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

Anastasia receives her National Award – 12th May 2019


Media contact: Eve Conway, (m) 07850 357 842, email:
Release Date: May 2019
Outstanding Welsh teenage wheelchair basketball player wins Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award 2019
Dynamic 14-year-old wheelchair basketball player Anastasia Blease is being recognised for her incredible sporting achievements and determination to get others involved in sport and physical activity with the Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award 2019.
Anastasia from Carmel, near Holywell, who was born with spina bifida, is fast becoming a sporting hero after returning home with a gold medal from the European Championships in France in November 2018 with Team GB’s Junior Women Under 24’s. She is the youngest player currently selected for the squad and only began playing six years ago, she helped her squad achieve the top podium spot during the games.
Anastasia has played nationally for Wales under 15s team every year since she was 9, winning silver as Vice-Captain for the last two years in the Lord’s Taverners Junior Championships. She will trial this month for Wales under 18s for the first time since ageing out of the under 15s. She was introduced to the sport when she was eight years old after testing out her local club’s demonstration sports chair at her local shopping centre.
The Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell spotted Anastasia’s amazing sporting potential and helped her buy a bespoke sports wheelchair enabling her to develop her incredible natural talent. The Club were so impressed with her achievements that they nominated her for the Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award. The schoolgirl, who plays for North Wales Knights, is hoping to one day represent Great Britain in the Paralympics.

Over the past year, Anastasia has won several awards including the Denbighshire Disability Sports Award, British Wheelchair Basketball Rising Star Award, British Wheelchair Basketball Young Female Player of the Year Award and the Sports Excellence Award for Disability Wales. She is also Disability Wales’ #IamEmbolden Ambassador for deaf and disabled women.
She says: “I want to be an inspiration to younger people and I like to show them that they can achieve anything they want.”
Anastasia will receive her Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award, a trophy and £500 for a charity or project of her choice, from BBC TV presenter Ellie Crisell at the Rotary in Britain and Ireland Showcase (Conference) in Nottingham on Sunday 12th May 2019.
She said: “I am really proud to be the chosen winner of this award as it gives me the opportunity to share my experiences and stories with others, showing that having a disability should never hold you back from pursuing something you love, and being able to represent my local Rotary Club, who have supported me on my journey, is always a plus point of my achievements.”

She added: “Wheelchair basketball is what I love to do, and with support from others I can push myself to be the best I possibly can, and make my dreams a reality. I train hard for many hours a week, taking on board all the help and advice my coaches give me, and awards like this help to show my hard work is paying off.”
Rotary in Britain and Ireland President Debbie Hodge said: “Anastasia achievements to date demonstrate her commitment and determination. She is a true inspiration as she lives out her belief that you can achieve your dreams. I know she would like to represent Team GB at the Paralympics one day and am sure that she will succeed.”

WheelPower Chief Executive, Martin McElhatton added: “WheelPower is delighted to present this prestigious Award in partnership with Rotary in Britain and Ireland and it is wonderful that a young aspiring sportswoman like Anastasia is winning the award this year. I am sure Anastasia’s achievements will inspire other young disabled people to play sport and be active. Congratulations to her and we wish her every success in her future sporting endeavours.”

Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award
The Rotary Young Citizen WheelPower Sports Award celebrates the achievements and contributions as a positive role model to others by a wheelchair sports participant or group. It is jointly offered by Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and the UK wheelchair sports charity, WheelPower. To get involved in Rotary and make a difference in your community, visit

WheelPower is the national charity for wheelchair sport, providing opportunities for disabled people to play sport and lead healthy active lives. Based in Stoke Mandeville, the home of the Paralympic movement, WheelPower is at the heart of wheelchair sport. To find out more, visit

Notes to editors: For more information and to arrange an interview, please speak to the person named at the top of this press release.
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is a membership and humanitarian service organisation. Through membership of their local Rotary club, members use their time and talents to make a difference in their own communities and around the world. There are over 1,750 clubs in Great Britain and Ireland with 46,000 members. Rotary is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wants to give back to their community, meet new people and have fun.
Rotary International was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now the world’s largest international service organisation with 1.2 million professional men and women as members. There are 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical regions. Rotary initiates local and global projects to promote world understanding and peace and improve life conditions for people of all ages and cultures.
Facebook: Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland
Twitter: @RotaryGBI

SHARE – 29th April 2019

Club members received an address on the work of SHARE from Ann Jones, a volunteer at the Mold Branch of the charity.


Founded on 3 October 2015

SHARE’S aims are simple – we support families in crisis and people who are homeless in North Wales and Cheshire and we assist refugees fleeing for their lives, wherever they are in the world.

In September 2015, the harrowing photograph of the tiny body of three-year-old Alyun Kurdi, washed up on a beach in the Mediterranean, spurred four local mums from the Mold area to ‘do something’ to make a difference to people fleeing for their lives from war torn Syria and Iraq. They joined forces with a Chester based businessman and it was then that SHARE was born. Within weeks they were joined by like-minded businesses, schools, churches and other organisations and inundated with donations that were promptly sorted and sent where needed. In January 2016 the SHARE Shop in Chester was opened.

In Mold, SHARE volunteers receive, sort, pack and distribute all donations of clothing, footwear and other essential equipment, currently required by the refugee camps in Europe and further afield. We coordinate our efforts with other refugee support organisations in the UK and abroad, to ensure that the right items are provided at the right time and to the right place. We also work with local agencies in North Wales, supporting families in crisis, by supplying them with basic household essentials, donated furniture, clothing, toys and baby/children’s items.

In Chester, SHARE volunteers help to raise valuable funds for the charity in the SHARE Shop, by selling donations received that are not suitable for refugees or local homeless people. These items are still valuable to us, as all funds raised are then split equally between our refugee and homeless projects. Twice a week, our SHARE Van provides a valuable outreach services to those living rough on the streets of Chester. Loaded up with hot drinks, food, sleeping bags and warm clothing, our aim is to give some comfort to those who simply have no place of their own to call home.


Occasionally we get a direct appeal from one of the many refugee camps that Share send aid to, because they have almost completely run out of certain items. The refugee aid agencies on the Greek Island of Lesvos are in desperate need of children’s shorts and trousers. If you have any that you could donate we would be very grateful for them, and we can get them to Lesvos as soon as possible. You can drop them at Share Mold or Share Shop Chester. You can also make a cash donation using the link below to help us to fund the shipping of these items to Lesvos. Thank you for helping us make a difference.


Then to Shares vital support of refugees everywhere. To live in a country that is so dangerous the only option is to flee by any means, in the hope of making it safely to somewhere where people will open their door & heart & offer support in helping rebuild lives.’


Welcome to a brand new concept of charity shop! WELCOME TO SHARE SHOP CHESTER!

The idea is to create a modern, trendy charity / coffee shop that appeals to all ages, where you can buy a quality cup of coffee for yourself and one for a homeless person if you wish to. This coffee will be ‘suspended’ on our blackboard until a homeless person comes in who can claim it. #SuspendedCoffee

At least half of the profits from the shop will go directly towards the purchase of a local derelict house in the city itself, so that people who are sleeping rough on the streets locally can be rehoused and furthermore supported back into work.

The other half of the shops profits are used to send much needed clothes, food, medical equipment & toiletries to those without homes around the World, including to Syria and the Greek Islands trying to cope with the refugee crises.

The other difference is that the share shop itself and the overall charity is run on a shoestring so to speak! We don’t want to spent any money on unnecessary overheads admin or wages. We want as much of the donations or revenue from our shop to go to help those in need.

Our very 1st Share Shop will open at 12 noon on Sat 16th of Jan, directly opposite the old Odeon Cinema on Northgate St in Chester and we’d love to see you!

YOU can help Share by donating quality items that can be sold in the shop such as good quality clothes, hats, handbags, shoes etc… or by sending your CV to if you’d like to volunteer to work one or more days per week. Please comment below to tell us what you think of the idea and please help us spread the word by ‘Sharing’ this post if you wouldn’t mind.

You can also help by fundraising for Share, asking your group or workplace to donate, or helping sort & pack aid ready to be sent abroad at our new Share Centre at the old Library building in Mold, North Wales.


President Dave Roberts & Ann Jones

One of the lovely filled Moses baskets was collected today for a couple expecting their first baby very soon.😍
Contains lots of essential item’s to help them through the first few weeks


HOPE in Persian



SHARE Hub, Old County Library, Raikes Lane, Mold, CH7 6NW.

Usual Opening Hours:

Monday 9.30am – 2.00pm

Wednesday 9.30am – 2.00pm & 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Tues, Thurs – Sun, –   Closed



Visit to BIRKENHEAD Rotary Club – 24th April 2019

Five members attended Birkenhead’s Rotary Meeting on 24th April – an excellent speaker, Gareth Kennedy, addressed the members and their partners on his career as a pilot for Aer Lingus – from O levels through to 14 final exams and even then the stress of landing (pun) a job. One of the most interesting speakers it has been my privilage to hear.

President Dave Roberts presenting Flint & Holywell banner to President Bob Hall


Service above Self

The Rotary Club of Flint & Holywell – Founded 1956 District 1180

President – Rotarian David Roberts
Warmly welcomes
to the
63rd Charter Anniversary Dinner
Friday 12th April 2019
7.15 for 7.45 pm
   

President Dave Roberts and guest speaker Tony Roscoe


Rotary have recently been delighted to present awards to the winners of our Young Writer competition. The theme was ‘My Inspiration’. Although all schools were invited to take part, only two responded – Ysgol y Lan and Ysgol Bro Carmel. Over 50 entries were received, and our thanks go to all the children for their hard work and effort.

The Ysgol y Llan, Whitford winner was Fred Phillips, who was inspired by the experiences of his great grandfather as a soldier in the First World War. Fred had obviously done some considerable research. As well as the school winner, his script goes forward to the Rotary District, and we have just been told that he is the winner at this level as well. Our Rotary District covers all of North Wales, the Wirral and Merseyside, and with 57 Rotary Clubs, this is a tremendous achievement. The picture shows Fred with his certificate presented by President David Roberts. Headteacher Mr Brian Griffiths is with them.

There were two winners from Ysgol Bro Carmel. The script from Maddie Humphries was judged to be the best to go forward to the District. Maddie wrote about how she is inspired by the gymnast Ellie Downie, as gymnastics is her passion. Although losing out to Fred, her script was judged to be “highly commended”. The overall winner was Olivia Wilson, who produced a spectacular poem about how she is ‘inspired’ by her family.

The picture shows Olivia and Maddie with Rotarians Rob Board and Kevin MacIntyre.



Rotary would like to sincerely thank teacher Mr Nathan Williams at Ysgol y Llan, and teacher and Deputy Head Miss Nicola Jackson at Ysgol Bro Carmel for all their hard work in helping their children in this competition. Hopefully this competition will appeal to more school to take part next year.