Club News – Ian Payne

Our first post-lockdown meeting took place on 8th September in Chairman, Andrew Jurenko’s garden. Ten brave members attended with packed lunches, chairs and, yours truly, with a camping table. It was a great get-together after so long, but some serious business was on the agenda. We recalled our lost members since the last meeting: Adrian Lasrado (April), Norman Pollard (June) and Roger Davis (August). Also we caught up on birthdays from April to September.

It was agreed to pay our usual Purley Sports Club quarterly fee in October (to keep the club afloat during the pandemic). It was also agreed that members should be asked to contribute £30 towards the venue (Purley Sports Club), Insurance and Probus magazine and other continuing costs. See ‘Contributions’ below.

£110 was collected from members present towards the Chairman’s Charity – NASS – National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society. It was thought that other members may wish to contribute. See ‘Contributions’ below.

We took the Loyal Toast before consuming our packed lunches. Discussions over lunch included the consequences and likely progress of the Covid-19 pandemic. All speaker bookings have been cancelled. There were suggestions that we could invite speakers to future ‘garden’ meetings. Talks by Skype or Zoom were considered unlikely due to the many members who would be unable to participate. Vincent Fosdike and Ian Payne were thanked for the continuing fortnightly issues of the Newsletter.

Andrew Jurenko said that he was amenable to extending his chairmanship for a further year and Roger Gourd volunteered as Vice Chairman. Although our Chairman offered a further meeting in his garden in October, the new ‘Rule of six’ was announced by the government the following day and therefore, no further meetings are planned at least for the rest of 2020. We closed the meeting with our traditional Toast to Absent Friends.


Probus Club costs – see above: £30 per member
Contributions to Chairman’s Charity (see above): at member’s discretion

Please make payment to:
Coulsdon Probus Club
Treasurer Michael Southwell
26 Warwick Road
Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2EE

Editor – Vincent Fosdike

Please email any Newsletter items or requests etc. to

End of Term School Report by Vincent Fosdike

Well gentlemen I think we may review our shared memories of school days and in doing so I will make brief mention of my own which have not been fully written up but do seem slightly different from the class average. I started out pondering on the saying that School Days were the happiest days of one’s life. I left school at 16 and went on to do “A” levels at Wandsworth Technical College. Certainly those days have very happy memories. But as for school proper it was completely the opposite, perhaps because we moved a lot and really my perception may have affected by the upheavals involved.

On sorting out my late mothers papers I found my old school reports. The recurrent theme was “will do better when he settles down”. I was not disruptive and usually in the top class although I failed the 11+. I think my attitude to the efforts of our teachers and the subjects they taught rather parallels that of the late John Le Mesurier (Sgt. Wilson in Dad’s Army). I thought it really was “awfully nice of them to tell me all about King Henry or how a leaf is formed but expecting me to remember these things was really a bit much, don’t you think”? Quite a lot of my impressions of school seems to reflect the war service of teachers who probably had found employment after de-mob and taken the least worst option. Four of my teachers were all given to outbreaks of violence that would have earned them at least a suspended sentence today. On reflection they probably suffered post-traumatic stress. Our music teacher had been injured as a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber, his face showing the wound. No one moved or talked in his class whilst he played us classical music. At a different school the P.E. teacher had served on an aircraft carrier and later as mental health nurse (we all thought he was really an ex -patient). He even turned a double desk over on top of two girls during a maths lesson (his other subject), fortunately he then ran out of the room to be replaced by the headmaster for the rest of the period. Another incident at a different school involved us being given a mass canning when the culprit would not own up. This came about when a visiting opera singer suffered the indignity of being informed that “we want football” by a member of the audience whose voice we all recognised! I must say it was a brave effort to instil culture into our mob and absolutely doomed to fail. Sadly I did not appreciate that value of that assault nor the housemaster who administered it. Strangely those types never left the school or were absent much. Perhaps their war had hardened them. New young teachers seldom lasted more than a year as the traffic in anti-social behaviour was two-way. I am told the survival of a newly qualified teacher today is under 5 years.

However, most of you seem to have had less of the rough stuff and quite enjoyed your time. None of you referred to academic achievement so this did not seem to register as the raison d’être of school. My own was below par.

Would I like a few days back in time at the old schools (now all demolished)? Well just a couple. What about you?

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