Lions News Archive

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!


Lions host evening for our “seniors”

Lion Peter Grice calls the audience to attention as the bingo commences

Lion Peter Grice calls the audience to attention as the bingo commences

Each year Malton, Norton & District Lions Club run a social event for the more mature members of our community at The Milton Rooms. This year’s event was arranged by Lion Anne Watson and her committee.

Two free buses were used to bring people from the villages whilst Lions provided transport for residents in the two towns. The format is tried and tested and always goes down well, starting with a round of free drinks for everyone to get them in the mood for three cards of bingo and prizes for a line, two lines and a full house on each card. Lion Peter Grice is our resident caller and a silence descends once the bingo is underway.

Once the bingo is over we serve food prepared by Lions and their partners – two large plates of savouries and two of sweets to each table. Any leftovers get devoured by hungry Lions or plated up, wrapped in cling film and offered as “doggie bags” to the audience as they leave.

Past President Lion Nick Simpson thanks everyone on behalf of the Lions

Past President Lion Nick Simpson thanks everyone on behalf of the Lions at the end of the evening

The entertainment included a wide range of song and dance

The food, accompanied by plentiful supplies of tea and coffee, is followed by 45 minutes of entertainment provided by the talented students from the Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre. These young people are coached and directed by Angela Kirkham-Raine who holds the highest award Lions can make – a Melvin Jones Fellowship, named after our founder in 1917. This part of the evening is always hugely popular with our audience who were very generous with their applause at the end of the evening.

As Lions, we believe strongly that “Community is what we make it” and in our rural community where many villages have no regular bus services, Meet The Lions is one way of bringing people together.

(All pictures by Lion Robert Wainwright)


Club Who’s Who 2019 – 2020

President: Lion Jack Wilford
1st Vice President: Lion Di Keal
Minute Secretary: Lion Annie Harrison
General Secretary: Lion Ian Dewhurst
Treasurer: Lion Russ Grimshaw
CIO Registered Charity No. 1180587
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