Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Newsletters > August 2018

August 2018


Dear Members,

Many thanks to Michael Nield for organising the trip on the Churnet Valley Railway from Frogall to Cheddleton.  It was very enjoyable and there is something special about a steam train.

I understand some 38 of us have taken up the offer of a holiday in Llandudno at the Evans Hotel.  Many thanks to Frank Timmis for bringing this about.   

Square eyes for me last week, being an athletics nut, as I was following the European Athletics Championships. Team GB did quite well, especially Dina Asher-Smith, who bagged three Gold medals – a sprint double and the sprint relay. She is now world class and should do well in the World Championships next year.                       

Norman Hankey, President

Todays Speaker

Mr Khrdahy Farouk

Lebanon Past and Present.

Birthdays in September 2018

Graham Brown, Len Dale, Mike Lloyd, Mike Nield and Frank Timmis.


The train ride and afternoon tea on the Churnet Valley Railway was well attended and enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Michael Nield for arranging the event.

Frank Timmis has arranged a three night week-end Turkey and Tinsel Holiday at the Evans Hotel Llandudno on the 2nd November 2018. Price £120.00 per person.

 There will be entertainment in the Hotel but no coach travel. Arrange your own transport.  Names and a £40.00 deposit will be collected at the August meeting.

The visit to Middleport Pottery is still to be arranged but again is subject to sufficient interest.

Two social/musical evenings have been arranged for the autumn/winter months. The first one will be on Wednesday 10th October at the cricket club at 7.30pm and the second one will take place on Wednesday 13th February 2019 also at the cricket club at 7.30pm

Note for your diary. The Probus Christmas Luncheon will be held at the Manor House Hotel on Friday 7th December 2018. Further details later.        Ken Williamson


 Despite the heat wave six of us turned up for the monthly walk, which this month continued on our recent watery theme with the short drive to Knypersley and Greenway Bank Country Park.        

By parking at the visitor centre we maximised our use of the shade provided by the tree canopy and with a steady descent we slowly made our way down to the upper lake which is referred to as “The Serpentine”. Why, I don’t know.

The Serpentine was created by building a dam to create a feeder for the Cauldon Canal via the River Trent. The lower lake was then called Knypersley Pool.

The Knypersley estate was owned by Hugh Henshall, brother in law to James Brindley.

The house was demolished in 1973 and the grounds then acquired by Staffs C.C. to become a country park. The only surviving relics of the estate are the Tuffa Grottos hidden away near the visitor centre.         

 Robert Bateman bought the estate in the 1840’s before he acquired Biddulph Grange and later constructed a driveway between the two estates. It is on this driveway we now continue our walk. Water levels are surprisingly high in the Serpentine but very low in the pool.

 Our next point of interest was the Wardens Tower, a stone structure some three stories high which is secured and looks in good repair. Close to the tower but easy to miss is the sign leading us to Gawtons Stone and Gawtons Well, with it’s trees decorated by local pagans. Legend has it that Gawton was a hermit living in local caves who bathed in the well waters. The Stone is huge and rests on two smaller stones providing shelter. Further on we visited the waterfall which some think is the source of the Trent. It is certainly the source of the leat, which feeds into the pool.

 Walking further on, we joined the road over the dam and walked across it to join the opposite side of the pool and later, back to the Serpentine and then upwards to the Visitor Centre, a total of 4 miles, mainly, thankfully in the shade.

 Lunch was taken at “The Top Inn” at Brown Edge. Excellent food enjoyed by all seven of us.

 The next walk will be on Wednesday 5th September, meeting on the Kidsgrove Car Parks for a 9:30am for departure to Trentham Gardens.   

   Graham Tunnicliff

Your Duck is Dead

 A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgery. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest. After a moment or two the vet shook his head and said sadly, “I’m sorry, but your duck has passed away.” The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”. “Yes, I am sure” said the vet “Your duck is dead”.  “How can you be so sure?” protested the woman. I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.” The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to tail. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room. The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said before, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.” The vet turned to his computer terminal, pressed a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck’s owner, still in shock looked at the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

 The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry but if you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the CAT scan, it’s now $150.

                                                                                                                       Supplied by David Tipper

The Amateur Philosopher

 Work is the scourge of the drinking classes.

                                                                                                         Oscar Wilde

Newsletter Editor

Chris Brough compiles and publishes the Probus Newsletter.

Articles of interest to members should be sent by Email to Chris at  Or phone 01782 784075 in the first instance. For an inclusion in the next newsletter, articles should be delivered to the editor at least

7 days before the monthly meeting.

Our next Probus meeting is on Wednesday 26th September at

Kidsgrove Cricket Club, 9.30 for 10am.