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Members

 

Michael Lockett   (24th November 1937 - 27th February 2021)    

Sadly we have to report the passing of Mike Lockett after a short illness involving hospitalisation. Mike was only 83, but was active on the Probus committee as well as in the community. He was born in Crewe the only son of a chiropodist and shoe shop proprietor. He was educated at Nantwich and Acton Grammar School where his interest in drama, theatre and Shakespeare fired his interest in amateur dramatics. After a spell in Teacher training he became a Primary school teacher before being conscripted into National Service as a medical orderly.  It was there that he met Dorothy and they married in 1961.  May 2021 would have been their Diamond wedding celebration. On being demobbed he was offered a 1 year secondment into Manchester Uni to study teaching for the deaf. He took several posts before being offered the Headship of Elmfield school for the Deaf in Bristol in 1976, precipitating a home move to Portishead.. There he took on transforming the wider education of children aged from 3-16 by pioneering many types of activities to concentrate on what children could do, as opposed to being limited by their disabilities. New activities of theatre and pantomime, making costumes and scenery, an active PTA, fundraising for a minibus and outside activities, Fetes and BBQs to name but some. Mike being the only man on staff even became the BBQ chef.  Whilst all this was going on he and Dorothy were raising their own children Richard, Rachel and Kate and little Tim who unfortunately died aged just 2.  Mike retired in 1995 after nearly 20 years at Elmfield, but was encouraged by Swansea Uni to pass on his experience to new candidates following on in his discipline. Mike's activities did not stop there.  A keen bowler in the Portishead Bowling Club he had held most positions from President, Chairman, Treasurer, to Coach and Team Captain and was awarded a Life Membership.  He was very active in our Gordano Probus Club having been a founder member in 2003 and its Chairman and Committee member with an involvement going back 20 years. He was also active in the NHS Retirement Fellowship (Gordano branch) and was its current Chairman having presided over a membership growing from 30 to 100.  For recreation he enjoyed his gardening and adjacent allotment, his mobile caravaning and an occasional game of golf, which he defined as a good walk ruined. He sought advice from a Pro once, to try to improve his game.  The advice was that he should have 18in shorter clubs and Mike, being over 6 feet tall, asked, “Will that improve my swing?” to which the reply was, “No, but it will enable you to get them more easily into the bin.”  

Mike’s funeral was held on Friday March 26th at Clevedon Christadelphian Church where he was a longtime active member and trustee.   Attendance was restricted to the family,  because of the Covid restrictions, but the service was made available to over 100 others by Zoom. Lovely tributes to Mike were made by his children and grandchildren.

To anyone who has known Mike, he will be missed not just for his cheerful disposition, bright personality and wise counsel but for his once heard, but never forgotten, loud infectious laugh.

 

Walter Raymond Buckingham  (12 November 1926 - 7th October 2000)

Sadly we lost one of our well liked and respected Gordano Probus members on the 7th October just short of his 94th birthday.   He had been a member of Probus for 20 years or more and was a founder member of Gordano.   

He was born In 1926 and brought up in Barrow-in-Furness, but sadly lost his father when he was only 8 years old and lived with his widowed mother and sister in rented accommodation.  Times were hard. The docks at Barrow were targeted by the Luftwaffe as they were producing military ships and submarines.  Some 83 civilians were killed and 11000 homes were either destroyed or damaged.  Despite that he continued with his studies at the Technical School which fortunately escaped serious damage despite being in the area most extensively bombed. He gained his ONC in Mechanical and Electrical engineering studying both full time and part time at night. In 1942 aged 16 he started work at Barrow Corpn as an apprentice fitter in their electrical department. At the end of the war he was conscripted into National Service and served with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment both in the UK and in Germany as tank driver and mechanic responsible for its maintenance, with the rank of Corporal. He was demobbed and returned to the Corporation as fitter. He met and married Edith Bartlett in 1950.  In 1952 he joined Barrow Power station as a Junior engineer before transferring to the newer Roosecote Power station becoming Shift control engineer in 1954.    He continued with his studies and gained his HNC in mechanical and electrical which were essential qualifications for becoming a professional Chartered Engineer and being entitled to have the letters ‘C.Eng M.I.Mech.E’ after his name.   In 1955, aged just 29, he transferred again to the distant Portishead ‘B’ Power station with his wife and their new baby boy, Raymond, and eventually settled in Downleaze.   He continued to progress to Charge engineer and Site Safety Officer.  He celebrated his time there with a CEGB 40 year service award.   He had the distinction of being the last to leave ‘B’ station when it finally closed then he locked up and handed the keys to security.   A second son, David, was born in Bristol.   In 2000 Walter and Edith celebrated their Golden Wedding, but sadly Edith passed away just 4 years later followed by their son, David, in 2008 at the young age of 49.   Walter was very much a family man and took a keen interest in what his children and grandchildren were doing and achieving.    His interests included ballroom dancing, green bowling, cruising and caravanning, championship wine making from his mulberry tree and gardening to name a few. Some weeks before he died in Sibbertoft Manor, Market Harborough, (to be near his son), he was in Southmead hospital for two weeks.    On leaving he was asked by the nurses if there was anything he would like before he went.   In true Walter spirit he requested a ‘waltz’ with discharge nurse, Jo, AND he got one. 

Walter’s cheerful disposition will be missed by all who knew him. He was one of nature's gentlemen.

Acknowledgements and thanks to Ray for the information he provided for this tribute.

 

12th May 2020 - Tony Everett celebrates his 90th birthday

Probus member Tony Everett celebrated his 90th birthday on 12th May. Gordano Probus very much regrets being unable to celebrate the occasion in their normal manner because of the Coronavirus crisis.

Tony is a Bristolian born and bred.  After leaving school at 18 he was conscripted into National Service serving with the Royal Artillery in Germany. On being demobbed in 1950 he joined Wilkinson and Riddells in Birmingham where he learnt all aspects of the wholesale textile trade. He joined the Young Conservatives becoming a branch treasurer and meeting the love of his life, Christine Bell, who was the YC secretary.  In 1955 he moved back to his hometown to become the children's wear buyer in Wilkinson and Riddell's Bristol warehouse for 25 years, until they closed down in 1980. He then changed direction and became a self-employed financial adviser with Allied Dunbar until his retirement in 1996.

Tony and Christine were married in 1956 in Christine's home church, The Oratory, Hagley Road, Birmingham and they made their new home in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, where they raised their four children.

He had an active life outside of work belonging to several organisations.  In 1963 he joined the Liberal Party becoming the constituency agent for Bristol North West and being involved in organising local and national elections, choosing candidates, writing regular newsletters and designing and printing election material etc. Christine supported him throughout, was branch secretary, did all his typing and was the local Liberal Party candidate in the Bristol and Avon elections on ten occasions. 

In the early 1960s with the demise of the Bristol Evening World, Tony felt there was a need for a new rival newspaper to the Bristol Evening Post which he would call  'View'.  It was decided that in order to help raise the necessary finance a printing company should be set up. This was called View Publications (Bristol) Ltd and Tony became its chairman. By coincidence it occupied for a period the premises where the Bristol Times and Echo had at one time been produced. The aspirations for a newspaper never materialised, but after a slow beginning the printing company thrived and served a number of major industrial companies in the Bristol area.

In 1961 Tony joined the Bristol Junior Chamber of Commerce where he became its librarian and wrote the history of its 21 years since its inception in 1948 . A booklet containing this was printed and published by his company. At about the same time Tony was approaching the age limit of 40 for remaining in the Junior Chamber but realised that there was no organisation set up for ex-members to maintain the contacts made during their years in the Junior Chamber.  Seeing the need, Tony founded  'The 39 Club', confounding some sceptics who said "it wouldn't last the weekend", Tony was happy to address a special luncheon at the Bristol Hotel in October 1998 on the occasion of its Golden Anniversary. 

In 1985 Tony joined the Bristol Commonwealth Society and became its treasurer, a post he kept for 15 years. During the 1990s, worried about the responsibilities and costs of maintaining their premises in Clifton, the executives were planning to sell their building, invest the proceeds and rent some rooms in the new Museum of Empire and Commonwealth about to be opened at Temple Meads. Tony was implacably opposed to this idea and knew that many members agreed with him. After a noisy meeting of all the members, Tony won the day, and a crucial meeting of the executive was called. Tony's argument convinced many and at the final vote the case was won by just one vote. All the officers walked out and Tony was left with the problem. He was joined by a number of new members  and together they planned and executed a complete refurbishment and redesign of the building. New tenants were attracted and 12 months later it was reopened to critical acclaim by the MP for Bristol West, Valerie Davey. The Museum failed after a few years, but the Bristol Commonwealth Society continues to flourish to this day.

Tony has been involved in many more projects including a successful inter-party campaign to stop the covering over part of the Bristol Harbour in the 1970s.  He is still busy today, being on the executive committee of Gordano Probus and an active member of the Bristol Rotary club where for the past 12 years he has been organising their skittles matches. He is a regular contributor to the Bristol Post and has written his extensive life story. He and Christine celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2016 supported by their four children and ten grandchildren. Sadly Christine passed away shortly afterwards and is dreadfully missed. Tony now lives alone but he has the love and support of his large and wonderful family.

 

April 7th 2020 - Arthur Keown celebrates his 90th today 

Gordano Probus member Arthur Keown celebrated his 90th birthday on 7th April. He was born in Bolton, but moved when he was 7 to live in Ramsbottom. Whilst there he attended Hazlehurst Primary School and graduated to Haslingden Grammar School.  After leaving school at 17 he worked at Williams Deacon's bank for five years but was then conscripted for a two year period of National Service into the Royal Navy, mainly at HMS Ceres in Londonderry..

After National Service he decided to accept a place at Newland Park Teacher Training College in Chalfont St Peter. Having graduated he taught at Gypsy Hill in London. He had met his future wife, Joy, whilst at college and they married in 1956 in Bargoed.  

In 1958 they moved to Bristol to take up a new teaching post, eventually becoming headteacher at St Michael's on the Mount,  West Town Lane and St Mary Redcliffe Primary schools. For a little relaxation Arthur taught Pottery at evening classes.

Arthur retired from teaching in 1990 and moved to Dawlish. Whilst there he was elected onto Dawlish Town Council serving as the Chairman of the Town Planning committee as well as being a governor of two schools there. Arthur relaxed with motor caravanning in Europe, walking, listening to jazz, doing some cruising and celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary in 2016.  After a happy 28 years in Dawlish they decided to move back to the Bristol area to live in Portishead to be nearer to their family, daughters Jane and Ann and their four grandchildren who were living nearby.

Arthur feels indebted to his wife Joy of 64 years and to his daughters for helping him through some difficult times.  Gordano Probus very much regrets being unable to celebrate the occasion in their normal manner because of the Coronavirus crisis.

March 11th 2020 - We welcome new members today  Derek Wright,   Bill Harris and   Keith Smith

Feb 12th 2020 - We welcome new member Humphrey Marshall today.

Feb 7th 2020 - It is with regret that we have to announce that member, John Howard-Cairns passed away in January. John had only been a member for a short while and was still in the process of getting to know all of us.  The Cremation is private for the family, but a memorial service will be held on Thursday February 13th at 1.30pm at St.Peter's Church in Henleaze.

Nov 13th 2019      We welcome new members today   Arthur Keown  and   David Hurst

Arthur Keown 90 Arthur Keown 90
Tony Everett 90 Tony Everett 90
Walter Buckingham Walter Buckingham
Mike Lockett Mike Lockett