Club contact:

Chairman:   John Gentleman

The following is the programme for most of 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.


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.