A History of the.
Rotary Club of Dudley
(Club No.89, District 1210)
PAST PRESIDENT MICHAEL CRUMP
About six months ago at a meeting of
Dudley Rotary Club the then District Governor Fraser Dukes suggested
to me that I write a history of Dudley Rotary Club. I was not to
know then exactly what I was letting myself in for.
To research information relating to Dudley Rotary Club has proved
much more difficult than originally envisaged, due to the fact that
the majority of the information has been gleaned from rather sketchy
details contained in Club Council Minutes and Committee minutes.
Unfortunately during my researches it appears that a considerable
number of these minutes are missing from the Dudley Archives, and
despite recovering some, there are still many missing, with the
inevitable result that a few years may seem short on content.
It may appear that some years have very little reported. This does
not mean in any way that Service or Fellowship was less than in any
other year. Many events have gone on year after year and have not
been mentioned purely to avoid continual repetition.
Perhaps the final product may show the changes that have taken
place in the thinking and attitude of Dudley Rotary Club from the
1920's to the 1990's.
Rather than a history this booklet is more a recording of events
which I trust will be acceptable to all who read it.
May I express my thanks to both Jean, my wife for her tolerance and
to Past Presidents Fred Austin and Bernard Beales for the help they
have given me in the preparation of this document.
Michael Crump November 1997
1921 - 1924
In late 1921 senior members of
Birmingham Rotary Club approached some leading businessmen in Dudley
with a view to forming a Rotary Club in Dudley. The efforts of these
Rotarians were rewarded by the great interest shown by the Dudley
businessmen. Many meetings were held by the nucleus of members of
the proposed new Rotary Club prior to the actual formation of the
club. An inaugural Meeting was held at 264/8 Castle Street, Dudley
on 22 May 1922 with Mr F.W. Cook in the chair with seven other
members present: at that meeting a further 26 members were elected
to the club. Draft rules of the club were considered and it was
resolved that they be placed before the first official meeting of
the club to be held at 1.00pm on Monday 12 June 1922 at The Dudley
Arms Hotel. Furthermore, it was agreed that meetings of the club
should be held fortnightly.
At the meeting on 12 June, Mr F.W. Cook was elected founder
President of Dudley Rotary Club. The Secretary announced at that
meeting that he had been in communication with The British
Association of Rotary Clubs with reference to the Constitution and
Bye-Laws of the Association. The rules of the Club, agreed on the 12
June 1922, were rescinded, as they were in conflict with those of
And thus Dudley Rotary Club came into being.
Badges were purchased for members at a cost of 3/6d each. A bank
account was opened with the London Joint City and Midland Bank at
their Dudley Branch.
In July 1922, Lord Ednam accepted an invitation to become an
Honorary Member of the Club. In August, the Earl of Dudley also
accepted the invitation to become an Honorary Member. The Club was
granted its Charter from Rotary International on the 13 December
1922. The first year or two were predominantly concerned with
getting to grips with the Rotary Constitution and recruiting new
In a very short time, the membership of the Club increased and by
mid-1923 was in excess of 70, all the members being leading
businessmen of the Borough of Dudley. The Secretary reported that he
had received letters from the Temperance Legislation League and the
Anti-Prohibition League, asking for permission to address the Club.
Both requests were accepted and they were asked to attend on the
It was decided that a Ladies' Night be held on 16 April 1923 at the
Palais de Danse, Dudley at a cost of 7/6d per head of which 1/0d
would go to Club funds.
A resolution was put to RIBI
relating to the Annual Conference; as follows: "Resolve that
the out of pocket expenses of attending the Annual Conference
incurred by the two members of each Rotary Club nominated to the
Council of R.I. be paid by R.I.". This resolution was however
rescinded at a later Club Council meeting.
The first sub-committee of the Club consisting of five members was
a "Boys' Work Committee". At a meeting of Club Council on
4 June 1923, it was resolved that no meetings should take place
during the month of August. (This was to remain in force until it
was rescinded in 1995.) On 4 February 1924, an evening meeting took
place at which a debate on the subject "That in the opinion of
the meeting Dudley is efficiently and economically governed".
(There is no record of how the voting went.)
The first Fellowship Meeting was held on 1 April 1924 with a visit
to Wolverhampton Rotary Club.
By June 1924 three Sub-Committees had been formed - Boys' Work,
Fraternal and Membership.
1924 - 1928
The early years of the club were
concerned mainly with fellowship and ensuring that a stable
membership was obtained. There were many resignations (due mainly to
the attendance rule which was rigidly enforced). However, there were
also many new members, which offset this.
The early records of the club leave something to be desired and
there is little mention of the inner workings of the Club.
The President of RIBI visited the club on 2 February 1925, (with
3/- being charged for persons attending).
When a new member was inducted into the Club, he was presented with
a ribbon with the words "New Member" embroidered on it.
These ribbons were to be worn at all meetings. However, this seemed
to be unpopular and, following a letter from the Fraternal Committee
to Club Council, these words were omitted from ribbons issued
In 1925, with reference to a proposed Ladies Evening, the question
of entertainment was discussed and a request was made that items of
a "humorous nature" would be desirable.
Classification of new members appeared to create problems in the
early years. A proposal form was submitted for a prospective member
with a suggested classification of "Bean Car Distributor".
This classification was not approved by Club Council but it was
resolved to accept the classification of "Sports Outfitter"!!!!!
Throughout the first few years of
the Clubs existence, two items more than any other were under
continual discussion: attendance and the quality of the catering.
(This was not to change in future years.) 1929
The first record of any fund-raising occurred in March 1925 when
the club agreed to support the Guest Hospital £10,000 appeal
In September 1925, a letter was received from RIBI informing the
club of a proposed Australian Conference and stating that they
proposed to send a delegate from this country. In order to do this
it would be necessary to make a levy of one shilling per head on all
RIBI members. This was considered by Club Council, who resolved that
no further donation be made.
At this time Dudley Rotary Club seemed to be involved in an
enormous amount of correspondence with RIBI, interpretation of the
rules being one of the major items.
Due to the fact that some members were magistrates and that they
were on the "bench" on the first and third Monday of the
month, it was resolved that the fortnightly meetings of the Club
would take place on the second and fourth Monday of each month.
For 1926, a Ladies' Evening was proposed, which would again be held
at the Palais de Danse, Dudley. This would be a sit down supper with
dancing to follow. A card room would be available for those not
wishing to dance. Due to lack of support, this function was
Following many complaints from members about the venue for meetings
at the Dudley Arms, it was agreed that from 20 September 1926,
meetings of the club should take place at the Saracens Head.
Following a letter from R.I.B.I. suggesting that the Club meet
weekly instead of fortnightly, the Secretary was instructed to send
a reply stating that weekly meetings were "not in the best
interests of the Club".
In February 1928, a letter was received by the club (and by other
local clubs) from the Rotary Club of Weston Super Mare. This was in
connection with a Boys' home in the town and asking for financial
support. Dudley club gave this their full backing and support.
Complaints were received by Club Council relating to the time that
the luncheon meetings finished. It appeared that Club Council
meetings, which were called for 12.30pm on the day of each meeting
of the Club seldom finished by 1.00pm. All Club meetings started
late due to this and rarely finished before 2.30pm. Council were to
look into the matter.
A letter was received from Dudley Cricket Club asking that the Club
elect a representative to serve on their committee.
Membership on 20 February, 1929 was 70.
As from 4 November, 1929, it was agreed that meetings would in future
be held on a weekly basis and not fortnightly, as was current.
It was agreed that the club should be responsible for the maintenance
of the wireless, wiring and headphones at Dudley Guest Hospital. One
Dudley Rotarian kindly donated a new wireless for this project.
A letter was sent to the Dudley Postmaster complaining:-
(a) That telephone operators do not put through trunk calls.
(b) That when calls are put through they are summarily cut off.
(c) That the telephone operator does not disconnect when the trunk
call is finished.
It was agreed by Club Council that 30 luncheons be guaranteed weekly
to the Saracen's Head for a year.
On 25 November, 1929, a letter was received from R.I.B.I. appealing
for assistance towards the cost of litigation involved by the
Kensington Club as a result of expelling a member. It was resolved
that the letter be left to "lie on the table".
1930 - 1931
Membership at 31 March, 1930 was 55.
Membership at 30 June, 1931 was 59.
In March 1930, club committees were regularised in accordance with
the bye-laws being.
Fellowship and Programme.
Aims and Objects and Boys Work.
Membership and Vocational Services.
In May 1930, the membership of the club was 55, a drop of 15 in the
period of 12 months. This was a cause of great concern.
In July 1930, a letter was sent to No.6 District, suggesting that
RIBI table a resolution in support of the League of Nations at the
In the 1930's, new members were allocated by Club Council to the
committees on which they should serve.
A meeting was held between all local Rotary Clubs to establish
exact club boundaries. The Dudley area was agreed as, The County
Borough of Dudley, Brierley Hill to the junction of Moor Street and
Mill Street, Tipton where the canal crossed Toll End Road.
The average attendance at club
meetings was 62.9% for the 12 month period to June 1931.
At a special general meeting of the club in October 1931, it was
agreed that the annual subscription be increased to £2.
1932 - 1933
Membership at 30 June, 1932 was 52.
Membership at 30 June, 1933 was 52.
A levy was made in 1932 of 8/6d per member in respect of the
outings for crippled children arranged during the year. Transport
and entertainment was arranged on two occasions when, in each case,
60 crippled children were taken to Astley Burf Camp, entertained and
then returned home.
In March 1933, it was agreed that the sub-committees should be
reorganised and would be as follows:
Club Service and Programme.
Vocational Service and Membership.
Community and International Service.
In February 1933, Dudley club headed the District Attendance
Figures with 80.09%.
1933 saw many fellowship visits to and from neighbouring Rotary
In a letter from German Rotarians in July 1933 the Club was asked
to consider the position of Jews in Germany at that time.
Unfortunately, there is no record of what action the club took on
this matter, although, the International Committee did send
Christmas Greetings to our Rotarian Friends in Germany.
Following the guarantee given to the Saracen's Head relating to
lunches, it was agreed by Club Council that a levy of 3d. per
absence be made on the member, to defray the cost of the guarantee.
Membership at 1 June, 1934 was 51.
In April 1934, Community Service Committee recommended to Club
Council that dinners be provided to the unemployed attending the
Occupational Centre. It was agreed that this service should be
provided once a month for about 40 unemployed members of the centre.
In addition, to commemorate The King and Queens Silver Jubilee, a
further function was held, taking the form of a tea for the
unemployed and their wives, followed by a visit to the Castle
Average attendance for the year 71%.
Following an appeal from the Prince
of Wales, three separate parties of about 30 unemployed men were
given a weekend at Astley Burf Camp. This was carried out jointly
with Toc H.
In June 1934, a visit was made by club members to the Austin Motor
Company in Birmingham, where all the latest models were seen being
It was agreed, in July 1934, that a clock be presented to Miss
Dorothy Round in recognition of her winning the Ladies Singles
Tennis Championship at Wimbledon.
A Hobbies and Handicrafts Exhibition held at the Park School over
three days was proclaimed to be a resounding success. This was
jointly organised by the Dudley Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce
and Dudley Rotary Club. There were 250 exhibits made by Boys and
Girls aged 13 to 17, many of whom would shortly be eligible for
An address given by a member of the Fellowship of Freedom and
Reform on the subject of "The modern Public House and its place
in the Social Scheme" was considered by the Programme and
Fellowship Committee and a letter was sent to Club Council asking
them "To put a stop to this class of address, which, in the
opinion of the committee, was sheer propaganda".
Total Membership at 30 June, 1935 was
In February 1935, following receipt of a letter from Grimsby Rotary
Club, a donation was made to a fund providing assistance to the
widows and dependants of those who lost their lives whilst fishing
Between June and December 1934, 14 members attained attendances
exceeding 90%, of which 7 attained 100%.
In March 1935, the secretary was empowered to purchase a typewriter
at a cost not exceeding £10, for the use of the present and
future secretaries of the club.
Also during 1935, a Round Table Club of Dudley was formed,
receiving considerable support from Dudley Rotary Club.
During 1935 the club investigated the possibility of forming
another Rotary Club in the area. As a result of this investigation,
the Rotary Club of Rowley Regis, our first daughter club, came into
Due to various problems with the management of the Saracen's Head,
it was resolved that, as from 16 September 1935, the headquarters of
the club should return to The Dudley Arms Hotel for all future
The President-Elect for the year 1935-1936 requested that an
evening meeting be held to enable him to outline a plan of campaign
for his year in office.
The Club, in conjunction with
District, supplied Stewards to take charge of the Rotary Rest Room
during the period of the British Industries Fair held at Castle
A visit to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre took place to see a
performance of "The Taming of the Shrew". This was
preceded by dinner at the Shakespeare Hotel.
Membership at 1 July, 1936 was 59.
In 1936, the major fund-raising event was a flag-day on behalf of
the British Empire Cancer Campaign.
A letter was received from Birmingham Rotary Club regarding foreign
Rotarians visiting this Country, asking for names and addresses of
members who would be prepared to offer accommodation in their homes.
A visit was arranged by District to Southampton to view the new
liner, "Queen Mary". Several members and their wives
attended, spending several hours being shown round the magnificent
The Club closed its bank account at Midland Bank Limited, and
opened a new one with National and Provincial Bank Limited.
It was noted that, between July and December 1936, 21 members
achieved attendances in excess of 90%.
1937 - 1938
Membership at 1 July 1937, was 67.
Membership at 1 July 1938, was 68.
In 1937, the Club entertained ten German girls together with their
hostesses and, after luncheon they visited Ludlow Castle. An
exchange visit was made later in the year by a party from Dudley
Girls' High School.
Following a request from Community and International Service
Committee, the Club donated the sum of two guineas to the British
Empire Cancer Campaign Funds.
The custom (now defunct) of proposing international toasts to
Rotary Clubs throughout the world continued.
In 1937, poor attendance of members at meetings was again
presenting a problem and great efforts were made to remedy this.
In June 1937, the District Extension Officer wrote to the Club,
suggesting the formation of a Rotary Club in Tipton. After long
discussions, the Club unanimously resolved "That owing to
social and geographical difficulties, it was not possible to ensure
a strong and healthy Club in Tipton".
A Charity Ball was held in November
1937 which showed a profit of £24-16s-8d.
A Christmas Tea for Old Folks was held at the Odeon Cinema, which
was much enjoyed by those attending.
In January, 1938, a Ladies' Night was held at the Town Hall.
Also in January 1938, negotiations commenced with regard to forming
a daughter club in Brierley Hill. These proved successful and the
Brierley Hill Charter Night on 15 February was well attended by
Following still declining attendance figures, Club Council agreed
that the importance of attendance should be stressed to all new
In June 1938, it was agreed that Dudley Rotary Club would offer to
provide Dudley Inner Wheel Club with a President's Badge.
For a number of years, the Club's Community Service Committee had
been running a Hospital Transport Scheme. This involved more than
half the members of the club holding themselves and their motor cars
available for the day and night services at Dudley Guest Hospital.
This service was to continue for many years.
During 1938, a gong in the shape of a ship's bell fixed in an oak
frame was purchased by the club. In addition, the President stated
that he found the chain of office extremely heavy, due to the weight
of the gold bars on which the names of past presidents were
engraved. It was resolved that the existing bars be sold and that
new ones of a lighter weight be obtained.
Membership at 1 July, 1939 was 68.
In May 1939, a circular was received from RIBI with regard to the
position of Rotary Clubs in the event of a National Emergency.
Due to problems with the meeting place it was agreed that, as from
28 August 1939, the weekly luncheon meetings would be held at The
Station Hotel, Dudley.
Following the outbreak of war in September 1939, many discussions
were held on whether the club should continue whilst hostilities
were taking place. A communication from RIBI stated that, despite
the difficulties, it was hoped that Clubs would be able to continue.
Dudley agreed to this request and whilst no formal meetings had
taken place since September, meetings were resumed in January 1940.
The format of these meetings would be as before, although it was
hoped that they would finish by 2.00pm.
Shortly afterwards three members joined the Services and it was
agreed that they should remain members and that no subscription
would be required.
1940 - 1941
Membership at 1 July, 1940 was 65.
The Dudley Club was involved in 1940 in helping with care for
refugees who fled from Europe to this country.
In addition to the Hospital Transport Scheme, the Community Service
Committee provided a transport service for Servicemen coming home on
The Club also undertook to supply the crew of H.M. Minesweeper "Taipo"
with comforts such as knitted goods, tobacco etc. Correspondence was
exchanged with both the skipper and a member of his crew, who was a
Wool was provided by the Club which was knitted up by the Inner
Wheel Club and distributed to the forces.
On a monthly basis, the Club sent 100 cigarettes to those members
of the Club serving in H.M. Forces.
In May 1940, Club Council also agreed to support an appeal for the
provision of a fully equipped Mobile Ambulance for the use of the
troops in France. Each member of the Club was asked to contribute £10
towards this appeal.
In July, a Garden Party was held at the home of Rotarian and Mrs
Field (Presidents of Dudley Rotary Club and Dudley Inner Wheel Clubs
A Civic Lunch was held, at which all the Aldermen, Councillors and
Officials of the Dudley and Tipton Borough Councils were invited.
(This function was to continue for many years.)
Due to petrol rationing the children's outings were severely
Members were actively involved in organising wartime activities
such as Air Raid Precautions and War Weapons Weeks as well as
contributing to charities such as the Spitfire Fund.
It was agreed that Commissioned Officers of the troop detachment
stationed in Dudley should be invited to Honorary Membership of the
Club during their period of service in Dudley. This referred mainly
to the Anti-Aircraft Battery stationed at Oakham.
A discussion took place at the December 1940 meeting on a scheme
for initiating a "Mutual Aid" fund in the Club, from which
those who had been unfortunate enough to suffer loss through aerial
attack or war damage might be granted financial aid. It was however,
considered that a scheme introduced by the government rendered the "Mutual
Aid" fund superfluous.
In June 1941, the Station Hotel regretfully found it necessary to
raise the cost of the luncheons from 2/6d to 2/9d.
It was agreed that Ladies should be invited to the Luncheon meeting
on the occasion of the new President's induction on the 7th July.
During the Christmas Period of 1941 Christmas Greetings were
received from the Rotary Clubs of Whangarie and Napier, both in New
Zealand. (Another custom that has since lapsed.)
Membership at 18 May, 1942 was 78.
A Charity Dance was held at the Town Hall, organised jointly by
Dudley and Rowley Regis Clubs in aid of the Red Cross. In due
course, a cheque for £138.17s.1d. was donated.
Following a District Council Meeting in Birmingham, a strong
recommendation was made for the study in Rotary Clubs of matters
affecting the reconstruction period that will follow the war. (So,
even in those dark days, there was absolutely no doubt regarding the
eventual outcome of the war.)
In March 1942, a letter was received by the Club from No. 6
District congratulating the Club on the excellence of the WEEKLY
circular. It was proposed at a Club Council meeting that the weekly
circular should be curtailed or only be published monthly due to the
shortage of paper. This proposal was withdrawn after considerable
At a Club Council Meeting in May, it was announced that the "Charter"
of the Club had been lost. It was agreed that the secretary apply to
RI for a duplicate.
A celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Club was held on the
20th July 1942, to which function had been invited all founder
members who were no longer members of the Club. In addition, as a
further celebration, over 100 Members and Ladies went to Dudley
120 poor children were entertained by the Club Community Service
Committee with an outing and tea at Dudley Zoo.
It was agreed, in August 1942, that all Committee Chairmen should
be invited to attend all meetings of Club Council, but that they
should not be entitled to vote.
Three boys were sent on holiday to Weston Boys' Home and the
Welfare Officer stated that they had all benefitted from the
experience. Dudley Rotarians were invited by the President to make
personal donations to the Home.
It was agreed that the Club should, through District No.6, enter
into part ownership, with Districts No.10 and 17, of Rotary Boys'
House, Weston-Super-Mare. The Club would make an annual contribution
towards the upkeep of the house, initially at a minimum per capita
sum of 2/6d per member.
During 1942, Community Service Committee were discussing at their
meetings the subject of "Juvenile Delinquency", whilst the
Reconstruction Committee were debating "Employment & Social
Security". (Times do not change.)
In September 1942, the question of the quality of catering at the
luncheon meetings was discussed at length. It was agreed that the
Hon. Secretary should make representations to the management on a
suitable occasion to see whether improvements could be made.
Membership at 24 May, 1943 was 81.
There were difficulties in obtaining metal classification badges
for new members. It was resolved that the Hon. Secretary should
obtain particulars of a new set of celluloid-faced badges for all
members, an order for which was subsequently placed.
Owing to wartime difficulties, it was decided that no Ladies' Day
would take place in 1943.
It was agreed that the gratuity to the waitresses at the Station
Hotel be increased from 2d. to 3d. per member per week.
In view of the considerable amount of clerical assistance required
by the Honorary General Secretary for the due and proper execution
of the normal secretarial duties, it was agreed that he should be
paid an honorarium of £30 per annum to defray in part, the cost
of such clerical assistance.
An Information Committee was formed for the purpose of informing
prospective new members about the aims and objects of Rotary.
An enquiry to RIBI regarding the supply of lapel badges resulted in
a reply stating that they were not obtainable at the present time.
Problems of non-attendance of some members caused considerable
concern to Club Council.
Council agreed that printed Post Cards be obtained for the use of
Committee Secretaries in calling members to meetings.
Vocational Service Committee were to discuss the following
- The Post War System of Government.
- Government control versus Private Enterprise.
- The Small Trader and the Beveridge Report.
(Even in those days, Vocational Service Committee was considered
the "Think Tank" of the Club.)
A report presented to the Club from the Community Service Committee
showed that the Dudley Club's past efforts for Rotary Boys' House at
Weston Super Mare compared unfavourably with those of neighbouring
Clubs. Following the report, a number of Rotarians and their wives
visited Weston Boys' House in November and were most impressed with
the running and facilities there. It was agreed that further
positive efforts should be made by the Club to improve the
Membership at 30 June, 1944 was 84.
In January, Lord Vansittart, together with Lady Vansittart, visited
the Club when he gave the address. 132 people including visitors and
guests attended the meeting. The attendance of members on that day
Two members of the Club were elected to District Council as
Chairmen of District International Service Committee and District
Vocational Service Committee.
Letters were exchanged between the Club and the Rotary Club of
Webster-Dudley in Massachusetts, USA. A gift parcel had been
received from them which was passed on to the Inner Wheel Club for
them to distribute.
A Charity dance was held at the Town Hall on the 11 March 1944 with
dancing to The Rhythm Maestros Dance Orchestra. Unfortunately,
Dudley Corporation would not allow a licensed bar at that function.
The Ladies of Inner Wheel provided refreshments and the evening
resulted in a profit of £75.5.11d.
Members of the Club offered their services to the Mayor of Dudley
to co-operate with any plans for the entertainment of American
Forces stationed in the town. This was to be worked in conjunction
with the British Welcome Clubs.
70 members, together with their wives, attended a theatre party at
Dudley Hippodrome to see a performance of the play "Claudia".
Following a suggestion by RIBI, the Club drank a toast to a
different Rotary Club in the U.S.A. each week and followed this up
by writing to the Club.
Members were invited by Dudley Inner Wheel Club to a tea and
entertainment to celebrate its seventh anniversary.
It was recommended that the practice of turning up chairs to
reserve places at the luncheon meetings should cease. This was
considered particularly bad, bearing in mind a number of new members
who probably knew only one or two members of the Club.
31 bedside lockers were presented to Weston Boys' House as a gift
from the Club.
Letters were sent to the Presidents of the Dover, Folkestone and
Deal Clubs sympathising with the difficulties in these towns from
Flying Bombs being launched in France by the Germans.
As an innovation, the Presidents of several Clubs in the locality
moved around, taking the chair at a neighbouring Club's meeting.
Membership at 28 May, 1945 was 83.
The major event of the year was obviously the end of hostilities.
The International Committee presented a report to the Club on "The
failure of the League of Nations to prevent War". This report
was printed and sent to all the Clubs in No. 6 District.
110 children from Dudley (mostly orphans), were entertained to a
Tea and Social at St. John's Parish Hall.
In March, the first Ladies' Evening since the commencement of the
War was held with 130 guests attending.
The Social Committee organised a Theatre Party of 170 to Dudley
A large quantity of packs of playing cards was collected by the
Club and sent to the crew of H.M. Trawler, Glen-Kitson.
In July, the Club asked the Station Hotel to allow a cupboard to be
placed in a suitable position in the Hotel, to house a library for
the use of members. The request was refused.
A letter was sent by the Secretary to former Rotarians of the Club,
cordially inviting them to renew their Club membership. This action,
however, did not prove successful in increasing the membership.
It was resolved that donations to National Institutions be
considerably curtailed and be restricted to objects promoted by
Rotary or to charitable efforts organised by the Club.
Perhaps the most important Club event of 1945 was the formation of
another daughter Club. The Rotary Club of Tipton was formed,
following a number of meetings with local businessmen. The inaugural
meeting of that Club was held on Monday 12 March 1945 at the Royal
Oak Hotel, Dudley Port. Two Dudley members resigned to join this new
Membership at 30 June, 1946 was 88.
Discussions took place in January about the desirability of holding
a meeting occasionally in the evening instead of the usual one at
lunchtime, when the Club would be addressed by a speaker of
120 children were taken on a trip. They went to Stourport in a
charabanc where they took a steamer trip to Holt Fleet. This was
followed by tea at the Riverside Cafe.
The Annual Ladies' Evening took place on 1 March with 130 guests
present. This was at the Mirabelle Ballroom, which was situated on
Castle Hill, next door to the Hippodrome.
On February 11, Fellowship and Social Committee arranged a party
to see "Babes in the Wood" at the Dudley Hippodrome.
Approximately 150 seats were taken up. Afterwards the party
assembled at the Zoo Club (Fellows' Club) where refreshments were
On March 20th, President Fred Cozens arranged a very successful
visit to the Baggeridge Coal Mine.
Vocational Service Committee sent a letter to the Dudley office of
the Ministry of Labour offering the services of members of the
Committee in an advisory capacity in respect of the resettlement of
During 1946, two further parcels of chocolates and sweets were
received from the Rotary Club of Webster-Dudley in Massachusetts and
correspondence was exchanged. Both of these parcels benefitted
Rotary Boys' House, the one producing £4/7/0d in a raffle. The
parcel and money were sent to the house at Christmas.
In November a party of 130 visited the Shakespeare Memorial
Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon, to see "As You Like It". A
buffet was provided at the Swan's Nest after the performance. These
visits to the Theatre at Stratford were very popular and went on for
On 13 December the Ladies' Evening took place and, for the first
time this was held at the Queen Mary Ballroom in Dudley Zoo. This
was to become a venue for Ladies' Evenings for many years.
Membership at 30 June, 1947 was 85.
On February 14, another event took place that was to occur annually
for the next 35 years: The first International Students' Day when
students from overseas visited the Club and were entertained to
At the Inner Wheel Meeting of May 15 it was presented with a bell
by the President, as a gift from Dudley Rotary Club.
In June, the Club received the unexpected pleasure of being awarded
two citations for Distinctive Achievement and Outstanding
Accomplishments in the fields of Vocational and International
Service. Unfortunately, the reasons for these citations were not
Club Service Committee proposed that a paragraph be included in the
weekly circular, requesting that members submit names of suitable
speakers and subjects. This was agreed by Club Council.
Club Council was to bring to the notice of the District Executive
the growing use of Christian names at Public Rotary Functions
without the use of proper Rotary titles. It was felt that this
tendency was likely to lower the dignity of such Rotary functions.
During the year 10 Fellowship visits were made to local Clubs and
on three occasions further presidential exchanges of chair were
A complaint regarding the "poor fare" being served at the
weekly luncheons was discussed by Club Council and representations
were made to the hotel management.
The amount of £73 12. 0d was raised for The Paul Harris
Memorial Fund. This fund was for post-graduate students to encourage
the development of good international relations.
Toys for distribution at local hospitals were received from the
Rotary Club of Endicott, New York, USA. Photographs of the
distribution were taken and included in a brochure which was sent to
Membership at 1 May, 1948 was 88.
Lengthy discussions took place regarding the lack of time speakers
were given at the lunchtime meetings. They invariably had to shorten
their talks, which was not considered fair to them. This matter was
left in the hands of Club Service Committee. (And still has not been
resolved by 1997.)
In March, representations were made to the Station Hotel regarding
the quality of the meals being supplied. The Club were informed that
the Hotel would make every effort to vary the meals but there seemed
no immediate prospect of it being able to improve the quality.
An approach was made to Dudley Inner Wheel Club with a view to
setting up a joint committee which could work to the mutual
advantage of both Clubs.
In mid-1948, under the auspices of the Club discussions took place
regarding reforming the defunct Round Table in Dudley. On 22 June
the inaugural dinner took place at the Saracens Head.
Three Dudley members held District Office during this period.
The event of the year was the election of Past President H.H.
(Herbert) Cartwright as Chairman of No. 6 District, a great honour
for him and also Dudley Rotary Club. He was to be the first of three
Rotarians from the Dudley Club to hold this highest honour in
District, the others being Past President W.E. (Bill) Homer
(1948-1949) and Past President R.A.(Ron) Brooks (1956-1957)
Dudley Rotary Club's Ladies' Evening was booked for the 10 December
at the Queen Mary Ballroom and the Dudley Inner Wheel's Gentlemen's
Evening was booked for the 11 November. These two events ran side by
side until the early 1980's, when it was agreed that they should
become a single joint function.
Three works visits took place during the year: to Cleobury
Engineering Limited, to Muller and Co. (England) Limited and to
Membership at 30 June, 1949 was
approximately 90, no records available.
Vocational Service Committee was discussing "International
In late April, a tripartite evening meeting was held in Halesowen
between the Rotary Clubs of West Bromwich, Dudley and Halesowen. A
most enjoyable evening of fellowship took place between members of
the three Clubs .
150 books were received by the International Service Committee in
response to an appeal for books for the Universities, Schools and
Libraries in devastated Europe.
The Club was considering the possibility of arranging a Fellowship
visit to a Rotary Club overseas.
The question of the desirability of making a presentation to the
retiring President of the Club was considered in the President's
absence. It was decided that the matter be not proceeded with.
A total of 48 boys were sent to Weston Boys' House during the year
and many letters of thanks had been received from the parents of the
boys on their return home.
Community Service Committee arranged to take 103 children to
Stourport. The event proved extremely successful and was repeated in
In December, the Club contacted Dudley Council, offering its
services with regard to the forthcoming Festival of Britain in 1951.
Total membership at 1 May, 1950 was
Community Service Committee members made several visits to both
Prestwood Sanatorium and Burton House (Burton Road Hospital) which
were greatly appreciated by the patients.
A joint meeting between the Vocational Service Committees of the
Dudley and Kidderminster Clubs was a great success and further
meetings were to be arranged.
A sub-committee was formed to which Mr Bert Bissell (Probation
Officer) was co-opted to investigate what steps should be taken to
help boys on probation.
The annual report from Vocational Service Committee consisted of a
professionally printed document running to 12 pages. It covered
Committee discussions of subjects including "Devaluation",
"Nationalisation" and "Planning".
The Dudley Club was instrumental in arranging 12 months' study at
Princeton University U.S.A. for a Rotary Foundation Fellow. George
Tolley was selected from a short list of very highly qualified
candidates. (Mr Tolley was an executive of a local firm,
A Fellowship visit was made to the Rotary Club of Ostende, when a
party of 18 chartered an aeroplane. It was a very successful visit
which was felt to be very worthwhile in the interests of
International Fellowship. By coincidence, at the Rotary meeting
attended by the Dudley party, the British Vice-Consul was inducted
into the Belgian Club.
Two teams were entered for the Mander Cup, a golf competition
organised by District. This was won in 1950 by the Wednesbury Club.
Membership at 1 May 1951 was 94.
18 foreign students visited the Club on April 2. After lunch, they
were taken on conducted tours of Metallisation Limited and
Clydesdale Stampings Limited.
During the year the daughter of a Swedish Rotarian and the son of a
French Rotarian were hosted by members of the Club in what was the
first of a type of Group Study Exchange hosting.
At a meeting of Club Service Committee, the subject of poor
attendance at committee meetings was discussed. In addition, the
Committee felt that there were too many "negative"
Rotarians in the Club.
By way of help for elderly persons at Christmas, each member of the
Club donated ten shillings towards gifts for selected elderly
people. It was also agreed that the contents of the charity box,
passed round each week, should be given to these people.
For the Annual Ladies' Evening the President was allowed the sum of
10/- per head for expenses in entertaining the official guests.
Yet again, the attendance of some members was giving cause for
concern: in addition, the number of members leaving the lunchtime
meetings early and before the speaker had given his address seemed
to be on the increase, with many persistent offenders. It was agreed
that at the commencement of the next year, the attendance rule
should be rigidly enforced. The President was to make a statement at
one of the meetings. It was also felt that certain sections of the
membership were forming themselves into "cliques", which
was not good for fellowship within the Club.
75 Christmas parcels were delivered to elderly people in the town
just before Christmas by 20 Rotarians.
Membership at 1 May, 1952 was 91.
Active support was given to the RIBI "Help to Greece Scheme".
With the cooperation of Dudley Inner Wheel a valuable collection of
clothes and other goods was assembled and despatched.
At the January meeting of the International Services Committee the
subject discussed was "The Bill of Human Rights, with
particular attention to the attitude of the South African Government".
A long discussion took place at Club Service Committee on the 60%
attendance rule: It was considered an outdated rule and it was felt
that the problem of any lack of attendance by a member should be
discussed on its individual merit. A proposal that the Club should
refuse in future to send attendance returns to District was
Club Council considered a suggestion that regalia should be
provided for the use of the Vice-President when deputising for the
President. Past President Arthur Cook offered to provide such
regalia, an offer the Club accepted with grateful thanks. In
addition, it was brought to the notice of the Council that the Chain
of office worn by the President's Lady was unsuitable for all
occasions, and it was suggested that the badge of office should be
made detachable, so that it could be worn as a pendant. President
Arthur Hillman offered to have the necessary alteration made. The
offer was accepted with thanks by Council.
The Rotary Club of Webster-Dudley, USA sent further parcels of
goods which were raffled in aid of the Charity Fund.
190 people attended the Annual Ladies' Evening held in January at
the Queen Mary Ballroom.
70 Rotarians, wives and friends visited the Stratford Memorial
Theatre in February to see the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's
production of "The Mikado".
Four members and their wives attended the RIBI conference in
Brighton in April.
A party of boys from Fort William was entertained during a visit to
Dudley. The organiser of this visit, Mr Bert Bissell, was very
grateful for the help given by the Club.
Visits continued by the members of the Community Service Committee
to Prestwood Sanatorium, Burton House and to the new Old Peoples
home at Albert House in Vicar Street.
Vocational Service Committee discussed the subject of "The
Continued Employment of Older Workers" and subsequently
produced a comprehensive report document.
A member offered to present the Club with a colour photograph of
Paul Harris (the founder of the Rotary movement) which was accepted
with thanks. It was agreed that it should be on the table where the
banners were placed.
A party of blind people was entertained to tea during 1952. They
were taken on a coach tour of Shropshire.
During the year the Club presented a television set to Albert
House, Dudley's first Old Peoples home. Part of the cost was
contributed by other organisations in the town.
In November 1952, no less than 51 members achieved 100% attendance.
Two boys per month had been sent to Weston Boys' House: it was
hoped that the service was a beneficial contribution to the
Community and certainly seemed to be appreciated by both parents and
A further visit to The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre took place to
see a performance of "As You Like It". After the
performance, President Arthur Cook entertained those present to
supper at the Theatre.
Membership at 1 May, 1953 was 101,
the first time that the membership of the Club exceeded 100.
Rotary Boys' House in Weston-Super-Mare was sold for £4000 and
a new and larger property was purchased for £6800, with
conversion costs of £9800.
18 members attended the RI Conference in Paris.
In the early part of the year, International Toasts were proposed
to the Rotary Clubs of Vereeniging and Vancouver. A letter had been
received from the Melbourne Club and four letters had been sent to
Canadian Clubs. Contact had also been made with the Rotary Clubs of
Duluth (USA), Dunkirk, Durango(Mexico), Motueka and Oamaru (New
Zealand), Antwerp and Hamburg.
In the letter received from the Rotary Club of Melbourne, they
stated that labour problems due to communism, were no worse there
than in the U.K. and that communism was not as strong in Australia
as was sometimes supposed!!!!!
Consideration was given to having a monthly circular letter instead
of the weekly one that was currently produced.
On International Students Day, after lunch, the students were taken
on a tour of Round Oak Steelworks in Brierley Hill, where they were
provided with tea.
At a meeting to suggest names for future speakers to the Club, the
name of Mr Eddie Robinson who took the part of Simon in the radio
programme "The Archers" was suggested.
The Club sent a donation to the Mayor's fund towards the distress
caused by floods on the East Coast and the Lynton and Lynmouth
In cooperation with Mr Bert Bissell the Club again entertained 25
boys from Fort William, following Mr Bissell's contacts with
Lochaber and the Rotary Club of Lochaber, (who assisted the Vicar
Street Boys annually when they climbed Ben Nevis). After the 1953
climb the Club received a letter from the Rotary Club of Lochaber
relating to Mr Bissell's Vicar Street Young Men's Class.
A proposal was received from RIBI that every Rotarian should be
asked to subscribe 5/- per annum towards a new scheme being
introduced into Rotary: it was to be called Rotary Foundation. This
increase to subscriptions was agreed by Club Council.
A party of 50 German Industrialists and a party of 5 Student
Leaders were entertained to lunch. It was believed that the Dudley
Club was the first Rotary Club in the Country to entertain a party
of this kind and it was thought that the visitors took away with
them an excellent impression of the nature and scope of Rotary.
Brierley Hill Rotary Club organised a Motor Rally in which three
Dudley Rotarians took part.
On December 17 the new Rotary Boys' House was opened in
Weston-Super-Mare and requests were made for boys to be selected for
Gifts to old people continued at Christmas.
Complaints were again made that the Club meetings were too lengthy
and consideration should be given to the speeding up of proceedings
so that it would be possible to finish by 2.15pm. In addition, it
was thought that, to enable the speaker to have a fair and
reasonable time for his address, every effort should be made to
enable the speaker to start by 1.45pm.
Membership at 1 May, 1954 was 96.
A Theatre visit was made to the Birmingham Hippodrome to see "Chu
Chin Chow on Ice".
A golf competition was arranged by Brierley Hill Rotary Club in
which Dudley participated.
In May, following meetings by a special committee, the
subscriptions were increased from £3.10.6d. to £4.0.0d.
A District Fishing competition was arranged by Bridgnorth Rotary
Club. (This competition was still being held in 1997.)
In April, the Club was addressed by His Excellency the High
Commissioner for Ceylon (Sir Claude Corea, K.B.E.).
In July, on a Sunday afternoon, 60 people visited Hagley Hall for
30 members and friends visited the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, to
see "The Merchant of Venice". After the performance dinner
was taken at The Swan's Nest.
200 attended the Ladies' Evening at the Queen Mary Ballroom.
Club Council Meeting in June was attended by the Manageress of the
Station Hotel, when complaints regarding the quality of the meals
was discussed. Mrs Woodyatt countered this by stating that, although
the Station Hotel was the Headquarters of the Club, very few social
functions were held at the hotel. Club Council agreed to discuss
this comment at a future meeting.
It was agreed that the President of the Rotary Club of Dudley
should accept the Presidency of the Dudley Round Table and that the
Chairman of Round Table should become an Honorary Member of Dudley
Following a request from the Express and Star, Club Council agreed
that the newspaper be given permission to take photographs of
members, if requested to do so.
The arrangements by International Service Committee for the
interchange of a number of boys and girls with French children
proved to be very successful and all participants had benefitted
greatly from their stay in a foreign country.
For the meeting on December 20, the meeting took the form of a
Christmas Interlude and ladies were invited. A Rotarian and his wife
from the Bilston Club provided musical items.
Membership at 30 June, 1955 was
An appeal for books was made by the Education Department of the
Local Authority for the purpose of building up libraries in new
schools. The Club agreed to support this request.
International Service Committee reported that arrangements for the
proposed International Youth Camp at Nash Court and that a boy would
be sent from Dudley. (Nash Court was another event that would
continue for many years.) Following the camp a Civic Reception was
held for the boys at Dudley Council House and was well attended by
Two essay competitions were organised, one for Dudley Girls' High
School and the other for Dudley Grammar School. These were very well
supported by both Schools. The competitors from Dudley Girls High
School were to prepare an essay on the subject "World Food
Supplies", whilst the subject for Dudley Grammar School was "Anglo-American
Following the success of the competition, it was agreed that, in
future years it should be open to students attending the Technical
College and the Sir Gilbert Claughton School.
As usual the Community Service Committee made arrangements for the
visits to local hospitals and also supported the visit of the boys
from Fort William.
An Old People's outing took place in June, with Rotarians
transporting the people in their own cars.
On the 11 October, a party of 60 visited Cadbury's Bourneville
factory where a very interesting tour took place.
Members were representing Rotary on committees of a number of local
organisations and the help given to these organisations was greatly
Membership at 1 May, 1956 was 95.
Past President W.E. (Bill) Homer was honoured by being appointed
District Chairman of Number 6 District for the year 1956-1957.
182 people attended the Ladies' Evening held in February. A four
piece band (without trumpet!!!) was engaged for the evening at a
cost of 17 guineas.
The Club was pleased to give lunch to 50 boys from a number of
countries who were attending the Boys' Camp at Nash Court.
On 25 June, 1956, the speaker at the Club meeting was a Father Tony
Fleming a Roman Catholic missionary in India. (Little were the Club
or Father Fleming to know at that time how close the involvement
would be in future years.)
Although it was considered by some that the postal charges to the
club of sending the circular out weekly were excessive, Club
Council's opinion was that it should be one of the last economies to
International Service Committee arranged for three children of
Dudley Rotarians to visit Switzerland in exchange for a similar
number of children from that Country.
A party of Danish Boys visited the Club and the entertainment
provided by the Club proved very successful.
A donation was made to the Hungarian Relief Fund following a
request made by the Mayor of Dudley.
Community Service sent two boys a month to Weston Boys' Home as
usual and the arrangement continued to be a success.
Membership at 1 May, 1957 was 93.
A Sub-Committee was formed to review the finances of the Club and,
after considerable deliberations, it recommended that the Club
subscription be raised to £5.5.0d. This was subsequently agreed
by Club Council.
A letter was received from RIBI regarding the numbering of
Districts. District No. 6 would in future be No. 106.
Fellowship Visits to other Rotary Clubs were severely curtailed due
to the petrol rationing imposed by the government following the Suez
In March, 39 Rotarians, wives and friends visited the Houses of
Parliament and were conducted through the Houses by the Dudley M.P.,
Long discussions took place on the cost of being President of the
Club. In addition to purchasing drinks each week for all those
sitting on top table, there were many other occasions when the
President incurred considerable expense in the course of his year in
office. Whilst it was the decision of each President how much
entertaining he did, it was felt that this cost may prevent some
worthy members letting their name go forward.
It was suggested that badges be obtained, showing the name and
occupation of each member. These would be worn at the lunchtime
meetings and would certainly help overcome the difficulty of new
Rotarians getting to know their fellow members. This suggestion was
passed by Club Council and the badges were subsequently purchased.
The weekly charity donation of 1/0d per member per week was
discussed and it was agreed that members should have the option of
paying either weekly, annually or by form of Covenant.
The Committee work continued during the year as before with Weston
Boys' Home, Nash Court, International Youth Exchanges, Hospital
Visiting and many others.
Membership at 1 May, 1958 was 89.
A party of Norwegian boys and girls was given hospitality by the
Club and in due course the son of one of the Dudley Rotarians was
given reciprocal hosting in Norway.
Nash Court International Youth Camp was again supported by the Club
and one member hosted a boy from Iceland prior to the camp starting.
The Community Service Committee assisted in organising a Fete at
Prestwood Sanatorium. On a separate occasion, a party was given for
the children of patients.
International Service Committee was becoming involved with The
The Vocational Services Committee was addressed at their February
meeting by a lecturer from Birmingham University on the subject of "The
European Customs Union".
Discussions were held regarding the possibility of holding a
Careers Exhibition at the Town Hall. However, the support from the
Club was very lukewarm and it was decided not to proceed in 1958,
but to try again later.
The Finance Sub-Committee reported in November to Club Council that
the donations made weekly to the Charity Box were inadequate and,
instead of suggesting increased weekly contributions, it was
proposed that members be asked to make a subscription to the Charity
Box of at least 46/-d per annum payable in the first week of
January each year. Council agreed to accept the Committee's
In addition, it was also recommended that deeds of covenant were a
very tax-effective way of making donations to Weston Boys' House:
for every pound given, the House would be able to reclaim
Membership at 1 May, 1959 was 89.
Community Service Committee commenced supporting the Voluntary
Society for the Handicapped. This involved transporting handicapped
people from their homes to social functions held at St. John's
Parish Hall. This was done on a weekly basis.
Funds were also raised to provide television sets for the League of
Friends of Dudley Hospitals.
In July, Past President Arthur Hillman was elected District
Vice-Chairman of District 106 South: a further honour for the Club.
Following the half-hearted support in the previous year for a
proposed exhibition, Vocational Service Committee arranged a Youth
Exhibition at the Town Hall which proved to be a highly successful
event. It involved virtually every committee member in assisting in
one way or another. This was the main event during the year and, in
due course resulted in a profit of £34.4.0d.
Community Service Committee ran a very successful stall at the
Prestwood Sanatorium Annual Fete in June.
A scheme was started within the Club whereby members were invited
to the workplace of other Rotarians and were given conducted tours
of their offices and works. This gave members an insight into what
other members did and how they did it.
Further support was given to the Ockenden Venture. Adopting a child
at Ockenden was discussed, but the cost of £3 per week by a
seven-year covenant was considered too much for the Club to be
committed to. However, it was resolved that the Club should raise
monies to support this very worthwhile organisation.
Membership at 1 May, 1960 was 94.
Long discussions took place on the general lack of fellowship at
meetings, together with lack of support given by members to Rotary
functions. The President was to speak to the Club on the matter.
A sweep on the Grand National raised the sum of £60.17.6d.,
which was donated to World Refugee Year.
Several "Rotate Meetings" took place during the year when
members were asked not to sit in their usual places to ensure a
better fellowship within the Club. This idea was not very popular
and was subsequently discarded.
Civic Day was held in May, at which the Second Vice-President
Arthur Webb explained the Aims and Objects of Rotary to the
The Social Committee did not meet until late in the year, owing to
misunderstandings about the officers!!!.
60 boys from foreign countries attended the camp at Nash Court.
Each Club in District was invited to nominate a boy to attend.
Dudley successfully had their candidate accepted.
After a successful Club Council Dinner held in December, the
following final paragraph appeared in the minutes under Any Other
Business: "Under the benign chairmanship of our President,
George Lewis, officers and members dined with Rotary Fellowship. It
is regretted that the finer details eluded the pen of this diligent
secretarial scribe due to his eager participation".
One of the social events at this time was, the Vocational Service
Committee annual dinner. This was for many years held at Neen
Sollars (famous for their duck suppers). Quite outstanding evenings
Membership at 1 May 1961 was 89.
At an informal meeting of Past Presidents, held early in the year,
concern was expressed at current trends in the Club. Examples given
were general lack of Fellowship and of Club support; the appalling
turnout at International Students Day, the Christmas Meeting,
Fellowship visits and District events. These were not in the true
spirit of Rotary. Members were to be circulated by letter to make
them aware of the situation.
In early 1961, RI made a concerted effort to take over RIBI and, to
quote from Club Council minutes, "This dastardly attempt has
now been foiled by RIBI".
Past President and Past District Chairman Herbert Cartwright was
granted Honorary Membership of the Club.
The main event of the year was a Careers Exhibition and Convention
at the Town Hall in May, organised by Vocational Service Committee
in co-operation with the Youth Employment Service of Dudley Council.
This event proved to be extremely successful.
The Community Service Committee continued assisting the Voluntary
Association for the Handicapped by supplying officers and helpers.
The introduction of an International Study Bursary enabled a pupil
from Dudley Grammar School to attend a Music Festival in Koblenz.
A contribution was made towards a Play Hut at Weston Boys' House
and once again boys were sent there on holiday.
Old people's outings, Christmas gifts, Ladies' Evening, Theatre
visits were much the same as in previous years.
An International Study Bursary was given to a young man who went to
Austria to study German.
Contact was maintained with overseas Clubs by International Toasts
and correspondence with the Clubs involved.
Membership at 1 May, 1962 was 89.
At last, the new classification badges arrived and most of the
members wore them at meetings.
A visit was made to the Memorial Theatre in Stratford to see a
performance of "Measure for Measure". This function was as
usual, very well attended.
A Tombola was organised by the Community Service Committee at the
Annual Fete and Flower Show at Barnsley Hall Hospital and despite
heavy rain, over 17 guineas was raised for the Patients' Comfort
On the 10th December, the usual luncheon meeting was transferred to
the evening, when club business was kept to a minimum. Dinner was
followed by entertainment. 98 people were present, including 12
widows of Past Rotarians who were invited as guests of the Club. The
ladies concerned were most appreciative of the invitation and the
Council felt that the practice should continue on suitable future
The 40th anniversary of the Club was celebrated with a dinner, when
the speaker was Honorary Member Past President Leonard Hillman
(President 1932-33), the only surviving founder member.
Membership at 1 May, 1963 was 87.
The regular rota of Community Service members transporting the
handicapped to and from their homes to St. John's Church Hall at
Kate's Hill was further extended.
A donation was sent by the Club to help finance the sending of a
Dudley Boy Scout to the World Jamboree in America.
Transportation of two boys each month to and from Birmingham
en-route to Weston Boys' House continued. Council agreed to pay
fares in deserving cases.
The Community Service Committee sponsored an experimental "Granny
Scheme" under which senior High School girls regularly visited
lonely elderly ladies. Dudley Inner Wheel was also involved with
An International Study Bursary was granted to Robin C. Hradsky, who
went to Meyerhofen in Austria to study German.
The Youth Employment Officer of Dudley Council added the names of
willing Rotarians to their list of Specialist Advisers on particular
A tombola was organised and run at the Mayor's Coffee Evening in
aid of the Guest Hospital Chapel Fund. £28.10.6d. was raised.
Membership at 1 May, 1964 was 91.
Efforts were made to encourage some of the newer members to give a "My
Job" talk. These became very popular in later years and were
usually very interesting. They were not a mere recital of a day's
work, but how to transform "a way of getting a living into a
way of life".
The Vocational Service Committee spent a considerable time in the
year discussing the subject of "Advice to Youth". A pilot
scheme was tried out whereby several boys attended the business
establishments of local Rotarians. After the boys had been to the
businesses, meetings took place with the Headmasters and Careers
Masters of the Schools, after which the results were presented to a
higher authority in the education system. .
The International Study bursary was given to a Dudley Student who
wished to study Art in Paris.
At an open meeting of the Club, the subject discussed was the
Middle East Problem from both Jewish and Arab points of view.
The International Committee raised the sum of £157.10.0d.,
which was sent to the Flying Doctor Service in Africa. This was to
purchase a Village Radio Set.
A visit to a theatre in Birmingham to see "My Fair Lady"
was followed by a buffet supper at the Albany Hotel.
Membership at 1 May, 1965 was 93.
Community Service continued their transport service for handicapped
people, but the transport was now to the New Centre for the
Handicapped in Wellington Road: nearly 60 Rotarians were involved
performing transport duties of one kind or another.
Transport was also provided for blind people returning from their
holidays. They were picked up by Rotarians in Wolverhampton and
returned to their homes.
A number of people were sent on holiday to West Winds in Aberdovey,
a property in which Dudley Rotary Club and other Clubs had an
interest. (This was to go on regularly until the property was sold
The International Committee collected nearly 4.5 cwts. of clothing
for Algerian refugees as part of the "War on Want"
Without a shadow of doubt, the major event of the year was the
presentation of a Commer Minibus for the benefit of the physically
and mentally handicapped. The cost of the Minibus was £708. The
vehicle was used regularly to transport all the local "Handicapped"
In addition, the Club presented trophies to the County Borough of
Dudley for swimming events.
Membership at 1 May, 1966 was 91.
Weekly car outings were arranged by two Rotarians for a West Indian
triple amputee and these were greatly appreciated.
Two experimental monthly collections of waste paper were tried at
the Station Hotel. This proved extremely successful. Arrangements
were then made for a container (supplied by a Rotarian) to be placed
on the Odeon car park and weekly collections were made from there.
Club Assembly was held at the Lyttleton Arms, Hagley, where, in
addition to discussions concerning the forthcoming programme for the
year, a buffet supper was enjoyed by all those attending.
The International Committee, in addition to the established annual
events decided to undertake the collection of used ladies'
stockings. These were forwarded to a Leper Colony in Zambia for use
as bandages. The Club was grateful to the Ladies of Inner Wheel for
their useful contributions.
In connection with the 1966 Football World Cup the Club undertook
to provide emergency accommodation, if required, when the two
scheduled matches were played at Villa Park.
A successful Ladies' Evening was held at the Botanical Gardens in
Edgbaston. The tombola raised a substantial donation for the Club
The Community Service Committee was given £10 to add to the £20
a young man had earned himself to "kit" him for his
emigration to Australia under the "Big Brother Scheme".
The Vocational Service Committee organised the first Public
Speaking Competition in early December. This was open to any pupil
attending any school in the enlarged County Borough of Dudley. The
finals were held at Dudley Grammar School and the speakers were of a
very high standard. The first prize was a visit to the House of
Commons in London as well as two tickets for a show. Later on the
best three speakers were invited to give their speeches to the Club
at a luncheon meeting.
A party of 16 Children and 4 Adults from the Council's children's
foster homes was sent by train to London to see the Christmas
Decorations. Mrs Cadman, who was in charge of "Maitland House"
visited the Club Luncheon and described the event to members.
Blind people were transported to and from their Christmas Dinner at
the Institute for the Blind at Sedgley and the physically
handicapped were transported to their New Year's Eve party.
During the year, the International Service Committee collected over
1500 pairs of spectacles, which were sent to the Missionary Optical
Service for regrading, overhaul and despatch to Overseas Missionary
On 27th October, the Club held a Sporting Evening at the Queen Mary
Ballroom. Dinner was followed by amateur boxing. The event was a
great financial success and helped to replace the money spent on the
Membership at 1 May, 1967 was 95.
The International Service Committee was granted £100 to be
sent to the Rotary Club of Tasmania following the recent fire
disaster. However Club Council challenged the Committee to make good
the amount to club funds..
The Ladies' Evening in February was held at the Botanical Gardens
The essay competition was not very well supported and it was
thought that the project was no longer of interest.
A golf match was arranged between Dudley Rotary Club and the Rotary
Club of Tokyo Ginza. Dudley played at Enville and The Tokyo team
played on their local course. (Both courses had a similar length and
standard scratch.) In the event, Dudley won and were presented with
handsome plaques commemorating the event. (This ran for a few years
and then just faded away).
A joint service was held with Inner Wheel at Top Church on 2nd
July, with the Vicar of Dudley, Rotarian Raymond Efemey officiating.
A Cheese and Wine Party was held in June at the home of Past
President Eric Bunn, the profit from which went to Rotary charities.
A wrestling evening took place at the Kingfisher Club, organised
jointly by Dudley and Tipton Rotary Clubs. This was held to sponsor
a Voluntary Service Overseas candidate.
In December 1967, a request was made for a member to undertake the
writing of the History of Dudley Rotary Club. Unfortunately, there
were no volunteers to take on this most enjoyable task!!!!!!!.
Membership at 1 May, 1968 was 92.
President Ernest Bunting stressed that, whilst the Club was doing
well in the fields of both Service and Fellowship, it was the few
who tended to do all the work. He felt, that there was much more
that could be done in the town and he hoped that those members who
did not become involved would have a change of heart. They had so
much to offer to both the Club and the community.
A joint meeting was held with Round Table in the hope that it would
create a closer liaison between the two Clubs. (This, again, was
allowed to lapse after a few years.)
An evening meeting was held, when the President of RIBI visited and
addressed the Club. The evening provided fellowship with many
members from neighbouring Clubs.
The Station Hotel was congratulated on the quality of the food over
The Vocational Service Committee changed the venue for their
meetings and I quote from their annual report: "Our venue this
year has changed to the much more convivial atmosphere of the Angel
Inn in Castle Street".
In his closing address in July, the Retiring President Ernest
Bunting stressed the need for ALL Rotarians to do their bit for the
future of Dudley Rotary Club. He was disappointed that so many
members treated the Club as purely a Luncheon Club.
By far the major event was again, an exhibition at the Town Hall
organised in conjunction with Dudley Council's Sport Advisory
Council. This took the form of an exhibition of leisuretime
activities. The event was an unqualified success, with approximately
40 Clubs and societies taking part. An enormous amount of time was
spent by members assisting with this.
In addition to the exhibition, one other major event took place in
1968 - the formation of another daughter club. After many interim
meetings, the Rotary Club of Sedgley and Wombourne was formed.
Membership at 1 May, 1969 was
A request from Dudley Council's Children's Officer resulted in a
donation being made to help pay the air fare of a young man wishing
to spend a holiday visiting his sister in Canada.
A Wine Tasting evening was organised at Peter Dominic's in
Stourbridge, which was extremely well supported by members and their
Even at this stage of the Club's development very little major fund
raising was being carried out. The main input of the Club was that
of "Service". It was stated on many occasions that "Rotary
is not a fund raising organisation". (But this was to change).
On 10th August, a number of members, together with their wives,
visited the International Camp at Nash Court. All those present were
most impressed with the international fellowship taking place there.
The new Club of Sedgley and Wombourne invited the Dudley Club to a
Skittles Evening at the Waggon and Horses in Wolverhampton on the 21
October. Several members attended this evening of Rotary Fellowship.
At last, with the permission of the management, a cupboard was
installed in the Gentlemen's Cloakroom at the Station Hotel: this
enabled the bell and other Rotary equipment to be stored safely.
Membership at 1 May, 1970 was
A joint meeting was held on 5 January with Rowley Regis and Tipton
Rotary Clubs, for the purpose of an address by the District
A Dudley member made a 4-foot diameter wooden Rotary wheel for use
on special occasions.
Despite many requests over the years for some form of
amplification, the Station Hotel refused to take any action. The
answer lay with one member of the Club (Rotarian Arthur Parkes) who,
for many years, week in week out, brought his own amplification
equipment to offset the appalling acoustics in the ballroom.
Dudley Rotary Club became co-owners of West Winds in Aberdovey. A
further property was also purchased during the year.
Early in the year, a communication from the Mayor of Dudley invited
members to a meeting at the Town Hall regarding the possibility of a
Black Country Museum within the Dudley County Borough area.
A Rotaract Club for 13 to 18-year olds was formed in January, 1970
and their meetings were for many years, held under the guidance of
Dudley Rotarians. They excelled at fund-raising and service and
their enthusiasm was boundless.
Through Tipton Rotary Club, Dudley Club was asked to support Tipton
Sports Union Trust by providing trees for their Stadium. The Club
was pleased to help and six trees were purchased and donated.
The Club held a Dance, the profits of which were used to help
finance The Dudley Girls' High Schools Choir and Dance Team on a
trip to America.
A swimming cup was presented to St. Luke's Youth Club during the
year. This was to supplement the one already presented by Dudley
Inner Wheel Club.
A highly successful Boxing Evening was held at Brierley Hill Civic
Hall, which resulted in a profit of £660 being presented to the
Dudley Mentally Handicapped Committee.
Membership at 1 May, 1971 was 95.
By this time, a Fund-Raising Committee was now in place and the
first project was that of providing a vehicle at a cost of £1600
to be used as a Mobile Cardiac Unit at Burton Road Hospital. After
many fund-raising events, the vehicle was presented on 6th.December.
(This vehicle was the first of three to be presented by the Club to
the hospital.) Members were asked to organise their own private
fund-raising functions to raise money for the vehicle, an idea that
many members cooperated with.
The Club was fortunate in being able to use an empty shop in New
Street for fund-raising and the format was similar to the Charity
Shops seen in later years.
The Club agreed to provide a place for a young person at the
General Wingate School in Addis Ababa. The place was for four years
and the cost to the Club was £85 per year.
Concern was expressed about a function when only about half of the
members who said they would attend actually turned up. It was
considered that this was extremely bad for both the Club and the
public image of Rotary.
The Ladies' Evening took place at The Summerhill House Hotel,
In July, another momentous decision by the Club was taken,
resulting in the formation of The Dudley Rotary Club Housing
Association Limited. It was hoped that the Club would be able to
build some flats in the Borough, in conjunction with the Housing
Corporation, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Club. The
scheme was to be financed from the rents received from the tenants,
supported by a Government grant and by the Rotary Club. (This first
phase of Rotary House was, in fact, completed in 1976.) It was
necessary to elect a management committee, under the chairmanship of
Past President Stanley Jones. Every member of the Club became a
shareholder of the Association by paying the sum of £1.
It was noted that some members objected to the use of Christian
names in the monthly circular. There was, however, very little
support for any changes.
Dudley Guest Hospital reached its Centenary and the Club donated £300
to purchase equipment.
The Vocational Service Committee had a serious discussion at one of
their meetings during the year when the subject was "The Mini
Skirt". It was a very "Stimulating" meeting and all
members agreed that it had been very successful.
In November, by courtesy of Past President Basil Poole, a
fund-raising Musical Evening was held at his home in Enville. This
took the form of a pianoforte recital by Miss Jana Frenklova. A
profit of £52.41 was made on the evening.
A letter was received from Father Tony Fleming, a Catholic
Missionary in India. (He was also the brother of a former Dudley
Rotarian.) He was asking for funds to dig five wells in his area.
The subject was discussed at length by Club Council but a resolution
"That this project be supported" was not carried. (Father
Fleming was to have a much greater influence on the Club in later
During the year, Past President Arthur Hillman was made an Honorary
Member of the Club. This was given in recognition of the many years'
service both to the Club and to District.
A new system was adopted of introducing guests at the Monday lunch,
members introducing their own guests to the meeting when they were
non-Rotarians. Rotarian visitors continued to be introduced by the
Membership at 1 May, 1972 was 92.
The Housing Association's proposal for land in the Kate's Hill area
was not approved, but Councillor Charles Clarke was to propose to
Dudley Council that the Club be granted some land at Russell's Hall
for the purpose of building flats.
Following further information Club Council agreed that £25 was
to be sent to Father Tony Fleming for the wells in India scheme.
An attempt was made to arrange a fellowship visit to the Rotary
Club of Martigues, in Southern France: it got as far as arranging
dates but failed due to difficulties with travel arrangements. The
Chairman of the International Services Committee wrote to Martigues
regretting the inconvenience to which they had been put.
In the year 1971/1972, major changes took place in District
organisation. The old District 6 became District 106 and a new
District was formed as District 121. District 121 covered the area
of Staffordshire, Shropshire and part of the West Midlands. And so
from 1st July, 1972 Dudley Rotary Club became part of District 121.
In addition, District changed the designation of its District
Chairman to that of District Governor.
The first Assembly of District took place at Keele University on
A request from the District Governor to assist in providing
holidays for children from Northern Ireland resulted in the Club
deciding to pay the cost of £40 for 2 Children to visit Dudley.
A Boxing Evening was held in April which was financially very
Another service the Club provided was the collection of books for
the Ranfurley Library. (This was continued for many years.) One
member was heartbroken, having lost his copy of the Khama Sutra
which he had inadvertently covered with the jacket from "Favourite
Woodland Flowers" by Gladys Chuckerbutty.
In September, the Club was fortunate in having a Fashion Show put
on by Marks and Spencer at the Town Hall. M & S did the
organising and all the Club had to do was to sell tickets, which
virtually sold themselves. A clear profit on the evening was £400.
Since 1969, the Club had been trying to purchase 4 acres of
woodland at Kinver for use as a camping site for young people.
However, there were problems with rights of way which, in the end,
forced the Club to withdraw the offer made.
A letter was received from the Rotary Club of Calais offering help
and assistance in entering the Common Market (E.E.C.). Club Council
decided to let this lie on the table.
A successful showing of a Rotary sponsored film entitled "One
Way Trip" was seen at Dudley Grammar School by an audience of
250. The film was on the perils of drug addiction.
For the Rotary Year ending 30th June, 1972, 29 members achieved an
attendance in excess of 90%, whilst 12 were 100%.
An item from District Assembly was that Dudley should consider the
formation of a Probus Club in the town: this was to receive
consideration by the Vocational Service Committee.
On 13th December, 1972, the Club held its Golden Jubilee Banquet at
the Station Hotel. This was attended by many dignitaries, including
the President-Elect of RIBI, John Edwards, who presented a plaque
from RI to President Jack Wall. Approximately 200 guests attended a
memorable event. (What has happened to this plaque?)
Membership at 1 May, 1973 was 98.
Concern again. The President complained about the lack of
fellowship given to new members who joined the Club. Many new
members found that after having been members for six months or so
only a few of the older members spoke to them.
In 1973, a Probus Club was formed in Dudley with a number of
retired Rotarians as the nucleus of the Club. They met initially at
The Dudley Zoo Club, moving to Dudley Golf Club after a year or two
(where they have been ever since).
In June, a joint Dinner Dance was held with Brierley Hill Rotary
Club at the Queen Mary Ballroom.
The Club arranged for a new floor to be laid at the Headquarters of
the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade.
Two Norwegian girls were hosted by the Club for two weeks in June
and the Club were responsible for their entertainment during the
Nash Court proceeded as usual, as did Weston Boys House, West
Winds, etc., etc.
In March, Watney, Mann & Company presented a cup that was to be
a trophy for a golf competition to be played for by Dudley and her
Dudley Council ran a Youth Service Summer Camp at Symonds Yat.
Equal numbers of boys on probation and boys from Secondary Schools
attended. The Club was pleased to make a donation towards the
running of this camp.
The Housing Association reported that they would proceed with the
purchase of the land on Russell's Hall Estate, together with the
preparation of drawings and documents up to tender stage for the
construction of 26 flats. Without the enthusiasm and drive of Past
President Stanley Jones, there was every chance that the project
would not have progressed very far.
The possibility of forming a Rotary Club in Netherton was
discussed by Club Service Committee. It was agreed that no further
action be taken in the immediate future.
A challenge was made to the Rotary Club of Bilston in respect of
the "Potty Trophy". The challenge was to play them at
Quoits. (Whatever happened to it?).
Membership at 1 March, 1974 was 98.
On July 1st, the Club was honoured when Past President R.A.(Ron)
Brooks was elected District Governor of District 121.
Despite several letters to the Rotary Club of Tokyo Ginza regarding
the annual Golf Match there had been no response. It was thought
wise that we drop the fixture.
12 members of the Vocational Service Committee discussed at length
the subject of "Pornography" at their March meeting: a
poll taken of the members at the conclusion of the meeting resulted
in 12 don't knows !!!.
After the Ladies' Evening it was commented that there was too much "Rock
and Roll" and not enough "Ballroom Dancing" and "Why
was the band so noisy"!!
An "Olde Tyme Music Hall" was held at the Queen Mary
Ballroom, with many people joining in the theme for the evening by
turning up in Edwardian dress. Professional entertainment was
provided and a profit in excess of £200 was made.
Dudley Probus Club invited the President to become an honorary
member of their Club. This honour was accepted by the President.
The first Group Study Exchange to be organised by District 121 was
for a team to visit District 225 (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique,
Natal, Rhodesia, Swaziland and Transvaal). The team consisted of
five young business and professional men who were selected from 21
applicants. The nominee of Dudley Rotary Club was successful and was
also employed by a Dudley member. A return visit of the team from
Southern Africa would take place in 1975.
The Annual Students' Day was held in March with twenty seven
students from seventeen countries. After a visit to the Council
House and the Central Library, lunch was taken at the Station Hotel,
where each visitor was allocated a Rotarian as host for the
afternoon visit to the Stuarts Crystal Glassworks.
"My Job" talks were again a popular feature of the
One of the events that stands out in the history of Dudley Rotary
Club took place during the year. Those who were members will
remember it with a mixture of horror and pleasure. On June 1,
ROTAWAKE took place at Bobbington airfield. Activities included an
ox-roast, hot-air balloon (including trips), parachuting
demonstration, stalls, etc. The Club planned for 5000-6000
people, but the Police considered that it could be as many as
30,000. The smoke, caused by the Ox-Roast, combined with the rain
and the wind managed to depress almost everyone. Despite the
problems, the organiser, Past President Fred Baker, remained
unperturbed. The ladies of Dudley Inner Wheel coped magnificently in
a little caravan, churning out sandwiches for customers who turned
up despite everything. The high wind caused the balloon to drag its
anchors and set off on its own, complete with basket, totally
unmanned towards the car park. The sight of several Rotarians
hanging on to the ropes, striving to hold the contraption back was a
sight for sore eyes. Fortunately only a few cars were damaged. In
the event, however, the Club having expected a colossal loss, ended
up with a profit of between £60 & £80.
Discussions had taken place with the medical staff at Burton Road
Hospital and, following proposals to Club Council it was agreed to
replace the Mobile Cardiac Unit with a new vehicle.
Membership at 1 May, 1975 was
Another Leisure Exhibition was held over four days in April the
purpose of which was, as before, to bring to the notice of the
people of Dudley the large variety of leisure activities which were
available locally. There were forty stands and, again, the
exhibition was very successful.
In February, the Club once again held a Fashion Show at the Town
Hall, put on by Marks and Spencer, which was a total sell out.
Whilst on holiday in Brittany, Past President Ray Glazzard (Then
merely a Rotarian) visited the Rotary Club of Concarneau, but,
despite their friendliness, they showed no enthusiasm for a possible
twinning as their Club was already twinned with another English
Club. However there were other Rotarian visitors from Clubs in
Brittany who showed some interest in further contact. Dudley
International Service Committee agreed to investigate further.
The end of year function in June for President David Cariss was a
dinner held at the Lenchford Hotel near Worcester.
The new President for the year 1975-1976 (Fred Jones) asked the
Club to organise inter-committee social functions together with
their ladies, bearing in mind his theme for the year of "Fellowship
and Fun". At one meeting at which suggestions were put forward,
one member suggested that a wife swapping party seemed to fill the
bill ideally, however this was flattened by another member who
stated that he had recently attended one of those parties and came
away totally disillusioned. Apparently, all he had been offered for
his wife was a lawnmower, and a push one at that.
Following complaints by members, it was agreed that, in future, the
Christian names of members wives should appear in the annual blue
book containing the names and addresses of members.
The Ladies' evening at the Summerhill House Hotel was graced by the
presence of the President of RIBI and his lady.
Nash Court was still very successful. The purpose of the camp was
to enable 50 youths (25 English 25 Foreign) to attend a camp of
fellowship together. The hope was that lessons were learnt regarding
tolerance and friendly co-existence during a fortnight of sporting
competitions and exchanges of ideas and customs.
The "Hub-Cap Trophy". a trophy to be played for between
the different committees of the Club was organised and played for.
The first holders were International Service Committee who
out-beetled Community Service Committee by a short head. (What has
happened to that trophy?)
In November, the Community Service and International Service
Committees had a joint meeting when discussions took place regarding
a joint long term project in India. The committees were addressed by
Father Tony Fleming who informed those present of the many needs in
Membership at 1 May, 1976 was 101.
Another year (the second) when the membership was over 100.
In February, the Club appeared to have made a very positive contact
with a French Club. A new Club had been formed in the city of Brest:
the Rotary Club, Côte des Légendes. Following an invitation from us,
a party from Brest visited Dudley at the end of February. (This was
the start of a lasting relationship between the two Clubs.)
The Housing Association reported that the contract to build 26
Flats at Russells Hall had been placed with J. Hickman & Son
(Building) Limited, at a cost approaching £200,000.
Early in 1976, District 121 organised a District Quiz which was to
be played on an Inter-Club knock-out basis. Most Clubs in the south
of the District dreaded being drawn away against the Rotary Club of
Another change of venue for the Ladies' Evening in February 1976
was the Westley Court Hotel near Cookley.
The replacement for the Mobile Cardiac Unit, which was given to
Burton Road Hospital by the Club in 1971 was presented to the
hospital in May, in the shape of a Vauxhall Victor Estate Car.
President Fred Jones together with several members and their wives
handed over the keys of the vehicle to Dr Michael Kubik at a simple
ceremony held at Burton Road.
In June, the first Dudley visit to Brest took place, a party of 15
travelling to France at a ferry cost of £12 per person.
Language problems were brushed aside, probably due to the vast
quantities of wine being available. It was rumoured that one member
of the Dudley Club was forced to declare himself to H.M. Customs on
arrival at Plymouth.
A concert by the Treorchy Male Voice Choir in the Town Hall was an
unqualified success with the tickets, as with the Marks and Spencer
fashion show, virtually selling themselves. The event showed a
profit of £600.
Members were asked to locate 14 suitable people to spend a week's
holiday at West Winds in Aberdovey. The qualifications laid down by
the West Winds Management Committee were:-
"The concept of West Winds is to provide for those who, for
example through reduced circumstances, cannot afford a holiday. West
Winds is not suitable for disabled or physically handicapped persons
nor anyone who may be in need of nursing attention".
The Community Service Committee arranged to finance the transport
of children from the Church of England Children's Home, Holy Cross
Lodge at Clent to their holiday destination at Southbourne.
The International Service Committee recommended to Club Council
that the sum of £150 be donated for the purpose of setting up
an Eye Camp in India. The appeal was initiated by the Rotary Club of
Bombay and several Clubs in RIBI contributed.
The Club were challenged to a Skittles Match by Dudley Inner Wheel
Club. This event took place at the Fountain Inn at Clent.
In October, once again, serious discussions were held regarding the
formation of a second Rotary Club in Dudley. The points in favour
and against were put very eloquently but again the decision was
against the proposal.
Membership at 1 May 1977 was 84.
A concert was arranged at the Handicapped Centre in Wellington Road
by the Community Service Committee. This event was well supported by
Rotarians and their wives.
There was great concern in the Club following the sharp decrease in
membership during the previous year and it was hoped that the
proposed steps to be taken would reduce any further slide.
12 Rotarians and their wives from Côte des Légendes visited Dudley
in early June. A very enjoyable, if hectic weekend for all those
The High Spot of the year was the opening of the Rotary House Flats
on 23 June by the Mayor of Dudley. The agreed basic rents at that
time were a single person flat £6.25 per week and £8.25
for a two person flat
As a final function for President Austen Rumney, a Riverboat
Shuffle was held on the River Severn from Worcester to Holt Heath at
the end of June, which was well supported by members, it was very
different from any social event held previously but, nonetheless it
was hoped by members that it would be repeated.
Following a cyclone in India the Club sent £50 to the Rotary
Club of Pownar.
At the District Conference held in Bournemouth, President Ernest
Evans received the District Significant Achievement Award for 1977.
This was in recognition of the work done by the Club with the
completion of Rotary House flats.
Total membership at 1 May, 1978 was
Ladies' Day was held in May, when members were joined for lunch by
their wives. The speaker was Mrs Dorothy Little J.P., the former
Wimbledon Tennis Champion.
The Dudley Club received 8 schoolchildren between the ages of 12
and 16 from the Rotary Club Côte des Légendes for a stay of 12 days.
The Club paid its second visit to the Rotary Club Côte des Légendes
in Brest. This was again well supported by members and the
hospitality of the French Club was outstanding. Dudley Club
presented the French Club with a cheque towards their main project
for the year, providing an inflatable lifeboat for the Brest area.
At the formal dinner, on behalf of the Club, First Vice President
Ray Glazzard, presented to the French Club a Vice-President's jewel.
A joint meeting was held with Round Table at the Station Hotel,
where an Italian meal was provided.
Following the successful visit of our District G.S.E. team to
Australia, the return visit was made by their team to District 121.
A full day was spent by the team in Dudley, culminating with
presentations by the team at an evening meeting.
The Club made a donation of £100 towards the refurbishing of
West Winds at Aberdovey.
The end of year function for President Ernest Evans was held at
Stone Manor in June. The high spot of the evening being a take-off
of one of the leading all girl groups of the time, "The
Supremes". Blacked up and in beautiful evening gowns were three
Rotarians, all destined to become future Presidents of the Club.
Community Service continued helping both financially and by service
very much as in previous years.
Following the opening of the Rotary House flats, the Housing
Association passed a resolution approving the building of 27 more
flats on land immediately adjacent, if it could be purchased.
President Ray Glazzard took office on 1st July 1979, and for his
project for the year wished to raise £2500 for a computerised
monitoring system for Burton Road Hospital. He succeeded in his
On 18 October 1978, the Club was heavily involved with a Speedway
Evening at the Stadium in Cradley Heath. This was another great
financial success, well supported by members and the evening raised
A cricket match was held also in October between the Rotary Club
and Rotaract. This was held on the playing fields of Dudley Grammar
School. Arrangements were made to have the Mobile Cardiac unit in
attendance, just in case. Rotary just scraped home as winners, but
it was an excellent evening of fellowship with the younger
generation. However, there were complaints that Rotary President Ray
Glazzard ran out at least three of his team!!
In November a Burgundy evening was held at the home of a member,
which was very well attended by members and their wives. Also on the
social side a very successful "Hoe Down" was held at the
British Legion Club in Lower Gornal.
In November, a concert was given at the Town Hall by The Treorchy
Male Voice Choir. As on the previous occasion, it was a resounding
success being a complete sell-out, resulting in a profit of £1500
which was donated towards the computerised monitoring system at
Burton Road Hospital.
1979 - June 1980
Membership at 1 July 1979 was 84.
For additional fund-raising every member of the Club was given £1
and asked to make it up to £10, not by just giving the money,
but by actually raising that amount. Members came up with many
ingenious schemes and, in the main, it was very successful.
A party of 15 children aged between 12 and 17 from the Rotary Club
Côte des Légendes visited Dudley in April and were hosted by
Rotarians which further strengthened the relationship between the
two Clubs. This was followed in May by the visit of the French adult
party for the weekend, the highspot of which was a Barn Dance at
Worfield Village Hall.
Fellowship visits to other local Rotary Clubs were still being
arranged and, usually were well supported by members.
With a view to attracting new members, a Businessmen's lunch was
held, when local businessmen were invited to attend a Club meeting.
The speaker on that particular day was the President of RIBI.
The new President of the Club in July 1979 was Alan Foulkes, who
was the first member to have a father who had been President of the
Club. His theme for the year was that of the President of RI, "the
3H programme", ("Health, Hunger and the Humanities").
This was taken "on board" by both Community Service and
A Skittles Evening was held for the International Students at the
Fountain Inn at Clent.
On 25th February, 1980, the Club celebrated the 75th anniversary of
the formation of Rotary with a dinner which was addressed by the
Earl of Dudley. In addition, the Club decided to present the town
with an information board which it was hoped would be erected in the
Discussions were still proceeding between the Housing Association,
the Local Authority and the Housing Corporation. Draft Drawings and
supporting documentation had been prepared and submitted for
approval for Phase 2 of Rotary House.
July 1980 -
Membership at 1 July, 1980 was 82.
52 "Boat People" from Vietnam, between the ages of 6 and
60, were taken on a trip to Dudley Zoo. The Club had been supplying
clothes for them since they arrived at the reception centre in
The Local Authority allocated 3 Houses for the "Boat People"
on Priory Estate and the Club spent a great deal of time and effort
providing furniture, cleaning and generally making them habitable.
A party of 16 French children from Brest were entertained by the
Club over the New Year. Due to difficulties with hosting, parents
from the Dudley School assisted.
An applicant, Peter Brownjohn sponsored by our Club, was accepted
as a member of the GSE team which visited Ohio.
In connection with an earthquake in Italy, the Club, cooperating
with Round Table had filled 7 containers with clothing, which were
subsequently transported to the stricken zone.
The Dudley Club was convincingly beaten by Tipton Rotary Club at
Table Tennis for the "Beacon Shield".
Vocational Service Committee was discussing the subject of "The
likely significance of the silicon chip".
Further concerns were expressed during the year regarding the
decline in membership. Despite appeals to members, few application
forms were processed. It was thought that the main problem was the
1980 saw building work commence on Phase 2 of Rotary House, the
contract being awarded to Walker (Contractors) Limited of Cradley
Heath with overall costs approaching £550,000. The design team
remained as for Phase 1 being Club Members, namely Architects Alan
Young and Partners and Quantity Surveyors Girling and Hewitt.
The Community Service Committee arranged a concert at St Thomas'
Church in aid of the Handicapped Centre. The concert was given by
The Solihull Choir.
July - December
Membership at 1 July, 1981 was 79.
Michael Crump who was elected President in July 1981 had quite a
family connection with Dudley Rotary Club over the years. His
grandfather was a founder member of the Club; a great-uncle was a
member, father was a President of the Club, and an uncle and
father-in-law were also members.
Throughout the year, at the request of the President, Evening
Meetings were held together with the ladies whenever there was a
fifth Monday in the month.
Each member of the Club was given a small cardboard box, with a
request that he put his small change in it at bed-time. This raised
in excess of £400 over the year.
12 schools supported the Public Speaking Competition held at the
The Rotaract Club gained in strength and was very successful, but
more support was required from Rotarians at their social functions.
Discussions took place within the Club relating to the 60%
attendance rule. It was thought that this rule did not reflect the
problems young executives have in making such a high percentage of
The Club finished third in the Black Country table of the District
A request from John Gilbert M.P. to support the training of a local
ballerina in London was turned down by Club Council. However the
Club was able to obtain money through the local Unwin Trust to
support this request.
An evening of Christmas Music at the Town Hall raised £550.
Fortunately poor support from members was more than offset by last
minute sales to the public.
January 1982 -
Membership at 1 May, 1982 was 74.
A Flag Day in February raised almost £400.
The most important event of 1982 was the completion of Phase 2 of
the Rotary House Flats. By March, they were fully tenanted and the
official opening by the Mayor of Dudley took place on 9th June. A
plaque was subsequently fixed at Rotary House to mark the hard work
of the chairman of the Association, Past President Stanley Jones
without whose enthusiasm the project would never have got off the
ground. The plaque was a relief sculpture of Stanley done by a local
£3200 was raised to provide specialist equipment for Disabled
Children within the Borough.
Due to an initial poor response in sponsorship, a proposed Pro-Am
Golf Day was reluctantly postponed.
A darts competition was held at Dudley Grammar School for local
players and was attended by some 100 players. The top ten players
then went forward to a final at Dudley Town Hall where each of them
was able to play against the reigning world champion, John Lowe. It
proved a successful event in every way.
A Concert was held at the Town Hall, which resulted in a profit of £550.
A GSE Team from North Carolina visited Dudley during their time
with District 121 and hosting for one of their six weeks was carried
out by the Dudley Club. (The young man who stayed with Dudley
families is still in contact with them.)
1982 was also the year of dissatisfaction with the catering at The
Station Hotel. This resulted in somewhat acrimonious discussions
with the management with the result that new President Fred Austin,
announced to the Club that a search should be made for an
alternative venue. Proposed venues included The Lodge, The Zoo Club
and the Royal Oak at Dudley Port. In the meantime, the Station asked
that the Club be responsible for collecting the money each week.
This was agreed to and a Steward was appointed weekly for this
purpose. After negotiations, a move was made to The Zoo Club
(Fellows Club) on Castle Hill which was to prove ideal for the Club
and complaints about catering disappeared overnight due, in no small
measure to the helpfulness of their manager "Costa".
During the year, Dudley Rotary Club started negotiations initially
with District, with a view to putting forward a resolution to RIBI
Conference. This was for a relaxation in the attendance rule to
allow attendance at Club Committees to be counted as an attendance.
This proposition was put to RIBI conference at Blackpool in April,
but was unfortunately defeated by about 2 to 1.
The Rotary visit to Brest in late May, in glorious weather was
extremely successful and the Club was involved in a Mini-Olympics
against Côte des Légendes. The fellowship of these visits fulfilled
all the ideals of Rotary,
The visit to France was followed by a reciprocal visit to Dudley by
young people from Brest for two weeks. They worked with young people
from Dudley at the Black Country Museum, where they assisted with
the building of a loading quay for the pit-head exhibit. Prior to
that young people from Dudley helped to clear vegetation from banks
of the river Mignonne near Brest.
The Vietnamese refugees housed in council houses on the Priory
Estate were still being assisted by members of the Club.
The International Youth Camp took place, not at Nash Court as
previously, but at a new venue of Apley Park near Bridgnorth. An
Austrian boy was hosted by the Club for the week preceding the
The Club were again fortunate in being able to have another Marks
and Spencer Fashion Show at the Town Hall which, for a minimal
amount of work, was again a great success.
A joint committee was formed between Rotary and Inner Wheel to
discuss the possibility of no longer having separate Rotary and
Inner Wheel Ladies' and Gentlemen's evenings and substituting a
single joint function. This was subsequently agreed by both Clubs.
The Christmas Social in 1982 which coincided with the 60th
anniversary of the Club's Charter Night was held in the Dining Hall
at the Dudley School. The turkey and pork were cooked on the
premises and carved by members, after which a history of the Club
was given be Rotarians Alan Black and Ken Powell.
For his project for the year, President Fred Austin wished the Club
to replace the Vauxhall Victor, (supplied by the Club to Burton Road
Hospital in 1971 as a Mobile Cardiac Unit), with a more up to date 4
wheel drive vehicle. An appeal was launched to provide a Range Rover
for this purpose. This daunting task set by President Fred kept the
fund-raising Committee on their toes.
The main fund-raising was achieved by raffling a Mini-Metro car and
this was extremely successful due entirely to the hard work of
members. From the start the support of Dudley townspeople was very
For the Christmas Social, the Brass Ensemble from the Dudley
Grammar School played to members and their wives, which proved to be
most enjoyable. The function was at the new headquarters of Dudley
Rotary Club, the Dudley Zoo Club.
The first combined Ladies and Gentlemen's evening was held at the
Zoo Club in March and was a resounding success with 120 people
In April, the French children came to Dudley, with one of the
high spots being a Skittles Evening at the Kenmare Restaurant in
Kinver. The French adults also visited Dudley in 1983 for another
successful weekend, during which they were presented with a lectern
which was very well received.
July 1983 - June
Membership at 1 July, 1983 was 72.
A shop was made available to the Club in the Churchill Precinct and
this was used in the same way as todays charity shops. It was
staffed by Rotary members, wives and Ladies of Inner Wheel.
The winners of the Public Speaking Competition addressed the Club
at one of the lunchtime meetings.
An outing was arranged by the Community Service Committee for 30
elderly people to visit Trentham Gardens.
The International Service Committee's project for the year was the
collection of unwanted hand tools of all sorts and transporting them
to Southampton, where they would be refurbished by a charitable
trust and subsequently distributed in kit form to the third world.
The Annual Christmas Social was held at the Handicapped Centre and
took the form of a performance of the Pantomime "Aladdin",
written and performed by members of the Club. This proved to be an
unqualified success and was enjoyed by everyone present particularly
The Club again pursued the attendance rule amendment at District
level, prior to, once again, putting the proposal to RIBI
Conference. On this occasion Dudley received the blessing of
The provision by the Club of the replacement Mobile Cardiac Unit
with a Range Rover by the Club to Burton Road Hospital was the
reason for Dudley being awarded the 1983 District Significant
Achievement Award, which was presented to President Alan Black at
District Conference in Bournemouth. The new vehicle was presented to
Burton Road Hospital in November, the event being supported by many
Rotarians and their wives.
The combined Ladies and Gentlemen's evening proved to be a
The Community Service Committee ran a Barn Dance at Bromley Hills
School, which was a complete sell-out. £215 was raised by this
event; this was made up to £250 from Club funds and the amount
was passed on to Compton Hall.
In May 1984, the Mobile Cardiac Unit Range Rover crashed but
despite extensive damage, it was repaired very quickly and was soon
back in use.
Two items of equipment were purchased by the Club for Burton Road
Hospital. An ECG machine at a cost of £1500, and two
Closomatics at a cost of £1720.
With the RI Convention taking place in Birmingham in early June,
local Clubs were asked to offer "Home Hospitality" to
visitors attending from overseas. The total number attending was in
excess of 10000. 15 members of the Dudley Club supported this and
all the Club's guests were Americans who were wined and dined in
individual members' homes.
At the Annual General Meeting held in April, Past Presidents Arthur
Hillman and Bill Homer were elected Honorary Members in recognition
of their services to the Club and to the Rotary Movement.
July 1984 - June
Membership at 1 July, 1984 was 59.
On 30th July, President Howard Harvey welcomed R.I.B.I. President
Jim Watts together with the Mayor of Dudley, District Governor Don
Rowland, and other District Officers to the Club meeting.
Representatives of many other Clubs in District were also present to
hear a stimulating address from the RIBI President.
Once again, the considerable drop in membership was of great
concern to the Club. It was proposed that, for a short period the
Club should try holding evening meetings, with a view to them
becoming permanent if successful. It was subsequently decided that
the Club would continue as a lunch-time Club.
Discussions were held during the year following suggestions that an
additional Club be formed in the Dudley area which would meet in the
evenings. This was not considered a good idea at that particular
Contact with the Vietnamese was scaled down as this was considered
no longer necessary.
Support was requested by the Dudley Special Olympics Committee for
the team that was being sent to the Mentally Handicapped Games to be
held in the Isle of Man. The Club made a donation of £250
A Flag Day was held, which was once again well supported by
Rotarians and their wives, raised £400.
It was agreed that the Club should contribute £1250 towards
the £3000 required to provide a new Day Room at Burton Road
Once again, the Club pursued an amendment to the attendance rule
with full backing from District. The proposal was put to R.I. in
Evanston, Illinois and it was hoped that the enactment would be put
to the Legislative Council in 1986. Later the Club were advised by
the R.I. Council of Legislation that the amendment put forward by us
was included for their consideration, but it was later withdrawn on
the advice of that Council.
A member asked Club Council to consider supporting an appeal being
made to enable a Hospice to be built in Stourbridge.
A visit was made to a live BBC Quiz show at Pebble Mill, Birmingham
by a number of Rotarians and their wives. This proved very enjoyable
but unfortunately the particular show was not shown in the Midlands
The visit of the French Adults from Côte des Légendes was enlivened
by a Race Night held at the Conway Club in Wombourne.
During the year, presentations were made to two members: Past
President Arthur Cooke and Rotarian Syd Rowley, who both achieved 50
years in Rotary.
1985 - 1986
Membership at 1 July, 1985 was 60.
There was very little fund-raising during the year, but three
projects were the theme of President Brian Jones.
1. An attempt to persuade Dudley Corporation to do something about
the litter in the town.
2. Tourism: a group of some dozen people were gathered together who
were interested in becoming Tourist Guides. A company "Tourist
Guides of the Black Country Limited", was formed which had
regular meetings at the library. (Some of the original members of
that group are still very active in tourism.)
3. Iron Curtain Countries. A suggestion by R.I. that Clubs should
try to make contact with countries in Eastern Europe, was taken on
board by the Club and the President visited the Hungarian Embassy to
be wined and dined at a "Chinese" restaurant. Contact was
also made with Poland which seemed more promising. (In the event
only one other Club in R.I. (Australian) took the same initiative.)
Contact with the East Germans and the Czechs resulted in little
interest being shown. The Polish attache, however, visited the Club
at one of the Monday lunchtime meetings and was very positive about
a possible visit.
The Club had two very successful snooker evenings at a snooker hall
on Castle Hill where a room with two tables was hired. The event
enabled those present to see which members had a mis-spent youth.
Inter Committee Quiz nights were held, together with Inner Wheel
and were very enjoyable, but the mists of time prevent me from being
able to recall which committee won.
A boy was sent on an Outward Bound course.
A Photographic Quiz of Dudley was held at a joint evening meeting
with Round Table, which proved just how unobservant Rotarians were
(and probably still are).
The French children from Brest visited Dudley in April and were
followed in May by an adult visit to Brest.
The Club sponsored a Mrs Sara Kelby for a two year period of
Voluntary Service Overseas to enable her to work in Ghana.
1986 - 1987
Membership at 1 July, 1986 was 60.
The major event of the year, was the visit of five young executives
from Poland on what was, to all intents and purposes, a modified
G.S.E. exchange. The visit was masterminded by Past President Fred
Austin. A return visit was to take place by a team from Dudley in
1988. Dudley was thus the first Club in R.I. to organise such an
exchange with a country behind the Iron Curtain.
All G.S.E. exchanges are funded by Rotary Foundation but, despite
many representations to Foundation, they were not prepared to give
us any support. Dudley, therefore did it alone, albeit with some
financial help from District.
The Polish Team visited Dudley in early November. They were hosted
by Dudley members and spent their two weeks making visits to
companies relating to their individual occupations. The visit was an
unqualified success and it was hoped that the team picked to go to
Poland in 1988 would include one member sponsored by the Rotary Club
Côte des Légendes. (In due course, the Dudley Club was given a
Significant Achievement Award for the project.)
A visit to a local Brewery by the Vocational Service Committee was
extremely well supported by members and the attendance was greater
than any other visit made in the history of the Club. The reason for
this excellent attendance was never explained.
Problems were encountered during the year, in that until a very
late stage, the Club had no Vice-President; however, at the last
moment Past President Alan Black offered to fill the breech, thus
saving the Club from possible extinction. This was an offer that
the Club was only too pleased to accept. For the first time since
1922, (but not the last) the Club was to have a President in for a
A very enjoyable weekend was spent by ten couples in the City of
York, an event that, due to its success was the forerunner of
several others over the years.
A concert was arranged at the Town Hall, where the audience was
entertained by Banks's Brewery Brass Band, together with a local
The Club made an early (and strategic) exit from the District Quiz
and District snooker competitions but the table tennis team reached
Again, as in previous years many other regular events took place:
visits by Dudley children to Brest and the French adults back to
Dudley, International Youth Week, Outward Bound, West Winds etc.
At a Celebrity Dinner, the international test match cricket umpire,
Harold "Dickie" Bird, gave a very interesting and amusing
talk which resulted in a profit of £520.
25 physically handicapped people, with 25 Dudley Rotarians paid a
visit to Trentham Gardens which was greatly enjoyed.
£1100 was donated to Dudley Road Hospital for life-saving
Certain statistics became available in 1987 and were published in
the Express and Star. Since the inception of the Club in 1922,
archives revealed that the Club had been involved in 742 local
projects and 246 international projects and had raised and
distributed £164000 during that time. 782 local business and
professional men had enjoyed fellowship in the Dudley Club whilst
serving the community over the years and together with five daughter
Clubs, brought a total of 2876 into the Rotary membership.
1987 - 1988
Membership at 1 July, 1987 was 59.
The theme for the year from the President of R.I. was PolioPlus.
This scheme to eliminate Polio throughout the world would cost £120
million US dollars. President Alan Black and the Club backed this
wholeheartedly and many fund-raising events were held.
The Treorchy Male Voice Choir visited Dudley again and was
sponsored by the M.E.B: £4000 was raised on the night.
A Celebrity dinner held at Dudley Zoo Club realised £700.
The Dudley Rotary Club Am-Am golf tournament raised almost £2000.
(This tournament still goes on and has always been very successful,
thanks to the hard work by Past President Geoff Groves and a few
Rotarians, together with the generosity of Dudley Golf Club.)
The total raised in the year was in excess of £7000.
Funds were made available to Burton Road Hospital for a "Mecabed"
being an orthopaedic bed to assist nursing staff in turning patients
over to avoid discomfort. The cost of this bed was £925.
Meals out and theatre trips were amongst the social functions of
Following a request from Father Tony Fleming in India, a donation
of £100 was made as a first year contribution of a three year
commitment to support the education of a young lad.
Whilst the annual Public Speaking Competition took place as usual,
there was some disappointment at the small number of young people
1988 - 1989
Membership at 1 July, 1988 was 56.
Following the shabby treatment (as we saw it) from Rotary
Foundation over the Polish "GSE" visit, the Club witheld
the £7.50 per member due during the year to Foundation.
Past President Fred Austin led a team to Poland in September 1988
on what proved to be an extremely successful as well as the first
ever visit by a Rotary sponsored team behind the Iron Curtain. The
team from Dudley included a young man sponsored by the Rotary Club
Côte des Légendes.
A wine-tasting evening was held at the Wine Press in Lye which
proved to be extremely well attended by Rotarians and their wives.
A fund-raising evening was held at the Town Hall, where the Band of
the Royal Marines entertained a large audience.
At the beginning of November, a Black Country evening was held at
Grorty Dicks in Stourbridge, which was a very different social
evening, but none the less was enjoyed by everyone.
A celebrity fund-raising evening was held at the Lodge where the
Club members and their guests were entertained by former England and
Worcestershire cricketer, Basil D'Oliveira. £400 was raised on
A momentous decision was made during the year, when the Club moved
its headquarters from the Zoo Club to the Lodge in Wellington Road.
Following the visit of the Dudley team to Poland, the Club gave £250
towards the cost of providing equipment for the rehabilitation of
handicapped Polish children.
The Club voted on the important issue of "Women in Rotary"
with the result that 24 voted against and 8 for.
The Club was exploring the possibility of a joint project with the
Rotary Club Côte des Légendes. Past President Ray Glazzard had
received a letter from Father Tony Fleming in India stating that his
Rotary Club would also be interested in a joint project. It appeared
that it was looking to support a local Leper Colony. And so, from
small beginnings, came the start of what was to become the largest
fund raising-project to date, entered into by Dudley Rotary Club.
Another Brass Band concert was held at Dudley Town Hall with the
visit of Black Dyke Mills Band.
The principal donations during the year made on behalf of the Club
by President Roy Pedley were: Institute for the Blind £500;
Mary Stevens Hospice £500; Cardiac Rehabilitation unit £200;
and an amount of £2500 for laser surgery.
In May, a Bavarian evening was held at the Training College. An
Oompah band was engaged. Liquid refreshments were brewed by
Rotarians and a buffet was supplied by the ladies of Inner Wheel.
Also in the Spring, a party of Club members and their wives visited
Bruges for a long weekend. A fellowship visit was also made to the
Rotary Club of Bruges: an excellent example of Rotary fellowship.
The Club was also actively involved in supporting the Ranfurley
Library and the Local Authority gave permission to collect books
from schools in the borough that were surplus to their requirements.
These were to be stored at the Dudley School until transport could
be arranged to take them to London.
1989 - 1990
Membership at 1 July, 1989 was 58.
Early in the year, despite efforts by the Club, Dudley Rotaract
Club finally disbanded. Consultations would be made with District
regarding the distribution of their funds.
At the International Committee Meeting in September Father Tony
Fleming was present and talked about his hopes for a joint project
between Dudley, Côte des Légendes and his own Club to build houses
for lepers in Bargarh, India. His hopes were that, over a period of
years, twenty blocks of two houses each would be built on a plot of
land near the river. Dudley Club were to investigate possible
funding from R.I. Foundation. The cost of the project was
anticipated to be in the region of £25000 to £30000 spread
over 5 to 7 years.
The Christmas Social at The Lodge had as entertainment a pantomime
written and performed by members of the Club. On this occasion, a
production of "Cinderella" was very well received by the
audience and showed that many of the performers had hidden talents.
A "Victorian" evening was held in February 1990 at the
Cottage Inn, Kingswinford.
A successful combined Ladies' and Gentlemen's evening was held at
the Stewponey Hotel at Stourton.
The International Committee reported that 18000 books had been
collected by the Club for the Ranfurly Library. Many of them were
collected from local schools. The books were, in due course,
transported to the Ranfurly Library Centre in London for subsequent
A G.S.E. team from Queensland, Australia visited the Club and were
hosted for their first week by members of the Club.
The Club held a St. George's Day Dinner at the Lodge. This was
presided over by President John Rowen and was very successful. It was
also hoped that this would be celebrated in future years.
With the supply of a suitable vehicle from Past President Ray
Glazzard, Past President Fred Austin took a full load of items to
Poland. Included was a modified hoist suitable for use in the
hydrotherapy unit at the children's hospital in Warsaw.
The visit from the French adults in May included a visit To
Chatsworth House on a bitterly cold and wet day. However we still
managed to picnic outside.
1990 - 1991
Membership at 1 July, 1990 was 59.
The incoming President was Ken Powell whose wife Barbara was also
President of Dudley Inner Wheel.
The Bargarh Project - an application was made to R.I. Foundation
for a grant towards drainage works.
The Fellowship House and Social Committee organised a Crown Green
Bowling evening at Bridgnorth.
The Club supported the Sports Day for the Handicapped at The Dell,
Pensnett, where hot dogs and drinks were supplied.
It was agreed that the Foundation dues that had been withheld
following the Polish exchange should now be paid to District.
A ten-pin bowling evening was held at the Superbowl at Brierley
Hill. Wives and friends were invited on what was another evening of
A Gilbert and Sullivan evening and the Raconteur's Dinner raised
the sums of £700 and £154 respectively.
A weekend away was spent by thirteen couples in Norwich which again
proved very successful.
The Community Service Committee distributed 26 hampers at Christmas
for elderly and needy people.
A successful Ladies' and Gentlemen's evening was held at the Mill
Dudley received a walkover in the first round of the District Table
Tennis Competition. It appeared that it was too late to cancel the
catering and venue, with the result that there were probably enough
sandwiches left over to feed most of Dudley for a week.
In view of the popularity of brass band music locally, another
brass band concert was organised. On this occasion, it was the
Grimethorpe Colliery Band and, as with similar evenings held in the
past, this was just as successful. A profit of £3200 was made
on the night.
10 couples went to the District Conference, which was held at
Llandudno. The District golf competition was held there in
conjunction with a force 10 gale, which made it extremely
interesting for the competitors.
Another wine tasting was held at the Wine Press at Lye in October.
This event seemed to be better supported than most, although the
reasons for this were not clear.
26 Christmas hampers were supplied and delivered to elderly people
immediately prior to Christmas.
£150 was given towards a Christmas Party for the residents of
The entertainment at the Rotary Christmas Social was by a Brass
Ensemble of former pupils from the Dudley School.
The Vocational Service Committee organised visits to Birmingham
Mosque and to a Monastry.
Bargarh, India - problems of communication were hindering the
overall impetus of the project. It had been decided that the
formation of a trust was essential to ensure proper control of the
project. Father Fleming notified the Club that the cost of the land
would be in the region of £4000. It was agreed that, once the
land had been purchased, together with a firmer indication of the
overall cost of the project, individual Clubs in District would be
approached for support.
In May, another successful visit by the Club to Brest took place.
1991 - 1992
Membership at 1 July, 1991 was 53.
There were two main events during the year: the first was the
project for the year by President Keith Jackson, being the provision
of a minibus for the use of the deaf people in the Borough. The
other major event was the celebration of the Club's 70th
Following recommendations by the Community Service Committee, the
sum of £2000 was donated to Mary Stevens Hospice. The donation
was for day-to-day running and also to pay off a high initial loan.
The supply of the minibus ran into problems very early on, due
mainly to the fact that organisations who promised to sell raffle
tickets very much overestimated the numbers they could sell. As the
prize for the raffle was an Austin Metro car (which had to be paid
for) things became very difficult, but thanks to the hard work of
members and their helpers, a vehicle was, in due course purchased
and handed over.
Following a request from Dudley Social Services £750 was
donated to enable a lady to purchase an electric scooter.
When it was learned that Burton Road Hospital was soon to be
closed, the Club approached the Hospital to ascertain what was
happening to all the equipment donated to the Hospital over the
years. The Hospital Administrator assured the Club that all
equipment that was still in working order would be used elsewhere.
Thanks to another Am-Am Golf Tournament at Dudley Golf Club the
Club made a profit of £1300.
The Vocational Service Committee arranged visits to a synagogue in
Birmingham, the Quaker Meeting House in Stourbridge and the Geeta
Bhawan (Hindu) Temple in Handsworth.
Bargarh, India - the Trust had now been formed and sufficient funds
had been sent to India to purchase the land. Half this initial cost
was donated by the Rotary Club of Côte des Légendes. It was agreed
that serious fund-raising should commence with Clubs within District
121. In May 1992, work commenced on site.
A small party visited Dudley from Côte des Légendes in April and
despite somewhat inclement weather an enjoyable time was had by
everyone concerned. A joint meeting between the two Clubs took place
at the Black Country Museum.
An evening at the Town Hall, where a concert was given by the
Cradley Heath Choir raised £2200.
A Rotary trophy for elocution was presented to the Dudley Festival
of music and drama.
Two "My Job" interviews were carried out at separate
evening meetings to which wives were invited. Bert Bissell was
interviewed by Bernard Beales and Ron Westerby (Director of
Education) was intervieved by Ken Girling.
The final event of the year was the dinner at the Station Hotel,
held on 22 .June to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Club. The
event was attended by the Mayor and also by many dignitaries from
the Rotary movement. There were, however, many complaints about the
quality of the meal (which was the main reason for the Club leaving
the establishment some years before), resulting in the hotel
offering two free weekend stays at one of the Crown and Raven group
of hotels. In addition, it was considered that there were too many
speeches and those who did speak went on too long!!
In late June, the Club had an Indian Meal at Dudley High School
prepared by Rotarian Narayan Rao and his wife. This was thoroughly
enjoyed by a good turn-out of members.
The Am-Am golf tournament was held at Dudley Golf Club at the end
of June and once again, was a great financial success, due in the
main to the hard work of Past President Geoff Groves, Rotarian John
Hyde, together with the support of two or three other Rotarians and
1992 - 1993
Membership at 1 July, 1992 was 53.
The R.I. theme for the year was "Real Happiness in Helping
On a visit to this country from India, Father Tony Fleming spoke to
the International Service Committee in July and told the Committee
what was happening at the Indian end of the project. The "Swasthya
Seva Sangha Trust" had been formed.
During the closure in the month of August, Scatter Weeks took place
when members visited daughter and local clubs in groups.
The first official function of President Barry Townsend was a
visit from the Treorchy Male Voice Choir in October which was, as
usual a very successful event. The concert, held at the Town Hall
raised almost £3500.
A Hot September Jazz evening was held in a marquee at Halesowen and
proved to be most enjoyable for all those who attended.
The Vocational Service Committee instigated a "Young Inventor
of the Year" competition, details of which were sent to 22
local schools. A first prize of £100 was agreed by Club
Efforts were made to speed up the Luncheon Meetings with an aim to
finish by 2.15pm.
30 hampers were delivered to elderly people immediately before
Christmas by the Community Service committee.
Bargarh, India - following illustrated presentations made to other
Clubs, donations started to trickle in. Also, other organisations
were being contacted and asked for support. The first four dwellings
were completed in April. The work being put into this project by
both Past President Ray Glazzard and Rotarian John Madeley was very
considerable and was noted by the Club.
The Annual Ladies' and Gentlemen's evening was once again held at
The Mill at Alveley, coinciding with St George's Day.
Two Emergency Boxes (boxes filled with clothes, tools etc.) were
collected and delivered to be transported overseas.
The Vocational Service Committee arranged very interesting visits
to the Humanists Society, the Unitarian Church and the Christian
A GSE team from Malaysia visited District 1210 for six weeks with
Past President Fred Austin being responsible with the organisation
and programming for the week they spent in our Sub-District. Members
of the team were also hosted by Dudley members.
Community Service Committee arranged an outing for Senior Citizens
to the Farmer's Arms at near Worcester which was greatly appreciated
by the participants.
The trip by Rotarians and their wives to Brest took place in May
and followed a previously much enjoyed format. It proved, once
again, that no knowledge of the French language was really
necessary. During the weekend, dinner was arranged aboard a huge
Catamaran in the Straits of Brest. Unfortunately, it poured with
rain and there was a force 8 gale. 90% of the people were seasick
and few dinners were consumed and many of the dinners eaten did not
remain so for very long. The next day, the sun shone and all was
well (except for the President's wife, who swore she would never set
foot ever again on a boat. How she returned to England still remains
Jean and Michael Crump presented a Golf Cup to the Club in memory
of Jean's father, Sydney Rowley, who was a member of Dudley Rotary
Club for 57 years. The first winner of the cup which was played for
at Enville Golf Club, was Roger Thornett.
1993 - 1994
Membership at 1 July, 1993 was 55.
Problems were again encountered with finding someone willing to
take on the office of President. However, Past President Colin Knipe
offered to take office once again, much to the relief of members.
West Winds holiday home at Aberdovey was still being used by people
from Dudley, sponsored by the Community Service Committee.
Another Am-Am golf competition took place in August by courtesy of
Dudley Golf Club and was again financially very successful.
District Conference at Bournemouth was well supported by members
and their wives.
The visit of a G.S.E. team from Sri-Lanka took place in September,
during which, an evening video presentation was given at the Lodge.
Again, as in the previous year, Scatter Weeks took place during the
month of August.
The annual Handicapped Games took place at Pensnett, where hot dogs
and drinks were supplied by members of the Community Service
The Vocational Service Committee arranged a visit to The Severn
Trent, Trimpley Water Treatment Works, when 30 people attended for a
conducted tour followed by a buffet.
Bargarh, India - we received a visit from Rotarian Gupta from the
Rotary Club of Bargarh, who, together with a friend, was with us for
a few days. (Apparently he had won the flight in some sort of
lottery.) It was, however, pleasing from the Club's point of view to
meet someone who was on the spot. By November, a further four
dwellings had been built, making a total of eight. By March 1994,
the total sent to India was £11137.
A talk to the Club by Josephine Price regarding her proposed visit
to Bosnia with essential supplies was very well received and
resulted in Club Council authorising a donation of £250 towards
A large party made an evening visit of fellowship to Sedgley and
Wombourne Club, when it pledged £1000 towards the Bargarh
A Club Quiz was organised by Past President Geoff Groves at the
Conservative Club. This very enjoyable evening of fellowship was
well attended by members and their wives.
Support for West Winds at Aberdovey continued as in previous years.
A donation was made by the Club towards new kitchen equipment at the
£2000 was donated to the Handicapped Centre in Wellington
A Barbers Shop Choir and Brass concert was held at the Town Hall in
May and, although not very well supported by the general public, was
thoroughly enjoyed by all those present.
An evening of Go-Karting was held at Bilston for the younger
members of the Club (i.e. those under 65), which was enjoyed by those
who took part. One or two of the more elderly members still
complained of aching limbs three months later.
The Vocational Service Committee arranged visits to The Buddhist
Centre and the Mormons in Harborne.
£200 was donated to a hospital in Kathmandu following a
harrowing talk to the Club by Dennis Pitchford.
A visit from Rotary Club Côte des Légendes took place in May. The
lack of numbers gave rise to some disappointment.
1994 - 1995
Membership at 1 October, 1994 was 50.
Once again the problem arose of having someone to take the office
of President. On this occasion, the Club was fortunate in that Past
President Fred Austin was prepared to do a second term.
A mixed crown green bowling evening was held at Dudley Junior
Conservative Club in August, which was very well attended.
The gradual fall in membership was causing concern and discussions
took place on several occasions as to whether or not the Club should
meet in the evenings, but no firm decisions were made.
The Club also voted on whether or not women should be allowed to
join Dudley Rotary Club. The members voted narrowly against the
The Vocational Service Committee organised a visit to Kays
Warehouse at Droitwich, an event well supported by members.
The visit of a G.S.E. team from Michigan and Ontario in October,
received hosting from Club members.
Bargarh, India - the Club was presented with the District
Significant Achievement Award at the District Conference, for the
Bargarh project. Many Clubs in District supported this venture and
several of them responded with amounts in excess of £1000. An
application for a matching grant was made to Foundation for the
supply and installation of pumping equipment, sponsored by both the
Rotary Clubs of Dudley and Bargarh. By the end of May 1995 the sum
of £20137 had been sent to Bargarh and 28 dwellings had been
completed and occupied. Past President Ray Glazzard visited Bargarh
after Christmas 1994 and was received like royalty by the local
populace. He was conducted round and stayed with his old friend,
Father Tony Fleming.
A major fund raising evening took place in February in the form of
a Sportsman's Evening held at Molineux, Wolverhampton. The main
speaker was former England and Liverpool football captain Emlyn
Hughes and lighter entertainment was provided by local comedian Reg
Keirle. The event, which entailed a great deal of hard work by a few
members, resulted in a very worthwhile profit of £3568.
The Fellowship House and Social Committee arranged a weekend away
in March to Tiverton which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who
An "Organ Extravaganza" was arranged at the Town Hall.
The concert was a great success musically, but, because the public
stayed away, only a small profit was made.
Attendance at meetings was again discussed at length by Club
Council. Although there had been an improvement over the year, it
was still not very satisfactory.
The Vocational Service Committee organised an evening meeting
devoted to the subject of "Faiths of our Neighbours".
Representatives of four different faiths attended and gave short
talks, followed by a question and answer session.
The Community Service Committee continued with many projects that
were carried out as in previous years, West Winds, Handicapped
Sports, Wellington Road Centre, Outward Bound and Christmas Hampers.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Rotary
Club Côte des Légendes, it was decided to present them with a "Bell"
similar to the one used in Dudley, for use at their meetings. The "Bell"
was presented at the formal dinner during the visit to Brest of the
An Emergency Box filled on our behalf by Quarry Bank Townswomen's
Guild was sent, together with 1499 others, to Northern Albania to
help "poor villagers suffering extreme hardship as a result of
many years of communism".
To show the appreciation of the Club to Past President Ray Glazzard
for many years' hard work both at Club and District level the Club
made him a Paul Harris Fellow. His enthusiasm for the Bargarh
project had ensured the resounding success of what could quite
easily have become a disappointing venture.
Dudley Rotary Club had not had meetings during the month of August
since 1922. It was decided that in future meetings should be held in
August, since the number of members who took their holidays in
August was considerably less than in the past.
1995 - 1996
Membership at 1 August, 1995 was 47.
The principal theme for the year from President Bernard Beales was
to consider seriously the Club's future Development.
A cheque for £1500 for Bargarh was given to Father Tony
Fleming during his visit To England.
A G.S.E. team from South Africa spent a day with the Dudley Club,
where they enjoyed a lunch reception in the Mayor's parlour followed
by a conducted tour of Dudley Castle.
In October 1995, a party of 32 had an enjoyable evening out at
Luciano's in Stourbridge.
Following a request from MASCOT (Making A Sick Child's dream Come
True) the Club donated £100 to enable a sick child from
Netherton to visit Disneyworld.
After a deliberately careful gathering of opinions, it was proposed
and accepted that the Club should become a Twilight Club, meeting at
6.15pm for 6.30pm and concluding at 8.00pm, as from July 1997. The
voting was: For a Twilight Meeting 36, Against 8. Unfortunately, with
such a decision, there were inevitable casualties: members who were
nearing the end of their active Rotary service who felt unable to
make the change, younger members whose occupations made evening
attendance difficult and others who lived at a distance which
deterred them from returning to Dudley for an evening meeting.
A Development Team comprising 9 members met in January 1996 to
consider the way forward. It was felt necessary to focus on an
event, specially arranged for prospective members and their
partners, as guests of the Club. The resultant Rotary Evening was
attended by over 60, including 9 prospective members. The relaxed,
low key presentation of Rotary in Dudley, hopefully, introduced
newcomers to the benefit of fellowship. (Subsequently 4 became
£100 was donated to Rotary House for their Christmas Party.
25 Christmas Hampers were delivered to elderly and needy people by
the Community Service Committee.
The Beacon Centre for the Blind was presented with an Induction
loop, which was presented, together with a plaque in memory of Past
President Geoff Groves, who had masterminded the Rotary Am-Am Golf.
A major fund-raising evening in the form of a Boxing Evening was
held on the 14 March at the Park Hall Hotel, Sedgley. This event
realised a profit of £4445.
The visit of the French Rotarians and their wives took place in
May. A visit by coach was made to Charlecote Manor and a ten pin
bowling evening was held for their entertainment. A joint meeting
was also held prior to their return to France.
Bargarh, India - the total cost of the construction of 40 dwellings
was £28737, of which an amount of £14000 had been raised
by the Dudley Club: the balance was donated by other Clubs and
organisations. In addition, the total cost of ancillary works
part-funded by Rotary Foundation was £2508.
The Club commissioned a painting in memory of the late Past
President Geoff Groves: this painting was to be of part of the
course at Dudley Golf Club and would be presented to that Club.
Due to his quite exceptional work for the Club since he joined in
1968, (Particularly in the field of fellowship), the Club were
pleased to award a Paul Harris Fellowship to Past President Fred
District also awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship to Father Tony
Fleming. This was an award that the members of the Club thought was
After many years, the West Winds home closed at Aberdovey. Dudley
had, from the start, been heavily involved, but the decision had
sadly to be made to close it down. Dudley's share of the resultant
sale of the property was the sum of £6708.
Various annual sporting events also took place during the year, The
Watney Cup and Sydney Rowley Trophy (Golf), Club Bowling and Ten Pin
During the year Past President Eric Bunn was elected an Honorary
Member in recognition of his services to the Club over many years.
1996 - 1997
Membership at 1 August, 1996 was 44.
An evening out was organised in early July, when a dinner was held
at "Black Ladies" an Elizabethan Manor House near Brewood.
A tour of the house together with its history was given by the
owner, followed by dinner. Another "different" and
Another Rotary Am-Am golf competition was held at Dudley Golf Club,
which showed a profit of £1985. The thanks of the Club to the
ladies of Dudley Inner Wheel Club were expressed by a one-off
donation of £400 to their Funds.
It was agreed, following requests from the Community Service
Committee, that a Christmas Sleigh be constructed with the help of
students at Pensnett School of Technology. A £500 budget was
agreed for this.
The Club again supported the Handicapped Games at Pensnett by
supplying and cooking hot dogs and also supplying drinks to the many
people attending the event.
Poor attendance of members at meetings again caused concern and it
was agreed by Club Council that the Club should meet at 6.30pm from
the beginning of July 1997. Whilst it was appreciated that,
initially, the membership of the Club would go down due to the
change, it was thought that in due course, it would be best for the
future of the Club.
A visiting G.S.E. team from New Zealand was entertained for the
day, with a format much as in previous years.
Immediately prior to Christmas, the Christmas Sleigh with a
magnificent Father Christmas (in the shape of Past President Barry
Townsend) was placed on alternate days at Supermarkets at Burnt Tree
and Withymoor Village. This proved very successful, apart from the
occasion when another Club complete with Father Christmas and
sleigh, turned up at the same venue.
Another successful Boxing Evening was held at the Park Hall Hotel,
on the same lines as the previous year.
The Club, with support from the British High Commissioner in
Calcutta, put forward Father Tony Fleming for a decoration in the
New Year Honours List. In due course, the Club heard that Tony had
been awarded the M.B.E. Sadly on his way from India to England, he
was taken ill and died at Los Angeles Airport. The Club was, greatly
saddened by his death for he had for many, many years been a great
friend of Dudley Rotary Club.
And so to the future: the 75th Anniversary of Dudley Rotary Club in
December 1997 and, perhaps, to the 100th beyond the millennium. But
that will be another story.
This is a somewhat garbled account
of what Dudley Rotary Club did and achieved over the 75 years from
1922 to 1997.
Many events and fund raising functions will inevitably have been
missed, and many worthy personalities will not have been mentioned,
and for that I apologise.
Perhaps in 25 years' time, in the year 2022, some enthusiastic
member of Club Council will say "Don't you think it would be a
good idea if someone wrote a history of 100 years of The Rotary Club
of Dudley?". The whole Club will be in favour of it, but there
will I am sure, be one major problem.
Thank God I shall not be there!! Amen.
Past President Mike Crump
The Club is extremely grateful to
Past President Mike Crump for compiling this fascinating record
covering our Club's first 75 years. The effort involved is much
appreciated and will provide many a smile for past and present
Roger Emery, President