Nearly ready to go!!! – Christmas Float


Santas gearing up for his annual tour of Flintshire Towns and Villages

December will soon be upon us, but for members of the Rotary Club of Flint & Holywell, the hard work started way back in October when a team of members with specialist skills set to work on refurbishing Santa’s Christmas Float and its dedicated towing vehicle to ensure they were both fit and ready for Santa to commence his tour of local towns and villages.

Rotarian David Pearse described the extensive list of works which are required to ensure that children throughout this part of Flintshire have the opportunity to experience the wondrous sight of Santa’s brilliantly illuminated Float accompanied by the sound of Christmas Carols making its way past their homes or appearing in Town Centre locations.

But this operation cannot take place without a massive effort from dedicated Rotarians. David commented that the Float itself is a very heavy unit and requires a powerful 4×4 vehicle to haul it through the highways and byways of Flintshire’s towns and villages. The float itself is now quite old and needs constant and extensive works annually to ensure that it is reliable and up to modern safety standards. It also has to endure all the rigours of winter, with the inevitable driving rain snow and ice, which takes its toll, not only on the decorative appearance but also the main structure, the illuminations as well as the electrical fittings.

In this respect we are fortunate to have the owner of a specialist motor mechanics and engineering workshop as a member, along with various other members some who own joinery companies, others with design expertise together with a host of other skills, all necessary to ensure the success of this annual event. Of course all these people give up their time and expertise freely and this helps to ensure that all the money raised goes to fund the charitable donations made to local needy causes throughout the year. Indeed, the money raised from the Christmas float is the largest single money raising event in The Rotary Club’s year.

Unfortunately, the commitment required to take the float out night after night has put an increasing strain on the Float routes and some changes have become inevitable as the demand for the float to appear at Old Peoples Homes and static Town Centre locations has increased. In recent years, the Club has had to face some quite nasty attacks from certain members of the public who have been critical of the manner in which the route of the Float has been planned. Some members of the community were particularly upset that the Float did not stop outside individual houses, however The Club stated that it simply was not possible to meet the individual requirements of all local residents. The Club has however prepared a detailed Route Programme showing times and dates when Santa and his float will be touring each specified areas. The programme, which can be found in local newspapers and on social media, also indicates the location of “Santa Stops” where children can meet Santa, give him their Christmas letters and receive sweets from him. The location of these Santa Stops has been designed to ensure that all parents and their children  can plan their visit to Santa. Club spokesman David also confirmed that ALL letters sent to Santa will receive a personal reply.

With works now complete, Santa and his float are all systems go with the first outing on Thursday 21st November when he will attend the switching on of The Christmas lights at the ever popular Flint Christmas Fair & Market


Global Sight Solutions – 28th Oct 2019

Global Sight Solutions is a registered charity whose aim is to provide free eye care and eye surgery to the very poor in the developing world.

There are estimated to be as many as 650 million people worldwide who, due to poverty, are just too poor to access the necessary medical solutions for themselves.

Of that number around 50 million fall within a category often known as the avoidably, or preventably, blind.

The vast majority of these 50 million people are in need of what is invariably a straight-forward cataract operation.

We consider that the following points indicate Global Sight Solutions to be an efficiently run, financially prudent Charity which provides a sustainable humanitarian aid programme.

1/ GSS is administered by volunteers and therefore running costs are minimal. See ‘Costs’

2/ The business plan of GSS is simply that every hospital must generate its own income, such that, a few years after opening, it becomes financially freestanding. ​Each hospital employs its own staff, from cleaner to eye surgeon. It is therefore not reliant upon transient medical experts from either the country in question or from abroad.

3/ All equipment purchased is new and sourced in the country of use. All these items have both maintenance contracts and insurance, which significantly assists in the calculation of accurate hospitals overheads.

4/ GSS does not support other enterprises, but will fund the training of new surgeons at third party facilities providing the trainees pre-commit to GSS hospitals at the end of their education.

5/ Each hospital is run by a separate Hospital Charitable Trust which is controlled by the managing Rotarians.

6/ Funding is supported by Grants from Rotary’s charity, The Rotary Foundation, the third largest charity in the world, which typically increases donations to GSS by 500%.

7/ The Rotary Foundation operates a strict and transparent Grant process which ensures that every £ is accounted for thereby reassuring donors of the efficacy of the programme.

8/ GSS believes it is unique in the provision of free eye care to the poor, by virtue of the partnerships it forms with the managing Rotarians.

Rotarian Mike Griffiths – a member of Oswestry Rotary club, addressed members on the work of GSS since it’s formation (Eye Camps) as a Rotary Charity – Rtn Clive Crofts – International Chair of F & H Rotary gave a vote of thanks.

President Jim Reid, Mike Griffiths and Rtn. Clive Crofts

presenting Mike with a cheque for £250.

Technology Tournament – October 2019

What a Wind-Up

Students from three North Wales High Schools took on a tricky challenge to design and build a crane in less than four hours. The designs included a small electric motor to wind up a magnet with a ‘dummy’  drum of nuclear waste.

Rotarians from 4 clubs- Flint and Holywell, Mold, North Wirral and Deeside gave their engineering insights to help the next generation crack the problem. Coleg Cambria also provided almost a dozen Airbus apprentices to act as judges and role models to help the students achieve success.  The winners in all 3 age groups were Flint High School and so they swept the board.

Next year, the competition will take place at Neston High school, a state of the art educational facility on the Wirral. We wish our Welsh schools lots of luck in showing other budding engineers in England how Welsh young engineers measure up.

Our thanks to Coleg Cambria (who may well be opening their doors to a primary school competition next October), Airbus students and colleague Rotarians.

St Brigids’


Thanks to Airbus:

and our Rotarian colleagues:

Blood Bikes – 11th November 2019

Note the date – not only a moments silence to recognise those who have fallen in conflict but a day to thank those who devote their time voluntarily to saving lives – Blood Banks Wales.



Blood Bikes Wales are a Welsh charity based in Wales, providing a completely free courier service to the NHS, delivering blood supplies, plasma, documents and other items all across Wales.

The service is free of charge and operates between 7pm on Friday evening until midnight on Monday morning including bank holidays & even Christmas day!

At Blood Bikes Wales riders and supporters gear up to provide a completely free courier service for the NHS, relying solely on volunteers and donations to offer this service. This is not possible without amazing volunteers and public support.

                 442 VOLUNTEERS                   264 RIDERS

                     6 TRUSTS      14,037 DELIVERIES

Incredible statistics.

Members were addressed by Tim (the rider) and Sheila (the talker) – an insight into the valuable service given by volunteers – a cheque in the sum of £450 – which covers the insurance cost of a bike for one year – was presented by President Elect Gareth Owen.


President Elect Gareth Owen, Tim and Sheila Brown


Buddi the bike – named after the founders dog!!


The entertainer – 23rd Sept 2019

Barry Williams – a ‘treading the boards’ entertainer addressed members at the Monday meeting.

An acrobatic artist of 40 years standing started performing at the age of six with his brother and tutor, followed by a duo act with his brother and finally with his wife – his career terminated by a fall during his act whilst in Singapore.

Barry had performed in most of the major cities and continents of the world – an interesting, humorous and illuminating life story of clubs, theatres, strip joints and other unmentionable venues – very funny.

Pres. Jim Reid & Barry Williams

Pant Du, Pen y Groes, Gwynedd – 16th Sept 2019

Ten members enjoyed a pleasant evening – incredible sunset – at Pant Du – a family run vineyard and orchard established in 2007 producing wine, cider, apple juice, honey and spring water – in N Wales – can you believe it!!!

Apple trees – 18 acres over 1000 trees and 9 acres of vines – our host Richard Huws conducted an interesting tour of the estate followed by a sampling session of wines and cider completing our visit with a sumptuous meal.

Well worth a visit – fabulous views across Snowdonia.

The evening was arranged by Rtn. Ed Davies to whom members extended thanks.