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In Loving Memory of Dave Thomas: A Gentleman of Kindness and Joy (17 May 2024)

On Friday, May 17, 2024, we bade a heartfelt farewell to our dear friend and fellow Rotarian, Dave Thomas. Dave joined Rotary 25 years ago, becoming an active and enthusiastic member. Throughout his tenure, he held several offices, including that of President.

Dave trained as a Pastry Chef and eventually took on a rundown café, the Copper Kettle, in Hazel Grove. Under his care, the café flourished, prompting him to move to Disley and fulfill a long-held dream of opening his own restaurant, the Copperfield. Together with his wife, Jackie, and eventually his son, Kurt, Dave created a thriving business that became a cherished community hub. He provided employment to many local youngsters, both in the kitchen and front of house. These young people fondly remember his calm demeanor, kindness, and sense of fun.

An avid golfer, Dave was a member of Bramhall Park Golf Club. He regularly organized teams for the Rotary Charity Golf days, and his team once proudly won the coveted Rose Bowl. Dave cherished the annual international trips with the club, visiting Rotary Clubs across Europe—a testament to his insatiable curiosity and zest for life.

Dave's willingness to help knew no bounds. Whether it was following the sleigh for the Christmas collections in December or hosting wonderful garden parties that raised thousands of pounds for charities, he was always there to lend a hand. In 2023, his dedication was recognized with the highest Rotary accolade, the Paul Harris Fellowship.

Dave loved his garden, but his greatest joy came from his family. He was immensely proud of them all and often shared anecdotes about his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Above all, Dave Thomas was a gentleman. His kindness was boundless, his laughter infectious, and his spirit indomitable. As we say goodbye, we find solace in the countless memories he leaves behind and the lives he touched with his warmth and grace. We had many good times together, and he will be greatly missed.


Young Photographer Competition 2024

Calling all aspiring young photographers from New Mills, Marple, and District !

Photography isn't just about capturing moments; it's about expressing creativity and storytelling. Whether you're wielding a professional camera or snapping shots with your phone, your perspective matters. The Rotary Young Photographer Competition invites youths to unleash their creativity and interpret the annual theme showcased in the Information Pack in innovative ways through their photography.

Open to all individuals aged up to 17 (as of August 31, 2023), this competition is your chance to showcase your talent and passion for photography.

How to Participate:

Get the Information Pack: Dive into the details of the competition by downloading the 2023/24 Information Pack.

Submit Your Entry: Complete the entry form provided in the pack and get ready to showcase your artistic flair.

Whether you're capturing the beauty of your surroundings, moments of joy, or thought-provoking scenes, let your photographs speak volumes. Unlock your potential, seize the opportunity, and join us in celebrating the art of photography with the Rotary Young Photographer Competition.

Deadline for Entries: 30th June 2024. Good Luck 😀


Rotary Supporter Gifts More Jumpers
08 February 2024

In a heartening gesture, Youth Matters in New Mills has received a donation of jumpers from a generous supporter of Rotary. These jumpers, generously offered, provide warmth and comfort to local youth in need. The donation underscores the power of community support in bolstering initiatives for young individuals. Youth Matters expresses deep appreciation for the thoughtful contribution, recognizing its significance in enhancing their mission. The act exemplifies the spirit of solidarity and compassion that thrives within the community. Such gestures reaffirm the impact of collaborative efforts in creating positive change for those in need.


Marple Naturalists
18 January 2024

This week, our featured guest was Jane Michael, serving as Chair of the Marple Naturalists, a cherished institution established in 1968. The Marple Naturalists convene monthly to host informative talks and, during the balmy months of July and August, lead invigorating walks and excursions. Their discussions encompass wildlife topics spanning not only our local landscape but also global ecosystems.
In 2018, the society commemorated its 50th Anniversary with a captivating exhibition at Marple Library and the publication of a book that has since undergone two reprintings, showcasing the depth of their commitment to environmental stewardship and education.
The group warmly welcomes new participants to their gatherings, extending an invitation for all interested individuals to join their enriching meetings.


Santa Collection Drive
01 December 2023

In the spirit of holiday generosity, the Rotary Club of New Mills, Marple and District has embarked on its annual Santa Collection drive, bringing joy and warmth to communities across our region. With vibrant sleighs adorned and Santa's jovial laughter echoing through the streets, the initiative aims to spread cheer and collect donations for those in need.
Led by dedicated volunteers, the Rotary Club's Santa Collection drive has become a cherished tradition, symbolizing unity and goodwill during the festive season. Families eagerly anticipate the sight of Santa and his helpers as they traverse neighborhoods, collecting donations and spreading holiday cheer.
The donations collected during the Santa Collection drive will go towards supporting local charities, providing essential resources and assistance to individuals and families in need throughout the holiday season and beyond.
For those wishing to contribute to the Santa Collection drive please visit [
Check our Facebook page each day to find out the latest news and routes.
Saturday 2nd December Marple Bridge Winter Wonderland
Sunday 3rd December All Saints School, Marple, Christmas Fayre
Monday 4th December- Woodville 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Tuesday 5th December- Disley 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Wednesday 6th December -Rose Hill 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. -
Friday 8th December - New Mills Low Leighton 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. -
Saturday 9th December - Collection at Tesco Whaley Bridge 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. -
Monday 11th December - Ley Hey 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Tuesday 12th December - New Mills Eaves Knoll 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. -
Wednesday 13th December -Marple Bridge Hollins Lane 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Friday 15th December - Cote Green and Compstall 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. -
You can donate through Just Giving:


Paul Harris Fellow awards
21 December 2023

We are pleased to announce the conferment of two new Paul Harris Fellow awards. These accolades are bestowed upon Rotarians who have demonstrated outstanding service to Rotary, traditionally reserved to signify appreciation for their dedicated contributions to the organization. We are honoured to recognize Dr. Eddie Thomas and Mr David Thomas as the recipients of these prestigious awards.


Charity Movie Night
22 October 2023

On Sunday, October 22nd, the Rotary Club's dedicated supporters and generous patrons of the Regent Cinema came together to wholeheartedly embrace the charity screening of the movie 'The Miracle Club' at Marple's Regent Cinema, organized by the New Mills, Marple, and District Rotary Club. The attendees were welcomed with a delightful array of beverages, sweets, and popcorn at the start, followed by a special treat of ice cream during the intermission. The event was not only a showcase of the film but also a gathering filled with entertainment and camaraderie, making it an unforgettable experience for all who attended. In the spirit of community and generosity, this event successfully raised a substantial sum of £1,455. These funds will be directed towards supporting a variety of local causes in the area, further exemplifying the Rotary Club's unwavering dedication to making a positive impact within our community.


Putting Marple on the Map
20 April 2023

On 20 th April the club hosted eleven students from Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Taiwan introducing them to local history starting at the Roman Lakes and Bottoms Mill excavations, continuing via Brabyns Park to the canal and aqueduct and ending at Mellor church. The guests, from Manchester University International Society, are nearly all post graduates studying a range of subjects.
The group was led by four of the more energetic members while others were working in the kitchen at the President’s home to provide a delicious lunch. The sun shone, the sky was blue and Marple put on its best spring display. The students left with a little more knowledge about life in the Bronze Age, the Roman Empire and the Industrial Revolution, their phones full of photographs and holding bags of sandwiches and cakes for the journey back. They all expressed their thanks and their appreciation. For them it was a chance to get out of Manchester and leave the stress of exams behind, for the club it was an opportunity to extend the hand of friendship which so many members have encountered when visiting other Rotarians at home and abroad. There were other benefits, as one student said, “ It is so lovely to see hills. My country has
mountains – you don’t get many of those in Manchester!”


Noel Pollard, Our Beloved Rotarian Passed Away!
10 March 2023

We are very sad to announce the death of one of our longest serving members, Noel Pollard. Noel joined the club in 1970 and fulfilled several important roles, including that of Secretary and twice as President. He also played a vital part in Christmas collections, driving the Santa sleigh. In recognition of his work for Rotary he was made a Paul Harris Fellow.
Before retirement he was Managing Director of Airline Training Associates, flying all over the world to train aircrew in safety and disaster management. A qualified pilot, he was also a keen sailor and he and his wife had intended to relocate to the south coast to pursue their sailing ambitions. A patient man with a dry sense of humour, he will be greatly missed.


"My Experience as a regular visitor to Styal Women's Prison"
09th March 2023

Barbara Hodskinson spoke about her time as a Prison Visitor at Styal Women’s prison, although she pointed out that this was some time ago and certain aspects may have changed. Despite only being involved with those committed for murder, she said her overwhelming lesson from the time was that prisoners are not a breed apart. She mentioned how, even though they had very little, they demonstrated several acts of kindness including a collection for the homeless when they learned of Peter’s involvement with Wellspring.


Fielding a team of 1!
1 March 2023

When New Mills, Marple and District Rotary club were asked if they could provide a team to support Stockport Lamplighters’ Swimathon on 18th March they reluctantly decided that it was no longer possible. However, step forward the club President’s grandson, Josh Cann. Josh, a first year student and keen swimmer, has already represented Salford University in competitions and, if the club would collect
sponsors, he agreed to be their ‘Team of 1’. He would be swimming for 55 minutes and thought he might be able to manage 100 lengths. However, when he arrived at Stockport Grammar School’s pool he found each length would be 33m rather than the usual 25m. Undeterred, he dived in eventually completing 106 lengths, the highest number in the Swimathon’s 20 year history of the event. When the results were announced all the teams cheered his success.
Half the sponsorship money goes to Stockport Lamplighters with the other half going to the club. President (and proud grandfather), Mike Yates, said, “80% of the money we raise throughout the year goes to local charities and youth projects with the remaining 20% donated to international causes. Josh’s efforts have raised over £300 and we thought it fitting that this should be given to Sreepur Village in Bangladesh who run a SwimSafe scheme each summer teaching youngsters swimming and basic water survival skills.” Large numbers of children drown each year in Bangladesh so this is a very necessary and valuable project.


Visit to Royal Yachting Association
31 January 2023

On a recent windswept morning a member of the club watched 6 trainees start their Royal Yachting Association Dinghy Instructor course, which will lead to an internationally recognised qualification. The club were pleased to be able to help Toddbrook Sailing Club fund this training. Once members reach a certain skill level, and hold First Aid and Power Boat qualifications, they are eligible for the Instructor course. Although they will be qualified to coach all ages they are keen to be able to pass on their knowledge to younger members of the club.


Award for commitment and service
26th January 2023

President Mike Yates was proud to present 2 Paul Harris Fellowship Awards at the meeting this week. These awards are presented in recognition of the work and support given by the recipient to the Rotary movement. Our newest recipients are George Cope and Howard Lawless.


A Warm Gesture
25th January 2023

Members of the club have been supporting the members of the Rotary Club of Ramsbottom by donating items of warm clothing and bedding which were destined for Ukraine to help alleviate the bitter Winter weather.


Cheeeeese Experience
12th January 2023

The Speaker at our lunch meeting today was The Cheeseman from Altrincham Market. He explained the process of cheesemaking and brought samples to be tried and purchased.


A Typical British Experience
20th October 2022

On 20th October the club played host to 18 postgraduate students from the International Society of the Manchester Universities. The students came from a wide range of countries, including China, Indonesia and Columbia, and had only arrived in the UK in the last month. Many were meeting for the first time and so, it was a chance to make new connections and friends.

They were met at Disley station at 11.30 am and driven to Lyme Park. Members had provided sandwiches, hopefully covering all tastes, as well as vegetarian pasties. It seems that food has a universal appeal for students as they happily stood under umbrellas in the car park and ate everything on offer. Then they were each presented with a ‘goody bag’ containing a drink, some fruit and a variety of snacks and set off to visit the house.

They were very enthusiastic about everything, full of questions and phones at the ready to take photographs of furniture, tapestries, paintings and even bathrooms. Many of them knew of the Pride and Prejudice film and were excited to learn of the Colin Firth connection! They explored the gardens and the strategically placed pumpkins were another big success as well as creating a variety of photo opportunities.

The afternoon finished at 4pm with coffee and hot chocolate in the café before heading back to the station. Their only disappointment was that the weather had made it impossible to explore further and to see any deer. It caused great excitement when a large herd were spotted close to the driveway, with some stags even displaying their fighting spirit. Capturing the deer on camera, together with the volume of traffic on the A6, may have been the reason that 12 of the students missed the train but members drove them to Stockport where there were more options available.

So, a truly British experience – a picnic in the rain and a National Trust visit. Altogether it proved memorable and joyful for all concerned. Any worries there might have been about the discrepancy in ages was soon dispelled by their friendliness, warmth and gratitude. It fulfilled 2 of the Rotary principles ‘creating goodwill and friendship’ and being ‘beneficial to all.’


'Paris Trip' boosts coffers
2nd October 2022

Covid hit Rotary fundraising efforts hard leaving them with less funds to support worthwhile causes both local and internationally. So they were very grateful when the Regent cinema in Marple offered to host a charity event.
The film chosen was ‘Mrs Harris goes to Paris’ starring Lesley Manville. The event was very well supported by family, friends and other local Rotary clubs. All the seats sold and the target figure was reached, even the staff donated their time free. Everyone enjoyed the film and left the cinema smiling.

The Regent has a long history of supporting the local commumity and received their first Community Award in 1999. The club was unanimous in its decision to recognise the effort and award another.


Charity Curry Night
27th September 2022

The Qurashi restaurant in Romiley offered to host a charity event on 27 th September. As the owners are from Bangladesh it was decided to donate the proceeds to Sreepur Village near Dhaka which supports destitute women and children, offering a place of safety with education and training.

The event was well attended by family, friends and other local Rotary members. Several Raffle prizes were donated including a voucher for a meal at the restaurant. Everyone enjoyed the meal and a short film was shown explaining the work of the Village. The sum raised was £363 and it was very gratefully received by the charity.


My Life in Crime
25th August 2022

Our speaker on 25th August was Simon Michael, often referred to as “the British John Grisham”, is the author of the best-selling London 1960s Charles Holborne series, featuring his antihero barrister, an East End villain made good but struggling in his West End profession.

Simon was published in the UK and the US in the 1980s and returned to writing when he retired from the law in 2016. The Charles Holborne series, The Brief, An Honest Man, The Lighterman, Corrupted, The Waxwork Corpse, Force of Evil and the latest, The Final Shot, have all garnered strong reviews for their authenticity and excitement.
Simon’s tales from the Bar and the plots for his novels are based on his criminal practice, his life and that of his own family.

Refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, the Michael family arrived in the Port of London in 1492 and remained in the East End for the next 450 years. Simon believes himself to be the only member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple formerly to have been a council labourer, a van driver and a gardener.

Once qualified he practised as a barrister for 37 years, working at the Old Bailey and other criminal courts, defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy. The era about which he writes, the 1960s, was the “wild west” of British justice, a time when the Krays, the Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted evidence and took a share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers real events of the time, the cases on which he worked, and his unusual family history.


New Mills Army Cadets
11th August 2022

2nd Lt Phil Barlow (from the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force - Mercian Regiment) gave a very interesting talk on the Army Cadet Force. Being the oldest National Youth Organisation, the force teaches 12-18 year olds life skills including discipline and team work. The Cadets also learn First Aid, signals and radio communication skills, a variety of sports and have the opportunity to gain qualifications in adventure training and work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Exhibition of Rotary Iron Lung at New Mills Carnival
11th August 2022

We were pleased to be able to support the Carnival again this year. To make more people aware of the fact that Polio is still endemic in some countries and to emphasise the type of treatment needed to help some patients recover, we took along an Iron Lung, which caused a lot of interest.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. You can help us "End Polio Now" by donating on our Just Giving Page. We also took along our Wishing Well which proved popular with the children.​

Thursday at 12 noon for 12.30 pm Meetings

Marple Golf Club Barnsfold Road, Marple Stockport, SK6 7EL

Enjoy various talks delivered by speakers from various realms of life; Have a friendly drink and meal; To establish network; To get to know each other to become friends

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