The Spice Road

The photo shows the President of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club, standing,  introducing the guest speaker Mr Bryan Sandforth seated on his right.

Bryan Sandford gave an excellent presentation on aspects of the Spice Road which included the impact of European rulers such as Henry VIII, Isabella, Ferdinand and Charles 1. The devastating impact of conquest on local populations such as by Christopher Columbus in the West Indies and the opening of the eastern routes by explorers such as Vasco Da Gama whose voyage to India in 1497 to 1499 was the first ocean route link between the Europe and the Orient. The Portuguese found the significant ocean routes but the Spanish found the gold. A very thought provoking journey into Tudor times when major European countries were vying for supremacy.

Blast from the Past

The photo shows Eric on the left presenting the jewel of office to Ed.

At a recent talk by Peter Cook on his career in journalism he had copies of the Now and Then magazine from 2009. Inside was a photo of Eric Oliver handing the Presidency of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club to Ed Levie.

BlueJays rock on for Rotary Charities


The Bluejays offer the UK’s finest vintage rock ‘n’ roll experience.
The group formed in 2013, after years of performing together in West End rock ‘n’ roll theatre shows such as ‘Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story’
They performed at a charity concert in aid of the Paediatrics Cystic Fibrosis Centre at James Cook University Hospital and other Rotary Charities. The concert was at Yarm Princess Alexandria Auditorium attended by 460
rock fans and organised by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club. The event raised £4500 for the charities. A fantastic night was had by all with an excellent performance by the Blue Jays.

R C Davison memorial childrens home, Danby 1915 to 1984

Colin and Heather Mather gave an excellent presentation to Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club on the history of the R C Davison memorial children’s home. The Davison Children’s Home in Danby offered respite care to 16,000 needy children, mostly from Middlesbrough, between 1915 and 1984.
Many children with disabilities such as rickets and polio were sent to the home by train from Middlesbrough. The children were put in a rail carriage, unaccompanied, and locked in until the train reached Danby! Many thought they were in a different country and many were scared after the trip but thoroughly enjoyed their time there. Normally a child would spend two weeks at the home. In the early 1900’s a support network was set up to develop the home by a number of philanthropists with qualities of giving, kindness and service to others. The home was highly successful until its closure in 1984. Colin and Heather then purchased the property and made it into their home. They then did detailed research on the history of the home and published a book to celebrate the success of the home over seven decades.

Guest Speaker Evening “Lost on the Titanic”

The photo shows the president of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club ,David Jackson, on the left and Chris Lloyd on the right hand side.

Chris Lloyd the Chief Features Editor for the Northern Echo and Darlington and Stockton Times gave an excellent , enthusiastic and entertaining talk entitled ” Attacking the Devil and Sinking the Unsinkable : W T Stead and the Titanic ”
W T Stead an English newspaper editor who started his career at the Northern Echo and at the age of 22 as the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette was the pioneer of investigative journalism becoming a controversial figure in the Victorian era . He was instrumental in the Act of Parliament to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16 . Steads new journalism paved the way for the modern tabloid in Great Britain . He was influential in demonstrating how the press could be used to influence public opinion and government policy .
Stead died aboard the Titanic in its sinking and was considered to be one of the most famous Englishmen on board .

Robotic Surgery . Current practice and the future

The picture shows Bhavan on the left of President David Jackson and in conversation with Geoff Taylor

Bhavan Prasad Rai, Consultant Urologist and Robotics Surgeon at James Cook University Hospital gave an excellent presentation to members of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club on robotic surgery current and future. The ability to perform precision surgery using robotic surgery with small incisions allows the patient to recover rapidly from the surgery and often allows return home within 1 to 2 days. James Cook University Hospital are one of two leaders in the field in the UK . Bhavan is a Senior Fellow in Robotic Surgery and has studied in Scotland, Germany and London prior to his appointment on Teesside. His enthusiastic presentation showed how surgery is assisted by extensive training of the team, use of dyes to highlight areas for surgical intervention and precision surgery to save the surrounding structures such as the nerves which transmit body functions ensuring a healthy future for the patient. The future will see further reduction in equipment size and a reduction in robotic arms on the machine from 4 to 1. But it must be remembered that this machine is only an aid to the surgeon. Mike Overy thanked Bhavan for an excellent presentation.

A Good night was had by all . Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary club Christmas Dinner.


Members and wives had a great evening at Middlesbrough Golf Club, Brass Castle Lane. Great food, great games and great company. All sorts of games from a quiz, name that tune and balloons kept everybody amused. Chris and Sue Gent  masterminded the entertainment and managed to get all involved as you would expect from two retired head teachers. Well controlled throughout the night.

STOP PRESS £5012 raised for local Charities by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club

Members and helpers from Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club collected £5012 around the streets of Acklam and Marton with Santa and his helpers collecting over 10 nights and four days at Teesside Park. There were so many parents who remembered the float when they were children it was great to see their children continuing the tradition. The money will be given to local charities including Teesside Hospice, Social Services vouchers for needy families and the Salvation Army.

Father Christmas and his Elves collecting at Teesside Park

The photo shows members of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary club collecting for charity at Teesside Park .

Teesside Park gave permission for Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club to collect for local charities, Collection is for Salvation Army, Middlesbrough Social Services food vouchers and Teesside Hospice. The collections started on Saturday 2 December and will continue on Sunday 3 December and the 9th and 10th December. Many families with children has a photo taken with Father Christmas and really enjoyed the fun. Rotary members dressed as elves helped Father Christmas during the day.