Evening meeting notes – 21st February 2017

President:  Patrick Staines
Duty Host:   Sue Berrecloth
Cashiers: Oliver Lister & Alan Whitehouse
Guests:   Adrian Nichols, Maria Pedro, Jacqui Bennett & Steven Byrne.

Non apologies:

Presidents introduction & welcome to guests:  New FoR members Maria Pedro, Jacqui Bennett. Adrian Nichols & guest speaker Steven Byrne.

Greeting from other clubs:  None

Presidents update:

Thankyou letter received from Acorns for our £600 donation.
£250 raised by Patrick at the recent 10th annual Pancake Race organized by Malvern RC. Thankyou for your donations
De Montford School have qualified for the finals of the Robotics competition to be held in Kentucky. USA.

ComVoc update:

Interact overview given for guests.
Our next lunch in the community will be at the college on Tuesday 9th May
Meeting at 12-15PM for 12-45.  Finishing at 2pm


Soft drinks on arrival
Main course Beef Stroganoff  
Dessert:  Individual pavlova with fruit and cream
Tea and coffee


The students are really looking forward to putting this event on again and our event is part of their course work. We will need l to let Sarah have the final numbers on Friday 5th May.


I have also agreed to give them 6 jars of the jam supplied by District Governor Richard Purdon as they would like to help raise money for End Polio Now.


Speaker Steven Byrne – Peking to Paris Rally by Aston Martin

Steven’s love of Aston Martin’s lead him to take on the Peking to Paris rally. This rally has been run on a number occasion since the first one in 1907 & is 3 times longer than the better known Paris Dakar Rally. In total it took 37 days to complete, going over some of the most challenging terrain in the world.

Before setting out on the expedition the 1965 Aston Martin being used have to have a considerable amount of alterations carried out including the floor being strengthened to cope with the hard roads, extra fuel pumps & tanks, bodywork strengthening & a safe to hold money to enable them to buy their way out of any one of multitude situations that could arise!

The area that created the most work in the preparation stage was the lengthy document that needed to be completed for entry into each of the countries on the route. The authorities seemed more interested in the car than in them! At the time the car was valued at £65K although today the same car would probably raise 5-10 times this value as classic cars like Aston’s are highly desirable collectors cars. This model was chosen for a number of reasons. It had done the rally before, it was made in the year Steven was born & was considered the most suitable of the Aston DB range.

In addition to the personal challenge of the expedition was the charity fundraising aspect that it enabled. This resulted in the provision of 2 kidney Dialysis machines for Birmingham Childrens Hospital. Amongst the more than generous donors were the banks.

One overriding thing during the journey was the ruling by the authorities at the start of the trip that they should not try to talk or integrate with the local peoples & this was often rigorously enforced by police/soldiers along the route.

The trip was broken into a number of stages & legs with overnight stopping points where appropriate although often these were taken up with repairing the car before the next stage the next day. Steven spent a large amount of his time under the car fixing it whilst others ate, drank & slept!

Much of the route was uncharted territory which meant that they had to rely on satellite navigation aids with permission to link into foreign military satellites needing to be sought from China, Russia & Mongolian authorities first.

Upon entering Mongolia  & crossing the Gobi desert the rear offside axle broke. With neither the tools or spares to carry out the repair some inventive actions needed to be taken. Steven found a local village where he bought a lorry to transport the car from the outback to a local settlement where they found an uncharted Russian military establishment who they paid to carry out the repair.

Eventually they arrived with some of the other rally entrants in Paris to a hero’s welcome.

The event was a life changing & defining moment for Steven & his family & changed both his perspective & priorities of life.


Sri Lankan Cultural Evening:  To support a project supplying clean water to 7 schools. This will be on Saturday 25th March @7pm in Pershore High School. £15 per ticket to include a 2 course Sri Lankan meal (vegetarian option if requested beforehand), Sri Lankan Entertainment, Raffle & Bar, Fun Quiz. Tickets from crouch148@aol.com or jancrouch46@aol.com .
International weekend – Rotterdam 19-21st May 2017. More info & board circulation expected next week.
Foodbank collections arranged with Morrisons. 8th July & 9th December. These are Saturdays instead of usual Fridays in order to improve on previous parcel numbers.

Meeting ended at 9 pm