The History of
Whitchurch Rotary Club
1938 - 2008

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Visitors Welcome

We meet in the Dodington Lodge Hotel every 1st & 3rd Tuesday evening at 6:30pm for Dinner, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 12:45pm for lunch, and if there's a 5th Tuesday, we meet at 7:00am for Breakfast. Visitors are welcome.

Presidents of Whitchurch Rotary Club


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PRESIDENT 1947 - 48.
Henry Willasey Brookes - HWB or ' Harry' Richards

One of the most remarkable and active men to occupy the presidential chair. He was born in 1899 and attended Whitchurch Grammar School. At 16 he left school and put the first Salopia coach on the road, providing a service between Whitchurch and the Prees Heath Army camp and by the 1970s the Salopia fleet of local service and holiday luxury coaches had grown to more than 70 with the name Salopia and Harry Richards synonymous with Whitchurch and the town of his birth. Harry was Salopia company chairman and managing director reaching 1 million turnover before he retired in 1971, when the Gold Case Travel took over. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and was also chairman of the West Midland area of Trustee Savings Bank, doing sterling work heading the National Savings Drive during World War II. He was awarded an OBE for this work and the CBE for his public service work. This included heading a vigorous fund raising team to establish the town's present swimming pool. An accomplished public speaker and with his Stanley Holloway monologues one of the first entertainers in the early Rotary Old Folks concerts. He was a member of countless groups and committees, chairman of the grammar school governors, 50 years a Freemason, forty years a Rotarian, 20 years a JP and vice-chairman of the former Whitchurch UDC. He died on 26 July 1979, aged 80 years and left a substantial sum for the benefit of the townsfolk, which since 1981 has allocated grants to town people and organisations. The memorial gardens adjacent to Jubilee Park are dedicated to his memory. He joined Rotary 4 May, 1938 and was club secretary 1940-45 and awarded the club's first Paul Harris fellowship in 1978. His wife was Inner Wheel President 1945-46 and treasurer 1950-51.

Harry Richards receives his Paul Harris Fellowship - the first in the club's history