.A number of the Windsor & Eton Rotary Club members and partners went off to enjoy a very special evening at the famous Bel Canto Restaurant in London on Thursday, 24 October. The evening arranged by the clubs social committee (part of their exciting social events programme) was a superb mix of an excellent three-course dinner intermixed by young waiting staff that were in fact also very fine voice-trained Opera singers.
During the evening a good number of popular opera pieces were sung to resounding rounds of applause, and at one point all were invited to participate (it can be confirmed that this showed there are no potential opera singers in the club!).
Rotarian Bernard Hawkes, a member of the social committee, commented ‘this was truly a great fun evening, even our non-opera lovers enjoyed every moment, one even commenting – “I’ve been converted to opera from this”, we all made our way home at the end of the evening, on relaxed highs from the evenings entertainment’.
There is a bit of old weather folklore that says that it never rains on a Wednesday (when Bob organises a walk). Well, we can lay that one to rest as a group of us headed out and got rather soggy!!
This month we tried another new route around Bluey’s Farm in the Chilterns. We set out from Bovingdon Green, just west of Marlow, on what was a very enjoyable, if wet, walk! Points of interest included:
This walk proved to be rather challenging, not just because of the weather, but because the Chiltern Hills are very hilly, but we all arrived safely in the end. I'm not sure why everyone looks so cheerful in the photos though, it must have been the thoughts of the Bangers & Mash at The Royal Oak, Bovingdon Green on our return!
On Wednesday April 10th it was time for our mystery restaurant social... On this occasion we we headed to Hounslow, where there are 142 different languages spoken and about the same number of restaurants!
Uma had chosen the Yellow Chilli, a family run restaurant serving Punjabi and Afghan food. Not only were we on a mystery tour and club social, we were also there to celebrate Uma's 40th anniversary of joining Windsor and Eton Rotary Club, so the evening started with champagne cocktails to mark the occasion.
Eleven of us sat down at 7.45 and by 11pm we had been presented with, and consumed, up to 20 dishes of authentic and delicious food consisting of a myriad of tastes and flavours. Uma had chosen all the food with the help of the owner insisting on only one condition...no chillies!
All who attended agreed it was an excellent night and Uma confirmed to us yet again how well he can organise such a unique dining experience. The night was a great example of Rotary fellowship and camaraderie, with an opportunity to visit a truly ethnic restaurant which we might normally pass by.
A quiz held on Friday, March 15, to raise money for Thames Valley Adventure Playground and other charities included a visit from Tim Brooke-Taylor. The 76-year-old comedian entertained participants in the Thames Valley Pub Quiz Championship, which was held at the Holiday Inn in Manor Lane, with his trademark humour.
Organised by the Maidenhead Thames Rotary Club, a total of 260 people in 34 teams took part in the event, which is expected to have raised more than £3,000. Half of the total figure will go to Thames Valley Adventure Playground, the rest will be used for Rotary projects.
Our club entered two teams of 8 this year, with the team Mind Bogglers coming 17th place with 162 points and our second team, The Free Thinkers, coming 25th with 144 points. Congratulations to the winners, The Quizlings, with 184 points, and also to Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club who were second, just one point away from winning!
A great night full of laughter that got the grey matter working at the same time! Best get quizzing up for next year!
Written by Colin Coombs
Members of District 9 Inner Wheel and the longest surviving club so far, the Inner Wheel Club of Windsor & Eton, celebrated its 80th anniversary at the idyllic setting of Stirrups Country House Hotel in Maidens Green (Bracknell) together with friends and families, including the RBWM Mayor and Mayoress. Seven of our own Rotarians and their spouses also attend, along with former member Bob Heybourn and Christine.
The celebration was started by the current president Mary Weaver, with words of gratitude about the past, present and the future.
Representatives from District 9 (Vicky Mountford), the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in GB&I (Ann Acaster), the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (Mayor Paul Lion), Windsor & Eton Rotary Club (Richard Carleton) and the Rotary Club of Windsor St. George (Andreas Stavrinides) presented their greetings and spoke highly about the Inner Wheel Club's involvement in the local communities.
There followed an excellent 3-course lunch and coffee and mints after which there was a short 'thank you all' from Inner Wheel President Mary.
The lunch guest was a distinguished harpist, Margaret Watson Dip. ABRSM, one of the busiest professional harpists in the South East, with performances for social and corporate events. Not only did Margaret play a wide variety of music, ranging from 'pop' through 'traditional' to classic, but also talked about the harp as an instrument; how it was made (cost of a new one about £30k); the (47) strings, tuning and playing - seven-foot pedals with 3 positions for each pedal!
Absolutely fascinating and informative - and her final quote, from the composer Shostakovich, "a harpist spends 90% of the time tuning the harp and 10% of the time playing out-of-tune" brought the house down.
The celebration could not have ended without the traditional raffle and after the final toast we all wended our way home from a splendid luncheon.
By Chris Simon and Paul Andreianu
This month Bob led us to a previously unexplored area around Taplow. It was a windy morning but the rain stayed away so we set off from the car park near Taplow Church, went through a series of kissing gates and then reached the A4.
We followed the lane under the railway & past the lake on the left before crossing a number of fields and The Jubilee River, after a while we reached The Thames. We stopped for a quick break whilst enjoying the views of the luxury houses along the Berkshire side of the river.
Continuing our stroll we arrived at Brunel’s Railway Bridge, which is known as “the sounding arch” because of its echo. The bridge has the flattest & widest brick built arch in the world and really is an example of amazing engineering.
After "testing" the echo we headed back to the A4 where we crossed into Mill Lane before following the path back to Taplow.
Total distance 3.8 miles, lots of laughter and some beautiful sights along the wa!
Of course no ramble is complete until lunch and a pint are consumed, this time at The Feathers, across the road from Cliveden House. Apparently, Edward VIII frequented the pub during the 1870's when he was Prince of Wales, just another little known fact we thought we'd share with everyone!
Here's to the next wander round the countryside!
For our December ramble this year we did a circular walk starting from Boulters Lock.
Bob thought that the first part would be boring so he set us a “Car Rally” type quiz. David W proved to be the most alert (he spotted the Olive Tree) & came top of the pile. We made our way to Widbrook Common which is used by the commoners (not us) to graze their cattle in summer.
I think we then went wrong somewhere but with the help of a local resident we did eventually reach Cookham Moor. From there we made our way through woodland down to the River Thames, opposite the Hanging Woods of the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate. We then walked along what is considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames, Cliveden Reach. Even on a dark December day it was very scenic.
Finally we made our way back to the car park, crossed the road & had lunch at Boulters Inn. A very enjoyable, if somewhat damp walk, with friends.
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