Nov 182018


On Sunday 11th November at 11am many members of the rotary Club of Gravesend with their partners attended the Service of Remembrance at The Windmill Hill Memorial gardens in Gravesend. This year was particularly poignant as it was exactly 100 years to the day that the World War One armistice was signed.

The commemoration was very well attended by old and young alike indicating that remembering the fallen was still an important occasion.Representatives of the Community and members of organisations laid wreaths as did our President Tony Muckley.

The whole service proved to be a moving experience, with the words of the ‘Kohima Epitaph’

‘When you go home tell them of us and say-

For your tomorrow we gave our today’

much in our thoughts.

Following the service members of the Club had lunch at The George in Meopham.

Chris Keeble

Other members of the Club supported commemoration events where they have loyalties such as at their churches. One, past president Revd Tony Randall, conducted the RN Establishment Pembroke House Service at Chatham. The photograph shows him before the service with his single medal on the left and his father’s first and second war medals on the right. Double click photo to see it full size.


Nov 162018

The International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (the posh name for the Rotary Boat Club) decided to hold its national AGM in Hull on the 3rd November.  Although Hull is a long way from Gravesend, a group of us agreed we should attend the meeting and take the opportunity to meet up with friends from the various fleets from around the country.

Heading “t’up north” on the A1, we passed Lincoln and its cathedral, a quick display by the Red Arrows as we passed RAF Scampton and on to Hull. Arriving at the Best Western hotel, the very pleasant receptionist pointed us DOWN the stairs. With trepidation we opened the door of our room; to our surprise found a rather nice spacious room that overlooked an enclosed rose garden.

Early the next morning we boarded our coach that took us to Hull’s regenerated culture centre.  We visited the Wilberforce and Transport Museums before heading to the marina for lunch. In the afternoon we returned to the hotel for the business part of our visit, the AGM which quickly dealt with all necessary matters. With the  meeting over we had a break before our formal dinner with a guest speaker – a very informed young man who told us of some local traditions and how Hull had changed from its origins as an industrial fishing town to a city of culture.

A couple of us stayed an extra night to see more of the local area so  the next day we went to a bustling Sunday farmers market, a country park at the base of the Humber Bridge, lunch in a tavern in Hessel (whose landlord came from Ashford) and finally a visit to the wonky (or part wonky) cathedral at Beverley.

The following morning we left the hotel and were off “down south” and home. A new image of Hull was in my head due in the most part to its lovely people who had all greeted us with kind words and warm smiles.

John Dyke

Nov 012018

Cathryn Hindle spoke at our Lunch meeting on Monday and started by giving us a brief resume of her family life in South Africa and later in the UK, at which time she was working in human resources for multinational companies like BA and BASF. When based in Cambridge (and later London & Southampton) the emphasis of her work changed to small technology companies.

She then began her talk about THE GR@ND which is based in King Street, Gravesend. There she works with their “Gifted Young Gravesham” programme to help build up young people’s confidence. For School, College and University leavers, assistance with the technicalities of current day CV’s, job applications and tips for interviews is her main objective but bringing out youngsters’ hidden social and arts potential is also high on her agenda.

For ten years GYG (Gifted Young Gravesham) have worked with professionals to present a premier event at the Woodville Halls, Gravesend. This year, the show is on the 9th Nov @ 19:00 and the cast will all be from Gravesend  and between the ages of 11 and 19.

Tickets cost £7.00 per person and can be found at 

Cathryn was asked if she could find out if there was anything that our club and it members could do to help with this project and other activities at THE GR@ND. She was thanked by our President Tony Muckley for taking the time to talk to us.

John Dyke

Oct 122018

Members of the Rotary Club of Gravesend    gave a talk to the pupils of Cecil Road Primary School  today 11th Oct and showed them what was in the Shelterboxes that are  being sent to Indonesia.

Afterwards the deputy head teacher Carrie Old  announced that   the children would be fund raising over the coming weeks to help the people in that disaster area.

Rotarian Chris Keeble gave an idea of what it was like to survive a disaster and be left with nothing as he showed them what was packed into a Shelterbox;  a tent capable of providing shelter for a family of ten,  a bag of colouring pencils and paper for the youngest child. An axe to cut the wood for the stove and  “life straws ” providing  clean drinking water from contaminated  puddles. Ground sheets, sleeping bags and mosquito nets  and the folding shovels to dig a toilet were amongst many other items.  Everything  needed by a family or group of ten people suddenly left without shelter, power or possessions has been thought about and packed into a green Shelterbox. which itself can be used for bathing a baby.

In response to many questions  from the children who packed the school hall for Assembly, the display team told them of the Rotarian from Cornwall who in 2000 first conceived the idea of a Shelterbox  and the work done world wide by Rotary clubs to help those in need.
H e said how the original idea had grown so   successful that it  had now to be run by  a charity  who send teams out to see what was needed in a disaster area and organise  the thousands of boxes  that were being sent from  supply centres strategically sited world wide.

Thanking Chris and his team,  the deputy head teacher  said that “starting today the children will be coming up with as many ways of raising money to buy as many Shelterboxes as possible to help the people of Indonesia  and people in need  throughout  the world. This demonstration has inspired our children to think of others and  we are grateful  to Rotary for showing us how we can help”

Since this talk the school has already raised £70 towards a shelterbox from a curry lunch.

The wide photo at the top shows  Rotarians ( Four centre ) and two school staff  each end.
The other photo shows clockwise from front left 6th year pupils Kacey, Carla, Brenda, Olivia, Laurence and Mate holding items from the Shelterbox

Further details from Rotarian Bob Denby 01634 717438 and from

Bob Denby

Sep 302018

A golf club handy for the town centre with good free parking and easy access to motorways and countryside. We were most fortunate in our choice of club HQ it enables the golfers amongst us to get in some regular practice before inviting our Rotarian friends to an afternoons competition. Not that it always guarantees success as we found out the other evening when members partners and friends from the three local Rotary clubs gathered for a meal, a chat and some stretching of the afternoon’s golf exploits before the prizes were distributed.
This Three Clubs evening has been a regular fixture for many years and for the record it is not a golfing event but a chance to meet over a meal and a drink and catch up with news of friends and families and to cheer the winners of the afternoon’s game. Our team didn’t quite make the top this year but all in all it was a really enjoyable evening . Rotary Club of Gravesend and Meopham proved worthy winners and we look forward to their organising next years outing

Bob Denby

Sep 222018

It was one o’ clock, on Sunday the 12th August and there was tension in the air that was tangible. The patchy clouds rolled overhead in the summer breeze showing the 21 yard pitch that nestled amongst the gardens towering trees – this would be the battleground.

Club pride was at stake here and while old friends laughed and joked as we enjoyed the lovely meal that Rochester ladies had prepared, there was no mistaking the determination in everybody’s eyes that this was going to be a hard fought game.

Rochester went into bat first and steadily piled on the runs while Gravesend’s bowling slowly whittled away at their batsmen. And then Gravesend got ready to show Rochester how to bat but suddenly, Rochester bowlers found their form and Gravesend wickets fell like matchsticks. In the wink of an eye it was over and the fellowship of Rotary shone as glasses were raise to the winners and President Tony Muckley presented the winner’s cup Rochester

John Dyke

Sep 112018


Gravesend … riverside resting place of Princess Pocahontas and gateway to London.   And home of a championship petanque rink at the Gravesend Rugby Club where the Rotary clubs of Gravesend and Northfleet gathered in late August to battle for the annual championship cup.

According to the meteorologists the long hot summer had finally come to an end some days before… tell that to the teams out under a blazing sun.

Rotarians, wives, partners, families and friends all joined in do  their best as the metal boules grew weightier and the perspiration poured
until finally the Northfleet club was pronounced victorious and everyone staggered back in to the club house for most welcome refreshment.

Like all good friendly matches the inter-team comments on their opponents had been as  intense as expected and the post match cries of
“we wuz robbed” by Gravesend meant that Northfleet now have the honour of hosting next years event.

Which will be the first Continental game to be played by these British teams outside the EU!

How will that be,  will it  be allowed they ask…watch this space!

Bob Denby

Sep 102018

A trip on Saturday to the District Conference at Kent University in Canterbury with club President Tony Muckley and Rotarian John Baker. I never stop being amazed at the amount of charity work that’s done by the clubs of Kent.

The photo shows us in front of a “Shelterbox” of the type that are sent out to area’s around the world that have had a disaster within days of it happening.

Other charities supported by Kent clubs include “Literacy” boxes (that are sent out to schools in Zambia) and closer to home, Busters Book Club (for Kent kids), Hi Kent (helping people in Kent with there hearing aids), Demelza (helping desperately ill kids), Rotary Childrens Hospice Family Holiday (taking Kent families with terminally ill kids to Disneyland Paris) and so many more…

Conference had speakers and breakout sessions that provided ideas of what and how some of these charities work and what can be done to help them.

A great day where we came away so much more aware….

John Dyke

Jul 032018

Orange Property Services of Gravesend and Ebbsfleet was admitted as our first corporate member on Monday. Representing the company in our club activities are Amanda Parkes, Nicola Leaney and Saira Haider pictured (L to R) with President Tony Muckley welcoming them to the club.

Corporate membership is one of the new types of membership introduced recently by Rotary to help bring clubs closer to their communities. Gravesend is one of the very first clubs in our south-east district to introduce corporate membership and is looking forward to working with Orange Property Services, Nicola, Saira and Amanda to the benefit of the people of Gravesham.

Apr 212018

About 600 cyclists left the Riverside Leisure Area at Gravesend on Sunday to enjoy a ride in the countryside around Gravesend and raise money for charity. There were three routes: 15, 30 and 45 miles and riders included people of all ages from children to people in their 80s.

The ride was started by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr. Harold Craske. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Rosemary Dymond, was also present with her badge of office over her Lycra as she took part in the ride – she is one of the regular participants.. Also in the photo below are the Mayoress Veronica Craske and club president Tony Muckley.

The weather was dry though mostly overcast and a good temperature for cycling. Potholes in the roads were a problem but we are not aware of any accidents. Those taking part said how much they enjoyed it. Those who completed the course received a certificate, engraved slate coaster and a one day free pass to the Nuffield Health Club.

The Rotary Club of Gravesend has been organising On Your Bike for 32 years and during that time it has raised well over £500,000 for charities. The main charity to benefit this year will be the ellenor which runs the hospice at Northfleet as well as a homecare service. Several other charities, mainly local and some quite small will also benefit.

We are grateful for the help of other organisations who helped with planning and running the event on the day. These included local Rotary and Lions clubs, Cyclists Touring Club, Medway Raynet communications and the ellenor .  We also had support from Inner Wheel, Tri the Bike Shop, Lancaster Interiors, Singlewell Stationery & Print, King & Taylor, Gravesham Council, and  South East 4×4 Response.

This year, for the first time, we were pleased to work with Gullands (solicitors) who sponsored the Mars Bars and orange juice given out at checkpoints, Nuffield Health Medway which provided mini health checks for riders and free day passes to its health club, Gravesend & Dartford Cycle Forum and the Cyclopark at Gravesend.