The Chepstow Rotary Club staged the 15th Wye Classic car Run on Saturday 29 April. Some 56 cars took place, ranging from a 1923 Crossley with a canvas canopy roof through Hillman Imp, Swallow Doretti, a couple of Citroen DS, MG's and two splendid Jaguar E-Types.
Every year a different route is identified taking the competitors through some of the wonderful scenery that we enjoy in our area. Competitors left from the Chepstow Garden Centre marshalling area where many fuelled up with a bacon sandwich beforehand. At 1 minute intervals they received the chequered flag and drove away into the sunshine.
This year the route went through the lanes westwards to Llandegfedd Reservoir with its splendid waterside cafe where many stopped for coffee while enjoying the view. Just outside Abergavenny we stopped at Goytre Wharf where we strolled alongside the many narrow boats in the morning air. A good leg stretch.
The route then headed north and through narrow winding lanes with long views across the splendid open country that is Herefordshire. Here lay Weston's Cider Mill where several enjoyed lunch and a tour of the site leaving and leaving with a couple of special bottles in the boot, no doubt. Later it was Ross-on-Wye where the drivers enjoyed a stroll through the High Street and stood to admire the Wye flowing past this interesting town.
The final leg took us past Monmouth and over the top through Trellech after which they dropped down into the Wye Valley at Tintern where they finished at the Anchor Inn where they were marshalled by Rotarians in Day-Glo jackets.
It was clear that everyone had enjoyed the drive, the waypoints and meeting the other competitors. And they also spoke of the magnificent Monmouth shire and Herefordshire scenery that everyone had enjoyed.
All the teams completed the 100-mile 2017 Wye Run and received their Finishers Certificates that include a photograph of the car starting The Run. Some £1,500 was raised for charity.
Prizes were awarded by Rotary President Mac McCARTY for "The President's Choice", an elderly Austin 7, 'The Oldest Car', was the Crossley, 'The Youngest New Entry' was a red Hillman Imp, the 'Best Presented Car' was an A35 owned by Roger EVANS and 'The President's Wife's Choice' was a Morris Minor Traveller. Much discussion, both social and technical, followed but all involved spoke of our beautiful location, splendid cars and those narrow lanes.
The 2018 Rotary Wye Run will take place on Saturday 05 May and so put the date in your diaries.
The Rotary Club are organising an Autumn Wye Run on Sunday 17 September. This will be a much shorter event and finish at the Bloodwise Big Welsh Car Show at Chepstow Racecourse where you will enjoy free entry.
So there is another date for your diary.
If you are interested in joining or supporting Rotary or seeking more information please see www.chepstowrotary.org.uk
On Saturday 03 December the Chepstow Rotary Club held its annual Torchlight Carol Service at Tintern Abbey.
This most popular family event is always well supported and this year over 430 adults attended with their children.
Families started arriving from 5pm and so by 5.45pm the LIONS Club marshals reported that the car parks were beginning to fill. After lighting their flaming flambes and illuminating their light sticks the people formed a very, very long procession on the road adjacent to the Abbey.
At precisely 6pm the assembly, led by the Reverend Andrew Webster of Chepstow Methodist Church, slowly marched off towards the side of the ruins.
Once inside the Abbey grounds the column of people filed down the outside of the south wall on this misty evening as the voices of the choir rose from within the ancient ruins.
The noise of the initial crowd had changed entirely into a hushed reverence for the sounds and the sights of beautiful Tintern Abbey.
Then, as people entered the main Abbey building in an unfamiliar way through the East door, one could hear the gasps of the children as they saw those ancient walls illuminated from within and the view of the choir assembled on the dais at the far end.
Carols were sung with vigour, lessons read with passion and there was a genuine feeling of goodwill towards one another throughout the service.
Rotary President Mac McCarty wished everyone a very happy Christmas and made an appeal for donations to Rotary charities.
The service was close by Reverend Webster after which the assembly exited the Abbey and dispersed into the darkness. The Christmas celebrations had certainly started well.
The event raised over £3,000 and after all expenses were paid, including programme printing, the flambes, light sticks and St John's Ambulance, the club was able to add over £2,100 to its charity fund. In 2017 the Rotary Torchlight Carol Service will be held once again on the first Saturday in December, that is 02 December, beginning at 6pm. [See photographs]
On Wednesday 20 July 2016 at Thornwell Primary School, in Bulwark, Chepstow, Rotarian Christopher WILSON of the Chepstow & District Rotary Club, presented Rotary illustrated dictionaries to those children that the school determined had tried the hardest during the year.
Head Teacher, Mr T APPLEBY thanked the local Rotary Club for their ongoing support and their encouragement of learning.
Following a short talk on the aims and ideals of the international Rotary organisation the students who were selected to receive the dictionaries were,(L to R) Rhys BEARD, Lucas GRIFFITH, Ashton WELDON, Cerys WHEELER, Fay SMITH and Keiah HUNTLEY.
The Chepstow Rotary Club continues to support many community initiatives, including several competitions for young people for speaking, music, writing and technical ability.
It also includes this annual event, where a total of 60 dictionaries were presented to10 local primary schools. The Club considers that presenting the dictionaries to children in the local schools encourages a love of reading and learning in the young.