Probus Club speaker on zoom

Due to Covid restrictions, Bishopsteignton Probus had to replace their speaker programme with zoom presentations to club members. The first one attracted twenty nine members watching and listening on their laptops, etc.

Club Secretary David Carpenter-Clawson co-ordinated the inaugural zoom presentation and the inaugural speaker was a former club chairman and ever-popular speaker, Roger Avery who explained that as a former university lecturer and visiting speaker he had given some five thousand talks, but this was his first zoom presentation. He set the scene professionally with amusing anecdotes and explained the roots of his interest in Dartmoor tors, which were the focus of his presentation.

He said that twenty years ago, he and his wife went for a drive on Dartmoor, where he drew his wife’s attention to various tors. She asked how many tors there are on Dartmoor, so he took out an Ordnance Survey map, counted them and set himself the ambition of climbing them all. He enjoyed it so much that he did it a second time when he took photos which he used to illustrate his zoom presentation.

His love of Dartmoor tors came over as he commented on some of the varied tors, including Crow Tor which looks like a pixie under a toadstool, Yes Tor which at 2,000 feet above sea level is the highest tor on Dartmoor, and Fir Tor which is the remotest tor, requiring a trek of some eight or nine miles to reach it.

Unsurprisingly, as a biologist, Roger spent a large proportion of his presentation showing photos and making comments about the wide variety of plants and animals that live and thrive on Dartmoor, including the Sun Dew, a plant which eats insects when they stick on liquid at the edges of the plant. He spoke fondly of bog orchids which show a variety of colour and various animals, including birds, insects, snakes, reptiles and Dartmoor ponies. Amongst the many species were some very unusual ones, including big black slugs and oil beetles which if you prod one, they exude oily fluid.

Photo shows from left: Chairman Baz Carpenter, speaker Dr Roger Avery, and Secretary/Zoom co-ordinator David Carpenter-Clawson.

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