Moonraker Probus Club of Devizes

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Meeting Programme

From Thursday 3rd of May we will meet at the


Rock Community Church, (Old Salem Chapel)  New Park St, Devizes, SN10 1FE 


(opposite the Crown Inn) at 10.00am for 10.30am


What’s Changed


Very little really just the venue. As Probus Club members we still welcome retired professional or business men and women who want to maintain an interest in the wider world. We will still meet on the First Thursday of the month at the same time for a chat and coffee. Starting time for the talk is still 10.30 and finished by noon. The subscription will remain the same at £20.00 per year. There is ample local parking and busses stop close by, there is good access and everything is on one level. Please bring a friend as a guest if you wish.


1st March Latest Advances in Space Science & Technology

40 years from VTOL aircraft to scientific space programmes. Richard will  tell us of his experiences with world renowned American, European and Russian organisations. He is now providing strategic and technical advice to the aerospace industry. This talk will amuse and amaze all with any interest in earth observations

Professor Richard Holdaway CBE FREng
5th April

Gold from the time of Stonehenge

Meeting snowed off

David Dawson
3rd May

Submarines  by a Submariner

Williams talk is based on how a submarine works what its purpose was then and perhaps still is. The memories of  life and times of a submariner at a moment in history. A fascinating illustrated trip around a Royal Navy submarine of the 1960s. 

William Joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18 and  after 3 years training at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth he joined his first ship, a World War Two vintage frigate in the Far East Fleet.  Two years later he returned to England for submarine training and then spent a further two years in two different submarines based at Devonport.  Returning to the surface he specialised in navigation and spent the rest of his sea-going career as navigating officer of a number of ships ranging from frigates to aircraft carriers. 

William Allen
7th June

SS Great Britain from Launch to Re-launch

In building SS Great Britain Brunel created the world’s first transatlantic liner – a true wonder of the Victorian age. She was the first ocean-going steamship with an iron hull, and the first driven by a propeller. This extraordinary ship, launched in 1843 as the largest and fastest afloat, transformed shipbuilding and sea travel for ever.

Ian’s illustrated talk tells of the ship’s remarkable story from her original design through the different phases of her working life. It also describes her incredible salvage and return to Bristol in 1970, and finally her restoration, preservation and ‘re-launch’ as a multi-award winning museum of international renown.

Ian was born and raised on Merseyside, where he spent many an hour watching the arrivals and departures at Liverpool’s busy Pier Head in the 1950s and 60s. This led to his lifelong passion for ships – especially ocean liners. He was a Primary Headteacher and School Improvement Adviser in Bristol for many years and has been a Visitor Services volunteer with the SS Great Britain Trust since 2007.

Ian Caskie
5th July The Terracotta Warriors

The amazing view when entering the pavilion that has been built covering the No 1 pit is difficult to portray even with the best photographic equipment, the first Emperor who believed that he could be protected and supported in the afterlife used very many of the beautiful devices and materials that were available to the elite of society but it is the standing army that overwhelms the senses and causes a sharp intake of breath.

Lew Lawton is an ex-military man with a profound interest in army matters especially those from the second century bce and Chinese culture at that time. Lew has held a number of instructor and training posts and worked as a volunteer on the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Currently he presents two weekly music programmes on Swindon Radio 105.5

Lewis Lawton

2nd August Silversmith Chris Hoad
6th September My journey to the Weakest Link Linda Dowsett
4th October

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance

The air ambulance has been serving the people of Wiltshire since 1988 initially as part of the Police helicopter service and latterly as a stand-alone service.  The talk will describe the work of the air ambulance service at the present day.

John's wife was air-lifted to Bath hospital some years ago with a suspected heart attack, fortunately a false alarm.  John gives these talks as a way of putting something back to the air ambulance service.

John Weller
1st November The Panama Canal David Head
7th February AGM  
7th March Whales and Dolphins, an introduction to their world Bernard Purrier

Click HERE to download a copy of the programme