Alicia Dance

My name is Alicia Dance, and I have lived in Richmond for just over 16 years, now.

I was born and raised on a dairy farm in California, and after attending university in Oregon, moved to Williamsburg, Virginia.  I worked as an intern for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, assisting the museum's curator and serving as archivist.

From  there, I worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as an historical interpreter, then supervisor, for 17 years.  I met my now husband, Nick, and moved to England after our marriage in 2002.  Here, I have worked for Historic Royal Palaces, interpreting Kew Palace.  Otherwise, I have been employed as a housewife.

In the past, I have volunteered at the Vineyard Project, sung with St. Mary's choir for 15 years, and serve as Neighbourhood Watch captain for my road, and Police Liaison Group secretary.  I have three step-children and four grandchildren.

John Hadler

John was born in Cambridge in July 1934 and has one older sister.  His father worked for Lloyds Bank.  John’s education began at the local primary school but his parents later transferred him to St John’s College Choir School, as a non-singer!.  When his  family moved away from Cambridge in 1946, he was sent away to boarding school at Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire.

After two years of national service in the Royal Air Force, he took articles to become a chartered accountant.  In November 1957, during his training period, he first encountered computers and they became his chosen career.  In the early 1960s, he programmed what was thought to be the first-ever computerised portfolio valuation system in the world for a London firm of stockbrokers.  He became self-employed in 1968 and carried on working with computers until turning 75.

He joined the Rotary Club of Isleworth in 1983 and, after a three-year gap, the Rotary Club of Richmond, Surrey in 1997.  He has been President once in Isleworth and four times in Richmond.

He bought himself an apartment in Mahón in 1983 and, having visited the Rotary Club de Menorca up to eight times a year ever since, was made an honorary life member on his 80th birthday.

His leisure pursuits have always been the performing arts, cooking and entertaining.

John Chalker

John was born in March 1936 and went to school in Mortlake, firstly to Mortlake Infant/Junior School and then to Mortlake Boys Secondary Modern School. After school he joined the family firm of monumental masons for a short period before taking an apprenticeship with Anselm Odling & Sons Ltd. training as a mason. His time there was interrupted by two years of National Service which John spent in the Royal Air Force where his time was spent as a catering assistant, steward and as a member of a Mountain Rescue Team.

Having served his time John returned to Anselm Odling & Sons Ltd to complete his apprenticeship after which he rejoined the family firm – Chalker & Gamble – in 1962 making, maintaining and erecting memorials and worked there, becoming Managing Director in 1984 until retirement in 1994.

John has been married to Judith for more than 50 years and has two children and three grandchildren.

John joined the Rotary Club of Barnes in 1970 as a result of his involvement in a Local Public Speaking Contest and served as secretary for two periods before becoming Vice President in1991/92 and President in 1992/93. When the Barnes Club closed John joined the Richmond Club in 1994 and has again served as secretary, Vice President and President (2009/10). John and Judith have hosted 3 Group Study Exchange Team members.

Apart from John’s involvement as a former Youth Leader of the Church Youth Club, he is also Trustee and Property Steward of Barnes Methodist Church.

John’s hobbies include Membership  of The National Trust, hill walking, reading travelling around Britain Europe and Canada and an interest in railways.

Alan Bowers

To be born in a whiskey distillery may, to some, be considered the ultimate good fortune but, for Alan, it was not by choice but by reason of his father being “head distiller” in the John Jamesons Distillery in Smithfield, Dublin.

 

After schooling Alan set out on a career in the hotel industry  starting his training at the Royal Hibernian Hotel with stoking the coal fired ranges and peeling by hand piles of potatoes.

 

Having mastered those skills Alan moved to Cork where he was appointed a trainee manager of the Hotel Metropole followed two years later by spells in France and London before becoming Assistant Manager of two Trust House Hotels in Kinsale and Clonmel.

 

In 1970 Alan came to Richmond taking on managerial roles at the Richmond Gate Hotel and in 1978 became Operations Director of European Country Hotels then running not only the Richmond Gate Hotel but also the Petersham Hotel and Hotel Chateau Tilques in France.  During this period at the Petersham Hotel Alan provided hospitality to many celebrities, not least the England Rugby squad at times of major matches at Twickenham Stadium.

 

After twenty eight years in the hotel business Alan left to pursue a new career and joined South West Trains in November 1998 shortly after its privatisation  and worked in the Revenue Department as an Inspector. Clearly very successful in that role Alan after two months became a trainer and subsequently Training Champion for the entire South West Trains region from Waterloo to Exeter and Weymouth and the whole south coast.

 

2006 saw a further change of job when Alan was seconded to the Gateline Project at Waterloo – the introduction of ticket gates – the biggest in Europe with 52 gates.

 

Alan joined the Rotary Club of Richmond (Surrey)in 1998 as it was then known and has  served as its President and throughout has played an active part in the widest range of Club activities. His work has been recognized in the award of a Paul Harris Fellowship, richly deserved.

 

Alan is married to Nannette, lives in Twickenham, has an abiding love of railways and in his spare time plays a leading role in the Richmond In Bloom Competition and can often be found helping visitors to Richmond to find their way around from his “Tourism Desk” in the main concourse of Richmond Station.

 

“By the way Alan – when’s the next train from North Sheen to Martins Heron?”

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