I was born in Torquay as the second world war was breaking out.  I did my general nurse’s training at Torbay Hospital, and Midwifery at St. Thomas in London.  I married and had four children, then moved to Hampshire, Gloucester, before moving to Bermuda for ten years, and then America for four years.  My further education was OU Psychology, then Ancient Athens, and Creative Writing.

Having been a single parent for fourteen years after returning from New Jersey, I met a lecturer in further education and re-married twenty-three years ago.  He has since died, this year, but I have inherited six lovely grown-up children and seven lovely grandchildren.

In the Inner Wheel I have been District Chairman, District International Officer for District 17, Club President once before and Club Correspondent for Torquay.



Last week members of the Inner Wheel Club of Torquay invited the Dartmouth Inner Wheel Club to join us and we were treated to an online talk by Barnstaple member Gay Ross about her book entitled ‘Luigi‘. 

Gay wrote this between 2018 -2019 and it was published last July during the Covid restrictions.   It is based on the true story of her father’s experiences during World War Two, using his letters and journals which had suddenly come to light in her mother’s house.  It describes his escapades in Italy and is a most interesting and intriguing tale. Gay used her maiden name Gabrielle Ayers as her nom de plume for the book in honour of her father.  She is Devon Inner Wheel’s Vice District Chairman and Past President of Barnstaple.  She is generously donating her fee to the drive to abolish polio because her father died from it when she was six years old.


During lockdown, members of the Inner Wheel Club of Torquay saved their “Tea Money” – money they would normally have paid for tea at their meetings. As a result, they were able to donate over £500.00 to Torquay Museum, Torbay Hospital League of Friends, a small Brixham charity The Edge, the District Chairman’s charity ClicSargent and the overseas Charity Christian Response for Eastern Europe. This charity, run from Exmouth by Hugh Scudder regularly sends lorry loads of aid to Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. The Inner Wheel Club managed to send clothes, blankets, school clothes and a donation for food in the last lorry load to go to Moldova before lockdown. Members are now making dresses for Moldovan girls and collecting winter clothes and blankets ready for the next lorry load.

Now in its 86th year, the Inner Wheel Club of Torquay has been raising money for local charities as they always have done. £800.00 has been given to Rowcroft Hospice which the Club has supported for many years, including volunteer gardeners and helpers.

Members have also contributed knitted bunting to the Devon world record breaking longest length of bunting, baby clothes for Torbay Hospital baby unit, made masks for Covid19 protection, bags for Scrubs, donations to local food banks and whatever else they see is needed.

This was the first time the committee has met since February so we were very pleased to see each other.

Items made for CR2EE (Christian Response to Eastern Europe) by Torquay member Carol Colledge during lockdown

Cartoon by Deirdre Stewart


Club President Patricia Turner and Past President Heather Davies were delighted to present Past President Marjorie Horn with a certificate as she has been made an Honoured Active Member of the Inner Wheel Club of Torquay.  Marjorie has taken a very active role in the club for over 44 years.  The presentation took place in her home on Saturday 2nd November.

Members of the Inner Wheel of Torquay were delighted to welcome the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the Torbay Constituency Kevin Foster and his charming wife Hazel to a coffee morning at the Palace Hotel, Paignton on Wednesday 27th November. It was very well supported by friends and members of Rotary and the Inner Wheel District Chairman Jeannette Dommett and a generous donation will go to Rowcroft and other local charities.


Patricia Turner, President of the Inner Wheel of Torquay and a Past President of Sunrise Rotary, presented the Frank Turner cup to team leader Mike Thompson of the Torquay Rotary club.  This fun Charity event was held at St. Matthias Church hall on Friday 25th October.  Their team had the highest points out of all the Rotary teams, as well as out of all the teams there, so they received the overall prize as well.   Frank was an early member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Torquay and he was a marvelous quiz player with a very retentive memory.  If Frank was not in your team, you could bet you probably were not going to win!  He passed away this summer and is greatly missed by all.  This beautiful cup was inaugurated last year when unsurprisingly Frank’s team won it.


Torquay cheque presentation

Members of the Inner Wheel of Torquay were proud to see Immediate Past President Carol Colledge present a four figure cheque to Children’s Hospices South West.  Pictured below is their representative, Dominic Scotting, who was very grateful.


Twenty-one members of the Inner Wheel of Torquay gathered to celebrate President Carol Colledge’s year of office with a very enjoyable lunch at Dainton Golf Club, which is such a lovely venue.  District Chairman Jeannette Dommett thanked Carol on behalf of the Club and District 17.  

MAY 2019

At the May meeting of the Inner Wheel of Torquay members were treated to a very interesting talk by Brian Smith about the initiative to help children stay connected with Dad or Mum while their parent is in prison through Storybook Dads.  This has proved to reduce re-offending significantly and gives prisoners new skills.  The story of how this came about and the recording facilities that were created is inspiring.  As club member Joan Bailey said in her vote of thanks, just as Charles Dickens improved the lives of children by drawing attention to their plight, this project highlights the terribly sad position children find themselves in when a parent vanishes from their lives.  Brian illustrated his talk with excerpts of video showing examples of the recorded stories sent home to the children which they can enjoy over and over again.