DIARY 2013-14

Another active year for our Probus Club, as will be seen from the following reports on the various events and activities of our sub-groups.  See Photogallery on page 4.           

WALKING GROUP    Walking group members meet at the beginning of the new session and volunteer to research a walk for our programme.  The research includes timings, transport and, most importantly and, in true Probus tradition, a lunch venue.   Theresa then collates the data and draws up the programme, which is planned to be suitable for all abilities.  The 2013-14 programme included the following:


3 Sep


9 members attended.  This was a spectacular walk, embracing the Seton collegiate Church and a guided tour of same.  Following the tour, we walked, mostly off road (approx 4 miles), to Longniddry Inn for lunch.

1 Oct

Calderwood Country Park

A late bus with a grumpy driver and a close call with an articulated lorry conspired to spoil this wonderful walk.  However, sunshine, autumn colours and, best of all, a Kingfisher raised the spirits.  The 9 members having lunch in Mid Calder gave the walk a ‘thumbs up’.

29 Oct


9 walkers enjoyed an autumn walk through Lord Ancrum’s Wood – part of Newbattle Abbey Estate, followed by an excellent lunch at the Sun Inn.

3 Dec

Frigate Burn

10 members enjoyed the nature conservancy at Frigate Burn – walked to Portobello and on to Joppa and had a nice lunch at the Rockville Hotel.


7 Jan

Loretto-Fisher Row

Just a small number on this walk owing to a number of the regulars being unwell.  A bracing start to the New Year!

28 Jan

New Town Walk

The Old Town was substituted because of very cold weather – Jeffrey St, High St, Parliament and Holyrood.

4 Mar


This walk was cancelled because a number of walkers were at Dirleton overnight.  A small group of 5 walked from Roseburn to Stockbridge.

1 Apr

Cramond Brig-Dalmeny

This walk was cancelled because of inclement weather, but was rescheduled for 29 April.

29 Apr

Cramond Brig-Dalmeny

8 members walked along the Almond to Cramond.  Beautiful day!  Had coffee at Cramond Falls Café – sat outside in sheltered garden – very French!!  (See photos)

17 Jun

Summer Outing – St Andrews

‘Town & Gown’ walk with lunch at Doll’s House. Wonderful day enjoyed by 12 of our members.


BOOK GROUP  The Book Group continues to be enjoyed by its 9 members, who have read a wide variety of books this year.  We recommend the following 4:

The Glass Palace – Amitar Ghosh


This book follows one man and his family – from rags to riches – in mid 20th  century Burma.

The Casual Vacancy – J K Rowling

Very different from Harry Potter, this book is about the politics and intrigue which surface in an English village following the death of a local councillor.

Capital – John Lanchester

Set in one street in London, this is a tale of the very different lives of the people living in the apparently very similar houses.

Tiny Sunbirds Far Away – Christie Watson

Far away in modern Nigeria a young girl is uprooted from the comparative safety and affluence of the city to poverty and religious upheaval in a rural community.


LUNCH CLUB  Our third trip through the alphabet took the group to:




Excellent fish restaurant on George IV Bridge.  Fairly expensive but good lunch time menu.  The fact that they didn’t have our booking was redeemed by the food.


La P’tite Folie

Reasonably priced French bistro.  Enjoyed by all and didn’t disappoint on second visit.


Queen’s Arms

Good pub food.  Nice atmosphere and good service.


Rick’s Bar

Very good value at 2 courses for £10.


Scran & Scallie

Great food in a pub atmosphere.  Most people had set menu.  Tom Kitchen said “hello”!



Very attractive décor and lovely service.  Food quite spicy but delicious.


Ubiquitous Chip

Successful trip to Glasgow, including trip on The Clockwork Orange (Underground).  Very good food and good value at 3 courses for £20.

Thanks are due to the ladies who took turns to organise the lunches.  All are welcome  - please see the list at the table at each Probus meeting.



A very successful season of whist was played in Corstorphine Bowling Club on a monthly basis.  An average of 8 tables played, and the numbers are increasing.  Margaret Thomson, who very kindly agreed to replace Liz Welsh, has done a sterling job.  The “Whisters” appreciate the work Margaret has put in over the season.  Belated thanks also to Liz, who started the Whist away back and kept it going for so many years.


On a lovely sunny day at the end of April 5 Probus ladies set off on the first Holiday Group jaunt -  a short break to Dublin.  On arriving they had a stroll in the sunshine to get their bearings, with the inevitable stop for coffee and gateau.  Over the next 2 days they used the Hop on-Hop off bus for a trip around the city, seeing the beautiful stained glass of St Patrick’s Cathedral, the horrors of Kilmainham Gaol and the magnificient State Apartments of Dublin Castle.  The trip included some retail therapy and of course an evening of Irish music and dance.  A busy but enjoyable few days – all agreed Dublin was well worth a visit.



The Christmas Party

The cruise and bling theme of our Captain’s Xmas Cocktail party brought out the diamonds (real or otherwise) and the competitive spirit when the games started.  Our guests took their seats at tables bearing the flags of different ships in the ‘Sycamore Princess Line’.  The hostesses for the evening (the Committee) with their glittering tiaras oversaw games such as Handbag Bingo, Hoopla and Napkin Folding.  After a very nice supper, a music quiz organised by Liz K provided another opportunity for a prize.  The big prize – the Bling Prize – went to Pat Calder for her elegance in long black gloves (and black dress) accompanied of course by glittering jewels. 

The Burns Lunch

We had the normal Burns fayre of ‘haggis an’ bashed neeps’, along with traditional entertainment provided by one of our members, Liz Welsh snr, as well as invited guests Bill Cumming, Rev Iain Dunn, Martin Welsh, Douglas Ramsay, Margo Dunn and Nancy Lyon.  An enjoyable afternoon.  Our thanks to the performers.


Dirleton Trip

Another successful overnight stay – the sun shone and 7 of the ladies did the 4-mile walk to Gullane and back – and with the trip being a month later than usual, the crocuses bloomed.


The May Outing

An interesting visit to Abbotsford House, home of Sir Walter Scott, followed by a trip into Melrose for lunch and some retail therapy.



Valvona & Crolla Personal Shopping Evening

8 ladies braved the rain and came along to enjoy the hospitality of Mary Contini and some of her staff.  A fun and very interesting evening!  Mary held our attention with her account of the history of Valvona and Crolla and stories (often humorous) about her family and other Italians who came to this country.  She has done extensive research, much of which has gone into her books.  The evening got off to a good start with a glass of Prosecco.  An array of wonderful food was also served.  We also had the benefit of Francesco describing a selection of wines which we were offered.   We are very grateful to Mary and her staff for giving us a wonderful evening (as well as 10% discount on our purchases).

The Scotsman Visit

Ian Stewart, Editor of The Scotsman, kindly took us on a ‘historical’ tour of the Holyrood Road building, explaining the activities in the various areas – historical because that was probably the last tour taken by any group in that building since The Scotsman employees will be moving to their new home at Orchard Brae House in a few months.  We could imagine that it would be sad to leave this building, which has some lovely features (including balconies) and views but also excess capacity for their current operation.  An interesting insight into how a newspaper appears on our newsstands 6 days a week.

***  Please take a look at our Photogallery for some photos taken at some of the above events.  ***