We were delighted to receive recognition from The Fire Fighters Charity, following the collection in Swanage following the Grenfell Tower Fire, thanking Swanage Rotary for the donation made to the charity.
Our thanks accordingly go to the whole community of Swanage and Purbeck for their generous donations which enabled us to make this donation. In addition to the money donated to The Fire Fighters Charity we were also able to make a sizeable donation to the Rotary Club of Kensington and Chelsea, who are the Club most local to the Tower, who are co-ordinating the funds raised.
Our speaker at this week’s meeting was Dr Mike Walshaw, an electrical engineer who volunteers as a signalman at the Corfe Castle signal box on the Swanage Railway. Mike came to talk to us about Project Wareham – the project to link Swanage back to the railway network.
Mike has been involved with the project since 2011. It was the Poole to Wool resignalling project that offered the “chance of a lifetime” possibility to recreate the link back to the network but over five million pounds had to be raised to give the project any chance of success. Network Rail did not contribute any money to Project Wareham but did fund the main line upgrades, eventually commissioned in 2014.
Amongst the challenges faced by the project was laying 6 1/2 miles of signalling cable from Corfe Castle to Wareham and the erection of a flat pack cabin at Norden Gates. Contractors were employed to undertake some of the works with volunteers assisting where they could. Mike himself was responsible for the design and installation of part of the signalling system – the token system, a system used on single track lines which dates back over 100 years to the early days of the railway.
Other challenges that had to be overcome were strengthening parts of the trackway itself (the embankments), replacing old and worn rail and creating a road/rail interchange and a new level crossing at Norden.
The talk was a fascinating insight into the efforts made to successfully enable the line to be reopened back to the main line at Wareham earlier this year, and Rotarian David Huntley thanked Dr Mike for coming to tell us all about it.
Rotarian Hilary Thraves reports on a night of celebration at Swanage school.
The Clem Dennis Young Citizen Award was presented by Swanage & Purbeck Rotary to Yasmin Unsworth at The Swanage School’s Celebration of Learning Evening on 13 July. Clem Dennis was a much loved and respected Rotarian who was selfless, committed and passionate about Rotary and its motto “Service Above Self”. This award celebrates and acknowledges these qualities.
This year, ten students were nominated by their teachers and then interviewed individually by Swanage & Purbeck Rotary President Ro Clark, Chair of Youth Committee Linda Winter, and Young Citizen Lead Hilary Thraves.
Some of the qualities demonstrated in Yasmin’s nomination and interview, as follows, made her a very worthy winner:-
• She is an excellent, trusted “Big Sister”, listening carefully to students’ problems and acting as a mediator to resolve friendship issues • She has coached and supervised pupils at after-school sports clubs and outreach activities with local primary schools; Yasmin herself plays badminton at County level • She has been a role model for younger students taking part in the school production and plans to do the choreography for next year’s production • She recently joined the team for the school’s Cancer in Children Support project and is already making a significant and positive contribution to arranging fundraising events • Outside school, Yasmin supports the RNLI and has taken part in the Weldmar Hospice’s Bubble Rush and a 5k run for the Alzheimer’s Society
In their interviews, candidates showed enthusiasm & positivity, initiative, focus, leadership skills and potential and self-assurance and commitment, but often in a modest and unassuming way. What also shone through was the students’ pride in and love for The Swanage School. It was a privilege and a pleasure to be involved.
Our meeting this week included some guests who were receiving money from the proceeds of the club’s fundraising activities over the past year.
President John was delighted to present cheques to:
Langton Matravers Lights
Swanage Youth Centre
With the summer just around the corner, we are hopeful of raising many more funds to help support worthy causes, both local and further afield, from the various summer events that will be taking place over the coming weeks.