Club contact:

Chairman:   John Gentleman

The following is the programme for 2024.

The club meets in the Masonic Lodge, Newmarket with meetings starting at 10.00 for 10.30 on the first and third Wednesday of each month except August.

From The Chairman:

With Easter approaching , we can hopefully look forward to some better weather or at least some longer periods without rain! I hope the coming of Spring sees an increased attendance at our meetings. Pat King, our secretary, has produced a very good flyer on the Newmarket Probus, aimed at recruiting new members. We will have some copies available at our meetings for members to take and hand out. We have also taken action to try and bring attention to our club through announcements in the Newmarket Journal and local magazines such as CB8 and the Newmarket Flyer. However, could I again ask current members to help recruit new members by bringing a friend along to one of these meetings to see what a friendly bunch we are and have the chance to enjoy an interesting presentation!
The first months of 2024 have seen a varied programme for the club. The three speakers to date have given interesting and, in some cases, thought provoking talks. Bruce Sims, our Treasurer, records most of the talks given to the Club and these are available for members to borrow if they have either missed the original presentation or wish to go over things again! Our visit to the St Edmund’s Restaurant, West Suffolk College, at the beginning of March saw a very delicious and interesting meal served by the enthusiastic and capable students of the College. It was enjoyed and appreciated by all who attended. Our thanks go to Bruce for making the arrangements. The restaurant is open at various times, during college term time, to the public and further details on menus and opening hours may be found at I strongly recommend a visit particularly to one of their themed evenings.
In the coming months we have a very full programme planned including several events to which members may bring wives, partners and friends. – On May 2nd (note the day change it’s a Thursday!) we will be visiting the Claas Factory at Little Saxham followed by lunch and on Wednesday 17th July we plan a boat trip on the River Cam followed by a riverside pub lunch. Please note the dates in your family’s diary! I look forward to seeing you at the meetings.


Newmarket Probus Summer Outing Wednesday 17th July 2024

This year’s Newmarket Probus Summer Outing will be to the Plough Inn at Fen Ditton where after taking an hour and a half’s river trip we will partake a buffet in the grounds of the Plough. Fen Ditton is 13 miles from the centre of Newmarket and less than an half hour’s drive. Those not wishing to take the river trip may join the group for the buffet. The event is open for members and their partners and friends. The more the merrier!

We have booked two boats, each taking 12 passengers (see below). Places will be allocated on “a first come first served basis”. Should all 24 places be taken, a reserve list will be made and should this list reach around eight to ten a third boat could be booked. Also, if not wanting to go on the boats, members and their guests are welcome to join the party for lunch. There are good river views from the Plough as are the food and drink! It promises to be a very good outing.

The price of the function is £35 per head for the river cruise and buffet and £20 for those only taking the buffet.

Date: Wednesday 17th July 2024
Timings: 10:45am at the Plough for an 11 o’clock sail. Return at 12:30pm for lunch.
Those arriving for lunch only should arrive by 12:30pm.
Parking: The Plough has a big car park and some limited disabled parking slots. The pubs Post Code is CB5 8SX.

Please book through Bruce our Treasurer either at our meetings or directly by contacting Bruce at home. His details are in the Members’ Handbook. Payment should be made with your booking preferably by using BACS.

Our Bank details Sort Code 40-34-38 / Acct No 11159488

Boats: Both boats are very comfortable and easily boarded.
Buffet: The buffet will be served on one of the Plough’s covered patios where there will be ample chairs and tables for all.

Further details will be available nearer the time.

The Plough is a premium pub, bar and restaurant located in the picturesque village of Fen Ditton. It has stunning riverside views from its large beer garden.

The Plough
Green End
Fen Ditton
Cambridge CB5 8SX.

  A patio at The Plough like the one we will have for our exclusive use, plenty of tables and chairs. Also, it’s covered if it rains!
Princess Charlotte a modern catamaran river cruiser with comfortable seating for 12 passengers. She has a flat deck, making it ideal for ease of access  
Rosie a traditional narrowboat built to carry up to 12 passengers in comfort.
The boarding area at the end of the Beer Garden is very level and makes boarding easy for all.

The talk for our meeting on July 3rd 2024.

Our speaker will be Phil McGahan, representing the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) service.

The EAAA which is a charity providing life-saving critical care 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year by air and road.
From road traffic collisions to cardiac arrests to medical emergencies, their specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots bring the advanced skills, equipment and medicine directly to families in East Anglia in the fastest time possible. EAAA covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Since their launch in 2000 they have attended over 30,000 lifesaving missions, touching the lives of many thousands of people. The crew comprises specialist pre-hospital doctors and critical care paramedics, operating out of two high-tech helicopters 24 hours a day from the Norwich base and from 07:00 until midnight from the Cambridge base.

AEAA was the first air ambulance in the country to attend helicopter emergency medical incidents in the hours of darkness to unknown and unlit sites.

It promises to be an interesting and informative presentation.

The talk for our meeting on June 19th 2024.

Our next speaker is Dr Dr John Dudeney.

John has over 50 years of professional, and a lifelong passion, in matters relating to the Antarctic.

His subject will be the stunning story of Ernest Shackleton and his Endurance crew. In 1914 he and a crew of 27 men set sail for the South Atlantic on board a ship called the Endurance. The object of the expedition was to cross the Antarctic overland. In October 1915, still over half a continent away from their intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in ice. It promises to be an interesting talk.

You might remember that, at his last presentation, John’s voice faded somewhat and parts were difficult to hear. Fear not, this time we will have our PA system up and running!

The talk for our meeting on June 5th 2024.

Our next speaker is Mike Wabe.

Mike has given several interesting talks to our Probus Club over the years. His subject on the 5th will be Witches and Witch Hunting in East Anglia.

The trailer for the talk is as follows:

Magic is one of those subjects that interests everyone, even if it is only a passing interest. Witches have always been associated with magic, so discover how a witch hunting mania swept through East Anglia. Hear how this man, Matthew Hopkins, spread terror amongst the populace and learn how he caused the deaths of so many women, although there were some men as well. Discover when the witch craze finally ended (or has it?) and see what you can do to protect yourself from a witch’s spell.

Mike is based in Thetford, Norfolk, His work history is 29 years a police officer, followed by 4 years as a manager for Autoglass, then by 10 years as a prison officer and ending with 3 years as an Inclusion Manager in a secondary school. He is now a Town Crier and has been giving presentations for over 20 years.

The talk for our meeting on May 15th 2024.

Our next speaker Tom Cummings.

Tom is a local man who grows and then sells carnivorous plants at local Farmers’ Markets. His talk will be on Carnivorous Plants and Their Care. He will also bring to the meeting a selection of his plants for sale.

Visit to CLAAS UK, Thursday 2nd May 2024.

Pre Visit

Please let Bruce know the names, mobile numbers, email address and car registrations of all attending, so we can fill in the attendance form ahead of the visit. This will generate the visitor badges in advance. These details are required for the H&S and fire regulations, so Claas know who is on site.


10.30 Arrival at CLASS UK, Saxham, Bury St Edmunds, P28 6QZ Welcome & Refreshments in the JAGUAR Room

11.00 Company presentation in the LEXION Room

11.30 Full site tour to include Technopares, Parts Logistics, CLAAS Academy and the Customer Experience Centre

13.00 Buffet lunch in the JAGUAR Room

14.00 Departure

Please contact or call 07947140097 if you have any queries relating to the trip.

Access from the A14

Travelling east, take junction 41, signed Risby. Follow the slip road to the turning for Risby, then immediately turn right for the bridge, to go over the A14. Follow the road round past Calor Gas, right, and then turn left into the CLAAS UK site and the main car park, which is on the left.

Travelling from the west: take junction 41, follow the slip road past the front of the CLAAS UK site, turn left and left again into the site, then into the car park, as above.

Entrance is by the main door (‘2’ on the site map) which is surrounded in the CLAAS green colour. On entering, take the left door into the show room (called ‘Technoparc’) and go to the reception desk. Visitor badges should be ready for everyone attending. Additional ones can be created for anyone extra.

The talk for our meeting on April 17th 2024.

Our next speaker Nigel Sutton.

Title: Scams and Cyber Crime

Nigel Sutton works for Cambridgeshire Constabulary within the Specialist Crime Team at Police HQ, and is a former police officer with over 20 years policing experience. In 2016, he was part of a small team of officers who established the force cyber investigation unit. His current role profile is Fraud and Cyber Security Advisor, he is part of a national Cyber Protect network which requires him to engage and provide information to businesses and local communities about the local threat of Cybercrime, this work includes identifying vulnerabilities and conducting assessments and providing security advice using materials and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre in London and other sources. A secondary role is the Cyber Choices officer, a national programme led by the National Crime Agency in which he works with partners to educate and prevent young people becoming involved in cyber related criminal activity.
He will talk to us about how criminals use, email, texts, mobile phones, social media to send scams intending us all to believe they are genuine when they are certainly not. Nigel will provide information on how best to protect our online devices and accounts using advice from the National Cyber Security Centre, (Part of GCHQ) with plenty of time for questions and answers. If you have ever wondered how criminals know our telephone numbers and email addresses, well Nigel will tell us!

The talk for our meeting on April 3rd 2024.

Our next speaker is ex RAF Regiment Warrant Officer “Mac” MacDonald.

Mac is the Public Engagement Co-ordinator for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in the east of England. Prior to this role he spent 39 years in the RAF Regiment, finishing as the Station Warrant Officer (i.e. responsible for discipline on the base – comparable to the regimental sergeant major in the Army!) at RAF Honington. Mac will speak about the work of the CWGC.
The CWGC is a global organisation, caring for war graves at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories. It commemorates almost 1.7 million individuals, ensuring that all the Commonwealth men and women who died during both world wars are commemorated in a manner befitting their sacrifice.
Their global estate is run by a multinational and multilingual workforce numbering approximately 1,300 – the vast majority of whom are gardeners and stone masons.
Since its establishment by Royal Charter CWG’S have constructed 2,500 war cemeteries and plots, erected headstones over graves and where the remains are missing, inscribed the names of the dead on permanent memorials. More than a million burials are now commemorated at military and civil sites around the world.
Their work is constant, amending records, searching for missing names, building new memorials and where historical inequalities in commemoration are found, ensuring all those who fell are equally remembered.
The CWGC also have a duty to ensure, its sites remain well visited so remembrance of the war dead continues, creating information centres, volunteering opportunities and education programmes designed to engage and educate generations to come.
Pictured: Bayeux British Military Cemetery where nearly 4000 British soldiers are buried. It is the largest British Military cemetery of the Second World War in France. The adjacent memorial commemorates the unidentified Commonwealth soldier who fell during the Battle of Normandy.

The talk for our meeting on March 20th 2024.

Jerry Watson

Wheelie Miglia” in 2019 Jerry Watson decided to cycle the route of the 1955 Mille Miglia (1000 miles around Italy) on a bike he made from Bambo; for his charity “Tourdesands”. The talk will take you on a tour of the route comparing his ride with the epic drive of Stirling Moss

The talk for our meeting on February 21st 2024.

Edmund Brookes

Edmund is a member of Granta Probus Club, Cambridge, who travels to places many of us would like to visit, often to the remotest and furthest corners of the British Isles, as well as continental Europse. He has visited Ireland many times both on business and holiday trips and will talk about the Wild Atlantic Way. This is a 2,100km almost circumnavigation of the whole island of Ireland from near the Fastnet Rock in County Cork, to the Mountains of Mourne in County Down. Cliffs, Mountains, Beaches, Vistas and the odd surprise on the way are all covered as well as Peat Bogs.

The speaker for our meeting on February the 7th 2024.

Edward Gildea

Edward’s life changed as a result of taking part in the 2014 and 2018 Clipper Around the World Yacht Races.
Until then, he was moderately concerned about the state of our planet, recycling and using trains conscientiously. Sailing 40,000 miles across the oceans from Australia back to London and then from Uruguay to Australia changed all that. It gave him a powerful connection to the planet.
“Helming is a form of mindfulness. One of my skippers had a rule ‘Helm and Breathe’. The only other thing you were allowed to do at the helm was breathe. Not talk, drink, laugh, point out a breaching whale… just breathe. You then felt every shift in the breeze on your cheek, every movement of the boat under your feet, every changing sound of the wake at your stern…

“You connect to the planet.”

Edward Gildea
These powerful experiences, coupled with the birth two of his grandsons while at sea, turned him into a committed green activist.
High altitude trekking and mountaineering also provided formative experiences, increasing his awareness of the 2 billion people whose agriculture depends on the slow melting of snows and glaciers.

Probus Lunch 6th March 2024 at West Suffolk College,
Bury St Edmunds.

Please let Bruce Sims have your choices of starter and main course, and pay, as soon as possible.

The cost is £30 per head.

The Menu is as follows:


  1. Cauliflower velouté (v)(gf)
    Curry, golden raisins and coriander
  2. Crispy pork cheek (gf)
    Black pudding, rhubarb and pork crackling
  3. Mi-cuit salmon
    Brioche, mallard moat, quails egg, hollandaise roe


  1. Plaice
    Salsify, tenderstem brocoli, hazelnut, parmesan, goats cheese
  2. Wild mushroom and flagoulet bean fricassée (v)
    Braised baby leek, kale and walnut pesto, pecorino and goats cheese
  3. Chicken breast
    Confit leg, sprouting broccoli, hazlenut and pomme anna

    Duo of desserts

   (attendees will be served each of these desserts)

  1. Poached rhubarb trifle (n)
    Orange custard, parkin and almond cream
  2. Chocolate delice
    Vanilla poached pear and yoghurt sorbet

Report on the Newmarket Probus Branch AGM.

Our AGM was held in the Masonic Hall on Wednesday20 September. Seventeen members attended. The Chairman and Secretary reports were accepted as was that of the Treasurer who reported a slight loss on the year of £147.40 but this was negated somewhat in that the hire of the hall for the remainder of this year had been paid and hence contributed to the loss. The overall financial position of the Club was very sound and stood at approximately £4200. The treasurer recommended, and the meeting agreed that subscriptions be held at their current level.
The following Officers were elected:

Chairman John Gentleman
Secretary Pat King
Treasurer Bruce Sims
Communications Officer Mike Beetham
Committee Member Roy May

The outgoing Chairman, John Kiteley will serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee.

The meeting concluded with a short presentation by the new Chairman which he concluded with his hopes for the future. These are shown in the following bullet points

  1. Maintain the current ‘modus operandi’ for the time being.
  2. Increase communications and publicity.
  3. Consult members as. to:
    1. Frequency of meetings – twice a month? monthly?
    2. Format of meetings – balance of speakers, visits and lunches.
    3. Increasing Membership – more publicity, open to ladies?
    4. Exploring co-operation with other similar groups.
    5. Encourage more member participation –introducing new members, recommending speakers and events, serving on the

It’s your club and needs your support in all areas .

The speaker for our meeting on January the 17th 2024.

Derek Adams, a Suffolk / Essex based photographer, who is also a poet and author, is the guest speaker at our next meeting on Wednesday 17th January. He will be speaking about his latest book: ‘EXPOSURE Snap shots from the life of Lee Miller’ which focuses on the extraordinary life of the American photographer Lee Miller.
Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller was a fashion model in New City in the 1920s before going to Paris where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. During the Second World War she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau.
It was a very interesting and informative talk.

Christmas Lunch 2023

The Probus Christmas Lunch was held at the Heath Court Hotel on the 6th December 2023.

The menu for the lunch was as follows:
Haddock Fillet
on crushed potatoes & peas
Traditional Roast Turkey
crisp roast potatoes, and rich gravy
Roast Beef
roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding
Carrot Wellington and Spiced Marmalade (Ve)

Carrots, mushrooms and spinach with a carrot, orange and
ginger spiced marmalade wrapped in a puff pastry case

All served with a selection of vegetables.
Our gravy is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free

Traditional British Christmas Pudding ((VE) & (GF) option available
simply served with lashings of brandy infused custard
Raspberry Frangipane Tart (VE) (GF)

filled with raspberry jam & almond frangipane topped with
raspberries & almond lakes

Chocolate Orange (Ve)

Crisp chocolate bourbon and digestive biscuit crumb topped with a
rich chocolate orange truffle mousse

Cheese & biscuits
cheese selection with crackers and red onion jam

Tea, Coffee & Mince Pies

The feedback from this event was very good and we are pleased that this event turned out to be so successful.

From The Chairman:

I begin by wishing you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year and during 2024 I hope to see as many of you as possible at our meetings and events. Your committee has assembled a very interesting and wide-ranging programme for the next nine months. Latest details may be seen on this web site and I suggest you bookmark this page to give you easy access. Please try to visit the web site, which Mike Beetham is developing into a useful tool for our use and information, regularly. Over the past couple of years, attendance at our meetings has been on the decrease although I was heartened by the numbers at the last of our 2023 talks and at the annual Christmas lunch which from feedback was much enjoyed. Could I make a New Year’s request of members to try and bring a friend, neighbour or acquaintance along to one of our meetings? There is always the possibility that they will like what they see and join us permanently, as has happened recently.