Arundel Probus Club

What is Probus and Where is it?

Probus is an English invention. The first club was formed in Caterham, Surrey, in 1965, mainly for retiring Rotarians. It was a great success and now there are over 1,500 clubs in the UK and the idea has been exported to 13 other countries. So as a Probus member you would be welcomed in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and many more countries. Each club is autonomous as there is no central organisation, so very little admin and very few rules.

If you'd like to come along for a visit to see what it's like, contact Tony Reynolds
Tel: 01903 872862 Email:

A very modern dilemma

When PROfessional & BUSiness men retire ...

What do they do?

How do they keep their brains active ?

Retired? ...Why are you ready to let your brain slow down?

How do you avoid wasting all that experience you've built up? do you make new friends ?

There is an answer - It's a social club for retired or semi- retired men

How We Started

In April 1980, the Rotary Club of Arundel decided to look into forming a Probus Club here, and asked two members, local GP Keith Stenson and Norman Bell, to explore the idea.

Succeeding meetings followed at the surgery (where the good doctor prescribed 'Bells' - a great enabler!). The search for a venue followed - The small public room at the Bridge Hotel (now Martlets Court) was chosen at a rent of £1 a meeting.

So the first meeting was held on Thursday 29th May 1980, with Robert Cook as President, and eleven members. The club now has fifty members whose age ranges from the lower 60s to a few who can almost match our Queen for longevity. As the club has developed and grown we now have members from twelve local towns & villages as well as in Arundel itself. The purpose of the Club is to provide regular meetings for Business and Professional men who are retired or about to retire, are resident in Arundel or the surrounding area and who value social contact and other group activities.

To join costs £25; the annual subscription is also modest.

We have SPEAKERS on all topics from Sinking the Tirpitz to Monsters of the Deep

We invite a speaker to address us on the 4th Thursday morning of the month. We usually meet in a hotel in or near Arundel at about 10.30 am for coffee, then a short business session at 11, followed by the speaker. After any questions we go down to the bar, until lunch at 1 o'clock.

PUB Lunches
In between the monthly meetings, on the 2nd Thursday of the month, lunches are arranged at a pub or restaurant, usually well away from Arundel, to which wives and partners are warmly invited.

Places we have visited

Club Diary

Thursday 26th October"Chestnut Tree Hospice" at the White Swan
Thursday 9th NovemberLunch Northbrook College
Thursday 23rd November"Helicopter around the World" at the White Swan
Thursday 14th DecemberXmas Lunch - Hilton / Avisford

Thursday 11th Jan 2018 Pub Lunch - TBA. Possibly "Indian"
Thursday 25th Jan"Lavender Farming" at The White Swan
Thursday 8th Feb Pub Lunch - Gribble Inn
Thursday 22nd Feb Speaker Bob Tanner at The White Swan
Thursday 8th March Pub Lunch - Red Lion
Thursday 22nd MarchSpeaker - Speaker - Mark Nash 'Noel Coward' at The White Swan
Thursday 12th April Pub Lunch - Arun View, Littlehampton
Thursday 26th AprilAGM at The White Swan

All "speaker" events will now be held at the White Swan, Chichester Road, Arundel

Recent Events

Speaker: Simon Langdon of Denhams Auctioneers

Things change...Trends & Fashions apply not only to clothes. Today we had a talk by an Expert in his field.

At first it appears that his “world” does not affect us. But it does.

With many years as an Auctioneer...he combines many skills. A lot of his time is helping Probate area where the Tax Man respects his proven skills...

Many a surprises follows his “home valuation visits” what we may think is valuable.....just is not. The market has changed

Silver just does not sell at the prices it fetched 10 years ago.

Silver & Gold often has more value as scrap

Dining room wooden furniture & almost any “brown furniture” hard to sell at any price.

So he spends most of his time “valuing” our “treasures”....and giving his expert opinion on whether your “treasures” are worth selling or best given to a charity Shop

But....occasionally we may have a nice surprise.

'I visit many local auctions and...and few months ago I noticed , on the pre auction viewing day a Chinese vase being very closely inspected by man who looked Chinese...The vase was in the sale catalogue at £ sold for £30k.'

The fashion/trend “hot selling items” are now Chinese. The Chinese are buying back what their ancestors sold many years ago.

A few years ago the Russians were paying “big money” for anything from pre revolutions times.

One of the big influences on price is the Internet.Any modern Auction house will put their entire sale catalogue on “the Net” so that the buyer could be 12000 miles away..i.e may be even in Australia watching and bidding at 3 am his time..So rather that just 1000 people at an auction there can be 1000`s watching and bidding.

'I go to many Viewing days and even to some auctions... but I particularly enjoy looking at the Auction Web sites when, after the auction, they show the price achieved....and so I can spot the trends in achievable price and also see what is worth selling or buying'

Simon gave us a clear insight into what is real in TV auction competitions....when experts buy from local so called Antique shops...Don`t expect to get the big bargains that they sometimes get. Many a shop keeper ..gets carried away with appearing on “the telly”.

Most auction houses charge the seller anything from 15% plus Vat to 20% and even more to the the Auction houses really want to sell your family treasurers...and enjoy up to 40% or more of the sale price..

If you are thinking of selling or buying ...ask the Auctioneer for cost..valuation...His/her finger is on the pulse..

You may have a hidden treasure...or just things that even the charity shop will not take.

Simon says....Ask an expert

Tony Reynolds - 28th August 2017

New Club President

As someone famous once said...”you can`t buy experience”

Experience counts”...say Probus as they elect an Arundel resident as the new President for the year ahead.

Over the last few years Arundel Probus has elected as President, those from a whole range of skills and experience.....some of whom have been ...a Priest, an Aviator (Far East Airline), Author and Publisher, a Mechanical Engineer, an Accountant, a Marketing/Strategist, a Quantity Surveyor and an Irrigation expert.

All these President`s Skills plus those from the 50 members cover a very wide range of interests and help create many interesting conversations & discussions. 50 members times the 40 plus years or more that they each have worked bring 50 x 40 = 2000 years of experience to the club.

So what do we know about the Club`s new president.

Roger Dean was a Lawyer.He was born in Yorkshire...but his family moved to Bromley, Kent, when he was 9. He went to lancing College and on leaving school trained as a Lawyer, Initially working for a Legal practice in Westminster for 15 years

London had it`s attractions but he decided to set up his own practice, which he did in Bromley..He specialised in “Unincorporated Associations, Federations and Trade Unions”.

When he decided to Retire he moved to Portugal for a few years and then to the Isle of Wight for 2 years.

Finally deciding to return to the mainland he moved to Arundel some 17 years ago.

His Interests are History, both modern & ancient. He used to play golf.....But like many of us in Probus...” we used to do a lot of things”... We may be not so active as we once were..but together we can “talk the talk”.

Tony Reynolds - August 2017

27 July 2017 - The Indian RAJ

A report on a speaker who both entertained & educated us.

What started out as a Trading Post became an Empire.


The East India company was formed in 1757 to import commodities (tea etc) from India to Europe. As the “company” grew over the years..more and more English traders moved to India. The French proved a problem…so the East India Company formed a small army to defeat the French….which they did. Some of the Indian Princes were helpful some were just difficult. So the “company” army grew.

By 1803 the “company” army was 260,000…whereas the UK army in the UK was much smaller

With various problems & wars etc in Europe the “companies” export trade to Europe slowed right down.

Gradually the “company” developed money problems and to solve these they started to sell Opium to China..So instead of promoting the cultivation of food…,grain etc the peasants turned more land over to opium growing Result … widespread starvation occurred.

In 1857 the Indian Rebellion occurred….in a big way.

It got so bad that..The UK Crown closed the East India Company as such…and the UK government took over the “company`s “ trading arm..including the army. In 1876 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

But let`s not ignore the great benefits that the East India Company brought to modern day India The “company” …built Universities for the Indians. They created the Civil Service. They established English as the national language and created an education system based on what we in England used.

So under the British Crown


Railways were built…and in true Victorian style..they were very well built. A whole “middle class” grew up..well educated and English speaking In 1861 the English population in India was just 125,00 people…42000 civilians and 84000 in the Army.

To control a somewhat rebellious country with many and varied Religions and a changing world…a bigger army was needed. So more troops arrived …. Off the boat into a strange land..with strange food and with a very hot climate….and then when it actually rained it…poured & poured.

Initially there were no ladies…well just a few..mostly for the officer class. So to solve the “loneliness” problem some English troops found a “ Local girl” to “marry. And some single girls came…”Hens”to seek a …man to marry.. Some of the ever growing number of single men imported their Wife or girl friend from the UK……………..To this….. strange…very hot.. country

With…Poor housing…servants who usually did not speak household “chors” to do….no local clothes fact a very lonely & strange life.

The Indians normally treated their Wives as 2nd class citizens so the Indian servants tended to not respect the English Ladies. So some of those Ladies, with strong characters, started up social enterprises to help the locals. Hospitals. Churches and social clubs..

So modern India in this modern era has many good points & systems …many introduced by those early English Ladies…

RAJ is the Hindustani word for…RULE

Tony Reynolds - 8 July 2017

Arundel Probus speakers report...25 May 2017

Speaker Bill Cage…47 years working at…Chichester Records Office.

Subject..Steam trains through Sussex

Bill`s hobby is trains, especially the early history…about which he has written books, created CDs and give lectures to Schools.

We may think of the so called benefit of train travel but Bill opened up out thoughts to a whole range of benefits that early trains bought to the community.

Most of those who lived in our villages had never travelled anywhere. They could catch a train and meet new people, taste new foods ….see new sights. But disease could spread, crime could travel…and big Town politics could create discontent. People`s diet improved ….. but….farming suffered as workers needed to build & run the railways were paid a lot more than farm workers….and had regular work…a career ! Fresh Fish was available in land…milk could be delivered even into town.

If a village had a railway station it grew & prospered ..But...if no station then that village lost out and often ceased to exist. The first line locally to us went from Shoreham Harbour,…. to Brighton… i.e “foreign” imports competing with our local businesses. Arundel This first line was built before the Brighton to London line was built. In East Sussex the Highway men & Robbers went out 0f business when the Eastbourne to London line was opened. Villages suffered, many closed …but Towns grew.& prospered.

Tony Reynolds 26.5.17

Arundel Probus speakers report...23 March 2017

When you listen to realise that there is a lot of "duff" information in the newspapers .... and what so called experts tell us, is often just wrong. Today we had a talk from 2 real experts who specialise in their own particular field. Their expertise is not just theirs but rather the backup team behind them...It`s a big subject...and needs a team of experts The subjects were IHt and "tax friendly" savings plans.
A lot of what we read in the papers is wrong.... Journalists are not experts. A lot of what general Accountants tell us is wrong. Many Solicitors are not that well informed re the ever changing rules.

Our UK tax laws are ridiculously complicated.

We have hoped...for years..that the Chancellor would simplify them...but no.....each year they get even more complicated.

So....the Rich pay less tax...because they can afford to consult the best Tax & Accountancy advisors...who can "navigate" through the 100`s of pages of the ever changing Tax law.

George Osborne in his last budget introduced a new scheme for IHT..This negates the benefits of many if you have set up a trust for your "will" may have to rewrite it..!! The new IHT is related to property ownership.

It allows you to save your Children & Grandchildren many £10000 of pounds of Inheritance Tax....with no cost to you. So why do nothing and in effect make your Children give money to the Tax Man ?? The tax benefit is related to property..but only that one your UK home...i,e where the Tax Man thinks you live..or where you have said you do. The new scheme is based on £325k each for the 2 persons who are married or in a legal partnership. So that`s £625k per couple now ..He then created an annual increase in that plus £100k as from April 6 this year.....not per person... = £625k =100k = £725k tax free ..BUT although this rises each year to a maximum of £1million..the increases are only if the increase is donated in your will to your Children or Grand children. So if you take advice you could pass to your "offspring"...£1 million tax no cost to you !! I do not profess to understand the weird & mind bending UK Tax rules

SO...for to a real expert

The Speakers today came of the biggest in that field. For IHT.
Peter Wild
St James Place Wealth Management
01243 217471

Tax Friendly Investments Another new tax "avoidance" scheme based around Investment Trusts that specialise in investment in the smaller companies in the AIM band. The Talk was by The Oxford investment company. Who run Octopus Investment Trust. Ask Peter Wild to connect you to that Team of experts

Tony Reynolds

Club President Alan Ireland

A much-travelled man (over 40 countries). He grew up in Hounslow, where he survived the Blitz, the V1s (Doodlebugs) V2s (rockets) and tuberculosis! Complete rest was then the only remedy for TB... hard to find, especially when an incendiary bomb landed on his bed, thankfully when he wasn't in it!

After brief excursions in Local Government and the Civil Service he qualified as an accountant. When asked if he would like to work in West Africa, he thought 'Why not?', went to Nigeria for 18 months, stayed for twelve years and returned to England with a wife and daughter.

After a short time in practice in London he became finance director and secretary of a major trade federation, and on retirement moved to Rustington, and has remained there after the sad loss of his wife in 2005.