A wooden raised flower bed on the grass verge of Ainderby Road on the western outskirts of Northallerton has finally revealed its springtime secret splendour. The bed was made and planted last year by a team of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Northallerton, led by Duncan and Jan Davison. In the centre of the display are golden crocuses in the shape of a wheel, the symbol of Rotary International. Around the wheel into the four corners of the bed are purple crocuses, representing the colour of the dye used to mark a finger of children inoculated against Polio around the world.
The view towards Northallerton, with the flower bed in the foreground and the cleared path on the right.
In 1985 Polio was endemic in most countries, prompting Rotary to work with the World Health Organization to eradicate the disease. Many millions of pounds have been raised since then by Rotary for the global inoculation programme, matched by funds donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now only a tiny number of Polio cases are present in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the real prospect of wiping out this terrible disease altogether.
Last year, the Rotarian work team cleared and widened the entire length of the footpath running alongside the flower bed on the south side of Ainderby Road. The team were back recently to tidy the path and keep the edges and hedge trimmed. Duncan commented: "The wider path has been a lifeline for local people during the Covid pandemic, allowing greater social distancing for walkers, joggers and cyclists. We have received many appreciative comments from passers-by, and encouraging toots from traffic on the road. Such positive feedback makes the hard manual work really worthwhile."
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