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Club History

In 1989 Ken Hulbert from the Chippenham Rotary Club approached a number of people to start an evening Rotary Club for the “younger” community of Chippenham. He was working with the approval of his President Peter Weston and what was then District 120.

Ken was supported by an organising team of Rev Derek Copeland and David Palmer with Past District Governors Dr Keith Barnard-Jones [District Extension Officer] and David Corsie [District Extension Aide].

The initial meeting at Rotary Hall, Station Hill was on 25th September with 11 potential members. Weekly meetings ensued but by 9th October only 4 attended including one new member who was never seen again. In spite of a weekly diet of Rotary District speakers, enlivened only by a skittles match against the parent club, by January 1990 there were 20 potential members, all male and most in their mid forties with an age range of 25-64.

At a formal Inaugural Dinner on 19th February we became the Rotary Club of Chippenham 1990 with Peter Browne of Wincanton Distribution the first President and Jonathan Shipton the first Club Secretary.

By the time of our Charter Presentation Dinner at the Olympiad on 25th April there were 24 founder members.

We quickly became the Rotary Club of Wiltshire Vale and then Chippenham Wiltshire Vale, moving out of Rotary Hall first to Kington Manor and then to our present home at the Angel Hotel.

Petra Billson became the first woman to join the club in July 1991.

Arctic Challenge Car Rally to the Arctic Circle in 1993

Celebrating a rare skittles win

Wheel chair donation to local residential home

Our first fund raising activities started with a sponsored mountain bike ride in Spye Park in 1991 and in the same year we took over the organisation of the bank holiday Street Fair for the Chippenham Folk Festival.

There are still 5 founder members active in the club and a 6th is an  honorary member.