ARCHIVES AND HISTORY OF SUNRISE ROTARY

HISTORY OF CHELTENHAM SUNRISE CLUB
contributed by Rob Parkinson  – A Founding member of the Club
During ‘93/’94 Cheltenham clubs along with District, thought that there was a need for a Breakfast club. It would be ‘dual gender’ as dictated by the new Rotary rules. District Extension Officer Alwyn Davies (Worcs Severn) and the late Peter Corfield (Cheltenham North) were instrumental in getting the club off the ground. A potential group of about twenty four met at the Queens to introduce each other and discuss with Alwyn a way forward. Among us was  Penny Holton who was MD of Severn Sound  at the time. She had visited the other local clubs as a speaker but could not join as they didn’t accept ladies then. Go away and start your own……..!

The club started meeting regularly for breakfast at the Queens for a while. Exactly the same meal every week – they probably worked to photograph – even placement on the plate was the same! We tried various venues, one in Wellington Square, JD Peppers in Regent Street but finally settled on The Overton in St Georges Road.
Alwyn and Peter tended to take it turn about from then on to guide the fledgling club occasionally assisted by David Rust of Cheltenham club.

1st July ’94 soon arrived when we were Chartered at the Prestbury Suite. President Penny Holton and the rest of the club members were all presented to the National President and the District Governor of that year Joan Thomson’s husband Ian. It was certainly a night to remember.

Of course even before Charter the Club needed to raise some funds for District and the Kids Out Show. This was a problem but I think we overcame it by doing part of a sponsored walk run by Cleeve Vale. This was before the Circular Challenge. Our bit of the Cotswold Way Walk was from Crickley Hill to Painswick. This included going up Coopers Hill, try it! Later, I recollect a barn dance fundraiser at Bishops Cleeve Tythe Barn. Early in ‘Sunrise’ life, a popular choice of name, fund raising was not easy – what’s new. This was all well before LNOP.

I can remember a challenge game of cricket, with hard ball, organised by Nick Ingram who was also a ‘mystery’ contributor to the Club news magazine – ‘Backstabber’!
Meanwhile, we settled into the Overton with very varied breakfasts, Dee and Adrienne serving, Richard head chef. We would still be there but development of the site, necessitated a move, we spent a few weeks at various venues, but finally found a permanent home at the Lansdown Hotel. Unfortunately changes in management and other factors found us looking for a new home and we found a great one at The Norwood Arms

Presidents came and went each with their own style, Penny, Clive, Martin, Terri, Sarah, Richard, David, Roy to mention a few and not necessarily in that order. There has also been a large turnover of Club members for one reason or another – change of job or relocation.

The Club today is very different from the one that started nineteen years ago.      It is more professional in its approach but, hopefully, it is still light hearted enough to enjoy the fellowship and social side of life.


PHOTOGRAPH OF THE INTREPID FOUNDING MEMBERS

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