August 2018

Business Meeting, 5th July 2018

Chairman, Ian Payne, welcomed 31 members, two guests, Trevor Peck and David Charles plus our speaker, Richard Griffin. Arthur Trunchion is still unsteady on his feet. Other absebtees were Hugh Roberts, Eugene Lightbody (blood pressure – legs) and Vincent Fosdike (hospital appointment). We were pleased to welcome back walking wounded Tony Simpson and Gerry Thompson. Also warmly welcomed was Martin Bergs. The Chairman praised him for the wonderful Garden Party (back page of July issue) in memory of his wife Maija. Please contact our almoner, Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055, if you, your partner or another member is unwell (also temporarily for lunches – please notify Andrew by 10.30 am the prior Tuesday). The Charity Collection raised £65.29 and the raffle £33.

Members whose home phone would be unanswered in their absence were invited to let the Club have an emergency contact number. Reg Baker is to re-join the Committee. Members were reminded to add recommendations to the traders list which is on the website.

A discussion and vote on whether members prefer the current three course lunch or would prefer two – starter/main or main/dessert gave no clear winner. A 50-50 re-distribution of the third choice gives a result of ‘stay as we are’.

Our Free (£5 reservation) Celebration Lunch on 17th October will be at The Chateau, Coombe Lane, Croydon – one guest only – disbled access at rear – leaflets with menu choices are available today.
The Annual Quiz on Friday 2nd November with quizmaster Dennis will again feature a fish and chip supper with invitees from other Probus clubs. The cost is £12 p.p. – booking forms will be available at our September meeting.


See 50th Anniversary Year on page 3 for Celebration Lunch and Annual Quiz. Sanderstead Probus: 11th Sept: Stawberry Hill House and Richmond Poppy Factory. £38 p.p. including coach and lunch. Peter Coombes 020 0845 8406.


Today: Open Meeting: Mary Forlenza: Great LoversSeptember 6th – Glenda Law: Wild Life of the SeychellesOctober 4th – Peter Jones: A Year at ChartwellNovember 1st – Louise Camby: Benefits of Aloe Vera

Richard Griffin: Protection Officer to the Royal Family

Richard spent 32 years at Buckingham Palace, the last 14 years as personal bodyguard to the Queen and prior to that to Prince Philip and other members of the Royal Family. He retired from the police four years ago and now travels the country giving talks usually with his wife. It started through his granddaughterIsla’s school. Richard thought he was to give a talk to 25 children but the whole school turned out – 450of them. Questions included ‘How much did you earn?’ and ‘Did you tuck the Queen up at night?’

Richard started with pictures of the Queen first as a young child and then pictures through the ages to the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee. Through clever technology, each picture seemed to be moving then gradually morphing into the next. He recounted past incidents involving Protection Officers: 1936 attempt to assassinate Edward VIII, 1974 attempt to kidnap Princess Anne in which the protection officer got shot in the chest but still managed to get between the Princess and the gunman, 1982 when MichaelFagan got into the Queen’s bedroom and sat at the end of the bed for a chat.

Richard was part of a group told to investigate security at Buckingham Palace following the Fagan affair. After their report, he was offered a post as a protection officer and went for five months training. His first duty was three years with Prince Edward at Cambridge University where his means of transport was not a Rolls Royce but a bicycle. He went to Windsor Castle to meet the parents and told the Queen that previously he had been dealing with West End Vice. A memorable event at Cambridge was when Richard joined the Prince in a charity show – the Commissioner was not pleased. Three years later, Richard was given a choice – police station or work for the Prince of Edinburgh. Surely a Rolls Royce this time – no, horse and carriage. Part of the job was making arrangements for foreign visitors, e.g. The Pope.

In 1999 Richard was promoted to Protection Officer to the Queen – at long last he got his ride in a Rolls. At Balmoral, Richard accompanied the Queen on walks with the corgis. They met two American hikers. The Queenanswered their questions: “I’ve got a little house over the hill”, “I’ve nevermet her, but this guy meets her regularly”. During a grouse shoot the skiesopened and there was a picture of the Queen wearing Dick’s coat and hat.Richard was on the Royal Yacht Britannia and at the Olympics when the Queen jumped out of a helicopter!

At his retirement party, Richard was surprised by unannounced guests – the Queen, Prince Philip and the Earl of Essex. He had to change the prepared jokes. The following morning Richard was invested with the LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order), a personal gift of the Queen. Richard has to date raised £12,000 from his speaking engagements which he donates to the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Service.

Editorial – Ian Payne

Welcome everyone – Members, Wives, Partners, Guests – to our annual Open Meeting. This is also our 600th Meeting since the founding of Coulsdon Probus. Our entertainer, specially chosen for the occasion, willtalk about ‘Great Lovers’. We do hope you enjoy your afternoon with us.

50th Anniversary Year 2018

Old Coulsdon Fair: Coulsdon Probus Gazebo

Old Coulsdon Fair: 7th July 2018

A splendid display but a very poor attendance due to the competing World Cup quarter-final. Our stall was the last of the zig-zag rows so, unfortunately, we got even fewer visitors. Nonetheless 14 possible joiners took one of our leaflets – a good result. The Tombola featuring Arthur Trunchion’s small models and mobiles sold well considering the small numbers – proceeds tothe Chairman’s charity. Thank you to all those who helped on the day.

Celebration Lunch: 17th October 2018: The Chateau, Coombe Lane, Croydon. Please see booking form for menu, parking or tram or request for car-share options, diet and seating requirements. Free (except for non-refundable reservation fee of £5 p.p.) to Members (and Widows) and Partner or Friend.

Annual Quiz: Friday 2nd November (not 15th as previously advertised) atCameron Hall, Old Coulsdon (new larger venue). There will be a fish and chip supper. Dennis Evans will be quizmaster as usual and other Probus clubs will be invited. Booking/menu order forms will be available in September.

Genealogy and DNA by Ian Payne

Many of us have traced our family trees which is made easier nowadays by on-line census and birth/marriage/death records. But you may not share DNA with even a correctly identified direct ancestor. We all possess acomplete copy of each of our parents’ genes and our bodies will pick andchoose which to interpret for each body function – hence bad genes can beignored. It’s only when the zygote is formed in the fertilised egg that amixture (of the grandparents’ genes) takes place. Clearly it’s possible overthe generations to have nothing left from one’s n-great grandparent.

The human genome has some 3 billion DNA base pairs (≈ pairs of nucleobases) spread over 23 pairs of chromosomes. The chemistry of DNA duplication at inception is very complex and mistakes are made – about 1000 each time, which build up over the generations. Most of these errors don’tmatter because most of our DNA is accumulated junk between the meaningful genes (which code for proteins) which are each made up from 27,000 to 2 million DNA base pairs. There are only about 20,000 active genes in the human genome which leaves some 98.8 percent as noncoding junk DNA.

The tiny reproductive error rate in our 3 billion base pairs is nonetheless sufficient for differences (about 3 million base pairs) between any two individuals but, of course, very much less between related or ancestral individuals. This is the stuff of DNA analysis which can identify your parents or more distant relatives, the regions of the world from which your ancestors came and which diseases you may be prone to.

DNA analysis looks at the differences over the 23 chromosome pairs, but one of the pairs is hardly a pair at all. The 23rd chromosome consists of either an XX (females) or an XY (males) pair, an X from the mother and either an X or Y from the father. So the Y chromosome is inherited from yourfather only (and his father, and his father . . .). Richard III’s Y chromosome did not match his (actually his great great grandfather, Edward III’s) traced male line descendants proving a false paternity along the line. Separately inherited from the mitochondria (energy producers found in every cell) ismtDNA which is inherited from your mother’s side only. Richard III’s mtDNAdid exactly match traced female line descendants of his sister, Anne. This along with radiocarbon dating, estimated age at death, sex, presence of scoliosis (curved spine) and presence of perimortem wounds and a bit of statistics gave a 99.99999% likelihood that the skeleton in the car park was Richard III.

So how about testing your own DNA? Several companies offer a service –ancestry, 23and me, myheritage etc. Spit into the test tube and send off for the results. They tell you what percentages of your DNA come from various regions on earth and they may try to identify actual relatives. Of course, you only get the relatives who have done a DNA test with the same company. How about yours truly? Those of you who heard my presentation on discovering my ancestry will not be surprised to know that I came out 98% European Jewish. They found one second/third cousin and 1000+ third+ cousins. However, further analysis of the 1000+ found two third cousins who have the same great great grandfather as me* in their published family trees. Neither of these have the same great grandfather as me*(*grammatically it should be ‘I’, but even language evolves).

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