Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Members Area > History > The FOURTEENTH Year – July 2009 to June 2010

The FOURTEENTH Year – July 2009 to June 2010


The FOURTEENTH Year July 2009 – June 2010

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

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

Many thanks to Derek Morris for organising the birthday list and also together with Ken Barnett and John Crutchley for collecting monies. Thanks also to the Rifleman and Staff.


Two of our members sadly died this year. Alan Durose who had only recently joined us and Ken Barnett who had been a fellow probian for ten years. We shall miss both of them.

Three new members were inducted during the year. Graham Brown, Robert Kay and Clifford Triner. All of us bid them welcome to our club.


This year Alan tantalised our brains and learning capacity by introducing speakers whose subjects included; ‘The Llangollen Canal’, ‘For Better or Worse’, Seven Ages of Man’ (Very appropriate for us), ‘Badgers’, ‘Steam Trains’, ‘My Penny Black’ (Stamps),’History and Work of the RNLI’, ‘James Brindley’, and a ‘Cameo of the six Towns’. He promises even more exotic fare for the coming year. All members appreciate Alan’s efforts.

Outings – Holidays – Activities

The LTP travel bureau who are at the moment in talks to take over Thomas Cooks entertained us with two holidays during the year. The first was at the Imperial, Eastbourne. Four coach excursions were enjoyed during our stay there. 1st to Tunbridge Wells and Rochester. 2nd included Worthing – Brighton and Beachy Head.

Excursion 3 was a fascinating visit to Leeds Castle and the 4th a wandering journey to Bexhill on Sea.

In the evenings entertainment and dancing provided a perfect ending to the day. A very enjoyable holiday had been spent at the Imperial.

In April we arrived at the Barrowfield Hotel in Newquay. Once again four excursions were available. Number 1 included a journey to Truro, then a ferry down to Falmouth where we rejoined the coach. No 2 was a visit to Padstow. The third was to the Eden Project which a number of members had visited in its early days. The final excursion was to the artist’s paradise of St Ives.

This holiday proved to be quite ‘interesting’ in that approximately 75% of our party were taken ill with a virus which confined the stricken to their rooms for a couple of days. In spite of this the holiday was still a happy event as it showed the value of the Probus Club. Members were looking after, helping, fetching and caring for each other with a genuine compassion. None of us want to be ill but when friends are around it’s a help and comfort. All of us thank Peter and Frank for the time and effort spent before, during and after the holiday.

A day trip to the ‘World of Glass’ at St Helens proved to be a fascinating experience

In March a group of club members visited the British Aerospace factory at Woodford. The AVRO heritage centre volunteers gave an interesting talk on the history of the Company.

The Christmas Lunch was held at Kidsgrove Town Hall and was an enjoyable affair. This year the President’s Evening was again held at Port Vale Football Club. It is an excellent venue with a large car park and all the facilities required. The entertainment in the person of John Whalley talking about George Formby was both informative and entertaining. All probus members are most grateful for the large amount of work Peter, Frank and Mike do in order for us all to enjoy the social side of the club.


Graham trecker Tunnicliff once more stimulated both the muscles and the palate with his challenging hikes and gourmet eateries. Not only does TT provide good weather, he also adds an historic note to his walks along with photographic proof of attendance (in case it is ever needed).

Areas covered in these revelry rambles include – Buglawton, – Over Peover, – Macclesfield Forest, – Kent Green, – Park Hall, – Churnet Valley, – Hanchurch and Winterley. Norman Hankey and Len Dale have been on hand twice to lead when TT was on holiday. Many thanks to Graham for the effort he puts in to encourage us to stay fit.


Bi monthly meetings were held during the year. An average of 20 members or partners taking part. Clough Hall Bowling Club kindly let us use their green for the three summer dates with the winter meetings held at Crewe Victoria Centre. To add interest, teams were formed of equal strength by Len Dale who also prepared the outside green.

A summer and a winter tournament, each of three meetings, took place with a cup presented to the winning teams. Lunch was taken at ‘The Angel’, Crewe, during winter and a very popular venue ‘The Fifth on Fourth’ for the summer games.

Many thanks to Frank Timmis for this report.


There was an excellent turnout of Probus members at the Church remembrance service and our President laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on our behalf. Members again assisted the Rotary Club with their Christmas Charity Collections.

Graham Tunnicliff suggested that members may be interested in a Monthly Luncheon Club. So far, two have been held, and hopefully they will continue.

The phone system which enables members to keep in touch has been overhauled and appears to be more efficient.

Photographic Competitions were held and in a tight battle the winners were Michael Nield and John Vardon. The birthday card photo was provided by Chris Brough.

An overseas visitor was entertained at the club during the year. Harvey A Snider from Cleveland, Ohio, USA was visiting his friends, the Henshalls. A Lawyer by occupation who specialises in Bankruptcy, he was instantly inundated with questions.

Rule 8 in the Constitution has been amended. (See Constitution- Membership).

Many thanks to Chris (SCOOPS) Brough for putting the Newsletter to bed every month. The mixture of news, information and brainteasers make an interesting mix.


The Probus club of Kidsgrove website continues to attract many viewers. As at 15 September 2010, the website contained 16 articles and had ‘hits’ of 2162. The most popular of its articles is the monthly newsletter.

We are registered on line together with other British Probus Clubs and this can be seen at the following address:-

This puts us in reach of approximately 186,000 probus members in the U.K and many others around the world.

The current probus club of Kidsgrove website address is as follows:-

It continues to be administered on behalf of the club by Michael Nield.


Being President has been a very pleasant experience for me though it has been quite a busy year. It is good that we have made a little progress in terms of a more effective system for notifying members of important matters between meetings, alteration to the Club’s financial year so as to fit better with the AGM arrangements, and ‘tidying-up’ the criteria in the Constitution relating to the award of Honorary Membership and the admission procedure for new members.

Whilst we have been saddened by the loss of Ken Barnett and Alan Durose during the year we have had the pleasure of welcoming new members into the club and of awarding Honorary Memberships to two other very worthy members.

I offer my sincere thanks to the Council members for their support and commitment and to the membership generally for their help and encouragement, all of which makes the tasks of President that much more enjoyable and worthwhile.