Winston Churchill fellow helps mark 50th anniversary

Beating Retreat at Blenheim Palace at an event to mark 50 years of Sir Winston Churchill's passing.
Beating Retreat at Blenheim Palace at an event to mark 50 years of Sir Winston Churchill's passing.
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Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace welcomed a Milton Keynes resident to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a trust set up in the war time prime minister’s memory.

Mike Flood, who runs Powerful Information, an international development charity based in Bradwell Abbey, attended a special event at Blenheim Palace last month to mark 50 years of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT), and 50 years since his passing.

Mike Flood, from Milton Keynes, during a visit to Romania in 1991/92. He was a fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and went to Eastern Europe as part of his travelling fellowship.

Mike Flood, from Milton Keynes, during a visit to Romania in 1991/92. He was a fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and went to Eastern Europe as part of his travelling fellowship.

Mr Flood is a fellow of the trust and went on his travelling fellowship in 1991/1992 to six Eastern Bloc countries to investigate ‘The Information Needs of Non-Governmental Organisations’.

He met with dozens of environmental organisations that were just emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Mr Flood said: “It was a fantastic opportunity. The things I learned and the contacts I made played a central role in the early development of Powerful Information.

“We have since carried out over 100 grassroots projects with disadvantaged communities across Eastern Europe and in West Africa.”

Mr Flood was among 1,000 fellows from every decade since 1965 to attend the event.

It was hosted by the Duke of Marlborough’s sister, Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, a cousin of Sir Winston, and a member of the WCMT advisory council.

Members of the Churchill family, including Sir Winston’s grandson Jeremy Soames; and his great-grandson, Randolph, were also present as well as many of the trustees and advisory council from the WCMT.

Highlights of the day included presentations given by fellows from 1968 to 2014, about the impact of the fellowship on their lives and careers, a Spitfire display, followed by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill and Randolph Churchill taking the salute at a Beating Retreat given by a marching band.

Fellows from the South West Association of the WCMT also presented Lady Henrietta with one of Britain’s rarest plants, the Plymouth pear tree, to be planted in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.

Churchill fellowships have been awarded to more than 5,000 British citizens so they can travel overseas to study areas of interest.