Centenary Project

The opening ceremony  took place at the visitor centre in Bradgate Park on Thursday 22nd September 2016 between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm. Sir David Attenborough  conducted the official opening of the centre.


Videos of the opening may be seen via following this links




IMG_D Attenborough


To celebrate its Centenary in 2016, the Rotary Club of Leicester has been driving an appeal to raise £170,000 to create a new visitor and education centre for Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood Country Park, Leicestershire.

Remaining-Towers-of-Bradgate-HouseThe Rotary Club bought the 125 acre Swithland Wood for preservation “as a National Heritage” and opened this to the public as nature reserve and country park in 1925. Following the purchase of the adjacent Bradgate Park by Charles Bennion of Thurnby, Leics., in 1928, and his donation of this to the people of Leicester and Leicestershire a joint charity was established involving the City and County Councils and the National Trust to manage Bradgate Park as a public amenity. In August 1931 the Swithland Wood and Bradgate Park charities were merged to create the present Bradgate Park and Swithland wood charitable trust.

The Rotary Club believes that creating a new Visitor Centre by 2016 to mark its centenary will continue and enhance its 90 year involvement with this much-loved and widely used and appreciated country park.

Update on progress as at 22nd September 2016

We are pleased to report that we have reached a new milestone in the development of the Visitor Centre in Bradgate Park in celebration of our centenary later this year.

After an extensive period of design development and refinement of the exhibition content, tender documents were issued to three contractors for pricing. Tenders were received just before Christmas and following a value engineering exercise two of the tenderers were interviewed and the professional team  selected the most suitable contractor to carry out the work.

Fundraising went well and we  raised the £170,000 which was in line with the tenders received and a little more than our original target.

Bradgate Park  funded the enabling works and the exhibition contractor  completed and installed the exhibition on schedule. Sir David Attenborough kindly performed the opening ceremony in the park.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us .


David Brunton

Chairman, Centenary Project


Sir DavidDavid Brunton and Mayor







Centenary dinner at the Grand Hotel

Our Centenary celebrations continued with dinner at the Grand Hotel, Leicester on Monday 10th October. Guests from 43 visiting clubs, including the first Rotary club in the UK, Edinburgh, were present. A further four guests came from our twin club in Portugal, and we are grateful for the effort and support from fellow Rotarians on this very special occasion.

Guests were given a pack of purple crocus bulbs in connection with the End Polio Now appeal. Just 23 cases of polio have been diagnosed in the world in this calendar year and there is a good chance that this dreadful disease can be eliminated soon. When the campaign began way back in the 1980’s, more than a thousand cases a day were arising.

For those not familiar with how to plant the bulbs, the growers instructions are shown below.

Crocus Ruby Giant is a popular and reliable crocus with rich purple flowers, yellow anthers and fine narrow leaves. They are one of the strongest specie crocus varieties, so will settle in and come back year after year.Ruby Giant is suitable for a wide range of applications. They will grow just as happily in grass as they would in containers, the blooms can cover large areas beneath deciduous trees or be grouped together in flower beds.

Planting can vary depending on the look required. For large areas, scatter the bulbs at a rate of about 100 – 150 per square metre and use a dibber to plant them where they land. They can also be planted in groups of 15-20 or more. The bulbs will need to be at a depth of approximately 3 inches (7-8 cm) and no less than 1½ inches (4cm) apart.

Flowers will appear in late February or early March.

After flowering allow the leaves to die back before mowing over.


Picture courtesy of the Gee Tee bulb company.

For more details follow the link:-

Rotary Crocus Ruby Giant


  President David Brunton and his top table guests before dinner.

Group photo


District Governor, John Dehnel                                          Vice President, Richard Power

John Dehnel

Richard Power








President of the Rotary Club of Leicester, David Brunton receiving a letter of congratulations from Rotary International President, John Germ presented by RIBI President, Eve Conway at a well-attended Centenary Dinner yesterday evening. 


Eve Conway presentingEve Conway 2








The President of twin club club Guimaraes ,Portugal, makes a presentation to Leicester President, David Brunton.


Portuguese president

  Lars Tharp, of The Antiques Roadshow, gave an excellent after dinner speech.

Lars Tharp












































































Rotarians from 43 clubs, including Edinburgh and our twin club from Portugal, attended a celebration dinner in the Kings Hall at the Grand Hotel on Monday 10th October.

Eve Conway, President of RIBI, is seen presenting Leicester President David Brunton with a banner and commemorative framed document of the occasion.


Eve Conway presenting

Eve Conway 2








           The President of  twin club Guimaraes, Portugal, makes a presentation to Leicester President, David Brunton.


Portuguese president



    Lars Tharp, of The Antiques Road Show, made an excellent after dinner speech.


Lars Tharp