June 2017

Club News

Chairman, Gerry Thompson, welcomed members and wives to our Open Meeting in May – 57 present in all. The charity collection (raised £47.69 in May) will this year go to the Salvation Army who will be with us next March to receive our cheque and give a short address. Amenity Fund raffle raised £56.

Phil Munson is back in Worthing Hostpital having fallen over at home and then again on a train. Get better soon Phil. If you, your partner or another member is unwell, please contact our almoner: hughroberts67@aol.com, 01737 202243. Monthly meeting attendance, please contact Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055.

Outings and Events

1⁄2 a Sixpence’ was very much enjoyed including the extra trip round Trafalgar Square and back up St Martin’s Lane to pick up those we’d left behind. Midsomer Murder Country: Tuesday 20th June. Chiltern Hills: Tour/Meal/Thames Cruise through the Goring Gap – a few places left. Orpheus Centre Bletchingley (founded by Sir Richard Stilgoe for young disabled artists): Tuesday 11th July – waiting for timing before finalising. Ladies Lunch: 19th October – please diarise. An entertainer has been booked. Contact: Please phone Jim on 01737 555974 or email jim@mulvey.uk.net Quiz: Our annual quiz will be on 16th November – a special fund-raising event inviting other Probuses is being considered – watch this space.

Old Coulsdon Fair: We are having a sabbatical this year. 50th Anniversary Year 2018

We are the 2nd oldest club in the world and will use this opportunity not only to blow our own trumpet but to attract new membership. Plans so far: Celebration Dinner 11th May 2018: The Mayor of Croydon has accepted. Commemorative plaque at the Red Lion where our first meeting took place. Other celebrations and outings to be themed as part of our celebration year.


Today: Jim Mulvey: Postcards from Coulsdon
July 6th: John Halligan: The Lord Mayor of London August 3rd: Glenda Law: Wildlife of the Seychelles September 11th: Rupert Mathews: Women at War

Gwyneth Fookes B.E.M: Notable Local Ladies

We were pleased to welcome Gwyneth again who told us that she had been quite surprised to receive the British Empire Medal earlier this year (see May issue for background). Gwyneth is Vice President of the Bourne Society (our local history group) and sees herself as primarily a botanist. However, her talk to us in May was historical rather than botanical.

We were treated to the names and activities and local links and stories of 58 ladies over a period of 1000 years. From ancient history we have two Queens, Ethelfleda and Anne of Cleves, who were divorced by King Edgar (Alfred the Great’s great-grandson) and Henry VIII respectively. Ethelfleda gave the Manor of Sanderstead to the Benedictine Monastery of Winchester in 964 and Anne as part of her settlement received a splendid house at Bletchingley in 1540.

Of the artists, Jessie Hall (1858-1914 – farm animals) who was born in Merstham and Ethel Hall (1863-1951) who lived in Purley are both well- known local artists. Seven authors, late nineteenth century to the present, lived and worked in Caterham, Warlingham, Woldingham, Coulsdon and Old Coulsdon. A composer Molly Carew lived in Kenley and Gertrude Sophia Rolls founded The Caterham School of Music.

Next we have ladies in politics, several of whom had been school governors and then Councillors for Surrey County Council or Croydon. Then there are Teachers who taught locally or founded local schools and girl guides groups. In fashion Madam Susan Ann Weatherly (1836-1914 – Caterham) was a court milliner in the West End and Kate Moss (b. 1974 – Croydon) a supermodel.

Nurses include Sister Janet Wells who received the Royal Red Cross for work in the Zulu wars. Heroines include Dr Zeal who gave up her place to a struggling child following a U-boat torpedo and Sonia Straw, awarded the George Medal, an air raid warden attending a bombing in Caterham. Under Miscellaneous we have: archaeologist, benefactor, missionaries, the Bourne Society’s first and oldest honorary member, suffragette and Crufts winners. Lady Macrobert donated to the war effort after losing her three air force sons. Helen Young was a BBC Weather presenter and attended Old Palace School in Croydon where she is now a Governor.

Sports is represented by Dorothy Tyler a gold medallist at the British Empire Games 1938 and 1950 and Hilda Light who captained women’s England hockey in 1924. Unclassified include a Caterham lady tramp, a lady who practised witchcraft and Ruth Ellis of Sanderstead who was the last woman to be hanged for murder in Britain in 1955.

Each lady in Gwyneth’s talk had rather more substance than I have been able to include here, but her final Lady in Grey, a ghost, had no substance at all and fades away as Gwyneth’s “story of local ladies fades away itself”.

Back to back wins at Royal Windsor on Pumphill Fandango (pet name, Roy) by Dennis Evans

This is the heartwarming story of one of our ponies, that now lives in comfort with us, and three other ponies at our stables in Lingfield. His story begins with his birth in 2008 at the stud of a well know breeder. In 2010 it was brought to the notice of the RSPCA that ten colts, including Roy had been left in a small paddock for some time with no supplemental food, sparse grass, and insufficient water. They had been left to fend for themselves in appalling conditions, in the depths of a very cold winter. They and in fact other animals at the premises had been neglected and starved. The RSPCA prosecuted and the man in question was banned from keeping animals for 12years and heavily fined.  Roy and the other ponies were all emaciated, the hoofs all overgrown, and their coats left long matted and filthy. Some of his fellow ponies in fact had to be put down. The RSPCA then placed Roy and some of these colts at a responsible breeder who with much TLC nursed them back to health. This took around two years – Roy being treated for his understandable fear of people, and Roy then – see page 3 for now eventually broken to be capable of being ridden.

He came to us in 2014, and my daughter gradually gained his trust. We overcame physical problems caused by his serious neglect early in life and, with veterinary, chiropractic and dental problems resolved, was ready to start his career as a show pony. Roy soon began to shine at various horse shows around the country. My daughter, Zara, riding Roy, has qualified twice for the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham, coming 9th out 23 ponies last year.

Last year my grandson, Toby aged 6, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show came in First Place out of 29 in the class for Mountain & Moorland Leading Rein Ponies, going on to beat 44 ponies in similar categories to become the Champion. We were of course delighted. Not knowing that this May he would, again at the RWHS, repeat this tremendous performance and for the second time become Champion, scoring more than the 58 ponies in his class. This with a different judge from 2016, and of course mostly different ponies.

This meant that Toby and Roy on the closing day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show were one of the Seven Champions, in the various showing categories, who paraded and lined up in front of the Queen and Prince Phillip. The judges then choose the Supreme Champion of the Show – no Toby did not win this, a horse owned by the Queen did. However he was proud and honoured to have taken part. When the RSPCA found out who had won these accolades, they, including an RSPCA Chief Inspector who had cared for Roy when he was rescued, wanted to publicise the transformation Roy has made from a pitiful neglected pony to a top Champion pony. This culminated in the story of Roy going viral, with reports in many publications, including a three-quarter page report and pictures in the Daily Mail. We are of course very proud and happy with the progress Roy has made in our care, and must emphasise that this is also testament to the RSPCA who rescue and care for not just equines but all animals and must be applauded.

Just a few facts to clarify: Roy is a Dartmoor pony, now 9 years old, and he is a gelding. The Mountain & Moorland breeds of pony that normally compete together are Dartmoor, Shetland, Exmoor, New Forest, Dales, Fells and Connemara. Welsh ponies normally compete in their own classes. As a rule a pony is any equine smaller than 14.2 hands = 144.8 cm (57 in.) otherwise it would be called a horse. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

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