You are invited to browse some of the recent Warlingham and District Probus Club events in this archive. If this type of thing is of interest we would love you to join us. New members are very welcome. Fill in the feedback form here to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.

‘Outings’ Secretary: A.L. (Tony) Wright


Wednesday 11th March, 2015

Departure:      7.30/7.45am (by Coach) from the Woldingham Golf Club.

Tour:                            9.00am (Courtesy of Terry Charman, we are being offered a formal, private ‘Guided’ Tour for 1 Hour, BEFORE the Museum opens to the Public; after which there will be the opportunity to browse at leisure.)

Return:                        Back to Woldingham Golf Club by 4.00pm latest

Lunch:                          a) There is an in-house Café (“serving a range of handmade British food freshly prepared every day including stone baked pizzas, healthy salads and snacks, fresh sandwiches and classic British puddings”).

b) Alternatively, there are a number of Eateries and Watering Holes within walking distance of the Museum.

c) Specifically, and on behalf of the Chairman, research is in hand with a view to locating “a nearby, suitably stylish restaurant for a nice lunch”! (IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE INCLUDED IN ANY SUCH ‘BOOKING’, PLEASE LET ME KNOW, SO THAT I CAN ATTEMPT TO NEGOTIATE AN APPROPRIATE AND ATTRACTIVE ‘QUANTITY DISCOUNT!!)

Cost:                NO MORE than £20.00pp {exclusive of Lunch!}


Probus logoWarlingham and District Probus Club

Newsletter – October 2015

Dear Fellow Members,

The summer has passed and I can see heavy rain outside my study window.  Has the time come to put away my shorts and sandals in favour of long trousers and socks?  Our chairman continues to wear his shorts all through the winter.  He is obviously very hardy or perhaps he is just steeped in warming alcohol!

We have had some excellent meetings and outings over the summer.  Below you will find a report of the fascinating talk given by Eric "Winkle" Brown on 29 July.  Also we have a report of the outing to the Chapel Down Winery, Tenterden on 8th July.  These were both prepared by our new reporter, Bob Bailey. Many thanks, Bob.

The outing to Salisbury on 7th October is taking place as I write this newsletter.  I hope to be able to publish a report of this outing in the next newsletter.

We are testing a new cascade system for booking attendance at our monthly meetings/lunches.  Four of your committee, Tony Wright, Keith Cattermole, Ken Clair and Angus Bransby have been nominated to be the contact for between six and eight members each.  One of them will contact you to find out if the you are attending the meeting and if you have any special dietary requirements.  The team leaders then advise our Luncheon Secretary, Mike Smith, of the numbers attending on the following Wednesday.  Mike should then be in a position to advise the Golf Club of the accurate numbers at lunch.  This should reduce the number of empty seats at lunch for which the club have to pay.  Each team leader has a nominated deputy so you may occasionally be contacted by someone else.

Our new Shadow Treasurer, Bob Bailey, is concerned that the club finances may not be rosy.  I now realise that I had forgotten to pay my subs (£15pa) earlier this year.  I will bring a cheque to the next meeting.  Others of you in the same position may like to do the same.

I talked about Warlingham Yacht Club in the last newsletter.  We have been on another cruise over the weekend of Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September.  The weather was wonderful; sunshine and just the right amount of wind.  We made it to Poole Harbour on
Saturday night where we had an excellent meal and then some of us watched the England Wales Rugby.  My captain was the only Welshman in the group and he struggled to get up at 4am for our early start next morning. Navigating out of Poole harbour in the dark
was interesting but it was going to be a long
sail to get back to Hamble against the wind and tide; we needed to get going well before sunrise.

My wife and I had a couple of excellent holidays in Cornwall over the summer with our children and grandchildren.  We have been going to the same village, Rock, on the Camel Estuary, for over 40 years and the children keep wanting to join us.  We managed not to cause the RNLI any concerns this year!  We had excellent British weather; warm sunshine and good sailing breezes nearly every day.  Why go abroad?

I would remind you that our meeting on 28th October is open to subsidised guests.  If you bring a potential new member then the club will pay £6 towards the cost of the guest lunch making the cost £12.50 not £18.50.

Chapel Down Winery, Tenterden

This outing took place on 8th July when fifteen Probus members and guests visited Chapel Down Winery in Tenterden for a guided tour and tutored wine tasting.

Chapel Down own over 100 acres of vineyards across Kent where the finest grape growing conditions in England exist.  They also source grapes from a few selected growers to maintain consistency and reduce the risk of failure due to poor weather.

The chalk soil of south-east England is similar to that of the Champagne region of France which coupled with our cool climate enables them to produce a good sparkling wine using the intricate Traditional Method where the bubbles occur naturally within the bottle after the addition of ‘tirage’ a mixture of sugar and yeast.

They also produce a variety of still white, light red, rose and a delicious dessert wine called Nectar using three main grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, used in their sparkling wines and Bacchus which is a grape similar to Sauvignon Blanc.

After our coach journey to deepest Kent we took coffee in the Swan Restaurant which was interestingly decorated with a mixture of naval and optical artefacts before joining David, our guide for the tour.

David’s entertaining and knowledgeable presentation style showed that he enjoyed his job as he talked us around a section of the vineyard and through the various winemaking processes.  He explained that approximately 5 million bottles of English wine are produced annually of which about 20% is produced by Chapel Down.  He impressed upon us the important fact that to be labelled English Wine the grapes have to be grown and processed here while the British Wine label simply meant that the wine is processed in England but can be from the juice of imported foreign grapes!

Then came the fun part; a tutored tasting of a number of Chapel Down wines, marking each according to our taste and preference before being let loose in their wine and cheese shop.

After loading up the coach boot with our
various crates a five minute ride found us at our lunch stop; Meat in Flame, a Mediterranean restaurant in Tenterden where we enjoyed a varied selection of Turkish food in convivial surroundings.

It must be said that once again the service from Allenby Coaches was first class, a comfortable coach and the entertainment value of the driver’s amusing anecdotes and opinions were only exceeded by his navigational skills and dexterity as he avoided two major holdups on the A21 on our journey home.

All in all an excellent day thanks to our Outings
Secretary, Tony Wright.

Bob B                                                  6/8/15


Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown

The July lunch meeting of Warlingham and District Probus Club turned out to be a record breaker.

The guest speaker at our July lunch meeting was Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown RN.  As a Royal Navy test pilot he pioneered and holds the world record for deck landings and has also flown a record number of different types of aircraft.

The meeting, held as usual at Woldingham Golf Club, was attended by a record 56 club members and guests and proved to be a memorable occasion.  The golf club chef provided a delicious stuffed mushroom starter followed by steak and chips with a choice of trifle or cheese and biscuits before we were entertained by our guest speaker.

Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown CBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, PhD Hon FRAeS, RN. is a former Royal Navy test pilot who has flown
487 different types of aircraft (a world record that is now unlikely to be broken) and performed more aircraft carrier landings than anyone else, a staggering 2,407, but his talk to us centred upon a different aspect of his career.

Because of his  aviation expertise and his ability to speak fluent German he was tasked
by Churchill in 1945 to interview Wernher von Braun and other prominent German scientists and obtain details of their innovative aviation technology such as their use of wind-tunnels and the development of experimental jet fighter and rocket planes.

Whilst doing so he was seconded to the Army and assisted in the relief of the Belsen concentration camp and subsequently interrogated a number of high ranking German military personnel.  We were fascinated by his description of his conversations with Herman Goering, Heinrich Himmler and the ‘beast of Belsen’ Irma Greset.  His insight into their characters and mind-set was enthralling.  But more was to come as Captain  Brown went on to describe his initial test flights of the notoriously dangerous ME 163 rocket plane
and Germany’s experimental jet fighter the ME

We hope to entice Captain Brown back to talk to us again about his aeronautical exploits next year.  Watch this space!

Bob B                                                  31/7/15

Probus Club of Hamsey Green & Warlingham
Outing to Tower Bridge & Southwark Cathedral Wednesday 5th March 2014
Following the very successful and popular trip to Brooklands last year, we have a proposal for a visit to Tower Bridge coupled with Southwark Cathedral in the planning stage. If there is sufficient support we will progress with a target date of Wednesday 5th March 2014.
A visit to Tower Bridge Exhibition is the most exciting way to explore and experience the most famous Bridge in the world. Within the Bridge's iconic structure and magnificent Victorian Engine rooms there is plenty to see and do!
After watching a new animated video about why Tower Bridge was built, guests can walk into the high level Walkways, 42 metres above the River Thames. This offers visitors the chance to admire stunning panoramic views of London, spying such popular landmarks as St Paul's Cathedral and the Monument to the west and St Katharine's Dock leading to Canary Wharf to the east.
The East Walkway houses the exhibition 'Great Bridges of the World' - this photographic exhibition features over 20 Bridges, each of which represents a breathtaking feat of engineering. In the south tower a short video shows the construction of the Bridge, before guests proceed to the West Walkway where they can view our brand NEW exhibition, 'This is London'. Here, visitors can admire copies of over 60 iconic illustrations and excerpts from painter and illustrator, Miroslav Sasek's classic children's book, 'This is London'.
Continue on to the original lifting machinery in the Victorian Engine Rooms, complete with sounds and smells that transport you back in time to the Bridge's origins. You will also experience a virtual Bridge lift, providing you with a unique view of the Bascules being raised.
Visit Us
Welcome to Southwark Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark which encompasses South London and East Surrey. Welcome to a church which has borne continual witness to our faith in Jesus Christ for the last 1400 years. Welcome to a place which is open to all and from where the Good News of God’s love for all is proclaimed and lived out.

Today in old and new buildings this Cathedral continues to serve the people of its parish and the people of the diocese as a centre of teaching, worship, prayer and pilgrimage, a place of welcome for all. Recent years have seen major regeneration in the local area as Bankside has developed as a residential area, a playground for London and a place where the arts are celebrated. Southwark Cathedral has seen a growth in visitor numbers and in the size of its congregation as we have proclaimed a gospel of radical engagement with God and the world
The history, diversity and character of the area are revealed in the tombs and monuments within the church. Among them is that of John Gower (c1330-1408), poet and friend of Chaucer, famous for The Canterbury Tales which begins in Southwark. Across the nave from Gower’s tomb is a memorial to William Shakespeare, who spent much of his life in Southwark, and a stained-glass window depicting scenes from his plays. Elizabethan actors and dramatists Edmond Shakespeare, John Fletcher and Philip Massinger are all buried in the Cathedral. Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, who, as part of the First Westminster Company, oversaw the translation of the King James Bible, is buried by the High Altar. Our Harvard Chapel commemorates the baptism of John Harvard in 1607, a Southwark-born man whose legacy founded the USA’s oldest university. A more recent addition to the Cathedral is a stained-glass window commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
We would expect to leave Woldingham Golf Club at 09:30, by coach and arrive at Tower Bridge at 10:45 for a guide talk and  then tour the building, after that an optional lunch at Cantina Del Ponte (2 courses @ £12.50) or make your own arrangements. After lunch a visit to Southwark Cathedral, where a guided Tour is an additional £5, however this would be unnecessary if you were to visit individually. (The distance between the two locations is just less than a mile, however if this was felt to be too far or the weather was inclement, the coach would transport us)
We would aim to leave London by our coach at about 15:00 - 15:30 in order to arrive back at Woldingham Golf Club at approx 16:00 - 16:30
Cost anticipated to be:  Coach, Tower Bridge Tour, Southwark Cathedral Tour - £27 per person. Optional 2 course Lunch at Cantina Del Ponte - £12.50 per person
Guests most welcome!


probus-oneProbus Club of Hamsey Green & Warlingham

Newsletter – January 2014


Dear Fellow Members,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in producing this newsletter.  A lot has happened since the last newsletter was published and I seem to have been rather busy.  However, I am now relaxing in Lanzarote and Olive is complaining that the sun has only been out for about six hours today and the sky has been slightly overcast for some time.  Yes, it has rained here - two nights ago; it was rather heavy and left a few puddles on the pavement the next morning.  Has it been wet in the UK?

I think you have all been advised of the sad news that Bunnie Spall died on 12th December.  As a relatively new member I didn’t know Bunnie that well but I am sure that all the longstanding members of the club have fond memories of him.  Our condolences go to Sandi.

We had a most successful trip to Brooklands Museum on 6th November which was organised by Robin.  George Witherspoon has written a report of the trip which is included in this newsletter.  Thank you George.

I must tell you about a somewhat disturbing experience that we had here in Lanzarote a week or so ago.  We are staying at the HPB property Santa Rosa in Costa Teguise.  A very pleasant apartment overlooking our swimming pool and lounger chairs.  There are half a dozen HPB members topping up their tan at the moment and a couple more are making waves in the heated swimming pool.  It’s a tough life.  But I digress.

We hired a car to do a bit of exploring round the island and one the first places we visited was the cactus gardens at Guatiza.  Designed by Ceaser Monreque, who seems to have produced the only architecture of any note in Lanzarote.  We had a pleasant stroll looking atall the prickly plants and were then forced to stop for a something to eat and drink.  Most of our expeditions seem to require us to seek sustenance at some stage or another.  Well, on this lovely sunny day we decided, after lunch, to explore a small nearby coastal village called Charco del Palo.

We drove into the sleepy and almost deserted resort looking for a spot to park the car near the coast when what should confront us?  A
fully tanned middle-aged (about our age!) man walking down the centre of the road - naked! Yes that’s correct; he was tanned all over.

After a few shaky wobbles of the steering wheel (Olive was driving) we looked for a place to park.  This was with some trepidation but explorers must not be deterred too easily. We locked the car and wearing shorts, a long sleeved shirt and hat; well it was rather sunny and I didn’t want to get sunburnt, we made our way to the sea front.  I had by then spotted a few unclothed bodies sunbathing in their gardens and I was slightly uncertain if we should be walking about fully clothed.

Who could we ask?  Approaching us on the coast path was a very attractive young lady who just so happened to be naked.  She gave me a big smile and reassured us that all was well and we were welcome to explore the village.

I the interests of journalism I later did some research and Wikipedia told me that Charco del Palo was a popular naturist resort.  Nudity is permitted everywhere in the village except the local supermarket.

Other than this disturbing event we had an excellent break in Lanzarote.  We were able to relax better once our hire car was returned and the driver (Olive) and navigator (me) no
longer had debates about which way to go round a roundabout and which way to lookwhen turning onto a main road! Why foreigners will persist in driving on the wrong side of the road I just can’t understand.

You will see below that we have a few special events on the horizon.  On 23rd April and 26th November we have a subsidised guests meting when the Club will pay £8 towards the cost of the meal for any new guest that you bring to the club.  We need to encourage new members to join so this is your chance to bring a friend to try us out.

We are proposing on 28 May to have a meeting to which partners are invited.  Yes this is rather controversial but let’s give it a try.  We are also considering an additional lunch with partners on 1st October at a
different venue.  Details of this have still to be agreed.

Enough of my scribbling! Angus

Outing to Brooklands Museum

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Report by George Witherspoon

I was looking forward to my visit to Brooklands on 6th November. I knew it was the first motor racing circuit in the UK but not that it was the first purpose build circuit in the world, constructed in 1907 by Hugh Locke King a wealthy landowner.

It was a damp and uninviting morning when we left Woldingham Golf Club by coach containing 22 members of the Warlingham and Hamsey Green Probus Club and their guests.

We arrived at the Museum near Weybridge, at about 11.00 a.m. and after a brief look round the gift/souvenir shop we were allocated to a lady who led us to a lecture room where she spent a half hour telling us something of the background of Brooklands.  I can understand that, through his work, Barnes Wallis had close connections with the site, but Barbara Cartland seemed to me to be most unlikely supporter of motor racing. For the most part the track itself has fallen into disuse and parts of it have been sold off but some areas remain for short distance events such as hill climbs.

I was determined to see as much of the Museum as possible and started by visiting the various sheds.

The Malcolm Campbell shed housed many old racing cars of which the 24 litre Napier-Railton driven, I think, by John Cobb, broke several world records. Darraque’s Bentleys, many other old (and huge by modern racing car standards) cars including two 3 wheeler Morgans (My father’s first car!)

Thence to the Jackson Shed where there is an exhibition of modern Grand Prix Cars and where Angus availed himself of the opportunity to use the McLaren Formula/Simulator, putting up a surprisingly good performance.

From this Shed we move seamlessly into the ERA Shed (the name Raymond Mays springs to mind!) where the racing motorcycles including such famous names as Vincent, HRD, Velocette, BSA and many others, spanning the years can be seen. Further into the Shed, and of particular interest to me, was the Brooklands Cycle Exhibition and Raleigh Display.  Everything historical was here from numerous examples of the Penny Farthing to the modern track cycle.  Cycles ridden by Rex Harris  the World Sprint Champion in the late40s/early 50s, Claude Butler Cycles (my first light weight road bike Reynolds 531 tubing and all that!!) and a host of other makes throughout the years – all long since gone with the decline of the hand-built frame in favour of mass production. Several Tour de France cycles were on show (In the early days of the race it is said that riders would sew raw steaks into their trousers to fend off saddle-soreness!!)

My next port of call was the Wellington hangar which housed many fascinating exhibits including a Wellington bomber recovered from Loch Ness and a rebuild 1st World War Vickers Vimy, a Hawker Hurricane, a Harrier jump jet fighter and many displays of Vickers guided weapons and Barnes Wallis’ bombs.

Many Vickers aircraft were on display in the Vickers Aircraft Park, several of them having been built at Brooklands after 1945.  I was fortunate to be able to board the Sultan of Oman’s private VC10 with its two bedrooms said to be his own and one for his mother who accompanied him on most flights. Most stirring to me was Concorde G- BBDG, the first British production Concorde and the first ever to carry 100 passengers at twice the speed to sound.

My final visit, all too short was to the London Bus Museum which houses vehicles from the 1890s (horse drawn) to the 1970s (Champion, Leyland and others), many lovingly repaired at great cost by enthusiasts.

We left Brooklands at 3p.m; long enough to be exhausted but too short a time to do justice to all the exhibits. A repeat visit has to be on the cards! Many thanks to the organisers.

Probus Club of Hamsey Green & Warlingham
Proposal for Outing to Brooklands Museum Wednesday 6th November 2013
At the last Committee Meeting it was decided to canvas support amongst members for a trial outing to establish the support within the club for a programme of outside trips, perhaps 2 or 3 per year.
The Brooklands Museum is located at Weybridge and represents the birthplace of motor racing in Britain with the first purpose built race circuit. Brooklands was developed in 1907 by Hugh Locke King, a wealthy landowner.
This is a photo of the original Clubhouse from where the wealthy and influential would watch motor car racing in the 1920's at Brooklands. 
File:The Club House Brooklands - - 473347.jpg
The museum is located south of Weybridge, Surrey and was first opened regularly in 1991 on 30 acres of the original 1907 motor-racing circuit. It includes four listed buildings: the 1907 Brooklands Automobile Racing Club Clubhouse and Members' Hill Restaurant buildings, the 1911 Flight Ticket Office, and a 1940 Bellman aircraft hangar. Surviving sections of the 1937 Campbell Circuit, the 1907 Finishing Straight and Members' Banking (the steepest section of the former racing circuit), the 1909 Test Hill, and a WW2 “Bofors” gun tower are all important parts of the Brooklands scheduled monument which was extended in 2002. The entire Brooklands site was designated a Conservation Area by SCC in 1989. The Brooklands Trust Members formed in 2008 after the Friends of Brooklands Museum and the Brooklands Club amalgamated, and is the official supporters' organisation for the Museum.
Our trip would depart by small luxury coach (either 22 or 28 seater) from Warlingham, from a location yet to be agreed, at 10.00 am arriving at Brooklands at about 10:45 am leaving time for a short break before the commencement of the visit at 11.00 am.
There then would be a 20 minute talk and introduction to the entire site after which time visitors would be free to visit all/any of the exhibits in the various historic buildings and outside.
The Museum displays a wide range of Brooklands-related motoring and aviation exhibits ranging from giant racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles to an unparalleled collection of Hawker and Vickers/ BAC-built aircraft, including the Second World War Wellington Bomber, Viking, Varsity, Viscount, Vanguard, VC10, BAC One-Eleven and the only Concorde with public access in South East England.
There is a Cafe/Restaurant on site serving a selection of hot and cold meals together with a range of snacks and drinks etc. This would be at Club Members cost and at a time of their own choosing to suit their exploration of the site.
Continue with the visit after lunch and depart at 3pm. The coach will remain on site so excess belongings may be left safely on board, and arrangements will be made to drop off and pick up one minute from the Museum entrance. The museum is designed to include disabled facilities and is wheelchair accessible (apart from accessing the planes which is via steps).
Return to Warlingham would be by 4pm
Cost to include Coach, Introductory talk about Brooklands, Museum Entry would be £25 per person.