Saturday, 24 July 2021

Transport rally hands out record total in 50th year

ORGANISERS of this year’s Woodcote Rally have donated a record amount to good causes in and around the village.

ORGANISERS of this year’s Woodcote Rally have donated a record amount to good causes in and around the village.

Forty-nine clubs, charities and community groups have shared a total of £31,800.

The biggest donation was £3,000, which went to Woodcote village hall and will be used to improve the building’s insulation in order to reduce its heating bills.

A further £600 has gone towards the upkeep of the village green.

The Goring Heath Scout and Guide Group received £1,500 and 1st Stoke Row Scout Group, 1st Goring Scout Group and Checkendon Brownies each received £750. All four helped run the rally in July.

The Woodcote Volunteers, who arrange transport for the elderly and disabled, and Woodcote Youth Club received £1,000 each.

The Olga Mowforth House sheltered housing complex in Mowforth Close, Woodcote, was given £300 to provide Christmas lunch and a New Year outing for its residents.

The almshouses in Goring Heath and Christ the King Church in Woodcote were given £300 each. St Leonard’s Church in Woodcote received £500 towards upkeep.

The Cabin Pre-School group and Woodcote Pre-School group both received £550, as did the Friends of Woodcote Primary School, who will use the money to refurbish the school’s wildlife area.

Langtree School, which is raising money for a new artificial pitch, was awarded £1,000.

The Woodcote and Goring Medical Centre and Woodcote Community Centre were given £500 each.

Volunteer group Our Woodcote Library was given £250 for a new rug for children to sit on during story-telling sessions.

Woodcote Cricket Club was given £550 while Woodcote Badminton Club, Woodcote/Stoke Row Football Club and the RG8 Badminton Club, of Woodcote, all received £450 each.

The Wyfold Riding for the Disabled Centre in Peppard was given £400 towards the cost of a new horse.

The Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, the Henley branch of the MS Society, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Oxfordshire branch of Macmillan Cancer Support each received £500.

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust was given £1,500.

The rally organisers also paid £400 to sponsor a dog called Pepe for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Since the first rally in 1964, the annual event has raised about £400,000 for local causes.

Over the past 50 years it has raised £36,520 for Woodcote village hall, £14,465 for the village green, £11,690 for Langtree School and £10,055 for St Leonard’s.

This year’s beneficiaries were revealed at a prize- giving ceremony at the village hall, where the winners were presented with their trophies.

There was a guest appearance by 92-year-old Flight Sergeant Joe Williams, a former rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber who was shot down over Czechoslovakia during the Second World War.

Mr Williams, formerly of Bomber Command No 625 Squadron, received a standing ovation as he picked up a £750 donation to the Bomber Command tribute memorial at Beachy Head.

The rally committee gave a further £750 to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

This was in thanks for the flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at both days of this year’s rally to mark its 50th anniversary.

Rally spokesman Andy Crockett said: “We raised so much money this year because of the higher number of people who attended. It was our 50th anniversary so we went to special lengths with things like the flypast to attract more people.”

Next year’s rally will take place on July 12 and 13.

The other donations were as follows: Almshouses Bowls Club, Goring Heath — £450; Thames Valley Tractor Club — £1,500; Reading Abbey Rugby Football Club — £450; Wallingford Army Cadet Force — £2,000; Checkendon and District Aid in Sickness — £400; Woodcote Conservation Group — £250; Thames Valley Police (Specials Welfare Fund) — £400; Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (Firefighters’ Charity) — £200; Henley and District Young Farmers — £600; Woodcote Breakfast Club — £400; Griffiths Higgs Educational Charity, South Stoke — £800; St Peter’s (Caversham) Church Organ Fund — £300; Thames Valley Lupus Group — £400; Headway Thames Valley — £400; Dogs for the Disabled — £400; Enrych Oxfordshire — £400; Macular Society, Goring branch — £400.

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