Houghton - Down Your Way

Long serving Shine Row Male Voice Choir members, back row, John Roberts (16 years), Arthur Burnside (32 years), John Hodgson (42 years), Raymond Gair and Bobby Jobson (56 years each).  Front row: Alan Graham (23 years), Bob Robson (16 years).
Long serving Shine Row Male Voice Choir members, back row, John Roberts (16 years), Arthur Burnside (32 years), John Hodgson (42 years), Raymond Gair and Bobby Jobson (56 years each). Front row: Alan Graham (23 years), Bob Robson (16 years).
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Speaker at the Rotary Club was member Alan Dickinson, a past chairman and honorary member of the Round Table, on the history of the Round Table and the demise of Houghton Round Table which closed after 58 years. The first Round Table was formed in Norwich by Rotarian Louis Marchesi with an upper age limit of 40 as he felt that there was a need for clubs similar to Rotary catering for younger men and the movement developed quickly across the country. When Houghton Round Table was chartered in 1958 it was number 589. As members retired a new association of past round tablers started in Wakefield and became known as ‘41 Clubs’ as members were in their 41st year when joining.

Houghton Round Table and many others have struggled to recruit further young members and kept going by making honorary members of retirees who organised the club’s main events and Houghton 41 Club has now restructured with the influx of these members so that the main events can continue. These events are the successful annual Beer Festival recently held, the Saturday Carnival Parade at Houghton Feast, the Fireworks Extravaganza on November 5 at Hetton Lyons Cricket Club and the Christmas Santa Claus Sleigh Tour. It is estimated that the Round Table raised over £300,000 during its lifetime for charities. Current members of the Rotary Club who are past members of the Round Table or members of the 41 Club, including speaker Alan Dickinson as chairman, Len Aitchison, who was Round Table North East area chairman when there were around 30 clubs in the area, Ron Young, who is the oldest surviving chairman of the Round Table from 1965/66, and was national councillor for the North East region of 41 Clubs for seven years in the 1990s, and early member and chairman Bob Hodgson, who was appointed by club ballot to attend the funeral memorial service in Westminster Cathedral after the death of founder Louis Marchesi.

Gilpin WI President Marian Ferguson with Paul Finch, from Loaves and Fishes, a food bank.

Gilpin WI President Marian Ferguson with Paul Finch, from Loaves and Fishes, a food bank.

Louis Wright will talk about The Little Theatre in Gateshead at Houghton Older People’s Enterprise in the Methodist Church Hall at 1pm on Thursday.

Houghton and District Rambling Club will be walking around Sunderland Bridge on Sunday. Details of time and meeting place from leader Dennis Borley on 4920029 or secretary John Conder on 3856551.

The Sunderland Group of the Ramblers’ Association will be walking the Newburn Circular on Wednesday, June 1. This is a short walk with meal available if required. To book, ring leader Gordon Lindsley on 5202152.

Ron Hartburn gave an illustrated talk to Sunniside Methodist Women’s Fellowship about The Way We Were – life in the North East in times gone by.

Alan Dickinson.

Alan Dickinson.

Houghton Methodist Women’s Fellowship celebrated their anniversary with friends and a faith tea followed by in house entertainment in the Methodist church hall.

Sunniside Methodist Men’s Fellowship rounded off its season with a meal out at the Broomside Park Pub Restaurant in Belmont. It will resume activities in September.

Kepier Academy in Houghton is having a summer fair on Sunday, July 10, from 11am-2pm, and is looking for anyone who may wish to have a stall. There will also be a car boot sale. To book a space, email s.van-lindon@kepier.com or ring on 0191 512 8960.

At the last meeting, Gilpin WI members were entertained by Herrington Academy Children’s Choir. The choir’s programme included items performed in London when the children took second place in a nationwide competition. Following the decision to support a local food bank, Paul Finch, representing Loaves and Fishes, based in Easington Lane, received the monthly collection of food donated by members. Next month’s meeting will take place on June 2 at 1.30pm in Kepier Hall, when a talk on The Fifties will be given by a presenter from Beamish Museum. It is hoped that some members might add to the atmosphere with ‘Fifties’ dress.

The magnificent seven pictured have sung with Shiney Row Male Voice Choir for a total of 241 years. All have been loyal members, rehearsing weekly and performing in about 10 concerts annually. Mike McGrory, choir chairman, presented each with a special certificate at the choir’s recent annual celebrity concert, praising and thanking them for their outstanding contribution.

The May meeting of Chilton Moor WI began with Christine Wilson, from Hylton, giving the 2016 resolution on food waste and the need for good care for people with dementia. The speaker was Eileen Thompson, who talked about how she became a ventriloquist. Eileen is also part of the Durham Radio team. Next month, members will be going on their summer trip to North Yorkshire Lavender Fields and then Helmsley.