APRIL 2022

President Gay awarding a long service certificate to Doris Brackley.

MAY 2021

May is a momentous month for Inner Wheel in Tiverton, we have celebrated our 70th Birthday! That means 70 years of supporting charities at home and abroad, as well as doing our bit to assist Rotary in Tiverton.

We held a Zoom Birthday Party on Monday 10th May, with members of Inner Wheel from throughout the County. Our District Chairman Jeannette Dommett joined us for a cup of tea and cake

The festivities started with a talk from Ian Duncan about rowing across the Atlantic, for charity and this was followed by tea and cake with reminiscences of who the original members were and what the Club was doing 70 years ago.

We all enjoyed the event. Ian Duncan gave a most interesting talk which reminded some of us that we are seasick!! We hope that the Club will carry on for a good many years, but we need to attract new members, this is not easy!

Our speaker, Ian Duncan is shown on the 2nd row in the centre.

The festivities started with a talk from Ian Duncan about rowing across the Atlantic, for charity and this was followed by tea and cake with reminiscences of who the original members were and what the Club was doing 70 years ago.

At the moment members are busy knitting.  We are knitting the length of the South West Coast path – not literally.  1 foot equals a mile  – the path is 630 miles long, so if we knit scarves of 5’ in length we shall need to keep our needles going for some while, 126 scarves is our aim which will then be donated to charities for the homeless.  We are press ganging friends to join us in our endeavours!!  Last time we met up, on Zoom, we had reached Lynmouth, but that was 2 weeks ago so we should be much farther on by now.  We shall try and keep you posted on our progress.

APRIL 2021

Rev Ken Blyth was our speaker in April. Originally in the Exeter Diocese, Ken and Avenel moved to Eastbourne where Ken’s remit was to change the Church to involve the community.  A car dealership next door to the Church was purchased and turned into a very successful coffee shop and a craft shop run as a commercial venture but using mainly volunteers.   This outreach continued until Ken and Avenel moved back to Devon on their retirement.

MARCH 2021

Heather Clay told us of her experience in the Australian Outback.  Heather worked as a nurse for 3 years in Bush Hospitals.  In her first placement the nearest supermarket was a 3 hour drive away so groceries were ordered and delivered by train. Heather dealt with many really bad road accidents, lots of them caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. She also dealt with the results of hunting and rodeo accidents, snake bites etc. The Flying Doctor Service would visit as required – the pilot was also the anaesthetist!

Her next placement was on a state-run Aboriginal settlement specialising in dairy cows.  Next door was an emu farm, and the Aborigines would carve the eggs to sell. Although the eggs were very plain, once carved they were a beautiful turquoise.

A stint at a copper mine followed.  The settlement was 2 million acres with 22,000 head of cattle. The muster was done using helicopters and 4-wheel drives. Heather was taken in a helicopter – there were no doors on it and she was surprised to see rifles on board but apparently they were for shooting wild horses!

The Flying Doctor Service provides each settlement with a Medical Box in which each item has a number. The patient would phone the FDS and describe the symptoms and they would be told which number to take for that ailment.

Heather’s talk certainly gave us a different view of life!


Our speaker was Caitlin Wakefield from Tear Fund. Caitlin is married to Jack, the grandson of IW member and our speaker finder, Noreen Scorer.  Caitlin’s presentation gave us information on how Tear Fund had responded to the recent explosion in Beirut and the hurricanes in Central America.  Tear Fund can mobilise money rapidly to provide help.  They work on long term recovery by teaching skills to respond in the event of further disasters. 


Janie Lock and Michael Buckley talked to us about the magistracy.  Edward III introduced the system in 1361 and all business is still enacted on behalf of the Crown.

The first woman magistrate was appointed in 1920 but now ladies outnumber men on the Bench by 6-4.  This is a voluntary appointment and almost anyone can apply to become a magistrate but there is a strict selection process. Magistrates have to commit to sitting for 30 days each year but because there are currently so few people volunteering it could be up to 100 days! There are always 3 magistrates sitting at any one time plus legal advisors present to guide both the magistrate and defendant. Adults, youths and family issues are dealt with in separate courts.

95% of all criminal cases are dealt with by magistrates, the remainder going to Crown Court. Crimes dealt with include driving offences, shoplifting or assault, environmental issues, wildlife crime and fine enforcement.

It was a fascinating talk which was appreciated by us all.


Unfortunately, our speaker for the January meeting was unable to attend due to illness. However, having dealt with all the business matters before lunch we were then able to enjoy a good old natter!

On the 10th January Jo Sanderson hosted a coffee morning to celebrate International Inner Wheel Day. This was well attended and money was raised for The Butterfly Tree Charity which helps to stop the spread of malaria.


Our District Chairman Jeannette Dommett was our guest, it was a pleasure to host her. Christmas jewels and sparkles were very much in evidence as we took our places. 

The meeting began with a minutes silence as we remembered Mike Robins, Marjory’s much loved husband. Mike was a gentle, gentleman who had a wonderful sense of humour. His support for Inner Wheel was immeasurable and his and Marjory’s afternoon teas will be remembered for many years.

Jeannette introduced herself and gave a brief history of her life in Devon and her involvement in Inner Wheel and support for her Rotarian husband. She showed us some ‘name tapes’ printed with ‘Made with love by Inner Wheel’ as a suggestion to sew onto jumpers and blankets that go to Moldova via the Christian Response to Eastern Europe charity.

Our business meeting followed with an excellent report by Anne Thomas, our International member from the International Meeting organised by Otter Valley Club.  

After an enjoyable Christmas lunch we were royally entertained by Rose Chanin.  Rose has a wealth of knowledge about the Devon dialect and her poems and stories, accompanied by props, did not disappoint. She finished by asking us to solve a puzzle :-
A farmer had 3 sons. When he died he left 17 horses to be divided among his sons. The first son got a half, the second a third and the third son a ninth. How many horses did each son receive? What’s the answer I wonder.


Joint President Avenel hosted a very successful Coffee Morning to raise funds for Dementia Charities.

At our November meeting the speaker was Sally Brockbank. Sally is an amazingly talented lady. She enthralled club members with her collection of fans made using feathers, foil, all sorts of fabric, recycled curtains, denim jeans, sweet wrappers, beads, laminated computer images – the list was endless and the fans absolutely stunning as can be seen from the photographs. Sally uses a sewing machine but also does a great deal of hand sewing on each item.

Sally also produces dolls with fabric sculpted faces. From the Snow Queen to the Spice Girls – a fabulous collection and again all made from ‘left-overs’.


Scott Walker spoke very enthusiastically about his work for Devon Community Foundation. The Foundation is a charity supporting other charities including CHAT and looks to encourage small local charities, groups and individuals through loans. 48 groups have been funded in EX16 since 2013. More information about DCF can be found on their website.


Our speakers this month were Jenny Evans from Singing to Remember, Jackie Quaif from the Forget Me Not Cafe and Gill Sharland who spoke of her experience as a carer. Dementia is a dreadful illness which can be sudden or prolonged and is frightening for both the person and their families.

Singing to Remember is fun with a difference. Started by Bridget Tosh and Jenny Evans, it has 25-35 members. They meet for 2 hours on Monday afternoons and begin with tea and cake. Everyone sits in a circle and is introduced via the ‘Hello’ song. The ‘cared for’ enjoy joining in the singing and feeling part of a group. Each session provides an opportunity for carers to share information.

Jackie Quaif then told us about the Forget me not cafe which is part of Unite. It was started in 2005 and is for carers as well. There are currently 10 couples attending twice each month and former carers often become volunteers. Each session always involves tea and cake. The cared for have an activity whilst the carers may have a speaker. The current venue allows the carers and cared for to be in the same room which is beneficial. There are 11 volunteers but usually only 7 at each session. Outings are organised at least once a year. Devon Carers provide support for both carers and cared for. Some funding comes from Unite Carers.

Gill Sharland cared for her husband Terry for the last 5 years of his life. She described it as like having a new baby – uncharted territory and she felt completely isolated. Singing to Remember was a good start to the week and promoted singing at home as well. They were welcomed as individuals and not as a couple which is so important to the carer. Someone is always available to talk which was much appreciated. The Forget me not cafe has a very similar attitude. It’s quite like a Mum’s and tots group!  Gill said If you know anyone who is a carer, please pop in and listen even for a short time. The carer is still the same person they always were.

Singing to Remember and the Forget me Not cafe are the charities being supported this year by our joint Presidents, Avenel and Barbara.


We had a very pleasant ‘social’ lunch this month – no business or speaker but lots of chatting and laughter!  

JULY 2019

Joint Presidents Barbara Brannam and Avenel Blyth were presented with their regalia by outgoing president, Avril Webster.

Jan Heptinstall gave a very informative talk on her work with the Prison Fellowship in Exeter Prison. The prison population has increased significantly and because of overcrowding suicides, murders, assaults and self harming have increased dramatically. Cells built for 1 person now hold 2 and because of a shortage of prison officers, the inmates can often be locked up for 22 hours per day.

A full time chaplain works with the prisoners and 60 regularly attend church services. 6 week courses are offered to promote self esteem and confidence and also to encourage them to take responsibility for the crimes they have committed.

Local churches support ‘Angel Tree’ and money is raised to enable Christmas gifts to be bought and given to the children of prisoners.

JUNE 2019

We held our annual Summer Lunch at the home of Avenel and Ken Blythe. Sadly the weather prevented us from being outside but 35 of us enjoyed a wonderful bring and share lunch.

MAY 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed being entertained by Alan Dodds, a founder member of the 1960’s pop group, the Kon-Rads.  The saxophonist in the group was none other than David Bowie!!  Alan reminisced about the various groups popular in the 50’s and 60’s. He played us several pieces on his guitar and we all sang along very enthusiastically. In recent years Alan was a vicar in Uffculme