Founder Members, Remember

founder members awards.jpg
Founder member were presented with certificates by Rachel, District Chairman at the time and now Past President Terry.

From left to right some of our Club’s Golden Oldies:  Jean Nock, Shirley Townroe, Cynthia Parsons, Ann Holland, Hazel Kelly, Sylvia Wetton, Doreen Granger, Joan Pepperday, Hilary Mellors, Marjorie Zillwood and Marelen Bradley

Please click the link below and then click on each page to see the full video from 1972 – 2011. Happy viewing. Apoplogies this may take a short while to download – this many memories is a worth the wait though.

Golden Oldies Video

The following editorial was produced by some of our founder members and presented to the Club in 2015 at one of our business meetings. The new members felt it was important to understand what happened when the Club first started and to learn from this group of wonderful ladies how we can continue in their footsteps. Big shoes to follow ladies, and we hope our new members are doing you proud.

In December 1972 Mrs Flo Owst, the Extension Officer of the District Inner Wheel Committee wrote to Jack Simons President of Warsop Rotary Club. Mrs Owst asked if the Rotary Club would be interested in having an Inner Wheel Club in Warsop, and would they be happy for Mrs Oust to meet with the wives of the Rotarians to explain the aims of IW and how the clubs and Districts worked.

Our Founder Secretary, Marlene Bradley recalls on 13 April 1972 18 Rotarian wives met to find out more about Inner Wheel. Later that year Warsop was formed by 25 Founder members. The first meeting was presided over by Marty Spencer, our first Club President; Brenda Townsend was Vice President, June Moss Treasurer and Marlene Bradley Secretary.

In 1973 Brenda Townsend became President and Kate Ellis in 1974. Sadly, our first three presidents are no longer with us. It is with delight that we remember them and all the fun times we all had together as Inner Wheel members and share a little of our Clubs history with you.

Marjorie Zillwood, President from 1975 – 1976 remembers that at the time all members were wives of Rotarians and many events and activities were completed together with the Rotary Club of Warsop. There is still a strong sense of connection today with the Rotary, although members do not now have to have the same connections.

We arranged wine and cheese evenings, Jumble Sales and Market Stalls as a way of raising money. A Christmas Carol concert was held with the proceeds going to The Salvation Army. Many local clubs benefited from fundraising activities including the Brownies, Girl Guides, Cubs, Scouts and Boys Brigade.  We held sports nights with Rotary versus Inner Wheel, where Inner Wheel won the trophy and a Rounders match at the Meden School.

The Club loved to arrange a visit out and local beauty spots were visited such as Belton House, Melbourne Hall, Wedgewood and Rampton Hospital, which was more interesting than necessarily beautiful.

The Club has always had a strong presence at the District meetings which were much more formal when the Club first was formed. No laughter or mistakes from the top table and delegates all wore hats and gloves. One of Marjorie’s high lights was receiving an invitation from the NSPCC to a luncheon at which the Princess Margaret was Guest of Honour.

Most members were working full time and typically had a young family to bring up as well as being traditional house wives. One thing is clear, all members were very active and as a Club, this tradition has continued as Warsop is one of the most engaging and active Clubs in the district. Setting out good foundations for the Club that we see today.

When we first started, our monthly meetings were held in the homes of members. We then moved to the Talbot Pub and eventually decided that the Parish Centre Lounge was the place where the Club would meet.

At the May meeting in 1972, one of our topics was a birthday charter celebration. The committee were asked to gather prices, menus and put forward suggestions for the July meeting where it was unanimously agreed that our first charter would be held in the Saracens Head in Southwell on 01 November 1972 at a price of £2.50 per person. From memory, everything went incredibly well and we finished celebrating at 1am.

The Club also agreed to support the Rotary Club at the Warsop Carnival by providing stalls; we all agreed it was a better use of resources if we worked together. Another tradition that has continued to this day. The Club often arranges social events with Rotary, but in those days we seemed to be able to party until the early hours.

We produced a Robin Hood theme float that was entered in to the Carnival procession, with many of our children playing Robin Hood, Maid Marion and the merry men.

Inner Wheel helped out with refreshments at the Rotary bonfires, provided transport for members to social clubs, held a stall on Warsop Market selling near new clothes and helped out at the Ransom Hospital shop. The Club was and is always very busy and going strong after 44 years.

Hilary Mellors became President in 1977 – 1978 and was the youngest President in the District at the time. The District then extended right to the coast of Lincolnshire.

During Hilary’s year in office it was introduced nationally that each member should belong to one of three committees – social, charity and overseas. Previously the executive committee had arranged all events and the Club agreed this new 3 Committee structure was a welcome innovation as it enabled all members to be involved in something during any year. Each Committee would be responsible for fund raising for their chosen cause.

A fashion show is almost as traditional for Warsop Inner Wheel as is the Charter, the first being held in 1977. In those days a dress shop in Worksop provide the clothing and the event was held at the Lady Margaret Hall on the Welbeck Estate. The Duchess of Portland kindly agreed to attend and open the event. Each of the 12 models were given a pot plant as a thank you. £107 pounds was raised, with £100 going to Portland Training College.

Also in Hilary’s year it was decided to make a table cloth with all member’s signatures embroidered on to it by Edna Shipstone. 10 pence per signature was duly paid towards club funds.

Never shying away from a get together the Club loved to arrange social events including fancy dress evenings and square dances. Joan Pepperday continued this theme in 1980 with an Old Time Music Hall event for senior citizens. The club met at Eleanor Wilkinson’s house with large straw hats and duly set to decorating them for their guests to wear. The event was such a success it was repeated at a later date.

In 1982/83 it was the honour of Doreen Granger to wear the President’s collar and we were again asked to assist Rotary with their Annual concert for the elderly. Marjorie, Hazel Kelly and I were going to “Swing into Shape” classes at that time and 3 other members decided to join us in doing a routine to popular music. All went well until we did the last bit to the music of “The Stripper” and we whipped off our skirts which were held together with Velcro. There was uproar from the audience when we finished!

Many people think you need to be big and bold to be President, but in 1983 Sylvia Wetton became club president. She herself says she was surprised to be there as she thought she would never be able to stand up and make a speech. Her advice to all new members was to take heart to others who may feel as she did and to encourage any potential new presidents with ‘if I can do it, you can do it. There is hope for you all.’

In Sylvia’s year the Club attended its first Inner Wheel Conference in Blackpool. Kate and Sylvia attended using the service bus to get there. They clearly had a wonderful time as since then Warsop has always had a good attendance at the Annual Conference.

The Club had some fantastic ideas for events to raise money and support each other in friendship. These events include a Safari supper, helping Rotaract with a Children’s Christmas party and the Rotary District Quiz. They held a trip to a small theatre in Averham and members went on a canal cruise.

A Golden Jubilee Tree was planted at the Meden School in Warsop to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Haze Kelly recalls being inducted into the Club in 1978 and becoming the Clubs Overseas Officer in 1980.  Still today the tradition of knitting, crocheting squares, then sewing them together to make blankets. In those days the members did the knitting themselves, today we have some wonderful volunteers who help out. All the blankets were taken to the District Get Together or to Lady Margaret Hall and given to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

In 1981 the Club sponsored a child, her name was Hannifi and in the first year, all members paid £2 towards her sponsorship. After Hannifi, there was Mohammed a profoundly deaf child who attended a special school. Both these children lived in Lebanon and were sponsored through Save the Children.

Ann Holland is the youngest of our Golden Oldies and became Club President in 1987. Every year, all clubs across the world celebrate World Inner Wheel Day on 10 January. In 1987 the venue was the Warsop Constitution Club and member Ajit Singh provided saris and demonstrated to members how to wear them. After a talk on arranged Indian weddings, the evening rounded off as a success raised £260 for overseas charities.

In 1989, Kate Ellis, club member was District Chairman and Cynthia Parsons was our President. As the District Chairman came from Warsop, we were responsible for providing flower arrangements for any District events. Fortunately for Warsop, then and now, we have some very talented florists and flower arrangers in our midst.

When the Club first started meetings were very formal and as mentioned before, gloves and hats were required to be worn at District events such as the Rally, the induction day or other such events including the Association Conference in Bournemouth where the Club supported Kate a District Chairman.

Shirley Townroe recalls two key highlights in her year of office. One being the time Rotaract challenged Rotary and Inner Wheel to a games evening. This was the start of a Friday evening badminton club that then ran for 15 years and had up to 16 players at its most flourishing. A fat fund was started raising funds charging people a pound if they had put weight on. The fun and friendship was always rounded off at the bar.

A trip to Paris is Shirley’s second memory to highlight what fun times the Club has had. As with any event the trip did not go without hiccups from the luxury coach delay picking everyone up, that turned out to be a basic old bus freshly painted white for the occasion. On arrival at the hotel the dining room was so small members couldn’t eat together and some gave up, just simply retiring to bed hungry all bar a kit kat and a large whisky.

In Paris a General Strike hindered travel, but never daunted never perturbed the 2-and-a-half-hour journey in to Paris was worth it despite the streets being gridlocked and having to give up on a day of tourism. After a lunch, a drink and a sunny afternoon, a boat trip on the Seine was required, before trying to dash back to the hotel, change and attend the last showing of the evening at the Follies Bergere. On the journey home, pre-ordering 48 roast beef dinners was, well challenging to say the least.

Jean Nock remembers a fun theme of fancy dress that continues with the club today, we just love dressing up. In 1994 Jean Matthews (Kirkby Club) was District Chairman. The Annual Association Conference theme for the District was tutu’s – District 22 – get it 2, 2s!! The tutu’s came to use again that year as they were used in another of the Club’s Carnival floats, portraying Swan Lake. Members were the ugly ducklings. The Club made hundreds of paper rosettes and it seemed to take up every waking moment we had. These were then stuck onto the frame with glue by Marjorie’s husband Arthur. We had a huge success at the carnival coming first, and the following week we entered the carnival in Mansfield and came second.

Jean recalls that her charter was a great success with 206 members from across the District attending the Hostess in November 1991-1992.

Way to go ladies, Warsop are very proud of you all.

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