~~ Social Events in 2020 ~~
Unsurprisingly, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic this year, our social activities have been severely curtailed. With the overwhelming majority of our members being of an age that places them in the ‘at risk’ category, combined with government rulings on the maximum size of social gatherings, we were forced to cancel the arrangements for our customary Summer and Christmas Lunches, and the more recently introduced Afternoon Tea at Hassop Station Café. Plans for a three-day trip to Shropshire in June were also shelved but, hopefully, only temporarily until conditions permit them to be resurrected for a future occasion.
Determined not to be beaten by Covid-19, in May we started to hold our Club meetings by means of video conferencing, and these continued at our usual twice-monthly intervals until December when, for our final get-together of 2020, we held an informal ‘Variety Acts’ video conference on 15th December. For this light-hearted event, the participants were asked to wear seasonal headgear and to prepare some jokes, limericks, poems and anecdotes to share with us. A total of 24 members took part and several of them offered contributions to the proceedings. These included short quizzes and, from one member, video clips of his grandchildren singing carols. All in all, this was an enjoyable way to end this difficult year.
~~ The 2019 Probus Christmas Lunch ~~
On 10th December, we met for our annual Christmas Lunch at what has become its regular venue in recent years, the clubhouse of Bakewell Golf Club. With our wives or partners, fifty of us sat down to enjoy yet another excellent meal at this venue.
~~ The 2019 Summer Lunch at Hassop Hall Hotel ~~
Fifty five people, comprising club members with their wives and partners met on 9th July 2019 for our annual Summer Lunch. As in previous years, this was held in the Hassop Hall Hotel near Bakewell but it was an occasion tinged with a little sadness because the hotel is to close in the autumn and this would therefore be our last opportunity to hold this event here. In spite of this, there was no diminution in the traditional quality of the food and service and we enjoyed an excellent, convivial meal together.
~~ May 2019 ~~
Two events were held in May 2019 for members of the club, their wives and partners. The first, on 7th May 2019, was at the Hassop Station Café for a traditional Afternoon Tea of sandwiches, cakes, scones and, of course, tea. This was the third successive year of holding this event and it still proved as popular as on the previous occasions.
A week later, on a gloriously sunny Spring morning, a group of us set out for a day trip by coach to North Staffordshire. Our first destination was the Wedgwood factory at Barlaston where, after morning coffee, we were given a guided tour of both the factory itself and the adjacent museum. This has extensive displays explaining the history and showing examples of the fine porcelain produced by this world-famous firm, which was founded by Josiah Wedgwood in the mid-18th century.
After lunch in the on-site restaurant, we rejoined our coach for the half-hour drive across the city of Stoke-on-Trent to the National Trust garden at Biddulph Grange. Here we were able to spend a couple of hours exploring this remarkable arrangement of landscaped garden with its various sections based on different ‘themes’, such as Italianate, Chinese, or Egyptian.
Thanks to the careful planning of the trip by Chairman, Ian Johnston and, as a bonus, the perfect weather conditions, the outing was judged to be a huge success by all those participating.