Newletter 3rd January 2017 - Mill at Sonning Dinner Theatre, "High Society"
Sixteen members and 16 guests enjoyed a fabulous visit to the Mill at Sonning which started with excellent food, service and convivial company in their warm and welcoming restaurant. This was followed by the light-hearted musical with excellent performances throughout. It was a jolly start to our Christmas and it was great to see that true love triumphed in the end! We had a bit of a delay leaving as the coach decided it did not want to start so reinforcements were called up. However, that was enough to change its mind and we got underway after a further pleasant interlude chatting over drinks in the newly reformed bar. Many thanks to Terry for arranging this very enjoyable occasion that provided the perfect aperitif for our Christmas festivities.
Newsletter 5th December 2016 - Anvil Theatre, Basingstoke, "Simply Gershwin"
12 members and 15 guests attended the Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke for an evening of music by George Gershwin superbly performed by the London Concert Orchestra. There was a particularly memorable rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue" by a guest concert pianist and, with other Gershwin favourites, the experience was made even more memorable by excellent solo singers and dancers recreating the routines of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Our thanks to Ted for arranging such a magnificent event.
Newsletter 9th November 2016 - Visit to Brooklands Museum
22 members and 10 guests enjoyed a visit to Mercedes World, Weybridge in the morning where they saw a wide range of both early and modern Mercedes cars on show in the Mercedes UK flagship headquarters. After having lunch at the nearby Brooklands Museum Historic Clubhouse we were then given a guided tour of the museum, where we saw a varied collection of early cars and aircraft. The tour included a visit to the Brooklands Concorde, in which we experienced a simulation of what it was like to take off and fly to twice the speed of sound, although the cabin tables were laid up to serve smoked salmon and champagne our experience did not extend that far! The sun also came out on cue, contributing to a very enjoyable day. This report would not be complete without acknowledging our driver, Scott, who yet again had to demonstrate his skills when negotiating Mercedes’ ‘alternative test course’ before finally parking the coach.
Newsletter 4th October 2016 - Autumn Walk
Ten members and guests enjoyed this year’s early Autumn Walk in the countryside surrounding the village of Long Sutton. Although scheduled to be around 3 miles in length, our ‘Tech Geek’ members with their clever mobile phones pointed out that we had actually walked 5 miles! About half way round a rumour circulated that the walk leaders were lost - this was not the case, the fact that we walked around the same field three times before finding a way out is entirely another matter! After the walk an enjoyable lunch was taken at the Mill House in North Warnborough, where we were joined by four additional members and guests. Well done to those who took part and our thanks to Peter and Ted for all of their time and hard work organising this event.
Newsletter 8th September 2016 - Visit to Henley & Mapledurham House
Sixteen members and sixteen guests enjoyed a wonderful day out. We were blessed with ideal weather - rain free and not too hot. Our first stop was at the River and Rowing Museum for pleasant morning refreshments. Nestled near the bank of the river, it was ideally situated for us to have a relaxing stroll, view the craft, riverside properties and the delightful town. A splendid lunch was taken in the dining room overlooking the course at Caversham Heath Golf Club. Our driver safely navigated us on a short but precarious meandering drive on a minor road to the imposing Elizabethan Mapledurham House where we were greeted by our excellent tour guide who was also the Miller. Inside the house did not disappoint and the tour of the working 15th century watermill ended with an opportunity to buy flour and its by-products. The day finished with afternoon tea and a chance to go inside the beautiful estate church. Our thanks must go to Peter for organising this exceptional event, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Newsletter 1st August 2016 - Cream Tea & Quiz
Twenty six members and 24 guests enjoyed a fabulous afternoon in Terry and Margaret's garden in Odiham. Good food, good company and good weather were complimented with a challenging but enjoyable quiz set and organised by Peter Buck and punctuated with an air display by RAF Odiham. Our thanks to everyone who helped to make this day a success and particularly to Kate Buck and Sue Thompson who helped Margaret with the food and to Peter Buck and Ron Thompson who helped Terry with setting up the garden. And we thank everyone who prayed for our unusually good (dry!) weather.
Newsletter 4th July 2016 - Petanque & Pub Lunch
It was raining stair rods when we all arrived but it soon stopped and allowed us to enjoy the challenges and camaraderie of this event with 10 members and 6 guests playing Petanque. The wet start certainly did not put Peter Buck off his deadly aim as he managed to win all three of his games with an excellent net +25 points, romping home with both the best man and best overall individual performance prizes. The runner-up to the best man was Paul Wheatcroft with two wins and net +18 points. The best lady winner was Sue Thompson with two wins and +4 points overall, while Eileen Wall was also a worthy runner-up with one win and a highly creditable +7 points. The friendliest player by a very large margin was John Stevens who cheerfully clocked up no wins and -27 points (is this a new Club record?)! After all of this effort we were treated to an excellent lunch at The Foresters, where we were also joined by a further five members and seven guests so there were 28 persons in all. Our thanks to George and Colin for their hard work organising and officiating at this very enjoyable event.
Newsleter 7th June 2016 - Spring Walk
To prove that our annual cream tea event does not have a total monopoly on adverse weather conditions, 9 gallant members and 4 guests defied the heavy rain on 31st May to complete a very memorable walk around the picturesque Waggoners Wells near Grayshott. Ably lead by Peter Buck, the walk started from Ludshott Common, leading down to the valley bottom and lakes amongst the woods. Inevitably there was a climb back out testing the stamina for some of us. One unforgettable moment involved stopping at the 'Tennyson Fountain' where Peter movingly recited the inscribed poem, an emotional experience that brought tears to the eyes of those listening, as if the rain wasn’t enough!
After completing the walk and drying off, 5 non-walkers joined the group for a very enjoyable lunch (helped by the odd glass of wine) at the Applegarth Farm Restaurant. Well done to all who participated with particular thanks to Peter for organising the walk and Ted Payne for his liaison with the restaurant.
Newsleter 7th June 2016 - Visit to Hever Castle, home of Anne Boleyn
Sixteen members and 26 guests enjoyed a wonderful Spring day in this beautiful Kent countryside estate on 17th May. The very "homely" castle was easily toured using the hand-held guides which gave us all the interesting historical insights that we could wish for - and perhaps even remember! The grounds were particularly attractive and in pristine condition - and no-one got lost in the maze! Everyone had a nice relaxing visit with time also to enjoy each other's company.
Newsletter 4th May 2016 - Spring Break at Bembridge Coast Hotel, IOW
Twenty-nine members and partners/friends enjoyed a mainly sunny break in Bembridge from 25th to 20th April. The most popular places visited were the gardens at Mottistone, Osborne House, the IOW steam railway and falconry at Havenstreet, Quarr Abbey and the Needles/Alum Bay. The Bembridge Coast Hotel staff made us most welcome and the rooms and food were to the usual Warner’s high standard. As well as our welcome get-together we also had the hotly contested bowls competition followed by a cream tea. Several woods were seen disappearing into other lanes or into the side gullies, but with Peter Buck’s usual efficiency Ron Thompson and Peter Cotton were declared the doubles winners. The other competition winners were Golf Pitch & Putt - Terry Berridge, Triominoes - Peter Buck, and Rummikub - John Stevens. Sincere thanks to all who contributed to a superb week.
Newsletter 4th April 2016 - Skittles at The Jolly Farmer, Blacknest
Eighteen members and 15 guests enjoyed an evening of intense competition at the Jolly Farmer on 17th March. It soon became evident to those playing that skittles is a highly skilled game and it was good to see participants rise to the occasion. Play-offs were required in both the men's and ladies' competitions with Caroline Noad and Gillian Hackett emerging as ladies winner and runner up respectively. In the men’s it was a similar story with Peter Buck emerging as the winner closely followed by Don Bray in second place. Peter Pilbeam went home with the much coveted ‘cuillier en bois’ award for his stirring performance.
Finally, the nail biting end to the knockout event was very much a domestic affair with Frank and Eileen Wall competing for the honours. In the end Frank’s natural talent for skittles shone through for him to win, providing an appropriate climax to a very enjoyable St Patrick’s Day evening! Thanks to all those who helped make the evening such a success, particularly Ted and his team for their tremendous hard work and his normal superb organisation.
Newsletter 8th February 2016 - Agatha Christie play ‘Rehearsal for Murder’ at Theatre Royal, Windsor
This was an entertaining production in the style of Agatha Christie, involving the employment of actors by the ‘director’, in order to uncover the murderer of the director’s wife. Due to Moira Edwards funeral earlier the same day, many of our members had to drop out, but seven members and 17 guests enjoyed the event.
Newsletter 7th December 2015 - Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall
This was a thoroughly entertaining evening with thrilling music, lively dancing girls, superb seats, wonderful lighting, culminating in the riotous singing of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, followed by the thunderous explosions in the 1812 Overture. To cap it all we even had a police escort for part of the trip home!
Newsletter 3rd November 2015 - Autumn Walk
This year’s Autumn Walk was around Holybourne and Upper Froyle. As luck would have it we enjoyed beautiful weather over easy ground with lovely views. A preparatory visit to the nearby pub a week earlier established it had many characteristics of Fawlty Towers, so after the walk we repaired to the Hen & Chicken on the A31 north of Alton where we were joined by a couple of members and their wives for an excellent lunch.
Newsletter 3rd November 2015 - Greenwich Palace Tour & Cutty Sark
Held on Trafalgar Day, this visit experienced miserable weather. However, the guided tour of Greenwich Palace ending up in the Painted Hall was truly memorable. Here is a photograph of the Hall so that those who didn't go can see what they missed. An enjoyable lunch in the King William Undercroft at the Palace was followed by either a visit to the Cutty Sark, or to the Naval Museum. Both were greatly enjoyed by members.
Newsletter 7th October 2015 - Windsor Castle Tour including Thames Cruise
A gloriously sunny day was complemented by a serene cruise down the Thames initially, followed by a return upstream to Windsor, the roof being lowered on two occasions for low bridges. After lunch we had a comprehensive tour of the Castle, complete with audio commentary. We were also fortunate to hear a rehearsal for an orchestral concert taking place that evening. Fifteen members and 12 guests agreed that they would return (the ticket allowed this) next year to see those parts that needed longer tours.
Newsletter 7th September 2015 - Cream Tea and Quiz in Odiham
A thoroughly enjoyable day was held in the garden of Margaret and Terry Berridge. Despite niserable weather for the second year in a row the proceedings went well with the President’s table providing the winners.
Newsletter 3rd August 2015 - London Walk to Brunel Landmarks
This trip was slightly marred by a delay of 45 minutes at the start, but which became a thoroughly enjoyable tour, firstly by river to see the bridges with which the Brunels were involved and then to the Great Eastern launch site. This was followed by a trip on the Docklands Light Railway and a walk down the shaft used to begin the famous Thames Tunnel. Our lunch was in the famous Mayflower Inn, with the River Thames lapping just below our feet.
Newsletter 6th July 2015 - Petanque and Lunch
This popular event at the Bowenhurst Golf Centre enjoyed fine weather and was entertaining for all. The lunch at a new venue, the Horns in Crondall, was also enjoyed, with the food being of a high standard.
Newsletter 2nd June 2015 - Spring Walk
Nine members and seven guests commenced the walk, led by Peter and Kate Buck, from the Crown and Cushion car park in Minley Road. The weather was ideal and the first part of the walk skirted the shores of Hawley Lake, followed by a further loop taking in views of the magnificent Minley Manor. Two members and two guests joined us to enjoy an excellent lunch and the usual jollity of such occasions.
Newsletter 5th May 2015 - Spring break at Cricket St. Thomas
Staying at the historic Warner Leisure Hotel, where the BBC TV series "To the Manor Born" was filmed, the break was enjoyed by the members, partners and guests. As well as the excellent entertainment provided by the hotel, competitive games were very popular, with Tri-ominoes dominating the scene this year.
Newsletter 13th April 2015 - Skittles at The Jolly Farmer, Blacknest
This was a very enjoyable evening. The overall winner was Christine Mundy and the ladies team triumphed over the gentlemen.
Newsletter 2nd December 2014 - Guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall
Thirteen members and fifteen guests enjoyed a splendid tour of the Royal Albert Hall. The guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining and the lunch was appetising. Our drive, Scott, managed the difficult journey both there and back with skill and the satnav was worth its weight in gold, as was the view of Albert’s statue from the corridors of the hall below.
Newsletter 4th November 2014 - Autumn Walk
Six members and guests enjoyed the walk, joined by some others at the lunch, held at the Greyfriars Inn at Chawton.
Newsletter 4th November 2014 - Autumn colours at Westonbirt Arboretum
Despite rather damp conditions initially, eight members and 13 guests had a very pleasant day at Westonbirt. The guided tours of the arboretum (silk trail and old arboretum) were enjoyed each side of lunch. The guides were most helpful and informative.
Newsletter 7th October 2014 - Poole Harbour and Kingston Lacey
Eleven members and 16 guests enjoyed a very pleasant boat trip around Poole Harbour in September, followed by a visit to Kingston Lacy. Fortunately the weather was kind to us and many hidden gems were uncovered during the trip, not least that there are oil wells in them there islands, totally hidden from sight by the trees. We had endless coffee and tea on board and a smooth sea, making for an enjoyable start. Kingston Lacy staff ensured our visit went smoothly and the café was kept busy with our lunches and teas. Several guided tours gave a fascinating insight into the history of the house and gardens.
Newsletter 1st September 2014 - Cream Tea and Quiz
Another excellent cream tea was enjoyed by 23 members and 20 partners despite a rather damp interlude. The quiz, as usual, proved a stern test of memory and a very wet Colin Philip and Carol Noad again hit the highest score for which they were congratuled.
Newsletter 5th August 2014 - Highclere Castle
An enjoyable day was spent reliving life as a cast member of Downton Abbey, aka Highclere Castle. This was preceded by an excellent lunch at the Rowbarge Inn on the River Kennet at its junction with the Kennet and Avon canal. The visit to the castle was most illuminating and even included an impromptu serenade by an American choir. We were able to explore the Egyptian exhibition including replicas of the famous King Tutenkamun effigies. Our thanks to Terry and Margaret Berridge for their meticulous planning.
Newsletter 8th July 2014 - Pétanque and Buffet Lunch
Fourteen members and 15 guests took part. Althea Evans was No. 1 lady and overall winner. Terry Berridge was the No 1 man, No. 2 Lady was Bridget Payne and the No. 2 Man was Peter Smith. Beryl Bray was judged the friendliest player.
Newsletter 4th June 2014 - Farnborough Air Sciences Trust museum and St Michaels Abbey, Farnborough
16 members and 12 guests had a very full but interesting day at both venues. The FAST museum started with coffee and biscuits and an excellent presentation of the colourful and productive life of Samuel Cody, followed by an eye-opening look at a full size mock-up of the Cody plane, demonstrating its simplicity of design - which was not at all hampered by considerations of modern day "Health and Safety"! The tour of the main museum brought back many memories and stories and this was followed by an excellent buffet lunch. Members were so impressed by the work of the volunteers that they unanimously voted and contributed to a Cody commemorative brick on behalf of our Probus Club. After lunch we changed gear somewhat for our visit to St. Michael's Abbey where we had interesting presentations on the history of the Abbey, its current usage and the occupants of the Crypt; Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie and their son, Louis, the Prince Imperial.
Newsletter 7th May 2014 - Spring Break at Littlecote House Historic Hotel
15 members and 20 guests enjoyed our break at Littlecote House despite somewhat inclement weather which forced us in for indoor short-mat bowls on the last full day. The hotel was particularly good - excellent food and service and attention to our needs with outstanding entertainment in the evenings. The Tudor house (apparently complete with 32 ghosts but none of our party owned up to seeing any!) was very interesting and most of us ventured to the Roman mosaic within the grounds. A convivial but competitive week was then peppered with prizes for Bowls (Peter Buck organised this and won but we are fairly sure it was deserved!), John Davies won the Table Tennis competition, Peter Cotten won men's and Margaret Berridge won ladies putting, Kate Buck won Rummikub and Geoff Wickes won Tri-ominos.
Newsletter 2nd April 2014 - Skittles at the Jolly Farmer, Blacknest
16 members and 16 guests enjoyed a competitive but convivial evening playing skittles and catching up with each other's news. Our prize winners were Jan Wheatcroft for the ladies and, after a gripping tie-break, Don Bray for the men's prize. Jerry Upshall won the Knock-out and this year the overall result was a win to the men with the ladies coming a close second so the men decided to donate their individual prizes of chocolates to the ladies. The wooden spoon was awarded to the same person as last year but, to spare any embarrassment, we are not naming the winner of this and are leaving it to Frank Wall to explain it at the next lunch!
Newsletter 5th March 2014 - RAF Museum, Hendon
The museum had a magnificent display of over 100 aircraft including the iconic "Battle of Britain" aircraft - Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire. We were split into 2 smaller groups to make sure we could see and hear everything the group leaders described and were enthralled by some of the stories of bravery and rescue. We were also treated to a rare opportunity to study archive material (arranged by Kit Mitchell) for Fleet, Farnborough and Odiham including flight "sortie" records and a very poignant letter written to the serviceman's parents in case of death in service - which sadly happened. It was a full and busy day, interspersed with refreshments, which gave a good indication of what can be seen at the museum but not enough time to see it all in the greatest of detail - so several members are thinking of a return visit sometime. The weather tried to dampen spirits (and everything else!) but we all thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Newsletter 8th January 2014 - The Mill at Sonning
14 members and 13 guests were treated to a hilarious and very well acted rendition of "Not Now Darling", not to mention the excellent and convivial lunch beforehand. It was a farcical comedy about intertwined elicit affairs which inevitably went very wrong - and should have come with a health warning "do not try this at home"!
Newsletter 8th January 2014 - Christmas Carol Concert, Farnham
The Waverley Singers treated us to a wide variety of Christmas songs, carols and readings which marked an excellent start to the Christmas season. Eight members with 10 guests thoroughly enjoyed this event and were in fine voice for the audience participation carols. We will watch for other events put on by the Waverley Singers and add them to our programme.
Newsletter 5th November 2013 - Bletchley Park
15 members and 17 guests enjoyed a very interesting trip to the home of our WW2 code-breakers. The day was peppered with fine refreshments, knowledgeable guides and fascinating insights to the vital part that Bletchley Park played in bringing the war to an earlier close. For the electro-mechanical engineers in our midst (we've all made Meccano models!), the working reconstructions were a real treat particularly the Bombe de-coder and the Colossus and Tunny computers. The challenge facing our codebreakers was the 158 million, million, million combinations of the Enigma machine - Germany was aware that the code could be broken but did not expect anyone to have the stayingpower to achieve this!
Newsletter 8th October 2013 - Thames Boat Trip & Tour of Eton College
14 members and 17 guests enjoyed a fine Autumn day sailing down the river, drinking tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and admiring the many beautifully set properties owned by many well-known (and well-heeled!) celebrities. Time to shop and relax over a long lunch in Windsor was followed by an extremely informative and interesting tour of Eton College with its historic buildings and educational contribution to our Royalty, politicians and leaders in many walks of life. Our guides were so knowledgeable and eager to ensure we had an excellent tour that we were late for our coach!
Newsletter 3rd September 2013 - Cream Tea and Quiz
25 members and 22 guests enjoyed an afternoon in Odiham, with a jolly and convivial time supping Pimms and chomping through the sandwiches and scones so excellently prepared and presented by Margaret and her able team of helpers. The early arrivers were treated to, thankfully, a “clearing-up shower” and after that the weather could not have been much better for the event. The good humour even lasted through Peter's devilish quiz which teased and tested all but could not flummox the “Egg Heads” table who walked away with a bevy of prizes. Second prizes of lottery tickets went to the next group but either they did not win or they are not saying!
Newsletter 6th August 2013 - Art in Action, Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire
This unique show was attended by 8 members and 10 guests (among many thousands from all over the UK) and had a tremendously wide range of exhibits and activities that interested and captivated everyone. It was a warm day that also showed the gardens off in their full beauty.
Newsletter 6th August 2013 - Pelly Proms night
A truly excellent amateur Concert Orchestra and thoroughly enjoyed by our 11 members and 10 guests. The programme was highly reminiscent of the RAH “Last Night”, including favourites such as Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and the 1812 Overture (the audience participation in the cannon fire was impressive and aided by paper bags which were exploded precisely on time!).
Newsletter 3rd July 2013 - Pétanque and Buffet Lunch
We were extremely fortunate with the weather which stayed dry even though rain had been predicted. Some say that the luck continued when Terry Berridge walked off with the men's first prize! Pure skill rewarded Althea Evans with the ladies’ first prize while Leslie Oliver also achieved recognition for the highest negative score of the day. Our thanks to George and Colin who not only organised the event but also ensured we kept to the rules and gave friendly advice when needed. This was followed by a buffet lunch and the typical convivial good humour associated with our club.
Newsletter 4th June 2013 - Waddesdon Manor
A total of 31 people had a most enjoyable trip to this grand home of the Rothschild's. The Water gardens had stunning views, once we had negotiated the many and unexpected steps to get down to them! Thankfully, there was a “Noddy” train to save our legs and re-negotiate the hill back to the house. The beautifully furnished house was particularly interesting as it also had an exhibition of many starched linens sculptured into table decorations as they would have been in the 16th century.
Newsletter 4th June 2013 - Spring Walk
We met at “The Good Intent” Public House in Puttenham and enjoyed a convivial walk through picturesque countryside with interesting views before returning to the pub for lunch. A total of 17 people enjoyed another excellent walk and lunch organised by Ted Payne.
Newsletter 8th May 2013 - Spring Break - Warner's Sinah Warren Hotel, Hayling Island
40 people (17 members and 23 guests) had a very enjoyable trip to Hayling Island - also assisted by a change for the better in our weather. Competitions were held for bowls (won by Pat and Ken Boyer in a very close final with Mavis Smith and David Ward), Scrabble (won by Carol Noad) and Triominos (won by Peter Cotton). A special ‘senior moment’ prize was also awarded but we are keeping the name private to avoid embarrassment to the person involved.
Newsletter 5th April 2013 - Skittles at the Jolly Farmer, Blacknest
14 members and 13 guests attended the skittles night and an enjoyable time was had by all. The ladies winner was Beryl Bray and Peter Buck won the men’s prize with Leslie Oliver winning the knock out competition.
Newsletter 5th March 2013 - Visit to Wimbledon
31 members and guests enjoyed an excellent trip to Wimbledon. The Blue Badge Guide in the morning provided a most informative tour of the show courts, the Millenium Building, Press Interview Room, Henman Hill/Murray Mount and other associated buildings and grounds. In the afternoon a visit to the interactive Museum using audio guide also proved to be very popular to complete a fine day out.
Newsletter 7th January 2013 - Leukaemia Charity Christmas Concert, Royal Albert Hall
Twelve members and guests enjoyed the wonderful Christmas atmosphere in the Royal Albert Hall. Our own selection of Bass, Tenor, Alto and Soprano voices were lustily added to the audience and produced a sound to be proud of. We were then treated to a comprehensive tour of the London Christmas Lights that were overwhelmingly voted as the best to date.