OTLEY Lions Club has celebrated reaching a milestone anniversary in 2020.

It was 40 years ago - on June 4, 1980 - that the club was formed at the New Inn pub, Otley - assisted by the group’s ‘mother club’, the Ilkley-based Wharfedale Lions.

The Otley club was given its Charter on October 17, 1980 by District Governor Cyril Huggins. The dinner and dance organised to mark the occasion was held at Otley Civic Centre and attended by 150 guests - 14 of whom were Presidents from other Lions clubs.

Club President Richard Phillips said: “As we draw to the end of the club’s fortieth year we wish to express a sincere thanks to everyone who has helped us or donated to us over the years.

“We are looking forward to carrying on with our work in the community for the next 40 years.”

Since its formation the group has donated money to support all kinds of projects including:

*The purchase of a local community minibus

*Retinal scanner equipment for Wharfdale Hospital

*The funding of eight defibrillators Otley

It has raised the money to support those initiatives by holding a variety of events including trolley dashes, fun runs, Christmas markets, Santa’s grottoes and Sleigh runs. The club’s main income comes from the sale of second-hand books and it used to hold regular book stalls at the Red Lion and Black Horse up until it opened its own bookshop on Mercury Row.

The year 2020 will also have some sad significance in the club’s history books as it lost its last active charter member, Derek Owram MJF, in October. Mr Owram was the group’s first treasurer, also holding the same position at district level, and served as club President for 1984-85. One of the activities he enjoyed most was helping to host two visiting Chelsea Pensioners, who travel up for the annual Poppy Appeal concert in Otley, each year.

For more details on the club, which welcomes new members, visit the bookshop or send an e-mail to: Otleylionsclub@outlook.com.