Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Members Area > History > The THIRTEENTH Year – July 2008 to June 2009

The THIRTEENTH Year – July 2008 to June 2009


The THIRTEENTH Year July 2008 – June 2009

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

President   John Crutchley
Vice PresidentLen Harrop
Honorary SecretaryMichael Nield
Assistant SecretaryMichael Painter
Honorary TreasurerMichael Johnson
Social SecretaryPeter Lowe
ArchivistPeter Groom
Speaker SecretaryAlan Henshall
Council Ordinary MemberLen Dale, Ken Barnett, Terry Dale, Bill Booth, Peter Davenport (ex-officio)
Walks OrganiserGraham Tunnicliff
Bowls OrganisersFrank Timmis, Len Dale
Newsletter Editor Chris Brough
Newsletter SponsorWoolliscrofts Solicitors
Club PhotographerPeter Lowe
Internal AuditorsDerek Morris, Norman Hankey

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


Sadly we report the death of John Podmore. John was a founder member of our club and a past President. He was a tireless worker for both Probus and Rotary Clubs. We shall all miss him.

Members are requested to please, where possible, pay all monies by cheque. There was an excellent turnout at the church Remembrance service and our President laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on our behalf. Members once again assisted the Rotary Club with their Christmas collections.

We had one new member during the year, Mr Adrian Ford, and we welcome him to our membership. Our busy Secretary was awarded a “Sports Persons Award 2008” by the Newcastle-under-Lyme Sports Council for his achievements in the Administrators Category. Well done Mike Nield. Congratulations from all of us. The photography competitions were won by John Crutchley, Michael Nield and Peter Davenport.


Alan, striving to satisfy the diverse tastes and interests of his insatiable audience, travels the globe seeking interesting and unusual Speakers. For our delectation he has unearthed such subjects as Curious Cures – Bottle Kiln firing – Boyne to Bosnia – Travels in the Canadian Rockies – Moorcroft Pottery – London and the Blitz – Fifty years behind the lens – China Terracotta Army – My world without vision – the Royal Yacht. All members appreciate the effort Alan puts into this task.


The Lowe, Cotton, Painter, Timmis travel bureau or LCPT once more came up trumps.

There were two eight day holidays during the year. The first was in October 2008 to the Ocean View Hotel, Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. During the holiday there were excursions to Newport, Godshill, Rosemary Vineyards and trips on the steam railway and by ferry to Portsmouth. A trip to Osbourne House and a spectacular water and light show. Serious study was made of the yachts at Cowes and much time spent on the question of the purchase of a club yacht. On the 9th May 2009 members alighted at the Abbey Lawn Hotel, Torquay. Visits were made to Totnes and by boat to Dartmouth. A further boat trip on the river Exe and visits to Exmouth and Dawlish. Colyford, Seaton and Sidmouth were also added to the list of visits. Both of the hotels at Shanklin and Torquay were very good and had excellent facilities and entertainment.

On Tuesday 18th November members made a trip to Birmingham. The morning was spent wandering through the German market listening to the Birmingham accent. In the afternoon a visit was made to the jewellery factory, which is now a museum.

Christmas lunch was once more enjoyed at the Rifleman. For the President’s evening we moved from our usual venue at the Alsager Golf Club to the Port Vale Football Club. The evening was very successful and the entertainment by the Magical Duo was excellent.

All this entertainment is arranged by Peter, Fred, Mike and Frank and members truly appreciate the time and effort which they put into the social side of the club.


TT or Trekker Tunnicliff as he is known, once more led his adventurous hikers over hills and dales. Local walks around Hassall Green, Brereton, Kidsgrove and further afield at Stone, Mobberley, Oakamoor, Sutton, Churnet Valley and Peover were followed by carousing in local hostelries. Graham also enabled the more sedentary members to enjoy the walks with his historical descriptions of the walks in the newsletters. Many thanks to Graham for all the work he puts into this enterprise. Thanks to Norman Hankey, his doughty friend who on occasions stands in for him.


Three meetings indoor at Crewe Victoria Centre and three outside meetings at Clough Hall Bowling Club were held during the year. Indoors, the weather was constant and an average of twenty competitors enjoyed a competition spread over the three dates. Two games, each lasting for an hour, were played each time. The winning team was Peter Crowther-Green, Joan Tunnicliff, Mike Nield, John Crutchley and Frank Timmis. For these three meetings we retired to the Angel where hosts John and Mary looked after us.

The outside games were more of a lottery and the green was slow and damp on all three occasions. The grounds man had done his best during this inclement weather, for which many thanks.

Again we averaged twenty contestants and we tried to form equal strength teams. This did not stop Barbara, Graham and John Manley from romping home for the 2008 matches and Barbara and Graham are part of the team well in front in the 2009 group. Drug tests have been arranged. Lunch was taken at the Fifth on Fourth restaurant where our numbers swelled to thirty-four, the maximum number that it will hold. Thanks to Clough Hall Bowling Club for the use of the green. Owing to the refurbishment of Kidsgrove Town Hall the idea to play the short mat game was not followed up. It is to be noted that the Cup awarded to the Captain of the winning team for the 2008 indoor competition did not appear in September and Scotland Yard is pursuing the matter of the missing trophy.

Meanwhile the new Cup is under lock and key at the Rifleman Inn.

Thanks to (Sir Francis Drake), Timmis for this calendar of events.


Direct access to the website can now be gained by using the following address: _

Current information includes the Newsletter, Constitution, Meeting Dates and The Club History.

Probus people from 1996 to date are shown.


I thought that taking over from Peter Davenport would be a hard act to follow, but the help and support received from all the Probus members and club officials made my year in office a most enjoyable and rewarding experience. I hope that I was able to give something back to the club in return.

The only down-turn of the year was the passing of John Podmore, an original member and past President of this Club. He will be sadly missed.

I think that we all appreciate how lucky we are to have such a social and friendly Club. I know I am extremely grateful that I am part of it and I trust its success will continue to flourish.

Finally I would like to wish Len Harrop a happy and successful year in office.