Social Events

A group of three members plan a variety of social activities in advance of the forth coming year with the aim of identifying a cross section of interests for the members, wives and friends.

A typical year would be a selection from:

  • National Trust Properties and Gardens
  • Historical Abbeys and Monasteries
  • Manufacturing Plants Car / Heavy Duty Equipment
  • Museums
  • Theatres
  • Cathedrals
  • Canal / River Trips
  • Local Industry
  • Christmas Events

We aim to make the visits as interesting as possible and to share our experience in good company over a cordial lunch.

The Club also organise a five night holiday, in the U K in the autumn. Members take their own cars and are free to spend the day as they wish. A suggested itinerary is optional but dinner is always taken together in the evening, when shared activities and good conversation are guaranteed.


See Notice Board for details.




Report on Social Events Programme 2019

The year commenced with a Deluxe Afternoon Tea held in January at Brasserie Blanc in Knutsford, organised by Richard Fenby. This event, which was designed to appeal particularly to the ladies, was well-attended, and 35 of us sat down to a delicious array of fresh sandwiches, scones, madeleines and cakes. We are repeating this on 29th January 2019, because it brightens-up what can be a rather dull time of year.

In February, 18 members and wives boarded a coach for the Lowry Centre, also arranged by Richard, where we enjoyed a nice dinner at Café Rouge, followed by a delightful performance of “Brief Encounter”. Later that month we visited Roberts Bakery for a fascinating tour of this marvel of automated bread production. So many members and wives signed-up that Brian Williams had to organise a second trip in October!

Mike Bailey conducted 27 of us on an excellent coach tour of the impressive Etihad Stadium in April, followed by lunch and a delightful concert at The Bridgewater Hall in central Manchester. The Club’s Summer Lunch was also held successfully at the Deanwater Hotel in June.

In July, Jim Flett led 33 of us on an excellent coach trip, on a very scenic ride around Yorkshire and Lancashire in gloriously sunny weather, to visit the Ribblehead Viaduct of the famous Settle and Carlisle Railway, where they saw a steam-hauled train cross the viaduct (though the early arrival of the train was a surprise to some!) with a good lunch at a hotel in Appleby, a lovely old Cumbrian market town. A bonus was a hilarious talk given in the 16th Century Moot Hall by a past mayor of Appleby.

Richard organised a visit to Gawsworth Hall Open-air Theatre in July, for an Evening with Michael Portillo, his second at this venue, which was as funny as ever. Michael spoke for an hour on his life in politics and as then an entertainer, mainly on television. After a short break, he spent another half hour responding to questions from the audience, answering with both good humour and political skill. 

September is the month in which traditionally we hold our Probus Holiday, and in 2018 we were blessed with more sunny weather for our stay at The Principal Hotel in York, an ideal 4* location for a car-free centre from which many of the city’s famous attractions could conveniently be visited on foot. The food at the hotel was excellent. Richard Fenby and Brian Williams had organised an exclusive guided tour of The Minster, a lovely “Cruise on the Ouse” with Lunch, and a Guided Walking Tour of the Historic Centre of York. Members also visited the Shambles, the National Railway Museum, Jorvick Viking Centre, Fairfax House and walked the City Walls, amongst many other destinations. On the Wednesday, our member Barri Dodgson, an accomplished organist, was permitted to play the organ in the Chapel of the west wing of Castle Howard, and the following day, in a Methodist Church. Some of the group joined him to listen to his recital. The weather also held fair on the last day for Mike and Judy Hargreaves’ walk, with eight members and wives, in the grounds of nearby Beningborough Hall, with an excellent lunch in the sun in the National Trust Café there.

The Club History Book, last updated for our 40th Anniversary in 2008, was brought fully up-to-date as a Golden Jubilee version, by a small sub-committee led by President Dick Warwick, and was republished for the occasion of our 50th birthday on 18th October.

We celebrated our 50th Birthday with a lunch at the Courtyard Hotel on 18th October, where 89 members, wives and widows enjoyed a three-course meal. A highlight was the free wine supplied for each table, for which the Committee had raided the Club’s coffers, in proper recognition of the importance of this milestone! Celebratory speeches were made after the lunch by our Chairman and our President, and then by the President of Knutsford Rotary Club, Mr. Tom Dickerson, who also proposed a toast to Knutsford Rex Probus Club. Our President then presented a copy of our Golden Jubilee book to The Presidents of Knutsford Rotary Club and Tatton Probus Club, and to all of our widows. It was felt that on this occasion, the premises were rather cold. While the food was nice, the overall standard of service we received was not as good as at comparable alternative locations, such as Statham Lodge.

We closed the year, as is now customary, with our Christmas Lunch, held again in the excellent Statham Lodge, and by a visit organised by Richard Fenby to “Tatton at Christmas”, where 50 members, wives, widows and friends enjoyed a tour of the lavishly-decorated Mansion, a glass of winter punch, a lovely programme of festive music by The Northern Chamber Orchestra and the young voices of the outstanding choir of St Nicholas Catholic School in Northwich.

Richard Fenby