Club contact: Gwyn Murfet
email: tefrumg@yahoo.co.uk



The Furness Probus Club, for retired Professional and Businessmen over the age of 55 in Barrow-in-Furness and the Furness Peninsular, meets on the first and third Mondays of each month, moving back a week in May to avoid bank-holidays. With the retirement of our host and fellow member, John Cook, at the Lisdoonie Hotel, from MARCH 2022 meetings are held at “The Fairfield”, Fairfield Lane, off Abbey Road, Barrow in Furness, LA13 9AH, and start at 10.30am. Free Coffee and biscuits are served from 9.45am giving members the opportunity  for social chat, and meetings are always finished by 12 noon. There is always a £2 raffle to help pay towards hire of room ,refreshments etc.

Speakers are usually booked for the second Monday (depending upon their availability, or to avoid Bank Holidays) with a wide range of subjects on local or national interest. The Committee meets before Open meetings to plan future events and policy. These meetings may also include a Quiz; discussion on important topics of the day; scripted sketches from popular TV shows; etc. Popular additions to the program have been “Room 101” where we can rid the world of our pet hates regarding modern life, “Have I got News for You”, Any Questions, and “Call my Bluff”!

We organise two day trips out per year; a Ladies’ Lunch for wives and widows; and a Christmas Lunch for members.

We hope that at every meeting, members will have felt at ease, had food for thought and a chuckle or two!

We currently have a number of vacancies, and would love to see you. For further details contact the Hon. Secretary Gwyn Murfet, “The Wheels”, 75, Portsmouth Street, Walney, Barrow in Furness, LA14 3AJ, or telephone 01229 471157.

Program for 2023

Sept 4th AGM & Open Meeting

11th  Breakfast at Brewer’s Fayre

18th  Jack Rice “Life & Times of John Barrow”

October 2nd Ladies’ Lunch

9th  Breakfast

16th  Ian Smith “More deaths than one” – Coniston Connection”

Nov 6th   Open Meeting, Committee 9.30am

13th  Breakfast

20th   The Food Bank

Dec 4th   Christmas Lunch

11th  Breakfast

18th  Christmas Meeting “Barrow Island Singers”


January 8th   Open Meeting

15th  Breakfast

22nd Mike & Lynda Garforth “Unesco World Heritage Sites in the UK”

February 5th Open Meeting, Committee 9.30am

12th  Breakfast

19th  Neil Honeyman “Life & crimes of Jack the Ripper”

Dates March 2024 – August 2024

March 4th  Open

18th  Speaker

April 8th  Open

22nd  Speaker

May 6th Open

20th  Speaker

June 3rd  Open

17th  Speaker

July 1st Open

15th  Speaker

August 5th  Open

19th  Speaker

SUBJECT TO REVIEW and Government Restrictions

Winter Warmer and Summer Coach Trips still to be arranged

SECRETARY’S AGM REPORT September 2022 – August 2023

If you thought our previous year had been a difficult one with Covid, then you should have had to deal with the program over the last 12 months – I very much hope I don’t get another one like it!

But at Open meetings over the year, we have managed a total of exactly 190 attendances, and with 10 such meetings gives an exact average of 19 per meeting. With 192 attendances at 10 Speaker meetings, average attendance has been 19.2, down 0.6 per meeting..

Unfortunately, our good run of meetings here at “The Fairfield”” came unstuck at the end of July, but this could not be helped. I am sure we all offer John Quiggin our sincere thanks for making sure everything is in good order by the time we arrive on a Monday morning, especially after some of the weekend bookings.

Despite problems with Speakers, we have enjoyed a wide variety, including the “Nostalgia Singers”, Stories behind the gravestones, being a Policeman and Professional Referee, Rasputin and the Romanovs, Probian Mike Garforth and wife Lynda took us on a journey Jasper to Vancouver, Probian Harry Turner on Ships that Pass in the Night, I gave two talks on Tales of a Ratty Guard and Station Master, and the Rev’d Awdry and Thomas the Tank Engine, and ever popular Robert Wheatley delighted us with Every Picture tells a story.

At least 2 speakers who had to be cancelled have been rebooked for the next season.

Open Meetings have included two session of “Have I got News for You?”, Tenable, a Quiz on 2022, Advice to someone approaching retirement, Room 101, Call my Bluff, a 1957/8 Pop Music Quiz, 3 Long John Sketches from the 1990’s, and a Quiz on Sit Coms I hope these sessions have been thought provoking, stimulating, and if nothing else entertaining. If someone else would like to organise these sessions, I would be more than happy to hand over.

I say a big THANK YOU to all who have helped me make fools of ourselves on your behalf. New ideas for Speakers and Open Meetings are always welcome.

Again, I know I said this last year (it is still on the computer),since lockdown, I receive frequent e-mails from prospective Speakers willing to do talks on “Zoom”, as only £50 a time (some want £70!!!), we currently pay £25, which seems to be the going rate when I go out and speak!

Don’t forget if you lose your program, or want one for a prospective new member, always ask for one, and you can always find us on the internet, just google in “Furness Probus Club”.

Since our last AGM, Roger has organised a coach trip in March which my minutes tell me experienced 3 seasons of weather in one day, but fail to tell me where you went, and another to Whitby in July. Thanks also go to Roger for organising our trips and for his tireless work as our Almoner.

Thanks also to Ted Rockley for organising, over many years, our lunches, and note Doug has taken on this task. Also thanks to Brian Greenwood for taking on the job of Auditor. The Chairman and Committee thank Roger, Doug, Jim and all others who contribute their time organising so much for us, and we mustn’t forget Jack Gaffney for preparing and printing our Lunch Menus.

Last year I asked “What about an occasional Breakfast at Brewer’s Fayre?” Since January, 7 of us have enjoyed breakfasts on a monthly basis with a request we continue for the foreseeable future. It would be good if we could increase this by one to make a table of 8!

Membership has been difficult to calculate over this last year as Fred Drew, Ted Rockley, Jack Beckett and Derrick Connell were all made Honorary Members, and Ollie Chalker, John Myers and Derrick Connell are no longer with us.

In recent weeks we have welcomed one new member, Peter While, and hope he enjoys the fellowship and friendship he has found here. We really could do with about 6 new members…………..

Our current membership to date stands at

24 Active members (down 3 since last AGM)

Life Membership now abolished

4 Honorary members (up 1 since last AGM)

The list of widows currently stands at 17 (6 no longer wish to be considered for lunches)

We extend sympathy to all those who have lost loved ones, and wish a speedy recovery and good health to all our members, wives and partners who are or have been unwell.

I end this 46th Report by thanking all who have helped me over the past year, especially John Cook our Chairman; Jim Rhodes as President and Raffle Master, Doug as Treasurer and all those who have been press-ganged, especially at Open Meetings, into doing things “up-front”, and to Committee members who continue to take my ideas and give them a good shaking in order to make them workable! As I said earlier, NEW IDEAS ALWAYS WELCOME!!

Thank You!

Gwyn Murfet

Hon. Secretary