As one of its first thoughts about service to the community, the Rotary Club of Droitwich Spa in 1939 took up the suggestion that premises should be provided for elderly, retired menfolk to meet in comfort for fellowship. Clubs of this type, known as “Sons of Rest”, had been set up in Worcester and Kidderminster and it was felt that Droitwich should follow suit.
A wooden building situated on the corner of Albert Street and Ombersley Street, was acquired for rental and eventual purchase. The building had two rooms and was well used by retired men, many of them ex-saltworkers. By the late 1940s the premises had become dilapidated and efforts were made to provide a permanent building. A piece of land fronting on to Corbett Avenue was leased from the Borough Council and the Rotary Club set about raising £3,500 for a brick building. A gift of £500 from a local benefactor was offered and the Club made a public appeal to raise £3,000 by organising functions including a large 3-day auction sale. The money was raised, the present building was erected and it opened in December 1958 as the “Rotary Sons of Rest Club”. The Club flourished until the 1980s but then declined as members passed on. As a consequence, the building was re-named “Rotary House” and used by groups called “Rotary Association of Retired Friends”, one of which still exists today. The premises are now owned by a registered charity, Droitwich Rotary’s Club’s Charitable Trust, No 1068030, and are hired for a modest fee, throughout the week by many voluntary groups consisting of mainly elderly people. It is therefore continuing to provide a very useful service to the community of Droitwich Spa.
The complex consists of a comfortable 50 seat meeting room, a kitchen suitable for light refreshments, toilets, and a recently refurbished garden created in 1991 in memory of Michael Cross who was a Droitwich resident, a Birmingham Rotarian, and a Regional Director of NatWest Bank Pension Fund. Also, there is a restored garden and patio which is ideal for small out door functions. Except for the kitchen, everything is now easily accessible to the infirm and disabled. The Management Committee and The Charitable Trust acknowledge with gratitude, capital grants since 2003 totalling £40,600 from a number of organisations and individuals including £22,200 from the National Lottery.
Currently, in excess of 600 people from over 20 local community groups, use these attractive facilities regularly for recreational, educational and fellowship purposes.