LENTUNE PROBUS CLUB and LENTUNE LADIES held their usual monthly meetings in November.

The Club also enjoyed the Annual Club Dinner at the South Lawn Hotel on 10 November. The occasion enabled over 40 members and their guests to meet, chat, laugh and enjoy first class entertainment. The evening started with pre-dinner drinks in the bar with close up magic by Steve Charrett. Following a  delicious 3-course Dinner in The Cornwallis Suite, the evening progressed with further magic and amazing feats of memory and sleights of hand by Steve. A hugely successful evening, enjoyed by all !    



The Lentune Probus Club meeting was on Monday 6 November,  when our Speaker was Dr. Colin Jolly, a Structural Engineer.

Colin Jolly graduated in Civil Engineering from Southampton University. After his postgraduate research, he joined the Civil Engineering Department  for 21 years, where his teaching included structural design. He then lectured for 14 years at the Royal Military College of Science. Having retired from academia, Colin returned to commercial practice before retiring completely in 2014.

Colin last spoke to us in July 2022 on "Explosive Demolition - Blowing Up Part of London". Today, Colin's subject was "The Beauty of Bridges".

In essence, he saw all bridge structures in terms of aesthetics and engineering construction. Liberally illustrating his talk with many photographic examples, he demonstrated the means of crossings from the earliest times ( natural ropes and clapper bridges to single span canterlevered spans). The basic elements of bridge design he saw as meeting 'Form following function'  and eco-friendly construction (including attraction, slender, curvaceous and economy).

 Many modern bridges Colin described as engineers "selling Air to people" . The  mathematics of bridge design had moved on from Slide rules to Computers.

The many photographic examples given to explain his points included :  Glenfinnan Viaduct ( now familiar from the Harry Potter films), Ironbridge  in Coalbrookdale  Shrophire. Colin then ran through the whole variety of his favourite examples, classified under categories : Modern, Humerous , Disasterous, ending up with his vote for the'Ugliest Bridge'.

'Modern' examples included: The Øresund Bridge  Bridge across the Øresund strait between Denmark and Sweden;  the Alamillo Bridge Seville  (designed by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, remarkable by its design and its large dimensions  -  a single span cable-stayed bridge whose deck is supported by just one pylon at one of its ends ); the Millau Viaduct - a multispan cable-stayed bridge completed in 2004 across the gorge valley of the Tarn near Millau in Southern France ; and the Makartsteg Bridge Saltzburg that crosses the Salzach River ( the bridge is often called "Love Lock Bridge" because of the thousands of locks that have been attached to it by both young and not-so-young lovers !).


As 'Humerous', Colin described  : the London Millennium Footbridge (a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians nicknamed 'The Wobbly Bridge '). 

Disasters and failures include the  Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Puget sound (collapsing in 1940); and also Sunderland's  River Wear Crossing scheme which was cancelled due mainly the inability to build the bridge econonomically. 


Colin's 'Ugliest'  Bridge Award went to the M25 Lynes Rail Bridge - the distinctive cable-stayed railway bridge crossing the M25 .


Overall, Colin talk was well presented, engaging, was technically excellent. Very much enjoyed by Members. 



The Lentune Ladies meeting was on Wednesday 1 November.

The talk was given by Jacqueline and Brian Sutton and entitled: "The Duke of Monmouth – and how his head was turned and lost".

The Duke of Monmouth was the oldest illegitimate son of Charles II. He was ridiculously handsome, the darling of the Restoration court, heroic soldier and a favourite with the ladies.  He had everything, so where did he go wrong?  

He was at one point the poster boy for the Whigs and went on a “progress” to the West Country and followed this by travelling to the north. 

He built Monmouth House in Soho Square, London and the password during a plot to assassinate the King and his brother was SOHO. Despite pleading that he was innocent of any wrongdoing, James went into exile in the Netherlands. 

After the death of Charles II in 1685, the Duke of Monmouth agreed to lead a rebellion against James II who was Catholic. He landed in Lyme Regis, struggled against awful weather towards Bristol and finally declared himself King, which was deemed to be high treason. The resulting Battle of Sedgemoor was fought against a formidable fighting force of Royalists. The Duke’s troops were equipped with pitchforks! They fled to Cranborne Chase but a lady called Amy Farant spied them and the Duke was eventually taken to Ringwood, the house is still there in West Street with a Blue Plaque on it. 

Judge Jefferies found him guilty of Treason and from Ringwood he was transported to the Tower of London. Dressed beautifully in a new suit, he was taken to the place of execution. Jack Ketch, the famous executioner, made a terrible mess of his task and the beheading needed several blows with first an axe and eventually a butcher’s knife. 

The Bloody Assizes followed and many men were hanged, or hanged, drawn and quartered, and even more were deported to the West Indies. 

Alice Lisle of Moyles Court, near Ringwood was arrested for protecting two of the fugitives. After a farce of a trial, she was found guilty and was ordered to be burnt at the stake. After a petition this was commuted to beheading. Her ghost is said to haunt various places around the New Forest. 

The talk by Jacqueline and Brian was imaginatively acted out and was much enjoyed. The references to local names and places were fascinating.