December 2012


___Each month this page relates opinions held by your Editor and has little to do with our Club.  I apologise to any who are wondering why I should bother you, but they just might get you thinking along the same lines; or they might even cause you to disagree out loud.

What I am on about this month are two items that continue to be the backgrounds to news in the papers and on TV:  the Leveson Report and the Church of England’s rejection of women Bishops.

The bit in the Leveson Report that raises my hackles – from all of the thousands of words published by them – is their demand for a law that will cause censorship of our news sources, not only newspapers, but TV, radio and other places readily available to us.  There was something like this during the War for obvious reasons, but this is so-called peacetime and we rely on our news companies to keep us in touch with the dreadful goings-on in Parliament and industry.  To prevent this would in my opinion encourage lying and corruption and the like.  By all means try to control the likes of Twitter and such, but leave the others free; they will be taken to court under present laws if they offend.

Now, women Bishops:  Why not?  It is said that Christ never had women disciples and that’s why.  Maybe, but He lived in a land and at a time when men ruled everything, so as an argument against women Bishops in today’s community this doesn’t hold up.

When female Priests were allowed 20 years ago, I was very doubtful, but I changed my mind when I met them and heard them recite with feeling the glorious words of the Book of Common Prayer and their sermons made sense, too.

So, if Priests and Archdeacons are allowed, why not Bishops?

Perhaps the glass ceiling exists and is actually made of stained glass…


IMAG0166We have all played with jigsaws in our lives, a childhood way of passing the hours, perhaps whilst recovering from illness or accident.  We enjoyed them, but other enjoyments took their place as the years rolled by, so what on earth was John Hyde going to tell us that would interest us in our much later lives?  A lot, was the answer.

John is a ‘Disectologist’ which is the word covering enthusiasm for jigsaws to the point of being a collector and no doubt a maker of such puzzles.  He told us he has collected over 2,000 of the old wooden puzzles, starting from when as a boy he was recovering from measles.  How does one store that many without serious comment from family?

IMAG0165Jigsaws began in the 1750s, mainly to teach people through cut-up maps depicting the expanding British Empire.  The pieces were hand cut in the shape of the countries we had conquered: did schools teach geography using these?  If so, they were added to with maps and scenes from the Bible as well, but children loved them and demanded that puzzles with other pictures be added.  Royalty pictures were popular, with the pieces cut to the shapes of the face and body, not the locking piece layout we know today.

Jigsaws were at the height of their popularity in the period following World War I – indeed that is when your Editor was given his first puzzles.  Chad Valley were the largest manufacturer and were, indeed still are, famous for their puzzles depicting GWR steam locomotives.  Victory puzzles came out in 1919 just after the war and their best-known group featured Cunard ships and were used by Cunard as advertising.

The idea of advertising a company’s products caught on, with manufacturing companies featuring the puzzle bits in the shapes of their products, e.g. hammers and other tools. Ovaltine and Pears Soap were popular producers of puzzles.

The manufacture of puzzles these days is, in cardboard a matter of stamping them out, but wooden ones are now made using lasers that cut out 200 pieces a minute.

An excellent talk by a man who knew and loved his subject.

Today:      The welcome visit of Rev Malcolm Newman marking

      the arrival of the Christmas Festival.

January 3rd:  John Chisholm tells us about Piers and Promenades.

February 7th:Titanic:  David Brown’s back is better since June

                                 so he will be giving us his story now.

March 7th:  Annual General Meeting

Club News

We welcomed Roger Bennett to the Club as a new member at our meeting in November.

We also welcomed back Roger Davis after his hip operation.  He is now able to walk without his ‘third leg’ and with his wife Diane also very much recovered from her illness, were able to attend a do at the Oasis Academy last week end.

Dudley Coates is once again back in Mayday.  First it was ulcers on his legs, then recovering most recently from pneumonia, he has now gone down with a urine infection – is there no end to all this? asks Joan.  He passes on his thanks to the Club for the get-well-soon card we sent; let’s hope it works fast.

Peter Babler emailed to say that he has had ‘a little accident’ and as a result can hardly walk, so he is absent today.  He is getting better and hopes to be active again in a short while.

A happy Christmas to all the above and any other fellow Probeans who are under the weather.

Dennis Evans reports on the quiz he organised on November 15th at the Old Coulsdon Centre.  He also sent the Newsletter information on some of the more interesting questions he had found to ask and these are on the back page for you all the marvel.

For the fifth time in succession the winning Quiz team was ‘Roger and Out’, as they are known, comprising Roger & Anne Brunton and Roger & Christine Udall.  They won by just one point only this time, 93 points to the 92 marked up by the ‘Last Chance’ team comprising Brian& Lorna Blakeney and Jim & Eileen & Steve Mulvey.  All told there were five teams trying hard, but Dennis knows where to find the questions and there were 144 possible points to be won.  Congratulations to all who entered; congratulations on their memories too, the lack of which touches so many of us in the later stages of life.

Dennis thanks not only the twenty Quiz participants. But also the ladies who helped with the refreshments.

Our Club has been thanked by the Old Coulsdon Centre for the winning Quiz team once again giving their prize to the Centre; another £63 to keep this very important facility going, for not only the elderly of Old Coulsdon but the many clubs and other organisations that regularly hire their rooms.

Now then, Gentlemen Probeans, thanks to several who have contributed tales for use on the back page of the Newsletter.  I now have several months’ worth lined up which will see us through Easter and beyond.  Mind you, if a story comes up worthy of the space in the mean time, let me have it.

The November Quiz

Thanks again to Dennis Evans for running his Quiz.  Here are some of the questions he asked and the answers:

Q:What European capital city has a name meaning ‘Island of Poles’?

A: Stockholm, which is built on 20 islands with piles foundations.

(Venice and Amsterdam are also on piles).

Q: What is the origin of the 2-finger V rude sign & where did it originate?

A: Archers used the two fingers to pull the bow. Said to originate at Agincourt when British archers taunted the French by holding them up.

Q:Who are the only 3 commoners in England honoured with a state funeral?

A: Sir Winston Churchill;  The Duke of Wellington;  The Unknown Soldier.

Q: The world’s newest nation became independent in July 2011. What is its name?   A: The Republic of South Sudan.

Q: What three new Cities were created in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee      Year?

A: Chelmsford, England;  Perth, Scotland;  St. Asaph (Llanelwy) Wales.

Q: What is Zorbing as a sport?A: Rolling down hills in an inflatable ball.

Q: What doe these car model names have in common:Chevrolet NOVA;

Ford PINTO;  Honda FITTA;  Rolls Royce SILVER MIST?

A: They are unacceptable in certain countries.   NOVA (Spanish) means it does not go;  PINTO (Brazil) is slang for a small penis;  FITTA (Swedish) refersto a certain part of the female anatomy;  MIST (German) is a pile of manure.

Q: How many beads should there be on a Catholic Rosary?

A: 165: 15 sets of 10 for Hail Mary’s plus 1 bead between each set for the Lord’s Prayer.


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