Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Members Area > History > The EIGHTEENTH Year – July 2013 to June 2014

The EIGHTEENTH Year – July 2013 to June 2014


The EIGHTEENTH Year July 2013 – June 2014

The Officers, Council Members and Organisers for the year were:-

President                                 –           Ken Williamson

Vice President                          –           Graham Tunnicliff

Secretary                                –           Michael Nield

Assistant Secretary                 –           Peter Davenport

Treasurer                                –           Norman Hankey

Social Committee                   –           Peter Lowe, Ken Williamson, Frank Timmis, Adrian Ford.                 

Archivist                                 –           Peter Groom

Speaker Secretary                  –           Alan Henshall

Council Ordinary Members       –          Graham Tunnicliff, Adrian Ford, John Manley, Norman Hart.                                                        

Walks Organiser                     –           Graham Tunnicliff

Bowls Organiser                     –           Len Dale

Newsletter Editor                   –           Michael Nield

Club Photographer                 –           Peter Lowe

Internal Auditors                    –           John Lowe, Derek Morris

Website Co-Ordinator            –            Michael Nield

Many thanks to Derek Morris and John Crutchley for collecting monies. Thanks also to Kidsgrove Cricket Club and their staff.


Sadly three of our members died during the year – Ken Evans, who had been with the club since its inauguration, Mike Painter who was a stalwart of the club and served in the office of Secretary, Assistant Secretary, and President. Peter Smith a member who enjoyed Probus greatly. They will all be missed.

Four new members have been inducted this year – Roy Bailey, David Birchall, Terry Cook and Fred Maxfield. Maurice Colclough was elected an Honorary Member.


Our monthly illustrated lectures given by speakers garnered from around the world by Alan. As the centenary of the 1914 war is being remembered a number of the talks have had military themes. The lectures include Victoria Cross Winners;  “Aircraft Take-Off”,  – From Staffordshire to the Somme; Iraq; Helicopters; The Great Explosion at Fould; The Clergy & Detectives; Steam Trains; American Skid Row, and Prison Life.

The education and knowledge of our members continues to grow, all thanks to Alan.


Secretly and surreptitiously the Social Committee of Peter Lowe, Ken Williamson, Frank Timmis and Adrian Ford, have without the members consent changed the meaning of Probus. It now stands for PLEASURE IS OUR BUSINESS.

On September 9th we journeyed to the Caledonian Hotel in Jesmond on the outskirts of

Newcastle-on-Tyne. Excursions during this holiday included visits to Sea Houses, Banburgh, Alnwick Castle, Durham and Beamish Museum. Much information was crammed into this very enjoyable holiday.

Sunday 13 April saw the members in Great Yarmouth at the New Beach Hotel, the rooms and service were good and a friendly social atmosphere was enjoyed. There were outings to Cromer, Norwich, Lowestoft and a boat trip on the Broads. Gladys Colclough, Margaret Dunn and Eddie Bates celebrated their birthdays in the Hotel. Margaret had an unforgettable 80thparty.

This past year day trips have blossomed. Outings were made to Nottingham where the town centre had been transformed to resemble the seaside. We then had a trip on the River Trent where very large cream cakes presented a challenge, which members won.

The visit to Blackpool was a great success, a saunter along the front with sea, sand and donkey rides, followed by fish, chips and mushy peas, the ride through the lights, what more could one ask for!

Touring the successful Moorcroft Pottery reminded us of the heritage and history of the “Potteries”. This was followed by an excellent lunch at the aptly named China Gardens.

In February the Media City in Manchester was visited to watch the popular Countdown programme, very enjoyable and interesting.

Saturday 22 March saw members visiting Leeds to enjoy a matinee performance of “The Good Old Days.

The Probus year ended with an outing to the lovely town of Melton Mowbray and a cruise on Rutland Water.

Great excursions and Holidays enjoyed by all participants.

The Christmas Lunch at Lawton Memorial Hall on December 6th was a great start to the oncoming festivities. Good food and enjoyable entertainment from the Probus Glee Club.

The President’s Evening May 30th was also held at Lawton, a good venue and good catering from Carlton. The entertainment from Derek Poulson on the varied and rich dialects of the British Isles was very entertaining and informative.

A very enjoyable evening.

President Ken arranged a “Hello” lunch at the Kidsgrove Masonic Hall to ‘Kick Off’ his term of office and also a “Hello” 2014 in January.

Three Musical Evenings were held at the Cricket Club. At the November evening an excellent buffet paid for by the Past Presidents’ and catered for by Sandra and Bernadette was enjoyed by a large number of members, wives and partners. Many thanks to ‘Tuneman Tunnicliff’ The Virtuoso of the Vibes.


Bowling Coach Len Dale continues to hone the skills of the Probus bowlers.

The bowlers enjoy their time at Crewe and Kidsgrove, also the meals that Len arranges.

Many thanks to him.


Graham (Trecker) Tunnicliff V.P. continues his local perambulations leading his intrepid band of Treckers. The areas covered in these ramblings included – Tittersworth and Rudyard, Staffs Way and Churnett Valley, Hanchurch Woods, Coombes Valley, Apedale, Westport. This walk was led by Chris Brough and should have been called Wetport. Thanks to Chris for cheering the walkers on.

Two walks along the ‘Two Saints Way’. This as Graham points out is the road by which two Northumbrian Saints brought Christianity to the pagan Mercian’s. (That’s us). Parrots Drumble (Very local) and Aston, near Nantwich completed the year.

All these interesting walks together with the relevant history and geography are much appreciated by both the participants and members who read the reports. It is also important that all the walks finish at a suitable hostelry and Graham and Joan test the walks and sample the food on numerous occasions, totally for the benefit of the club members. Such hardship deserves thanks from all who enjoy the results of their endeavours.

Graham has put together a small booklet listing the hostelries and star ratings. These are available from him at a reduced price of £1.27p.

Many thanks Graham.


Our President laid a wreath at the cenotaph at the annual remembrance service. He was accompanied by many Probus members, their wives and partners.

The annual Rotary Reindeer collection also benefited from Probus who assisted at the collection.

A second DVD has been produced by Peter Lloyd and Michael Nield showing pictures of members, wives, partners and friends. These have been scanned and music added so that they can be viewed on TV. Thanks to both of them for this mammoth task

Our Club Photographer Peter Lowe, besides snapping our members in various poses in all the different locations which we visit, also organised two photo competitions which were won by Peter Davenport and John Lowe. Thank you Peter. (There is talk of an exhibition at a well-known London Gallery).

A lunch at the Legs of Man organised by Michael Nield was well attended and very enjoyable.

Half way through the year Wooliscrofts who had been printing the Newsletter for quite a while informed us that this favour would no longer be available. We do thank them for the time and effort especially Andrew Barnett. Once again Michael Nield stepped into the breach. He produced the monthly editions and published them on the website.

Talking about Michael Nield, just think of the colossal amount of work he does for our benefit, we do appreciate this Michael.

Another person who quietly goes about his business is Norman Hankey who makes sure we stay solvent and thrive, many thanks Norman.

The Social Committee of Peter, Ken, Frank and Adrian must be mentioned again as they have this year provided a veritable feast of enjoyable activities, many thanks to them.

Kidsgrove Probus has a new website. A sum of £360.00 was awarded to us by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council Community Chest and this paid for the site which was designed by Cybernautix Ltd. The administrators will be Michael Nield and Peter Lloyd.

President’s Remarks

I am sure all Presidents enjoy their year in office and mine was no exception, having had wonderful support from the Committee and members not forgetting the assistance of the ladies.

The Hello luncheon at the Masonic Hall was a new starting social event followed by holidays at Newcastle and Great Yarmouth, outings to Nottingham, Melton Mowbray and Emma Bridgewater Pottery, bowls, walks, musical evenings, Christmas party and the President’s Evening concluding a most memorable year.

Sadly Mike Painter, Ken Evans and Peter Smith passed away during the year, all were stalwarts of the club and the large attendance at their funeral services was a true indication of their esteem both in the Probus Club and the community at large.

The monthly meetings now settled at the Cricket Club were all attended with a number of visitors and very interesting speakers. Maurice Colclough one of our founder members and past Presidents was elected to Honorary Membership and it was a pleasure to present him with his Honorary Members Badge. I was also pleased to induct Terry Cook, Fred Maxfield and Roy Bailey who I am sure will enjoy the fellowship of our club.

My year is now history and I do wish my successor Graham Tunnicliff a happy and healthy term in office.