August 2017

Club News

Our Chairman, Gerry Thompson, thanked everyone for their best wishes and kindness during his recovery from a bad car accident in June – the true ‘Spirit of Probus’ was very evident. Gerry welcomed 32 members plus our speaker and his wife. He then had the pleasure of inducting our latest member, Richard Majewski.


We were pleased to welcome back Arthur Trunchion. Norman Pollard sent his best wishes – he is a carer to his wife. Hugh Roberts and Eugene Lightbody, both having hospital appointments, were wished a speedy return. £33.95 was raised for the Chairman’s Charity (Salvation Army) and for the Raffle £30. If you, your partner or another member is unwell, please contact our almoner:, 01737 202243. Monthly meeting attendance, please contact Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055. After many years of service, Andrew has indicated that he wishes to step down as luncheon secretary by December. Please consider any nominations.

Outings and Events

Orpheus Centre 11th July. A small but select band from Coulsdon Probus were treated to wonderful experience at The Orpheus Centre in Godstone.  The theme was of actors rehearsing for Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream when a murder is committed to one of the cast.  The cast, and the audience, have to solve the crime as Shakespeare’s play proceeds. All of the cast of young mentally and physically handicapped actors gave their all in this production. The Centre thanked Coulsdon Probus for our donation of £200.00 and gave us a guided tour of the Centre’s facilities for the young people.  We have been invited back for the Christmas production.            JM

Ladies Lunch: 19th October – please diarise. An entertainer has been booked.
Contact: Please phone Jim on 01737 555974 or email

Quiz: Our annual quiz will be on 16th November – This year, the quiz will be a special fund-raising event for our 50th Anniversary Year in 2018. There will be a fish and chip supper and other Probuses have been invited.


Today: Glenda Law: Wildlife of the Seychelles

September 7th: Rupert Mathews: Women at War

October 5th: Peter Jones: National Trust

November 2nd: Neil Saddler: California Dreaming

John Halligan: The Lord Mayor of the City of London


Our speaker in July, John, has been a City of London Guide since 2004 and has since added several topics to his repertoire. This was the first talk that John composed based on the tour guides and described the history and pageantry associated with the position of the Lord Mayor and the importance of the role in promoting today’s modern City. John was ably assisted by his wife, Joy, at the projector.


John made sure that we did not confuse the politically appointed Mayor of London and the ancient post of Mayor of London (City square mile). The Tower of London is just outside the City. The earliest known record referring to a Mayor in the City is dated 1189, with Henry Fitz-Ailwyn holding the post for 24 years. In 1215, King John decided that Mayors should be elected annually and should swear allegiance to the Sovereign, which was the beginning of the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.


We were told about the life of probably the most famous Mayor, Richard Whittington who was mayor four times. He was a prominent member of the Mercers’ Livery Company and a rich merchant and was generous by donating money to others during his lifetime. He established a property for retired priests in the City which still exists today as Whittington College, a retirement home in East Grinstead. On his death in 1423, he left a legacy to his Livery Company to administer, which helped finance the re-building of the Town Hall and later the Guildhall. The pantomime, Dick Whittington came 200 years later.


John explained the various stages people go through to become Lord Mayor today. It takes a number of years and the role is not one for the faint–hearted. First you have to become a Freeman of the City of London (3 methods), then join a livery company (110 companies), voted in as an alderman, become sheriff and finally become Lord Mayor elect. The next day (Michaelmas Day, 29th September) is the Lord Mayor’s Day. The Coach has six horses (the sovereign has eight and everyone else four) and is followed by floats (originally on the Thames). Another major event of the year is the Lord Mayor’s Banquet plus the Lord Mayor makes 100 overseas trips each year to promote London, attends state banquets and charity functions.


The official residence of the Lord Mayor is Mansion House built after the Great Fire of London and still used for its original purpose. There have been two female Lord Mayors in recent years. It’s a non-party political post and is usually rewarded at the end of the term with a knighthood.


Editorial: 50th Anniversary Year 2018 Programme – Ian Payne


At July’s meeting I was asked to produce a report on progress towards our 50th Anniversary Year in 2018. Here are the minutes of our last meeting (with some amendments for brevity). Comments are welcome.


50th Anniversary 2018 Committee

Minutes of meeting 6th July 2017, 10.30 am (½ hour prior to main Committee)

Present: Dennis Evans, Jim Mulvey, Ian Payne, Michael Southwell, Gerrard Thompson, Roger Udall


  1. Minutes of 16th May 2017 meeting – taken as read.


  1. Roger Udall has decided to step down from the Committee.


  1. Celebration Dinner 11th May 2018

i      The Mayor has accepted our invitation. Council ‘Event Pro-forma’ received for completing nearer the time. Suggest outline speech be written for the Mayor.

ii    Michael informed that the Amenity Fund balance is currently £2597.

iii   Jim delegated to select menus (starter, main, dessert) for the evening.

iv   Preliminary costings are: Meal: £35 per attendee + gratis for six guests (Mayor +1, Caterham Probus (2), Sanderstead & Riddlesdown Probus (2))

Costs to be borne by Coulsdon Probus as below:

Six gratis meals (£210): Wine for Top Table (£60): Flowers (Top Table only) (£100): Table centres (£130): Entertainer (£200): Parker Pen engraved for ladies £6.59 each (£400): Printing – invitation, programme & Admin (£150). Total: £1250

v     Other possible enhancements rejected for the time being:

Two bottles of wine for each table:                  Transport for disabled members.

vi   Ian authorised to send out invitation letters to:

Gratis (chair & partner) invitations: Caterham Probus, Sanderstead & Riddlesdown Probus

Paying guests: Coulsdon Manor Rotary, Purley, Woodcote, Sanderstead&Purley Oaks Probuses.

[14/07/17: appropriate addressees were established and the letters have been despatched.]


  1. Celebration Meal for Members etc.

A Celebration meal at a local inn for members, wives and widows – costs likely to be: meal £600, coach £650. To be met from member donation and from the Amenity Fund.


  1. Commemorative Plaque at red Lion: Jim has made enquiries and is awaiting a response.


  1. Annual Quiz with fish and chip supper

Retirement Centre has been booked for 16th November 2017, 7 p.m.

Quizmaster Dennis is preparing questions. H&S form complete. Insurance renew Sept.

Ian to send invitation letters to Rotary other Probus clubs to ascertain likely take-up.


  1. Other Possible Events

Bluebell Railway with possible meal at Bessemer Alms, Sheffield Park Stn. Costing–DE.

Other outings: River Trip, Theatre all to be themed as part of our 2018 Celebration Year.

Anniversary Year Programme of Events for members.  Ian to prepare draft.


  1. Any Other Business

Publicity Officer: Ian has volunteered: Articles for Probus Magazine, Advertiser, CR5 etc.

Other possible publicity: Website, Special Banner, Bunting.

Old Coulsdon Fair 2018. Plan major presence. Aims: awareness, publicity, recruitment.


  1. Next Meeting: 5th October 2017 @ 10.30 am or earlier if required.


‘Items from my junk drawer: Part 1’ by Ian Payne


Kodak Brownie Box Camera

The originals in 1900 were made of cardboard, but mine is plastic – a Model D circa 1954. A fixed lens projected the image on to a 620 roll film which took twelve (I think) photos. There was a separate small pre-view lens. Do you remember taking your exposed roll to the chemist and having to go somewhere dark to put in a new film – slot it into place and wind on to the first position. And then you waited anxiously for a week until the developed film was ready for collection. In the sixth form at school we had a dark room where we could do our own developing. And I remember a science trip to the Kodak factory where they made the photographic film and paper. We went onto the ‘paper’ floor and it was pretty dark but they told us that the ‘film’ floor was even darker and that everybody had to say “me, me, me, . . .” as they pushed their trolleys across the floor. Did you know that Kodak went bankrupt in 2012 – they just hadn’t anticipated the digital era.


CND Badges

A box of 1960s badges from various Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament marches. There were thousands of us protesting against the bomb on the four day march ending at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. We were organised by colour – Our group from Lewisham was in magenta group. We snaked across the countryside and for each stop during the day and overnight we trooped into a prepared field and lined up in our colours before eating our packed lunches or camping for the night. And as we marched we sang campaign songs (copies of the words were distributed) including ‘Put my name down, brother, Where do I sign? I’m gonna join the fight for peace Right down the line, Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, If you don’t sign up the world goes bust, So I’m gonna put my name down.’, ‘The H-Bomb’s Thunder’ with a chorus of ‘Men and women stand together, Do not heed the men of war, Make your minds up now or never, Ban the bomb for evermore.’ Also there was the anti-Polaris (forerunner of Trident) song, one of the verses being ‘The mayor o’ Dunoon sold the toon for half-a-croon, The toon for half-a-croon, the toon for half-a-croon, The mayor
o’ Dunoon sold the toon for half-a-croon, But we dinnae want Polaris!

Other badges in the box were my Cycling Proficiency and Prefect badges.


Part 2 could follow unless you want to tell us what’s in your junk drawer!

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