Lentune Probus Club


Lentune Probus Club men held their Annual General Meeting on Monday 12 December.

The Speaker for the month, following the AGM, was Alan Jones, a former BBC Radio journalist who gave a wide ranging talk on Tales of a Roving Reporter.

Having learnt his trade, Alan had an international career for Radio 4 and the World Service. Upon marriage, Alan wanted to be more home-based and so became responsible for reporting along South Central England covering a region from West Sussex to the Dorset/Devon border including Southampton, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight. 

There were a multitude of fascinating and often hilarious tales. Taking his Mobile Van (with 30ft aerial) into the 'Piddles' and 'Puddles' of Doset, where few residents had a TV licence, most people thought he was the BBC Licence Detector van ! 

Having a lie-in on a day off, Alan was summonsed to Southampton Airport to report on a major incident involving the pilot of a BAC 1-11 being partly sucked out of a broken cockpit. Fortunately the plane was able to be landed with the co-pilot holding desparately on to the Pilot. Alan got his story and the crew received awards for saving their plane . 

On one dismal winter's evening Alan went to interview a group of Naturists, at a fundraising conference of the Nudist Clubs of Scotland and England. The nudists refused to be interviewed by him unless he  joined them in the same attire -  not an easy task when carrying recording equpment ! £28,500 was raised !!!

Finally, Alan recounted his involvement while interviewing a person in charge of a bin full of deadly snakes, in the search for anti-snake venom.  Alan had the job of opening the bin lid while the interviewee reached inside to retrieve one of the snakes and then slamming the lid back in place before any of the other snakes reared their heads!

Following the talk, members proceeeded to enjoy the South Lawn Christmas luncheon.


On 15 December, a group of members enjoyed a day at Beaulieu, including a guided tour and Christmas soiree in Palace House. Songs, entertainment and mulled punch concluded the event , before members were transported back to reception in the Victorian omnibus. A perfect start to Christmas.


Lentune Probus Ladies' Club

Lentune Probus Ladies met on December 5 when they had a very interesting talk by Derek Schouter and his wife Debbie about their life in rural France. Eleven years ago, they decided to buy a property which they then set about renovating themselves. The upstairs of a large converted barn was turned into an ideal place to let to holiday makers, with the surrounding acres providing a setting for growing vegetables. However, after some success they thought that this was all too much like hard work. So they searched around and found another dilapidated property in a beautiful village, which they also renovated.

However, by this time they missed home in England, so they came back but still use the house in France for family get togethers.  

They now run Setley Ridge Garden Centre, growing many of their own plants and intend to try their hand at vegetables next year. The garden store is full of quirky things to buy and they are alongside the Daisy Tearooms, and the Setley Ridge Vineyard and Farm shop.

The talk was much enjoyed, encouraging many of the audience to see for the Setley Ridge garden store for themselves.  

Following the talk, the ladies all enjoyed the Christmas luncheon along with their guests, and there was a very successful raffle, with prizes including a £50 voucher generously donated by Setley Ridge.