June 2023

Club News

May: Chairman, Tony Farrell, welcomed 27 members and 17 partners and guests to our Open Meeting. Also guest speaker, Wilf Lower. Keith Brooham was welcomed back.

New Membership Brochure: The new brochure was distributed to members and will feature in our future advertising campaign to be discussed in Committee. Any ideas from members will be welcome.

News of Members: Gerry Thompson is in St, Helier.
Dave Garner diagnosed with dementia following a fall.
Dave and Gerry to be made Companion Members.
Owen Kelly undergoing treatment following biopsy.
Ian Cullen is in a care home. His daughter says that he is not always aware of what’s going on, but sometimes is more lucid.
Please complete the Emergency Contact Form included with last month’s Newsletter.


Denbies wine estate 19th April was enjoyed by all – see photos.
Classic Car Show 23rd July at PSC in support of Royal Marsden.
Old Coulsdon Fair 1st July 12 to 4.30 p.m.
Bletchley Park doesn’t have enough interest to proceed.
Probus Quiz 24th Nov: contact: secretary@coulsdonprobus.co.ukT: 01737 554449.

Lunch changes by 10.30am the prior Tuesday to chris@moniz.co.uk T: 020 8660 6063. 
Member News to Welfare Sec., Bill Ainsworth T: 020 8660 0399. 
Please email editor@coulsdonprobus.co.uk with articles/news for the Newsletter.

Speaker: Today: Bob Ogley: Doodlebugs and Rockets.
6th July: Simon Waterfield: The Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Denbies outing 19th April 2023

Guide talking about the vines – Bubbly all round

Open Meeting 4th May 2023

Lively conversation – Guest Speaker

May Speaker: Wilf Lower — Last days of music hall and variety

Our guest speaker enlivened our well attended open meeting with an account of the latter days of the music hall performances which provided a lively and often rowdy form of entertainment in the pre T.V. and radio period. Wilf used his extensive library of pictures and sound recordings through his talk which started with names such as Marie Lloyd, and later from the 1930’s and 50’s, stars such as Gracie Fields and George Formby who although being paid the princely sum of £150,000 a year had to hand almost all of it to his wife, being left with only a token amount for himself.

Wilfs’ mother kept a guest house specially catering for such touring performers and so Wilf met many famous names who would come and go at the erratic hours determined by their work. His stories of Landladies domineering attitudes were exemplified by one in which the Landlady was thought by her guests to be drinking from their wine bottle. So the artists took to topping it up with certain naturally occurring fluids. Finally as the mixture contained ever less wine and more and more of the “replacement fluid” the artists confronted her only to be told that she had been meaning to mention to them that she had been drawing upon it to add flavour to their soup! 

Moving closer to the latter period of the variety era, mention was made of Arthur Askey, Tommy Trinder and Charlie Chester and Raymond’s Review Bar. Certainly the type of humour the genre exemplified would be totally unacceptable today. Eventually with the coming of central heating, sofas and above all television, the old kind of entertainment melted away and the theatres closed, some even being converted into flats!

But the memory does linger on, and we all sang the still familiar “Down at the Old Bull and Bush”.Our thanks go to Wilf for this glimpse of a vibrant time in our social history.

Conversations overheard in the bar!
Annual Quality Control Review (customer handling section)

Your call is important to us, but we are experiencing an unusually high number of calls. Please wait and we will answer as soon as possible. You are currently number 25 in the queue. To improve your customer experience, you may like to listen to a selection of music. Make your choice by pressing the hash key when you hear the first one you like in the following list. To hear the list again press star.

  1. Ode to joy, Beethoven.
  2. Various Pastoral themes.
  3. Two Beatles classics.
  4. Two Rolling stones hits.
  5. Marche Slave, Tchaikovsky.
  6. The ride of the Valkyries, Wagner. 
  7. All Shook Up, Tennessee Ford.
  8. Mars Bringer of war, Holst.

Our research department uses the choice to select how quickly your call will actually be answered by filtering according to the associated mood, (aggressive/patient/ compliant) and which operative should take the call. There will of course be the potential to de-select callers by insisting they give details they will not have or if they try to game the system by refusing to make a choice and remaining mute. They will not make it to a human and be put on an endless loop. As a failsafe all callers who have not been selected for attention are timed out after twenty minutes and referred to our implacable web site from which we have removed any REAL FQA’s substituting only meaningless questions concluding with a suggestion that they call another self-help line to discuss their issue with other customers!

From time to time our quality control staff are asked if they feel our site could be improved.

Recent suggestions have been: Dropping the use of the words “your call is important to us” since even the dullest customers can see it is not and makes them hostile if they ever get through at all.

The number in the queue information should only be available to those whose music choice suggests patience and passivity. This should only be spoken as the last piece of information when they can then be pushed much further back down the line with a view to timing them out completely if we actually are busy.

A final suggestion was that a recording be made of muttered customer comments whilst they wait, allowing the compilation of a list of undesirable customers whose calls should never be returned.Altogether a pleasing piece of work with our handpicked staff showing real initiative.

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