Retford Ladies Probus members convened on 14th February for their Annual General Meeting, where outgoing president Mylle West was thanked for her valuable contribution during her year in office. New president Carol Portas was introduced to a burgeoning membership and they wish her every success in her new role.
Helen Shaw-Browne treated members to poems and amusing monologues which had been collected by her grandmother, Mary Goacher who was born in 1887. One, in particular, was about asparagus, “the stuff that toffs like to eat”. Unrecognised by ordinary folk, when they did come across it they fed the tips to rabbits and tried to use the stalks as kindling! Albert (yes, the same as in Albert and the Lion fame) swallowed a gold sovereign his grandmother had given him. His parents were none too pleased when it cost them 18 shillings and sixpence in doctor’s fees to retrieve it! Bill lived his life through binder string. He used it to mend everything, even getting married to Mabel when he forgot the ring! When his life was over, Bill worried there would be no place in heaven because he couldn’t sing. He was told “we’ve plenty who can sing what we need is binder string”.
A budding poet herself, Mary would also compose verses for the people of Wheatley on special occasions. These poems, with their gentle and sometimes black humour, are a reminder of a bygone era so thank you to Helen for bringing them to members’ attention. The next meeting will be on 14th March at Westfield Community Centre, at 10.00am for a 10.30am start. All are welcome.