Date Speaker Title/activity
24 February 2021 AGM
31 March 2021 Christopher Mitchell The Mollycoddling of the Motor Car: A Life in the Thirty Golden Years of Accessories
28 April 2021 Very Rev David Monteith Sexuality in the Church
(Dean of Leicester Cathedral)
26 May 2021 Prof Edward Davis Age of the Earth
30 June 2021 John Douglas The Railways of Leicester 1832 - 1989
28 July 2021 Carl Gaskell See 27 October 2021
25 August 2021 John Metcalf Rainforest - Paradise and Tragedy
29 September 2021 Prof Gordon Campbell FBA History and Memory - 100 years of Leicester University
27 October 2021 Carl Gaskell A Life of Sex, Drugs Dishonesty and Violence
24 November 2021 Allison Pearson Ladies' Luncheon
Journalist, Daily Telegraph, 'I Don’t Know How She Does It: A Writing Life'
Co-Presenter, Planet Normal
19 January 2022 Baron Willy Bach Joint Meeting between Leicester Probus and Leicester Wyvern Probus
23 February 2022 Dr Graham Warwick Living with Kidney Failure: A Journey from the Dawning of Dialysis
30 March 2022 AGM
27 April 2022 Stephen Foster The words we use... an interactive look at everyday phrases and their likely origins.
25 May 2022 Paul Blakemore Freemasonry at the time of Mozart
29 June 2022 Mehmouda Duke MBE The Challenges of Rebuilding the Leicestershire County Cricket Club
Chairman and Sean Jarvis,
26 July 2022 Dr Richard Jameson A brief history of the Universe
31 August 2022 Richard Ward Undertaking
28 September 2022 Peter Parsons Rampton High Security NHS Hospital
26 October 2022 Caroline Beardsmore Bee Keeping
26 October 2022
Speaker: Caroline Beardsmore
Humans have been fascinated by bees and have valued their honey as both food and medicine since time immemorial. The presentation will look at the lifecycle and work of honeybees, how bee keepers manage their colonies throughout the year, and give some examples of how humans have thought about bees and used their produce (honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly) for thousands of years.
Caroline took up bee keeping as her millennium project, having had a lifelong interest in natural history. She took a beginners' course with Leicestershire and Rutland Bee Keepers' Association, where she is now the Training Lead. Interested in all aspects of bee keeping, she worked her way through the exams and assessments run by the British Bee Keeping Association to become a Master Bee Keeper in 2018. Caroline is a hobby bee keeper who keeps only 5 or 6 hives at her apiary in Houghton-on-the-Hill. Her talk today will touch on various aspects of bees and bee keeping.
28 September 2022
Speaker: Peter Parsons
Rampton in Nottinghamshire, is one of only three High Secure Hospitals in England run by the NHS, the others being Broadmoor in Berkshire, and Ashworth on Merseyside . Rampton differs from the other two, in that it is the only one which provides services for women, deaf men and men with learning disability.
31 August 2022
Speaker: Richard Ward
A Career in Funeral Service, Disaster Management, Consultancy and Teaching
Richard Ward’s Career in funeral service started in 1982 when he was taken on by a local, family run funeral directors on a Youth Training Scheme at the age of 17 years. He rose through the company obtaining all the qualifications and took over the management of the funeral home when the family sold the business to a large corporate firm. In 2000 he took over the role of General Manager for the Heart of England Co-operative Societies funeral division. 6 years later he left there and started a consultancy business concentrating on mass disaster management. In 2010 he opened his own funeral home in Enderby – Richard Ward Funeral Services Ltd.
26 July 2022
Speaker: Dr Richard Jameson
A brief history of the Universe
This history will concentrate on where and how the matter that forms ourselves and our planet was formed as the Universe evolved. Richard was born and lived the first 10 years of his life in Uganda, going to school in Kenya. He then came to school in England. He was an undergraduate and postgraduate at Oxford University. In 1967 he came to Leicester as a lecturer in the Astronomy department at Leicester University where he continued until he retired in 2008.
29 June 2022
Speakers: Mehmooda Duke & Sean Jarvis
The Challenges of Rebuilding the Leicestershire Cricket Club
Mehmooda Duke has had an outstanding career since graduating from Cambridge in1989 and starting defending health professionals. She then founded and became the CEO of Moosa – Duke Solicitors leading a team of 18 professionals specialising in medical negligence claims. She was elected President of Leicestershire Law Society from 2015-2016, the first Asian female in the Society’s 155-year history to do so. She transformed the financial affairs and influence of the Society and raised the profile of women in law and business in major ways.
Mehmooda was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Leicestershire and Rutland in 2017, the 2nd Asian female in the history of Leicestershire to do so. She will hold the position to age 75. She has a busy schedule leading charity and educational events to a wide range of students and professionals. She has received several awards culminating in an MBE in the New Year Honours List 2019.
Mehmooda became the first female Board Advisor to the Leicestershire County Cricket Club in 2017; its first female Director in March 2019 and was elected unopposed as Chairman in May 2019 - the first female in the history of English Cricket to become a Chairman of a First Class County Cricket Club. Her challenge now is to transform the fortunes of the Cricket Club with its new CEO Sean Jarvis.
Sean Jarvis, CEO
Sean was born and educated in Leicester and returns after 25 years of commercial experience at an executive level within professional sporting clubs. He knows how to motivate staff to build commercial teams to generate sustainable revenue streams. Since August 2006 he has been the commercial Director and Board member of the Huddersfield Town Football Club. He is also a trustee of the Huddersfield Town Foundation which he was instrumental in expanding greatly to one employing 60 staff. It has raised over £2M and provided over a million free breakfasts to children through various social and community activities.
In 2018 he was awarded the titles of Yorkshire Businessman of the year; Huddersfield Examiner Businessperson of the year; and the Institute of Public Relations Sword of Excellence.
Wednesday, 25 May 2022
Speaker: Paul Blakemore
Freemasonry at the time of Mozart
Paul Blakemore was a schoolteacher and since retirement has been pursuing his interests in music and freemasonry.
Musically he is known as a singer (baritone), conductor, stage director, teacher, composer and part time pianist. He became a Freemason in 2000 and the fact that he played the piano got around very quickly as organists in Masonry are in short supply. He has developed a scholarly interest in the history and practice of Freemasonry.
His talk, with musical illustrations, conveniently brings together his two interests. It puts into context the state masonry as it was in in the late 18th century in Austria and the influences it had on Mozart both as a man and a Mason.
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
Speaker: Revd Canon Dr Stephen Foster
The words we use … an interactive look at everyday phrases and their likely origins
Stephen has a past of much University Teaching, Professional Opera Singing, and being an Anglican Priest in Parishes, Cathedrals, University Chaplaincies and hospitals. Now in retirement, and as an academic, he continues with post doctoral research; as a priest helping out where such a one is needed, and musically, although not singing anymore, in lockdown Stephen began to learn the Bass Trombone and now, after much daily practising, plays with Loughborough Orchestra and Hathern Concert Band. Being 'the background against which the stars shine' is in retirement quite a comfortable place for Stephen to be, whilst appreciating the talents and abilities of those younger in his own fields of interest and calling.'
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 AGM
Wednesday, 23 February 2022
Speaker: Dr Graham Warwick
Living with Kidney Failure: A Journey from the Dawning of Dialysis
Graham Warwick was born and raised in the town of Gourock on the River Clyde, west of Glasgow. He studied medicine at the University of Glasgow graduating in 1981. He trained in general medicine and kidney disease in Glasgow and Leicester including completing a MD thesis. He was appointed as Consultant Nephrologist at Leicester General Hospital in 1994 joining a nationally recognised kidney centre headed by the late Professor John Walls. He had two spells as Head of Service of the department but finally retired from nephrology practice in May 2019. He continues to work part time as a medical examiner at Leicester Hospitals and has taken on other support roles during the pandemic.
Graham’s interests outside family and work are mainly sporting. He has played golf regularly for more than 50 years, has been a member of The Leicestershire Golf Club since 1994 and was club captain in 2020. Other sporting interests include football, rugby (season ticket holder at Leicester Tigers), running and tennis. He chaired the Kidney Care Appeal committee (part of Leicester Hospitals Charity) for three years till 2019 and is currently active in the Houghton Field Association charity which looks after the recreation ground and pavilion in the village of Houghton on the Hill.
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Joint Meeting with Leicester Probus hosted by
Leicester Wyvern Probus
Speaker: Baron Willy Bach
The last five years - thoughts of a retired Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner and crazy Leicester City supporter”
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Speaker: Allison Pearson
“I Don’t Know How She Does It: A Writing Life”
Award-winning journalist Allison Pearson is a columnist and the chief interviewer of the Daily Telegraph.
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Speaker: Carl Gaskell
A Life of Sex, Drugs, Dishonesty and Violence
A career at the Bar, from the beginnings, with an excursion through a selection of interesting cases, to retirement after 45 years: a barrister’s reflections on the legal, forensic, and human, aspects of the murky world of sex, drugs, dishonesty, and violence.
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Speaker: Prof Gordon Campbell FBA
History and Memory - 100 years of Leicester University
The University of Leicester has a unique history. It is the only British University to have been founded as a war memorial, and it was established by a learned society, the Lit and Phil, rather than by the city or a national body. These characteristics shaped its character for many decades. The talk will focus on this early history, and on some of the important milestones that have gradually transformed a local university into a global university.
Gordon Campbell is Emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies at University of Leicester, where he has worked since 1979. He has published books on a range of topics, including Renaissance art and architecture, the history of gardens, the life of John Milton, the King James Bible, and ornamental hermits. His most recent book, published this year, is called Norse America: the story of a founding myth.
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Speaker: John Metcalf
Rainforest, Paradise and Tragedy
In 1974 a 1500 ha area of barren jungle in NW Guyana was leased by the People’s Temple, a new American religious organisation to practice ‘apostolic socialism’. It was known as Jonestown after its charismatic leader Jim Jones who convinced the Guyanese government that it would be beneficial to allow the People’s Temple Agricultural Project to settle within its borders. One reason was that it would be advantageous to have an American presence near Guyana's disputed border with Venezuela. The settlement became internationally famous in 1978 when 918 people died at the settlement.
John Metcalf is a zoologist with special interests in ornithology and ethology. He is a trained Museum field naturalist and researcher. He has travelled extensively throughout the world from South America to the circumpolar Arctic; from the Pacific to Coast of Canada east to the Canadian Maritimes; from Iceland to the Faroes and Northern Scandinavia; from Turkey to India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Borneo. He holds a pilot’s licence which he uses in his travels. He has led innumerable expeditions. He has written scientific papers and 4 books with another in progress. He was founder member of the Leicestershire Young Exploration Group helping students to survive and appreciate the wild places in many countries. He visited Jonestown in Guyana and has a tragic story to tell.
Wednesday, 30 June 2021
Speaker: John Douglas
The Railways of Leicester 1832 - 1989
Starting with the line to Swannington, opened in 1832, Leicester became an important railway centre and when the Great Central opened its line in 1899 there were a total of 10 different railway routes in and out of the city. During the 1960’s five of these disappeared and are now just a memory.
John Douglas was born in Kettering but from 1968 to 1989 he lived in Oadby and worked in Leicester (at Richards Engineering Ltd.). He subsequently worked in northern Spain, Walsall and Peterborough, where he retired in 2008. He was president of Peterborough Probus’02 in 2013 and now lives in Warwickshire, where he is vice-president of Avon Probus in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Wednesday, 26 May 2021 (via Zoom)
Speaker: Prof Edward Davis
Age of the Earth
Professor Davis was appointed Professor of Physics after spending 13 years at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that he held appointments at the University of Illinois and the Xerox Corporation in the USA. In retirement he holds the position of Distinguished Research Fellow at Cambridge while researching and lecturing on the work of the Victorian scientist and Nobel Laureate, the third Baron Rayleigh. Lord Rayleigh contributed to many aspects of Earth physics, including analyses of earthquake waves leading to what are now known as Rayleigh surface waves. In addition, he and his son, who was also a physicist, were involved in early aspects of radioactivity, which forms the basis of several dating techniques, as illustrated in his talk.
In 1650 James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh, deduced from the Old Testament that the Earth was formed in 4004 BC. In 1863, Lord Kelvin estimated the age of the Earth to be around 20 million years. Modern radioactive dating methods show it to be even older at 4.56 billion years. The story behind this increase in estimates of the Earth’s age from thousands, to millions and then to billions of years is a fascinating one involving physicists and geologists. In this illustrated presentation, the reasoning and the science leading to the currently accepted value will be described, along with a summary of the Earth’s evolution following its formation.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 (via Zoom)
Speaker: The Very Revd David Monteith
Sexuality in the Church
David Monteith is Dean of Leicester Cathedral. He was born in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and his first degree from Durham University was in Zoology, followed by postgraduate study in Theology at St John’s, Nottingham. His ministry has been largely city-based; he was ordained in the diocese of Birmingham and worked in London and Southwark. As Associate Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields he was heavily involved in the multi-million pound refurbishment of the church and the support of the congregation as they went through a time of enormous change. In the Diocese of Southwark, he was a Team Rector of a large team ministry in South Wimbledon, where the church grew in number and impact. As Area Dean of Merton he served the church in one of London’s most diverse areas. He then held the position of Canon Chancellor of Leicester Cathedral, heading up the Cathedral’s pastoral and educational work. He was appointed Dean of Leicester in May 2013. In that capacity, he led the Cathedral’s work to reorder the building and reinter King Richard III in March 2015, successfully raising £2.5 million to complete the project. As Dean, he is responsible for the development of the Cathedral’s work, witness and outreach, developing and utilising a vibrant team of staff and volunteers. As the Senior Priest in the Diocese he works with the Bishop of Leicester to serve the city and county. In addition to his duties as Dean of Leicester, he is Chair of Trustees for St Philip’s Centre, an ecumenical Christian centre fostering study and engagement in a multi-faith context.
Wednesday, 31 March 2021 (via Zoom)
Speaker: Chris Mitchell
The Mollycoddling of the Motor Car:
A Life in the Thirty Golden Years of Accessories
Chris Mitchell has had a fascinating career in the motor accessory business. Once named nationally as the ‘Guru of the Motoring Aftermarket’ he can be said to have pioneered the development of the motor car accessory industry, to have been a major player in its rapid expansion and to have witnessed its near demise due to car manufacturers moving into that previously specialist business.