Riverside clean – Flint 23rd June 2019

Stimulated by a plea from our District Governor, Steve Martin members of the Club scoured the banks of the river Dee on Flint foreshore, with the support of Wendy Jones of Keep Wales Tidy, for rubbish mainly of the plastic variety.

Several bags were collected and it is intended that members continue to support KWT through arranging litter picks throughout the year – flintshire is setting up a hub system where litter pickers, bags etc can be sourced at any time of the year – watch this space!!

That’s the way

We didn’t sit idly by!!! – it’s a lady in wood


Stopped for a well earned rest

Causing more problems????

Our mediator member, Graham Ross, recently attended the Rotary Club of Vilnius in Lithuania (the largest in Lithuania) – the only question asked post his visit was – did our relationship with our eastern European colleagues improve ?? – no answer was given (naturally Graham as a fellow Evertonian only joking)



Here’s a pic for the record. The President ,  handing me their pennant, is Sigitas Rencys and to the right is the club Secretary Tadas Vilcinskas .



A few weeks ago, we announced the winner of our Young Writer completion at Ysgol y Llan, Fred Phillips. Since then, a lot more has happened. Fred was one of two entries that went forward to our District, and again he was chosen as the winning entry. Given there are 57 Rotary Clubs in the District, and thus a considerable number of entries, this was a remarkable achievement. Fred then went forward to the National completion representing our District. With entries from all 13 Districts, he did not get into the top 3, but was nevertheless “highly commended” by the judges. Fred’s winning entry was all about his great grandfather, Harry James Shepherd, who fought and was killed in the First World War. Fred has spend many hours researching his great grandfathers bravery, and has been inspired by this Fred says “ I thank him, and everyone who gave their lives, for what they did to save ours. We thank the Lord that there were people like that in our world. I hope Harry’s sacrifice will help me to become a peacemaker and maybe one day I will become someone’s inspiration”.

The judges said this about Fred’s entry. “ this is an excellent piece of writing. It comes across as heartfelt, sincere and vert powerful. The author does very well to convince the reader of his emotional commitment to his ancestor”.

Fred was presented with 2 more certificates, and he is seen with his winning certificate from the District, and with Rotarian Rob holding the certificate signed by the President of Rotary for Great Britain and Ireland.



Our other winning entry in the District completion from Maddie Humphries at Ysgol Bro Carmel was “highly commended” by the judges.

Rotary extend their thanks and appreciation to Deputy Head Nathan Williams at Ysgol y Llan, and Deputy Head Nicola Jackson at Ysgol Bro Carmel for all their help and support to the many students that submitted entries. Rotary look forward to this competition appealing to more local schools next year.

Camino de Santiago – June 2019

An extremely interesting powerpoint presentation from Hugh Burgess on his pilgrimage from Gorsedd to northern Spain – The way of Saint James – at the end of the evening Hugh – please write the book!!

President Elect Jim Reid and guest speaker Hugh Burgess

The Camino de Santiago –  known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north western Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth..

The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the later Middle Ages, together with those to Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned.

Legend holds that St. James‘s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.

The Way can take one of dozens of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of Saint James began at one’s home and ended at the pilgrimage site. However, a few of the routes are considered main ones. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly travelled. However, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation, and political unrest in 16th century Europe led to its decline. By the 1980s, only a few hundred pilgrims per year registered in the pilgrim’s office in Santiago. In October 1987, the route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe; it was also named one of UNESCO‘s World Heritage Sites. Since the 1980s the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day international pilgrims.

It has been only recently, in the 1990s that the pilgrimage to Santiago regained the popularity it had in the Middle Ages.

Since then, hundreds of thousands (over 300,000 in 2017) of Christian pilgrims and many others set out each year from their homes, or from popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did, on horseback or by donkey (for example, the British author and humorist Tim Moore). In addition to those undertaking a religious pilgrimage, many are hikers who walk the route for travel or sport. Also, many consider the experience a spiritual retreat from modern life.

ALUN WYNNE JONES – in memory of a Rotarian and a true friend to so many


By Aaliyah Rugg

Funeral arrangements have been made for Alun Jones who touched the hearts of many people

A FAMILY has paid tribute to a local ‘hero’ who touched the hearts of a lot of people.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Alun Jones, of Flint, who died at the age of 72 from an infection whilst battling cancer.
Mr Jones died on Tuesday, May 21 and leaves behind wife Lorraine, children Jamie Jones (44) and Zoe Cottam (48) and four grandchildren.
Daughter Zoe told the Leader that her dad was a caring man and would do anything for anyone.
She said: “He was a man that cared. He was a caring, hard-working man who always put everybody before himself by going that extra mile.
“He was a generous and loving father, and a humble man. Nothing would ever be a problem because he would go out of his way to help people. He touched a lot of people.”
Mr Jones took over the family business in the 1980s which was honoured by the Mayor of Flint.
The Leader has previously reported that Mr Jones – the third generation and owner of Jones Motor Services, Flint – celebrated over 100 years in business and he received an award at a ceremony at the Town Hall in 2013.
The company was founded in 1898 by his grandfather Edward Jones and the 72-year-old was also previously the owner of the Spar garage and convenience store in Flint.
Mr Jones was also a member and past chairman of the Roundtable and Rotary club and past chairman of Flint FC. As well as that, he was the chairman of Flint lifeboat and received a medal for 25 years of service.
Mrs Cottam added: “He’s been a part of Flint Lifeboat for years, and they’re going to carry him down in the funeral.
“He did a lot for St Kentigern’s as well (local hospice in St Asaph) which was a charity that was quite close to his heart, and one that he’d used to help raise money for. He used to do raffles and different things to send money over to them.
“He was a businessman, a family man, and a bit of a jack of all trades, but I honestly don’t know how he found the time.”
Mr Jones was also president of Flint Town Football Club, chairman of the Flint and Holywell Round Table and the former chairman of the Flint Citizens Advice Bureau. He was also a member of the organising committee for Flint bonfire and firework display for four decades.
Mrs Cottam said: “A lot of people have called him a ‘hero’ and said that I’m blessed to have him as a dad. If I could be half the person he was, I’d be a better person. You couldn’t ask for a better dad.
“We’re devastated, but he’s at peace now.
“We’ve asked for there to be no flowers, but for money to be donated to St Kentigern’s.”
The funeral will take place at 12pm on June, 4 at Pentre Bychan in Wrexham.
Alan Forrester, lifeboat station manager, worked with Mr Jones for many years and he said he will be sadly missed.
He told the Leader: “He was a very well respected member of the community and he did a lot for Flint.
“He was chairman of our committee for many, many years and was involved in anything and would do everything that was going on.
“He was a polite and pleasant person and will be sadly missed by the community of Flint.”



Secretary of Flint and Holywell Rotary Club with AJ’s ‘family wife’ Lorraine and ‘business wife’ Theresa – at the celebration of Alun’s life

ALUN’S STORY  (Read at the celebration of life service on 21st May 2019) :

Born in Connah’s Quay on 27th November 1946 Alun was one of five children of Doris and Gwillym Jones. The family owned Jones Motor Services, but as his grandad delivered paraffin oil he was known as ‘Jones the Oil’, which is how the family nickname began.  Alun had very happy childhood memories of playing in Swinchard Fields, of making go-carts using orange boxes and pram wheels which he used to go bonking up and down the hills. Although it must be said ‘bonking’ then was not the same as bonking today!

A source of great pride to Alun was, he was picked to go for running trials by Ron Pickering, something he dined out on for many years, and would often roll his trouser legs up to display his fine athlete’s legs!

There was never any doubt where Alun’s future lay and after leaving school he joined the family business, where he helped Dougie who was a panel beater and sprayer. He passed his driving test at 17 and began driving taxis, wedding cars and helping the local funeral director, eventually taking over and becoming a funeral director himself for several years.

Never one to rest on his laurels Alun passed his PSV when he was 21 and began driving coaches. He loved his work, and his customers were very important to him. Alun was a brilliant storyteller and had he got around to finishing his life book of all the weird and wonderful things that happened to him over the years during the course of his work, it would have been a best seller!

In the 80s he ran the family business with his brother and brother in law for a number of years. Alun then went on to focus on the development the holiday and retails side of the business.

Behind every successful man there is a successful woman, now Alun was exceptionally lucky in this respect – because he had two! He had his home wife Lorraine, and his work wife Theresa …wasn’t he lucky!

Alun and Theresa worked together for over 30 years. Alun and Theresa were very close, and she knew what he was thinking, sometimes before he did! Alun never had problems, he had challenges, and Theresa helped him deal with the challenges that came up every day.  Theresa became a very good friend to both Alun and Lorraine.

Alun and Lorraine met at a party when they were 16. During their courting days many of her friends went out with their boyfriends on the bus, not Alun and Lorraine, They went out in a London taxi, wedding cars, and even a hearse! Alun knew how to treat a girl.

He was a trendy young man who quite fancied himself as a Buddy Holly lookalike, and he had the moves to go with it. Both Alun and Lorraine were regulars at The Lido where they loved to jive the night away.

They married on 16th June 1968 and over the next few years their two children Zoë and Jamie were born. Alun worked long hours, and the children knew they had to share their dad with his other babies, his coaches. But when he came home they had his undivided attention. He was relaxed, easy going and fun, Alun loved family days out at the beach always with a picnic, Friday nights ten-pin bowling, family crazy golf tournaments, but punctuality was not his strong suit as he was often held up in work.

One of the first things Alun did when he came home from work was take his socks of, which he would roll up and shove just about anywhere. Lorraine used to find them all over the place. But at his first meeting with his future son in law the convenient place that day was down the front of his trousers, which was a bit of a surprise for Gary!  His daughter in law Seline was spared such a treat!

When he became a grandad to Alani, Alex, Samuel and Harry, Alun was determined to spend as much time with them as he could. Gramps took them out on many trips, trampolining at Bounce Below, the beach, Anfield, museums, he’d just get them all bundled up in a mini bus and off they’d go. After one day trip the children came home in fits of laughter after Gramps had taken a tissue out of his pocket and a £20 note also came out and blew away. Gramps went off like a rocket after it and dived on it. He waved it in the air and shouted, I saved the ice cream money”.

As you will no doubt remember Alun was a little impulsive and very adventurous, and was not afraid to try anything. He abseiled, went up in a microlight, and would have loved to jump out of a plane.

A slightly safer past time was gardening. Alun loved his garden and would get totally absorbed in what he was doing. But it was a good job he didn’t go into hairdressing as everything was pruned to within an inch of its life. No matter how many times Lorraine showed him he couldn’t tell the difference between a weed and a plant, and would pull out a plant to give a weed more room to grow.

Alun would take on any job and would get very excited if it meant he could use power tools. But the mere mention of power tools had Lorraine quaking in her boots.  He had loads, but when he said he was going to get a chain saw Lorraine put her foot down. Alun was so accident-prone she worried he may lose a leg.

But even in the garden Lorraine couldn’t take her eyes off him, just in case he was tempted to get the ladder out, as he fell off that more than once, one time he fell off and was dangling upside down by his foot for over 30 minutes!

He collected old photographs of Flint and was a member of the Flint Historic Society; he played golf and was a member of Pennant Park Golf club. He enjoyed music, the family bought him a drum kit for Christmas one year, which he loved playing. It was impossible for anyone to identify the tune he was playing, but he had a good time.

Another love in his life was Liverpool FC. As a young man he was a Chester fan, but after taking a coachload of fans to Anfield he was converted. He became a season ticket holder and went to every home match possible, usually with a coachload behind him.

Holidays were when he relaxed. Alun and Lorraine travelled far and wide, but Alun also looked forward to his weekend breaks in Llandudno. Family holidays with the grandchildren were very special to Alun, particularly when they went to Euro Disney. The first time they flew over, but the second time they went by coach.10 people on a 53 seater coach. On the way back boarder security were very surprised and slightly suspicious of so few on such a big coach. So they got on board to inspect. What they saw was 10 people all tired and somewhat disheveled, but what surprised them the most was the train set they had set up and had running around the coach!

As busy as he was, Alun found time to be involved in various club and groups. For many years he was an active member of several trade associations. He was the longest serving member of the Flint & Holywell Round Table, until the group disbanded. Past president of the Rotary, and Flint Football Club, Former chairman of Flint CAB, a member of the 41 Club. And he was very proud to be Chairman of Flint Lifeboats for over 30 years and would have been very proud and honoured that they escorted him here today.

Alun had a great sense of humour, loved a laugh and was never afraid to make a fool of himself. He hosted many reunion tours when he and his staff would dress up in fancy dress to raise money for St Kentigans Hospice. He also on occasion opened up his garden to help raise funds, as it was a charity very close to his heart.

With that in mind any donations made in memory of Alun will also go to St Kentigan’s Hospice.

Alun was a kind, generous and humble man, who never had a bad word to say about anyone. Someone who never took life too seriously, except when it came to his family  – who he adored. Alun and Lorraine were married for over 50 years. Alun used to joke that the first 25 were hell and the second 25 were fantastic.  He instilled the values of hard work and decency into his family and inspired them to be the best that they could be, and they feel blessed to have had him in their lives …and no doubt everyone here feels the same!


Tay Bridge Rail Disaster – 3rd June 2019

Rotarian Bob Hughes (Prestatyn Club) addressed the Club meeting on 3rd June on the failure of engineers to identify the problems in the construction of the bridge and in particular the effects of ‘funnelled’ high winds on the structure.

A very interesting talk dating back to the industrial revolution and the differences between stresses exhibited by cast and wrought iron.

President Dave Roberts & Rtn Bob Hughes

Below is synopsis of the disaster:

The Tay Bridge Disaster 

 At approximately 7:15 p.m. on the stormy night of 28 December 1879, the central navigation spans of the Tay bridge collapsed into the Firth of Tay at Dundee, taking with them a train, 6 carriages and 75 souls to their fate.

At the time, a gale estimated at Beaufort force 10/11 was blowing down the Tay estuary at right angles to the bridge. The collapse of the bridge, only opened 19 months and passed safe by the Board of Trade, sent shock waves through the Victorian engineering profession and general public.

The disaster is one of the most famous bridge failures and to date it is still one of the worst structural engineering failures in the British Isles.

The first Tay rail bridge was completed in February 1878 to the design of Thomas Bouch. Bouch was responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the bridge. Most of his bridges were lattice girders supported on slender cast iron columns braced with wrought iron struts and ties, such as the Belah Viaduct in the photograph to the right. The building of the Tay bridge culminated in him being knighted.

The Tay bridge was nearly two miles long, consisting of 85 spans and at the time was the longest bridge in the world. The spans carried a single rail track; 72 of these were supported on spanning girders below the level of the track; the remaining 13 navigation spans were spanning girders above the level of the track (i.e. the train runs through a tunnel of girders).

These “high girders”, as they were known, were 27 ft high with an 88 ft clearance above the high water mark. It was these spans which fell. Most of the girders below track level, all of which remained standing, were transferred to the present Tay rail bridge. At the time of the collapse Bouch was working on the design of the proposed Forth Bridge. In consequence, the design of the bridge was transferred to Benjamin Baker and Sir John Fowler.

A Court of Inquiry was set up to try and ascertain the reason for the collapse of the bridge. The Court of Inquiry report concluded that, “The fall of the bridge was occasioned by the insufficiency of the cross bracing and its fastenings to sustain the force of the gale.” The Court of Inquiry indicated that if the piers, and in particular the wind bracing, had been properly constructed and maintained, the bridge could have withstood the storm that night, albeit with a low factor of safety – 4 to 5 was the norm at the time.

Sir Thomas Bouch was held chiefly to blame for the collapse in not making adequate allowance for wind loading. He used a wind pressure of 10 lbsf/sq ft for the design of the Tay bridge. It is interesting to note that when working on the design of a proposed Forth bridge (1866) he used 30lbsf/sq ft. To this day, however, there is still speculation as to the fundamental cause and as to whether or not the designer, Thomas Bouch, was to blame

Apart from the results of the original Court of Inquiry, various theories have been proposed to explain the collapse. The picture shows the present Tay Rail bridge alongside the pier remains of Bouch’s bridge. It is a very emotive site and provides a grim reminder of the disaster. The wrought iron girders which remained standing after the disaster were transferred onto the present bridge where they are still in use today.


Tay Bridge today


Ana’s update – well done!!! – May 2019

An update on Anastasia’s weekend

We have been in Sheffield for the British National finals, I’m super pleased to say that Anastasia and her under 18s team North wales Knights are now British junior Championships, and Anastasia and her senior North Wales Knights are now also British division 2 champions getting promotion to division 1.

Anastasia is returning from Sheffield today with 2 gold medals, it’s been an amazing weekend.


The Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell welcomed back our high achiever, Ana Blease, on Monday evening.

Ana was presented with her Rotary Young Citizen Wheelpower Sports Award at the National Rotary Conference in Nottingham on Sunday.

Much has already been written and published about Ana’s significant achievements in wheelchair basketball. This Young Citizen Award just recognises the magnificent contribution she is making to that sport, and in supporting and encouraging many other young disabled people.

There were many nominations for this award from the 1800 Rotary Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland. The fact that she has shone through is just reflected in the citation which describes her as inspirational and a positive role model.

A part of this award, she received a prize of £500.00, which she has donated to the Rhyl Raptors Wheelchair Sports Club, with whom she has been closely associated with, and where she has developed her enormous talent for wheelchair basketball.

Ana came to the Rotary meeting with her family. Also present was the Rotary District Governor, Steve Martin, who offered her the congratulations of the Rotary District.

Flint and Holywell are one of 57 clubs in a Rotary District that covers all Mid and North Wales, East Cheshire and Manchester and the Wirral and Merseyside. Steve said that Ana is only the second successful Young Citizen Award in the District.

Rotarians also heard a presentation from Donna Bullivant-Evans, from Disability Sports Wales, and the Development Officer for Flintshire in Wheelchair Sports. Donna gave a superb talk about how Wheelchair Sports is becoming more available in schools and the community.

Ana will continue to amaze us all with her future achievements. For a young girl not yet 15, to be playing for a national team and coming home with the gold medal, there is every prospect that Olympic gold will be coming home to Holywell in the next 5 years.

Ana and the Blease family with President of F & H Rotary Dave Roberts and Vocational Chairman Rob Board


District Governor Steve Martin attended the celebration


Guest speaker Donna Bullivant-Evans


Ana with President Dave Roberts and DG Steve Martin