News: April 2013

‘Allo ‘Allo !

Members of Sandbach Probus assembled at Bradwall Village hall for the 32nd annual general meeting. Retiring President Donald Bone thanked the committee and all the members for their support in ensuring the continued successful future for the Club, the badge of office was then presented to Ray Lowe. Tony Harrison then introduced his new programme of speakers on numerous diverse topics such as ‘Doorstep Crime’, ‘Farming’, ‘Helicopter Take –off’ and believe it or not ‘Life Without Chocolate’, surely some mistake ! Champion bowler, ninety two year old Jack Allday was presented with an Honourable Life Member’s certificate by President Ray Lowe, Jack confirmed that he has no plans for a bowling career move and his loyalty will remain at Sandbach Probus.

Fifty members and guests visited Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, home of the Second World War code breakers. Bletchley Park and the mansion house were purchased in 1938 and top university personnel were recruited to crack the Nazi codes. The Poles had been successful initially in breaking the early Enigma encoding machine but in 1939 the Poles informed the British that they could not continue any longer. The brilliant mathematicians Alan Turing and John Jeffreys made their first breakthrough in 1940. As Nazi codes became more sophisticated millions of possible permutations had to be considered, this task was aided by a complex electro-mechanical device designed by Turing, the Bombe as it was called. More Bombe’s were built and the workforce peaked at ten thousand. Secrecy was paramount . even between close relatives. The thousands who worked at Bletchley or Station X didn’t win the war but they certainly shortened it resulting in countless lives saved, and the legacy we are left with is computer technology.

Graham Hannen has arranged another of his excellent visits, on the 29th May members and friends will visit the Electric Mountain in Llanberis and the National Slate Museum. Enquiries to Graham at 764777.

The speaker next month is President Ray Lowe on the “ Life and Work of Sir Bernard Lovell”.

The bowling season is now under way, meeting the fourth Tuesday of each month on the Sandbach Park bottom green at 10am.

The Probus Club of Sandbach meet on the second Tuesday of the month, 10-15am at Bradwall Village Hall. Anyone interested in joining or arranging a visit should visit our website at

J Keith Towns.