The Strand Club Meeting Reports
The 11th March was our AGM. We had no less than 23 people in the Pavilion, which was a really good turn out. 21 were members and two were visitors who later joined. Welcome Pauline and Ellen. There was quite a bit of business to get through, including the election of three new committee members and the confirmation of Josie as Treasurer as well as Vice Chairman.
Our club is in good condition financially and we go from strength to strength with a loyal membership and an efficient committee - even if I do say so myself as one of them!
Jackie asked for ideas for our 25th anniversary year in 2021 including perhaps photos of ourselves all that time ago? This was met with a groan from several members but we shall see if the idea runs!
Our own Miriam and Tony entertained us so well this afternoon with a medley of songs taken to another level with Miriam's beautiful, rich voice. Tony's expert keyboard playing complemented her singing delightfully and there was a lot of swaying to the music and singing of choruses going on in the Pavilion! I know we all loved it. We are so lucky to have them in our club and to be able to ask them to give us such a magical afternoon. Thank you, both of you.
The next meeting will be a talk by Jackie entitled "The Tale of Tom Hickathrift" who was otherwise known as the Wisbech Giant. Jackie's talks are always great fun so I know this will be another afternoon filled with laughter.
Please join us if you'd like to. Everyone is welcome and there is just a small charge of £3 on the door which covers refreshments. We meet in the Sports Pavilion in Overstrand at 2 pm on the second Wednesday of most months, apart from August when there is no meeting, June when we have our outing and January when we have our annual special lunch out. Jackie's talk will be on 8th April. We hope to see you there. For further information please phone Jackie, Chairman, on 720866 or Chris, Secretary, on 579433.
This afternoon we welcomed Amber Osborn who is a community banker from NatWest. Her talk concerned the modern danger of scamming in its many forms. In this present year 43% of people over 60 are likely to become victims because they are more available at home to receive phone calls, emails and knocks on the door. But no-one is immune. From a single person in their home to huge billion pound companies everyone is likely to succumb. The ones we as private citizens should be most concerned about can and usually do start very small. It could be a phone call out of the blue - "Hello, is that Mrs Smith?" "No, it's Mrs Jones" "Oh, I'm sorry, wrong number". Your name and number will then be placed on what the criminals call a Suckers List where details can be sold on for as little as 15p to unscrupulous gangs. They are unfailingly polite and friendly and the next call will sound plausible; "Hello, Mrs Jones. I understand you are having trouble with your computer/have been in an accident" The best treatment is simply to replace the phone without saying anything. If you try to talk them down they will become threatening in a cool, still friendly way to try to draw you in. "But if you don't do this/ring this number your computer will crash/your phone line will be disconnected"; effectively saying your lifelines to the outside world will cease and you will become very vulnerable.
Texting and emailing is also used. A bogus link will begin with http rather than https - the s being the security symbol. Never call a quoted number on an email seemingly from your bank without ringing the number for the bank which you know and checking with them first.
Unsolicited knocks on the door can be the most frightening. Someone could call and say they can see a loose roof tile, advise that you need a new roof and end up doing a terrible job and fleecing you of several thousand pounds. In the summer make sure that all doors and large windows are closed before you answer the front door to a stranger. Even if that person is wearing a recognised uniform but then goes on to ask for card details they will be scammers. Uniforms are easily available.
Amber showed us a short video of a couple of doorstep scams. In the first a delivery man handed over a bunch of flowers and box of chocolates to an unsuspecting home owner. He then said he could only take cards to collect the £2.50 delivery charge as he wasn't allowed to carry cash. The householder left to fetch her card, leaving the door wide open, and allowed the man to put it into the machine. In doing all this she was vulnerable as her card details will have been saved in the machine. After the transaction the man sat in his van, milking her account of all that was in it in the space of just a few minutes. The second video showed a woman receiving a phone call supposedly from her bank, asking her if she had just spent £15,000 with Harrods. She is very shocked and says she hasn't done so. He then asks her to write down a phone number and ring it, giving the reference number he also gives. He answers the phone to her when she calls. He arranges for a courier to come and collect the "compromised" card and supply her with a replacement. The courier calls and takes the card but says the replacement will follow shortly. This sounds an easy scam to recognise but these gangs depend on making you feel at a loss and upset and therefore more likely to follow instructions.
All in all Amber gave us a most interesting afternoon and a great deal of vital advice and information. I'm sure we all took a great deal from her talk. She managed to inject humour into a rather grim and unsettling subject and we are grateful to her for coming to see us.
Our next meeting is our AGM but the following one (on 8th April) will include a talk by our own Jackie which is entitled "The Tale of Tom Hickathrift" who apparently was known as the Wisbech Giant. All are welcome, as always. We charge just £3 at the door to include light refreshments and the meetings all start at 2 pm unless otherwise stated. We meet in the Pavilion in Overstrand and look forward to seeing you there. For further information please phone Jackie, Chairman, on 720866 or Chris, Secretary, on 579433.
On the 15th January we once again met at the Amber restaurant in the Cromer Country Club for our annual festive lunch. The welcome was as strong as in previous years and the room was laid out beautifully for us with crackers and a large table ready to be laden with raffle prizes.
There were 17 very happy winners once we had demolished our lunch.
Everyone enjoyed the afternoon of sociability and looked forward to our next meeting on 12th February when we will hear a talk about preventing scams. This is a very current and concerning subject and will be given by an expert from the NatWest bank.
All are welcome to join us. We charge just a small fee of £3 to visitors at the door which covers light refreshments.
Do please come along and see if you like us! We meet on the second Wednesday of each month (except August) in the Sports Pavilion in Overstrand at 2 pm.
Further information can be obtained from our Chairman, Jackie Hudson, on 720866 or Chris, our Secretary, on 579433.