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33   Administration    (brings up Rogues Gallery)

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July walk

The July 2023 walk started and finished at The Anchor Inn, Eckington.  Click heading for the photo…..

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Minutes of Committee meeting 6th February 2023

PRESENT:  Michael Dufton Chairman), Stewart Aylward, Rex Butler, Jon Burchfield, John Gerrard, Michael Leek, Tony Mason (Secretary), Richard Sharp, John Williams.


CO_OPTION:  The position of Vice Chairman remained vacant at the end of the AGM and Richard Sharp was formally appointed to fill the vacancy.

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING: Held on 17th October 2022 were approved and signed.

MATTERS ARISING: Item 5 – proposal to have a Membership Secretary / Welcoming Steward and update of list of committee members duties.  This was discussed and an updated schedule of committee duties agreed.  This will be posted on the website.  The Probus projector can be stored at AFCC.  AFCC are producing a video on the use of the IT system.

Guests at meetings should be notified to the Welcoming Steward.  Decided that a ‘welcome pack’ should be given to new members.

Item 8 – dress code.  Clarification of ‘Smart Casual’ – noted that many organisations have very relaxed dress code including jeans.  For our Club, jacket and tie are optional but no jeans.  Noted that wearing a jacket makes it easy to use clip-on badge.


CHAIRMAN Nothing to add to above.

VICE CHAIRMAN Nothing to report.

TREASURER Michael presented accounts to date and noted that 18 members had paid subs.  Contingency planning – the accounts are maintained electronically, not paper, and Michael has arranged for Stewart to have access.  Tony will be added.  Bank account signatories will be Michael as treasurer, Tony as Secretary, and current chairman and Vice Chairman – Michael and Richard.

PROGRAMME SECRETARY Richard has booked speakers to the end of April.  Some difficulty sorting out VOTs and few members are willing to do talks.  Discussion around length of VOTs and knowledge of member interests.  Stewart to look into members posting information about themselves on the website.

EVENTS SECRETARY No report but Mike had prepared a calendar of meetings and events.  Sign-up sheets for forthcoming events are on website.

EQUIPMENT STEWARD Nothing to report.

WELCOMING STEWARD Jon is away for the next three meetings.  Room Steward to nominate substitute(s).

ROOM STEWARD John said the big screen at AFCC had developed a squeak and may need to be replaced.  This will investigated by IAG who look after the IT when they come to replace two speakers (and put in the comms feed for our Zoom link).

WELFARE OFFICER John and Mel Blomley will attend Sue Brooks’s funeral.  Michael D will attend John West’s funeral.  There is some concern about the well-being of Brian Parry and Arthur Ruddock.

WALK’S CO-ORDINATOR Next walk is 8th February round Evesham.

SECRETARY Nothing to report.

WEBMASTER / COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER Stewart has set up a group email for Probus members using Google Groups.  Members can establish who are members of the group by searching for Google Groups and they can also see all the emails which have been sent using the group email facility.     He suggested that members of the committee should add the group to their own personal address book so that when committee members wish to email the membership, they type whatever they have called the group in their own address book.  Thus, they might decide to call it “Probus Membership”.  

Stewart suggested having a YouTube channel for Probus instead of Zoom, accessed from our website, as we are getting close to storage capacity on our google account and it might also be easier for members to use.  However, we would lose the immediate ability as to who has logged in to the specific meeting.  He will do more investigation.  

He also proposed purchasing a webcam for meetings to improve picture quality instead of using mobile phone or laptop.  Webcam with zoom in/out facility would cost around £230 against around £70 for a simple camera.  Q is the better camera affordable? Yes, agreed.

2. PROBUS COVID GUIDELINES A review of the guidelines last updated in July 2022 was agreed.  The revised guidelines will be posted on the website.

3. ANNUAL LUNCH DECEMBER 2022 FEEDBACK The lunch at Dumbleton Hall went well but cost for 2024 may be an issue following the six-week refurbishment and possible upgrade of the facilities.

4. MID-WEEK BREAK 2023 John Williams said a coach was not an option as a 5 day booking would be required.  He was therefore looking for a suitable hotel and walk within a 50 mile radius of Winchcombe and asked the committee for suggestions.  He would check out the hotel and walk.



DATE OF NEXT MEETING Monday 3rd July 2023 10.30 at Applewood (venue to be confirmed)

Approved and adopted as a true record.

Chairman M Dufton Date 3/7/23

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Visit to Owlpen Manor,

A trip to explore Owlpen Manor has been arranged for 18th October as shown below.

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Midweek Break planned for October has been cancelled

Unfortunately, as there has been insufficient interest in the planned midweek break this coming October, the break has been cancelled.

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Minutes of Committee Meeting 17th October 2022

MINUTES of a committee meeting held at Abbey Fields Community Centre on Monday 17th October 2022

PRESENT: Colin Massey (Chairman), Stewart Aylward, Rex Butler, Michael Dufton, Mike Hill, Michael Leek, Tony Mason (Secretary), Richard Sharp, John Williams.

APOLOGIES: Paul Balmer, John Gerrard

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING: Held on 27th June 2022 were approved and signed.

MATTERS ARISING: Item 2 Management of Club website sub committee report.  Dealt with under Officers reports – Webmaster/Communications Officer


CHAIRMAN Colin said that we had now been meeting at AFCC for a year and the venue worked well with Covid guidelines observed.  The Annual Lunch is on the agenda.  Colin has contacted two members who have not attended meetings either in person or online.  He found this a useful exercise and will continue to contact such members.

VICE CHAIRMAN Nothing to report.

TREASURER Michael presented accounts to date and noted that the average speaker cost is running at £59 and that hire of AFCC has just doubled to £30 per meeting.  A small surplus accrued from recent trips.  The projection to the end of year is a small surplus but for 2023 the projection is a shortfall.  The committee discussed the level of subscription for 2023 and decided to keep it at £35 but to make members aware that the main costs (speaker fees and room hire) are uncertain and the subscription may need to rise in 2024.  An increase in the number of subscribing members would help mitigate this.

PROGRAMME SECRETARY Richard is urgently seeking a speaker for the next meeting.  Costs are an issue, particularly when travelling a longish distance in view of fuel prices.  The speaker at the last meeting requested a donation to a charity or charities of our choice.  The Winchcombe Museum and the Children’s Society were nominated.

EVENTS SECRETARY Mike said the Swindon Steam Museum trip was good but their admin was awful.  The next event is skittles and pizza at the Winchcombe Working Mens Club on 17th November at 6.00pm.  A sign-up list is on the website.  Proposed events for 2023 are: February Indian Restaurant; April day out Gloucestershire waterways; trip to National Space Museum in Leicester (2 hours away by car); trip to Lord Leicester Hospital in Warwick.

EQUIPMENT STEWARD Nothing to report.


ROOM STEWARD John had sent a report which was read by Colin.  

“The rota arrangements for each meeting are working well and as a result, the workload is now evenly spread amongst the eight members selected and myself. 

Rex Butler generally deals with the Audio Visual set up but either Paul Clark or myself can assist as and when needed. 

Recent problems with the lapel microphone have been sorted. 

A problem I have noted is that at times the projector has not been turned off after the meeting and the security drop down bolts in the cupboard have not been properly activated.”   (John will be asking all users of the AV equipment to ensure this is done to reduce wear on the projector fan and the cupboard is secure.)

WELFARE OFFICER John continues to send the usual cards etc and is in touch with various members including John Hayter and Arthur Ruddock.  Nice to see Tim Morgan and Keith Vibart-Baldwin back at meetings.

WALK’S CO-ORDINATOR The midweek break in Crickhowell went well, despite a bit of Welsh rain, after frantic phone calls beforehand.  Next walk is 9th November round the Slaughters.

SECRETARY Nothing to report.

WEBMASTER / COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER The sub committee meeting was Stewart and Andrew as both Michaels couldn’t make it.  They looked at the structure of the website and thought it was fine as it was although there were some security issues which have now been fixed.  The ability to put posts on the website will be restricted to Webmaster, Programme Secretary, and Secretary.

The Home Page is up to date – a question was asked if there was enough information on it.

The number of entries on the Notices page will be restricted.

Stewart noted that the number of visits to the website had fallen from 42 in June to 29 in October.

The licence with Siteground (to host the website) has been renewed but this will be kept under review as it seems expensive. Webmaster to undertake detailed review before the next renewal is due next summer.

There was a discussion about the club having a Facebook page.  Also discussed was whether we should continue to send general emails to members as blind copies. It was considered prudent to continue the use of blind copy emails as there is always a chance that an email could be forwarded outside of Probus and if email addresses were visible, there is a chance that the email address could become available externally. Stewart will set up a group email for this.

2. RECRUITING ‘YOUNGER’ MEMBERS This item was held over from the previous committee meeting.  Noted that the average of members has risen slightly and there is a need to recruit younger members to help ensure the future of the club.  Colin will draft a letter to members and a poster for display in the town.  Michael D to speak to Gill Cocks.

3. CLUB INSURANCE POLICY RENEWAL Agreed to renew – premium same as last year.

4. ANNUAL LUNCH 2023 Dumbleton Hall has been booked for 13th January 2023.  Colin is aiming to keep the cost per head the same as last year at £38 per head for 3 courses.  This is based on 50 attendees.

5. OFFICERS FOR 2023 Paul Balmer is standing down but all other committee members are willing to stand for re-election. Stewart proposed that the post of welcoming steward should be extended to including responsibility for promoting membership. Thus the role of the welcoming steward should be merged into that of membership secretary and that from 2023, this post will replace that of welcoming steward. Stewart was asked to update these roles on the website.

6. CORRESPONDENCE An email had been received from the partner of a member to which a response had been sent by the secretary.  The exchange was discussed and the matter considered closed.

7. HONORARY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATES 4 members will be proposed at the AGM – Richard Dowler, John Williams, Patrick House, and John West.

8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS The Club dress code and observance was discussed.  This is not in the Club Constitution but agreed that the unwritten code of ‘smart casual’ – taken to mean jacket and preferably tie – should be extended to ‘no jeans’.  Potential new members should be made aware of the code before attending meeting.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING To be agreed after the AGM

Approved and adopted as a true record.

Chairman Date   Michael Dufton 6th February 2023

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Bird spotting with Norman Cooke

A number of us enjoyed an excellent walk in the nature reserve at Coombe Hill on Tuesday 6th September. 

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35   Programme   (Programme items archive (in date order))

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