Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Newsletters > July 2015

July 2015

President’s Remarks

One of our members Trevor Proudman is very poorly and is in ward 1 of Macclesfield General Hospital. Barry Knapper has been to visit him, but he does not wish to have any other visitors, but would welcome cards.

As most of you are aware it is the 20th anniversary of our club next year, and this milestone in our history should really be celebrated and we would like to do something special. We are, therefore, looking for your suggestions to mark the event, and would ask members to let myself or members of the council know your ideas.

It is the time of year again when our £25 subscription is due for payment at today’s meeting.

Will members please note that the date of the August meeting has been brought forward to the 19th August due to the holiday to Bognor Regis the following week.

Stephen Rhodes.

The Speaker today is: – Mr Michael Hallworth and his subject is: –                      Down Forget Me Not Lane 1939-45

Promus Group Photograph

Weather permitting; a group photo of members will be taken at the meeting today.

Birthdays during August 2015

Jeffrey Parker, Dennis Fletcher, Clifford Triner.

The Way We Were

Congratulations to Ken and Marjorie Williamson on being a winner in The Sentinel, The Way we were Memory Factor Competition. Ken told of his time when he met Marjorie on a school bus and their romance led to a lifetime of cinema-going throughout decades of married life. It all built around the sadly lost Regent Cinema in Butt Lane.

Probus Constitution

Following the changes to the Probus Constitution agreed at the Annual General Meeting, a new copy of the document is available for members to collect at the meeting. If you would like an electronic copy, please advise the Secretary.

Outing to Severn Valley Railway 8 July 2015

After an early morning start 51 passengers boarded Hollinshead’s coach for an outing to the Severn Valley Railway.

Arriving at Bridgnorth station at 10.00am we had time for coffee before taking our seats in the reserved carriages in the train.

Setting off at 11.00am our steam engine train took us down the Severn valley passing through Hampton Loade, Highley, Arley, Bewley with beautiful views of the river, the Safari Park, where the elephants were playing “Trunk Ball” and eventually reaching Kidderminster station.

Lunch was taken there where Ken and Marjorie Williamson had fish and chips Al Fresco which was enjoyed by all The Passing Party!

Re-joining the train we travelled back to Highley where we alighted and explored the museum with its restored steam engines, carriages, a postal van and a souvenir shop.

Most people enjoyed afternoon tea at the Flag & Whistle food sop with stunning balcony views across the River Severn before boarding the train again to travel back to Bridgnorth, where we joined the coach at 5.00pm for the journey back to Kidsgrove.

An enjoyable day was had by all and our thanks to Hollinsheads driver Steve, and our own Peter Lowe for organising the event.

Ken Williamson 

Did You Know?

Some more facts about the 1500’s:-

In those days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas’ porridge cold, peas’ porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon”. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat. Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom; “Of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realised they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer”.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor”, but worse than that were the really poor folk, who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot, they “Didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Walk Report – July 2015

This month’s walk was an attempt on the summit of “The Cloud” (height 343 metres) situated to the north of Congleton.  Ten members met for the start of the walk which started at Timbersbrook, just below the hill.

The weather was very warm and sunny and the cool breezes as we got higher were much appreciated, as were the fine views on the way up and when we stopped for a rest at the top.  We came down via the other (northerly) side of the hill and followed the Staffordshire Way to the Bridestones, a Neolithic chambered cairn, eventually circling round the start – a total distance of about 4 miles.

Afterwards we had a very pleasant lunch at the Church House, Buglawton.


Nuisance calls and texts

Have you been bombarded by cold-calling companies recently? If so you can report these nuisance calls and spam texts, as well as silent phone calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The website is: or get advice via its helpline on 0303 123 1113 (charged at local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate).

Dates for your Diary

Wednesday22 July 2015Probus Council Meeting at the Cricket Club. Meet 9.30am.
Tuesday28 July 2015Probus Bowls at C.H.B.C at 10.15am.
Wednesday29 July 2015Probus Ordinary Meeting at the Cricket Club. Meet 9.30am for 10.00am start.
Wednesday29 July 2015Come along and be part of the new Friendship Club at Kidsgrove Town Hall. A monthly get together providing various speakers, tea and chat, tea dances and more. Time 2.00pm -3.30pm. £1 includes tea/coffee and biscuits.
Tuesday4 Aug 2015Probus Bowls at C.H.B.C at 10.15am.
Wednesday5 Aug 2015The Probus walk today is around Oakamoor. Meet at the car park in Heathcote Street, Kidsgrove at 9.30am.
Tuesday11 Aug 2015Probus Bowls at C.H.B.C at 10.15am.
Friday14 Aug 2015Coach outing to Shrewsbury and Flower Show. Cost £29.00 (Inc. show). Town only £10.00.
Tuesday18 Aug 2015Probus Bowls at C.H.B.C at 10.15am.
Wednesday19 Aug 2015Probus Ordinary Meeting at the Cricket Club. Meet 9.30am for 10.00am start.

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