February 2012

HOW WE HAVE CHANGED A few months ago I was listening to a radio discussion with some men saying how life and society has changed in their time, when one of them said “In the earlier part of the last century…” and then went on to offer examples of change.  The point was that he […]

January 2012

SIXTY YEARS AGO Yes, a couple of months ago I mentioned my decision to change my life, but the fact that once again Nigeria is in the news for all the wrong reasons will suffice as an excuse to add a bit of detail to my life. I am not alone in our Probus Club […]

December 2001

Living in Old Coulsdon now We are almost all incomers to Old Coulsdon these days, a fact that is regularly proved when, at the beginning of a lecture on local history I ask ‘Who was born and bred here?’  Out of say 40 people present just a couple of hands will rise and they are […]

October 2011

PLACE NAMES Coulsdon What do we call the place?  I mean when we speak the name of our lovely village tucked on and under the Surrey North Downs.  A village still?  Part of the Borough of Croydon in Greater London?  Certainly not the latter if we can possibly avoid it. No, I mean how should […]

August 2011

THE COST OF THINGS Yes, we belong to the luckiest generation known to recent history, what with the last serious war being over sixty years ago and economics having a generally-upwards trend all the time; our pensions, while not being the greatest, are at least more certain than those for our children. It’s just the […]

July 2011

THE QUEEN, GOD BLESS HER A toast to be given with pride and thanks. When I heard that Her Majesty was to visit the Republic of Ireland at a time when trouble was brewing again in Belfast, my heart sank and I made sure to pray that it would all pass without republican anger that […]

June 2011

LETS TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER Reg Baker  tells me his ankle is healing well; he is getting round much easier now and indeed he hopes to be present at this meeting. We have missed Roger Davies recently, owing to his wife’s illness, but Lawrence Painting is recovering after his operation, so let’s hope they will […]

May 2011

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES Last month’s childhood memory from Tony Simpson, of living before and during World War II in the countryside of Devon, with no water or electricity mains and such, was a revelation to me and no doubt to many of our members of a similar age.  I was luckier. This memory of my childhood […]

May 2005

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE… … and not a drop to drink (said, I think, The Ancient Mariner). If it doesn’t start raining soon, we shall be in the same position. The weather forecasters don’t help, with their joyful faces telling us that “the weather will be bright, hot and sunny for the foreseeable future”, never thinking […]

April 2005

OUR HUNDREDTH Never thought we would make it; indeed, never thought about it at all until this passing milestone was mentioned at our last meeting. What is so special about achieving a hundred of anything anyway? It’s a passing thought that, had humans been born with six digits on each hand instead of five, there […]