Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Newsletters > April 2020

April 2020


Gentlemen as there will be no meeting again this month I will say a big hello to all Probus members. I would urge you all to observe the social distancing and stay home, stay safe rules.

This fine weather at least makes it more bearable. I have done so much gardening maintenance I can now claim my garden as immaculate.

It’s pleasing to hear our members Chris Brough, Eddie Bates and Terry Dale are all recovering well from their recent illnesses, apart from Bob Kay who is currently in hospital. Let’s hope and pray this coronavirus situation is soon over and we can all resume normality again.

Take good care of yourselves and your family’s gentlemen and God’s blessing to all of you.

John Dunn, President.



A message for all the Regular walkers, KEEP WALKING! Hopefully the present restrictions will not be with us too long. In the meantime here’s a walk to be getting on with.

Start at Carriage Drive with its junction of Park Ave and Beech Drive.

Stay on Carriage drive towards the Lodge and Leg O Mutton lake, bear left at the lodge, Keep the lake on your right continue on this path until you enter a field. This path across the field enters woodland.

(You are now at the point that you will eventually meet on your return journey).

On your right you will see a path climbing up through the trees, take this path turning left at the top.

This is known as Target Wood which is covered in Bluebells at this time of year, stay on the high side of the hill gradually descending meeting a marked pathway where you turn left towards Blood Pool.

Continue on this path eventually emerging in view of Bathpool Lake. Turn left on the Tarmac road taking a path through the trees continuing to the field where you previously climbed up the hill and your point where you return back to the start.

Graham Tunnicliff


The Seven Day holiday arranged with Alfa Travel at the Cavendish Hotel Exmouth departing Sunday 17th May 2020 is now cancelled. Alfa are arranging to refund all moneys paid during the next few weeks.

Presidents Evening should have been held at the Manor House Hotel Alsager on Friday 29th May 2020 and this too has been cancelled and deposit payments will be returned.

Hopefully the social evening with refreshments and Beetle Drive to celebrate John Crutchley’s 90th birthday will be held at the Cricket Club on Wednesday 21st October 2020. The cost will be £5.00 and John Lowe will collect names.

A further week-end break will be held at the Evans Hotel Llandudno on Friday 6th November 2020. Bookings and deposits are being collected by Frank Timmis.

Ken Williamson


I believe that the first holidays were arranged by Jack Poole and were week-end breaks to Cumbria and Yorkshire. These were followed by a series of four day visits to various South Coast resorts one of which was the St Brannocks Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall where I attended my first Probus holiday.

There followed a visit to the New Wilmington Hotel in Eastbourne whereas there was no dance floor the entertainer performed in the  bar and handed out hats and musical instruments for all to participate. I think it was here that we visited the local theatre to see some boring production where most of the audience went to sleep.

The next holiday I attended was to the Loch Tummel Hotel in Scotland where there was the obligatory visit to a whisky distillery together with a visit to Dundee where Desperate Dan of the Dandy Comic originated. By this time long coaches were designed with steerable twin axles which proved unfortunate for our driver who collided with the stone wall of the bridge when returning to the hotel.

After this we travelled to Scarborough where I remember our bedroom was above that of Barry Knapper who complained bitterly that he got soaked every time I used the shower. He was a retired fireman so it was home from home for him.

The Ocean View at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight was our next venue. A splendid holiday with a tour of the island and a trip on a steam train. The entertaining organist amused everyone playing Spanish Eyes to all the dances. This holiday was with Robinsons and the following year we stayed at their hotel in Torquay and after that in Eastbourne.

The next holiday which everyone remembers was to Newquay with Daish’s where all the guests were struck down with a stomach bug and each morning at breakfast different tables were vacant. However all recovered to come home except Steve and Gill Rhodes who were ill on the last day and travelled home later. After this Peter Lowe retired as Social Secretary and I inherited the ‘which way did he go’ cap. (By the way where is it now?)

I started off my term with a visit to Tenby with Alfa travel staying at the Giltar Hotel on the sea front. All I remember of this holiday was Frank Eardley being taken ill and being undressed and put to bed by Eva Dale and Vivienne Henshall. Now don’t feign illness to get a thrill they are both trained nurses and know if you are trying it on. Another visit to the Ocean View followed with a boat trip to Portsmouth. This hotel proved very popular occupying a cliff top position opposite the lift and having a swimming pool, sauna and basement bowling mat. After this the Cavendish Hotel at Exmouth with a boat trip on the River Dart. Then a return to Bournemouth this time staying at the Mayfair Hotel from where we walked down the road to see the Air Show featuring the Red Arrows, the Spitfire, the Vulcan Bomber and two girls standing on the wings of a bi-plane.

Our next holiday was to Porthcawl where our driver Sam told us all about Margaret Thatcher and the destruction of the coal and steel industry in South Wales. We then went to Newcastle-on-Tyne with outings to Durham and Beamish, the open air museum featuring old shops and an old fashioned Dentist where the bride had her teeth extracted as a wedding present! Next a new venue Great Yarmouth with an outing to Norwich and a boat trip on the Broads. After this holidays in Weston-Super-Mare, Bournemouth,

Weymouth, Bognor Regis and the Abbey Lawn Hotel at Torquay again. Still continuing in the South we paid a visit to The Cottage Hotel at St Ives where it was a pleasant walk to the town and a train ride back. Later that year we went to Criccieth for a Tinsel and Turkey where there was a fancy dress parade featuring amongst others Marjorie and myself as Elf and Safety.

The following year we went with Alfa Travel to Eastbourne staying at the Queens Hotel which overlooked the pier. Last year we visited Scarborough again this time staying at the Alfa Cumberland Hotel, the weather was marvellous and we enjoyed trips out to Bridlington and Beverley, North York Moors and Pickering where Heartbeat was filmed, Whitby and York with the famous Minster and the Rowntree’s Chocolate Factory who now import all their chocolate from Poland.

Finally we finish as we started with weekend breaks to The Evans Hotel at Llandudno as due to the Corona-virus our planned holiday to Exmouth in 2020 unfortunately had to be cancelled.

We now look forward to the time when the ‘lock in’ finishes and we are able to travel again.

Ken Williamson     


Club photographer Peter Lloyd says that he will again be organising a photographic competition for members. This year he would like pictures of anything taken from your back garden.

Two entries are allowed and should ideally be on photographic paper size 6” x 4” (10mm x 15mm) and brought along to the next Probus Meeting. Alternatively, pictures in JPEG format can be forwarded to Peter via e.mail:



The following photograph has been submitted by Ken Williamson. Can you name the old Probus members and their wives in the picture taken in Italy in May 1996? See the Probus Website gallery for the answer.


Frank and Margaret miss you all and send their best greetings during this lock down and look forward to seeing you in better times.