Inner Wheel Remembers

Remembrance and peace have been in the minds of Inner Wheel members during the last few months of 2018. First there was the call to plant a rose for International Peace Day in September then there was the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in the First World War. Inner Wheel ladies have played a considerable part in both of these and while it is impossible to list all the work and service that has gone on behind the scenes, it is important to remember this, even if the work of only a few groups can be mentioned. Only a very small selection of the photographs can be shown.

Poppies for Remembrance

Members of The Inner Wheel Clubs of York, Ainsty, Vikings, Rotarians’ families and friends, knitted over 7,000 poppies towards the 25,000 needed for the spectacular Art Installation cascading down the walls of All Saints Church, Pavement, York to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day. The task of attaching the poppies to lightweight netting was also undertaken. Rotary has a strong link with this church and it is where the annual Inner Wheel and Rotary carol service is held. Later the poppies were draped over the steam loco at The National Railway Museum, on which the soldiers would have travelled to war. Inside the church, poppies were draped over side altars and around the memorial windows as well as around the Notice Board in the Churchyard. The sandbags placed around the walls replicated the trenches.

In Leominster, Inner Wheel ladies helped make some marvellous banners for display in the town. The best explanation comes from the Leominster ladies themselves –

“This year we became more involved in the whole project, the theme of which was Commemoration of the Centenary of WW1. We planned and mounted a large display in the Buttercross Arcade in the town. Our Inner Wheel ladies knitted, crocheted and sewed poppies, then had workshops to string them and finally, along with several Leominster in Bloom members and a Rotarian, erected the whole display. We had appealed to the Leominster Community to make poppies and were overwhelmed with the response. Over 5,000 poppies were made by local people; around 4,000 being in the arcade. The display exceeded all expectations. As well as this, two of our members, Kaye and Wendy, sewed eight banners which are on display in the town.”

Knitters everywhere seem to have turned their attention to poppies with ladies from the Inner Wheel Club of North Shields knitting profusely for an exhibition of poppies displayed at St Columba’s Church in North Shields over the weekend of Armistice Day.

Peace Roses

Despite the inclement weather, there was a large turnout in Milford Haven for the rose planting ceremony on International Peace Day, 22nd September. The town’s memorial garden was the venue where several roses were planted. District Chairman Cynthia White joined the Club President Vicky Brown, who spoke of the significance of the event to remind us all of the importance of peace. A plaque was then unveiled. The Inner Wheel Club received considerable help in local sponsorship and was very grateful for the assistance.

The Peace Rose gifted by Suzanne Brindley, District Chairman of District 4, was in memory of Leslie Ashby, a pupil of Silcoates School, Wakefield where she used to teach. It was placed at his grave on the 100th anniversary of his death. How this came about is probably best explained in the words of the school chaplain, Rev Dr. Janet Lees. “Thanks so much for asking us to

take the peace rose bush with us on our Battlefields tour this half term.

On Sunday 21st October we took the peace rose bush to the grave of Leslie Ashby in Froidmont Communal Cemetery. Seven Commonwealth War Graves are lined up in this well-kept village cemetery. It was the 100th anniversary of his death and Leslie was the penultimate Silcoatian to die in the conflict.”

Bunting in Faversham

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One Faversham Town Council commissioned a project to make a piece of bunting in memory of every person who lost their life from the Faversham area during this war. Our club supported this and our Past President Christine made two pieces in Inner Wheel Colours.


What a great Interclub we had on 2 October at Penyard House, when we welcomed Inner Wheel members from around District 10 and six ladies from Weston-under-Penyard village, who apparently all thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Our guests were Sophie Andrews OBE, District Chairman Gill Scott from Clevedon with the President of Hereford Wye Valley Rotary Club and the Junior Vice President of the Hereford City Rotary Club. After a splendid lunch, President Liz introduced guest speaker Sophie, CEO of The Silver Line charity. Sophie first gave us a brief insight into her background and this helped us to realise how important charities like The Silver Line, Childline and the Samaritans are to so many people of all ages.

On Behalf of the Association

Member of Council for D22, Gloria Humphrey, was honoured to lay a wreath on behalf of the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in GB&I at the Tyne Cot cemetery during her trip to the Somme to commemorate the end of WW1 100 years ago. Her husband, Rotarian Martin, also laid a wreath on behalf of the Warsop branch of the Royal British Legion.

Association President Ann Acaster had written on the card: “Tho much is taken, much abides” (Tennyson) With grateful thanks and In Remembrance Ann Acaster - President.

The Tyne Cot Cemetery near Passchendaele, on the Somme, is the largest Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the world. On the evening of 10th November, Martin and Gloria joined thousands at The Menin Gate for the Last Post service, celebrated every night at 8pm. This was a wonderful evening of marching bands and singing; a night to remember.

At 11am on Sunday 11th November, Martin and Gloria joined with many others, in the pouring rain, for the Service of Remembrance at Thiepval Memorial, organised by the Royal British Legion.

Thiepval is a wonderful monument commemorating more than 72,000 men of the British and South African forces who died on The Somme before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave; the majority died during The Somme offensive in 1916. It dominates the landscape for miles around and is the largest commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world. Gloria laid a wooden cross to A Soldier of the Great War, Known Only unto God. This was a truly wonderful, unmissable journey, with many memories.

The Silver Line offers the only confidential free 24-hour support line for those aged 55 and over, across the UK. A specially trained helpline team offers free information, friendship and advice, details of links to local groups and services, regular friendship calls and protection and support for older people who are suffering abuse and neglect. Initially the cost of running the charity was helped by two Lottery grants which come to an end this year so, as demand is growing, it is imperative new supporters and partners are found.

Loneliness affects many people and The Silver Line obviously fills a huge need amongst the older generation, many of whom are too proud to worry family members with their troubles. They put on a "brave face", so just to be able to pick up the phone and hear a friendly voice any time, day or night, is a huge comfort to them.

As Dame Esther wrote in June 2018, “The Silver Line Helpline has revealed a truth about older people which is just as shocking as that revealed by Child Line. Many do not want to admit to loneliness or ask for help. They don’t want to be a burden. This has meant that the deep unhappiness created by loneliness has been ignored.”

Sophie became homeless at the age of 16 and slept rough in a church doorway before she got the courage to ring the Samaritans, just to hear the voice of a person who wouldn't judge her and would listen to her. Eventually she became a volunteer for the Samaritans and this later led to her involvement with The Silver Line charity. This was launched by Dame Esther Rantzen DBE in 2013, celebrates its fifth birthday in November this year and has recently received its two millionth phone call. On average the charity gets 10,500 calls a week, most of which are made during the night and at weekends when there is no- one around to talk to. Night time especially can be very lonely and frightening.

In addition to the helpline, over 4,000 volunteer Silver Line Friends have been trained, offering both telephone and letter friendship. They also operate Silver Circles to facilitate group telephone calls where people with shared interests can discuss topics with a wider group and their Silver Connects team provides older people with more intensive support, advice and help with connecting to local services. Further information about the charity can be found on their website or you can call the helpline on 0800 470 8090.

The Silver Line is a charity we are going to hear a lot more about in the future, as loneliness is a growing problem and recently Sophie Andrews was on the lunchtime news explaining briefly the importance of the work being done now for the older generation. She gave us so much to think about and made us realise how many people from all walks of life are affected by loneliness. President Liz Hodgkinson said, “It was a great pleasure to welcome Sophie and learn more about the work of The Silver Line particularly as our Club member Eileen is one of The Silver Line trustees”. She was very pleased to give Sophie a cheque for The Silver Line with some guests also making generous donations.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon which made us all realise how fortunate we are and how reassuring it is to know that there are people out there willing to listen and help if the need should arise - or perhaps some of us could even become volunteers in the future.

ISO Jane Parry and CC Carol Langstaff, Hereford Wye Valley, D10


Conference 8th – 10th April 2019 • Interesting Speakers • Retail Therapy • Evening Entertainment • Make and renew friendships

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