Rochdale Inner Wheel Club

Latest club bulletin

A member of International Inner Wheel:
promoting friendship, encouraging personal service, fostering international understanding.

PRESIDENT  Nichola Helliwell                         January 2021

Congratulations to former member, Mildred, on her 90th birthday!


You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly what is going on. What you need to recognise are the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.


Happy New Year to you all and hope you made the best of the festive period, in the current climate.  It was good to speak to those that I saw whilst delivering my Christmas cards.

For Neil and me, it was a most unusual time as on Christmas Day the alarm usually goes off at 6.30am as we normally start cooking at church at 8 am.  We both woke this year at around 9am.  This year was only the 3rd time in the last 42 years that I have not been involved at Church.  It was also the first Christmas Neil and I had spent together on our own in our 27 years!  They did break another record at Church this year by catering for 292 people with all meals being safely delivered.

In the current climate and conditions, I doubt we will be able to hold our Annual Nutters Charity Lunch this year, and as you know this is our main charity event of the year.  My charity for the last 2 years has been the Soup Kitchen.  Just to bring you up to date with what is happening to them is that they have spread their wings into Whitworth and have opened The Lighthouse Community Foodshare.  It is similar to a food bank.  They are also still feeding the homeless and families in the Borough, but this is being done from a caravan outside the unit.  Consequently, I am asking you ladies to have a think about how we can raise money, to present to the Soup Kitchen at the end of the year.  Any ideas will be appreciated, so we can make a donation to them.

I personally have decided that I am donating, what I would have spent had we not had to cancel meetings and events due to the pandemic to go to the charity account.


Speaker Programme

January 27th        Murray Jacobs  “Must-Sees of Cambridge”

February 24th      Peter Williams  “Drumbeat”

March 24th          Steve Gill.   “Family Photography, Past, Present & Future”

April 28th            Hannah ?   “Human Trafficking”

World Inner Wheel Day Service:

President Nichola, Marion and I joined the service from Buxton Methodist Church on 11th January.  The District Chairman from District 5 did a sterling job fronting the event and bringing in the various participants.  The hymns were shared on screen and I think it was a worthy effort from what one lady in the background said to her husband.  “It’s just a group of old women.”

Blooming cheek!    I think we all need to learn Zoom manners!

Lis Kay

District Inner Wheel Day 2021

January 11th, 2021 was the day set aside for our District Service to celebrate International Inner Wheel Day. This Annual occasion has usually been held at St. Ann’s Church Manchester, but 2021 was different. For many years members of the Rochdale Club have overcome bad weather conditions, transport problems and domestic arrangements to be present at the District Service.

However, 2021 saw quite a change in approach. We no longer had to organise travelling arrangements, where to meet for coffee, or whether or not we would lunch together, we simply switched on the computer, or iPad and joined the Zoom programme. Whilst we missed the coffee and a chat to catch up with friends, we very quickly became part of the kaleidoscope of Inner Wheel members, not just from District 5 and 128, but from countries across the world. This was a celebration of International Friendship and Fellowship.

It was good to be part of this lively, albeit, grey-haired group of ladies, who were pleased to be at this gathering. There was a cacophony of greetings as people recognised friends and associates. The service, from the Methodist Church in Buxton, was ably led by our two District Chairs and others. Whilst, we were the silent majority, following Covid guidelines, of no singing, we were very much part of this gathering. A gathering which transcended boundaries of countries, age and ability, but which bound us together in the uniformity of Inner Wheel Friendship and Fellowship.

I enjoyed it and was glad I had joined in.


Members’ Musings


Something to pass time !!!!  on Netflix this month.  Watch for The Dig and The White Tiger   -   sit and hopefully enjoy.


Sue T:

A lovely poem by Emily Dickinson where she takes an abstract feeling, in this case hope and likens it to something physical, in this case a singing bird. I thought this was particularly good in these challenging times.


‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –


And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –


I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.


Last January my son and I were discussing the pros and cons of on-line shopping.  He hates shopping and queueing and prefers to buy everything on-line.  He sits at home with a cup of coffee and gets everything delivered to his house.

I said I would rather visit the shop to check out the produce.  I liked to handle the fruit and veg, try on the dress or compare the goods in one shop with those in another.  I enjoyed taking a break in the middle of the shopping trip for a coffee and a slice of cake.

Today I order everything on-line, just like he does.  All my groceries, plants, medicines and clothes.  How things have changed.  Although my computer skills have certainly been enhanced, it’s not quite the same.

Ann W:

Well here we are in 2021 wishing for some normality and to be able to meet up again with friends and family.

We had a good Christmas at our house with Rebecca, Victoria and Alex. Victoria and Alex did most of the cooking. We missed our usual trip to the pub but still had a drink or two.

Last week was John’s 75th birthday and we obviously celebrated at home. The orangery was decorated, we had a takeaway breakfast with Buck’s Fizz and then a takeaway evening meal. It was good under the circumstances.

There’s nothing else on the horizon except our Inner Wheel Zoom meeting. I’m looking forward to our speaker Murray Jacobs and welcoming Pam Barrett, who is interested in joining the club. I have known Pam for quite a few years from volunteering at the Petrus Community Store. She is a lovely person with good ideas.

Book Group   

Meetings 7.30 pm on the second Tuesday of the month.  All club members welcome.  Zooming until further notice.

January      This was our list of literary delights read over Christmas/new year:

Shuggie Bain                      Douglas Stuart

Those who are loved.            Victoria Hislop

The Moor                           LJ Ross (from the DCI Ryan series)

Utopia Avenue                    David Mitchell

The Cedar Cove series          Debbie Macomber

The Chalet                          Catherine Cooper

The Alexandria Quartet         Lawrence Durrell

One Day                            David Nicholls


February    The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes.  Nichola.

March        We are all made of glue, Marina Lewycka.  Sue C.


Sue’s Gardening Blog

Well, here we are ladies, a new year, a new start!

I wonder what your memories are of 2020 in your garden.  Which flowers worked well for you, and which didn’t? I have an abiding memory of the Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica.  It has self-seeded itself far and wide, beyond my expectations, and was a joy to behold. In the wild it is mainly confined to Wales; it likes the damp!  While it looks very fragile, it’s also very tough, so hopefully we can expect to see it in increasing quantities.

Yellow was a popular colour in the past, more so with women than men, for some reason. The other yellow flower that I loved was Rudbeckia fulgida, with their dark brown centres, magnets to the bees. They flowered well into Autumn, late November. Well worth a £2 packet of seeds.

My first job for the season will be chitting potato tubers, in readiness to plant them into tubs or bags, or even in the garden.  II don’t go mad with numbers, just a few first earlies, which should mature by June. They have a subtle flavour and great eaten straight after harvesting. By the time it gets to maincrop potatoes, they are cheaper in the shops, not really worth the work. If anyone wants to try them out, good ones to try for earlies are ‘Accent’ and ‘Duke of York’, also salad potatoes such as ‘Charlotte’ or ‘Ratte’, both firm waxy flesh.

Other jobs to be looking at include, making the most of your Iris flowers, by removing some of the older leaves from early flowering varieties, to see the flowers better.  As with Iris flowers cut back foliage of Hellebores before the end of this month, again to ensure emerging flowers are not obscured by old leaves, and also helps to control disease.  Cut back vigorous climbers such as Virginia creeper to keep them within their allotted places.

A few tips for ‘greener’ gardening:  Plastic yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and fruit punnets are great for seed sowing, just make sure you punch holes in their bases for good drainage.

Continue to feed birds, food can be very limited at this time of year. And make sure their water bowls are ice free!

Grit and rock salt used for keeping paths etc free of ice can damage plants, so try to keep it away from them when spreading it.

If fences have been damaged by wind, consider replacing them with hedging plants, which can reduce air and noise pollution, while providing habitats and shelter for wildlife.

Happy Gardening!


Next club meeting

Wednesday 27th January, ‘Must sees of Cambridge’.  Zoom.

Next executive

Briefly after the January club meeting


Contributions please to Liz by Wednesday,17th February.

It’s a great help to have contributions as attachments please.















Contact Information

Inner Wheel Club of Rochdale

Meeting times

We meet every 4th Wednesday of the month for a meal followed by the formal meeting, including fund raising planning and often a speaker.     6.30pm for 7.00 pm for a meal then the meeting at the Royal Toby.

We have four Executive meetings a year. Also a monthly Book Club.

Secretary  Nichola Helliwell