Events Held in 2017

Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance presentation made to Probus members at the meeting held on 10th January 2017

On Tuesday 10th January 2017 Dave Winsor from the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance gave a talk on the services provided by the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity dating back to 1989 and exists to relieve sick and injured people in South East England and surrounding areas by providing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and Air Ambulance service for the benefit of the community.

Responding to 999 calls and operating from Marden in Kent and Redhill in Surrey, the Trust's helicopters fly at speeds of up to 150mph and between them can reach any part of Kent, Surrey or Sussex in under 25 minutes flying time. Highly skilled teams of Specialist Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics effectively bring the equivalent of an A&E department to the scene of an incident and can transport patients to the most appropriate specialist unit or nearest major hospital in a fraction of the time taken by land ambulance.


Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance relies almost entirely upon donations to keep the service going.

Before 2013 the Trust did not have the capacity to fly in hours of darkness. This all changed when, following a period of careful monitoring of emergency calls after sunset, night flying commenced in September 2013. The Trust can also administer blood transfusions and plasma as well as anaesthetising, controlling haemorrhage and performing chest surgery whenever necessary.


The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust operate two MD902 Explorers out of their bases at Marden in Kent and Redhill in Surrey to provide their Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) across the region. 


In February 2016, the Trust was approached by Redhill Aerodrome Ltd. (RAL), about the potential availability of a large hangar, known as Hangar 10, which can accommodate current and future operational needs.

Work will shortly be underway to prepare Hangar 10 at Redhill Aerodrome for the arrival of the new AW169 helicopter.

Visit to Gatton Park, Reigate,Tuesday 4th April 2017

(A report by Bill Chapman)

The Church is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, and is early Gothic, but much enlarged, altered and updated over the years.The stonework is 'Kentish Ragstone' Stones of various shapes. The interior is Georgian style.

The House: The front columns of the house with Corinthian order capitals, are all that survived the fire just over 100 years ago. All else was rebuilt. The interior features marble and figured oak veneered wall panelling in the main rooms.

The rear elevation faces the spectacularly laid out gardens, designed by Capability Brown.

One feature is the Japanese Garden which was overgrown for many years. However following interest by many including
the BBC's Monty Don, it has steadily been restored.

A split log seat was useful resting place before for the
uphill path back to the House.

Despite a cool day the rain held off and Probus Members were conducted  around by an interesting guide.

The visit rounded off with tea and cake in the Grand House.

Move to the Copthorne Hotel, Copthorne, RH10 3EU

01342 348800

Information for Members

With effect from the meeting on 10th October 2017, the Club moves its General Meetings location to the Copthorne Hotel, Copthorne. Every effort has been made to ensure that the arrangements remain as close as possible the established pattern that we have come to expect over the years. However we are the first Club or Society with regular day-time meetings at the hotel so in addition to the new location, some arrangements will be different. This Briefing is intended to outline those arrangements.

Meeting: The Club has booked meetings at the hotel from Tuesday 10th October 2017 to Tuesday 10th July 2018. In April 2018 the Committee will review the arrangements with the hotel with the intention of continuing the booking into 2019 and onwards.

Meeting Rooms: Meetings and lunch will be either in the Caledonian Suite or the Worth/Northgate Suite. The choice of room will be the responsibility of the hotel and will depend on our requirements and those of other bookings. On arrival the hotel will provide signage to our Suite. The seating for the meetings and lunch will be cabaret-style (i.e. round tables).

Car Parking: The hotel has been told to expect upwards of 30 cars and we have been assured that there is sufficient space. The main car park is at the front of the hotel and there is extensive car parking at the back with access through the front car park (ignore the no access sign). You should keep the entry barrier ticket on arrival. Exit tickets will be distributed at the meeting. On your way out you should put the exit ticket into the ticket machine and then immediately remove it to trigger the raising of the barrier.

Timings: Tea and coffee will be available from pump dispensers in the meeting room from 10.00 to 10.30am. The two course lunch followed by tea or coffee will be served from 1.00pm. In the period from 12.30 to 1.00pm, members will have an opportunity to visit one of the adjoining bars for a drink. The meeting room will be vacated by 2.30pm to allow for setting up subsequent bookings.

Booking to attend: The arrangements organised by the Dining Secretary, David Ross, for booking attendance will remain as before. However there is not the degree of flexibility that we have experienced to now. If you are planning to attend only for coffee and the meeting but not for lunch it is imperative that you book. If you are planning to attend for the whole meeting, you need to book including your preference for meat or fish. If you are bringing a guest please check his dietary requirements before booking. Any changes need to be notified to David by the Thursday before the Tuesday meeting or as soon as possible in the case of emergencies.

Prices: The price per member attending for lunch for each General Meeting is £22. The price for attending for tea/coffee and the meeting only is £5. Payment arrangements remain as before. The hotel will be providing a rotation of seven different main course and five dessert menus plus a fish option. If you or a guest has a special dietary requirement or allergen intolerance it is your responsibility to notify David Ross when booking or by the Thursday before the meeting.

Visit to Tollsworth Manor House, Chaldon

Friday 15th September 2017

Tollsworth Manor House

A summary prepared by Henry Bill Chapman


0n Friday 15th September members of the Probus Club of Horley and District were guests of Gordon and Carol Gillett at their Grade II Listed home, Tollsworth Manor House in Chaldon, Tandridge, Surrey.

After welcoming our group with coffee and cake, Gordon took us through the history of this building with roots in Medieval times by way of a screen display of photos and information in his Lounge.

Dating from about 1280 various persons owned the property including monks under the orbit of Merton Priory until dissolutions and forward. Each occupant had a share in alterations and additions and use until the Gillett's took possession in the 1980's. Although Listed it was in a poor condition but thanks to the hard work of Gordon on the property, and Carol in the garden, all is now up to a fine exhibition standard and a great home with comfort.

It is difficult to believe that one is so close to the metropolis surrounded as it is with working farm lands.

The original structure was timber framed Hall type, a common concept in the times, which changed as fashion and progress all had their bearing. Extensions, chimneys, stone wall coverings, external walls became internal as structures were added, even a tunnel to the local Church. What was the saving grace was the erection of a completely 'modern' roof structure over the top of the timber framed roof that incorporated original timbers. This covering roof was in a bad shape as was so much of the house, but thanks to Gordon is now shipshape. Much of the original timber framing is now visible in particular an original King post roof truss.

Following the display the more energetic members viewed some of the rooms and were able to appreciate furniture in keeping with the Manor.

Gordon explained how with Carol they have organised charity events to raise money mainly for St Catherine's Hospice.

Probus president David Yates thanked Gordon and Carol for this opportunity to discover this bit of history tucked away in the North Downs.

Holiday in Bournemouth

18th - 22nd September 2017

Members and Guests totalling 36 in number assembled in Horley on Monday 18th September to board our coach for the journey to Bournemouth. Our driver, Ian, welcomed us on board and advised that our first stop would be Mottisfont Abbey (NT).

Following a relatively trouble free journey despite the M23, M25 and M3, we duly arrived at Mottisfont Abbey. A National Trust volunteer fast tracked our access and following a comfort break everyone went off to explore. The house had been crafted from a medieval priory, and was the lifelong home of Maud Russell who had arrived in 1934. The property also included a walled rose garden, river, chalk steam, ice house, stables and priory church.

At 14:15pm everyone boarded the coach for the short journey to Romsey where we spent free time exploring the town and Abbey and/or taking afternoon tea.

At 16:45 we once again boarded the coach for the last leg of our journey to our hotel, The Tower House Hotel, Bournemouth. After dinner we were entertained by a singer, Bianca with a selection of familiar songs.

On Tuesday 19th September a total of 24 Probus Members and Guests boarded the coach for a trip to Gosport and The Royal Navy Submarine Museum and HMS Alliance. Members and Guests were able to view three submarines – Holland (recovered from the seabed), Affray (WW2), and a mini-sub involved in the sinking of the German battleshipTirpitz. The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was also to be seen during this visit. After lunch we visited the Explosion Museum of Naval Fire Power and Priddy's Hard, before returning to the hotel. After dinner we were entertained by Steve Whale with a selection of songs from the 50's and 60's, which included some audience participation.

On Wednesday 20th September a full compliment of Members and Guests boarded the coach for a trip to Beaulieu. The first port of call was for a coffee in the Brabazon Coffee Shop & Restaurant. The attractions to see included The National Motor Museum with over 250 vehicles telling the story of motoring, the World of Top Gear with cars from the show, On Screen cars from TV and cinema, Secret Army Exhibition detailing covert wartime role as a school for Special Operations Executive, Monorail and Veteran bus services. The Palace House, a Victorian-styled country house, which has been home to the Montague family since 1538, Grounds and Garden with a working Victorian kitchen garden and flower garden. Our return journey concluded with a scenic tour through the New Forest, visiting Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Burley, Ringwood, and Sopley. After dinner entertainment was provided by Shaun Marx, with a selection of songs from the 50's and 60's.

On Thursday 21st September Members and Guests travelled to Poole harbour with the expectation of a 2 hour Jurassic Coast Cruise to Swanage and back. Unfortunately the weather was too rough and the cruise was re-arranged for a 1 hour Poole Harbour cruise around Brownsea Island. Later we travelled to Wareham to visit Monkey World. This is an internationally acclaimed primate rescue centre, which is home to over 250 primates including Chimpanzees, Orang utans, Lemurs, Woolly Monkeys, Capuchins, Marmosets, Gibbons, etc. At 16:30pm we all boarded the coach for the return journey to the hotel. It had been a tiring day and due to the need to pack for our departure the following day, entertainment had not been provided and most members and guests retired early.

Members and Guests enjoying a cruise around Poole Harbour
Chimpanzees Enclosure

On Friday 22nd September after breakfast and check out, we all boarded the coach to travel to Southampton where a local guide joined us for sight seeing tour around Southampton. It was then time to travel to Fareham to visit the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson. This Fort comprises 19 acres of ramparts, outer fortifications, secret underground tunnels, and ammunition bunkers. Guns both large and small are displayed from across the centuries. Amongst the displays is part of the enormous Iraqui Supergun. The Artillery Hall showcases twentieth century artillery including pieces from both world wars. This Fort (and many others) were developed by Lord Palmerston to counter-attack the perceived threat of invasion from the French.

Departing at 16:00pm we travelled back to Horley arriving at 17:30pm.

Thanks must be given to Ray Langridge for organising this most enjoyable holiday, and our knowledgeable and helpful driver, Ian.

Royal Armories, Fort Nelson, Wareham
Part of the Iraqui Supergun with a bore of 1000mm

Christmas Tree Festival

1st - 3rd December 2017

The Probus Club of Horley and District Christmas Tree displayed at the Horley Methodist Church Christmas Tree Festival, together with flyers promoting the Club.

Many thanks must go to Roy and Christine O'Donnell for organising our involvement in this event.