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We started back at the Bell in the New Year with an international quiz evening organized by Colin and his international committee. Sadly I was not able to be there as I was on babysitting duty but the reports are that members' knowledge was suitably stretched.

A week later we were privileged to host an exceptional speaker and the Bell dining room was absolutely packed. Martin Rees is CEO of Bluebird Performance Engineering Ltd and has recently moved to Fernham. He entitled his talk “How to succeed at Failure” and described how he came to run the enterprise that grew up from Donald Campbell’s tragic death in Bluebird attempting the world record on Coniston Water. A product designer by training, Martin has had an amazingly varied career which included making documentary films. From a very young age he was captivated by the original Bluebird which he described as an aesthetic miracle. With his business partners and heirs to the Donald

Campbell legend, Don Wells and Gina Campbell, they plan to attempt the world electric water speed in the summer of 2016. His philosophy which derived from the great man is one we should all remember - “You are not defined by the number of times you fall down rather the number of times you pick yourself up”!

At our last meeting in January we had Chris Hockley giving us a talk with the provocative title “Britain needs shooting” not, as he explained, the idea of doing away with our politicians in this election year nor the advocacy of the mass slaughter of our bird population but rather a plea for more recognition of the sport of full bore rifle target shooting. Chris has captained the Great Britain rifle shooting team and has represented his country on many occasions. Great Britain are the current World Champions and although not an Olympic sport we have won medals at the Commonwealth Games on numerous occasions. As such it can be said to be one of our most successful sports and yet it is completely unsung in the media. Maybe this is because as he admitted it is not exactly a spectator sport! He is explained that competitions take place over 1000 to 1200 yards – a distance at which the target look a distant spec on the horizon and the wind plays a major part in successful hitting the target!

Our Rotakids continue to go from strength to strength at the Pump House. They have raised enough money to purchase five barrels as part of our “Roll out the Barrel” initiative. They are the first kids in the country to raise money for this worthy cause and it so impressed the organizers that they added an extra barrel to their total. So now at least six families in northern Kenya will be getting clean water thanks to our Rotakids!

I am now well over halfway through my year as President and I must say that it has gone in a flash! I am looking forward to the rest of the year and our plans for the setting up of a Junior Interact Club and a “Late Spring Group” at the Pump House but more of that next time …..

Bjorn Watson

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