance helicopter. BOB is a red and yellow EC135 Eurocopter, G-HBOB, (G represents Great Britain, H represents Helicopter, and BOB represents the three counties it serves - Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire) It is based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire.

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden speaker for 14th October was a representative from the Air Ambulance Organisation.The speaker told us that the first air ambulance charity was launched in Cornwall on April 1, 1987 and that twenty-four helicopters are leased or owned and in service for the 17 air ambulance charities. 

Air ambulance charities collectively undertake 19,000 missions annually, and serve 177 accident and emergency departments and, collectively, are the busiest voluntary emergency services in the country. Air ambulances work with: 35 pilots, medical teams made up of consultants, specialist registrars, GPs, emergency care practitioners, paramedics, technicians and nurses.


An  Air Ambulance is on call seven days a week, 365 days a year and is operational across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (BOB) every day.


It can be airborne within 3 minutes and has a top   speed of approximately 150 mph.  It can land in an area of half the size of a tennis court. Up to 50% of its missions are road traffic accidents and it carries a patient and a carer.


However, costs are on average £165,000 a month and it receives no funding from Central Government or the National Lottery. So in a nut shell, 'BOB needs all the help he can get'. Keep a look out for him. Our photo was taken on Coombe Hill and we have also seen him on the Amersham by-pass.











 On 21st October on behalf of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, DG Gavin Plews presented Richard Waterfield, the President of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden, with a special 2012-2013 banner in recognition of the Club's support of the Annual Fund. 


iclick to see criteria in letter












Earlier in the year we made a donation of £500 to ROPE (Relief for Oppressed People Everywhere) to be used for a ger in Mongolia. This photo was forwarded to us to show the type of 'building' we would be funding. Basically it is a timber framed tent strucdture with an opening at the top and an iron stove in the centre. 

This type of home is traditional for nomadic tribes in Mongolia but are increasingly used for permanent homes.

Rope works through its local 'Ropeholders' in many parts of the world and in this case the local contact has asked if ROPE can help a Mongolian girl with a Partner (who works at the local market ) and three young children who are about to loose their present home.

In October ROPE advised us that it had now received a report back  from its partners in Mongolia and forwarded an extract from the report with pictures of the young family and their thanks.

report on ger in Mongolia with pictures












On 7th October Great Missenden Rotarian Gavin Plews joined us in his official capacity as District Governor. He brought us up-to-date with his numerous visits to various Clubs as he was hoping to have visited most if not all of them before the bad weather set in the winter. Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden volunteered to act as chauffeurs for the remaining club visits. His aims and desires for his year of office rang a chord with Members of the Club and all agreed that his inaugural speach was succinct, to the point and of interest.

gavin's speech.


The Rotary Club of Gerrard's Cross and Chalfont St Peter had a 'cluster' evening which enabled Members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden to welcome  Rt. Stan Colley to the 7th October meeting. Gavin Plews accepted Stan's felicitations from the Gerrard's Cross & Chalfont St Peter Club on behalf of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden. Stan was a lively visitor and entered into the spirit of the 'question and answer' session with the DG.










 27TH - 29TH SEPTEMBER 2013 




Down the blind alleys and twisting lanes of Prague were ancient Romanesque basilicas, Gothic turrets and Art Nouveau façades. With all this architecture, Baroque church bells, and old-world glamour how could we do Prague in a weekend? Well we:-

Drank many pints of the brown, frothy stuff regarded as national treasures. ‘what’s the best beer in the Czech Republic? We tried several and are still undecided – perhaps a return visit is called for!

Attempted to deciphere the 15th century clock face of the astronomical clock and on the hour watched wooden saints emerge from trap doors, while below them, a lesson in medieval morality is enacted by Greed, Vanity, Death and the Turk.

In Staré Mêsto. we saw saints, gods and gargoyles especially on Charles Bridge.

Prague Castle dominated the skyline, We saw St Vitus’s Cathedral in the centre of the castle with its  Gothic spires and flying buttresses visible from everywhere in town, Other highlights within the castle complex included the Old Royal Palace, The Basiica of St George; and the Lobkowicz Palace.

We didn’t have time for a light or puppet show but puppets were abundant in the shops reminding us that the art of puppetry has a long and sometimes subversive history in the Czech Republic.

more photos 











On 23rd September Pavla charmed Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with her talk on Czech culture in preparation for the Club's visit to Prague at the end of the month. 

She covered the history both geographically and mentally taking in the various periods of architecture and how the buildings have affected the personality of the country.

 Located in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is roughly the size of South Carolina and shares borders with Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. The western region of   the country, Bohemia, contains a diverse terrain of mostly low mountains with plains, hills, and plateaus. To the east in Moravia,   there are miles of rolling, green hills

The more we are together, the happier we shall be Great Missenden Rotarians enjoy Prague

It was a very interesting talk and left Members and  their spouses well briefed for the forthcoming visit.







5,500 miles, four Land Rovers, six spare legs and an Allen key



On 9th September Great Missenden Rotarians were treated to an evening which whilst serious in its content provided great entertainment.The speaker, Capt. Tony Harris, told of his experiences in Afghanistan before moving on to his experience in the Dakar Ralley  when teams of Britain's disabled war veterans took on the notorious Rally where temperatures were above 40°C. These temperatures affected the cars,and meant the British pair who finished the race had to drive many stages at night, to prevent their car overheating

Capt. Harris told Great Missenden Rotarians that the idea for Race2Recovery came to him and Corp. Neathway in 2011, while they were both undergoing medical rehabilitation. 

Capt. Harris lost the lower part of his left leg after driving over an IED in /afghanistan in 2009. The blast that injured him  threw him 20 metres fromthe vehicles and when he woke up on the desert floor the shock and adrenalline kicked in.

Four years earlier in Iraq, He'd lost two fusiliers and two more of his soldiers had lost limbs on the same tour.

The resilience and humour of this gentleman made  the Great Missenden Rotarians feel very humble    and indequate compared to the sufferings and retaliation of these incredible men.
















AND OUR FINAL SOCIAL SUMMER EVENT a trip to the new Micro Brewery at Prestwood. This couple deserve to do well and certainly met the standards of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden. 

At Malt The Brewery in Prestwood. Nick, the brewer explained ‘the warmer weather made the brewing process smoother, especially maturing the real bottle conditioned ales.” The brewery was enjoying busy weekends with local alebuyers dropping-in to buy ales in a range of containers from bottles to barrels. In addition to growing sales to local pubs, the brewery works closely with the local community, supplying ales to a number of local organisations, The brewery now

has a stall at the new Farmers Market in Great Missenden. In June, Malt Ales were a popular purchase, The brewery tasting-bar (a little local history from The Travellers Rest) is open on Friday (12-6pm) and on Saturdays (12-6pm). By popular demand, Nick and Jenny hope to extend the brewery’s opening hours in due course. They are  planning a new range of takeaway containers and   the launch of the new Malt Summer Ale.

You can find out more at or








Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden met at the Chiltern Hospital on Monday 12th August for the annual Rotary Club of Great Missenden golf tournament and supper.This was well supported with a very enjoyable supper. We're good at making the most of social occasions - this is part of our remit. Why not look up the recruitment information and think about joining us?




Monday 5th August Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden were invited to a Garden Partry courtesy of Sheila and Rtn. Tony Shaw . As usual their welcome was fantastic, particularly as it had rained for most of the day and the socialising took place in their house instead of the garden making it an indoor garden party!. A wonderful couple; always willing to offer their garden; nothing is too much trouble for them; Thank you Tony and Sheila. 









What an evening. On Monday 29th July the clouds burst and visibility was almost non existent on the way to Bourne End where Margaret Larder, an Hon. Member of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, had organised a walk followed by dinner at the Bat and Ball pub.Fortunately the rain eased and a few stalwarts decided to walk the route. What a wise decision. The sun came out and the walk was very enjoyable. Margaret did many counts but we still managed to loose Rtns. Mike Rainford and Terry Cann. Fortunately the smell of food led them back to the Pub in time to meet the rest of the group. The non-walkers had spent a very sociable hour in the pub awaiting the return of the seasoned walkers. So what? Fun and Friendship is our unofficial motto and all Great Missenden Rotarians fulfilled this criteria!

Thank you Margaret for this great organisation and apologies for the stress the weather may have caused. For us it was worth it.











Here we are again on another beautiful day with a wonderful atmosphere and the ability to do our bit for the community.

Great Missenden Rotarians get ready to erect the tent from their shelterbox

Pussy Galore wasn't around but there was tentage galore with a shelter box erected and its contents  displayed 

Further tentage to enable us to carry out blood pressure testing as our contribution to Stroke Awareness. A worthwhile exercise as at least three people were referred to their GPs. 

Great Missenden Rotary Club Rotarians were also on hand to explain the function of Rotary and to make people aware that there is a Club in Great Missenden which is open to membership from the community.













'I love to study history ... and came across an Abbey that was crumbled all to bits' - But not on 30th June when Missenden Abbey held its Summer Fair and Craft show in support of the Thomas Ball Cancer Fund. 

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden supported with a tombola stall which  raised £257 and made people generally aware that a Rotary Club existed in Great Missenden.  The Club  took advantage of the event to raise awareness and several people expressed an interest.

The weather was more than kind and the support that the Abbey got was incredible.

There is talk about a Christmas Fair on 8th December and a repeat event on the same weekend next year. Put on your thinking caps for ways in which The Rotary Club of Great Missenden might be able to support.








On 17th June Gary Beynon joined the Rotary Club of Great Missenden to talk about the weather. He has been keeping records in his garden in Hyde Heath for many years so can dispute a lot of the recent claims made about the weather.

As a Licensed Lay Minister he amused the gathering by starting his talk with a  quote from 1 Kings ch. 18 v. 44 Kings 

At the seventh time he said, ‘Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.’ Then he said, ‘Go and say to Ahab, “Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.”'

 and Matthew 16. - we just can't get away from it!

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."

He then carried on to tell us that May was another grey month that most of us would probably prefer to forget. The garden plants stood still, the central heating was on more often than not, any ideas about a warm Spring were soon dispelled and the brief appearances of the sun were really welcome. At least the weather for fête day wasn’t as bad as it could have been and people turned up in their hundreds. Unfortunately a storm over Luton stopped the flypast but we were lucky to miss the downpour. 

The Met Office have reported that this was an unusually cold May; their data is from the whole country and averaged so our own experience in Hyde Heath is unlikely to mirror their findings in detail. Spring officially lasts from March to May and comparisons are made over these months. Any variation in the average temperature is going to be significant when you bear in mind that the totals are divided by 92 (number of days from March to end of May). Over the last 3 years the average maximum temperature fell from 16.84 to 12.35ºC and the minimum from 6.46 to 3.96ºC. Conclusion: yes it was cold! The good news is that as I write this, the sun is shining and the outlook is good; long may it continue.

A simplified talk but entertaining and also informative.

To see more of Gary's weather keeping visit the Hyde Heath web site.





















Punters arrived with celebration picnics, good humour and a stach of £1 coins to mark the occasion of Her Majesty's sixty year reign and, hopefully, to raise money for the Whiz-Kidz Charity. Brian Barnet, President of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden, led the proceedings, organised the event and ran the tote - under the watchful eye of the race master. From experience this professional man knows the foibles of the inexperienced and uninitiated when it comes to pressing buttons to release betting slips! 

Rotarians and non-rotarians alike entered into the spirit of the evening under the watchful eye of the President. I think that Rtn. John Faircloth came away a very happy winner as did Rtn. Charlie Carrington and the owner of the final horse. 

Instead of a raffle the Heads and Tails game was played and proved what vast knowledge the company had of Royalty and, finally, a horsey joke from our President.

What a good time was had by all and £400 was raised and donated to the Whizz-Kidz charity.   

more pictures








During the business part of the meeting held on Monday 3rd June, The Rotary Club of Great Missenden was informed that their latest Shelter Box had been sent to Senegal to assist those affected by flooding.









On Monday 3rd June the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Great Missenden's weekly meeting was Andrew Scott-Priestley from Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group who told The Rotary Club of Great Missenden that the CPCSG was established in 2005 by a small group of prostate cancer patients to provide support and encouragement to all men in the area affected by prostate cancer and their spouses, partners, carers, relatives and friends. 


Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. It is normal for all men to have a small amount of PSA in their blood. A raised PSA level may show that you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily prostate cancer. All men are entitled to have a PSA blood test which can be done by  GPs in the surgery.  

Our Sergeant at Arms was in good form and at the end of the meeting announced that in a month's time he would be fining any Member who had not had a PSA Test during the month.

info given by Andrew Scott-Priestley                              

Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group











Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us

God save the Queen







The Rotary Club of Great Missenden joined with the local Churches Together and the Great Missenden Village Association to purchase a tree to be planted at St Peter and St Paul's church Great Missenden to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation.

John Skrimshire represented The Rotary Club of Great Missenden at the planting ceremony and unveiling of the plaque. As you can see from the photo he likes to get 'dug in' on these occasions.











Also on 2nd June, The Prestwood Events Group organised The ‘Big Lunch Picnic’ to celebrate the Jubilee of the 1953 Coronation on Prestwood Common from  midday until 4pm. There were competitions for the children and entertainment from local musicians and organisations. The Rotary Club of Great Missenden also had a presence  in the shape of Mike Rainford who, by talking to people generally raised awareness and interest in the Club.











In the recent past The Rotary Club of Great Missenden has supported the Chiltern MS Centre at Halton in a variety of ways. On Sunday 19th May Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden helped the MS Centre in its organisation of the Annual Prestwood 10K Run by undertaking the registration on the day and marshalling the route and car park .






Great Missenden Rtns. George Rivas, Terry Cann and Peter Westby plan their campaign.

Our good friends from The Bucks Rescue Service were in attendance in case emergency first aid was required.

The  Co-op sponsored the event and representatives presented the runners with their medals. The manager, Raj presented the various winners with their trophies.


So where is the High Street? Rtns. Martin Bolton & Alan Jones looking for their 'spot'.           






Very grateful thanks to all organisations and personnel who supported this event enabling over £2,000 to be raised on the day for the Chilterns MS Centre.

A very successful morning with the winner, Mark Williams, coming home in 37 minutes.






Race Organisers report

Results              photos









District Governor Debbie Hodges led 1260 District through a scintilating conference in Jersey - And a good time was had by all. Socialising, renewing old friendships and making new friends, add to this captivating speeches and original concepts such as the knitted cancer hair care dolls made for a wonderful conference.



Peace cranes which were made in advance and cherry trees on the conference platform









Alan Jones of The Great Missenden Rotary Club at the Chilterns MS Centre in early May stands in front of the 'buy a brick' campaign which The Rotary Club of Great Missenden contributed to.

Great Missenden Rotarians Alan Jones and Gavin Plews helped run the parking when the Duchess of Wessex visited the centre recently.











On Monday 29th April Winifred Mitchell, the widow of the late David Mitchell, joined The Rotary Club of Great Missenden at Missenden Abbey for the annual presentation of the David Mitchell Memorial Award for  voluntary service. This year's recipients were Ruth and David Coulton. Ruth and David are residents of Hyde Heath and have been involved in the management and organisation of its village hall for many years and major activists in managing its renovation and extension to incorporate a village shop. For 23 years David, with the support of Ruth, has also been responsible for staging the village’s annual fete which incorporates many stalls, amusements, refreshments, displays, a dog show and classic car display which attracts over 100 vehicles. 

History of David Mitchell Memorial Award.

Proceeds from the fete support the hall. David was also treasurer of the local Air Training Corps at RAF Halton for thirteen years. The above activities have led them to be involved in and supportive of many charitable events and organisations within the village.







On 22nd April Will Robinson, our VSO ICS candidate brought us up to date with his activities and achievements which were very encouraging.








With the help of the Hyde Heath Old Time Music Hall Society over £2,00 was raised for Rotary Supported Charities. The audience entered into the spirit of the evening joining in with songs. responding to the performers and entering in with the wit and repartit of the Chairman. We are very grateful to the Rotarian wives who provided a stupendous cottage pie supper to feed the inner man and start the event in fine style.








 Rotary Club of Great Missenden Rtns. George Rivas, Mike Rainsford and Gavin Plews with the statue of Ludwig Guttman when they helped with the Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville on Thursday 18th April 2013.images/images

The photo was taken by Kevan Baker OBE BSc, chairman of  "WheelPower" the major Charity promoting sport at all levels for the disabled, and spinal injuries - Transforming Lives Through Sport. 










At the invitation of president Brian Barnett.the 8th April speaker was David Jones representing the charity Heart and Soul. This is a voluntary organisation which supports heart patients and encourages them to get back to a normal life style with confidence and enthusiasm. Sometimes encouragement and understanding is all the patient needs to feel able to cope with the upset of what can be major surgery.








On 25th March Assistant District Governor Pru Dixon delighted membgers of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with her down to earth approach of Rotary and life in general. We look forward to her next visit in June.

President Brian Barnet with Pru Dixon















Our speaker on 25th February was John Versey from the Rotary Club of Ware who reminded us that 60% of the people in the rural areas of Kenya have no regular access to water and may need to walk five kilometres to their nearest source. This is usually undertaken by the females of the family and is often a two day trip which disrupts family life and children’s schooling.

The annual rainfall in Kenya is around 900 mm which falls as an absolute deluge in just a few weeks. It careers down ancient, wide, dry bedded waterways straight into the Indian Ocean leaving little water behind -until now!

Over the past 25 years 350 sand dams have been constructed and all   continue to operate successfully. They serve over 360,000 people and have transformed their lives for the better.

This is such a fantastic project and we as a Club have agreed to be a subscriber providing £500 later this year and another £500 next year.










On 18th February, at the invitation of Rtn Paul McDowell, Gill and Anne from The Bucks Search & Rescue enthralled members of  the Rotary Club of Great Missenden with accounts of their activities within our area.

The Bucks Search and Rescue Service evolved from the old Civil Defence Service when the latter was  disbanded following the withdrawal of public funding.

Bucks Light Rescue was set up in 1987 largely as a voluntary organisation. It is one of fifteen such teams throughout the Country principally involved in lowland search and rescue. There are complementary but more specialised mountain rescue services and, of course, the RNLI.

The present Bucks Search and Rescue Service has thirty voluntary  operational members, both men and women, aged from 18 to70 but all are fit enough to walk five miles in two hours which is a qualifying  requirement.

BSAR assists Thames Valley Police with typically over 20 searches per year. All volunteers receive training in basic search techniques. Past incidents include searching for Alzheimer’s disease sufferers and missing children. BSAR can field a team of as many as 20 trained searchers in around an hour, using a rapid SMS service.

Search Controllers who can allocate search areas and interview relatives if requested by the police.

Searches may last for many hours and can start at any time of the day or night.

Gill on duty with Bucks Search and Rescue 










On Thursday 7th February Rotary District Governor, Debbie Hodge joined the Rotary Club of Great Missenden which hosted the prize giving for The Christmas Story Competition organised by the Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden.

The winning children from several local joined the three Clubs to hear Nick Gallant read their stories. The theme of kindness and consideration seemed to run through various entries together with fun and concern.

Presidents Richard Langley from Amersham, Mervyn Edwards from Chesham and Assistant Governor Gavin Plews  from Great Missenden awarded the prizes, which included book tokens, and a golden ticket to the Roald Dahl Museum, kindly donated by the Museum

Yr 6. Nilabja Das , Hannah West  & Ayesha Sadiq 

Yrs. 4 & 5 Elizabeth Dagnall, Ivy Liew & Jeena Hunjan                       

 Yrs. 2 & 3 Emma Braddock, Pippa Hiles and Gemma Light

These were very good stories and it was felt that, in particular,  Nilabja Das may well have a future in the media.

Our thanks go to Great Missenden Rotarian George Rivas for organising this very popular event and we look forward to this year’s Story Competition.

click for stories and winners











We have now received our certificate from the South Bucks Hospice Butterfly Walk appeal showing our inscription as it will appear on one of the pavers in the Butterfly Walk. This is a dedicated pathway in the grounds of the new

hospice and we look forward to seeing our paver in position in due course.

click for cert.

The new hospice will cost an additional £3million to build and equip on land already provided by Wycombe Council in Wycombe. To date over £2millions has been secured from the forward sale of the existing premises and associated assets. So £1million remains to be raised now. This will all help to complete a purpose built, state of the art building with facilities among the best in the country.

How can we all help now?  

click on link to find out












Over 24,000 Shoeboxes left the main Warehouse in December bound for Ukraine, Romania and Moldova ready for Christmas distribution. Late arrivals to the warehouse were scheduled to  go out in future loads since the Rotary Shoebox Scheme operates all year round not just at Christmas. Some of the boxes in the photos were donated by friends and Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden.


The aim of the shoebox scheme is to regularly supply trusted, efficient distributors with batches of filled shoeboxes to distribute in their areas. Members of the Uk management team visit our distributors in order to understand the needs and culture of each country. Our distributors send us reports of each completed distribution and contact is maintained throughout the year. The individuals who receive Rotary shoeboxes are chosen by our distributors purely on humanitarian needs.

Our thanks go to Great Missenden Rotarian George Rivas who masterminded our collection so successfully and all the Schools, Rotarians and friends who supported the project.. 

click for more photos










We are delighted  that the Double Bubble Christmas Quiz Sheet raised in the region of £400.

The first prize of £100 went to Mark Foxwell from Maidenhead who was the clear winner with 49 correct answers out of 50.

Andrew Walker from Winslow, Kay Dennis from Princes Risborough and Rosalind Aspinall from Great Missenden all scored 48 out of 50 and  have each received a £20 Marks & Spencer voucher.

We very grateful to the Rotary Club of Great Missenden Rotarian Roger Young who organised the Quiz Sheet and its distribution and to all who supported us by sale or purchase of the Sheet itself

Thank you one and all.










They've lived through trials, tribulation, disappointment and ectasy but still they are young at heart sharing Santa's sweets and bringing the spirit of Christmas to the area; delighting, encouraging and in some instances frightening their young friends; standing in the bitter cold or rain being buffeted around by gales and people and all in the cause of charity. 

A late Christmas present boosted the start of a New Year for several  charities.

click for photos

click for distribution of monies








And so the jollity starts with fun, friendship and forward looking to good causes. Friends both old and new meet to start the Festive Season off with a BANG.

 Ian and Julia Bampton from Tenterton joined us for this festive occasion. Ian was an AG and member of Gt.Missenden until a few years ago.

Credit and thanks due to Ed Whymark. Thanks you Ed.



   click for more photos









Having got everything up to scratch, Martin Bolton with the President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden, Brian Barnett, couldn't resist trying Father Christmas' seat for comfort. Next year they suggest a flying carpet! Thanks to both of you.

End of November 2012

Here they are again obviously thriving on hard work and physical labour. Glad to say the weak 'ticker' of one and dislocated shoulder of the other held out as they gave the reindeer a wash and brush up and prepared the magical float for the first outing of the Festive Season on 1st December. Afterall, the residents of Prestwood always say 'Christmas begins here - when The Rotary Club of Great Missenden bring Father Christmas and his reindeers around Prestwood and surrounding areas.








A time for friendship, giving, reflection and support





On 19th November we were delighted to welcome Alan Morris, leader and soloist of the Misbourne Symphony Orchestra, to astound Members with his dexterity and nimble fingers dancing up and down the kneck of the violin sometimes slowly sometimes with such speed that his accompanist deserved a medal in keeping up with him especially during his ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style finale.

His repetoire included:: Song of India by Rimsky-Korsakov, Allegro by Senaille, Faure's Pavane, the last movement of Vivaldi's Spring  Violin Concerto, Sicilienne by Faure,  Solveig's Song from Peer Gynt by Grieg, "Tico, tico bird" by Abreu, & The Sailor's Hornpipe.

click for Alan Morris' background & photos


He mentioned that he thought history tended to overemphasize progress through the ages, and that in Bach & Handel's time, without electricity, computers, telephones etc, people were still advanced enough to compose and write down the music, so that others could play it from the notation, even though they hadn't heard the original tune themselves. 











On Friday 16th November Members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden supported the Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins and combined forces with 18 different Clubs, including one Rotaract and one Interact Club, meaning that108 Rotarians were available to help with the collection for Children in Need at Heathrow T5.  

The total sum raised was £12,953 making an increase of 7% over the previous year.














  'off to happier homes'

The last of the eight palettes ( 1750 boxes) being shipped to Preston  in December.


Hundreds of these have been filled by schools, friends, supporters and Rotarians in the hope that when they are delivered to Eastern European countries the recipients will not only have great pleasure in  exploring the exciting contents but also that some of the TLC that went into the filling of them will rush out and engulf them a bit like a good version of Pandora’s box.  

Our thanks go to George Rivas who once again master minded this tremendous effort.










We have given a donation to Marie Cates for African Village Support  which helps communities, schools and villages in rural Uganda. In this case charity really does  begin at home because Marie runs this small local charity from her home in Great Kingshill

African Village Support is based in rural    Eastern Uganda. Its main aim is to  improve the quality of life of both adults and children. Its support is very locally focussed. The villagers are mostly subsistence farmers. The main activities revolve around support of women’s groups, helping with the wider community, supporting health and  hygiene and providing a range of educational opportunities.









The Abbey was a significant foundation in the See of the Bishop of       Lincoln and owned much surrounding land. Its church bell weighed two and a half tons which gives some idea of the church’s magnitude.

Inevitably the Abbey was affected by the power play of royalty and church over its 405 years particularly during the internecine disputes      between Stephen and Matilda for the throne, until its dissolution by Henry VIII  in 1538.

Subsequent owners knocked down the church and remodelled the  abbot’s house two or three times. Fortunately the last restoration in 1988 leaves us with the beautiful building we enjoy today.

Perhaps it is not too fanciful to suggest that we in our Rotary ways inherit the ideals of charity and hospitality practised by the monks some 900 years ago. However we probably wouldn‘t want to adopt the black beards and habits which were their custom although the open backdoor to allow dalliance with the local ladies of the village still seems appealing .

On 5th November we found out from Colin Oakes’  presentation to the Club that we meet  where monks and abbots once lived,  worshipped and misbehaved (just a little -     occasionally).

We know the Abbey was founded in 1133 in the reign of Henry I under Norman conquest influence but sadly no record  remains of its buildings or layout.  However, over the years limited excavations  indicate tantalisingly that it  consisted of a number of buildings  including a substantial church, large cloistered quadrangle, stables, refrectory,  abbots’ house and lodgings for visitors.Traces remain of its main gateway which was in Church Street. 

A     recent survey of the present lake  discovered the bones of bream, perch, pike and other edible fish that provided food on the 156 days of the year when meat was forbidden to the monks. Not surprisingly they were enthusiastic brewers and drinkers of ale which they brewed from their own grown cereals.  








At the invitation of our President, Brian Barnett, Joanne Dunsford visited the Rotary Club of Great Missenden on 29th October to tell us about the work of ‘Wizz-Kidz’. 

This charity gives disabled children the chance to be something special……. a kid. It does that by providing them with esse ntial mobility equipment appropriate to their needs and opportunities to meet, have fun, and develop skills for adult life.

It supports children and young people who have mobility impairments and primarily those from families on low income who would otherwise be unable to access appropriate equipment to meet the child’s individual needs. Jo told us that a powered wheelchair adapted to specific needs costs in the region of the staggering sum of £4,000.

It was a very moving talk










At the meeting of 15th October, Pat Rainford explained the work of the South Hospice telling us that some of its aims and objectives was to bring comfort, to ease pain, to provide care, to show concern and to help relieve loneliness and fear – just some of the attributes of palliative care. The hospice exists to help improve the quality of life through medical and social care for day visitors who may be terminally ill or suffering from some incapacitating illness. It also provides training and a brief respite for their carers. It is not a residential home.

Like many things in this day and age it is a victim of its success and understanding of the human need and has consequently outgrown it present premises and the valuable work it does could suffer. In January 1997 it relocated the lymphoedema clinic to a separate property three miles away from its Amersham Road base. This led to difficulties as staff were restricted from sharing their knowledge, insights and expertise and meant that patients were not getting the benefits which close staff collaboration would provide. Consequently a campaign is in operation to build a new hospice.

At present the annual running costs of the hospice are around £1million of which 7% comes from the NHS and the remainder from fund raising and donations.

The new hospice will cost an additional £3million to build and equip on land already provided by Wycombe Council in Wycombe. To date over £2millions has been secured from the forward sale of the existing premises and associated assets. So £1million remains to be raised now. This will all help to complete a purpose built, state of the art building with facilities among the best in the country.

How can we all help now?

click on link to find out







Brian Barnett, President of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden swops pennants with Ron Genty RC of Eastbourne







Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden are proud and delighted to have been part of this tremendous effort




Sir David Jason, and long term patients, Sheila Payne and Iris Hedges at the opening of the new MS Centre on 28th September 2012, Thanks were given by Sir David and Nick Brown, Chairman of the Chilterns MS Centre for all those including Rotary who have supported the building of the new centre.


In October 2011 after laying a commemorative stone at the site of the new Chilterns Multiple Sclerosis Centre building in Wendover Sir David Jason joked "I look forward to seeing this building open this time next year - otherwise I'll come and take my brick out." No chance of that. The new Centre was officially opened on 28th September 2012.

The new Centre will provide:

  • a larger general treatment area, with a designated gym area; more space, more equipment to suit all abilities
  • specific treatment rooms, away from the general treatment area; more privacy if required
  • a larger modern double High Density Oxygen Therapy chamber
  • a Hydrotherapy pool
  • a “social” area – a bigger designated area for friends, carers and family members to meet
  • an improved and larger kitchen area to prepare light refreshments
  • multipurpose treatment rooms for new treatments (podiatry, speech therapy, occupational therapy). More space, more services to make our patients visit better
  • a training/seminar room to hold meetings and run courses on a variety of MS related topics for patients, carers and social workers plus an area for staffs CPD [continuing professional development]
  • improved storage facilities



On Monday 10th September there was a good turnout of Great Missenden Rotary Club Members. I wonder, was this withdrawal symptons as they had missed each other's company during the summer break or was it because of the interesting and emotional talk they were expecting from Peter Westby. The latter I suspect which should tell us something about our weekly speakers and their talks.

Peter told his story of one of the first crew of The Bomber Command and its sortie in 1943 under Sam Atcheson which had a direct bearing on his family.

Click hear to find out how.

From left to right: Kenneth Reece (mid-upper gunner); Sam Atcheson (pilot); Antony McCall (navigator); Sitting are: Jack Greenhalgh (bomb aimer); and Frank Weaver (wireless operator). Not present were flight engineer Brian Thomas and rear gunner James Naylor.













Great Missenden Rotarians were in the very capable hands of Margaret Larder when they set out for their gentle annual walk looking forward to the prospect of dinner at the Bat and Ball at Penn.


more photos of walk

Orders placed and a final drink before setting off

Striding out in expectation of what?









We are, once again, very grateful to Sheila and Tony Shaw for hosting our Annual Garden Party. They are such good, genuine hosts and nothing is too much trouble for them so long as everybody is eating, drinking and making merry.

Unfortunately, this year Tony was admitted to hospital the night before the event but was adamant that we should all meet and drink a toast to him. Fortunately is was home, fit and well later that week.  








Tony Shaw, Alan Maizells and John Loarridge show off their technique.

Great Missenden Rotarians had a double treat on Monday 23rd July. Not only was it the annual Boules Competition which was won by John Loarridge, but there was an unexpected surprise which delighted Members and made their hearts beat faster.

click for more photos


                                                                    The surprise was Jennifer Coleman who delighted Great Missenden Rotarians with an impromtu rendition.We first met Jennifer in 2006 when she was one of the seven singers selected to take part in the  Great Missenden Rotary Club Masterclass conducted by Vanessa Scott at Little Missenden Church. On that occasion she sang 'In his Eyes (Wildhorn)' and 'V'Adoro Pupille (Handel).  Jennifer   recently graduated from Vocal and  Opera Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

She hopes now to continue her studies by  becoming a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and attending a leading musical academy in the USA or Italy.

We have supported her application to the Rotary Foundation which manages these scholarships. Rotary is the largest private provider of  International Scholarships and helps more than 1000 students annually to study abroad and serve as cultural                 ambassadors for their home country. We wish Jennifer every success.









On 9th July Barbara Cann gave Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Great Missenden something to think about with a repeat showing of the presentation used at the Celebration of England event with a quiz reminding us of what puts the Great in Britain.


This pillar box was cast in 1858 in the shape of a Doric column at the Eagle Foundry of Messrs Smith and Hawkes, Broad Street, Birmingham is one of a pair installed at the East and West Gattes of Warwick.







7th and 8th July should have seen the Rotary Club of Great Missenden Club at the Prestwood Steam Fair as part of the Stroke Awareness Campaign giving visitors the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked. Unfortunately the weather leading up to the weekend was not good and with a diabolical weekend forcast the organisers decided to cancel the Steam Fair. Although disappointed we sypathise with them. 









Well done Rotarian Ed Whymark. Almost a near miss but thanks to your enthusiasm and perseverance another success story. Bacon butties. good company, a round of golf and an excellent dinner - what more could we ask for? Oh I forgot -  we hope to purchase a ShelterBox with the proceeds (£614). What an achievement!

And thanks also to Judi, Ed's wife, who produced home grown posies of Hidcote lavender for the ladies. A delightful gift which hopefully will dry and be a lasting memory of the event.


Margaret Larder presents the prizes                       5th July 2011

 click for more photos






"I would like to think that the pioneering days of Rotary have only just begun. There are just as many new things to be done as ever there were. Kaleidoscopic changes are taking place, many of them without our will. Even to hang on to the fringe of this fast-changing world is about all most of us can do. Rotary simply must continue to pioneer or be left in the rear of progress."

Paul Harris - The Rotarian February 1945    


Much to his surprise on Monday 26th June Great Missenden Rotarian Terry Cann became a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his service to and enthusiasm for the Club together with his charitable input raising much needed funds for the youth organisations of Hyde Heath and other worthy causes over the past twenty eight years.








Monday 18th June Great Missenden Rotary Member, Charlie Carrington, enthralled us with his account of being part of the Thames Pageant on 3rd June 2012.


click for photos and Charlie's write up

















Monday 4th June - Lighting of the Beacon


Members of the Rotary Club of Great Missenden joined friends old and new up the hill at the church of  St Peter & St Paul to join in with the singing of music hall and wartime songs, partake of hot soup and rolls and celebrate The Queen's glorious 60 year reign with fireworks, the lighting of  a Beacon and yet more fireworks followed by a rendering of The National Anthem. What a wonderful display.

Chesham Rotarian John Martin was in charge of the lighting of the Beacon and it was a job very well done.




Sunday 3rd June - The Thames Pageant


And Members of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden were there. Rotarian Charlie Carrington with his wife Sally took part as guests on one of the little ships, towards the end of a very long procession.

Rotarian Alan Jones had a land luber's vantage point from which to watch the pageant.


Sally and Charlie were very excited prior to the event and regaled us with stories of decorating the boat with bunting, stars and crowns. Here they are enjoying the moment.





20th May 2012

The Prestwood 10K is a well established local road race now in its 20th year previously organised by the local sports club. This year the Chiltern MS Centre  successfully took over the responsibility of organising and running the event and the Rotary Club of Great Missenden was delighted to be able to assist and have a presence at the event  which was once again kindly supported by The Midcounties Co-operative as part of its Co-operative Membership Community Funding

The race starts and finishes at Sprinters Sports Centre and takes in an undulating  first 5k followed by a flat second half one-lap figure of eight course through country lanes and Prestwood village. The, scenic route and excellent local support  of the event attracts around 250 entries each year from runners of all abilities.



P.McDowell, Sukukmat, Manager of the Midlands Cooperative, Sponsor of the event, and one of the winners

On 22nd May 2012 one of the runners blogged ‘Really enjoyed the 2012 race. Weather was on the cool side for spectators but ideal for running. Only two hills in first half, with nice long downhills in between. Lots of cheery marshalls and residents. Great local race for a great local cause (Chilterns MS Centre). Thanks Prestwood’.











cclick for more photos

The 30th April was a big moment in several lives; Guy Stansbury, Winifred Mitchell and The Rotary Club of Great Missenden itself to name a few.

Nominated by Rotarian George Tyler, Guy Stansbury was the first recipient of the David Mitchell Memorial Award for  voluntary service which was presented at a reception attended by Guy and his wife, Winifred Mitchell - David’s widow, our Assistant District Governor - Jenny Muir, guests and dignitaries.

The Award acknowledges Guy’s sixty years of voluntary service to local Scouting and Prestwood Football Club and in particular for founding and still managing the  Misbourne Scout Venture Unit.

David was a Founder Member of the Club.

              criteria,  history etc. 









An evening of words and music to celebrate St George's Day






The ladies did us proud with a home cooked supper of cottage pie followed by apple pie and cream and during the meal a video/audio presentation on Our England and all things English ran.

In pure patriotic styleMike Rainford gently reminded us of our heritage as he led us in Mad Dogs and English Men after which he was joined by Alan Jones and Terry Cann for a rendition of He is an English Man. Tony Shaw delighted the audience with his explanation of Cricket whilst Steve Gill raised the bucket up and down. John Faircloth gave a lesson on how to join The Queen's Navy and Charlie Carrington amused us with an extract from Three Men in a Boat. Our President also gave a lesson but this time on the foibles of the English language displaying words like cough, bough and thorough. I am afraid when it came to heart, cart, and thwart the audience was a little carried away and to much amusement added another ' f...'.

Peter Singleton caused a sad sigh when The Little Dog's Day ended and John Loarridge and Gavin Plews introduced us to Shakespeare. John Skrimshire read from Winnie the Pooh and the ladies led us in folk songs joined by George Tyler for Music Hall classics. Finally the Past President's wife, Barbara Cann, educated the audience in the subtleties of the affairs of the heart.

Jenny Muir was brave enough to join us and I think it can be said that a 'good time was had by all.

The Finale - the lads and lasses are in good voice

click for more photos








On 2nd April, on behalf of The Rotary Club of Great Missenden, President, Peter Westby presented a cheque for £200 for the purchase of a ‘brick’ to be displayed inside the hydrotherapy pool at the new Chilterns MS Centre which is due for completion in August 2012.  The cheque was presented to Sue Barber, the Trusts Foundations Fundraiser and Jo Ann Woolf newly appointed as the Fundraising Development Manager.

The Chilterns MS Centre covers the counties of Beds. Bucks. and Herts. for any person with MS and provides physiotherapy and many other treatments and support to carers and families who are touched by this incurable disease.

Buy a Brick info






2nd April presentation by 






Ambassadorial Scholar Mayuko Helen Hirai  had only been in the country a few weeks  when she was offered one of the most influential Rotary jobs to have appeared this year.

 She is a 24 year old Japanese young lady who is studying an MSC in International Public Policy at University College London starting on Monday 3 October. In the course of her introduction she touched on the fact that there is still discrimination in Japan against women and also that she has experienced racial discrimination as had one of our Rotarians when in Japan on business. She was delighted with the response she had received in the UK.

Mayuko acted as an interpreter for Sakuji Tanaka the Japanese Rotary International President-Elect on his visit to Britain in November.

Mayuko has been a Researcher at The Hokuriku Research Institute of Economics; Research assistant/translator at Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ; an Intern at Research Institute for Peace and Security.

The peace cranes formed a significant piece on her visual presentation.





At the invitation of Rtn Gavin Plews, himself a Magistrate, a group of Great Missenden Rotarians spent an extremely interesting and informative morning at the Wycombe Magistrates’ Court.


After a brief introduction explaining the workings of the Courts we ‘sat in’ on a variety of cases, all with the pleas of ’not guilty’, ranging from suspected fraud to GBH. After this enlightening experience the procedures and progress were explained to us by our guide before we returned to the Court for the next session.


Several of the visitors decided that they would be unable to serve as Magistrates as they were immediately biased by the noticeable and very different body languages of the accused.

The thought occurred to some of us that many of the accused would appear very frightening and disturbing if met in the street but in the environs of the Court appeared slightly pathetic and inadequate.


Particularly noticeable was the extreme courtesy and consideration of all the officials throughout the complex hearings which did a great deal to affirm faith in the workings of the magistrate system.








At our 12TH MARCH meeting Marie Cates brought us up to date with her 'African Village Support' which helps rural villages in Uganda and supports the independence of women.

The main aim of African Village Support is to improve the quality of the lives of the local people in this designated area of rural eastern Uganda through the development of sustainable projects. Whilst working in the wider fields of community development, education, women and girls as well as with the youth we have an increasingly high emphasis on the situation of the women. Our mission is :-
* Improved health and well being
* Increased economic independence
* Acquisition of education and basic skills
* Challenge cultural (sexist) attitudes

Following Marie’s excellent talk the Club was delighted to donate £250 to support the work of her charity and to acknowledge the splendid work it does at a very personal and direct level.

African Village Support News Letter







10th March





Old Time Music Hall




What's it all about? Rtn Charlie Carrington as One Little Sausage
Rtn. Terry Cann in fine voice. The Ratcatcher's Daughter

 The Hyde Heath Song and Supper Room reverberated with the sounds and songs that have dazzled and delighted people for many years and which we have all grown to love, hate or treat with mild indifference. Warm-hearted waffle together with the wholesome wit of the Old Time Music Hall  appeals to abundant audiences and on 10th March The Rotary Club of Great Missenden was the beneficiary. Signature tunes of silly songs and tantalising repartee caused Rotarians to  gurgle, grin and gleefully groan.

The wild, warbling women titillate and tantalised the men’s throbbing hearts but everything was innocent, idyllic and wholesome.

Long may we participate in this great entertainment!







The annual Technology Tournament is organised by the Rotary Club of Chesham with assistance from the Rotary Club of Amersham and the Rotary Club of Great Missenden. 26 teams from various Schools took part.

This year’s task was to design a coin sorter, the individual tasks were: Foundation – to sort two coins, Intermediate –three coins, and Senior – five coins. The designs were varied, both in execution and design, and everyone enjoyed watching the demonstrations including two teacher solutions, which were cheered on by their pupils.










Before our speaker of 27 FEBRUARY  launched into his talk about the Verneys, our District Governor elect took the opportunity to talk about the opportunities available to Rotary in connection with the Olympics. These ranged from teams cleaning the Olympic Village to becoming involved with Stoke Mandeville and the Paralympics. Information was given to Rotarians to that they might think about the suggestions.






We all know about THE VERNEYS of Buckinghamshire or do we!

When Colin Oakes, our speaker for the evening of 27th February, was delegated to 'The Verney House' at school the name was unfamiliar to him. By jove hasn't he remedied that now.

An informative and entertaining speaker he really had Rotarians under his spell even involving Debbie Hodges, District Governor designate and John Loarridge who happened to be seated on either side of him.

A lot of the Verney history has been gleaned from letters stored by Frances Parthenope Verney and published giving an incredible insight into the family and its history from the great and good to the philanderers and even a pirate in the guise of Francis Verney who was among the most successful captains to operate on the Barbary coast during the early 17th century and, despite having no seafaring experience, was one of four leaders of the Tunisian pirate fleet commanded by John Ward. His supposed conversion to Islam with Ward in 1610, the only known aristocrat to do so, was the cause of considerable controversy in his native country. Verney was later captured and spent two years in the Spanish slave galley. He was rescued by an English Jesuit in 1614 and converted to Catholicism shortly before his death.

If unfamiliar with it, Clayden House (home of the Verneys) is well worth a visit as is the recently established garden to the memory of Florence Nightingale albeit she only stayed at the house when visiting her sister.








Willed on by the students at The Misbourne School, not only have the crocuses we planted together come up for the second year but much to everybody's delight they have multplied into a profusion of purple reminding not only of the enthusiasm with which they were planted in 2011 but also of the Stop Polio Now campaign which is running worldwide. We eagerly await next year when we hope many more 'tips of green' will force their way through.







TABLE TOP SALE - 25th February 2012

Supported by most Members of the Club Rotary Awareness Day and End Polio now was deemed a great success with £319 raised during a Table Top Sale in the Damien Hall, Great Missenden. Goods came and went with great rapidity ranging from a wok to camera, cut glass to dutch ducks and a piece of golf equipment which had the punters guessing - it retrieved balls from ponds (perhaps a Rolls Royce moment!), 

click for more photos






On 20th February we were delighted to welcome back  Steve Brehm as a guest of Alan Jones to update us on the activities of ROPE (Relief of Oppressed People Everywhere).With an annual expenditure of just over £500,000 ROPE is able to undertake many local projects in Asia, South America and Africa through its local ROPE Holders.


These ensure that every penny is used to its maximum effect for the relief of people suffering  poverty, disability, lack of opportunity and  discrimination. ROPE was begun in Great Missenden by a local business man and its central office continues to be located in Great Missenden. However, all its   administration expenses are met by a private donation so that all funds raised are used completely and directly for relief activities.

We were delighted to fund the development of a well in India last year and perhaps we might consider a further contribution in the future.









Once again our brains have been stimulated into exciting expectation by the words 'Once upon a time'.

Nick Gallant did us proud with his rendition of the prize winning stories of the Rotary Christmas Story Competiton. His enthusiasm was infectious and delighted both winners and audience as he brought the stories to life for the children.

This year was an incredible one both in numbers entered and quality and we are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the schools approached.

The competition is organised annually by the Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden and the three Presidents joined us at the Damien Hall to present the prizes which included vouchers kindly donated by The Roald Dahl Museum.

Our Assistant District Governor, Jenny Muir, was also able to join us on this occasion.

click for presentations












38 completed answer sheets were received. 

4 people got all 50 answers correct. It was therefore necessary to have a drawer to determine the prize allocation  so   Leo Lyons, the bass player in the rock band "Ten Years After" was asked to do the honours. 

The results were as follows:

1st prize (£100 cash) - Graham Richardson, Andover, Hants;

2nd prize (box of wine) - Sue Baker, Great Missenden;

3rd prize (a 1 litre bottle of Scotch) - Jennie Westby, Prestwood;

4th prize (£20 M&S voucher) - N. Jeffries, Prestwood

5th prize (from 49 correct answers)  (bottle of Port) Mrs H  Osborne, Halton


Well done to everybody who took part and thanks to Roger Young for organising this for the Club












Ho, Ho, Ho, Christmas starts here. 

It's fine outside the bank at Great Missenden, but these children haven't got a chimney how will he manage? 

Don't worry. He convinced them.



click for takings

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Ed Whymark excelled and organised a superb Christmas Dinner for the Club at Ellesborough Golf Club on 5th December. An evening of magnificent food, meaningful conversation, an opportunity for the followers of 'Dionysus' to 'come out' and the young waiting staff were efficient and attentive. A true mafficking in GM Rotary style. Well done Ed and many thanks. In addition to a wonderful start to the Christmas period, the opportunity was used to welcome Guru and Josefina Guruswarmy and Winifred Mitchell to the Club as Honorary Members and to present their badges to them. 


5th December 2011

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It may be 6 days, weeks or months before boxes are despatched but ShelterBox promises donations will help families who have lost everything


This month we heard of the travels of our Shelterbox.

The Shelter Response Team  advised that our shelter box had been donated to a Somali family in Kenya where famine, drought and conflict caused tens of thousands of Somali families to flee  their homes in search of safety, food, shelter and healthcare.  Our shelterbox was given to one of these families.  By donating  a shelterbox we have given a family  shelter warmth and dignity.


A ShelterBox is a plastic box which contains:

Custom designed family tent

Waterproof ground mats

Thermal fleece blankets

Mosquito nets

Children’s activity pack


Cooking equipment

Tool kit

Water containers & purification

Warm hats and gloves







An exceptional number of shoeboxes have been delivered to George Rivas' 'summer house' and I think only one 'missed the boat'. They are still counting but it looks as though they may have 1,600. What an achievement. Well done lads








Saw some interesting speakers and a very successful Mad Hatters Race Night with hats bearing filleys, singing birds, corks, feathers (I'd like to say that was the just the ladies .....) - even a pair of binoculars for a closer look at something!





Ruth Dunkin from the Stroke Association joined us on 12th September and enlightened members on  the proportion of stroke related disabilities which, with the right knowledge and preventative treatment could be reduced dramatically. Did you know:-


A stroke is the result of a blood clot or bleeding invading an area of the brain. 80% of strokes derive from blood clots.

Each year 150,000 people in the UK will suffer a stroke, one every five minutes. Of these 1/3rd will recover, 1/3rd will die and 1/3 will suffer disability. Strokes affect all ages and genders including infants.

Strokes are the biggest cause of adult disability and the third biggest killer after heart diseases and cancer.

40% of strokes can be prevented by identifying and treating high blood pressure.


Ben Castle came over as a very impressive young man as he talked to Members on 5th September about his experiences as our RYLA candidate earlier in the year.   


September saw a return to the Abbey with Members in fine fetal. Business meetings saw the introduction of the David Mitchell Memorial Award which is intended to be considered annually in memory  of David and to recognise an individual in his name who has displayed high standards and values in giving voluntary service to the community

more info








We expected  to meet fellow Members and renew old friendships and hoped to enjoy a Thai meal at the Plough, Hyde Heath. Both admirably achieved.


We expected to enjoy good company and good food at Tony and Sheila Shaw's Garden Party. Unconditional success.



Our expectations for Margaret Larder's Summer Walk and BBQ at Penn were justified.






Golf at the Chiltern Hospital lived up to expectations.





We didn't know what to expect from our visit to the Amersham Print Works followed by a meal at One to One - but both lived up to our hopes.




All in all a good time was had by all during the Summer recess recharging Members batteries ready for the Autumn and Winter period. Long may our hospitality flourish and last.


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The Life of a District Governor


In July Gavin Plews took the Club through the things that he would be involved with during his year as DG. He said that whilst appreciating that he had personally taken on the post of DG and didn't expect the Club to be involved he was hopeful that Members would feel able to support him during his year of office. The Club reacted favourably to this request but requested an early diary of Gavin's commitments.








Yet another success story thanks to Rotarian Ed Whymark. The weather was kind and rain stopped just after the bacon butties were finished and play commenced. A good day of golf with deserving winners followed by an equally good social function.

Not only was a good time had by all but also the princely sum of £750 was raised for Rotary supported charities.

Margaret Larder presents the prizes

7th July 2011

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As well as using the oppportunity to aid recruitment and advertise the Club's recent activities, The Rotary Club of Great Missenden set up a blood pressure testing unit over the two days of the Steam Fair and took approx. 88 readings. 

A shelter box was also on display with an appropriate quiz and the tent was erected much to the delight of several small children who took up residence. 

Rtns. John Fairclough, Alan Jones and George Tyler with the Shelterbox and tent

Rtn. Ed Whymark has his blood pressure checked by Dr Alan Morris from the Rotary Club of Chesham



Rtn Guru Guruswamy has been a key pin in our Club for many years and it is with very mixed feelings that we 'celebrated' his 'retirement' on 12th June. Guru was a Founder Member of the Club and involved with its original Charter. With his wife, Josefina, he was at the forefront of many of the club's events particularly, recently, with the polio campaign and dictionaries for life. 

Having taken a year's sabbatical he has  realised that there are many things he would like to do 'before reaching 70' and has decided that he cannot give Rotary the commitment which he feels is necessary to satisfy him.

Sadly we say farewell to Rtn Guru Guruswarmy but joyfully we welcome him back as an Honorary Rotarian and look forward to many more years of his good humour and company.


more photos                           12th June 2011




click for photos                             June 2011

Simplified Grant for “Clean Water” filtration system in rural Thailand.

On Wednesday 8th June 2011 the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya arranged for the Rotary Club of Rayong to install a "Clean Water" filtration System in the Ban Klong Tu Rean School near Ban Phee, in Rayong province, on Thailand’s eastern seaboard.

The school has 105 pupils. The school principal was extremely grateful for this donation.

The school maintenance staff were instructed in the necessary routines necessary to keep the equipment working efficiently. They were given an instruction manual, and a notebook to record their maintenance activities.

A member of the PSN Supply Company will visit the school twice a year, accompanied by a member of the Rotary Club of Rayong.



Following Steve Brehm's visit in January 2011  updating us on the work of ROPE [Relief for Oppressed people Everywhere] and its aims and objectives with examples of the way in which they help communities around the world, the Club donated £750 for the construction of a well in Karimanugud, India. This project is now complete and the well is in operation supplying clean water much to the delight of the villagers.

Village pictures                                  May 2011


Dr Bryn Neal and his wife Anne visited the Club  and talked about their son, Simon, and his wife Nicola's missionary work in  Uganda. They work mainly with children living in slum areas and are working on providing education, fresh water, supplementing education and fun in the form of weekly clubs in the various areas in which they are involved. They are proud of the recent toilet block which donations have enabled them to build. Education is free but the families cannot afford the school uniform which is compulsory for the attendance at school. The Club agreed to offer Simon and Nicola financial support in their work for the next year and to review the matter for the following year .



April 2011



On Monday 21st March our President took us on a lightening tour of ‘Paradise Restored’ showing slides from restoration projects at Hestercombe and West Green Gardens.

                                                                        The famous Edwardian garden at Hestercombe was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jeykll with beautiful stonework, rills, Orangery and pergola. It is a collection of three gardens all of which have undergone dramatic restoration work. 


      The earlier Georgian landscape garden which encompasses the formal gardens was created by Copelstone Warre Bampfylde. There are also woodland walks, a temple, waterfallsdry stone walls, incredible stone work and views across the Vale of Taunton to the Blackdown Hills in the distance.         
An Australian lady (Marylyn Abbott) has put all her energies into the restoration of West Green garden which, whilst now privately owned is still open to the public. Not only has she restored the garden but regular events now take place including opera performances on the theatre lawn. The Alice garden is designed as a chequerboard planted in red and silver with clipped topiary. As ordered by the queen playing card knaves paint the roses red. The orangery  and the tiny pavilion (a tomb to a spaniel who died in 1734) are the oldest buildings in the garden.

From the walled garden you reach the long Nymphaeum garden with its rills and clipped box. The fountain was designed by Quinian Terry.The serene paradise garden engulfs the concept of a traditional Moghul garden with green space intersected by water and fountains. At the corners Malus Everest planted in post appear to grow out of the water and white birth Betula utilis var. jaquemontii grow around the edges.

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        The Alice Garden and Nyphaeum Garden



"I would like to think that the pioneering days of Rotary have only just begun. There are just as many new things to be done as ever there were. Kaleidoscopic changes are taking place, many of them without our will. Even to hang on to the fringe of this fast-changing world is about all most of us can do. Rotary simply must continue to pioneer or be left in the rear of progress."

                                                                                    Paul Harris - The Rotarian February 1945

On Monday 14th March 2011 President Terry Cann presented Rotarian John Skrimshire with the Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his services to the community whilst serving on several village committees and for the huge contribution he has made to the club’s activities especially during his Presidency when he was recovering from a major leg operation. 



                                                    13th March 2011


On Monday 14th March we explored the possible unenviable state of the mind as it reaches saturation point and performs rather like a computer on overload. 

President Terry Cann with Ken Dorling Locality Manager, Alzheimer's Society, Berks Bucks & Oxen

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. 

To do their work, brain cells operate like tiny factories. They receive supplies, generate energy, construct equipment and get rid of waste. 

Cells also process and store information and communicate with other cells. Keeping everything running requires coordination as well as large amounts of fuel and oxygen.

Scientists believe Alzheimer's disease prevents parts of a cell's factory from running well. They are not sure where the trouble starts. But just like a real factory, backups and breakdowns in one system cause problems in other areas. 

As damage spreads, cells lose their ability to do their jobs and, eventually die, causing irreversible changes in the brain.

People in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses, they may:

  • become confused, and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events
  • experience mood swings. They may feel sad or angry. They may feel scared and frustrated by their increasing memory loss
  • become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems.

As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's will need more support from those who care for them. Eventually, they will need help with all their daily activities. There are approx. 60,000 sufferers and the Alzheimer's Society seeks to help these people to lead a fuller life, to change opinion on dementia; to seek the better use of medication. It has also made a major contribution to the National Government's dementia strategy which will seek to improve the lives of all sufferers and research to alleviate the effects of Alzheimer's




In Autumn 2010 students at The Misbourne School joined Membersthe Rotary Club of Great of  

 March 2011

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Missenden to plant  these Ruby Giant ‘purple' crocuses which represent the dye colour that is dabbed on each child's little ‘pinkie' finger to show they have been immunised against polio in the few remaining parts of the world where tthe disease still remains. In 2011 students at The Misbourne School and Rotarians alike kept their beady eyes on the grass beneath the tree awaiting the tiny shoots of green heralding the arrival of our crocuses. Rotary awareness day came and went; February came and went; dispondency all round; and then mid March with the arrival of Spring our plot burst into life. Tiny sprigs of green followed by a mass of purple. Just to remind you this was our contribution to the eradication of polio effort. Students helped us plant the bulbs and were delighted with the results (even those who hadn't help plant took great pleasure in explaining the project to the  photographer and their contribution to the effort!                            


here We are again

The Rotary Club of Great Missenden joined forces with the Hyde Heath Old Time Music Hall Society and what a way to raise money. The audience was amused, amazed, titilated, titivated, tantalised and scintilated by the antics and renditions of popular and not so popular music hall classics performed by the Hyde Heath Old Time Music Hall Society. Our President delighted the audience with his rendition of the Ferret Song - oh to be a ferret if he can nip in places like that! The Junior Vice President acted as Chairman for the evening with ribald commentary of forthcoming items. Rotarian Charlie Carrington made the most of the ladies and the President's lady - well - what can we say! Maybe better left unsaid. Supported by most of the Club, £1,500 was raised for Rotary charities in support of Rotary Awareness Day and eradicate polio now.


12th March 2011


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Congratulations to Rotary Club of Great Missenden Members Tony Shaw and John Loarridge  who celebrated 160 years between them on 12th March 2011. You could say twins but not quite twins! True to the Rotary tradition they celebrated in style with the Club and we all had a such a good time that we can't wait for the next occasion.


Rtn Tony Shaw


Rtn John Loarridge

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Saturday 26th February - and all the while the rain it was a raining. What's a little rain to a Great Missenden Rotarian? Undeterred we set out in force for the Table Top Sale in the Damien Hall, The Catholic Church, Great Missenden and at the end of 3 hours had raised the princely profit of approx. £350. Well done Rotarians and thanks to all who supported in one way or another.

26th February 2011



Following Peter Organ's talk in the Summer of 2010 and the Club's decision to support the Clean Water Project for Schools of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, Thailand, we have now had confirmation that our donation of £500 has been increased by a DSG and consequently an increased sum has been forwarded to the Thai Club to cover the entire installation. Watch this space for progress reports. 
As a reminder, Peter Organ is an Honorary Rotarian from the RC of Jomtien-Pattaya. During his presentation he outlined his Club’s efforts to provide safe drinking water for Thai children and showed slides of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ conditions in schools.

The Club has also donated £500 towards Shelterboxes

click to see what's in a shelterBox>

Following Steve Brehm's update in 2010 of ROPE [Relief for Oppressed people Everywhere] aims and objectives with examples of the way in which they help communities around the world, the Club decided to donate £750 to the organisation for the construction of a well in India. In time we will have photos of this project so watch this space.

January 2011

Our speaker, Paul Sheppard, introduced us to Traidcraft telling us that it was founded 30 years ago as a response to the scandal of world poverty.

From its first transactions with craftspeople in a handful of villages, Traidcraft now deals with over a hunded producer groups in thirty different countries, bringing hope and opportunity where little existed before.

An example of this is in the village of Kapasule, Malawi, women and chldren had to carry watter in containers for 1.5 kms from the nearest village with clean water. Now, they have their own borehole and pump supplying them with clean, safe water, thanks to the fair trade premium Traidcraft pays for the sugar it buys from the local farmers. 

Traidcraft has selected areas which are relevant to the countries in which it works as being the areas where greatest impact can be achieved. There are significant needs in each one and they feel they have the experience and expertise to offer in tackling those needs. The areas are tea,  cotton and craft producers, business development services, fair-trade and influencing and advocacy

What can you do? Spread the word, buy traidcraft-branded products from a charity stall, mail order catalogue or from the independent fair trade retailer in your locality, look for the fairtrade label in supermarkets.


Surprise, surprise. It has been discovered that when children hear the words 'Once upon a time' a specific section of their brain is stimulated into exciting expectation and so being read to is a vital part of their development. Whilst none of our prize winners used these words, their stories were a delight to listen to, enhanced by the magic of Nick Gallant's enthusiasm and interpretation. Equally magical were the expressions on the children's faces as they heard the talented Nick Gallant bring their stories  to life. 

The competition is organised annually by the Rotary Clubs of Amersham, Chesham and Great Missenden and the three Presidents joined us at the Damien Hall to present the prizes. 

Our Assistant District Governor, Jenny Muir, was also able to join us on this occasion.

click for photos & stories                 

January 2011

[For earlier news, click News Archive]

A selection from Club programme and other events ...

[Club meetings, normally Mondays, 7:30 for 8 pm at the Missenden Abbey]. 

Monday 4th January 2016

Bethany Holden - Teaching in Guyana

Monday 11th January

Council Meeting

Monday 18th January


Monday 25th January

Normal Meeting but at lunch time

Monday 1st February

Business Meeting

Monday 8th February

Head of Misbourne School

Monday 15th February


M onday 22nd February

Charlie Carrington

Monday 29th February


Friday 4th March

Old Time Music Hall - Little Missenden Village Hall


Club President:  Gavin Plews, 01494 713960


Club Secretary:  Mike Rainford, 01494 863911

Website Manager: Barbara Cann


Meeting place...
Missenden Abbey

On Mondays,
7:30 for 8 pm.

ØClub Calendar

 ØOther events

Helping community  - local / national
 ØLocal charities
 ØBulb planting

Helping community - international
 ØClub projects -  India, Africa etc
 ØShoe Boxes

Fun and fund-raising
 ØXmas Float
 ØXmas Jingle
 ØHenley Regatta


MAGAZINE/NEWSLETTER                                Rotary in Missenden

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