A message for Classics on the Common enthusiasts

You will have seen from the coronavirus panel below that, sadly, we have had to take the unavoidable but necessary decision to cancel Classics on the Common 2020.


We will all miss a wonderful day of fun and fellowship but the big losers are the charities – children’s, local, national and international - for whom you and others help to raise significant amounts of money.


Charities benefiting from Classics on the Common in recent times include the Samaritans, Prostate Cancer UK, Keech Children's Hospice, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and Macmillan Cancer Support.

May we make two suggestions?

First, please help us to continue to support these good causes in their time of need by donating perhaps what would have been your entry fee or the amount you might have spent that day. You can do this by simply clicking  Donate now

Second, do make a note in your diary now for next year’s Classics: the provisional date is 28 July 2021. Let’s try next year to raise a record amount for charity to make up for the disappointment in cancelling this year.

Following Government advice we have regretfully cancelled all events and activities planned for the near future, including Rotary in Harpenden's flagship event, Classics on the Common.

Junior young photographers rule the roost

Entries for the junior category of the Harpenden heat of Rotary's national Young Photographer award 2019/2020 were strong. The theme for the competition was "Through my eyes". Entrants could interpret the theme however they wished. 

Lauren Murray's winning entry was "Queenie 1". The judge commented: A beautifully sharp well composed image. Detail in the eye is very clear. Your description helps understanding of how well you have adhered to the brief -- "Through My Eyes" . Being down at chicken level has clearly  produced a different image from that which the casual observer would see. Well done!


This is Lauren's second win in a Harpenden heat!

Double the money for double the books

Thanks to a Rotary Matching Grant pupils at High Beeches Primary School now have 200 new books to enjoy.

Keen to improve the stock of reading material, the Friends of High Beeches School contributed £700 to which a Rotary District Grant added a matching £700.

Pictured handing the school’s Kat Jackson the cheque for £1,400 is Rotary in Harpenden President David Nye.

Record entry for Technology Tournament



This year’s Rotary Technology Tournament saw a record 32 teams from Harpenden and St Albans secondary schools take up the challenge: to design and build a working model with only everyday modelling materials.


This annual event, staged at Marlborough Science Academy,.is organised jointly by Rotary in Harpenden and the three St Albans Rotary Clubs


This year’s task involved a structure, gearing, electrical circuitry and a swuitching system, the difficulty varying according to age group.


Roundwoood Park School were winner in the 15-16 age group.


Rotary in Harpenden members have always played significant roles in the organisation and running of the event including, this year, chief judge and master of ceremonies.


Next year’s tournament, at no cost to the schools or students, will be at the same venue on Wednesday, 3 March 2021. Students or schools interested in taking part should register their interest at rihsecretary@rih.org.uk

Youth Speaks moves to debating – and a bigger venue

The Aldwickbury School team, Intermediate cup winners, with Rotary in Harpenden President, David Nye

The national Rotary Youth Speaks competition, which for many years has given youngsters experience in publlc speaking, has changed its format. Instead of speaking on a topic of their choice the teams now debate the subject.


For the Harpenden heat the change stimulated an increase in the number of teams competing and the size of the audience. The organisers, Rotary in Harpenden, were forced at short notice to locate to a bigger venue and were fortunate in finding Aldwickbury Park Golf Club available.


A total of 30 students, making up 10 teams, performed before an 80-strong audience. The debates were adjudicated by two experienced toastmasters from Hertfordshire Speakers.

Roundwood Park’s Seniors cup winners

Aldwickbury School saw off competition from eight teams from four other schools to lift the Intermediate cup. Their topic was ‘This House is proud to be British.’ The sole Senior team, Roundwood Park, debated ‘Life is not a competition.’ Both winning teams now go forward to the District Finals.


In presenting the cups David Nye, Rotary in Harpenden President, congratulated all the contenders. ‘You are all winners,’ he said, ‘having gained invaluable public speaking skills that will stand you in good stead for life.’ 


  • The Aldwickbury School team took second place in the District Semi-final. Roundwood Park won the District Final and would have competed in the Regional Final had the coronavirus outbreak not prevented its being held.

Sixty-seven students given mock interviews

Sixty-seven final year students from St George’s, Roundwood Park and Sir John Lawes schools were given the benefit of ‘mock interviews’ to prepare them for the real thing when seeking university places or employment.


Each was given a 20-minute interview by a pair of Rotary in Harpenden members, drawing on their own experiences. The interview concluded with a 10-minute review, with hints on improving the student’s performance.


The mock interviews drew appreciative comments from the schools:


“We are so grateful to Rotary in Harpenden members for running these interviews. They are invaluable to our work supporting students.”


“All the students I have spoken to thoroughly appreciated the experience and are really grateful for the opportunity.”


“Thanks to all your members. These opportunities are so valuable for our students.”


Our interviewers were just as impressed with the interviewees. One commented: ‘They are a credit to their schools, which should be heartily applauded for producing such wonderful ambassadors.’

Rotary in Harpenden

Rotary in Harpenden is a charity that runs community events in Harpenden and surrounding villages, with help from Rotary Club members and others. Nine regular events are pictured below. For more details click on "Events and Activities" in the menu above. 

Classics on the Common
Rotary Shoe Boxes
Schools' Mock Interviews
Christmas Carol Concert
Youth Speaks
Young Photographer Competition
Technology Tournament
Quiz of Quizzes
Young Citizen Awards

To read Rotary in Harpenden's Privacy Notice click here

For Harpenden Village Rotary Club website click here

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Rotary in Harpenden CIO is a charitable incorporated organisation, Registered Charity No.1163420
For Harpenden Village Rotary Club website click here