OF CHELTENHAM SUNRISE CLUB
contributed by Rob Parkinson – A Founding member of
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
Alwyn and Peter tended to take it turn about from then on to guide
the fledgling club occasionally assisted by David Rust of Cheltenham
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
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
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.