The end of season tour arranged by Graham Hannen was quite exceptional. On a beautiful autumn morning a full coach left Sandbach for Kidderminster where we had reservations on the famous Severn Valley Railway. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the historic railway line. About two hundred thousand passengers a year are carried along the very beautiful sixteen mile route from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. The huge success of the railway has been achieved by an army of volunteers including some from abroad who choose to spend their holidays working on the SVR. The line is also popular with film makers including such as “Good Night Mr.Tom”, “Thirty Nine Steps” “Allo Allo” etc. Many of our members got all steamed up at the Highley Visitor Centre where many main line locos are on display and another pleasing aspect was to be found in the loco fitting shop where 25 full time engineers and eight apprentices continue the skill of maintaining steam locos and rolling stock. Our train journey ended at the ancient town of Bridgnorth, in reality two towns; High Town and Low Town connected by the steepest funicular railway in the UK. The town is rich in history, including fierce fighting during the civil war and a once thriving port on the Severn that was abandoned with the introduction of the railway. There is much to explore in the lovely old town and it is certainly worth another visit.
Graham’s programme of excursions and mini breaks for 2016 will be available in December.
M.P. Fiona Bruce unfortunately had to postpone her speaking engagement due to parliamentary business and Bob Mynett agreed to fill the breach with his version of “Desert Island Discs”. Bob’s choice of discs ranged Widor’s Toccata to Amy Winehouse interspersed with numerous related stories.
The musical theme continued into October with busker Eric Newton. Eric was one six children born in the potteries, he described his childhood as “different”. At fourteen he discovered jazz and persuaded his grandfather to buy him a clarinet, at seventeen he had joined The Ceramic City Stompers. Eric drifted in and out of numerous jobs but his heart was in music and busking in particular. He is also well known for running marathons for charities, thirty eight to date and uniquely playing his beloved clarinet at the same time.
The season has ended for outdoor bowls with mixed fortunes, three won and three lost. The singles club competition was won by Derek Watts and the doubles by Derek Watts and ChrisTyrer. John Hall has now commenced the indoor bowling matches at Yoxhall Village Hall with visits to Shrewsbury planned in the new year.
Members meet at 10.15am on the second Tuesday of the month at Bradwall Village Hall. For more information on arranging to visit the club, see probus-sandbach.org.uk. JKT.