Club News

The latest news of what has been happening at the club.

APS Support UK

27th April 2021

The club had its first speaker for almost 18 months at the meeting this evening. Phil Godfrey of the Rotary Club of Solihull gave a talk on Zoom about the condition Antiphospholipid Syndrome and his endeavours to support the charity APS Support UK. This condition affects more women than men and as the club consists mainly of men, several of their wives were also took part.

It was interesting to learn about APS, a condition that can cause blood clots and lead to miscarriages and strokes, as all but one of us had not heard of it and apparently that applies to many doctors too! Phil started his fundraising by walking from the Isles of Scilly to Shetland but had to abandon that attempt due to injury, so intead travelled round the UK by rail visiting Rotary clubs and giving talks about APS Support. He has now travelled over 42,000 miles by train and raised almost £238,000 towards his target of £300,00. Due to Covid he is no longer travelling but now gives his talks to clubs on Zoom.

Find out more about APS Support UK
The APS logo of a hand holding a drop of red blood

Club Meetings Suspended

16 March 2020

Due to the current situation with the Corona virus epidemic it has been decided to suspend meetings of the club. This decision has been taken following advice from the government and English Health that social gatherings should not take place and is to protect the health of our members.

Contact will be maintained by email, social media and telephone and hopefully we will be able to resume our normal schedule before too long.


Donation to Luke's Lads

21 November 2019

Cheque presentation to Luke's Lads

Rachel Walmsley of the charity Luke's Lads was presented with a cheque for £1,000 by President Olivia today to help with the work they are doing in combating male suicide.

Luke's Lads was set up by Rachel and her friend, Rebecca, after the suicide of a close friend spurred them into doing something about the problem of male suicide. They encourage and support men by providing free circuit training sessions along with support sessions where they can talk about their feelings in an alternative environment.


Trophy Presentation

31 October 2019

The car rally winner receiving his trophy

Martyn Wise, the owner of the winning car in this year's charity classic car rally, was invited to the meeting today where he was presented with the winner's trophy by Rotarian Derek Ashton.

The winning car is a beautiful, fully restored MG C.


Charter Evening 2019

18 October 2019

Olivia receiving a bouquet of flowers.

President Olivia receives a bouquet of flowers from her grandfather Past President David.

Almost 60 Rotarians and friends gathered at Healds Hall to celebrate the 88th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Heckmondwike & District receiving its charter and becoming a recognised Rotary Club.

After a great meal we were entertained by an interesting speech with anecdotes about being a funeral director - no really, it was entertaining!

At the end of proceedings Past President David Asquith presented a superb bouquet of flowers to our president, Olivia, who just happens to be his grand-daughter.


Classic Car Rally 2019

22 September 2019

Several cars lined up for the start of the charity car rally 2019

The club's charity classic car rally took place once again this year and was a great success.

Read more about it.


Country's Youngest President!

4 July 2019

President Olivia Jordan at Healds Hall Hotel

The Club's new President is the youngest in the country! Olivia Jordan today took over as President of the Rotary Club at the age of 21 and became the youngest Rotary President in the whole of Britain and Ireland. Another notable achievement is that she is proud to be the fourth generation of her family to be a member of the Rotary club with her father and grandfather being current members.

Olivia as some new ideas of what she wants to achieve during her year as President and one of her first duties will be to preside at the club's 19th Charity Classic Car Rally on 22nd September which will see cars of all types and ages going on a scenic run to Masham and being displayed at Theakston's brewery.

President Olivia Jordan receiving the president's badge in front of a classic car

Members of the club wish Olivia well in her year in office.


Recycling Plant Visit

26 June 2019

Rotary club members at Suez recycling plant

Members and friends visited the Suez waste processing plant in Huddersfield.

During a visit to the large waste processing plant run by Suez in Huddersfield, members learned what happens to the stuff we put in our bins when it is taken away by the bin lorries.

We were first shown round the recycling facility which processes the waste from the green bins. We saw how the different types of waste such as plastic bottles, paper, metal cans, etc. are separated and eventually sold on for re-use. Seeing some of the things going along the belts that people had put in the green bins such as carrier bags and shoes was eye-opening.

Rubbish on the recycling sorting belt

After that we were taken to the plant that deals with the general waste from the grey bins which is incinerated (the place with the huge chimney). The shear scale of the place was amazing with huge grabs lifting tons of rubbish at a time into the hopper that feeds the furnace. We saw into this furnace and also went into the control room where many computer screens monitor and control the whole plant. It was surprising to find that even the ash from this process has a value and is sold on.

Thanks to Suez and the staff who looked after us and showed us how everything that goes in our bins gets processed.


Roberttown Information Board

9 May 2019

Members of the club at Roberttown Jubilee Garden

The Jubilee Garden on Church Road, Roberttown has been refurbished and is now looking great again. It has new planting, new bench, a Roll of Honour Board and a large information board telling the history of places and events that have occurred in Roberttown.

The work was commissioned by the Roberttown Residents Group and carried out by Spen Valley Civic Society and our club are pleased to have been involved by fully funding the cost of producing the information board.

Five of our members braved the wet weather to attend the re-opening and dedication of the garden today which we are sure will be a great asset to the village.


Tracy Brabin M.P. Visits The Club

4 May 2017

Tracy Brabin MP

Tracy Brabin, the member of parliament for Batley and Spen until parliament was disolved last week, visited the club today. After lunch she gave an interesting talk about how and why she bacame an M.P. and what it means to her to represent the constiuency.

She also told us of her plans to improve Heckmondwike town centre which involves creating space for community involvement. As part of this she said that she would like to see the defunct market hall turned into a theatre in the round.


Classic Car Rally 2016

25 September 2016

Photo of Triumph Gloria Southern Cross

Once again the club's annual Classic Car Rally was a great success. With over 70 cars meeting at the Star Inn, Roberttown, for display and for their drivers and passengers to have breakfast, and with cars ranging from a 1935 Triumph Gloria Southern Cross (pictured) to a fabulous modern Morgan Aero it was a spectacular sight.

The cars then set off on a drive into the beautiful countryside of North Yorkshire ending at Lightwater Valley where we were kindly provided with a private carpark to display the cars once again. This proved popular with other visitors to the park who were fascinated to see a large gathering of very special cars.

The cars had been judged, taking in factors such as their age, condition, quality of restoration and also just how they caught the eye. A prize-giving took place with the winning car being the beautifully restored 1935 Triumph Gloria Southern Cross pictured above with the proud owner and his trophy. Another award, the Colman Trophy by Colman Tyres of Liversdege, is given to the car that the judges thought to be the most unusual or special in some way. This was won by a lovely 1957 Chevrolet Belair which attracted a lot of attention.

Photo of Chevrolet Belair


David's Golden Anniversary

11 August 2016

Photo of President Mike Lister making presentation to David ArmitageThe longest serving member of the club achieved 50 years in Rotary today. David Armitage, a retired optician, joined the club on this day in 1966 and continues to attend the meetings regularly and supports the many fund-raising events.

David has been president of the club on two occasions, in 1975-76 and then again in 2010-11.

To commemorate this golden anniversary, David was presented with a gold number 50 to attach to his past-president badge.

He says that the main benefit of being a member of the club has been meeting new friends. "I’ve got to know an awful lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise." he said, "It’s a totally diverse group of people that meet for lunch each week and I have enjoyed my time in the club".


Hecky Fest 2016

16 July 2016

Image of the Rotary stall

The club had a tombola stall at this year's Hecky Fest in Heckmondwike town centre to raise money for charity. Hecky Fest is a two day music festival held annually in Green Park with bands performing on two stages. This popular event attracts thousands of visitors to the park where there are also fairground rides, food and drink stalls, trampolines and more.

Heckmondwike & District Rotary Club were joint sponsors of the event and the tombola stall was so successful that all the tickets and prizes had gone at the end of the first day! All money raised will be donated to charity.

Image of the crowd and main stage.


New President Is 8th From Same Family

7 July 2016

Mike Lister, the new president of the Rotary Club of Heckmondwike & District is the eighth member of his family to hold that position. Since his grandfather, Dempster Lister – a well-known baker in Heckmondwike, founded the club in 1931 his great grandfather, father and 4 uncles have also held the post.

At his inauguration on Thursday he said, “I am delighted to be able to continue the family tradition in supporting the Rotary club. With so many of my predecessors being President before me, I feel the weight of responsibility from the past on my shoulders. I hope to lead the club to success during my year in office and my focus is going to be on supporting projects that help the local community in the Spen Valley.”

Because his family have been so involved in the club, Mike, who owns a software company in Liversedge, feels that Rotary is in his blood. Although he has only been a member since 2010 he felt at home straight away. Attending Rotary functions and fund-raising events with his relatives from childhood has given Mike a deep insight into how Rotary works and the good work it does.

The club exists to serve the community and is supporting the Crown of Lights Festival in Green Park, Heckmondwike with a donation of £1,500. More than £6,000 has been donated to good causes in the last year. “Rotary does not always get recognised for the good work it does,” said Mike, “but I hope to promote the image of the club and let people know what we are and what we do.”

The previous president, restauranteur Orlando Gubbini, said “I am pleased to hand the reins to Mike and wish him all the best for the coming year. I am sure that the club will continue to prosper and go from strength to strength under his leadership.”


Wine Tasting Party

26 June 2016

Photo of Wine Tasting Party

A sunny day, good company and eight different wines to taste - what could be better?

The club held a wine tasting event in association with Leeds Wine & Champagne Inc with the opportunity to sample eight different French wines.Each wine was introduced by Georg Vitzthum with a description of where it was grown and how it was produced which was very interesting to hear.

Food was provided by Orlando of Orlando's Italian Restaurant, Grange Moor, with a selection of Prosciutto, Salami, Olives, Pickles, Bread and much more.

The event was a great success and thanks go to Edwin Crowther for organising and hosting the event and his family for the help they provided.


Mayor of Kirklees Visits The Club

17 March 2016

Mayor of Kirklees with President Orlando

We had the pleasure of welcoming Paul Kane, the Mayor of Kirklees, to the club when he visited to tell us about the Mayor's Charity which is supporting the work of Diabetes UK.

He told us that diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition, however if treated properly people with the condition can live long healthy lives.

After the Mayor's talk President Orlando presented him with a cheque for £250 to support his charity.


Jo Cox M.P. Visits The Club

15 October 2015

Jo Cox M.P. at Heckmondwike Rotary Club

Jo Cox, the member of Parliament for the Batley and Spen constituency attended the club's regular weekly meeting today at Healds Hall Hotel. Jo was welcomed by President Orlando (with chain), Mike Lister (on right) and Chris Wooller (on left). After lunch, Jo gave a short speech, telling the members about her experience of entering the Houses of Parliament for the first time. She followed by saying that she hoped the club could work with her on local community projects in the area. Chris thanked her and said the club would keep her informed of any project that the club was delivering locally.


Cheque Presentation To TACT

29 September 2015

President Orlando chose TACT as his charity to support in his first year in office. A cheque for £1,500 was presented to Lisa and Carol from the charity who thanked Orlando for the generous donation. TACT (The Adolescent and Children's Trust) provide help and support for young people who are adopted or fostered. More information about TACT can be found on their website.

Cheque being presented to TACT

The club's main fund-raising event is its annual Classic Car Rally, with the last one raising over £3,000. Two classic cars were present at the presentation along with their proud owners Barry, 1963 MG B Roadster, and Derek, 1961 Riley 1.5.

This year's rally is due to take place on Sunday 27th September starting at the Star Inn, Roberttown. Download the entry form if you would like to take part.

Read the article about this that appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post.


Ladies Night

17 April 2015

A great night was had at the Lakeside Restaurant, Heckmondwike where almost 100 Rotarians and their guests enjoyed dinner and dancing to AJ & Sam.

Ladies dancing

See more about it here.


Roberttown Defibrillator

8 March 2015

The Roberttown Roadrunners and the Community Centre were raising funds to have an automatic defibrillator fitted to the outside of the Community Centre and asked Heckmondwike Rotary Club if they could help. Almost half the money had been raised and our club immediately offered to provide the rest and also provide enough to fund the installation.

Photo of the defib unveiling

The unveiling was attended by members of Heckmondwike Rotary Club, the Community Centre, Roberttown Roadrunners and the local community with tea and cakes being served in the hall. The official cutting of the ribbon was done by Brian Robinson (first Briton to ride in the Tour de France [1955]) along with Dave Jones (Yorkshire Ambulance Service Community Defibrillation Officer), Orlando Gubbini (President, Rotary Club of Heckmondwike and District) and Richard Bamforth (Roberttown Roadrunners and Ravensthorpe Cycling Club).

Photo of the defib unveilingPhoto of the defib unveiling

If a 999 call is made because someone is having a heart attack, the operator will know if there is one of these defibrillators close by. They can give the caller the code to open the case and someone can retrieve it while the patient receives first aid. The defibrillator speaks to the person using it and instructs them in how to use it. It can tell if the pads have been put in the correct place and also if the heart's condition requires shocking and will only do so if all is correct.

The members of the Rotary Club of Heckmondwike and District are pleased to have been able to help with this very worthwhile local project to save lives.


Christmas Message

18 December 2014

It was nice to see so many guests at the club's Thursday meeting where members were accompanied by their wives and partners and the club invited the widows of deceased members for a Christmas lunch. With so many people meeting old friends and a meal of turkey and Christmas pud, with crackers and paper hats, it was a lovely lunchtime.

A Christmas message was delivered by Father Nicholas Hird from St. Paul's church in Cleckheaton which was a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas told through a lovely story about Santa Claus.


Christmas Dinner

16 December 2014

A great time was had by all who attended the club's Christmas Dinner at The Keys restaurant in Huddersfield.The Keys is located in the crypt under St. Peter's church in the centre of Huddersfield and provided a great atmosphere with its vaulted stone ceiling and cosy lighting.

The club took over the whole place and were treated to a superb meal which was enjoyed by all. Entertainment was provided by Steve Long who sung some classic songs from stars such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin after which the tempo was turned up a notch and the dancing started.

A terrific night and a perfect start to Christmas. Thanks Orlando and Debbie for organising the event.


Christmas Market

7 December 2014

The Rotary club had a stall at the Ponderosa Christmas Market today with a bottle stall, mulled wine and a display to promote Rotary's activities both here and abroad.

With over a thousand people coming into the market it was a busy day for our vounteers and the bottle stall proved to be extremely popular and at £1 a go there was the chance to win a bottle of wine, beer, pop, water or an empty bottle!

It was a bitterly cold day so the hot mulled wine helped to warm up the market goers and keep their spirits up.

Thanks to all those who donated bottles and to those who helped with the stall.


Heckmondwike Lights Switch-on

29 November 2014

Santa in his grotto

The Christmas Lights switch-on in Heckmondwike once again attracted thousands of people into the town centre where the Market Place and Green Park are taken over by a Fun Fair with rides, roundabouts and stalls selling everything from burgers and hot dogs to glow-sticks and swords. The Rotary club again provided the main atrraction for smaller children - Santa's Grotto and we also had a bottle stall nearby.

Santa arrived in Green Park on his sleigh at 1.45pm and found a queue of small children had already formed to welcome him. The queue never shortened and got even longer as the time for the Christmas Lights to be turned on got nearer. At 6.30 the lights were switched on and still the children kept coming until at 7.30 all the presents had gone and the grotto had to be closed. With over 260 children having passed through, it left Santa and his elf helpers exhausted.

The Bottle Stall was equally as popular with the grown-ups and the stall full of bottles completely sold out.

Over £500 was raised and thanks are due to all those who helped.

More information and photos here.


Rotary Shoebox Appeal

18 November 2014

It was a close run thing, but we did it! The local Inner Wheel Club had 11 spare boxes for the Rotary Shoebox Appeal. We got them to fill on Saturday night. They had to be filled and ready for dispatch on Monday. And we did it.

The Rotary shoeboxes are filled with items in different categories. Some have things for children, either a girl or a boy, and some have household items in them. They are collected, sent to countries abroad and distributed to needy people there. If you want to see what a difference these make take a look at this YouTube video. Although it is not a Rotary shoebox, just look at the reaction.Rotary shoeboxes

The 11 shoeboxes we recieved were filled in 24 hours, thanks in part by a generous donation by Rtn. Howard Cook which enabled more items to be purchased.