Newsletter 106: October 24th

Welcome to our weekly newsletter

We welcomed the following guests today. Rotarian Brian Lowrie of Thornbury Rotary Club (whose members are on a scatter day). Kellie Thatcher, Harry Allen and Kiryn Howard. Kiryn and Harry are colleagues of Kellie at VWV Solicitors and are trainee lawyers. Caroline Bowler visited us again and of course our speaker, Derek Maltby.

WORLD POLIO DAY - 24 October 2018

World Polio Day generates awareness towards eradication of polio as well as to commemorate the efforts of thousands of employees of WHO and other volunteers committed to the eradication of Polio. Last week members planted 4000 crocus bulbs at Castle Green to celebrate World Polio Day.


The Rotary Foundation initiated World Polio Day nearly a decade ago with an aim of complete eradication of Polio virus from all the parts of the world. Rotary International is a partner in the Global Polio eradication Program with organisations like- World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Rotary International and World Health Organization launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, when there were nearly 350000 cases of polio in 125 countries.

Through to 2013 many of the countries were declared polio free, but countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan were witnessing rare occurrences of the disease and there was still a constant threat of the disease to reappear in any part of the world. Therefore, a need to celebrate World Polio Day was felt, to completely eradicate Polio virus globally through general awareness for vaccination, prevention and raising funds for different programs.

Swift Inclusive Sports Swimming Gala

President Roger Key gave thanks to Mark Colfer and Swift Inclusive Sports and the Rotarians from around Bristol for a great swimming gala for the disabled held at Horfield Leisure Centre last Saturday. Roger says "This was a well organised and successful event showcasing what Rotary can do to help those less fortunate in our community”.

Martin Smith – new member

Today was another special meeting as we inducted another new member. Terry Willis proposed Martin Smith and Philip Bowry recited the 4-Way test.

We welcomed Martin to our club. Martin was born and brought up in Bradford on Avon and educated in Bath. He joined PWC and a Chartered Accountant and later moved to Tate and Lyle then to Seaco a large shipping container company.

Martin and his family have settled in Bristol and he thanked members for making him welcome and looked forward to giving something back through Rotary.

Our speaker - Derek Maltby

Our speaker today was a former police officer in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary joining as a Police Cadet in 1973 and whilst serving in Bath; during his time there in 1987 he ‘scrounged’ his first hot air balloon flight.

He went on to crew and then obtained his first sponsorship to fly a balloon from a car dealership. He then had to learn very quickly, how to fly and to become a pilot! He has achieved over 1,100 flying hours during the past 29 years and is the holder of the British Balloon and Airship (BBAC) Gold Medal for duration, distance, accuracy and altitude. There are only 12 holders of this prestigious award; amongst them explorers and round the world pilots of Per Lindstrand, David Hempleman-Adams and Brian Jones. 

He is a former chairman of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta organising board, the largest annual balloon event in Europe. 

He has flown hot air balloons:-

  • In numerous countries
  • To a height of 21,500 feet
  • solo 259 miles across the UK
  • across the heart of London
  • The English Channel in 1991 and the Guinness World Record Flight in April 2017 amongst 82 balloons!
  • Swiss Alps and Mount Eiger
  • ...and walked on water in Bristol!!


Over the years, he has flown a number of celebrities including Roger Key (President Bristol breakfast Rotary Club), Jane Seymour (the Bond girl), Leslie Crowther (Come on Down), Shelly Rudman (Olympic silver medallist), Andy Robinson (former England and Scotland rugby coach), Dr. Alice Roberts (BBC), Deborah Meaden (BBC Dragon). Currently flies the Bristol City balloon, which represents the Chamber of Commerce (Business West) and the University of the West of England.

He took delivery in May 2017 of a 'cloud-hopper' balloon; a one-man balloon with a seat and no basket!

Business West's hot air balloon, co-owned with UWE Bristol and Destination Bristol, took off at 6.10am on 7th April 2017 as part of a world record attempt involving 82 balloons, pilots from 10 different countries, and one luxury hamper full of South West made food and drink goodies.

Taking off from Dover to cross the 26 miles of English channel to France, as part of that adventure, balloon pilot Derek Maltby and a team on board, aimed to deliver in person the basketful of products made in the South West to a French farmer across the channel - conveying the message that the region is very much open for business and exports with Europe.


Join the club...

Membership is currently open if you would like to join our friendly pro-active group!
If you'd like to come along to a Wednesday morning meeting please email us at

Wednesday 31 October 2018 (Fifth Wednesday)

Please note there will be no breakfast today. We will be meeting at 7.00pm at the Create Centre at Smeeton Road for a visit to the Life Skills Centre. Please let Roger Bick know if you are attending.

Christmas Party

Ray Shipway has released details of the Christmas Party to take place at Newman Hall on Saturday 8th December 2018. Please let Ray know if you are attending and your choice from the menu. He would like to know ASAP to make the necessary arrangements.

Rotary Shoe Boxes

Thank you to all members who took home a "shoe box" to fill. For those wondering what to put in the box, the website provides guidance.
We still have 9 boxes that need filling, so please come forward and take one home after next weeks meeting.
To be delivered in time for Christmas to those in need in eastern Europe, they need to be returned to Cotswold Tyndale by the third week of November, so ideally they need to come back to Roger Key (ideally to the office at 26 Berkeley Square) at or before our business meeting on Wed 14th November.