Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Members Area > History > The TWENTIETH Year – July 2015 to June 2016

The TWENTIETH Year – July 2015 to June 2016


The TWENTIETH Year July 2015 – June 2016

The Officers and Council Members and ex officio organisers were :-

President: Stephen Rhodes

Vice President: Adrian Ford

Secretary:  Michael Nield

Assistant Secretary: Peter Davenport

Treasurer: Norman Hankey

Social secretary: Peter Lowe

Holidays: Ken Williamson

Archivist: Peter Groom

Speaker Secretary: Alan Henshall

Council Members: Terry Dale, Len Harrop, Peter Lloyd, John Crutchley

Walks organiser: Garry Bell

Bowls organiser: Len Dale

Newsletter Editor: Michael Nield

Club Photographer: Peter Lowe

Internal Auditors: John Lowe, Derek Morris

Website Administration: Michael Nield, Peter Lloyd

The club thanks John Crutchley and Derek Morris for separating monies from members for trips etc. Also Cricket Club staff for providing teas and coffees at meetings, not to mention catering on our musical evenings.


Membership continues to be sustained with only one departure, that being Derek Cross who resigned due to personal reasons. The club welcomed new member John Dunn. We started the 2016-17 with 49 members. Unfortunately we also celebrated the lives of members Ernie Beckett and Trevor Proudman who sadly passed away.

The Council had great pleasure in awarding Michael Nield honorary membership; this was ratified by the members who expressed their gratitude to Michael for his tireless work as Secretary and Newsletter editor.


Meetings continued to be well supported with excess of 40 members for most meetings, all enjoying the talks on the varied subjects Alan continues to find for us, how does he do it? From Bakeries to Berlin, the Ripper to Rolls Royce, Dr. Kelly to Chernobyl and Marconi to Manchester.


Len continues to organise both an outdoor competition and an indoor one, which this year had to be moved to Biddulph Leisure Centre as the Oakley Centre in Crewe had closed. The indoor this year was won by Len Harrop’s Team and the outdoor which is played at Clough Hall Bowling Club by Graham Brown’s Team. This is not an easy task, ensuring that the teams are fairly selected as very often players are missing and have to be replaced by others, always ensuring that everyone gets to bowl. Well done Len it is much appreciated, as is the more impromptu Tuesday morning sessions at the Club.


This Year I passed organising of the monthly walk over to Garry Bell who had kindly volunteered to assist me a few months earlier. Under Garry’s leadership we have continued the monthly walks visiting Deep Hayes Country Park, Shuttlingslow, Barthomley, Delamere, Consall, Timbersbrook, Oakamoor, Rudyard, The Roaches. All very enjoyable walks researched diligently by Garry and Virginia, ensuring that the rewards for the walk are up to scratch (cheers)


What a busy, busy year.  Only fitting; as it was our 20th anniversary year. Peter and Ken supported by Frank and Adrian continued to organise day trips and holidays to delight even the most grumpy members.

Starting with the trip to the Severn Valley Railway, steam always appeals to everyone.

Members highlights of the year were the holiday to Torquay and the day trip to Windermere with the Laurel and Hardy museum, sadly I missed this one, but I should also include the trip to Masson Mill which personally I found very interesting.

Other events were the holiday to Bognor Regis; I don’t think we have ever encountered so much rain or the inability of a seaside town to cope when it is wet. Still in true Probus fashion we made the most of it and generally had a good time.

RAF Cosford appealed to those of us who were Biggles fans and the Guide made the tour particularly interesting, an excellent 2 for 1 lunch at the local pub (The Bell) rounded off the day nicely.

Our other activities included two lunch clubs one at the Bears Head, Brereton, hosted by John Crutchley and Alan Henshall. The other at the Legs of Man. Arclid hosted by Andy Dimelow, both well attended and enjoyed by the members.

Musical evenings were again held and well supported, especially when the food was free. There is definite trend of people being more adventurous with their music choice and the evenings lasting longer. The DJ, yours truly, was becoming exhausted at the last event.

The annual Christmas Lunch was held at The Manor House in Alsager and was a great success so much so that a booking was made for the Presidents Evening; As usual our talented Ensemble entertained us, ably supported by all those in attendance.

The Presidents Evening was also a great success excellent food (subsidised by the club) with entertainment provided at great expense by Joe Deacon, an international  performer, well he was from Wales. Although he started slowly he gradually improved and the second half of his performance was excellent, unfortunately some members missed it  as it was approaching their bedtime. Talking of bedtime reminds me that our Treasurer (Norman)is still having nightmares about the losses we have made during this 20th year celebrations. I am sure that your decision to increase the subs to £30 will help him to sleep easier.


The website continues to grow under the eagle eyes of Michael and Peter, at the last count 4853 people had accessed the site and the site has many interesting topics and information.


Remembrance Sunday was well attended by members, member’s wives and partners and the general public including Schools, police, fire service and other local organisations. The Probus wreath was presented to the cenotaph by Eddie Bates.

The annual Rotary Reindeer Collection was successfully assisted by Probus members and the collection outside Home Bargains raised £341.00


It is hard to believe we are now at the end of June, and my term of office as President of this great club is about to end.

I feel very privileged to have had this honour, and I wish to thank all of our members, officials and council members who have not only supported me but made my period of office such a memorable one.

Tributes must be paid to our members’ Trevor Proudman who passed away last August and Ernie Beckett, a wonderful man who sadly passed away last September. Derek Jones, a former member also passed away earlier this year

On a brighter note we have welcomed a new member, John Dunn this term.

Club activities have continued to flourish with all holidays and day trips fully booked, thanks to all those who make these events so enjoyable. I wish to give special thanks to Peter Lowe who has done a tremendous job as our Social Secretary, but is now stepping down after a period of twelve years.

This brings me to the President’s Evening. It was a pleasure to see so many members and wives/partners enjoying the proceedings. The entertainer Joe Deacon was first class, as was the meal and the venue.

Earlier this month we had a trip to the Lake District starting at the Laurel and Hardy museum at Ulverston and going on a steam train and then a boat trip to Bowness. This was a very enjoyable day with good weather as an added bonus. Once again thanks are extended to Peter Lowe for organising the day.

Finally, on behalf of the club, I would like to pay a special tribute to Michael Nield who is retiring this month as our Newsletter Editor having held this position for the past five years, and done the job extremely well.

I would now like to wish our new President, Adrian Ford, a successful and enjoyable year. I know that he can continue to rely on the support not only of the officials, but all the membership.