December 2017

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all

Club News

Attendance at November’s meeting was 28, one of our lowest. We have several members ill – Doug Elliott, David Holmes, Eugene Lightbody, Eric Jenkinson, Tony Simpson, Raymond Stemp and Arthur Trunchion. Some are seriously ill and others recovering. Eric is learning to drive a specially adapted car – we do hope he will re-join when he’s able. Please contact our almoner, 01737 202243, if you, your partner or another member is unwell. Please let Andrew Kellard know on 01737 554055 by 10.30 am the prior Tuesday if you can’t make the lunch. Some members left it to the night before and some just didn’t arrive – no doubt feeling unwell.

Members responded to the call to raise their contribution to the Chairman’s Charity. £46 was collected for the Salvation Army who will address us in March. The raffle for the amenity fund raised £30.

Barbara Stevens, our September speaker, wrote to say that she enjoyed her time here sharing laughs and sends kind regards. Martin Bergs asked for a £10 donation for his modern art calendar supporting the PSP association. Reg Baker announced he will be stepping down from the Committee – which leaves a vacancy, perhaps for a younger member. Andrew Kellard announced that we will be having gammon steak for Christmas with the usual trimmings – and he’s still waiting for a volunteer to replace him next year.


Outings and Events

American in Paris: Wed. 3rd January, Dominion Theatre + coach £44.25 p.p.

Contact: Please phone Jim on 01737 555974 or email
Jim is planning a new programme for Spring – part of our Anniversary Year.

Quiz: Our annual quiz on 16th November was very successful – see back page.



Today: Christmas with Reverend Malcolm Newman

January 4th: Chris Chippendale:

February 1st: Jim Mulvey: Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital

March 1st: The Chairman’s Charity – The Salvation Army

Neil Sadler: California Dreaming

In 2015, Neil entertained us with ‘Gongoozling for beginners’ (canals) and in 2013 ‘A policeman’s lot’. Last month he took us back to the mid-1960s and against a collage of images we remembered songs of the era: ‘Good Vibrations’ (The Beach Boys), ‘If you’re going to San Francisco’ (Scott McKenzie), and ‘California Dreamin – All the leaves are brown . . .’ (The Mamas & The Papas).

In 2013, Neil and his wife set off on a three week tour to include the Grand Canyon and the fabled Route 66. They were seeking pure Americana: Goldrush town: ‘Warning: Property protected by shotgun three days a week’.
‘Hasta la vista’: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film role reprised as an election slogan.
Cowboy action by Ronald Reagan who later became Governor of California and later President of the USA. RR joke: “You have to pay up front for this automobile, then come back when it’s ready in 10 years’ time”. “Morning or afternoon?”. “Does it matter?”. “The gas man’s coming in the morning.”

Golden Gate Bridge – 4th largest in the world; $34M; 1.7 miles; overcomes winds and the Andreas Fault; 2nd most popular suicide place in the world.
San Francisco Fairmont Hotel – set to open as the earthquake hit in 1906; room overlooking the bridge will set you back $930 per night. China Town.
Alcatraz: Federal Penitentiary (closed mid 60s) – they got to see it just before it finally closed to visitors: Al Capone, Machine-gun Kelly, Alvin ‘Creepy’ Karpis. Only three ever escaped – one of them was, of course, Clint Eastwood.

Who can forget the Summer of Love (1966), the Hippy culture, the Vietnam War protests and Herb Caen ‘One day if I do go to heaven…I’ll look around and say, “It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco”’. Neil was following Route 66. What’s left is all potholed and some of the bypassed towns decayed, but there’s the 40′ tall muffler man, typical of old adverts on R66. ‘Get your kicks on Route 66’ (Nat King Cole 1946, Chuck Berry 1961).

The Grand Canyon was closed due to a government shutdown because the budget had not been passed, but they had booked a plane to fly over it – advert: ‘Grand Canyon Airlines – never crashed’. The impressive Colorado River flows 277 miles down the Grand Canyon and is 18 miles wide in places.
The Pony Express, a 2000 mile mail delivery service lasted 18 months in 1860 – its downfall was the railroads. The Pony Express advertised for riders: ‘skinny,… orphans preferred’, $25 per week. It was a very risky job.

If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway that is best. Get your kicks on Route sixty-six. It winds from Chicago to LA, More than two thousand miles all the way. Now you go through Saint Looey, Joplin, Missouri, And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty. . . .


Editorial – Ian Payne

This is our last meeting of 2017 and as usual we’re looking forward to the Reverend Malcolm Newman’s possibly irreverent homage to the season. We’ve had a varied speaker programme including four of our own members and talks on Lord Mayor of London, Notable Local Ladies, The National Trust Properties and Barbara Stevens – who knows what she was talking about, but we all remember the famous calendar. Alan Green has made a splendid start on taking over as Speaker Secretary. Our speaker at the AGM on 1st March 2018 will be Major Mike Lloyd-Jones, pastor of the Salvation Army, this year’s Chairman’s Charity. He will give a short talk on their superb work around the world.

Also, I’d like to thank my contributors: Reg Baker on rationing, Vincent Fosdike with his differential views on life, Dennis Evans with his family’s success with their rescued pony and the quintessential pub – and the occasional filler by yours truly. How about the rest of you? Have you a story to tell or perhaps an interest that could be the basis of a talk?


50th Anniversary Year 2018

Celebration Dinner: 11th May 2018 at 7 pm: with the Mayor of Croydon, special guests and entertainer. £35 per person. We will facilitate car sharing.
Old Coulsdon Fair: July 2018: Andrew Banfield and Ian Payne are planning our stall. Support and ideas are welcome to make this a Probus showpiece.
600th Meeting: 2nd August 2018: This will be our annual Open Meeting.
Celebration Lunch: 17th October 2018: Coach House Restaurant, Godstone. 3 courses, £5 reservation, otherwise free for members, wives and widows.
All outings and events in 2018 to be themed as part of our Celebration Year.


QUIZ 2017

This year’s quiz was a fundraiser for our Anniversary year in 2018. We had 47 quizzers with Dennis in his usual role as quizmaster and yours truly as scorer and organiser with my wife Pauline and help from Andrew and Jenny. Nine teams competed including guests from Sanderstead & Purley Oaks, Caterham and Tandridge Probuses. Also one team each from Old Coulsdon Residents and East Coulsdon Residents. Fish and chips came from Danny’s and a fun time was had by all. The surplus, including a raffle came to £322. And the winners? – Sanderstead & Purley Oaks Probus.

  1. Can you name the two new stations to be built on an extension of the London Underground’s Northern Line?
  2. Which Italian carmakers logo features a serpent eating a man?
  3. Can you name the ONLY three films that James Dean starred in?
  4. In WWI it became illegal to shoot pigeons for sport or food – why?
  5. How many curves are there on a standard paper clip?

6a. What Greek philosopher accused of ‘Corruption of the Young’, committed suicide by drinking hemlock?

6b.        What British mathematician and logician accused of ‘Gross Indecency’, committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide?

  1. What famous cyclist has a small logo of a rhinoceros on his bicycle frames?
  2. In February 1971, The Royal & Ancient Golf Club (Scotland) severely reprimanded a golfer. (Under the rules of Golf: Section Etiquette, Para 6 states that before leaving a bunker a player should carefully fill up all holes made by him/her therein.) Who was this player and where was he?
  3. What is the only country that borders The Gambia, in West Africa?
  4. What are the only actual food, and the only actual drink mentioned in the latest ‘Highway Code’? (Alcohol & Drugs do not count)
  5. Two very familiar inventions, both first used in Oklahoma City in the USA, have now spread in their thousands all over the World – can you name them:
  6. a) Inventor Carlton Magee – originally meant to ease congestion in towns?
  7. b) Inventor Sylvan Goodman – probably, after the car, the most frequently used 4-wheel vehicle?
  8. a) This year on 1st June 2017 one of the most famous albums of the Beatles, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ had its 50th Anniversary. On the unique Pop-Arts sleeve, 66 famous people are depicted with a row of plants in front of them. Can you guess what plants?
  9. b) Which Beatles song is the name of a junction in which the trams turn round?
  10. c) Which Beatles song is the name of the grounds of a mansion which was turned into a children’s home?

Quiz answers – don’t read until you’ve tried the quiz 

  1. ‘Nine Elms’ & ‘Battersea Power Station’ by 2020. Extension is from Kennington. These stations will serve the fruit market, and the vast Power Station development.
  2. Alfa Romeo. The Red Cross on the left of the shield is the emblem of Milan, and the Milanese Crusaders. On the right of the shield is the emblem in question of the Visconti family also involved in the Crusades. The man being swallowed is said to be a Saracen.
  3. ‘East of Eden’, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, ‘Giant’ (James Byron Dean 8/2/1931 – 30/9/1955. Killed in California in a head-on crash whilst driving his Porsche 550 Spyder)
  4. They may have been carrying messages from the war front in Europe on their legs. (Peregrine Falcons were also shot to prevent them bringing down pigeons.)
  5. 3 Curves (Invented by Norwegian Johann Vaaler.) In WWII Norwegians and the French wore paperclips in their lapels as a symbol of unity against the German occupation. Some went to Concentration Camps for showing this defiance. There is a 23 foot sculpture of a paperclip in Oslo. In a similar way after the US election and the UK Brexit vote many wore a safety pin on their chest to symbolise their solidarity with minorities. Both of these are very appropriate to symbolise unity.
  6. a) Socrates 470–399BC, b) Alan Turing 1912–1954. (Employed at Bletchley Park during WWII – helped to break the German Enigma Machine Code.)
  7. Chris Froome (In 2017 won his 4th Tour de France. Born in Kenya he supports the preservation of African wildlife.)
  8. Alan Shepard on the Moon, after arriving on Apollo 14. 9. Senegal
  9. Ice Cream Rule 206 / Caffeinated Coffee Rule 91.
  10. a) Parking Meter 16/7/1935, b) Supermarket Trolley 1937
  11. a) Marijuana, b) Penny Lane,    c) Strawberry Fields




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