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.

SOCIAL EVENTS PROGRAMME 2021

See Notice Board for details.

EVENT DATE LEADER COMMENT
A number of social events have been listed in our calendar but as no specific dates are agreed this listing will only be updated when known.

Report on Social Events Programme 2020

I expect that I will not be alone in reporting that 2020 was a year when all our plans came to nought.

Thanks to the support of a number of members, by early in March we had a very promising draft programme of events in place for 2020 with a number of events in the detailed planning stage. We had our theatre trip to the Royal Exchange already booked and our trip around the Amazon warehouse fully subscribed. However, none of these outings eventually took place for obvious reasons.

Looking forward into 2021 it is impossible to predict when the government regulations will allow us to resume our social activities or indeed when our members will feel comfortable doing so. On this basis it has been decided not to consider any events before June 2021.

We have two booked events which have been carried forward from 2020 into 2021, these being the Summer Lunch and the Christmas Lunch. It seems to me that the Summer Lunch, scheduled for early in June must be at very serious risk of cancellation but we do not need to take that action just yet.

From July onwards we have tried to put together a flexible programme of events which are mainly using “own cars”, do not require large numbers to be viable and are fairly local. We have also selected events that could be cancelled at relatively short notice with minimal financial cost should this be necessary.

With all of the proposed venues closed at present and not taking bookings, detailed planning will however have to wait till the situation becomes somewhat clearer.

One further decision we have made is that the holiday in Lincolnshire, which was to have been carried forward from 2020, will not be practicable in 2021.  It is also the case that Lincolnshire may be too far away for our members to contemplate in 2022. The holiday involves a great deal of detailed planning including visits to check on venues, arranging of tours etc. It also involves a commitment from members who are going on the holiday quite early in the year. In these uncertain times any planning for a holiday in 2022 cannot really start before the autumn of this year.

In summary we have made the assumption that in the first half of the year we are unlikely to be able to hold any social events. However, let us hope that at some time later in the year some form of normality may return and should this be the case, then whenever this happens we intend to be ready to resume the very important social life of the Club.

Jerry Bentley

Social Secretary

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