Crash, whizz, bang

Not content with the fireworks which a Brue Valley business meeting can provide, five Brue Valley Rotarians and one helper went to assist our mother club, Shepton Mallet, at their community bonfire and firework display at Shepton Mallet football club.

After a year off for Covid, this exceptionally well organised event was well and truly back with the usual popular appeal.

Due to your correspondence putting “Service above Self” down a dark and tree lined path, the photographs have to be interpreted as artistic representation rather than a true reflection of the visual delight experienced by those on the field!

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JigFest results puzzle Rotarians!

Happy visitors who scooped up bargain jigsaws at JigFest

Many of our members were at first puzzled when a JigFest was proposed to raise money for charity. No we were not expecting kilts to be worn for a morning of Highland Dancing but instead we were going to offer bargain JigSaws at prices from as little as £2.

So during the past few months Brue Valley Rotary Club members have been collecting new, used and nearly new Jigsaws in order to resell them at bargain prices. No one was really sure how many people would want to come along to Kings School Bruton today to buy any of the 300+ puzzles we had on offer.

But we were delighted when people started to turn up in search of Christmas presents, gifts to keep elderly relatives occupied or simply challenging puzzles to exercise the brain. In total £560 was raised which will go a long way to help the many charities Brue Valley Rotary Club regularly support.

Coffees and teas were available to visitors as well
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Race Night at District 1200 Conference in Plymouth

On Friday 15 October, 13 jolly members of Brue Valley Rotary travelled to Plymouth to host a Race Night for Rotary District 1200 Conference 2021. Most of us travelled in the Wincanton Community Bus, very ably driven by Rotarian – and qualified bus driver – Andrew Moore, despite the various hold-ups and detours it was a safe journey.

The Race Night was attended by some 140 delegates from District 1200 and, by the volume of noise they made, they seemed to have had a good time. Much betting was done, and although not everyone was a winner, two good causes benefitted from their generosity. Childrens’ Hospice SW and Parkinsons UK.

There was an estimated £950 raised on the Tote and £350 on the Raffle, Rotarian Adrian Foster from Chippenham, who was the lucky bidder for ownership of the winning horse in the last race, won £156 as his prize – he very generously donated £100 to the pot. So, although not finally confirmed, it looks like Brue Valley Rotary helped District 1200 to raise approx £1400 for two very worthwhile causes.

Very many thanks to all delegates, the Brue Valley Race Team and especially Andrew Moore for getting us there and back safely.

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Good to be back – Castle Cary Carnival 2021

A strong team from Brue Valley Rotary assembled, at the appointed time and place, for bucket collection duties at the first Castle Cary Carnival since 2019 – it was good to be back! Two of our number had been on Rotary duty at Plymouth the previous evening until the small hours; earlier in the day others had been involved in a community coffee morning so Rotary Exhaustion (RE) might have been expected. Your correspondent is delighted to report that RE wasn’t in evidence and morale was extremely high. It wasn’t long before the firework spluttered into the sky signalling the start of the 2021 Carnival. The Brue Valley Rotary Team were swiftly in action shaking the buckets and persuading the not inconsiderable numbers to dig deep. The Carnival’s return, albeit it a walking format, was welcomed by everyone. We enjoyed it too!

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Laptops4Learners in Castle Cary

The recent lock down due to the pandemic has shown a digital divide for many members of the community. Children and young people in homes without enough IT equipment are excluded from home education and catch up.

Laptops4Learners has been launched by SSDC Councillor Sarah Dyke to help people access IT across Somerset. Brue Valley Rotary Club, in conjunction with Castle Cary Town Council, is working with Castle Cary Primary School to provide Chromebooks for the pupils. It also aims to provide equipment for the members of the community who are digitally excluded and already several renovated laptops have been given to those in need. 

Working with Simon Barfoot of we are collecting old and unused equipment from which Simon wipes all data, upcycles and renovates ready to be sold or returned to the community.

The word has spread and the initiative was mentioned on Carymoor Facebook page. This was seen by Rosy James, the Environmental Manager of Hinkley Point C power station who donated tablets which were sold.

The funds raised enabled the purchase of 16 Chromebooks for the Primary School. A further 4 Chromebooks were added as a result of collections of equipment from the community.

Liz Stokes, President of Brue Valley Rotary, Judi Morison, Chair of CCTC and Simon Barfoot presented 20 Chromebooks to the Primary School on 23rd September. The Headteacher, Sarah Martin and the pupils were delighted to receive so many.

Our thanks to Nigel Phillips for providing a drop off point at Phillips Tyres in Castle Cary for your old or unused IT equipment.

Liz Stokes


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Castle Cary & Ansford Carnival Society Race Night

Saturday, 2 October 2021 saw the second outing of the season for the Brue Valley Rotary Race Night team, this time raising funds for the Carnival Society and Parkinsons UK.

The number of “punters” was rather disappointing but those who came certainly enjoyed themselves (in complete safety after Mr H&S Holt made sure the hall was suitably ventilated.

This event saw the inaugural awarding of the President’s Cup – look carefully at the pictures and you will spot it.

Final figures are awaited from the Carnival Society but a surplus of £227 was made on the Tote.

The Race Night team will be out again on 15 October for the “big one”: the District Conference, where well over 100 are booked in.

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