Club History

The first attempt to introduce the Rotary Movement to Southwold failed because of insufficient numbers; (25. members was the minimum strength required to launch a Rotary Club) and a new initiative was taken in 1959.

Five local businessmen approached the Rotary Club of Lowestoft to indicate that they thought there was enough interest and support to form a Rotary Club for Southwold and District. Subsequently the Rotary Club of Lowestoft became our co‑sponsors and contacted District 108 on our behalf. Two District Extensions Officers (one from the Cambridge club and one from the Chelmsford club) visited Southwold, together with representatives of the Rotary Club of Lowestoft, over a period of months during 1959.
Rotary Collage 2Luncheon meetings were held at the Swan Hotel during this time and gradually the numbers were built up to approach the twenty‑five candidates required for a Charter. Eventually we were in a position to hold our Inaugural Luncheon Meeting at the Swan Hotel on Tuesday, 8th December, 1959. twenty‑five names appear in the list of Founder Members, with Rotarians Nelson Field as President, George Bumstead as Vice‑President, Aubrey Day as Secretary and Alec Gower as Treasurer.

Regular meetings continued, with the Club going from strength to strength, in readiness for the Charter Presentation, which was held on Tuesday, 26th April, 1960 at the Swan Hotel. The same list of names is printed on the menu for this occasion.

The Charter was presented by the Chairman of District 108, Rotarian Tom Hill, with the welcome into Rotary International and the presentation of the Chairman’s Jewel being performed by R.I.B.I. Past President, Rotarian The Right Reverend, Tom Cashmore. A presentation was also made of a Bell and Gavel given by the Rotary Club of North Arlington, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Over the years the Rotary Club of Southwold changed its meeting day from Tuesday to Monday and has met at the Swan Hotel, Sutherland House, Minivers Restaurant and the Congregational Church Hall before settling at the Craighurst in 1968.

Compiled from notes supplied by Founder President Nelson Field

What was happening in 1960?

The contraceptive pill is introduced.
Hugh Hefner opens the first of his Playboy clubs.
The “Flintstones” is shown on television for the first time.
The Laser, Heart Pacemakers, Weather Satellites and Vertical Take off Jets are invented.
France tests its first atomic bomb.
Yearly Inflation Rate in the UK is 1.1%.
Average House Price is £2,530.
A loaf of bread is 1/- (5p).
Tidal Wave at Agadir in Morocco kills 12,000.
OPEC ( Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries ) is formed.
John F Kennedy wins U.S. presidential Election.
The Irish Republican Army ( IRA ) starts it’s fight against the British.
The U.S sends the first troops into Vietnam .
Nikita Khrushchev orders the construction of the Berlin Wall.
The Sharpeville massacre, South African.
Sir Francis Chichester arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth 2 after a record solo Atlantic crossing in 40 days.
Princess Margaret marries Antony Armstrong Jones.
The Summer Olympics are held in Rome.
The Winter Olympic Games are held in Squaw Valley, California.
100,000 Join “Ban The Bomb” Rally in London.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover goes on sale in England 32 years after it was banned.
Coronation Street premieres on ITV.
Ben-Hur, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, The Entertainer and Operation Petticoat are on at the movies.
Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in the bathyscaph USS Trieste break a depth record when they descend to the bottom of Challenger Deep 35,820 feet (10,750 meters) below sea level in the Pacific Ocean.
Aluminum Cans used for the first time.
The MOT Test is introduced in Britain.
Harold Macmillan is Prime Minister and gives his “Wind of Change” speech.
The Beatles formed, with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on guitars, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums (who was replaced by Ringo Starr two years later).
A packet of 20 cigarettes would have set you back less than 5/- (25p).
A season ticket to see Manchester United, when Sir Matt Busby was manager and Sir Bobby Charlton a star player, cost £8 10/- and the club paid its footballers a maximum wage of £50 a week.
Jonathan Ross, Jeremy Clarkson, Nigella Lawson, Bono, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were all born this year.
Songs in the charts: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Let’s Do the Twist, Never on Sunday, Teen Angel, Stay, Are You Lonesome Tonight.
The BBC Television Centre is opened in London.
Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore premier in Beyond the Fringe.
The Rotary Club of Southwold was formed.

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