Category Archives: Rotary Club of Bexhill

Battle and Bexhill ‘go Dutch’ for ‘Youth Speaks’ heat

Bexhill - Youth Speaks de la waard

Now most of us see our contact clubs once in a while but not before have I heard of a school from a contact club’s town taking part in a Youth Competition. Recently Bexhill High School hosted a heat of ‘Youth Speaks’ jointly organised by the the Rotary clubs of Battle and Bexhill. There were five schools from the Bexhill Battle and Robertsbridge areas participating. Claverham community college (who won the Intermediate), Vinehall (a local prep school), Bexhill high, Battle Abbey and St. Richard’s Catholic College; but what’s this? The eagle Anything eye spots the name of ‘De Laage Waard’, now this is not a name I know. They come from Papendrecht, in the Netherlands where Battle have a contact club.

The team from the De Laage Waard school took part but did not compete with their piece: ‘Early Birds and Night Owls’, a member of the audience who was there commented: “impeccable English and with a great touch of humour” – who knows, Youth Speaks may go international! And I know that the Dutch are often tri-lingual, but how much Dutch or Flemish can you speak? Let’s give them a ‘name-check’ – left to right, Wouter Sterrenberg, Mireille van der Stoep, Suzanne Heij. Their stay was hosted by Battle club and they stayed with Rotarian Michael Peacock, a member. They also spent the following morning with Battle Abbey School, and joined in classes there.

Who did win, Anything? Battle Abbey won the Seniors, and Claverham, Battle, won the Intermediates, and they both go forward to the District Final in Maidstone on this Saturday 1st. March at the New Line Academy, Loose, in Maidstone. It starts at 1.30 and is free to enter, all Rotarians and their guests are welcome.


Bexhill Rotary musters their Love in a Box

bexhill - stephen white & LIAB

‘Love in a Box’ is a project that has been running for over ten years by an organisation called ‘Mustard Seed’; and Rotarian Stephen White is the Bexhill Rotarian who has been co-ordinating their response this year for ‘Mustard Seed’. This charity, based in Eastbourne, that delivers these boxes to children throughout the poorer parts of Eastern Europe. Each lorry contains about 8,000 boxes, and such is the operation that over 50,000 Christmas-wrapped shoe box sized parcels are to be delivered this November and December.

RC Bexhill has contributed 120 boxes which were delivered to the depot by Stephen and Bexhill club President John Cooper and RCB’s Press Officer, Roger Batey. Stephen White commented that he had never seen so many presents in one place, and it opened his eyes to a huge logistic operation. ‘It’s good to know that so many under-priviledged children will have a really happy Christmas.’ he added.

The club also got some help – the children of St. Mary’s in Bexhill also added to the total. In all just another way that Rotary clubs in the district are working with their communities to make things better worldwide!

bexhill - LIAB donations by St. Mary's -Bexhill

Harold is pretty special to “The Specials”

a href=””>Harold Lawrence  with Michael Barton - RC Bexhill president during 2012/13 Harold Lawrence with Michael Barton – RC Bexhill president during 2012/13[/caption]

Harold Lawrence was a Rotarian at the Bexhill-on-Sea club. He also has one private passion, the ‘1066 Specials Disability Football Club’, which he formed 10 years ago when he was RC Bexhill club President. He has continued to give it his time and energy, over 250 people with special needs have been given the opportunity to play, and currently has 100 registered players from the age of 5, to 45.

It has several teams playing in the South East of England amateur leagues, and recently played a Chelsea FC team – result, Specials 4 Chelsea 0! They were the only club this year to be awarded the ‘Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ which is the MBE for voluntary groups. See picture below with Harold receiving the Queen’s Award and citation. At a meeting of the club recently he gave the club an update on this award, and thanked RC Bexhill for continuing to supply the players with their playing kit, and for four Rotarians being of the club’s Board of Trustees.

The photo below shows him receiving the award from the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex (the Queen’s representative to the County), also in the picture are his deputy, and Gregory Barker, MP for Bexhill. Harold Lawrence is also a Paul Harris Fellow. I feel sure he will continue to make all the Specials feel extra special for a long time to come!

Rtn. Harold Lawrence (left) receives Queens Award from LL of Sussex.

Rtn. Harold Lawrence (left) receives Queens Award from LL of Sussex.


New President gets a grilling! – Bexhill FM interviews President John

Bexhill FM 12-7-13

John Cooper is RC Bexhill’s 90th. club President, and he started his year on the 1st. July. Never one to let moss grow on his feet he has started his year with a visit to the Bexhill community radio station – Bexhill FM, where he had a half hour interview from Louis Walker, a student from Bexhill High, who is one of the team at the radio station.

He asked President John ten searching questions about Rotary both in Bexhill, and worldwide, which gave him the opportunity to tell their listeners about the many community based actions the club is taking in the town, and to expand on the ‘End Polio Now’ campaign which is reaching the end of a 25 year campaign.

So a new experience for the President who was impressed, both by the station and the professionalism of his young interviewer.

So, an old dog can learn new tricks!


Bexhill Rotary scores highly with Mock Interviews

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It is a regular fixture for RC Bexhill, who have developed a close relationship with St. Richard’s College in their town. The impressive factor is that over 50 Rotarians, some of them from other clubs put on a jacket and … Continue reading


‘May the force be with you!’ – Bexhill Rotary agree

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An entertaining speaker visited RC Bexhill-on-Sea (we always try to give clubs their full & correct title!) last week. Perry Puddefoot (No, I promise) is currently a police driving instructor with the Sussex Force, but joined the Met. twenty something … Continue reading


Genuine Talent at Rotary Youth Speaks Competition

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Although all participants have demonstrated exceptional talent, two groups were named as the winners of Rotary Youth Speaks for the South East: Cranbrook School: Juno Platt-Higgins,  Harry Lantham-Coyle, Will Turner:          “Wrestling”.  Main speaker: Harry Lantham-Coyle Dover Grammar School for Boys: Peter … Continue reading


YOUTH SPEAKS COMPETITION 2013- District 1120 Finals

Venue:New Line Learning Academy, Boughton Lane, Loose, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9QL Date: 2nd March 2013 ROTARY encourages speaking and presentation skills in young people and the Youth Speaks competition showcases some superb quality speakers aged from 11 to 18.  Thirty young people … Continue reading


As part of the event to celebrate the visit of the Olympic flame to Bexhill on 17th July, the students of St. Mary’s Wrestwood Trust College held there very own torch relay around the grounds of the school and college in Wrestwood Road.

As part of these celebrations, Mike Barton, President of Bexhill Rotary Club, presented a cheque for £1,000 to the Head of College, Craig Ribbons, and the students who were selected to carry their own torch in the relay.  The donation will be used to help fund the cost of taking every student at St. Mary’s on a very special outing to visit the Olympic stadium in London on 6th September where they will enjoy a day at the Paralympics.

St. Mary’s is a non-maintained school and college founded in 1922 and cares for up to 144 students from 7 to 19, sharing with their parents the responsibility of preparing them to become as independent as possible and ready to realise their full potential.  St. Mary’s provides therapy, nursing, care, and education for the children in their care (a recent Inspection Report stated, “St. Mary’s gives pupils an outstanding education”) but receives no grants or donations from Local Government and only minimal funding from Central Government.

Bexhill Rotary President Mike Barton was full of admiration for the staff and the students at St. Mary’s and added, “I feel very humble and motivated as a result of my visit here today and I’m pleased that Bexhill Rotary Club can provide these funds for a once in a lifetime trip to see the Paralympics”.

Picture shows President Mike Barton (left) presenting the cheque to

Craig Ribbens of St. Mary’s surrounded by the students who took part in the torch relay