The Rotary Club of New Mills & District was formed out of Stockport Rotary Club and was Chartered on the 27th February 1946. Originally all members lived or worked in New Mills and because of their business responsibilities decided to meet at Thursday lunchtime. This day and time of meeting remains the case today although membership is now spread much further.
In those days there were strict rules concerning membership classification. Only one person from any profession or business was allowed. There were also strict Attendance Rules and back in those unenlightened days, Ladies were not allowed! During the early years of the club such matters were of considerable concern to members if the early Club Histories are to be believed.
The day was bound to come when more than one person of any professions, say a Bank Manager, wished to join the club. The Club overcame this problem by recording on a Personal Bank Manager and the other as a Business Bank Manager. Similar actions were in due course taken with other professions and occupations. However, this did not escape the attention of District, who many years ago, expressed its disapproval of such methods.
It was also expected, again in the early days, that a member had to reside within the area covered by the club or at least have his place of business in the area. It is pleasing to state that such restrictions have now long been abandoned.
When the club was first formed Food Rationing was still in place following WW2. To eke out what little food was available the Club formed a “Pig Club”. A pig was kept on a local farm and was supposed to be fed by club members. History records that the first time many members saw the pig was when it was in the frying pan.
As the club membership developed and spread the name of the club was changed to its present name of the Rotary Club of New Mills Marple & District. Activities now take place in a wide area from Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Marple to Mellor and Romiley.
It was not until 1952 that the club, members still mainly resident in New Mills, began collecting for local charities around a Christmas Tree erected at the top of Union Road. Later the club would erect a substantial model Stable and recreate the nativity scene at that location. From these early beginnings one of the main money raising events for the club was the Christmas Collections. Until Covid caused a pause, collections were made at various supermarkets in the district and a sleigh complete with Father Christmas and helpers would visit various local estates in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Another fund raising event each year was a Golf Day held at a local Golf Course but, again, this has presently been curtailed due to Covid.
Before Covid the club had undertaken fairly regular International and other Trips. These had proved very enjoyable to those taking part and it is to be hoped that such social activities can be planned in the future.