Probus Club of Kidsgrove > Newsletters > November 2017

November 2017

President’s Remarks November 2017

In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place and in the sky the larks, still bravely, singing fly, scarce heard amid the guns below.

Such are the opening lines of the famous poem by Lieut. Col. John Macrae, who was a soldier, physician and poet, and the poem is known the world over.  He fought in the 1st World War at Ypres in the Flanders region, where many soldiers lost their lives, including many of his friends.

In 15 short lines he captures the courage, the valour and also the stark reality of war. The images he invokes of lives once so full of hopes and dreams, now vanquished by the ravages of war.

However, the poem stands as a testimony to the many thousands of men and women who gave their lives to secure our freedom and not only helped to determine the course of the war but also the course of history.

I felt it a great honour and privilege to lay the wreath on behalf of our Probus Club at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, as a mark of our respect and admiration for those of our forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom and so that we could live in peace.  It was good to see so many of our members could join the ceremony. I also felt privileged to speak to a member of our armed forces who to date has served in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

On the home front we continue to keep in our thoughts Chris Brough and Peter Lowe, both still receiving medical treatment.  Also, Eddie Bates who has suffered a minor stroke and lost some of the use in his right hand.   However, doctors feel confident that with therapy he should regain full use again.                         

We all look forward to our Christmas Lunch at The Manor Hotel, Alsager, on Friday 1st December, which should prove a happy occasion to start the seasonal festivities whatever you have planned.

On that note as this will be my last letter for 2017 may Pauline and I take the opportunity to wish all our members a very Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

With best wishes to you all.

President Terry Dale

            Todays speaker is  Mr. P Durnall 

whose subject is ‘Shropshire Wildlife’

Birthdays in December 

Graham Bew, John Dunn, Peter Groom & Stephen Rhodes

Birthdays in January 2018

Dave Birchall, Barrie Knapper, John Manley &

 Graham Tunnicliff

Social Reports  November


Thirty six members and wives, partners and friends set off on Monday 20th November for a 5 Day Turkey and Tinsel Holiday to the George IV Hotel, Criccieth with ALFA Travel and their Lady Coach Driver, Amanda.

After the usual pick up points we made our way to sunny Llandudno for a lunch break and the more energetic of our party took the opportunity of walking along the promenade and pier whilst the less active toured the shops.

Returning to the coach we resumed our journey to arrive at our hotel in Criccieth mid afternoon. Rooms and keys were allocated and while luggage was sorted and delivered to our rooms we enjoyed a sherry reception in the Lounge area. 

There was time to take a short stroll to explore the main street before changing and assembling in the Bar and being conducted to our table in the large Dining Room for evening dinner. There were three coach parties in the hotel but the staff coped well and service was very good.

Dinner was followed by Bingo in the small entertainment room while the main dining room was prepared for the evening entertainment, which was provided by a lady vocalist with backing musical accompaniment for all sorts of dancing.

After breakfast on Tuesday we had a full day out visiting Pwllheli in the morning and Caernarfon in the afternoon returning to the Hotel late afternoon. 

Dinner, Bingo and entertainment followed with a male singer and keyboard player providing music for dancing.

Wednesday after breakfast was a free day to explore the locality but it was an extremely wet day. Some ventured out on a train journey but most people chatted in the hotel until “Christmas Lunch” was served with crackers and party hats and a visit from Father Christmas with presents for all. In the afternoon Father Christmas organised party games and quizzes with tea and mince pies. Dinner, Bingo and another female singer provided the evening entertainment and accommodated the ‘Probus line dancing team’.       

On Thursday morning after breakfast we visited Porthmadog returning to the hotel for our “Boxing Day” lunch. In the afternoon there was an optional visit to the Garden Centre at Llanfair P.G. in Anglesey with a scenic journey, enjoying the views of the Menai Straits, Caernarfon Castle, Britannia Bridge and Telford Bridge at Conway.

We returned to the hotel for our last evening dinner followed by Bingo and entertainment again provided by Tuesday’s popular lady vocalist and supported by a Fancy Dress Parade which had to be seen to be believed.(No doubt some photographs will be circulated, unless censored!). Early retirement was advised for it was ‘cases out’ at 7.00am next morning.

After Friday’s breakfast sadly we had to leave the George IV Hotel for our journey home stopping for lunch at the Tweed Mill Outlet at St Asaph. Avoiding the problems of the Motorway we took the rural roads via Nantwich arriving back in Kidsgrove at 3.00pm.

Our thanks to ALFA, the George IV management and staff and particularly our driver Amanda who negotiated all the narrow roads, looked after us so well and joined us for the evening entertainment.

Sadly some of our regular travellers were unable to be with us on this occasion but we did miss them and think about them. We do sincerely hope that their health will improve so that they will be able to join us again on future outings.  

Ken Williamson


Our main event this month was the 5 Day Turkey and Tinsel Holiday to Criccieth which is fully reported elsewhere.

We now look forward to the Christmas Luncheon at the Manor House Hotel on Friday 1st December 2017 at 12.30pm for 1.00pm. Party games, quizzes and carols will follow with bumper prizes. Some may appear in Fancy Dress!

This is the last report of the year and I do hope you have enjoyed the social events in the Club.

Looking to 2018 – Holidays in the Spring to Eastbourne and in the Autumn to Bournemouth are being sourced and also a visit to Middleport Pottery. Further suggestions are always welcome but we do need a positive attendance to make any events viable. If you have not managed to join us in 2017 try to make it in 2018.

Best Wishes and a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

   Ken Williamson

Walk Report November 2017

          This months walk took place on Wednesday 1st November. The last time we did this walk was in June 2008 when there were seventeen of us who travelled to Ryecroft Gate Car Park.

          Nine years later our numbers have dwindled to nine of which only three of the seventeen took part. One thing that has not changed is the weather, blue sky and sunshine.

          We parked on the Hotel Car Park and set off in an anticlockwise direction to follow the narrow gauge railway line, with the lake on our left. Towards Rycroft, remnants of the Halloween activities were being collected by the railway staff who gave us a cheery wave as they sped past towards the station.

          Once at Rycroft we turned left to head across the fields towards Cliffe Park House, some of you will remember this rather mysterious building with its elaborate stonework, well the only changes are the removal of rhododendrons from the side entrance and the addition of CCTV. Obviously changes are afoot, lets hope they don’t succeed in diverting the footpath, which it is rumoured they have applied for.

          Continuing along the track we were soon passing the many expensive lake side dwellings some of which are now available as holiday lets; a far cry from the chalets of years ago.

          Soon we had reached our destination, which our more tech savvy, assure me made the walk just under 5 miles.

Rudyard Hotel has also changed hands and is very popular, judging from the queues around the bar, fortunately our table had been pre booked and 10 of us were soon enjoying an excellent Carvery.

          The next walk will be announced later, but because of Christmas and the New Year it is unlikely to be before February.

Historical Note

Rudyard Lake was constructed in 1799 by the damming of a brook which marked the boundary with Horton. In 1934 Rudyard was amalgamated with Horton to form Horton Civil Parish.

And yes for those who don’t know, Rudyard Kipling’s name is derived from the place name Rudyard.

                                                                                                          Graham Tunnicliff

Further information and events can be found in

‘Dates For Your Diary’, available on the Probus Web Site.

The Amateur Philosopher.

        Laughter Is Inner Jogging!

Norman Cousins

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 any inclusion in the next newsletter, articles should be delivered to the editor at least 10 days before the monthly meeting.

Our next Probus meeting is on

Wednesday 31st January 2018 at

Kidsgrove  Cricket Club, 9.30 for 10am.