Welcome to Rotary in Harpenden

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Retiring Club President Brian Grant presents the badge of office to his successor, Valerie Beale.


President Val is a magistrate, based at the St Albans court and also a lay judge in the Family Courts. In addition she is a trustee of HACRO, a Hertfordshire charity for the care and resettlement of offenders. In this role she has responsibility for developing new initiatives to help prevent reoffending and for running Caring Dads, a parenting programme for men against whom there have been allegations of domestic abuse.

Classics shower the common

A dull dank day did not stop thousands of spectators pouring on to Harpenden Common for Classics on the Common 2017, organised by Rotary in Harpenden.

This year, to help relieve some of the congestion of previous years, cars were allowed to arrive from 11am. Harpenden Town Council and the police were very supportive and around 400 owners took advantage of the offer.


A Stanley Steamer from 1916, the 1924 Rolls Royce Ghost and an Austin 7 Chummy were among the nearly 900 vehicles that rolled on to the common for the show.


Throughout the day an electric TESLA X gave us a cabaret, flapping her wings to music and attracting huge attention. A Nissan Leaf was also a crowd puller.


Richard Young, the Rotary in Harpenden event manager, said,


‘Despite the damp conditions, our owners and exhibitors once again made this a special event, one that is so close to the hearts of Harpenden people. May I thank most sincerely all the volunteers who put so much into making it a success. I would also like to thank Harpenden Town Council and the police for their help in allowing early entry on to the common. It really made a difference.


‘Our spectators were immensely generous: we will be distributing the proceeds to Luton, South Beds and Harpenden Samaritans, Prostate Cancer UK, Hope & Homes for Children, Herts Young Homeless and other good causes.’

Awards earned by ‘inspirational’ young people

Susie Latham receives her Bill Hewetson Memorial Award from Jane Frances

Our Young Citizen Awards honour teenagers from Harpenden’s secondary schools, and organisations like scouting and guiding, who have been outstanding in reflecting the Rotary motto, Service above Self.


Additionally, the Bill Hewetson Memorial Award, funded by Bill’s family and our members, acknowledges the valued work of a former club member in supporting the town’s youth.


At a dinner attended by the award nominees, senior teachers from their schools and members of their families, the Bill Hewetson Award went the Susie Latham of Sir John Lawes School. She was nominated for the award by head teacher Claire Robins.


Susie has played a pivotal role in both the Oxfam and Eco-school groups. For Oxfam she has run fundraisers, organised school assemblies and met the local MP. For Eco-Schools she played a key role in securing the school’s third Green Flag. The award certificate and a £100 voucher were presented by Bill Hewetson’s daughter, Jane Frances.


Harriet Waller, deputy head girl and house captain at Roundwood Park School, was selected as a winner of the Rotary Young Citizen Award, She was nominated by the head teacher, Alan Henshall.


Harriet is described as ‘an inspirational leader.’ Drawing on her musical and dramatic skills – she plays guitar and ukulele and is involved in local amateur dramatics – she has led a number of performance groups, conducts the house choir and helps younger children bolster their confidence. She also volunteers at a soup kitchen for a local neighbourhood watch.


The second Young Citizen Award winner was Joseph Butler, nominated by fellow students and endorsed by school staff at St George’s.


Joseph has played a significant role in organising schools events, including planning and delivering chapels and assemblies, and using popular culture to make a strong message accessible to all ages. His ‘caring and compassionate nature’ is visible outside the school as well as within. He has helped to raise £8,000 for Youth with a Mission and LCF. He plans to take a gap year to continue his youth service.

President Brian Grant presents Harriet Waller and Joseph Butler with their Rotary Young Citizen Awards: a certificate and a £50 voucher.

Tight battle for Quiz of Quizzes Cup

Thirty teams of quiz-lovers packed St George’s School hall for the 22nd annual Harpenden Quiz of Quizzes, organised by Rotary in Harpenden.


In a tight battle for the Quiz of Quizzes Cup, the third-placed team, remarkably, were the aptly named ‘And in Third Place.’ But the winners were ‘Odds and Ends’ with ‘Measure for Measure’, who lifted the cup in 2014, the runners-up.


Event manager Roy Brimblecombe said: ‘We were delighted to have such strong support from the community. Quiz of Quizzes is a fun evening as well as a major fund-raiser which this year produced nearly £3,000 for charity.


‘The principal charities are The Stroke Association and Polio Plus, an international Rotary charity aimed at eliminating polio from the world.’


Next year’s Harpenden Quiz of Quizzes will be held on Friday, 9 March 2018

Meeting the technology challenge

Twenty-eight teams from secondary schools in St Albans and Harpenden competed in the annual one-day Rotary Technology Tournament at Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans.


Divided into three age groups, the teams faced a core task of building, with limited materials, an electrically driven model to clear rubble from a pipeline. The older the age group, the more challenging was the task set.


This year the judges, members of the St Albans Rotary Clubs and Rotary in Harpenden, had the support of engineers and designers from Demand, which develops and supplies equipment to make life easier for the disabled.


Marlborough Science Academy, the outstanding winners in the 11-14 age group, are pictured with their model, which smoothly and efficiently moved the rubble along the pipeline (actually a piece of guttering so that the action could be seen) leaving a clean and clear base.


The Academy also carried the day in the 15-16 age group, where they had additionally to reverse the vehicle and recover it from the starting end of the pipeline.


At the advance level the winners were Roundwood Park School, Harpenden, whose machine also recovered the rubble.


Teams for the Technology Tournament are entered by their schools. Students wishing to take part next year should contact their CTD teacher or the secretary of Rotary in Harpenden (hvrc.secretary@rih.org.uk).

Classics on the Common
Santa's Float
Youth Speaks
Christmas Carol Concert
Mock Interviews
Technology Tournament
Rotary Shoe Boxes
Quiz of Quizzes
Young Citizen Awards
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Rotary in Harpenden CIO is a charitable incorporated organisation, Registered Charity No.1163420, and the charity arm of Harpenden Village Rotary Club.