All aboard... for a great day out with Peterborough’s Crocus Café

The Crocus Club outing
The Crocus Club outing

Blue skies, a balmy breeze, birdsong, and the gentle swish of water on the bows – a perfect day for members of Crocus Café (Peterborough’s Rotary Memory Café) to set off on their annual adventure on the River Ouse, writes Rotary’s Janet Cooke.

Aboard the Ladybird accompanied by boatmaster John, a competent volunteer crew, carers, Rotarian helpers and the ITV news reporter we set off for a great day out.

The Crocus Club outing

The Crocus Club outing

We travelled through beautiful countryside from Hartford Marina to Godmanchester passing bridges, churches and lovely riverside properties.

At this time of year there was much wildlife to see - birds, dragonflies and brightly coloured damsel flies. A majestic swan sailed by accompanied by her cygnets obediently following in a perfect straight line. The weather was so glorious everyone sat out on the front of the boat to better enjoy the fresh air and passing sights.

Outward bound, Rotarians served tea and biscuits. After negotiating the lock and mooring up it was time to step ashore, sit in sun or shade and enjoy a feast of fish and chips on the riverbank. Rotary presented the Ladybird trust with a £200 donation, part of the £1,000 grant kindly given to Crocus Café by LNER to support our programme of outings. Rotary aims to make certain these deserving people get out and about.

A diagnosis of dementia need not lead to loneliness or isolation. We do all we can to help people to live well and enjoy their lives. ITV featured the Ladybird on the local news and we were fortunate to be on board at the time. How exciting for our members to see themselves on TV and recall the highlights of their trip.

The Ladybird charity offers outings to many groups of very special people in our community.

Just three days later Crocus Café came together again for our monthly meeting at the Salvation Army, entertained by St Ives Rotarian John Pilbeam playing his guitar and singing well known songs.

We celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with a card, cake and candles to be blown out. How wonderful, John played the anniversary waltz and Pat and Brian danced in each other’s arms. I will remember their smiles for a long time. Then it was time for everyone to join in with tambourines, jingle sticks and maracas accompanying John as he played his banjo and sang George Formby numbers.

Fantastic - so many caring volunteers working together in the local community.