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The Men’s Probus Club of Skegness founded 1974
Speakers June to September 2019 12th June Sue Lumb: Chatsworth House: Past, Present & Future Sue started by telling us she had spent 29 years working at Chatsworth and followed with a slide show on the first Chatsworth House built by Bess of Harwick in Tudor times. It was altered in the 1700s to resemble the house there today and is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire. Pictures were shown of the original formal gardens laid out by Capability Brown. Joseph Paxton was employed to maintain the gardens and at the age of 20 was made Head Gardener. He built the largest iron and glass conservatory at Chatsworth and was recruited by Prince Albert to build Crystal Palace in London. He was also allowed to build himself a substantial house in the grounds of Chatsworth such was his friendship with the Duke but sadly this house was demolished in the 1960s. In recent times the house has been used more with many visitors and the house also still being lived in helps to keep it alive. The 11th Duke and Duchess inherited a rather run down Chatsworth due to death duties so they set about the task of refurbishment. To help finance this they established gift shops, farm shops and a farmyard adventure playground. The 12th Duke of Devonshire had a master plan to continue with preservation and restoration and as much as £40 - £60 million pounds has been spent so far. The grounds consist of 35,000 acres made up of farms, game forestries and 800 properties and 25 holiday cottages and it attracts a million visitors a year. A bright future is envisaged with the next generation consisting of Lord and Lady Burlington due to become the next Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. John Boreham gave a vote of thanks 26th June Michael Fieldhouse: Policing in the 1970s Twenty nine members attended the meeting. The President reminded members of the Founder’s Day Service at wainfleet Methodist Church and the Carvery lunch at Batemans after the service. Michael Fieldhouse, a retired police officer, spoke about ‘Policing in the 1970s’. He reminded us all of the differerent conditions and attitudes forty to fifty years ago, with some surprising anecdotes. The vote of thanks was given by the President 10th July William Gregory: A Lincolnshire Auctioneer and Antiques William began with a broad outline of his career. His first venture into the world of auctioneering was at Brooksby Hall, Lincolnshire, where he was assigned to catalogue the contents for auction. There was a strong room within the Hall which contained a considerable amount of silver which was bothvery collectable and valuable. At the sale all the furniture items were placed in a marquee ready for auction but the silver was kept in the secure strong room. The sale was a huge success and after this experience he realised that auctioneering was a very profitable career to choose. He moved to Manchester and was approached by a large estate agent in the city and he spent the next few years gathering experience. He qualified in Manchester in 1999 where he had the opportunity to sell some art work as the prices were starting to take off with the internet playing a large part due to a much wider audience. He then moved and joined Golding Young and worked closely with Colin Young of Bargain Hunt fame. One of the biggest jobs at the moment is valuing the contents of the Home Office in London apart from the art work which is owned by the public purse. He concluded by explaining the value of three of the pictures which he brought in which was a Lowry print from the 1970s valued at £4,000. A painting by Hersey of a farmyard scene valued at £1,500 and a painting of Lincoln from the 1900s valued at £1,000. John Boreham gave a vote of thanks 24th July Steve Lovell: Gardening – The Four Seasons Steve gave a brief outline of his latest projects. Using slides showing the beginning of the year with snow on the ground. These were from 2010, which was a hard winter. Some of the photos showed snow covering plants that he thought would die due to the frost but plants like cordyline are able to withstand quite cold temperatures. He said that poppies give a colourful contribution to the gardens and should be sown in spring and also to encourage natural growth of weeds, dandelions etc as they are environmentally friendly and encourage birds and insects to the garden. He showed some slides of wrens and considered them very territorial. They use hedgerows for nesting, preferably pyracantha type. In high summer a garden with fragrant plants such as flocks and buddleja will attract butterflies. He was concerned about the rapid growth of artificial lawns which is no substitute for the real thing, but all gardens should be modified to suit personal taste and allowed to evolve. John Boreham gave a vote of thanks 14th August Michael Clark: Sailing Our very own Michael Clark was the guest speaker. A very experienced sailor, Michael gave the members an insight in to his time on the lifeboat and also his voyage around the British Isles. The problems of sailing through The Wash was also highlighted. Twenty seven members enjoyed the talk. The vote of thanks was given by the President.