January 2022


January 6th Lunch cancelled due to spread of Omicron Covid.

December Christmas Lunch: 50 members, partners and guests attended a most enjoyable lunch. Unfortunately, our guest Reverend Malcolm Newman was unable to attend due to Covid contact but Our Chairman, Andrew Jurenko, took the opportunity to tell us about Ankylosing Spondylitis and the work of his charity for the year, NASS, for which £91.85was raised. The Raffle towards our Club’s funds raised £52. A special thank you for organising the event went to Ian and Pauline Payne who were assisted by Andrew Banfield and Jenny. The table centres were raffled to a lady on each table.

Sad news: two of our members have recently passed away. Derek Bass quite suddenly in late November. Our condolences go to Alison, Nigel and Claire and families. Peter Wilson on 21st December following kidney and diabetes problems. Our condolences go to June and her family.

Please notify lunch changes by 10.30am the prior Tuesday to secretary@coulsdonprobus.co.uk
Please notify Member News to Almoner, Andrew Kellard.
Please email vincent@fosdike.com with articles/news for the Newsletter

The Metal Men by Vincent Fosdike

There is an advertisement on television showing how one may compare one’s energy bills with one’s neighbours’ bills. Yet another example of digital data gathering at work. Such projects are not in the gift of most of us, indeed we may spend a lot of time online adjusting our cookie preferences to limit such harvesting or maybe we gave up trying and allowed big brother to roam our living rooms (via technological aids), and listen to us without let or hinderance!

Hopefully these rather intangible aspects of life give us some benefit but ultimately remain below our radar.

Something a little more revealing is very easy to spot. Scaffolding. Surely there has never been a more severe outbreak of scaffolding in recent times. Just keep your eyes open from now if you don’t believe me. So what you may say.

Well I am not a great lover of “THE NEWS” in whatever form it comes as I like to pretend that there are still a few aspects of life which do not encourage us to seek therapy or chemical consolation. Most news threateningly informs us that our economy will shortly have us back in the stone age, especially as we can’t get the cheap labour so easily since Brexit, not to mention the likelihood of not being able to get enough electricity to run our new pollution free cars (truly pollution free then)!

But scaffolding tells us a different tale at least here in the soft south. Everyone is having a loft extension (aka bird box) done, the more upmarket amongst us are having an extra storey and new roof. Indeed in our road nobody who is anybody is without the must have accessory of scaffolding. Maybe there is no actual work in evidence, sometimes when it is there for uncountable amounts of time in this dormant state it is merely a fashion accessory!

What is my interest? Well one of the few economic indicators I listen to is the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index). This gives an idea of the general level of economic activity. I guess scaffolders do not trade scaffolding poles according to the ebb and flow of the economy, so they would not show up in the index, unlike a timber merchant. Yet construction goes on a pace. I myself waited many months for my scaffolding to arrive, the waiting list was NHS type, complete with disappointments. But at last we have it. It is modest as befits a humble entry level two chimney stack job but at least people peer at it and some ask if we are having a storey added. When the metal men arrived at very short notice, we had to take the car out of the drive and stand back as they marched past carrying poles weighing 4.5 Kg per meter. Perhaps they averaged two meters each pole so carrying three at a time gives 27 Kg. In under two hours they had put up the whole structure and driven off without our noticing them go! They had spoken (shouted), a mass of technical terms, no not bad language, that was as complex as sailors on clipper ships and totally incomprehensible.

We really should be proud of our British workmen, they came almost stealthily, took total dominance of our house, garden and roof then folded their tents and disappeared back into the urban jungle.

I am tempted to play on the giant climbing frame, but that might produce a bad end to the story.

P.S. If anyone knows if there is a stock exchange for scaffolding, please write in.

The Future Foreshortened by Dennis Evans

EARTH, The third rock from the Sun.
We live on a ball of solid rock (OK It has a core in a liquid state, and is in fact an Oblate Spheroid). It is nearly 25000 miles in circumference, and its mass is 6585 Billion Trillion Tons.

It spins on its axis at 1036 mph at the equator.And round our Sun at 66000 mph Our complete Solar System travels through the galaxy at 500000 mph ‘The Milky Way’ our galaxy moves through the Universe at 1.3 million mphWe move at these unimaginable speeds through Space which is full of vast rocks, boulders and detritus.

Of this you are blissfully unaware as you have a drink in your local pub, or sun yourself on the beach. What a fragile environment, certainly a bad insurance risk, and a miracle we have managed to survive so far.

Because of the immense distances to other Celestial Bodies, Cosmic distance is measured in Light-Years = The distance that light travels in one year, at a speed of 186000 Miles per second, which is 5.88 Trillion Miles per year. (To the nearest star in the Plough Constellation it would be 81 Light-Years).

However, it is Cosmic Time Scales that we find it difficult to comprehend. Our Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old.To make it easier to visualise let’s pretend it is46 Years Old.

Homo Sapiens has only been around for about 4 Hours. The Industrial Revolution was ONE minute ago. During that 60 SECONDS. Man has multiplied his numbers to unsustainable levels. (In 1936 the year of my birth the World Population was 2 Billion, in 2022 it is fast approaching 8 Billion) He / She has ransacked the Planet. This is continuing to lead to the Extinction of Countless species of Fauna and Flora, and maybe US.

That we have not had an Armageddon, either Natural or Nuclear is pure luck.
We now face a future Cataclysm of our own making, CLIMATE CHANGE.

On our Dear Mother Earth we have upset the delicate balance of nature, which we can only even attempt to stabilise, if we can cooperate with all the other Nations / Peoples of Our World.

Future lack of resources could well lead to armed Conflicts between nations.This may hinder or indeed prevent us from stopping the Climate Changes getting much worse, or terminal.

Are we an intelligent species? Obviously NOT if we allow future generations to possibly face EXTINCTION without taking ACTION.

But EARTH is the Insignificant Planet we call HOME. The ‘Titanic’ did not have enough lifeboats, we have NONE. Don’t mess with Nature. Otherwise she hits back. CANCER – COVID – CLIMATE CHANGE.

Christmas Lunch 2021

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