Everyone was treated to a wonderful day out by The Mere at Ellesmere on Sunday 2nd July, when a total of 23 teams competed across four categories in 27 races.

Graham Hutchinson from Ellesmere Rotary said, “The event was held to raise funds for local charities Our Space and Flamingo Lounge, both of which organise activities for those with learning difficulties as one of their major programmes.

“Spectators were treated to a very high standard of competition as the crews faced breezy conditions that caused considerable drift on the water. ‘Turning the buoy’ successfully was a crucial factor in all races and considerable skill and teamwork was shown in a high number of close finishes. Senior Race winners were Ship Faced who pipped last year’s winners The Firm in a very exciting contest.

“The Ladies Competition was won by Mamma Mere in a welcome return to the event after several years. They held off Whittington Warriors in another close race and denied them a fourth winner’s trophy in a row. Junior winners were The Boys, who held off Knot Sailors, whilst the Family Plate was won by The Dingles.

The estimated crowd of well over 2000 was also treated to some excellent entertainment on the adjoining Cremorne Gardens, with performances from The Shropshire Boatmen singers, Gracechurch dancers in period costume and Border Counties Dance Club, who also entered two teams for the Bell Boat racing. This was augmented by the large number of stalls that provided other amusements and attractions for all the family.

“Many were there to furnish information about the organisations and charities that they represent and support in the locality, whilst they also helped Ellesmere Rotary by completing a multitude of tasks as volunteers that make the day a truly community event.

“Helpers included Martyn Humphreys from Gwyndwr Training and Rescue with the rescue boat, divers from Wrexham Seals Sub Aqua Club placing the buoys, Shrewsbury Town FC First Aiders, beach safety supervisors Mike and Sheila Dawson plus Town Clerk Jo Butterworth, Town Mayor Anne Wignall drawing the raffle, cadets from the Ellesmere Detachment of the ACF under Capt. Ceri Stokes and AI Kelli Chenery manning the gates and Mere Tim Hunter trawling frequently for litter.

“Much help was provided by Rotarians from neighbouring District 1180, most notably a large contingent from Oswestry Cambrian as well from around District 1210, notably Assistant Governor for Zone 1, Don Lovejoy of Church Stretton.”

Geoff Corfield, President of Ellesmere Rotary, thanked all of them and the many other volunteers and groups that loaned equipment for the day, in particular Cheshire Scout Group for the two Bell Boats. Geoff said, “As with the Bell Boat crews, when we all pull together as a team, then results are so much more rewarding.” District 1210 Governor for 2023/24, Dr Mukunda Chidrawar of Walsall Rotary awarded the trophies to all the winners and in thanking Ellesmere Rotary for staging the Regatta said, “What a great privilege to enjoy such a day right at the start of my time as DG. The whole community of Ellesmere epitomises the aims of Rotary in having fun whilst demonstrating Service above Self.”


Anyone wishing to find out more about Ellesmere Rotary can pick up a leaflet from the pop-up second-hand book shop in Robert’s in Cross Street, which is open on Friday and Saturday mornings through July and August, by kind permission of Debbie Hayward.