All posts by Peter Jackson

PeterJ Struiehill57#

Fulwood member comes home!

It was really grand to wel­come James Dickson last Monday when he joined our fold from the now, sadly, defunct Fulwood Probus which iron­ic­ally met at Broomhill.

It was also good to have Bill Collins and John Harvey with us for their first visit, who joined their col­leagues Eric Allsopp and Jack Whitehead on a return visit — all from Broomhill.

We all hope they enjoyed their morn­ing and will feel that Stumperlowe Probus can become a nat­ural home for them.

Best wishes for the Bank Holiday and see you all on Monday 2nd September when Mick Spick will take us on a “Voyage into Britain”

Peter Jackson



19th August Rod Amos The Sun Worshippers.

Rod Amos spent most of his work­ing life as a doctor spe­cial­ising in rheum­at­o­logy and arth­ritis at the Children’s Hospital in Sheffield so was there a con­nec­tion with his talk? Could sun wor­ship be a treat­ment for these crip­pling con­di­tions?

Well, if there is, then it cer­tainly didn’t come out in his fas­cin­at­ing and detailed talk about the Sun Gods of Egypt!

Sun wor­ship was pre­val­ent in the ancient Egyptian reli­gion. The earli­est deit­ies asso­ci­ated with the sun are all god­desses, includ­ing Hathor, Nut, Bat, and Menhit. Hathor, and then Isis gave birth to and nursed Horus and Ra respect­ively. Hathor – see pic­ture – the horned cow is one of the 12 daugh­ters of Ra.

Egypt_IsisHorus_01Isis nurs­ing Horus

Their belief in the birth life and death sequence was reflec­ted in the pas­sage of the day itself, start­ing with dawn and moving on through to the night.

In the stor­ies of the Egyptian Gods there are many sim­il­ar­it­ies with the Christian stor­ies of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and the great flood for which Noah built the ark.

Sitting between the Gods and the people were the Pharaohs. Egyptologists have long debated the degree to which the Pharaoh was con­sidered a god. It seems most likely that the Egyptians viewed royal author­ity itself as a divine force. Therefore, although the Egyptians recog­nized that the Pharaoh was human and sub­ject to human weak­ness, they sim­ul­tan­eously viewed him as a god, because the divine power of king­ship was incarn­ated in him.

Rod covered many aspects of the beliefs of the Gods and Pharaohs and none more strange than the weigh­ing of the heart against a feather –if it was too heavy then entry to the after­life was not per­mit­ted.

BD_Hunefer_cropped_1[1]Heart weigh­ing scene

The Great Sheffield Flood Peter Machan 5th August 2013

It was the 11th March 1864 when the Dale Dyke dam burst on a dark and stormy night and the res­ults still remain as the “Worst British Dam Burst Disaster” in his­tory.


Originally inten­ded to provide water for the many mills in the Loxley valley, rather than drink­ing water, it was built at the same time as the Agden which lies in the valley to the north of the Loxley valley.The destruc­tion caused, as the huge tor­rent of water rushed down towards Malin Bridge, was com­plete and any­thing in its way was totally des­troyed.

The dam wall burst around mid­night so many people were in bed but some – as young as 11 – were still at work in the many mills in the valley.

Peter’s enthu­si­asm for local his­tory shone through and his deliv­ery cre­ated the air of drama that comes from years of being a primary teacher. Beautifully illus­trated with slides and pic­tures taken at the time for pho­to­graphy was just coming in to being. Interestingly and rather macab­rely, the scenes of dev­ast­a­tion became an attrac­tion for vis­it­ors and trans­port was organ­ised to see the site of the dis­aster and people had their pic­tures taken as memen­tos.

So why did the dam burst for the design is one still used today – well no one is really sure though it appears that poor work­man­ship in build­ing the core of the dam wall on land which was unstable may well have been the cause.

Whilst most know of the Tay bridge dis­aster, Dale Dyke remains almost unknown by those out­side the local area largely because the death toll in Sheffield was mainly con­fined to work­ing class folk who had no vote.

The cur­rent dam was built some hun­dred yards down­stream and the area is a fine place for lovely walks.

For more inform­a­tion see —

Refugees and Asylum Seekers — Robert Spooner 15th July 2013

Along with Rodrigo, a politi­cian refugee from North Uganda,  who now has asylum in the UK, and an ex Buddhist monk called Sraman from  Bangladesh, who is still seek­ing asylum after 8 years, Robert explained the increas­ing dif­fi­culties of many refugees want­ing asylum in the UK. Both of his col­leagues told their story and answered ques­tions which enabled us to have a better idea of their plight.

The present­a­tion put for­ward a view­point on the sub­ject which pos­sibly a lot are not aware of, and it pro­voked many ques­tions from the floor.


Captain G T Smith Clarke Dr Adrian Padfield 1st July 2013

Most of us – aside from one – had never heard of Smith Clarke but all of us had heard of Alvis and their won­der­ful cars. Smith Clarke was a nat­ur­ally clever engin­eer and he joined the Alvis com­pany from Daimler where he remained until his retire­ment. During his time at Alvis ‚his wife became ill and this led him to engage his engin­eer­ing skills to develop and man­u­fac­ture anaes­thetic equip­ment and to develop iron lungs much used at the out­break of the polio epi­demic of the early 50’s.

Adrian not only has an Alvis car but remem­bers equip­ment developed by Smith Clarke which he used in his career as an anaes­thet­ist.

Alvis badge


A Long Walk to Freedom Jannina Derrick 24th June 2013

At the age of 6 in 1945, Jannina and her mother set off from Poznan in Poland to escape the oppres­sion of the Soviets who through the tur­moil of the war had now occu­pied her coun­try.

Her father had already left and walked to Greece and then got to England to join the RAF. The story of her jour­ney with her mother through to Berlin with little money and food was truly a wonder and a real trib­ute to the char­ac­ter of her mother’s gen­er­a­tion.