July 2015


Today: Jim Barnes: Vulcan Bomber
August 5th: Mary Moore: Mongolia
September 3rd: Barbara Stevens: Her choice of subject
October 1st: Jean Haynes: On being a bailiff
October 15th: Ladies Lunch: Coulsdon Manor

Club News

There were 33 members present in June including our guest speaker. The Chairman’s Charity collection made £36.36 and the raffle raised £33. The latest Probus Magazine was recommended – it has articles on recruitment (very relevant to us) and the history of Croydon South Probus.

We were pleased to welcome back Doug Elliott last month and we are hoping today to see Reg Baker, Lionel Downton and Eric Jenkinson. Today will probably be Phil Munson’s last appearance (see editorial). Please advise news of members to almoner, hughroberts67@aol.com, tel: 01737 202243. Attendance: please notify Andrew Kellard, tel: 01737 554055.

Outings and Events

Old Coulsdon Fair: Saturday 4th July – please support our Probus stall. Kennet and Avon Canal Cruise with buffet lunch – Thursday 9th July. Maidstone: Thursday 10th September – Hotel lunch, Old Time Music Hall. Ladies Lunch: 15th October at Coulsdon Manor – please complete the reservation form with your choice of lunch as soon as possible.

For all the above, please contact jim@mulvey.uk.net, tel: 01737 555974. Last Night of the Proms: Fairfield 26th September (own transport). Contact Hugh Roberts tel: 01737 202243, email: hughroberts67@aol.com Annual Quiz: 19th November – please diarise. Contact: Dennis Evans.

Around the world in 80 gardens – Colin Jones

The Coulsdon Probus ClubColin’s love is gardening – he was part of a gold medal winning team at Chelsea. His day job was as an editor for BBC TV – he cut out all the naughty bits. On retirement he joined his local horticultural society where he was called upon to give many talks. And then, on seeing a local advertisement, he sent off his CV to be a cruise ship entertainer – which he’s been doing ever since with his wife in tow. The cruise ships can carry 4500 passengers – they are self-contained cities with high-class shows, ice shows and even classic car shows.

So off Colin went around the world. We started with St. James Park in London designed by André Le Nôtre, the landscape architect who designed the park of the Palace of Versailles. St. James Park reminded Colin of the St. James’s Reform Club and ‘around the world in 80 days’ – hence the title of his talk.

Next Europe: Reykjavík (hot glass houses and lichens), Brussels (begonias), St Petersburg (trying to outdo Versailles) and Peterhof with its fountains. Then Versailles itself and in Paris, Tuileries, Montmartre followed by views of Monet’s Garden in Giverny.

In between the gardens, we were treated to notices from around the world in bad English – Colin enjoyed chuckling at these. Next, Japan (cherry blossom and many other gardens). We saw Holland (tulips), Seville (orange trees), Crete, St. Helena (of Napoleon fame), Cape Town, India (Taj Mahal), Australia (Sydney Botanic Gardens), Fiji (breadfruit), Hawaii, Vancouver Island, San Francisco, Florida (Orlando/Epcot), Azores, Madeira and back home to Wisley, HQ of the Royal Horticultural Society.

For each of the places we visited, we were shown gardens, speciality plants, flowers and trees and considered the local flora and some of the customs and, of course, the signage in poor English. Maybe there weren’t 80 gardens, but add in the extras and who knows how many horticultural delights we were treated to. Well done Colin for being able to cruise the world and at the same time satisfy your horticultural appetite.

Editorial – Ian Payne

Thank you again to Vincent for this month’s back page. How about some reminiscences, hobbies or wise saws and modern instances from others. Anything from 100 to 500 words will do, or a longer piece by instalments.

The very enjoyable outing to see Gypsy at the Savoy proved the importance of going by coach – three members could not otherwise have made the trip. However, as is so often the case, the coach was held up in London traffic and almost didn’t make it. Alright, it was the state opening of parliament, but there’s always something going on there.

The alternative is to travel by train and perhaps hire a small vehicle for those who cannot use public transport – the cost could be met by a surcharge or could be paid out of our ‘transport’ fund. For those on the train, there is probably more opportunity to mix and chat than there is on a coach. We are all very grateful to Jim for organising these trips and I’m particularly looking forward to the canal cruise which is ideal for mixing and also has the coach going out of town.

Talking about out of town, Pauline and I went to the opera at the Rye Arts Festival which we thoroughly enjoyed and there are several provincial theatres that have pre-London shows. ‘Singing in the Rain’ at Chichester with the Old Coulsdon Theatre Club in 2011 was superb. But one can come unstuck. Last month’s OCTC trip to Worthing was a premier of an unknown playwright with near-amateur actors. It was quite enjoyable, although the applause disappeared before the curtain call and in between each pair taking their bow. On the way there a tyre had burst on the M23. Fortunately, as we heard the knocking and saw the tyre disappearing down the motorway, the driver was able to bring us to a gentle stop on the hard shoulder adjacent to a grass verge. That got the tongues wagging while we eyed the police and waited for a replacement coach.

It’s sad news that Phil Munson will be leaving us. Phil has recently been caring for his wife, Marion, and the trip each month from Shoreham-by- Sea is not easy. We’ll need a new volunteer to book our guests but, as always, Phil is well ahead with the current programme. Don’t miss Barbara Stevens in September – she’s the one who sold us the calendar of nude ladies last time. One hears that she is Nigel Farage’s mother!

Have a Nice Day! – Vincent Fosdike

There is a simple test which many people take daily before leaving the house. If you are like me you fail it almost every time. It seems to involve the thing men are not supposed to be able to do – multitasking.

It lasts three minutes, involves no movement or physical co-ordination and can be done in your favourite armchair.

As long as you are sufficiently digitally articulate to fire up a screen on the communication device of your choice you are fit to take the test which is quite straightforward if you have the mental acuity of an airline pilot.

It would seem to be essential to be able to retain visual symbols and have good colour vision. But these are only the passive attributes required to support the high level skills which are as follows:-

  1. The Coulsdon Probus ClubSimultaneous appraisal of moving multiple data sets.
  2. Conflict resolution between verbal information and asynchronous visual inputs relating to 1.
  3. Ability to accurately match a fast rolling display of time and date to your chosen target data outcome.

You are warned that this test may be stressful do not take it if it might put your health at risk.

Perhaps Bob Dylan was right on his LP ‘Rainy Day Women 12 & 35’: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. Actually a reference to a political group but somehow O.K. for the dilemma of whether to take an umbrella to the shops wherever you think you are on the map.

You may avoid the stress by switching off before it all starts to happen and looking out of the window.

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