Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Members Area > History > The FIFTEENTH Year – July 2010 to June 2011

The FIFTEENTH Year – July 2010 to June 2011


The FIFTEENTH Year July 2010 – June 2011

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

President   Michael Painter 
Vice PresidentPeter Lowe
SecretaryMichael Nield
Assistant SecretaryPeter Davenport
TreasurerNorman Hankey
Social SecretaryKen Williamson
ArchivistPeter Groom
Speaker SecretaryAlan Henshall
Council Ordinary MemberMichael Johnson, Graham Tunnicliff, John Manley, Derek Morris, Len Harrop, (Ex Officio)
Walks OrganiserGraham Tunnicliff
Bowls OrganisersFrank Timmis, Len Dale
Newsletter Editor Chris Brough
Newsletter SponsorWoolliscrofts Solicitors
Club PhotographerPeter Lowe
Internal AuditorsEddie Bates, John Lowe
Website Co-OrdinatorMichael Nield

Many thanks to Derek Morris and John Crutchley for collecting monies. Thanks also to the Rifleman Inn and staff.


Sadly Roy Potts died this year. Roy was a founder member and also our second President. He gave many years service to Probus and will be missed by all.

Three new members were inducted during the year. Norman Hart, Arthur Jervis and Geoff Mould. All of us bid them welcome to the club. Founder member Arthur Cumberbatch has been added to our Honorary Members list which includes Graham Skellern and Kenneth Walker.


This year we have been regaled with – The British Justice System; The History of the English Long Bow; Falklands War; The Spitfire; Enjoying Wine; The Railway Children; The Gulf Wars; Behind the Wire; Battle of the Somme; Repairing Trains in the Sudan.

Looking at these subjects, we realise that Alan is endeavouring to instil in us a love of history, culture and loyalty. (A very difficult and onerous task). We all appreciate Alan’s efforts.


Once again we have been lucky as Peter Lowe stepped up to Vice President, Ken Williamson stepped forward to take over as Social Secretary.

The first holiday organised by Ken Williamson Travel Co. Ltd. was a Turkey and Tinsel in November to the Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport. Excursions were made to Oswaldtwistle Mills Shopping Village and the market town of Ormskirk. Evening entertainment and excellent food made for a very enjoyable holiday.

The Spring Holiday saw us in April travelling for a five day break at the Giltar Hotel in Tenby. Day excursions saw us visiting Fishguard; St. David’s; Carmarthen; Laughharne, home of Dylan Thomas, and Pendine Sands. The food and entertainment was good and the scenery through Mid-Wales beautiful.

Day trips enjoyed during the year were – Churnet Valley Railway; Bletchley Park; Apedale Mining Museum; Llandudno and the Caldon Canal.

This year the KWT did us proud. Many thanks to Ken!

Mike Painter organised two musical evenings where members contributed and explained their musical choice. These proved very popular and enjoyable.

The Bi Monthly Luncheon Club is proving popular with members taking turns to organise the venues.

The Christmas Lunch organised by Peter Lowe and Michael Nield was held at the Town Hall, Kidsgrove. Despite the appalling weather, most members battled through and had an enjoyable time. Ken Williamson proved not only to be a Travel Agent but also a musical impresario introducing his Glee Club (accompanist Fred Cotton) for the delectation of an enraptured audience. Their first disc will be on sale soon.

The President’s Evening organised again by Peter Lowe and Michael Nield was held at the Port Vale Football Club. Judge David Shannon proved to be an entertaining and amusing speaker. An enjoyable evening was had.


Our Group Life Skills Coach Graham Tunnicliff (Personal training undertaken) once again laid on a series of interesting and challenging eateries to enjoy. Unfortunately one had to walk to them. He works on the principle of no pain, no gain.

Areas covered included Rudyard Lake; Tittersworth Reservoir; Consal; Buglawton; Apedale; Rode Hall; Bath Pool; Macclesfield Forest, and Park Hall.

Graham spends days wandering around the countryside reconnoitring routes and eateries so as to provide the greatest pleasure for his guests. On the occasion he was unable to lead, this duty was taken up by Chris Brough.

The description of the walks, the historical notes and the photographs which are provided in the Newsletters are an added bonus for those members unable to join the rambles.

Many thanks Graham.


We continued the format of three meetings of crown green bowling at Clough Hall Bowling Club and three meetings of indoor flat green bowling at Crewe Leisure Centre. An average of 20 players took part and teams of equal strength were devised. Len Harrop’s team won the Summer Cup and although he was handicapped for the winter session his team again surprised us all to win the Cup once more. We all enjoyed “after games” lunches at the “Fifth on Fourth” and “The Angel”, Crewe.

As we have a growing number of members with dodgy knees and hips there was plenty of help for the washing up and making of tea for the break during the summer games.

Many thanks to Frank Timmis for this report! Frank has decided to retire from active organisation of the Bowls. His erstwhile colleague Len Dale who has worked with Frank over the years has offered to continue the good work which Frank has built up over the years.

Many thanks to Frank for establishing a top flight Bowls Group.


Chris Brough, after five years as Editor of our Newsletter is retiring. Chris has done an excellent job in producing our newsletter and deserves our thanks also our best wishes for his new high powered position with Clough Hall Residents Association. Michael Nield besides his many duties has volunteered to take responsibility for producing the Newsletter. We are very grateful for all the hard work he does.

Founder Member Ernest Langford has brought further honour to himself and the club by his Good Citizen Award for his 40 plus years involvement with Kidsgrove Athletic Football Club. Well done and congratulations ERN!

Many thanks to Len Harrop who burned many candles (no electric in Cheshire) and gave up hours of bowls to bring the Constitution up to date.

Our President laid a wreath at the cenotaph on our behalf at the Annual Church Remembrance Service. He was accompanied by many Probus Members, their wives and partners.

Members again assisted the Rotary Club in their Christmas Collection despite intense cold weather.

Is there another Probus Club in the Whole World who can boast two Champion Charmers as Members? At the Diet of Worms Martin Luther was excommunicated. At the Willaston World Worm Charming Contest, Norman Hankey and Graham Tunnicliff were crowned Champion World Newcomer Charmers. In a very short time they charmed 108 worms to surrender. Anglers have spent days trying to find that many. Mind you, Graham in his Walking role is always looking for good grub.

After meeting at the Rifleman Inn from the Club’s inauguration, we have moved to Kidsgrove Cricket Club. Many thanks to the Rifleman and its staff for providing a venue and looking after us so well.

During the year there were two photo competitions. Michael Painter and Peter Davenport were the winners.


Articles updated or added to the probus website include the newsletter; meeting dates; history; constitution; probus people; walks programme; worm charming competition and current information.

As a result of our website and the registration on the national probus website we have established some useful contacts.

Over 5420 hits have been recorded during the period on the Kidsgrove website and this continues to grow.

The website is maintained and administrated by Michael Nield.


I appreciate greatly being invited to accept the position of President of the Kidsgrove Probus Club, following in the footsteps of many who have contributed to the success of the club. I pay tribute to past President Len Harrop, Vice President, Peter Lowe, Secretary, Michael Nield, Treasurer, Norman Hankey and the Council Members who have supported and guided me through my year of Office.

This was particularly so in regards the change of venue from the Rifleman to the Cricket Club that caused me great concern with the fear that the club might split. Thankfully, all was resolved amicably, and I look forward to many happy years at the Cricket Club.

Two musical evenings were held at the latter and show promise of becoming a popular entertainment in the winter months.

I was honoured to place the wreath at the War Memorial in tribute to soldiers from Kidsgrove who died during wars and I am sure that the yearly service brings back memories of National Service to many of the Probus Members.

The Christmas lunch was affected by a heavy snowfall and I was amazed at the number who managed to attend. The impromptu choir’s rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” will live long in my memory.

Thanks are due to Ken Williamson who arranged holidays in Southport and Tenby, both being well supported by members and friends, together with a number of day trips.

Michael Nield and myself attended an Alsager Probus meeting and closer links are being forged between the two clubs for their mutual benefit.

The President’s evening was well supported with an amusing talk by a local Judge that brought my year as President to an end