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The life of a journalist - Julian Knight


Julian is well known in Solihull as a politician, but that was not the subject of his highly illuminating talk to Solihull Rotary Club: rather his very career in journalism, ending up as an editor with the Independent. Julian is most definitely a self-taught person and he explained how he really did have to learn on the job.

Pens, wigs and palaces

Angela talking about her amazing life

Angela has led a fascinating life, working for many years with St John Ambulance, with 30 years on the Birmingham Bench as a magistrate, herself doing work to bringing in recruit. She received an OBE in 2002 for her services to the judiciary and has visited the 'Palace' several times, on one occasion brushing with Christopher Lee (otherwise known as Dracula), also meeting Tony Blair. Another great talk for members

Azad Choudhury Academy in Bangladesh

Monika Badham
Barry Badham talking about the Azad Choudhury Foundation

Update on the Azad Choudray Foundation Soon to be Solihull Rotary President Monika Badham, and her husband, Barry have for a number of years been supporting a project called the Azad Choudray Academy in Bangladesh. Barry, a member of Birmingham Rotary, came to Solihull to update members on progress.

Solihull Rotary hang onto the Putting Cup…again!

Solihull Rotary Club again retain the Rotary Putting Challenge Cup

Solihull Rotary Club again retain the Rotary Putting Challenge Cup against fierce competition from St Alphege and Knowle & Dorridge Clubs. The winning team shown are Rotarians Dyson Richards, Don Finch, Ian Courts and Phil Priest. Well done team! 

St George's Day Celebration & three new members for Solihull

President David with new members Lorraine, Sylvia & James

Three new members were inducted into Solihull Rotary Club by President David Bell at the packed St George's Day celebration organised by the Satellite Group: Lorraine, an IT business consultant, James a software engineer, and Sylvia an International Business Coach. Great evening at the Toby in Knowle, with a talk on St George and then a quiz, just to make sure everyone was listening!

Solihull - the best place to live.. a talk by Council Leader, Ken Meeson

Cllr Ken Meeson talking about U K Central

Solihull Rotary Club heard at first hand from the Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Ken Meeson, about the successes of Solihull in recent years.

Another new Rotarian on Solihull Club President's night


Solihull Rotary Club celebrated its President's night in real style at Copt Heath Golf Club, albeit not completely as planned. Their planned speaker became stuck in traffic and was unable to make it; however, a number of members more than made up with a competition as to who could relate the funniest anecdote. Member Rev John Bradford celebrated a very big birthday and Dita Sen-Gupta was inducted by President David Bell as the club's newest member, recruited through the highly successful satellite group.

There's a publisher in all of us!


 One of Solihull's newest members, Barry Allaway, who joined through the Satellite Group, educated us all on how to be a publisher, using all the internet has to offer. He has proved so good at this that he has published books himself on the subject: then he branched into children's books, with a little expert guidance from his children. This voyage of discovery awaits all who can go onto the internet. <photo - Steve Evans>

Solihull Rotary hears about the changing role and work of the Children's Society

Roseann Boyse, from the Children's Society

Solihull Rotarians had a very interesting and informative talk from Roseann Boyse, from The Childrens Society. She spoke about the history of the society (almost 150 years old) and its changing role. There may not now be private children’s homes, but there are many new dangers to children,  like sexual exploitation and trafficking to deal with. 

Lapping the World, with just a bike, and a rowing boat!

Sam Greatrex

Solihull Rotarians heard an inspiring story and one which made an impression on everyone present.

A Formula One Story


 Fast cars and racing are appealing topics for so many and Solihull Rotarians were able to hear at first hand about this speedy world, when Mike Ostroumoff entertained the club at one of its lunchtime meetings.  Mike's family came to the UK in the early years of the twentieth century. Mike himself got the break into racing when his secretary, knowing of his enthusiasm for the sport, suggested he should meet her racing driver husband!  Mike was signed up for three races and never looked back. A great insight into Formula One.

Solihull Club hears of the history of Birmingham Town Hall


 The history of the Birmingham Town Hall and the Symphony Hall was brought to life at Solihull Rotary Club's meeting recently, when Tony Mullins informed and entertained the club at one of their lunchtime meetings. Tony himself has quite a background: he was the first person to achieve The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award; when his daughter achieved the same, they became the first father and daughter Gold Award winners! There is even a 3rd generation aiming for the Gold Award - Tony's daughters son!

Dementia -Solihull Rotary learns all about the ageing problem!

Dr Sunil Kotecha

Dr Sunil Kotecha was the club's guest speaker on this topical subject. He explained how, 20 years ago, his talk might have been on cancer; ten years, his talk might have been on aids. Now, with everyone (thankfully) living so much longer on average, it is dementia that is the condition that is of concern... and it causes widespread problems for carers, patients, as well as their family and friends.

11 year old Lauren judged "Solihull Musician of the Year" in "Diamond" Concert

Solihull Rotary's 11th Music Festival this year hit all the right notes.   150 talented young musicians  entered the competition and took part in various classes for piano, strings, woodwind players and singers.  More than 20 of these young p

Satellite Group - new members inducted

President David inducts new members

 A big day for Solihull Rotary Club as it inducts the first three of its new members into its Satellite Group. They are already working on their first project, to help promote the Family Fun Zone at Star City, part of the free@last Charity

Magic at Solihull Rotary Club

Elizabeth gives a hand!

5th September was an evening at Berkswell reading rooms with Inner Wheel when the club was entertained by the British `Magical Society, with five "close up" magicians, two cabaret performers and business manager. As the photos show, members were good sports, but they had to be! 

DG Bryan - tell others about the good work of Rotary

D G Bryan visited Solihull Club this week and described how the Rotary motto for this year - "Engage Rotary..Change Lives" was so relevant for him as a young man. Whilst he was at work as an architect in his office, he had no idea that his boss was a Rotarian, involved in the great work that Rotary does. WE need to get that message out - Tell others... ask others to join in. A simple task, you would think, but how many times do we lose an opportunity to spread the word?



Education for Bangladesh at the Azad Choudhury Academy

Examining the seamstress kit at Azad Choudhury Academy

One of our Rotarians, Monika Badham, has had a long association with the Azad Choudhury Academy in Bangladesh. Monika and Barry Badham recently visited the Academy to find out how it was progressing. Read Monika’s personal account of the adventures and how well things are going at the Academy.

“Our visits to Bangladesh are always exiting; this was just a little more exciting than usual, including having to take a detour due to a murder and having a lift from an ambulance to the airport to get home, but more of that later.

"Your most difficult client is actually your teacher!"


 Tina Swani, the daughter of one of our members was a "stand in" for another speaker, but I think was recognised by us all as being truly inspirational. She is Chief Executive of St Mary's Hospice in Handsworth,  a director of a housing association and an honorary senior lecturer at a medical school. 

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Club Details


West Midlands Bridge Club, 909 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 3EP at 12:45 on Thursday.

Note: for 13:00, 5th Thursday check with Secretary.