Roderic Riley

Rotary Club Award To Roderic Riley

At the recent Rotary Club Charter Night Dinner our long time member Roderic Riley was presented with a Citation Letter from Rotary International President Shekkar Mehta in recognition of his 55 years continuous service to Rotary.

Roderic originally joined Banbury Rotary Club in 1964 when he was the Water Engineer for Banbury, having been introduced to Rotary by a neighbour, Colin Crouch, the Manager of Banbury Trustees Savings Bank.

With Banbury Rotary Club he was actively involved in organising the annual Summer Fete, Father Christmas visits to local needy children and Round the Houses Dinners – where Rotary Club members enjoy an evening of eating and travelling between Rotarians houses, having each meal course in a different house.

In 1969 Roderic and his wife Dorothy moved to Caston, Watton; Roderic, a Chartered Civil Engineer, was the Water Engineer in Wisbech at that time but found the journey between Caston and Wisbech too much and decided to open his own Consultancy Company PLANDESCIL (an abbreviation of Planning, Design, Civil representing the 3 disciplines he was serving), and converted the outbuildings of his house The Old Bakery in Caston into offices. He was later joined in the company by his sons Julian and Simon when they had finished University.

Roderic joined Watton Rotary Club and became active in numerous projects including, Youth Projects at Wayland High School (usually with his close friend Peter Beech), and also introduced the Round the Houses Dinners to Watton – now still arranged annually by Ivan Chubbock.

The business grew and outgrew the premises in Caston and in 1990 moved to a larger office in Attleborough. Over the years Plandescil have worked on numerous projects both overseas and in the uk, including: Boathouses for the RNLI, Grain Storage Projects for Richard Johnston – initially an aircraft hanger conversion; Structural Steel Projects for A C Bacon and most other local steel fabricators; numerous factories, warehouses, offices and house extensions and a wide range of civil engineering projects.

As Roderic reached retirement age he reduced to part-time working, then became fully retired although still an active Director of Plandescil. He and Dorothy moved to Hingham in 1998. His sons Julian and Simon continued to run the company until they approached their own retirement age when Roderic gave up his directorship and Plandescil became an Employee Owned company.

Roderic has maintained an interest in old cars and owns a 1934 Riley Mentone a 1500cc 6 cylinder car. The car was sold new in Auckland, New Zealand, but brought back to the UK in 1969 and finished up in Carbrooke, from where Roderic bought it in ‘running rough condition’. He worked to rectify the faults to be able to use the Mentone in numerous Car Rallies in the UK and on the Continent for many years.

Roderic has always been a keen sportsman, enjoying Rugby until he was 70 and continuing to play badminton until he was 90. At 94 years old Roderic remains an active member of Watton Rotary and has joined in many Zoom meetings during the Covid pandemic.