Friday, 5 June 2020

Preston & District Circle's ZOOM meeting

Preston 144's June Circle Meeting was held online following the AGM.
The meeting was open to other Circles and nine 'Visiting Brothers' joined us.

Can you identify the participants?  You might need to 'Zoom' in!

Friday, 24 April 2020

A look back at some of the event in Burnley Circle during the past year...

Canal barge trip with fish & chips and a quiz;
Family bowls day;
President’s Sunday;
Meal in Southport;
Italian meal at Ballaro;
A visit to Burnley Mechanics to see the Blessed Trinity production of Annie;
Our Ladies' Night at Turf Moor;
Christmas Carols;
Lunch at Bistro 197;
Evening Meal at Palazzo with the Mayor of Burnley following a tour of the Town Hall (x 2);
Annual Mass for Deceased Brothers;
A talk from Burnley Talking Newspaper for the blind following a Circle meeting - a collection raised £80.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020


In early February nearly 40 members, wives and friends met for lunch at the Brown Cow in Chatburn. Pres. Andrew Snape took the opportunity of the occasion to present a 25 year membership scroll and medallion to Bill Hargreaves. It was a nice gesture as Bill is now 94 and a resident in the Ribble Valley and therefore cannot attend many Circle meetings. 
The joint meeting with Chorley Circle in February attracted around 70 Brothers including many visitors. On 25 February Neil & Jean Goodall organised a Table Top Treasure Hunt at Rishton Cricket Club which was attended by around 40 members, wives and friends. It was an enjoyable and competitive event and finished with a superb buffet supper. Also in February the snooker team were defeated by Burnley Circle in the Provincial Snooker Competition on a re-spotted black ball in the deciding frame. April 13th was a momentous date in the history of the Circle as they held their first ever Virtual Council Meeting on Zoom. After some initial problems with both video and audio which caused great amusement to all partaking the meeting was deemed a success and will be repeated in the future.

Monday, 30 March 2020


Once upon a time not so long ago (6-8 March) and not so very far from here (York) in a time known as BC19 a group of intrepid explorers from Lancashire ventured into darest Yorkshire.

The notice on the A59 which declared "Welcome to Yorkshire, Like Lancashire but better" had mysteriously disappeared on the Sunday and been replaced with "Welcome to Lancashire, Like Yorkshire but MUCH better".

The Friday evening got the group off to a cracking start with an excellent meal, good wine and super company. Maybe you can spot some one you know in the snaps taken of the collected throng and judge for yourself (those who did not attend), from the many happy faces, what you missed!!!!

Saturday began, of course, with breakfast before different groups dispersed on foot, by car, bus or cycle to explore the delights offered by York and surrounding area. 

Four keen cyclists took a trip around the area and crossing the Fisherman's Bridge over the River Ouse
Wound their way to Bolton Percy and the Church of All Saints (formerly All Hallows pre Reformation!)

and, of course the obligatory Crown Pub for light refreshment, before setting off homeward and having a "spiritual" experience!!!

Others, meantime, wandered the Shambles,

enjoyed the street entertainment,

and paid homage to one of England's most gallant martyrs.

One of the highlights of York at this time was a stunning exhibition of van Gogh's work with many quotes from the master himself and a fantastic virtual journey through his works.
One quote that caught the bloggers eye although not attributable to van Gogh struck a chord re the recent questionnaire he had returned to HQ.

His wife, however, preferred one seen in a cocktail bar, passed on the way back to the bus

and is one I'd second when this miserable virus is beaten and we can all meet again.

A super weekend away, with little thought of the seriousness of the weeks and months to come, and so a huge THANK YOU to the organisers

Thank you Sandra and Terence for a most enjoyable weekend from all at Longridge.


Despite the fact that the Province was losing another Circle the day was glorious in many ways - the sun was shining, the venue (The Olde Mill at Bardsea) was excellent, the food wonderful and the company assembled all enjoyed themselves. 

The Circle was formed in 1946, number 130, but in recent years has struggled to get and retain new Brothers.  Still one good aspect is that the local active Brothers are all joining Westmorland Circle despite the distance some will have travel.  Invitations had been sent to men who had once belonged to the Circle and some were pleased to be able to come.  Also there was Bro. Mark Nuttall, a Circle member living in Billericay, Essex.  His father was a founding member of the Circle and Mark will be President of Billericay Circle for the year 2020/21.

The Brothers of Furness Circle with Direct Mark Conroy (left) and Provincial President Terence Donnelly wearing his collarette

Once the formality of the meeting was over the Circle members, past and present, and visiting Brothers and ladies sat down for a splendid afternoon tea.  The food came out bit by bit starting with plates of sandwiches of different varieties, then savouries, sausages, sausage rolls etc.  Then the sweet stuff, a posset, scones with jam and cream, biscuits and large chocolate eclairs with the cream oozing out - scrumptious.  A fitting farewell to Furness Circle.     

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


On 15th March Chorley President Bill Critchley and his wife, Pauline, led a party of 12 Brothers and wives on a 5-day break over the border, to Scotland. The party travelled by coach to Kingussie, where they spent 4 nights at the ‘Duke of Gordon’ Hotel, used for some of the scenes in the TV serial ‘Monarch of the Glen’.
Trips were arranged to The Highlands Wildlife Park, a journey from Fort William to Mallaig on the West Highland Railway, arguably the most scenic rail journey in the UK, a few hours in Perth, and a guided tour of the ‘Cairn O’mohr’ Fruit Winery, where all enjoyed numerous samples of the produce.
The break was voted by all to have been a resounding success, marred only by the closure of the hotel in accordance with Government instructions shortly after the group left, and the temporary laying-off of the staff.
The group is photographed by the side of the River Tay in Perth.

Sunday, 15 March 2020


On Thursday 12th March 65 had booked to attend the meal at the New Drop but unfortunately due to the escalating situation with the Covoid 19 virus only 43 sat down for the usual wonderful meal.

With eight visitors from across Province President Richard presided over his final meeting (or did he?). Longridge has a leader not afraid to make difficult decisions and, not waiting for guidance from afar, he informed Circle that April and future meetings were cancelled to protect the safety of Circle members as a priority, reliant on the fluid situation. 

Provincial Councillor Ted poking fun at Province suggested it had not had a good year with the demise of two Circles Blackburn and Furness. He presented his report in the form of a ditty which for amusement I reproduce:

The Province has had a bad year

Not much fun and nothing to cheer,
Two Circles have died.
And no ones surprised,
Who will be next is the fear.

Members are needed the VP said
And Mark the Director nodded his head.
I have a good plan said the bald young man,
Let’s all go to Longridge instead.

So tonight at the New Drop they’re here
The VP and his President dear.
They’ve made a decision without any division,
To apply to join Longridge next year.

Although formal gatherings are suspended, both the Cycle Group and Walking Group will offer events for those who wish to take part.

Watch this space for blogs of happenings in Longridge and hopefully the resumption of normal proceedings.

In the meantime let's hope and pray we all see this scourge through and KEEP HEALTHY!