Brue Valley Rotary Club supports local food banks

Since the COVID-19 lockdown came into force in March food banks have been set up in Castle Cary and Bruton.  There was already a food bank operating in Wincanton and this has been expanded since the lockdown.  Brue Valley Rotary Club got in touch with all of the food banks to establish whether a donation would help.  The Wincanton food bank felt reluctant to accept Rotary’s offer believing that, at that moment in time, the money might be more useful elsewhere but Rotary will keep in touch to see if this changes.

In Castle Cary, “Cary Cares” has set up a food bank and Brue Valley Rotary donated £200 to fund their work.  In addition, they provide free help with medicine delivery and shopping and a “listening ear”.  It is run by volunteers and supported by Churches Together.  They can provide over 100 shopping and prescription deliveries each week and since they launched they have handled over 800 calls on their helpline.

In Bruton, the Town Council has set up a Sunday food bank and there is also a private initiative called the Friday Food Drop run by Jane Lillie.  Brue Valley Rotary has donated £162.50 to each of these food banks.

Jane Lillie, even before Covid-19, had perceived a need for such an organisation in Bruton.  Bruton has areas where there are many people in need of support and Jane was aiming to support them.  She, by word of mouth, had built up a list of ten or so addresses which she served even before Covid-9 hit us all.

For the Town Council food bank, people need to register on the Town Council website and they have a mixture of self referral, Church referrals and worried friends, family and neighbours.  They have also had referrals from Bruton’s local dementia group.  They are currently feeding in excess of sixty mouths a week and their aim is to provide a week’s worth of food and provisions, toilet rolls, sanitary products, nappies, pet food, toilet rolls etc. etc.

This costs around £20 per person per week.  As the weeks have progressed they have seen many more in need and also people managing to come off the list because state benefits have come through.  They anticipate spending another £10,000 in the coming weeks, quite possibly more, and Brue Valley Rotary stand ready to help.

In total, Brue Valley Rotary has donated £525 to these local food banks in April, which includes a £250 grant from the Rotary Foundation.  More such grants are available and Brue Valley Rotary will make sure it stands ready to help those in need in these difficult times.

Pictures from the Friday Food Drop:

Pictures from the Sunday food bank:

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Ski Rotary 2020 at Wengen, Switzerland.

F60CCE29-041B-4F50-8A3A-C3D37DD07103_1_105_cBCE5B185-3B1B-4FB4-A60B-2440B4EF36EF_1_105_c90233058-28C1-4326-A850-19B35DA8639F_1_105_c10D25040-BDC4-427A-A69D-94DEFD5C49E0_1_105_c9A939B7F-96BE-47CF-B3CB-B5C2FA4626D7_1_105_cSki Rotary 2020 proved to be a little different to previous expeditions. Why? Well, this time we had Past District Governor Stewart Cursley and his wife June with us so good behaviour was guaranteed; the transfer to and from Wengen by train (more of which later) proved to be a delightful and different experience and there was the use of the cog railway to gain access to the ski area. The weather was mixed – two so so days, two days of brilliant sunshine and two grim ones. Your correspondent will go so far to say that the final day was probably the worst  he’s experienced.  Despite this we enjoyed a week of fun and fellowship. The skiing group comprised five tenacious and stylish skiers whose adventures included an interesting descent of the Lauberhorn (a strong drink was needed afterwards). The walking group using the extensive local transport perambulated far and wide, sometimes in difficult conditions. The walkers and skiers, as is now a tradition, twice lunched together, The return rail journey to Geneva included a small hiatus due to a senior moment affecting the Roger L and W’s baggage but it’s best to leave it at that! Then we returned to the coronovirus maelstrom which delayed the publication of the trip. There will be a Ski Rotary 2021 so why not think of joining us!

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Wonders of West End

What an exciting evening members of Brue Valley Rotary had last night, exploring the wonders of West End Garage in Bruton at the invitation of owner Gordon Fry.  The garage can fix ANYTHING ! From family saloons through to military 8-wheel juggernauts, minor servicing to major re-structuring and re-building of blown up vehicles and even repair of various kinds of tankers.  It really does seem that no job is too big or too small.

Alongside the day job, Gordon has a collection of military vehicles which have all been restored, probably better than their original condition.  However most surprising were the various field guns and a Naval Bofors anti-aircraft gun.  Some Rotarians were a little more excited than others as we toured the collection and we were all thoroughly entertained by Gordon’s stories of how he came by the vehicles and the history behind them.

Gordon joined us afterwards for supper at The Montague Inn where we enjoyed a delicious steak and ale pie.

A very big thank you to Gordon and his staff at West End Garage for sparing their time to show us around.

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Brue Valley Wins the Rugby Club Quiz!

Brue Valley Rotary entered at team at the quiz held at Castle Cary Rugby club on 24th January 2020. The team comprised Donal, Anne, John, Amanda, Chris and Sue. The proceeds from the quiz go towards the Ladies Rugby tour and Cultural Exchange to Mufulira.

Those in the club will not be surprised that any team that included Donal and John would do well, however all were amazed that we took the lead at the beginning and had the highest score at the end. Our knowledge of rugby did let us down however our knowledge of almost everything else held us in good stead. Although it had to be admitted that John and Donal provided most of the answers , there were also valuable contributions from the other team members. I think we were all impressed when Sue knew that there were 33 bones in the spine, Anne knew that a Boar and Sow were the terms for the male and female badger and Amanda knew that Carol Anne Duffy was a Poet Laureate.

Many thanks to Wendy Silver for organising the event and all of those that catered for us through out the evening.

We were one of more than 20 teams20200124_210635

The Brains20200124_192152

Winners with 46 points20200124_212240


Dividing the winners spoils20200124_224003


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North Cadbury Wassail 2020

What a great night it was at The Catash Inn, North Cadbury, for our annual wassail.
There was a large attendance and we were entertained by the Wyvern Morris Men and before marching off to the orchard for the wassail formalities. Andrew Moore gratefully thanked everyone who had helped to make the evening a success by their kind donations – of all sorts. As usual, local cider historian Alan Stone conducted the proceedings as ‘The Butler’ and explained to all present the history of the wassail. Our first ever Wassail King, who looked brilliant,  blessed the apple tree with cider before offering the traditional toast to the branches, everyone then joined in singing the wassail song before returning to The Catash for a warming supper. However, for those not fortunate enough to book a table at the pub, our famous burgers and bacon bap service was in operation and was very busy. The free mulled cider was very popular, During the meal we were again entertained by the assembled Morris Men who performed a Mummer’s Play (Google it!) which was very well received. There were lots of prizes in the raffle which took quite a long time to conduct. After  a hearty filling meal at the Catash, the Wyvern MOrris Men entertained us with a selection of traditional songs and music. We hope to hold another wassail next year.

Over £500 was raised for charities supported by the Rotary Club of Brue Valley

Many thanks to the following:

  • Wyvern Morris Men ( and Ladies )
  • The Butler ( Alan Stone )
  • All at the Catash
  • Sparkford Sawmills for the sawdust
  • Those who put up our posters to advertise the event.
  • Brue Valley Rotarians for helping to set it all up and run it safely and successfully

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Visit to CPI Anthony Rowe

On Thursday, 17 January 2019 a small contingent travelled through the wind and rain to visit book printer, CPI Anthony Rowe in Melksham.  We were introduced to the company by Nigel Clements when he came to speak to us about Haynes Publishing.

After a short presentation on the company we had an extensive tour of the print works by Operations Manager, Dan Flower, being shown a reel of paper becoming a coverless book as it passed through one very large HP machine before being moved through to the next hall where it was bound and packed.

After a very interesting tour we retired to the Milk Churn for refreshments.

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