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Always a good lunch followed by a fascinating talk


© Woodbridge Probus Club


Previous Probus Lunch Talks 1

Talks from 2018


On the 5th February the talk was:

Martlesham Heath, 100 Groundbreaking Years.

In early 1917 the RFC established an airfield at Martlesham Heath. From then until WW2 it was the RAF R&D establishment. During WW2 it was an operational RAF and USAAF airbase, eventually closing in 1963. The GPO moved its R&D to what’s now BT Adastral Park in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Martlesham Heath ‘new’ village was developed in the 1970s/1980s. A busy 100 years for some former heathland! MH100’s Ian Read, Martlesham Heath resident and BT Adastral Park employee, will take us through the 100 years of history and achievement.

On 5th March, Marcia Whiting, a Curatorial Associate from The Munnings Art Museum at Dedham, presented an illustrated talk on The Life and Art of Sir Alfred Munnings.The Presentation explored his life story and wide ranging subject matter including Portraits, Landscapes and Rural Scenes as well as the Horse Paintings for which he was so well known. Images shown  ranged from early childhood works to those of his later life and  included illustrations of paintings from the ongoing exhibition ‘Munnings and the River’ (Museum open Easter-Oct). To find out more go to https://www.munningsmuseum.org.uk/

© the estate of Sir Alfred Munnings 





On 9th April we welcomed Brian Wilcox from Willisham in Suffolk for his talk ‘Escape the Rat Race’. Brian started in computers back in 1961 and has seen all the changes that have altered the way people work today. His talk covered the concepts of: 1) Changing the ways of working, 2) Time leverage and 3)The current new ways of working for yourself.

It was a challenging presentation with the aim of making us aware of such matters perhaps just for our information but maybe more importantly to pass on to our children and perhaps grandchildren.





On May 14th we welcomed Peter Booth-Smith to talk about ‘The History of Tea’. The talk was divided into two halves. The first half covered the spread of tea cultivation over the surface of the Earth and how tea leaves are processed or manufactured into the familiar tea leaves

The second half covered the history of tea consumption in the UK. This covered: its introduction as a health drink;its growth in popularity; the rise of the big blenders such as Typhoo; the effect of rationing  and finally how it’s evolving now.

On June 4th Woodbridge Probus Club member, Max Pemberton, gave a talk entitled “Burma, A Cruise on the Irawaddy”. In October 2016 Max took a river Cruise on the Irrawaddy in Burma travelling 600 miles from Mandalay to Rangoon.  His talk covered his impressions of the people, architecture and customs of the people of a country only recently opened up to tourists following the military coup in 1962 not long after independence was granted.

On August 6th Nicola Corbett from EDF Energy provided us with an update on the Sizewell C Project. This is a new Nuclear Power Station to add to the existing Sizewell A & B. Nicola described the planning and consultation that is underway in preparation for the decision to go ahead with the construction. This includes aspects of transport infrastructure, environmental impact, socio-economic aspirations and accomodation build for the contractors staff.

On 3rd September author, Gareth H H Davies gave a talk about “The Fall of Yarmouth Suspension Bridge”. On 2 May 1845 the suspension bridge at Great Yarmouth collapsed killing 78 people, mostly women and children following a stunt conducted on the river by a visiting circus clown. It was the worst single calamity to befall the town in its history. This talk, given by the author, Gareth Davies, of a recent book on the subject, explored such fundamental issues as: what happened, why did it happen, and could it have been prevented, as well as  the legacy of the disaster up to the present day.

Previous Talks-1

On 1st October our speaker, John Peacock,  took us back to the year 1975 and related some of his experiences serving in the Royal Navy’s submarine service. Below the surface of the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean the cold war was in full swing. This story had largely gone untold until recent times. John told us about life aboard one of our nuclear “hunter” killer submarines (HMS Swiftsure), who’s role was to hunt and stalk the USSR’s Red Northern Banner fleet from its home ports in Northern Russia out into the north Atlantic. He retold some of the adventures along the way and gave us a incling of what was taking place in the deep depths of the cold northern seas in those dangerous times.


On 5th November, Paul Whiting from OASI, told us about the Northern Lights which have been the cause of much speculation over the thousands of years that man has been aware of this almost mystical display of celestial fireworks. Indeed most people have a trip up North to view them on their bucket lists. Paul explained what they are and how they are caused? Our speaker, hopefully shed some (Northern!) light on their origin.