Lions News Archive

Lions bite off more than they can chew? NEVER!

Okay – so perhaps the task was a little larger than we thought (and the river in the background a little higher)!

When Fiona Croft approached Malton Lions for help removing a pile of wood which had been a boardwalk, we weren’t quite sure what we were letting ourselves in for.

The boardwalk in Lady Spring Wood, ran by the River Derwent between Norton & Malton and Old Malton. It was unsafe, unlikely to survive another winter as it was in disrepair, and had to be removed. A small bridge over The Cut nearby has been removed for the same reason and together these limited the routes that can be taken by walkers.

Using a tractor towed wood trailer and crane plus “Lion-Power” to move the smaller pieces of wood the first trailer load is three quarters full. l to r Lions Russ Grimshaw, Steve Sidaway, Mark Harrison, Jack Wilford and Nick Simpson.

Lion Mark Harrison joined Fiona on site to assess the problem and decided that through his business – Ryetec – he had the equipment required to do the job in the exceptionally boggy conditions alongside the River Derwent which was very high after the recent rain. All that was needed was a group of “willing” volunteers from within the Club.

In Fiona’s words this is what happened next.


Malton & Norton Lions Club have worked miracles for the Lady Spring Wood project today. Mark, Steve, Russ, Nick, Richard and Jack appeared at 8am with huge tractors, trailers, cranes, dumpers, and utter determination to get the enormous pile of boardwalk wood out of the water-sodden field by the wood, and to the Gannock car park opposite The Royal Oak.

The dumper waits to empty its first bucket load of sodden wood once the trailer has tipped. This location is accessible for skip trucks to dispose of the waste.

The Malton & Norton Lions Club have done what many others (amateur and professional alike) could not or would not do in the terrible conditions by the river. But no amount of trying to talk them out of this seemingly crazy plan would put them off, and true to their excellent reputation, they succeeded after 5 hours, still with smiles on their faces. They moved six 20 cubic yard trailers of rubbish across boggy terrain!

So boggy even a trusty old Land Rover Defender got stuck!!

The volunteers running the Lady Spring Wood Project, Malton & Norton Area Partnership and many, many more owe these men an enormous debt of gratitude.


Lion Nick celebrates the last load – some 5 hours after we started

The wood itself is bursting with wildlife and ancient, beautiful springs bubbling with clear spring water. Access to the woods and other local paths has provided joy for walkers for many years in this beautiful part of North Yorkshire.

Lion Russ looks on as Jack ceremoniously slings the very last piece of wood into the trailer.

Through Just Giving a crowd funding appeal went out – take a look by clicking here – to add to funds from local organisations. They needed to raise a further £6000 for a safe, accessible woodland pathway and bridge. Feedback from their recent Questionnaire revealed that 24% would no longer use the area if the boardwalk is totally removed and 98% supported installing the new bridge.

As they say in Yorkshire – “Job’s a good ‘un!” l to r Lions Steve Sidaway, Richard Lukey, Mark Harrison, Nick Simpson and Jack Wilford

The plan is to use this money to fund the replacement of the bridge across The Cut south of Malton and Norton Rugby Club, and to contribute to the management of the Lady Spring Wood boardwalks which will be removed and replaced – with boardwalk and some ground level pathways – during 2018.


Santa’s Warm Glow Spreads

Santa really is all things to all people – it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, a visit from Santa creates a warm glow for most of us.

This year despite poor weather and the biting cold, Santa’s Sleigh has raised an incredible £15,842.84p for Lions Charities. That money will help us over the coming months provide support for those less fortunate than ourselves and allow us to generally help make our local communities better places for everyone.


And if you’ve not been very well Santa can bring a much needed smile to someone who hasn’t had much reason to smile for a while.

Happy Christmas Freddie!

We think Santa’s youngest fan was Lion Russ Grimshaw’s new grandson who met him in Amotherby when he was less than a week old! But if you know better, please let us know!

One of the lovely things about taking Santa around Malton, Norton and the surrounding villages is the huge variety of places he visits, from local inns to care homes. And as Lions we would be lost without all the friends of the Lions who volunteer night after night to help us collect. We couldn’t do it without you – thank you.

Happy Christmas!

Perhaps the best place to photograph Santa’s Sleigh is as it crosses Settrington Beck. This year there was a covering of snow on the bank-side which added to the feeling that Christmas was arriving.

There’s a magic in the air when Santa’s around!

….and it doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80 years old,

the magic still works!

Thank you!

So a very big thank you from all the Lions to everyone who was so kind and generous as Santa came to visit.

Every night we have up to 12 collectors (sometimes more), someone to drive the sleigh, a steward to help the sleigh driver stay safe, a collector steward to ensure we knock on as many doors as possible and a minibus driver when we visit the villages – not to mention Santa himself! It takes a lot of arranging but for the Lions and their friends, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

..and thanks to Santa’s Ryetec Elves who help out when we break things!

See You Again Next Year!

Lions’ Big Party – 100 Years

100 years ago in 1917 a Chicago businessman called Melvin Jones looked at the deprivation in his city and decided to enlist the help of the business community to begin to address some of the issues – the Lions were born.

During World War 2, Canadian Lions through their servicemen based with the allies in Britain provided invaluable support to children orphaned in the London Blitz – a gesture noticed by Queen Elizabeth our Queen’s Mother. To thank them, the then Queen sent her equerry Colonel Edward Wyndham (later Lord Leconfield) to Canada. He was so impressed that Windsor (Ontario) Lions Club agreed to sponsor the first London club, with Lord Leconfield as its founding Charter President. The first Lions Club in England (London) was formed on 1st March 1950.

In 1963 Driffield Lions Club sponsored the formation of Malton, Norton and District Lions and 54 years later we celebrated Lions Clubs International’s 100th birthday with a full day of fun starting with a lunch party for Ryedale Carers, Ryedale Special Families and local young people. In total we had over 170 guests to entertain.

On arrival as well as a pride of four lions waiting to say hello to everyone, the Swinton Training Band  serenaded folk and a juggler was on hand to demonstrate his skills. The talented dancers from Kirkham Henry entertained and got everyone on to the dance floor.

There was a seven foot high chocolate fountain with a gallon of Belgian chocolate flowing through it as well as plenty of sandwiches, jelly and ice cream provided by the Lions and their partners. Malton School and Norton College had each baked a celebration birthday cake which were judged by Sue Martin the mother of celebrity chef James Martin. The schools had also produced posters for the Lions Peace Poster competition which were scrutinised by acclaimed Thixendale based wildlife artist Robert Fuller.

By a whisker Malton School’s cake was judged best by Sue but both schools won prizes including signed copies of James Martin’s latest book. 12 year old Eliza Zephyrantke Leach was on hand to receive her prize of a book token for winning the younger age group in the Peace Poster Competition and Robert Fuller generously donated a signed limited edition print to be raffled at the evening’s Centennial Celebration Party.

In the evening The Milton Room which played host to both events was transformed for an amazing party attended by almost 170 Lions and their friends with a wonderful Indian Buffet prepared by “India The Restaurant” from Yorkersgate in Malton, all sorts of fruit, marshmallow and doughnuts to be skewered and drenched in the chocolate fountain followed by the raffle and dancing to the small hours to the music of “HUGE“.

Lion John Hazelwood and Marian, daytime caterers-in-chief!

Congratulations to Lion Nick Simpson and his team for the tremendous amount of work that went into arranging both events and getting the logistics spot on throughout. It seems everyone had a fantastic time.

We did Melvin Jones proud!


Join Lions’ Big Party

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organisation in the world. It has 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serves communities in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects. Come along on 21st October to The Milton Rooms to find out more about what we do in Malton, Norton & District.

Lions around the world have been changing lives for 100 years through humanitarian service. Our Centennial Celebration is a time to mark this milestone, celebrate our legacy and look forward to the next century of service. Worldwide we’ll be marking the Centennial Celebration through to June 2018 but 21st October is your time to find out all about this incredible organisation on your doorstep.

Malton Lion Wins Camel Race

Lion Brian leads the field

Malton, Norton & District Lions Club are well known for their support of The Festival of Racing which showcases the racing industry in the two towns, but on 17th August Lion Brian Abbott stretched the link to racing to its limits when he took part in a Camel Race at the famous Beverley Race Course to raise money for Save the Children – and WON!

Hot on the heels of the previous Wednesday’s glamorous Ladies’ Day, the hilarious Reckitt Benckiser Save the Children Charity Camel Derby was the curtain-raiser to Thursday afternoon’s horse racing. Eight intrepid volunteers including Lion Brian, an Equine Vet, lined up to race camels in two heats and a final at the Westwood track.

One of the jockeys notes that

“The camels are prone to bucking, bronking and changing direction when they feel like it so the spectators are in for a treat. It’s a very unusual sight to see camels running up the Westwood. We’re used to racing unusual things, we’ve had donkey and dog races, but the camels really are the most outlandish thing. It’s the way the camels move, it’s totally bizarre. They can be a bit lazier than the horses, they buck a bit so it could be a bumpy ride.”

In the Winner’s Enclosure at Beverley Race Course

The race was over a furlong for a bucket of feed at the finish. Lion Brian’s steed made a steady start but enthused by the sight of the feed at the finish line came from behind under Lion Brian’s tutored eye and vast racing experience to take it by a length. And in winning Lion Brian also raised over £3,000 for Save The Children.

The history of thoroughbred Horse Racing in Norton, Malton and the surrounding area dates back to the 1600s. Langton Wold Racecourse meetings are recorded from before 1692 and by the time of its loss to enclosure and the plough in 1862, Langton Wold had come to be regarded as one of the finest courses in England. Trainer John Scott dominated the sport between 1832 and 1862 winning nearly ever classic! His stables were at Whitewall. When William L’Annson’s Blink Bonnie won the Epsom Derby in 1857 “Malton Church bells rang… and the pubs stayed open all night”.

Today, the history of horse training continues with both Langton Wold and Highfield being used as gallops for the racing fraternity in the Norton and Malton area. There are currently more than 20 trainers in the area.

Malton Lions will be out in force for this year’s Festival of Racing on 17th September – please come along, say hello to the Lions and have a great day out. Click here for more information and to find out how to win tickets.

(Pictures from Beverley Race Course’s Facebook page)

A Busy Year Ahead With New President Lion Mike

From the left – President Lion Mike Lynch and wife Lynda, Dr. Louise Dewhurst and outgoing President Lion Ian.

At the end of a remarkable year which saw Malton, Norton and District Lions Club collect more money than ever before to benefit good causes both locally and further afield, Lion Ian Dewhurst handed over the Presidency to Lion Mike Lynch at The Old Lodge in Malton on Thursday 29th June.

Lion Peter Smurthwaite receives his Silver Centennial Award from Lion Ian

Following an excellent meal outgoing President Ian thanked Lions, their partners and the many “Friends of Malton Lions” who collectively assist with a multitude of fund raising events. “The teamwork that is demonstrated at so many events is what makes our Club as strong as it is” said Ian. During the year we have also seen some new members join us and one or two long serving members leave. Our Club has received five “Silver Centennial Awards” for individual Lions who have sponsored new members. Two were present at the Handover Dinner to receive their awards from Ian – Lions Mike Lynch and Peter Smurthwaite.

After 40 years Lion Bill Thompson’s retirement from Lions was marked with the presentation of a Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Sadly the Handover Dinner marked the end of Lion Bill Thompson’s membership which has stretched to over 40 years including his time as President in 1991/92 – which was memorable for its packed programme of events. But Lion Bill has also worked tirelessly in so many other ways, for many years working to deliver the Lions Boxing Tournament which in its time was our biggest fundraiser, organising the Golf Event at Sandburn for many years and leading in all aspects of membership recruitment. In recognition of all his achievements in Lions the Club was delighted to award him a Melvin Jones Fellowship (named after the founder of Lions in 1917). Lion Bill has decided to retire as he approaches his 80th birthday but we all hope to see him and Marty at Lions’ Events in the future.

Outgoing President Ian handed the Chain of Office to our new President Lion Mike Lynch. Mike introduced his programme of events which will guarantee the Lions remain as busy as ever. Amongst new initiatives Mike announced is the “Malton and Norton Lions Community Fund”. This was first mooted a couple of years ago by Past President Lion Mark Harrison and will see Lions actively going out to seek individuals and organisations requiring financial assistance to improve lives in our community. It is planned to announce the scheme in the local press over the coming weeks.

Our new President Lion Mike Lynch

An exciting year is in prospect for Lions as the organisation celebrates it’s 100th anniversary and President Mike announced a large all day event at the Milton Rooms in October at which we intend to involve all age groups in the community in a combined 100th anniversary of Lions worldwide and 54th birthday party for Malton, Norton and District Lions Club. More news on this event shortly here on the website, on Facebook and Twitter, in the local press and on local radio.


Lions Deliver Malton Old Folk’s Party

Turkey dinner almost served and everyone tucking in!

Not the cabaret but the serving staff – Lions Annie and Yvonne get to grips with the gloves.

Under the professional leadership of Lion Yvonne Daykin the Malton Old Folks Party went ahead on Friday evening 3rd February 2017 at the Rugby Club in Old Malton. Working closely with Malton Rotarians, together we collected all those who needed a lift whilst some arrived under their own steam. On arrival drinks were on hand after which a dinner of turkey with all the trimmings and a strawberry cheesecake sweet were served by the catering staff ably assisted by the Lions.

Mayor of Malton Councillor Paul Andrews

The Mayor of Malton, Councillor Paul Andrews recalled how, for many years, Councillor Frank Wiggle and Jan Anderson, wife of Lion Malcolm and Jan’s mother before her had arranged this annual event. Sadly towards the end of last year Councillor Wiggle died and before that happened Jan had asked if the Lions would take over the organisation for 2017.

We were honoured by the presence of celebrity bingo caller Eamonn – fresh from his appearance on the Chris Evans breakfast show. Earlier in the day Eamonn had the honour of driving the first vehicle – a brand new Yorkshire Coastliner double deck bus – across the newly opened Tadcaster Bridge. He had also been on Look North and was hailed as our local celebrity before getting down to the job in hand!

Our celebrity bingo caller Eamonn with his fan club (Photo @yorkshirecoastliner)

Eamonn taking the first vehicle across the bridge in Tadcaster when it reopened earlier in the day. (Photo @yorkshirecoastliner)

Up a bit, down a bit- Lion John and Eamonn struggle to get the bingo machine in everyone’s line of sight!

Three cards of bingo were played for a line, two lines and a full house and there was a raffle with over 50 prizes almost all of which had been generously donated for the event.

Lions Annie, Yvonne, Daphne, Steve and Russ help with table service

Entertainment from members of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service winning Ryedale Youth Theatre

Raffle Prizes Galore

After the bingo two of the leads from the new Beauty and the Beast show (which Malton Lions have agreed to sponsor) entertained our guests. This will be the first production from Ryedale Youth Theatre since they were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. They were followed by David Ackroyd and Tom Todd singing songs from Ivor Novello and Gracie Fields among others. The evening was rounded off by everyone joining in a rousing chorus of six old time favourites, before being taken home by Lions and Rotarians working together. A great evening and as one Lion said thoughtfully – “I wonder what songs we’ll be singing in 30 years time when the Lions are serving us!”

Gill Bowler accompanies David Ackroyd singing the title song from the 1931 film “Sally in our Ally” which starred Dame Gracie Fields

Thanks to Malton Town Council, Simpson Trust and Malton Rotarians for their sponsorship.

Malton Lions Celebrate Burns Night

Lion Nick proposing the toast to the lassies

Vice President Lion Mike setting the dress code standard for the evening.

On Saturday 28th January 38 Lions, guests and partners – many with very tenuous links to a Scottish heritage – celebrated Burns Night with a traditional Burns Supper at The Cedarbarn just outside Pickering. Lions Nick Simpson, Brian Abbot and James Lindenberg arranged a great night with a very traditional format. A major challenge had been the withdrawal of the piper we’d booked only a few days before the event, but with his usual resourcefulness Lion Nick beat the odds and secured the services of Piper Martin from the Bridlington Pipe Band who did us proud.

Piper Martin serenades the guests at their tables

The staff at Cedarbarn served up excellent food with a traditional menu of Cock a LeekieSoup, Haggis, Tatties & Neap’s + ‘Nippie sweetie’ followed by Cranachan.

Our Senior Lion Bob Thompson ready for the action!

Margaret Lukey gets ready to propose the toast to the lads

Martin piped in the Haggis with traditional bagpipes and the beastie was duly addressed by our President Lion Ian Dewhurst. During the meal Piper Martin kept us entertained using a smaller set of pipes and the evening was rounded off with the toast to the lassies from Lion Nick and the response from Margaret Lukey.

Thanks to Nick, James and Brian for an evening that was enjoyed by us all.


Thank you for helping us raise more than ever before from Santa’s Sleigh

The 21st anniversary of Santa’s partnership with Malton, Norton & District Lions Club has been truly remarkable in many ways. As our local community grows, this year we accompanied Santa on his rounds on no fewer than sixteen December evenings plus at the switch on of the Christmas Lights in both Norton and Malton. And for the first time we also took Santa along to The Whole Hogg Farm Shop where he had his own grotto on the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas.

Most evenings when Santa was out and about there was incredible activity on Facebook and Twitter and many people Santa met posted their pictures.

Most amazing of all in our 21st anniversary year for the Santa’s Sleigh we have also collected a record amount of money for all the good causes we support locally, nationally and internationally. If you scroll down the column to the right you’ll see examples of how we spend that money in “Recent Donations & Activities”.

With just a little bit more money to come in we have collected £16,339.80!!

Here are a small selection of the many photos of Santa and his friends in 2016



Celebrating 21 Years of Awesomeness

Santa’s on his way to a street near you!

Check out the dates!


It’s What Lions Do

Celebrating 100 years of helping the community 👏🎉

Posted by BBC Radio York on Saturday, 21 October 2017

Club Who’s Who 2017 – 2018

President: Lion Mike Lynch
Secretary: Lion Richard Lukey
Treasurer: Lion Russ Grimshaw
Registered Charity No. 260406

If you would like to make a donation to help us to support those in need locally and further afield, you can do so through Virgin Money Giving. Thank you.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving



Recent Donations & Activities

During November 2017

- Donations agreed for Norton and Malton Town Christmas Parties
- Donation made to Malton Primary School to assist young people fund school trips
- We assisted a single parent with a child with ongoing health problems with insurance costs to enable her car to be returned to the road
- The Lions’ Santa’s Sleigh attended the Christmas Lights switch on in both Norton and Malton

District Convention Hosts

Malton, Norton & District Lions hosted the District Convention for the first time in our 50 year history in Nov 2013
Click on the links below to see what it was all about
Host Night
Business Session
Banquet and Ball
Convention Edition of Spotlight

Lions across the British Isles

The Lions motto is “WE SERVE” and we are the largest and most committed voluntary service organisation in the world. We have 46,000 clubs and more than 1.4 million members.
To see the bigger picture take a look at the
NE England & Scotland website
and the
British Isles website