Warkworth, Probus

Under the sea

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 10:30 am
A view of Warkworth Picture Jane Coltman

The Warkworth and District Probus Club held its monthly lunch meeting at the Sun Hotel on Thursday, April 14, and had as its guest speaker Mr Angus Sinclair, who gave a talk on his experiences as a submariner.

He told us that he had served for 30 years, mainly on the nuclear submarine HMS Resolution. His explanation for becoming a submariner was that he wanted to join the Navy, but because of his poor eyesight this was his only option. This is because a periscope can be adjusted appropriately, not because there is nothing to see from a submarine.

He took us through a short history of the service and emphasised how going nuclear had completely changed life below the waves. Whereas a conventional submarine has to surface, or almost surface, to replenish oxygen supplies, a nuclear one can remain down almost indefinitely. The only limitation is the amount of food required for a crew of about 140, therefore the normal patrol in the Royal Navy is 90 days.

Mr Sinclair gave humorous anecdotes about his life in the Navy and the men with whom he had served. He said that submariners became a closely bonded unit who appreciated the lack of rigid discipline, unless they were being visited by top brass.

He finished with an explanation of an initiation test that he had endured, which involved drinking a very large glass of whisky. After this he generously presented our chairman with a bottle of whisky and invited members to give it a try. There were no volunteers so the bottle will become one of our prizes in the Christmas raffle.

This was a typical example of the very diverse subjects which the club offers its members each month, along with a simple two-course lunch at a reasonable price. We are always looking for new members. If you would like to know more about Probus give Colin McClure a call on 01670 763006.