What's New?

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Note: Robert Alexander requested his photograph not to be displayed.

Forty Years in Education

9th August 2022

An insight into education by Robert Alexander, who is a product of Nantwich but taught most of his working life at the Technical College in Ellesmere Port, where he became Deputy Head.

The presentation was on how and why education has changed over the years.

The general perception, is that standards have dropped from what they were. Robert is convinced that this is not the case, because education is now so much broader than it was. He went into some detail as to how exams are now generated, checked and marked to ensure fair and consistent results.

These days the curriculum is under constant review to ensure it is appropriate for the future need of our young students.

A very interesting and informative talk.

Club Trip to Cardiff  4th - 8th July 2022 (Photos curtesy of David Dobson)

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Cheshire Police Commissioner

26th July 2022

 

A very interesting talk by John Dwyer who is the current Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Commissioner is elected by the public every four years. Their role is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account.

John has previously held the position of Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire and was appointed Commissioner for the second time in 2020.

A booklet entitled "Police and Crime Plan 2021 - 2024" was distributed to all those present and makes very interesting reading. The Commissioner referred us to the section entitled "Your priorities for policing and crime", and went through all the relevant points in some detail.

He also spoke on how the nature of crime has changed over the years especially that involving the internet. And how Cheshire police are embracing new technology to help enforce the law.

I think that many of us were aware of the existence 

of Police Commissioners but didn't fully understand their role. After John's talk, the picture is now much clearer.

Dennis Burrows, 9th July 2022
In deepest sympathy

It is with great sadness that we hear that Dennis Burrows died, 9th July 2022 aged  89.

Dennis was born in London in 1933 before moving to Bunbury in 1939.

In 1953 he joined the Army and served with the Cheshire Regiment in Suez and Germany until 1955.

Later he worked in the family tyre trade before starting his very successful D & D Tyres in Nantwich.

Dennis was a dedicated family man with two daughters and a son and a supporter of his local Church.

He was a long serving and much respected member of our Club who served as President 2016-17.

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High Sheriff of Cheshire

12th July 2022

 

We had to be on our best behaviour today, as our speaker was not only High Sherriff of Cheshire but a lady. Jeannie France-Hayhurst was previously a barrister and resides locally in Bunbury.

The first Sheriffs appeared in the Mid Saxon period 600 - 800, as local representatives of the King. Their principle tasks consisted of Raising Revenue and Keeping the Peace.

In 1186 a law was passed to reduce the power of Sherriff by introducing trial by a Circuit Judge and give the responsibility of collecting taxes to the Exchequer.

Today the Sheriff still maintains the responsibility of accommodating Circuit High Court Judges during their visits. Other duties involve supporting Civil Services and the local community.

A special panel identifies and selects suitable candidates who hold the position for a year.

A very interesting speaker.

Wonder if my wife would appreciate an outfit like that?

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Club Trip to Cardiff

4th - 8th July 2022

 

Our Annual Holiday break this year involving a guided trip to Cardiff with accommodation in the Holiday Inn, has just returned.

There were 18 in the party, including 2 guests from the Nantwich Weaver Club.

Early reports are the event went very well and was enjoyed by all.

(Hopefully photos to follow if I can successfully extract them off David Dobson's phone!)

Steve Butters - Alan Flitter - The President

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The Himalayan Kingdoms

28th June 2022

 

A most fascinating talk from Member and international traveller, Alan Flitter.

 

In November 2011, Alan and his wife joined a party of ten others on an adventurous  trip to Pheuntsholing in Bhutan.

The trip was almost cancelled due to a severe earthquake shortly beforehand.

After flying to Calcutta, the group spent several days travelling by coach, passing through Darjeeling before arriving in Pheuntsholing.

Alan's photos showed the incredible and unique buildings, bridges and monuments they encountered on their way.

A very interesting presentation but my wife says she still prefers Tenerife!

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Germany and Poland in a Motorhome

14th June 2022

Speaker Secretary, John Ballinger  gave a most informative talk about his 2550 mile, 54 day trip in June 2019.

The main objectives were to visit the Harz Mountain area of Germany and take a first look at Poland.

 

The journey took John and his wife through places of interest including - Brocken Mountain (with it's steam railways),Berlin, Colditz, Dresden, Krakow and Auschwitz.

John included many interesting and amusing incidents which occurred during their trip

I'm wondering if my wife fancies a Motorhome? 😏

Norman Bentley

 "100" Not Out!

 

On the 29th May, Honorary Member and Past President Norman Bentley passed his century and he has a card from the Queen to prove it!

Norman was born in Collyhurst Manchester and served an apprenticeship with Fairey Aviation, before joining Rolls-Royce. After 30 years with RR he started his own company Bentley Consultants Ltd which provided damage assessments on RR cars for insurance purposes.

Norman joined Probus in 1983 and proved an enthusiastic and popular member being appointed President in 1992.

He is currently living with his son Tim, in Scholar Green and had a recent visit from the President, Mike Houlston and former President, Keith Ward. Apparently Norman was reported to be in fine form and still has an excellent memory.

I’m sure we would all wish to congratulate Norman on this milestone and look forward to celebrating his 100 and first Birthday.

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A Journey Down the River Weaver - Part 2

24th May 2022

Club member John Wain (me)  gave the second part of my talk about the River Weaver.

This focused mainly on the Weaver Navigation from Winsford to the Mersey Estuary.

 

These days the Navigation carries virtually no commercial traffic but is still well maintained as it remains essential for the drainage of most of Cheshire.

I'm pleased to report the talk seemed well received.

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Gourmet Evening

19th May 2022

 

A most enjoyable evening at Dane Bank Academy Restaurant. About forty members and their guests attended this event.

The food, wines and service were excellent and a credit to the students and their teachers.

It's the first time I've attended Dane Bank and I was pleasantly impressed.

See Photos -  "Gourmet Evening",

for more -

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History of Christie Hospital.

10th May 2022

 

An excellent and informative talk today by David Poppitt. David was born in Wales but finished his education at the Medical School at Manchester University. Whilst at University he became involved with Christie Hospital (As a student attracted by the high female to mail staffing ratio!) where he spent most of his working life.

Initially David was involved in medical research but later became much involved in Public Awareness and Fund Raising.

Christie hospital was established by Richard Christie (Lawyer), Joseph Holt (Brewer) and with money bequeathed by Joseph Whitworth (Engineer). At the start, it was named as "Cancer Pavilion and Home for Incurables". It is currently the largest specialist cancer unit in Europe employing 8000 staff.

David went on to explain why these days, cancer appears more abundant  and the three main methods of treatment.

A very interesting presentation.

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Steve Butters - Alan Flitter - The President

A Visit to RAF Cosford

3rd May 2022

 

A very interesting visit this morning to RAF Museum Cosford, near Telford.

This is a large and impressive museum covering four huge hangers. The numerous exhibits are very well displayed and tell the history of military aviation over the last 100 years.

17 of our members attended and we found our own way round. I was fortunately in a small group which included Paul Thomson who's knowledge and experience were most illuminating.

A very good day out and well worth a visit.

See Photos -  "RAF Cosford", for more -

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From a dream to a finished product.

26th April 2022

 

An interesting talk today by Jag Virdie the designer and producer of an innovative outdoor accommodation module called Conker.

Spherical in shape and about 4M in diameter, it can be a flexible solution to a home office, meeting room or bedroom for example.

It's shape, design and production process have been optimised to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

Great to hear, the business is based locally in Nantwich.

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A Journey Down the River Weaver - Part 1

12th April 2022

 

Club member John Wain (me) gave the first part of a talk about our local river, the Weaver.

Being relatively new to the Club and the area, I was a little conscious about talking on a subject that the audience might well know more about than me. But I think I got away with it; just!

Part 2 is scheduled for 24th May.

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New Member

12th April 2022

 

New Member Norman Hindle is welcomed into the Club and receives his badge and tie from the President.

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A Visit to Reaseheath Collage

5th April 2022

 

A very interesting visit this morning to Reaseheath Agricultural Collage.

It's vast covering over 1 square mile and educating an unbelievable 4500 students. Fortunately its holiday period so there weren't too many about.

Of especial interest was the Robot Milking facility.

Finished the visit with lunch at the Sacred Orchard.

See Photos - Reaseheath for more -

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AGM

22nd March 2022

 

A good turnout for this year's AGM. Minutes of the last meeting were approved. Reports from the Social Secretary, Speakers Secretary and Membership Secretary were presented.

The Accounts for last year were presented and approved. The Treasurer in his report recommended an increase in subscriptions which was unanimously approved.

The outgoing President, Fred West handed over the Presidency to the Vice President Mike Houlston.

Dr Mike Emery becomes the new Vice President. Also Edward Bridge was appointed Examiner (Auditor) and Andy Garnett, Joint Social Secretary.

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A Voyage to Antarctica

8th March 2022

 

An excellent talk my Jim Forkin, concerning their voyage to Antarctica to celebrate his wife's 60th birthday.

After flying to Argentina, they transferred to the port Ushuaia close to Cape Horn. Here they joined their expedition on M/V Plancius, with another 106 adventurous passengers. 

After a two day journey on Drake Passage, through some rough seas they finally

entered Antarctica. Jim's photos showed this to not be a flat wasteland but a land of rugged terrain of great beauty.

It was fascinating to learn of the unusual activities of the penguins and sightings of many other creatures including humpback whales, elephant seals and albatross.

A very interesting and enjoyable talk but I'm not sure my wife would be up for it!

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Annual Lunch

1st March 2022

 

An excellent annual lunch for around sixty members and their guests. Held at the recently renovated banqueting facility at the prestigious Crewe Golf Club.

(Select "Photos" for more Pics)

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When the War came to Yarnfield

22nd February 2022

 

A fascinating talk by Shaun Farrelly.

Before WW2, Yarnfield was a small village close to Stone, During the late 1930s the Government realised that a future war in Europe was inevitable and started to build our facilities. As a result, in 1939 a huge armaments factory was constructed in nearby Swynnerton.

The facility covered 2 square miles and took  90 million bricks, 21,000 builders only 6 months to construct.

Once open, the factory produced mainly bullets and shells for the RAF. The workforce gradually increased in size to a maximum of 18,500, the majority of whom were female. Transport for work force and materials was provided by specially constructed railway facilities.

Initially, accommodation was provided by the construction of residential halls in nearby Yarnfield. Later this facility was used for the US Airforce and after the war a GPO training facility. Little is left of either the factory or the halls today.

A very interesting and enjoyable talk.

Gordon Calverley
In deepest sympathy

It was in great sadness, that the Vice President informed the meeting on 8th February 2022, that our fellow Club member Gordon Calverley, has recently  passed away.  Gordon had been an active and supportive member  since joining in 2014. Those present paid the appropriate silent tribute.

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The Notebook of Thomas Noblet

8th February 2022

 

A fascinating talk by Bill McCartney.

Bill started by explaining how and why he had taken an interest in and become proficient in genealogy.

During researching his family background in the Fylde area of Lancashire, he discovered an old notebook  form the early 1700s belonging to Thomas Noblet. Thomas was a carpenter by trade and seemingly a well educated and most intelligent man.

His notebook was used mainly to record the day to day activities of his trade, including furniture designs and bills of materials. As such it gives a unique picture of rural  life and work during those times.

Bill has gone to great lengths to transcribe Thomas's difficult handwriting and have it published together with the original text and drawings, into a book.

Thanks Bill for a very interesting talk.

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Trek to Everest Base Camp

25th January 2022

 

An engaging talk and slide show from Club member John Lee, about his adventure to Nepal.

In May 2003, John joined party of 13, in an organised trek to Everest Base Camp.

His previous experience consisted of a walk round the local park, so this was a serious challenge!

The photos were fascinating and showed the stark, barren but beautiful scenery of that area.

We were pleased to find he made it to Base Camp which is perched on a glacier at 5000 metres.

Let's hope if John decides to complete his journey to the top, he'll return safely to give us Part 2 of his talk.

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New Member

23rd November 2021

 

New Member William (Bill) Cook is welcomed into the Club and receives his badge and tie from the President.

New Member

8th February 2022

 

New Member Peter Nehammer is welcomed into the Club and receives his badge and tie from the Vice President.

Important Notice

For the foreseeable future, all meetings will be held at-

Nantwich Cricket Club

Whitehouse Lane, Nantwich, CW5 6HH

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A Taste of the Silk Route

11th January 2022

 

A very entertaining talk from Club member Alan Flitter about his "holiday" to Uzbekistan in 2008.

Alan travelled with his wife and two friends in a 4x4 with a guide, on a 10 day, 700 mile trip following the Silk Route from Tashkent to Khiva.

It was interesting to learn of his many experiences along the way and the influences of the Russians within the region.

Not sure my wife could be persuaded to take such an adventure!

Christmas Cheer

14th December  2021

 

Our last and Festive meeting before Christmas.

Probus Club of Nantwich Member John Wain (shown in the photo with The President) gave a brief presentation on the Club's New Website.

The new replacement became necessary due to the technology used on the old site no longer being supported by the provider.

Following the presentation members enjoyed festive hospitality provided courtesy of The President.

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Dr Dennis Brady, 16th November 2021
In deepest sympathy

It is with great sadness that we hear that Dr Dennis W Brady died, 16th November 2021 aged  92.

Dennis was born in Islington, London 10th September 1929. He was educated at Chiswick Grammar School and Sheffield University Medical School and rose to become Chief Medical Officer at British Railways.

He joined Probus, 8th January 1991 and became an Inactive Member in 2019.

Amongst his interests during retirement were rambling and gardening.

Our sincere condolences to Wife Grace and Family.

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Andrew Fuller Chater

23rd November  2021

 

A fascinating talk by Graham Dodd from The Nantwich Museum.

Andrew Fuller Chater became Rector of Parish in 1846. In 1849, Nantwich suffered a terrible epidemic of cholera involving 249 deaths. The Reverend did much to manage the crisis and identify the probable causes. As a result the town took many steps to improve hygiene and install a new clean water supply.

Later, he was also responsible for the restoration of St Marys Church.

Andrew Fuller Chater died in 1872 at the age of 57 years.

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New Member

23rd November 2021

 

New Member William (Bill) Cook is welcomed into the Club and receives his badge and tie from the President.

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Christmas Lunch

16th November 2021

 

An excellent festive lunch for around seventy members and their guests. Held at the recently renovated banqueting facility at the prestigious Crewe Golf Club.

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It's a Guides Life

9th November 2021

 

A interesting talk by Tom Jones, the Tour Guide not the Singer, he assured us.

Tom has been a Guide, mainly for The City of Chester, for over 20 years. He commenced his talk, by explaining his reasons for becoming a guide and the process necessary in order to qualify.

 

He went on to describe many of the amusing incidents which happened whist guiding his flock, frequently seeming to involving French and Japanese tourists.

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Spies Among Friends

26th October 2021

 

A fascinating and amusing talk by Nantwich Probus member Edward Bridge.

Edward commenced by speaking of his early life which include being an Officer in the Royal Artillery. It was here he was given the opportunity  to become a Special Agent but disappointingly for us, he declined.

However, Edward continued by describing the activities of some of the notorious Spies and Double Agents during the 1930-60s.

Espionage is clearly of interest to Agent Bridge, so be careful what you say, walls have ears! 

Photograph shows Edward with a Special Guest.

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Golden Anniversary Lunch

at Peckforton Castle

15th October 2021

A year late (due to covid) but a great day worth waiting for.

We were blessed with a perfect autumn day at the magnificent venue of Peckforton Castle.

A most enjoyable lunch and good company, what else could you ask for?

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A Day in the Life of an Airline Pilot (Part 1)

12 October 2021

A fascinating incite into the typical day of an airline pilot by Nantwich Probus member Paul Thomson.

it's reassuring to learn the procedures and level of detail involved to ensure passenger safety when flying.

We're looking forward to Part 2.

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'Money Makes the World go Round',

28th September 2021

Our Speaker at our 28th September meeting was Keith Stevens who gave a very interesting and enlightening talk entitled 'Money Makes the World go Round.

This is the third time Keith has spoken at our meetings and we look forward to inviting him back in the future.

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50 Year Celebration Lunch,

15th October 2021

After a long delay due to Covid 19, we may now finally celebrate the Fifty-Year Anniversary of when our club was formed.

it has been agreed to hold a special lunch at Peckforton Castle which provides a magnificent old world setting.

Following the meal there will be a talk on the castles history by Mr Naylor the present owner of the castle.

Those interested in attending on Friday 15th October should contact our Social Secretary, Steve Butters.

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AGM, 10th August 2021

At long last, we had out first meeting for 18 months, on the 10th August. Essentially, it was the AGM delayed from 2020. Due to restoration work at the Masonic Hall, the meeting took place at the Willaston Social Club and was very well attended.

Sadly the Secretary reported on several bereavements including that of our Hon Treasurer, Tony Noden.

Harry Gilbert was appointed the new Treasurer whose proposal that Subs for this year be reduced to £35, was endorsed by the membership.