Speaker at the Rotary Club was retired Sunderland teacher Lynne Symonds, who is celebrating 20 years as Chief of Enlightenment and Education of the Mamprusi people of Northern Ghana. Lynne’s charity work is in providing education to deprived children, developing new teachers and improving the hard life of women generally in that part of the world.President Bernard Blacklock presented Lynne with a donation of £200 from the Rotary Club for the charity fund.
The Friends of Houghton St Michael’s Parish Trust celebrate their annual weekend of events starting with a concert by national champions Houghton Brass Band in church at 7pm on Thursday. Admission will be £5 including light refreshments. On Saturday, from 10am, there will be a coffee morning with homemade cakes and then a thanksgiving service in church at 6pm on Sunday. Monday, May 9, at 7pm, sees the welcome return of renowned organist Dr Gordon Stewart for a concert. Admission will be £7 including light refreshments. Thanks are given to George Whitfield (Chemists) Ltd for again sponsoring the organ concert, now known as the George Whitfield Memorial Concert.
The next surgery by Shiney Row councillors, Anne Lawson, Mel Speding and Geoff Walker, is in Trinity Methodists Church hall from 10am-11am on Saturday. Residents are welcome to raise and discuss any relevant topics.
Top class entertainment is expected from the fabulous Jeff Wright at Houghton Older People’s Enterprise in the Methodist Church hall at 1pm on Thursday.
The next walks by the Sunderland Group of the Ramblers’ Association are: Sunday, Seaton Sluice, meeting in the first car park north of the village, off Links Road, at 10.30am with leader John Roughtledge, phone 0191 528 6966 for details. Wednesday, May 11, Middleton In Teesdale to Grassholme Reservoir, meeting in the village car park at 10.30am with leader David Hann, phone 0191 512 0567.
The next meeting of the members of The Friends of Rectory Park will be held in the community room of St Michael’s Kepier Hall at 7pm, this is on Tuesday, May 10.
The Rotary Club held its annual St George’s Day dinner in the Chilton Hotel when president Bernard Blacklock welcomed members, visitors from other Rotary clubs and friends to an excellent meal. Entertainment was provided by national champions Houghton Brass Band with patriotic music and an opportunity for communal flag waving followed by a slideshow of The Best of Britain, a picture quiz on famous people. There was also some humorous presentations by members Geoff Pratt (as St George in costume) and Bernard Blacklock with Ashley Burland as ‘stand-up comics’. The proceeds of the evening will be donated to the 1st Houghton St Michael’s Scouts as St George is the patron saint of the Scouts Association.
Instead of the regular meeting in the Methodist Church hall, the Houghton Methodist Ladies’ Fellowship enjoyed lunch out at Wetherspoons Wild Boar pub restaurant. There is no meeting tomorrow due to unavailability of several members.
The Rotary Club quiz team lost the Zone Final of the District 1030 competition to Consett Rotary Club in a tight fought match, 34 points to 37, in the Chilton County Hotel. Question master was Derek Freeman and scorer Keith Peacock, both from Washington Rotary Club. Losing captain Godfrey Young presented the Zone Shield to the Consett Club and wished them well in the District Final.
At the AGM of Sunniside Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Ron Hartburn was elected chairman and David Graves secretary/treasurer. The club will have a meal out at the Broomside Park pub restaurant, Belmont, on May 18, before closing for the summer. The club will resume its activities in September.
Speaker at Houghton Methodist Tuesday Fellowship was Ken Williamson on the Biography of C S Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia.