Keys Club

  News -  November 2012

Gordon Bartley got our new season off to a flying start! He is a gifted professional photographer whose love of aeroplanes began in childhood and has stayed with him. His slides ranged from pre-First World War machines to modern stealth fighters and bombers. Many of Gordon's photographs were taken during his career with British Aerospace. Digital photographers amongst us were impressed by his ability to catch his subjects in particularly good lighting conditions, without needing to take tens of shots. Gordon did not take himself too seriously and included a few 'out-takes', including a seemingly steam powered Dutch airliner and a fighter which included four human legs as part of its landing gear. He was particularly proud of his shots of the Battle of Britain flight and of Concorde, with which he is still connected.


We were sad to recall the passing of two former members, Bill Clarkson and Harry Dixon but we're pleased to welcome Harry Sharples to our ranks.


Next month we look forward to following in Colin Hey’s footsteps to Austria.


Philip Bradshaw


News - October 2012

  This is a brief reminder about our first meeting of the new season, although I know many members have already collected their fixture lists from church. I look forward to welcoming members new and old to this meeting to be held in the school staffroom on the 8th October at 7.45 when Gordon Bartley will be talking on “Flying’s a Wonderful Thing”. 

Philip Bradshaw

Keys Club Secretary

NEWS - April 2012

The speaker for our final session of the season was Chris Wilcock. Some of you may remember Chris as he spoke in church when he accepted a cheque on behalf of WaterAid following the “Talents” fund raising project. After a brief introduction, Chris showed us a DVD produced by the charity highlighting their work in Burkina Faso (West Africa) and Nepal. This was followed by some slides he had taken when visiting Uganda two years ago. The aims of the charity are to set up self-supporting schemes in Third World countries. These provide villagers with supplies of clean water and healthy sanitary arrangements. Chris gave startling figures for the number of children who die needlessly from water borne diseases or who suffer blindness through not having clean water in which to wash.

WaterAid projects all use low-level technology. For instance, rope pumps can be built and repaired locally using such materials as cycle wheels, rope, tubing and plastic bottles yet are efficient enough to supply communities with clean water. Rain water can be collected from roofs and stored in concrete lined wicker butts. Much time is saved by removing the need for women and children to trek to and from the nearest river or pond for water. Besides the provision of clean water, the education of communities is vital to the work done by WaterAid. The significance of washing hands with soap and water is stressed, together with the importance of using the newly provided latrines. It was interesting to learn that the latter also provide very effective fertiliser for farmers’ crops.

Chris’s talk left us realising that many people subsist in conditions where basic essentials of life are lacking and their own governments are powerless to provide them.

Finally, I would like to thank members for their support (and help with refreshments) over the past season. Have a good spring and summer. We hope to provide another varied and interesting programme for 2012-13.

Philip Bradshaw


NEWS - March 2012

As has become customary, the Annual Dinner was held at the Ribchester Arms. After an enjoyable meal we were addressed by The Reverend Canon Hartley. John took as his theme the factors and people that have been major influences on his life. A most telling remark was made to him by an oranist/choirmaster, when he was a curate: “Be yourself” (although Polonius did say something very similar to Laertes in Hamlet!). John valued the time he spent with the Missions to Seamen. As a curate he was also the subject of match-making.

Like many people in similar positions of responsibility, John explained that loneliness had at times been a hurdle to overcome. He has valued the support of PCCs and accepts that decisions taken by these bodies can never be universally popular. Indeed one PCC was condemned in some circles for agreeing to hold a memorial service for Elvis Presley.

It was clear to all that John has enjoyed his roles as Curate, Vicar, Area Dean, but was equally clear that the roles of husband, father and now grandad have been vital to his sense of well-being.

Our final meeting for the season will be back at School and the topic is WaterAid.

Philip Bradshaw


NEWS - February 2012 

There was a somewhat disappointing attendance for our first meeting of 2012. (Possibly the fixture list was not consulted as January 9th was indeed the second Monday of the month.)

Our speaker, Pam Roberts, took Family History as her theme and illustrated her talk by referring to the various documents she had unearthed relating to the Dawson side of her family. Pam was keen to share with us various sources of information that are either freely available or by subscription. The internet has been a boon to those dabbling in family history. It is now possible to search all the censuses from 1841 to 1911. A visit to the local library opens up the possibility of other free on-line searches.

It is also possible to gain access to marriage and birth certificates. Some parish records have been digitised and again can be seen on-line. After exhausting such sources it becomes a harder task and it may well be necessary to visit parishes, seeking permission to view the registers.

Pam explained that before starting out on a search of family history it is always best to draw up a plan of those forebears whose details are known – followed by talking to relatives to gain their input. Then bit-by-bit pieces can be slotted in. We were left thinking that most families seem to have their share of black sheep!

Pam very generously left us with an array of hand-outs and the promise that she would be willing to help members find details of “missing links” from any details they could jot down. She was kept very busy over refreshments answering many individual questions.

Next month sees us once again venturing north of the river for our Annual Dinner. Frank has kindly set out the details on a sheet (to be left at the back of the church). Could members please fill this in, at their convenience. Our recently retired speaker needs no introduction, but I am not sure about what he intends to speak. A surprise awaits us!

Philip Bradshaw


NEWS - January 2012

A pleasing number of ladies and gentlemen braved the elements to attend our December meeting. Our speaker was Copster Green’s own Nick Hodgson who, in this pre-Olympic year looked back on his successful swimming career, representing England in Butterfly events.

Nick was at pains to point out that, as a youngster, he did not have an “Olympic Dream” but was encouraged to better himself by a series of coaches in Blackburn, Wigan and latterly in Canada as he progressed through ever greater challenges. Despite some notable successes, his head was  not turned by the somewhat sensational reporting of his exploits in the press.

He was thrilled to take part in the Opening Ceremonies of the Games in which he competed, in Los Angeles, Brisbane and Seoul. Nick has rubbed shoulders with some of the Greats of the swimming world, including Adrian Moorhouse and David Wilkie. In his modest way, Nick expressed the huge debt of thanks he owed to his parents who financed his training and also provided transport to Wigan, six days a week – often in the very early morning. (This is in considerable contrast to the funding available for our current elite squad.) Without all this encouragement his ultimate success of bronze medal at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games would not have been possible.

The audience showed their interest in Nick’s talk by asking a number of questions and then spent the rest of the evening consuming the refreshments provided. A big thanks to John Culshaw for taking the time and trouble to organize these and to those members who helped with the serving and washing up! The evening made a pleasant prelude to Christmas.

By the time this is being read, I hope all members have had an enjoyable Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. Our next speaker, on January 9th will be Pam Roberts on “Family History”.

Philip Bradshaw