November 2019

Business Meeting 3rd October 2019

The Chairman welcomed 30 members plus our Speaker and especially Reg Baker returning after four months.

Almoner, Andrew Kellard, reported the absences of Lionel Downton (tripped while in Coulsdon –> hospital), Roger Davis (settled well into retirement home), Tony Simpson (carer am & pm – stays downstairs, uses walking frame – gardener runs him to Coulsdon for ATM). Returning today from illnesses: Reg Baker, Brian Thomas, Peter Wilson (gastro’ after last lunch –> hospital).

Luncheons: Please notify Andrew Kellard by 10.30 am the prior Tuesday if you are not able to attend. Also, if you, your partner or another member is unwell please contact almoner, Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055.

Newsletter: (Vincent Fosdike) Light-hearted stories welcome. Speakers: (Bob Witham) Booked to August 2020.
Collections: Charity £62.18 ; Raffle £28. Vacancy: Luncheon Secretary.

Ladies Lunch: 17th October – a very enjoyable occasion. Pictures next month. Quiz: Quizmaster Dennis Evans. Friday November 22nd with fish’n’chip supper. Three external Probus Clubs coming. Still room for more teams. Booking forms available – please return to Ian Payne.

Future Membership: A proposals paper from the Committee with three options had been distributed to all members prior to the meeting.

  1. ‘Stay as we are’. Fixed expenditure could be met from reserves as the club runs down. Estimate of eventual closure – three to five years;
  2. ‘Stay as we are’ but also keep merger option open; 
  3. ‘Admit Lady Members’.

Voting slips asked for preferences (1, 2, 3) the least popular to be redistributed among the other two. ‘Stay as we are’ will use Reserves as the Club runs down. 

Results: ‘1 0 0’(3), ‘1 2 3’(5), ‘2 1 3’(14), ‘2 3 1’(2), ‘3 1 2’(3), ‘3 2 1’(1). After redistribution of least preferred = c: a) = 10, b) = 18. +1 spoilt paper. 1 left early. + 2 postal votes for option b. Outcome = b. Committee to consider next steps. [Our thanks are due to the committee members for clarifying the issues and implementing the vote — Ed.]


Today – Andrew Warde: The London Roman Wall 
December 5th – Revd. Malcolm Newman: “Christmas Theme”
 January 9th – Bob Sinfield: Comedy writing for David Jason et al
February 6th – Nick Cook: Health and Safety Gone Mad

Vic Quale: Fun on Four Wheels

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had tried to get into rally sport? Well our guest speaker could you give you a hint or two.

On the 3rd of October our speaker was Vic Quale who is a self-confessed petrol head. In some ways he is a man of our time when we talk of rally cars as most of us probably recall the days when the Mini, Sunbeam Rapier and Ford Escort were amongst the headline vehicles in motor sport.

Vic’s interest not to say passion comfortably reaches back to those days and comes up to the present time with cars which in rally form can reach twice the speeds of those early icons.

Probably this delight in speed as practised by rally drivers on roads rather than track has its roots in his childhood in the Isle of Man where he was free to enjoy the famous motorcycle T.T. events and any other forms of motor sport which do not receive such wide news coverage. His father managed to direct his enthusiasm to four wheels rather than two.

His way into the sport was to start at the bottom generally helping with timing and marshalling. Latter he was able take part as navigator and of course driver. Rallies often take place at night in sparsely populated areas in vehicles which can be basic family saloons, in standard form just as they are used for daily transport or highly modified examples. Vic made mention of modifications such as raised suspension to cope with the rough sections which could not be taken at speed or even at all in “regular” cars. I am sure we all know that “high end” rally cars are so highly developed that only the body shell is easily recognisable and I doubt that your local garage would happily give you a fixed price regular service or even want to check theseover. But this area is definitely closer to the “works entries” which most of us would not even get near. Vic’s early days involved the family Mazda in apparently totally standard form and back on the commuter run on Monday!

Vic mentioned that there are so many rules and regulations now that a lot of the events we might recall or even have taken part in in our youth are no longer viable.

As happens to most of us, our leisure activities often give way to family demands and for a while his activities were curtailed. However as time went on and with family support, particularly from his enthusiastic daughter, Vic got back to his much loved hobby. He had managed to obtain an international competition licence and made serious use of it in a successful attempt to break a world record in a team drive from Southern Spain to Norway. This was definitely a serious bit of driving which of course required the appropriate verification of a tachograph and no doubt diverse other forms of scrutineering. Lest this be seen as just fun it did have a serious side in that it raised between £6,000 and £7,000 for charity.

The bug had really bitten deep when Vic treated himself to a Porsche which was subsequently used on a circuit holding speeds of 110 to 140 m.p.h. for an hour. Sadly this august vehicle caught fire at some stage (I am not sure if this was during the timed circuits or on another occasion), but as it was not referred to again perhaps that was its finest hour.

I have never really thought of rally cars as being other than “cars”, my own experiences anchor me at the point of mildly tuned Minis just capable of “the ton” in favourable conditions. But that was in the nineteen sixties. As readers may well recall these were close to the ground and to be honest somewhat light and flimsy by today’s standards. This of course gave them the sense of fun they were and still are so well loved for.

Vic has extended his choice to an item well beyond the jolly old Mini with its pull down cord door release and floor mounted starter to a huge 4X4 Toyota. As you may guess this was not a quick flip around the twisty Kent backroads. No it was for a 26,000 km run in South America incorporating such locations as Rio de Janeiro, the Andes and Buenos Aries. Seems like a good choice to me. Other memorable points included the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Lake Titicaca. This was to result in a gold medal. Staying with the international large vehicle theme Vic was able to take his family on an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand in one of their well- known Motorhomes. Clearly the petrol head life encompasses a huge range of events and different pocket depths.

One particular snippet caught my attention concerning how one might take part in a one day event with a little help from the motor trade. After a few unsuccessful requests for local firms to lend Vic a car he struck lucky with a local motor agent who supported him with one of their Honda products. It was a standard car and I believe carried a little bit of publicity for them and Macmillan Cancer Support. This enabled further funds to be raised for a good cause and all concerned should be congratulated. Continuing with the charity theme came the intriguing “Round the world rally”. This actually involved driving to such well- known places as New York, Egypt, Moscow and Canada. I am sure we were all surprised to learn that this all took place without leaving the shores of the U.K.!!! They all exist as destinations within the U.K. and Vic was accompanied by his daughter on this occasion raising another substantial amount for the British Heart Foundation. Indeed this activity really does seem to tick all the boxes.

Thanks for your talk Vic. We are sure you will keep up the good work and return with more tales of adventures and generous donations made to our favourite charities.

Double barrelled Surnames: A short essay by Gerrard Oldham-Thompson

Double-Barrelled names may appear as doubles, trebles or quadruple with or without the hyphen. When two double barrelled names are conjoined, a quadrupled name is formed. It is all a matter of personal choice. In the UK, you can call yourself anything you like as long as it has no dis-honest intent. However where your wish to make a formally recognised change usually for matching items such as passports, wills etc a statutory declaration before a solicitor or other authorised legal practitioner is the usual method. This is quick and economical. However most people have heard of the Deed Poll method which generally obsolete due to cost and delay but can still be used.

Double-Barrelled names have been adopted for many reasons. The most common reason is by marriage or being born on the ‘wrong side of the blanket’ and the desire of illegitimate children to gain inherited recognition. It is interesting to note that illegitimate children often used the Arms of their illegitimate parent by defacing it with a black diagonal line.

An easy way of illustrating the idiosyncrasies of double-barrelled names is to examine one’s own genealogy and discovering the quirks that people have used.

In the course of researching my own genealogy many anecdotes and amusing stories emerged. I have been lumbered with a double barrelled surname. Some people say that with a name as common as Thompson, a ‘handle’ was needed to embellish it.

The cumbersome and pretentious name of Oldham-Thompson evolved from the story that one of my forebears called Ebenezer, a humble pork butcher, fell in love with the daughter of an upper-class family called Oldham and they wished to marry. However, the Oldham Family insisted that the scions of such a family be known as Oldham-Thompson, in order to preserve the family name on the male line. With a name like Ebenezer any anti-Semitic aspersions were also quickly eliminated when his true profession was known. An amusing anecdote is that members of the Oldham family were given the honour of putting straw on the street to deaden the noise as their cortège passed by. Personally, I do not think Croydon Council would allow me to litter the road in such a way. Another amusing incident once arose when I received replies to an Irish hotel booking all addressed to Mr. O’Thompson thereby eliminating the Oldham bit.

The use of double-barrelled names or initials can lead to all sorts of misconceptions. Two examples of which may be found in my own email address and signature. My email address is ‘oldgot’ but sometimes this gets corrupted into ‘oldgoat’. A mistake whose intention is not always premeditated. The second corruption is found in the shortening of ‘G. Oldham-Thompson to ‘GOD DAMN THOMPSON’, when said quickly. Again, I am not quite sure if the mispronunciation was intentional.

In naming children in my family one has got to be most careful as so many strange or rude names end in ‘-OT’ and you must never land your kids with embarrassingnamessuchas ‘BLOT’,‘HOT’,’MOT’‘NOT’,‘POT’,‘ROT’,‘SOT’.

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