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Month    Newsletter
Quarter 3   Ewell Probus Newsletter July to September 2017
     
Quarter 2   Ewell Probus Newsletter April to June 2017
     
Quarter 1   Ewell Probus Newsletter January to March 2017
     
December   Ewell Probus Newsletter December 2016
     
November Ewell Probus Newsletter November 2016
     
August   Ewell Probus Newsletter August 2016
     
June   Ewell Probus Newsletter June 2016
     
April   Ewell Probus Newsletter April 2016
     

Ewell Probus Newsletter July to September 2017

Contents

1. Bentley Boys Talk on 5 July 2017

2. Peaslake Walk on 27 July

3. Excellence Award to Cliff Douthwaite at the Lunchon on 6 September

4. Talk by Alan Aylward on the Woodland Trust on 6 September

 

1. Talk by David Skillen on 5 July 2017 - The Bentley Boys - The Playboy Racers

Bentley cars rose to fame in the late 1920s at Le Mans with five victories at Le Mans in the 1920s, plus a sixth in 2003.

The history of Bentley dates back to 1919 when W. O. Bentley and his brother H. M. Bentley founded Bentley Motors Limited. W.O. started dreaming about building his own cars bearing his name shortly after the brothers opened the UK agency for the French DFP (Doriot, Flandrin & Parant) cars in 1912. Soon, he fulfilled his dream and founded what would become one of the most desirable luxury car brands in the world.

  W. O. Bentley

All Bentleys leaving the factory from either Cricklewood up to 1932 and Derby from 1933 until the Second World War were delivered as rolling chassis to the customer's chosen coachbuilder, which were then fitted with a unique body of their choice. It was in 1946 that the first Bentleys were built with a standard body design at their Crewe works, which can be customised at a coachbuilder.

  Pictures from 1929 at Le Mans

 

The Team

After the victory of Bentley 3 Litre Sport at the 24 Hours of Le Mans of 1924, W. O. Bentley’s cars became a major hit among the wealthy British motorists, however, his company was faced with serious financial difficulties as early as 1925. Woolf Barnato, a fan of Bentley cars and a member of the so-called Bentley Boys helped the company with financing which, however, gave him control over the company and made W.O. an employee. The new models that were introduced under Barnato’s chairmanship repeated the success of the Bentley 3 Litre Sport and won Le Mans in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. Despite that, the company was severely hit by the Stock Market Crash of 1929 that was followed by the Great Depression which dramatically reduced the demand for luxury cars such as Bentley.

In 1931, an agreement was reached about takeover of Bentley by Napier & Son, however, Napier was outbid by the British Central Equitable Trust. Thus the company was taken over by Rolls-Royce that was behind the British Central Equitable Trust. The real identity of the new Bentley owner, however, was revealed only after the deal was closed. Rolls-Royce formed a new company, while the production was moved to Rolls-Royce’s production facilities in Derby. Bentley factory in Cricklewood was closed. W. O. Bentley who was at the time of Rolls Royce’s takeover still working and designing Bentleys left the company as soon as his contract has expired in 1935. He joined Lagonda where he helped create a line of cars which were “Bentleys in all but name”.

 

Almost a century later, W.O.'s vision continues to guide our beliefs, actions and ambitions. Located in Crewe, England and owned by Volkswagen AG since 1998, Bentley Motors remains the definitive British luxury car company, crafting the world’s most desirable high performance grand tourers.

2. Peaslake Walk on 27 July

16 members and wives turned out for our walk around Peaslake, the best attendance this year. Perhaps the relatively fine weather-at least it was dry-encouraged more members to put their boots on. 

  

Everyone I spoke to commented on the views as we progressed, and as the cloud was high we had a constant view of the North Downs. The paths were in good condition, the recent rains have not created much mud and it helps that the terrain is sandy in nature and tends to drain well.

 

  

There were a few stiles which all those with two legs negotiated with ease, however there was one which our four-legged member, Kato, found difficult to get through and required the help of four members in order to cross. We stopped to admire the riverside garden at Lawbrook house, very well tended with a large pond, complete with duck-house, presumably not funded by MP`s expenses!

On our return to Peaslake, we found the public footpath blocked by some temporary fencing which will be reported to the County Rights of Way officer. However, by that time, most people were looking forward to lunch, so we continued along the lane, back to the village and the Hurtwood Hotel for a good snack.

We are always happy to see new walkers, so if any of you feel like a bit of exercise do join us on our next trip-watch this site for details. Malcolm.

3. Excellence Award to Cliff Douthwaite at the Lunchon on 6 September

The award was presented by the President to Cliff and the citation read by Malcolm Davis.

 

I am sure we are all pleased that Cliff`s contribution to Probus has been recognised by the current committee. Cliff was a committee member for about 10 years. For most of this time he was our web-master, and as such he was responsible for creating the Club`s first web-site which, as the older members will recall, was very comprehensive. The web-site gave us an international presence and a reach all over the world, as was demonstrated when we received an enquiry from a Probus member in Australia, which he followed up with a visit to one of our meetings. I`m sure that many members have found the web site of great assistance over the years, and I know that all present will wish to record their thanks to him in the usual manner. Malcom Davis

4. Talk by Alan Aylward on the Woodland Trust on 6 September

The Woodland Trust was founded in 1972 by Kenneth Watkins and is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. It Manages 1000 woods covering 50,000 acres and has planted nearly 40 million trees. It has over 500,000 members, supporters and volunteers.

The Woods are important for our wildlife as they provide shelter and food for wildlife, convert CO2 into timber and oxygen, absorb heat and harmful radiation, reduce flooding and soil erosion and offer shade and wellbeing.

In the past was vital for Agriculture, shipbuilding and the industrial revolution. Of special note, 6000 trees were used to build HMS Victory.

 

Locally, Langley Vale is a special Woodland Trust site to commemorate WWI in England. It is one of four First World War centenary woods. The others are: Dreghorn Woods near Edinburgh in Scotland; Coed Ffos Las in Carmarthenshire, Wales; Brackfield Wood in County Londonderry. A million trees for a million soldiers.

Langley Vale is a 640 acre farm and is now a woodland site. It was used to billet and train troops during WW1 and Lord Kitchener inspected troops at Epsom Downs.

The planning application to cover the farm is being finalised.The current plans for Langley Vale are to create a nature reserve for everyone to enjoy; a visitor centre, car park and memorial area; paths, trails, bridleways and cycle paths; and a natural play area for children. There are to be Verdun oaks, a community orchard, a Jutland Wood, a football club and individual groves.

Local groups are involved in working parties, conservation monitoring, tree planting events over the winter. The community orchard is now established.

Ewell Probus Newsletter April to June 2017

Contents

1. Costa Concordia

2. Presentation to PHAB at Nescot

3. May Ladies Lunch

4. Trip to Hinton Ampner and train ride on the Watercress line

5. Walk from Betchworth on 23 May

 

1. Costa Concordia

Costa_Concordia_in_Palma,_Majorca,_SpainAt our April Lunch meeting held at the Chalk Lane Hotel the after lunch talk was given by Tom Allen on the disaster of the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia and her eventual refloating to be taken away for scrap.

He told us that on this her final voyage, the Costa Concordia had sailed from Civitavecchia, the port of Rome on Friday, January 13th 2012,  It was only a little over two hours before disaster struck. Captain Francesco Schettino came to the Bridge and ordered a change of course from that laid down by the operating company.  This took the ship close to Isola del Giglio. Having gone passed the island he then took the ship about and made a second pass when disaster struck.

Captain Schettino stated that, before approaching the island, he turned off the alarm system for the ship's computer navigation system. "I was navigating by sight, because I knew those seabeds well. I had done this move three or four times before." He told investigators that he saw waves breaking on the reef and turned abruptly, swinging the side of the hull into the reef.. I have to take responsibility for the fact that I made a judgment error." "This time I ordered the turn too late."  The captain initially stated that the ship was about 300 metres from the shore (about the length of the vessel) and hit an uncharted rock. However, the ship's first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, told investigators that Schettino had left his reading glasses in his cabin and repeatedly asked Ambrosio to check the radar for him.

The Captain said that Costa Cruises managers told him to perform a sail-past salute on 13 January 2012. Previously, on 14 August 2011, the ship took a similar sail-past route, but not as close to Le Scole.  The 14 August 2011 sail-past was approved by Costa Cruises and was done in daylight during an island festival.   The normal shipping route passes about 8 km offshore.

On that fateful day at 21:45, in calm seas and overcast weather, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome.  This tore open a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port side of her hull, which soon flooded parts of the engine room resulting in power losses, leading to a loss of propulsion and loss of electrical systems, which crippled the ship. With water flooding in and the ship listing, she drifted back to Giglio Island where she grounded 500 m north of the village of Giglio Porto, resting on her starboard side in shallow waters with most of her starboard side under water.

costa concordiaDespite the gradual sinking of the ship, its complete loss of power, and its proximity to shore in calm seas, an order to abandon ship was not issued until over an hour after the initial impact. Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours.  One of the problems of this tragedy was that the passengers had not been through the drill of finding their life boat stations before the ship left harbour; as the practice on this ship was to do this drill on the first morning out at sea. This has now been changed and all ships must carry out a lifeboat drill before leaving harbour.  Of the 3229 passengers and 1023 crew only 32 lives were lost.  Two bodies were not found until the ship had been raised from the sea bed.

With the ship lying at such an angle not all the lifeboats could be lowered, but those that could were lowered into the sea, however many craft came out from the shore to help carry out the rescue. While some survivors made their way down the ships side and jumped into the water and swam ashore.

There were immediate fears of an ecological disaster, but all the fuel was extracted by 24 March 2012, without any significant leak. This was achieved by drilling a hole into the ship’s hull and extracting the oil out onto barges.

Costa Concordia was officially declared a "constructive total loss" by the insurance company, and her salvage was "one of the biggest maritime salvage operations ever held".  On 16 September 2013, the par buckle salvage of the ship began.

The operation to right the ship and free her from the rocks began on 16 September 2013, but started late due to bad weather.   The par buckle operation was made by first carrying out preparatory work consisting of building an underwater metal platform and artificial seabed made of sand and cement on the downhill side of the wreck and welding sponsons (in this case metal tanks) to the side of the ship above the surface of the water.   Once this was completed, cables were passed under the ship and fed through strand jacks and the cable ends anchored firmly on the island side. Strand jacks are hydraulic jacks that draw the cable through them in sections at a time.

The other ends of the cables were securely attached to the top side of the sponsons thus creating a cantilever effect giving mechanical advantage to the pull.  Once the ship had been rotated slightly past a critical angle of 24° from its resting position, valves on the sponsons were opened to allow seawater to flood into them and the increasing weight of the water in the sponsons completed the rolling of the ship to the upright position at an accelerated pace, without further need of the strand jacks and cables.  During the par buckle operation water was either fed into or let out of the sponsons to further assist in the righting of the ship and to prevent it going over too far.  At the right time in the course of the lift additional sponsons were then attached to the other side of the ship.

The ship was returned to a fully upright position and settled on the cradle in the early hours of 17 September 2013, shortly before 3 a.m. Local time.

As of 16 September 2013 the salvage operation had cost over €600 million ($800 million). The final cost of the salvage came to be $1.2 billion (ref. Nova, "Sunken Ship Rescue" PBS).

Principles of righting and refloating of Costa Concordia

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Costa-salvage2.png

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Costa-salvage4a.svg

In June 2012, a barge was put in place, and the removal of her radar, waterslide and funnel began to stabilise the ship and to prevent further slippage down the sloped seabed.

In July 2014, the ship was refloated by the caissons (metal floatation tanks) attached to its sides and was towed 320 kilometres to its home port of Genoa.  Where it has been ever since and still is being cut up for scrap.

The total cost of the disaster, including victims' compensation, refloating, towing and scrapping costs, is estimated to be around $2 billion, more than three times the $612 million construction cost of the ship.

Whilst every attempt has been made for the complete accuracy of this narrative, some of the story recorded here is from memory and it is not always possible to check for detail so any errors or omissions must be accepted.   Any additional information or corrections would be welcome.

Dave Rich

2. Presentation to PHAB at Nescot

On Friday 28 April, 5 Members, Bob Francis, Peter Osborne, Joe Shackell, Dave Short and Ken Taylor, went to Nescot to present the cheque to Epsom & Ewell PHAB.

Ken and Peter

Our donation of £700 was handed to Malcolm Rice-Jones, which was greatly appreciated. We also met with Julia Giles MBE, Club Leader, who placed the information on their twitter, and Hannah Myers-Knight, who attends our lunches.

You can see their comments and the photos on PHAB's twitter at: https://twitter.com/EpsomPhab/status/858050539401162752

    

3. May Ladies Lunch

The Ladies Lunch was held at Kingswood Golf Club on Wednesday 3rd May. The lunch was well attended by Members, their wives, partners and friends. An earlier vote by Members had cancelled the Talks at these lunches. Hannah gave a short presentation on the current activities of PHAB, which has been selected as our charity for the coming year. Resulting from a discussion followed by a show of hands, the gathering voted to continue holding the Ladies Lunch at Kingswood.

Hannah, Carol, Pat and Peter

4. Trip to Hinton Ampner and train ride on the Watercress line

A party of 22 took a coach trip on 16th. May to Hinton Ampner, a National Trust property near Winchester. Hinton Ampner was the home of the last Lord Sherbourne. Having no heirs he left it to the National Trust together with the contents & the surrounding tenanted land. However, to some extent the house is a fake as it burnt down in 1960 and he had it rebuilt in the Georgian style that he loved. He filled it with contemporary artefacts of his own taste.

The coach left Tattenham Corner at 9.30 & we were there by 10.45 giving us good time before the house opened at 11am. Some headed for the coffee shop some to the house & some to the gardens. We all met up over a light lunch. Hinton Ampner is well worth a visit.

     

At 2.00pm saw us heading for Arlesford to join the Watercress line. We left at 3.00 & the attendants very soon had us tucking in to scones with jam and cream. Delicious! Together with a good cup of tea.

   

   

     

5. Walk from Betchworth on 23 May

Some fine weather, with a clear sky, encouraged 8 members and wives along for our walk around the pleasant Surrey countryside south of Betchworth. The going was good, generally dry under boot, with good views over the fields. The route is never far from the River Mole, and when we reached our farthest point at Rice Bridge, most of the company were surprised how narrow the river had become. Our return started by crossing a field of Oil-Seed Rape, which had become almost fully grown and head-height-at least some members now know what the crop really looks like. Having emerged, we had good views of the North Downs, we could see the white face of the hills behind the former Lime quarries at Betchworth, and the profile of Box Hill.

For lunch, we revived ourselves at the Dolphin, for the usual chat which rounded off the morning pleasantly.

Several members were unable to come but we look forward to seeing them on future events, and this invitation extends also to other members who might wish to give our group a try.

Malcolm Davis

 

Ewell Probus Newsletter January to March 2017

Contents

1. Around the World in 80 Gardens - A Talk by Colin Jones on 4 January 2017

2. Hogs Back Brewery

3. Visit to the Middle Temple & the Temple Church on 2nd. February 2017

4. Visit to Polesden Lacey on 9 March 2017

5. Walk at Norbury Park

 

1. Around the World in 80 Gardens - A Talk by Colin Jones on 4 January 2017

Since retiring from BBC TV as a Film Director specialising in travel documentaries, Colin has found a new career lecturing aboard major cruise liners on his favourite subject ‘The Great Gardens of the World’. Whilst on these fabulous journeys, he has been able to visit even more gardens which he shared with us in this talk on the great gardens of Europe, Asia, Australasia and America.

Colin is an accredited lecturer with the Royal Horticultural Society and flower judge for the Surrey Guild of Horticultural Judges. For 35 years a Film Editor and Director at BBC Television specializing in travel and documentary programmes. As a photographer he has travelled the world and recorded the great botanic gardens and their plants.

Colin is a horticulture judge and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants, and his presentation backed this statement to the full.

 He has travelled the world lecturing on cruise ships, and this talked spanned many countries he has visited  showing a multitude of colour photographs in quick succession via his lap top and powered computer projection system.

For example in Iceland, with eider ducks and geysers, the volcanic heat is used to warm greenhouses, so the population is self-sufficient in salads and they can even  grow bananas, these were interspersed with a range of humorous signs where the translated English were often baffling.

Colin then zoomed to Paris, and the Tuileries Gardens, Versailles, and the wonderful Monet’s garden at Giverny with its strong Japanese influence.

 

http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens4.jpg         http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens8.jpg
 

In Holland, where billion’s of tulips are grown each year, with hyacinths and many other bulbs, they are grown on reclaimed land. The Keukenhof Gardens south of Amsterdam are lovely in April, with water, tulips and grape hyacinths as seen on his slides.

http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens5.jpg
 

In the Alps famed for trailing geraniums in window boxes then to Spain, and the shady, palm trees of Mediterranean gardens in Granada. The Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens were built by the Moors in the 13th century, where streams and pools of water demonstrated coolness and of course wealth!. In Barcelona Spain, the architect Gaudi was fond of covering everything in mosaics, so there is a memorial park with winding mosaic paths and structures, and no straight lines.

 Hanbury Botanic Gardens in Italy, the Quaker Thomas Hanbury who was born in Clapham, who went to China to trade, when he retired to Italy and cultivated a huge garden, where he continued his horticulture interests. Eventually he returned to Wisley, Surrey eventually he left his property to the RHS.

 

http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens11.jpg
 

Cape Town has numerous varieties of wild flowers such as Ericas, Orchids and Hottentot figs, in the Kirstenbosch Gardens are hundreds of Proteas (below), Strelitzias and Osteospermums, which are native to South Africa, the Gardens were bequeathed to the nation in 1913.

http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens18.jpg
 

Colin continued at breakneck speed via Singapore, Bangladesh, India, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, California, Canada, Florida, the Azores, Madeira, Denmark he zoomed around the world and completed a superb presentation leaving our members quite breathless.

The images on this report only give a represented taste of those covered by Colin, to cover the full talk is not possible on this limited web site, then if you have the opportunity go to one of Colin's talks, or book up for a cruise where he is one of the lecturers.

 

  http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_japanese_5.jpg     

 

 

http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens15.jpg  http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens10.jpg

  http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens9.jpg   http://4pastreports.ewell4probus.org.uk/programme/2013/_AroundWorldGardens7.jpg

 

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After this breathtaking show of hundreds of photograph supported by a very professional supporting script in both horticultural knowledge coupled with a humorous flavour, it was warmly supported by the membership with our traditional and extensive applause.

2. Hogs Back Brewery

Our February monthly club meeting was held at a different venue Cuddington Golf Club were the Speaker was Mel Rees a Tour Guide for the Hogs Back Brewery.

Members arriving for the talk

 

Mel opened his talk with a few words introducing himself. Mel Rees was born in 1947 and lived in Battersea, South London, until he was 21 years of age. He married and moved to Ash Vale, Surrey, where he continues to live. He is the father of three children, managed to get rid of two, any suggestions for disposal of the third greatly appreciated!!.One day he was casually looking through the Sits Vac in the Surrey Advertiser and happened upon a job vacancy for a Tour Guide required for the Hogs Back Brewery and thought that’s for me and applied and was duly appointed to the job.

Mel continued by telling us about the brewery and the method of making the cup that cheers.

Hogs Back Brewery is a Brewery in Tongham, Surrey, England, and named after the nearby Hog’s Back ridge . The brewery started in 1992 as a joint venture between two friends, Martin Zillwood-Hunt and Anthony Stanton-Precious. Growing rapidly since then, it now produces 40,000 pints per week and supplies over 500 outlets.

The Brewery has won over 40 awards for its beers over the years. CAMRA voted, TEA was the "Best Bitter" in Britain in 2000, and in 2006 A over T was voted "Supreme Champion Winter Ale of Britain".

Beers and lagers are brewed with different types of yeast. Ale yeast ferments at the top of the brewing vat at a comfortable room temperature while lager yeast ferments at the bottom of the vat at a lower temperature. The main difference between the two is the different types of yeast that they both use. It was the Germans who first found a preservative in hops that enabled the drink to have a shelf life and they called it Lager, that being the German word for storeroom and the nearest they could get to in their language structure to give their beer a name. Here in Britain we drank something called small beer which has to drunk within a short space of time of being brewed, which in the past when water was not so pure as today was the only safe refreshment readily available. So it was years before we caught up with the rest of the world and added hops to our brew.

Beer is made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. The basic idea is to extract the sugars from grains (usually barley) so that the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer. The brewing process starts with grains, usually barley as is the case with Hogs Back (although sometimes wheat, rye or other such things can and are used). The grains are harvested and processed through a process of heating, drying out and cracking, this called malting. The main goal of malting is to isolate the enzymes needed for brewing so that it’s ready for the next step. The grains then go through a process known as mashing, in which they are steeped in hot, but not boiling, water for about an hour, sort of like making tea. This activates enzymes in the grains that cause it to break down and release its sugars. Once this is all done you drain the water from the mash which is now full of sugar from the grains. This sticky, sweet liquid is called wort. It’s basically unmade beer, sort of like how dough is unmade bread.

Being a minor brewery and there being necessity for scale of economy Hogs Back buy in their malt.  This also applies to their supply of Hops, which they source the majority of their hops within 5 miles of the brewery, though we also source from Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA. With this in mind they have recently bought some land across the road from the brewery to start their own hop garden. Where the hops are grown has an effect on the flavour of the beer brewed. The wort is boiled for about an hour while hops and other spices are added several times. Hops are the small, green cone-like fruit of a vine plant. They provide bitterness to balance out all the sugar in the wort and provide flavour, aroma, and distinctive character are equally important. . Hops are a natural preservative, which is what they were first used for. Once the hour long boil is over the wort is cooled, strained and filtered. It’s then put in a fermenting vessel and yeast is added to it. At this point the brewing is complete and the fermentation begins. The beer is stored for a couple of weeks at room temperature (in the case of ales) or many many weeks at cold temperatures (in the case of lagers) while the yeast works its fermentation magic. Basically the yeast eats up all that sugar in the wort and spits out CO2 and alcohol as waste products.

You’ve now got alcoholic beer, however it is still flat and uncarbonated. The flat beer is bottled, at which time it is either artificially carbonated like a soda, or if it’s going to be ‘bottle conditioned’ it’s allowed to naturally carbonate via the CO2 the yeast produces. After allowing it to age for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months you drink the beer and it’s delicious!

Dave Rich with a jug

 

During Mel’s talk there were short stops when his helpers (two of our members) moved amongst the audience dispensing samples from jugs of beer.  These were small amounts of the Breweries beers; they were A over T (aromas over Tongham) APB  ( a pint of bitter)  HBB (Hogs Back bitter) and TEA (Traditional English Ale). In his display Mel had a wide variety of beers running to some 18 different plus brews. Some were specials only brewed for specific times of the year, Advent Ale and Santas Wobble brewed for December and Christmas celebrations.

Mel rounded off his talk by mentioning tours of the brewery. Details can be found at https://www.hogsback.co.uk/contact/.

The brewery shop looking outwards the road

Narrative produced by Dave Rich

 

3. Visit to the Middle Temple & the Temple Church on 2nd. February 2017

A group of 20 congregated in the forecourt at 11.am to enjoy a guided tour of the environs and the internal rooms & great hall. Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court together with Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn & Greys Inn. Founded initially by the Knights Templars, who were all priests & therefore amongst some of the few who could read & write at that time. They evolved over time into training establishments for Barristers which is their major function to this day. Training took place after dinner in the hall & this is why all trainees have to attend a number of dinners each year. The Great Hall is a majestic double-barrelled vaulted ceilinged wooden Elizabethan hall lined with Coates of arms in the many panels. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was first performed here with him in the cast. The hall survived both the Great Fire of London & the Second World War bombing. We enjoyed a three course Lunch with wine & coffee before proceeding to the Temple Church. Some of it was damaged in the war but it has been skilfully restored. The Knights were intimately involved in forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta & there are documents & panels of information regarding that & the American Constitution which flowed from it.

   

All very interesting & a fascinating insight into our history. Many Thanks to Tony Field for setting up this visit.

4. Visit to Polesden Lacey on 9 March 2017

A visit to the newly opened servants' quarters with an opportunity to view the art gallery and listen to the piano player. We all were welcomed by a cattle truck moving stock to another field.

 

 

 

 

5. Walk at Norbury Park

 

Good weather on the day encouraged 9 members and wives to turn out for our walk around Norbury Park. The previous week having been dry, the going under foot was firm and, for the area, remarkably free from mud. We made our way to Brockett`s Farm, where the group unexpectedly turned down the chance of a coffee stop, using the outside tables in the sunshine. Then on to the great house from which the park takes it`s name, a quick peek through the fence enabled us to admire the manicured lawns (good job I don`t have to mow them), before making the descent to the River Mole, during which we had good views across the valley towards Box Hill, Mickleham and, on the skyline, Cherkley Court the former residence of Lord Beaverbrook. Quite a contrast with our last visit when mist obscured everything. Then we followed the river, past Norbury Park farm which is home to a large herd of cattle- these days a rare site, and surprisingly close to urban Leatherhead. The trip finished at the Stepping Stones-pity the car park was so full that some members could not find a space. Could not understand this, as there was plenty of space inside!

   

 

Malcolm Davis

 

Ewell Probus Newsletter December 2016

Contents

1. Ladies Lunch

Views of the Lunch

Roger Ranson and Hannah Myers-Knight  of PHAB giving their presentations

The Raffle for the Ladies and the winners.

Ewell Probus Newsletter November 2016

Contents:
1. Walk at Holmwood on 27/10/16
2. Crimean War October 1853 to March 1856
3. Ken Williamson at the French Embassy
4. Quiz Evening at Bourne Hall on 25th November

1. Walk at Holmwood on 27/10/16

7 members (and one dog) were enjoyed a walk, in good weather, around the Holmwood just south of Dorking. This is an N.T. property of about 650 acres, generally of open woodland. Most of the circular route followed a dry, well maintained path which was built by the N.T. a couple of years ago. This path is now well used by visitors, often with a dog, but the original proposal for a walker- friendly route met with considerable opposition! We met at the Scamels  car park (free-rare these days), and quickly reached the main footpath, which is well signposted (much appreciated by the leader). 

Map of Holmwood Common

After about a mile, we deviated from the main route to reach the "old cricket pitch", a reminder of a time when nearby village supported a social life (and a couple of pubs). We didn`t think Surrey Cricket Club would think much of the pitch now. Although this area is generally flat, there is a view-point (360ft high), from where we had a good view of Ranmore Common and the church spire.

From the Viewpoint towards Ranmore Common

At this point, we were rather close to the A24, but we soon returned to the more placid area of the common, briefly stopping at the "old football pitch"- they must have been a fit lot in those days.

Old Football Pitch

By this time we encountered another rambling group, making their way back to the better-known Fourwents Pond (and car park).

Quick Dip in the Little Ponds

In all, a pleasant amble of about 3.5 miles, after which most of us stopped off at the Royal Oak, where we enjoyed an welcome lunch.

As usual, we are always pleased to welcome any member who wishes to walk and socialise-watch the programme for the next walk, probably early in the new year.

Malcolm Davis.

2. Crimean War October 1853 to March 1856

The after lunch talk November 3rd was on the Crimean war  given bv our guest speaker Paul Whittle and was much as is given in following text.

In a conflict that claimed over 250,000 dead and countless more injured, Britain and France allied with the Turkish Ottoman Empire against Russian military expansion. Paul’s talk- illustrated with plentiful maps and contemporary images - described the causes of the conflict, the land battles, including the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, and the devastating siege of the mighty Sevastopol naval base

The war opened in the Balkans, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities, until then under Ottoman suzerainty and now part of modern Romania, and began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, and a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse, France and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli. They then moved north to Varna in June, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a minor skirmish at Constanța, there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped that "there they are, the French doing nothing and the British helping them as fast as possible 

Frustrated by the wasted effort, and with demands for action from their citizens, the allied force decided to attack the center of Russian strength in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. After extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 in an unopposed landing and made their way to a point south of Sevastopol. There they took part in a series of successful battles. The Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, but at the cost of seriously depleting the British Army.

93rd (Highland) Regiment: Battle of the Alma September 1854

Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854, in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to prevent the Russians removing captured guns from overrun Turkish positions, a task well-suited to light cavalry. However, due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead led on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.

Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.

A second counterattack, ordered personally by Nicholas, was defeated by Omar Pasha. The front settled into a siege and led to horrible conditions for troops on both sides. Smaller actions were carried out in the Baltic, the Caucasus, the White Sea and in the North Pacific.

Sevastopol fell after eleven months, and formerly neutral countries began to join the allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. This was welcomed by France and Britain, as their subjects were beginning to turn against their governments as the war dragged on. The war was officially ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856. Russia lost the war and was forbidden from hosting warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent. Christians were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute.

The Fall of Sevastopol September 1855

The Crimean War was one of the first conflicts to use modern technologies such as explosive naval shells, railways, and telegraphs. The war was one of the first to be documented extensively in written reports and photographs. As the legend of the "Charge of the Light Brigade" demonstrates, the war quickly became an iconic symbol of logistical, medical and tactical failures and mismanagement. The reaction in the British Isles was a demand for professionalization, most famously achieved by Florence Nightingale, who gained worldwide attention for pioneering modern nursing while treating the wounded.

On 21 October 1854, Florence Nightingale and the staff of 38 women volunteer nurses that she trained, including her aunt Mai Smith, and 15 Catholic nuns were sent to the Ottoman Empire. They were deployed about 295 nautical miles (546 km; 339 mi) across the Black Sea away from Balaklava in the Crimea, where the main British camp was based.

Nightingale arrived early in November 1854 at Selimiye Barracks in Scutari (modern-day Üsküdar in Istanbul). Her team found that poor care for wounded soldiers was being delivered by overworked medical staff in the face of official indifference. Medicines were in short supply, hygiene was being neglected, and mass infections were common, many of them fatal. There was no equipment to process food for the patients.

Over 60% of casualties in this war were due to disease and sickness followed by poor medical attention until Florence Nightingale arrived and made the much needed improvements to medical care.  Battle field casualties were comparatively light by comparison.

Of later days there has been much made of the activities in the medicare by Mary Seacole, however in the opinion of our speaker Paul Whittle her contribution was much more as a Business Women than that of a Nurse.

To conclude there was a fascinating look at the Crimea today, where is the naval base of the Russian Black Sea fleet.

David Rich

3. Ken Williamson at the French Embassy

Ken talking to Mme Sylivie Bermann

The photographs were copied with the approval of the French Embassy.

A full set can be found at the following address:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ambafruk/30802626122/in/album-72157672749673264/

4. Quiz Evening at Bourne Hall on 25th November

There were 60 participants in the annual Quiz Evening which was held at Bourne Hall in Ewell.

The Quiz Master was Bill White who posed 10 questions in each of the 7 rounds, with a break for supper between rounds 4 and 5.

Bill White preparing for the Quiz

The teams were 8 teams made up of the following:

Team Members

Team Name

Sutton Probus’s 8*Guests

Sutton Casuals

Carol & Peter Osborne

The Geysers

Leslie & Dave Stevens

 

Ken&Leslie Richardson

 

Malcolm & Sue Davis

The Cosmopolitans

Tony&Pam Affleck

 

Norman&Sybil Hale

 

David&Wendy Hill

 

Margaret Amess

The Badgers

Margaret Ball

 

Shirley Tracey

 

Anne Mills

 

Sandra & Fred Finch

 

Bernard&Gill Reeves

 

Bill White's 6*Guests

Lakehurst Courtiers

David & Ellie Short

Odd Couples

David Wood + Guest

 

Deric Tonge + 7*Guests

Magnificent 8

David Reeve

Could Do Better

Mrs Lynn Phillpott

 

Mrs Marion Summers

 

5*Guests

 

After the brain challenging rounds, the results were as follows. Congratulations to David Reeve and his team; they could not have done any better!

Team Name

Scores Per Round (Out of 10)

Total

Position

Round

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could Do Better

10

6

7

9

5

7

7

51

Winners

The Cosmopolitans

9

4

5

4

5

7

7

41

Joint Fourth

Odd Couples

6

3

4

4

5

4

7

33

Wooden Spoons

The Geysers

9

5

6

7

4

8

7

46

Second

Lakehurst Courtiers

5

5

4

6

5

5

7

37

Seventh

Magnificent 8

7

3

6

6

4

7

8

41

Joint Fourth

The Badgers

8

3

5

6

5

7

7

41

Joint Fourth

Sutton Casuals

6

4

6

7

5

7

8

43

Third

The "Could Do Better Team"

The "Odd Couples Team"

There were separate spot prizes for the ladies and men between rounds.

Our thanks to the Bourne Hall Staff and Caterers who arranged the Quiz Rooms, Bar and Supper.

Ewell Probus Newsletter August 2016

Contents:
1. Ken Williamson Legion D'Honneur
2. Treasures from the River Thames on 6 July 2016
3. Ewell Probus Website
4. Bookham Common Ramble on 12 July 2016
5. Fighting Blindness in Bolivia on 3 August 2016
6. River Boat Trip on 1 September
7. Surrey Hills on 7 September
8. Warren House on 8 September
9. Flower Show on 11 September

1. Ken Williamson Legion D'Honneur

Ken was notified by the MoD that his Legion d’Honneur was to be awarded  by the French Embassy.

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June 2014, the French President Francois Hollande announced that the Legion d’Honneur would be awarded to all British veterans who fought to liberate France from Nazi occupation between 1944 and 1945. The Legion d’Honneur is recognised internationally as France’s highest distinction and is awarded in recognition of both military and civilian merit.

Ken was a glider pilot who ferried 60 soldiers in the afternoon of D-Day to Pegasus bridge at the eastern end of the landings. The site can be visited and displays the original bridge as well as a glider.

 

        

The Letter from the French Ambassador as follows:

Dear Mr Williamson,

I have the pleasure of informing you that the President of the Republic has appointed you to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d'honneur.

I offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.

As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget the heroes like you, who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.

I am happy to enclose your insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur and once again extend to you my heartfelt congratulations.

Since a large number of decorations has to be awarded between now and the end of this year, I shall be unable to present this honour personally to every single veteran. However, if you would like an award ceremony to be organized for you, I invite you to contact your region's French Honorary Consul, who has been informed and is at your disposal. The Honorary Consuls' contact details are enclosed with this letter.

 Yours sincerely, Sylvie Bermann Ambassade De France Londres 25 May 2016

2. Treasures from the River Thames: The Talk by Malcolm Head

Malcolm Head talked to his audience about how he spent his working life working on a dredger keeping the River Thames and tributaries free flowing and from silting up or becoming otherwise blocked by debris of all kinds to prevent flooding.

Many artefacts were brought up to the surface in the dredgers buckets that had been discarded by their owners over the centuries. He had these set out on two tables and worked his way along them holding each archaeological find up and recalling how and where it was found, together with what he had learned about their origins.

These ranged from Stone Age flint axes, a tiny Roman oil lamp to a seaman’s sextant circa 1900 that came to the surface at Datchet. Although complete in its original mahogany box the brass plate on the lid engraved with the owners name was lost otherwise the owner might have become known. Amongst his collection were tiles from Chertsey Abbey (a Benedictine Monastery), stone hot water bottles and foot warmers, a marmalade pot complete with silver spoon and marmalade, which had long since degraded and was quickly discarded.

     

Malcolm displayed a number of bottles, one of which he informed his audience was made of Roman glass. Other bottles were from a much more modern time; The Codd-neck bottle which was designed and manufactured to enclose a glass marble and a rubber washer/gasket in the neck. These bottles had once contained carbonated fizzy drinks that gave its name to the expression codswallop. The bottles are filled upside down, and pressure of the gas in the bottle forced the glass marble against the washer, sealing in the carbonation.

Another very old artefact was a ceramic weight used by Viking Weavers to give tension to the warp and weft threads on their loom, together with a smaller ceramic weight that had been used by silk weavers of a later time for the same purpose.

Report written by Dave Rich

3. Ewell Probus Website

The Club has a new website Http://www.ewellprobus.co.uk. An email has been issued by our Secretary identifying the address.

After the AGM a working group was set up to review the purpose of the Club's website, which identified the criteria as:

·         Simplicity; Finding your way around the website.

·         Relevance of Information to Members; What you need to know, mainly the Progamme.

·         Accuracy of Information; Latest updates.

·         Conciseness; Short and to the point.

·         Ease of Maintenance for 4 Members capable of maintaining the site, using Microsoft's Expression Web 4.

The previous website ewell4probus has not been updated since April.

Please look at the website and give your feedback to our Secretary, even favourable comments.

4. Probus Walk Across Bookham Common 12 July 2016

7 members and wives took advantage of good weather for a walk around this National Trust site and its surroundings. Following the broad track across the common, we passed the locality known locally as the “Isle of Wight” (alas no sea in site) until we reached some manicured farmland. Chasemore Farm appears to be given over to horse rearing and training and we saw horses being exercised over the well-kept paddocks from the hill top, from which there are good views.

     

We continued past a large house the locals call Bookham Grange, before returning to the Common itself, and a muddy footpath near to the boundary.

      

    

Fortunately we soon reached a good broad pathway across the Common, which is very wooded, and on to our start point giving us a trip of about 3.5 miles.

    

No walk is complete without a pub stop, in this case the “Windsor Castle” at Little Bookham, which rounded-off the day very well.

We always welcome extra pairs of feet, so if any of you feel like a pleasant mix of socialising and gentle exercise, come and join our next walk- just watch the website!

Report witten by Malcolm Davis.  

 

5. Fighting Blindness in Bolivia Lunch talk by Dave Goldsmith on 3 August

 

The talk was given by Dave Goldsmith on Fighting Blindness in Bolivia.

Dave and his skilled team, Andean Medical Mission (AMM), spend a period of a month each year travelling to Bolivia and visiting remote parts to eliminate or reduce the effects of blindness.

The AMM plan includes: alignment with Bolivia from a political stance; registration of AMM as a Bolivian Foundation; involvement in Bolivian Ophthalmology training; develop our relationship with the Bolivian Ophthalmology Society; identify new towns and villages where AMM can work this year and beyond; explore the opportunity to help a Bolivian Ophthalmologist.

Map showing northern Bolivia and the towns that AMM have worked in together with the location of current Bolivian eye care services.

 

 

 

More than 100,000 are needed for Bolivia. In El Beni, if 80% of blindness is assumed to be treatable then it is estimated that there are 9000 operations needed to bring blindness down to 1 %. Additionally there are patients who are not blind yet but will become so. Therefore services need to run at a level that reduces the current blindness and copes with the volume of newly blind patients that present, as well. In El Beni the capacity of the Bolivian eye services runs at about 200 operations a year all done in Trinidad. AMM performs another 200 operations per year on top of this. At these levels, the number of blind is not decreasing quickly enough, despite all of the best efforts.

Therefore this year’s priorities were to establish and equip the ophthalmologist in San Borja to add to the number of patients that can be treated by Bolivian services throughout the year and for AMM to access new and larger towns to treat a greater volume of patients during the visit. AMM want to do this without forgetting the many people who are relying on AMM from the villages and towns that are normally attended.

 

 

The team arriving in Bolivia.

 

 

The team in San Borja operating theatre.

 

Patients waiting to be seen in San Ignacio.

 

    

Patients being examined and exercised after surgery.

 

Over the whole trip the teams screened 2000 patients, operated on 220 blind or nearly blind patients and carried out lots of teaching and set up one ophthalmology centre in San Borja serving 49,000 people. Not bad at all.

A more detailed report on the trips to Bolivia can be found on the AMM Website:

www.andeanmedicalmission.co.uk

 

6. Riverboat Trip from Kingston to Richmond on 1 September 2016

The group of about 20 Members and their partners met at Turks Pier, Kingston at midday and joined other day trippers. The trip took an hour to Turks Pier at Richmond, near the White Cross.

The pleasure boat.

 

    

The approach to and entering Teddington Lock including a warning sign.

 

    

We were all completely relaxed and enjoying the trip to Richmond.

 

    

Up front behind the bridge.

 

Lunch was at the Jackson & Ryes American style restaurant. Afterwards there was the opportunity to amble through the Richmond Town Centre and stop for a beer at one of the hostelries before returning to Kingston.

 

 

As the Thames was at high tide, we needed to rejoin the boat on the other side, upstream, of Richmond Bridge.

 

    

An enjoyable day on the river.

 

Our thanks to Roger Ranson who arranged the trip.

7. Surrey Hills & the Surrey Hills Society 7 September 2016

Our talk was given by Kenneth Bare, the deputy director, who gave us an insight into their raison d'etre. They are not land-owning charity but exist to promote and protect the hills by education and influence with those that do.

 

Surrey, apparently, is the most wooded county in the country. The Surrey Hills stretch from the Hampshire border in the west, well in to Kent and are an area of outstanding natural beauty, (ANOB) They change in the passing from sandy loam through to chalky downland.

 

 

They provide fine views, sunken lanes and thousands of miles of footpaths and bridleways, far more than many other counties, which might have sweeping moorland or huge agricultural fields but very little access or rights of way.

 

 Although not an agricultural county any longer, there are plenty of small businesses producing fine foods and drinks.

 

 The county has provided inspiration to the likes of Gertrude Jekell - Lewis Carol - Conan Doyle - Jane Austin - Beatrix Potter - Vaughan Williams - & Eric Clapton to name but a few.

 

The Surrey Hills Society was set up about 8 years ago to "promote, enhance, and conserve the physical and natural environment for the public and advance their knowledge and understanding.

 

Report by Roger Ranson

There were a number of questions and discussion about the mess left by dogs especially where it is placed in a plastic bag and left by the path instead of in the bins provided. However on a recent Member’s holiday in Sonoma, California, the following sign was at the entrance to the Sonoma Valley Regional Park!

 

 

 

8. Warren House Visit on 8 September 2016

A visit to the house was arranged by the Surbiton Probus and it gave an insight into the privileged of the mid 19th century. The house is Victorian, Grade II listed, and is set in four acres.

It was originally built in 1860's for banker, Hugh Hammersley and extended 1884-6 by George Devey for George Grenfell Glyn, Lord Wolverton. The House was sold through many owners who extended its grounds as well as setting up flower gardens and nurseries. It was acquired by ICI in 1954 and used as an executive management centre until 1998. ICI sold of most of the grounds to fund improvements to the House. It was then sold to its current owners for use as a conference centre, wedding venue, as a restaurant and for funeral wakes. The resulting gardens are now smaller having been replanted to represent earlier shrubs and trees.

 

The House, our meeting room and the grotto.

        

 

It was the House that enjoyed the privileged visitors including Edward 7 and his mistress who met and sat in this part of the gardens.

 

An explanation of the garden by the Head Gardener of the replanted garden.

 

  

Two notable visitors at and near Warren House.

 

  

9. Flower Show by Surrey Chrysanthemum & Dahlia Society on 11 September 2016

The Show held Toyota (GB) PLC offices in Burgh Heath.

  

 

 

Two Probus exhibitors were Tony Field and Bill White both of whom were awarded prizes.

    

     

 

Interest from other Members

 

        

 

 

 Ewell Probus Newsletter June 2016

Contents:
1. Spy Cameras of the KGB
2. Programme of Events      
3. Getting in Touch      

1. Spy Cameras of the KGB

Our talk for the June Meeting was given by David Tomlinson of the Photographic Club of Great Britain.

Considerable interest was provoked by many examples of working cameras which he demonstrated and laid out for all to see and handle. He also illustrated each on slides and was able to point out all the intricacies and developments.

                                                                                                   DT

His interest stemmed from the 1960's but went back to 1953 with the death of Stalin and the first Soviet H Bomb.The KGB started as the Cheka and evolved through various name changes to the FSB of today.He first tried to travel to Russia in the 60's but had to search hard eventually lighting on a Sovscot tour starting from £68. The ship started from Tilbury and called at various Scandinavian ports dropping off passengers. Eventually it arrived at Leningrad (St. Petersberg) when the remaining 10 were met by their Inturist Guides (minders). At that stage the KGB employed upwards of 600,000staff in a multitude of roles. The country had no camera manufacturing facilities but Stalin was insistent in trying to make the Soviet Union self-sufficient, so would not allow imports. They had camps for youth offenders where the time was split 50/50 on education and work. (What a good idea!) The youths were set the task to copy the best foreign camera, the Leica which they did with considerable success. Examples of a Leica and it's copy were shown.From there other adaptations were made e.g.mounting on a gun-stock which we were shown and many others including inside a book, an umbrella, a man-bag, handbag, a brief case and a tie-pin.Some took pictures forwards and some sideways.Another was developed to act as a hand-held photocopier for documents. This is also hidden in a book.

DT2 DT3 DT4

There were even miniature cameras the aperture of which was through a button. All these adaptations were for surveillance at a distance or close up, to check on enemies, foreigners and citizens alike. To record compromising situations and honey traps.

 Ken Taylor gave a vote of thanks complimenting David on his lucidity and the many examples he had brought. The session ended with questions and answers.

2. Programme of Events

TBA Visit to Apsley House, near Hyde Park Corner and Bomber Command war memorial. To be organised by Tony Field

18 September 2016 Visit to Warren House Richmond. Organised by Roger Ranson

TBA Quiz Evening in November at Bourne Hall, Ewell

3. Getting in Touch

Contact John King at secretary@ewellprobus.co.uk.

Ewell Probus Newsletter April 2016

Contents:
1.       Visit To The Household Cavalry Barracks at Windsor and Runnymede 9th May 2016
2.       Ladies Lunch
3.       Probus Ramble on Thursday 28 April
4.       Fencing on 1 March
5.       The Charity
6.       New Members
7.       Probus Website
8.       Programme of Events
9.       Getting in Touch

1.       Visit To The Household Cavalry Barracks at Windsor and Runnymede 9th May 2016 - Report by Derek Smith

30 members, partners and guests mustered at Epsom Downs car park to be taken by coach to the Combermere Barracks, Windsor.

On arrival we were greeted by a veteran cavalryman, John, and proceeded in an orderly fashion to the museum. John explained the programme for our visit and we were also treated to the inevitable Health and Safety talk by his colleague, Peter.  One wonders if the soldiers get such a safety briefing before going into battle!

We learned that the Household Cavalry Regiment is compiled of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. The Life Guards were formed by King Charles II in 1660 and is the oldest regiment in the British Army.  The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 and are an amalgamation of the Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Dragoons.

The ranking system in the Household Cavalry is peculiar to all others in the British Army.  The sergeants are called Corporals of Horse and the corporals are called Lance Corporals of Horse. For those further interested in the intricacies of the ranking system, complete rundown can be found on the website http://householdcavalry.info/hcranks.html#wos

                                                                      

                                                                                         BRIEFING OF POTENTIAL RECRUITS

The session was followed by a visit to one of the armoured vehicle workshops where some older vehicles were being refurbished and then on to the stables where we witnessed the prime treatment of the magnificent horses.

                                                                      

                                                                                    HORSE WHISPERER TONY - GETS TIP FOR THE DERBY

We then marched to the other- ranks mess for a self-service, inexpensive, tasty lunch with a wide choice of dishes. Those who had done National Service might have been surprised to see that the Captain we had previously seen in the workshop was eating with his men.  On questioning it was later explained that this was a time saving issue in that the Captain would have to change into the appropriate dress to eat in the Officers Mess.

Following lunch we were invited to visit the Warrant Officers Lounge and buy drinks. There was a display of trophies and memorabilia. There were also two chairs at mess entrance.  We had been previously warned that these were reserved for the exclusive use of the respective Regimental Corporal Majors. If anyone else dares to park their bottoms the fine is drinks all round for everyone present in the Mess.

Before completing our visit we returned to the museum where were introduced to and handled various weapons and item of ceremonial dress. Two members of our party volunteered to act as models to dress up in the ceremonial items. We were all surprised at the heavy weight of the dress and equipment. We learned that the guards can be distinguishes by the colour of the helmet plume. White for the Life Guards and Red for the Blues and Royals.

 

                                                                               

                                                                                   JOHN'S DAUGHTER - READY FOR PARADE

After bidding farewell, we boarded our coach, bound for the Magna Carta site at Runnymede. Despite the rain, most of our party ventured out to view the various monuments on this historical site of the signing of the Magna Carta. One of the main attractions was “The Jurors”, an artwork by Hew Lock to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede on the 15th June 1215. The work is comprised of twelve bronze chairs decorated and inscribed with symbols and images to represent concepts of law and key moments in the struggle for freedom, rule of law and equal rights.

                                                                       

                                                                                                                THE JURY'S OUT

Others of the party also viewed the Magna Carta Memorial (designed by Sir Edward Maufe and erected in 1957 by the American Bar Association), the Kennedy Memorial (commemorated the life of the assassinated American President, John F Kennedy, and set in an acre of land donated to the United States of America by Queen Elizabeth II in 1965) and the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial (inscribed with the names of twenty thousand men and women of the Allied Air Forces who lost their lives in the Second World War on missions and have no known grave. This monument is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Before departing for home we all retired to the National Trust tea room for refreshment. These rooms are in one of the two lodges commissioned by Lady Fairhaven in memory of her husband, prior to donating the site to the National Trust.

 Thanks go to Mike Vickars for organizing an interesting and enjoyable day.

2.  Ladies Lunch

The Ladies Lunch was arranged by Pat Hunt and held at the Kinswood Golf Club. A Certificate of Excellence was presented to Frank Rae by Malcolm Davis.

An informal survey conducted amongst Members, their ladies and guests to determine if a Speaker at the lunch is required. The feedback indicated that the speaker was not required, which would reduce the length of the lunch from 4 hours to about 3 hours.

3.  Probus Ramble on Thursday 28 April

                                                             

The ramble was across Bookham Common but it was unfortunately cut short due to a leg injury to Malcolm Davis, from which he has since recovered.

4. Fencing on 1 March

Joe Shackell held a fencing taster at a Sports Hall in New Malden. There were about 12 attendees from Members and their Partners.

5. The Charity

The chosen Charity for 2016/7 is PHAB.

6. New Members

To reiterate an earlier offer, there is a free lunch for potential Members without an obligation to subsequently join Probus.

7. Probus Website

A revised website has been installed. Please make any suggestions to the Secretary at the address below.

8. Programme of Events

TBA Visit to Apsley House, near Hyde Park Corner and Bomber Command war memorial. To be organised by Tony Field

8 September 2016 Visit to Warren House Richmond. Organised by Roger Ranson

TBA Quiz Evening in November at Bourne Hall, Ewell

9. Getting in Touch

Contact John King at secretary@ewellprobus.co.uk.