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 AprilAGM at The White Swan
Thursday 10th MayPub Lunch - Woodman's Arms, Angmering (John Penny)
Thursday 24th MaySpeaker - 'Environmental Health' at The White Swan (Bob Tanner)
Thursday 14th JunePub Lunch - Ship and Anchor, Ford (David Fiest)
Thursday 28th JuneSpeaker - 'St. Wilfred's Hospice' at The White Swan (Mandy)
Thursday 12th JulySkittles The Spur, Slindon (Terry Hardeman)
Thursday 26th JulySpeaker - 'Scams & Fraud' at The White Swan (Police)
Thursday 9th AugustPub Lunch - Angmering Manor (David Tippett)

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

Recent Events

The Samaritans

A talk to Arundel Probus by a Volunteer from Worthing Samaritans

The Facts

Founded in 1953 it now has 201 branches in the UK & has 21000 trained Volunteers and is a registered Charity.


This is a 24 hours a day (7 days a week) service to provide “Emotional Support” to anyone who has emotional distress. The vast majority of the help offered is by the telephone...however with the ever changing World 198 of the branches can offer help by E mail.

Their PR image is that everything that they do is..confidential.= very important. Only in rare situations do they go out to meet a client face to face....but their office in Worthing is open to visitors ....and 420 people walked in to it last year.

In 2016 their Worthing office received 29000 phone calls! All calls to it are on a no charge basis.

The volunteers are trained to..listen and listen..calls are not cut off...they just continue to listen....i.e no time limit.

They operate in teams of protect themselves from getting emotional ...they hear so many 'sad cases'.

They visit Hospitals and Surgeries, work with National Rail and Even Gatwick Airport... in effect are a very important service ......akin to Outreach.

Volunteers are not easy to find. ..4 hour shifts listening to other people`s problems ..... is a challenge....

Some of the problems are easier to deal with...someone to listen to your problem ....other problems are ...a call of last resort

Their service saves hundreds...maybe even thousands of lives a year.

Report by Tony Reynolds FCIM - 24th March 2018

Noel Coward

A talk to Arundel Probus by Mark Perry Nash
An ACTOR talking about an ACTOR/Writer

Mark Nash is an Historian…a speaker on over 30 subjects….some about History ..some about Famous people…some about politics. Reading both History and Religion at university, he has a vast range of talks which he has presented for more 20 years.

Today`s talk was about Noel Coward….a most unusual & highly talented “character” who strode the stage for 74 years. Noel…born in 1899 ,in Teddington,…. to a family who had very little income.. So one might ask how he created the voice and style of a high society “TOff”. Aged 7 he appeared in many amateur concerts. His voice, we were told, was as the result of him having to speak clearly and firmly to his very deaf Grandma. He attended, as a child, a dance Academy and made his first appearance on stage aged 11. He had seen an advert in the Daily Mirror looking for a “talented boy” to appear in an all children “Fairy” play called The Goldfish.

It was in his teens that he was introduced to High Society which formed the basis for many of his plays… He was very successful as a playwright, writing more than 50 plays…many of which he appeared in . He composed 100`s of songs and wrote volumes of short stories.

At the outbreak of World War 2 he volunteered for the Army and initially worked for the UK Secret Service running a Propaganda operation in Paris ..aimed at persuading the USA to help the UK war effort But…Then Churchill ,recognizing Noel`s ability to bring hope and cheer to UK audiences, persuaded Noel to return to what he did best….singing happy songs and creating entertaining which he often starred.

His songs & plays again grew in popularity in the fast moving “swinging” 1950`s 1960`s & 1970`s Noel was knighted in 1969….and his plays are still regularly seen on the London stage.

Just a few of his plays:

  • Where the Rainbow Ends
  • An Autumn Idyll
  • A little fowl play
  • Italia Conti
  • London Pride
  • In Which e serve
  • Design for living
  • Blithe Spirit
  • Hay Fever
  • Peter Pan
  • Bitter Sweet
  • Private Lives
  • Mad Dogs & English Men

Report by Tony Reynolds 26/2/18

Lavender Farming

The story…

This is a story of a Dairy Farmer who had 180 cows and yet found it impossible to make a living selling milk. His farm was set in glorious countryside….just a few miles north west of Chichester.

This is very much the 'story of modern farming in the UK'. So like so many farmers he was left with no choice but to rethink his whole operation.

Really a classic Marketing Strategy review.

With only a small farm there was no way that he could complete with the 'big farmers'. He needed to grow something that was unusual and not so price sensitive.

He concluded that he had to ….get out of the food growing business…a decision being taken by so many UK Farmers today. With Eastern Europe`s low overheads & low cost wages…and the 'euro land' ever expanding regulations…resulted in imports from Eastern Europe undercutting the UK grown prices …..he had to …stop being a 'traditional English Farmer'.

A SAD STORY…another 'genuine English' food source lost…. But it has turned out well…for him.

He sold his cows…..and decided to diversify…and get out of the 'food creating. The new & exciting idea was to …… HOW to make a living out of just 4 acres.

Now he produces a product that is grown without fertilizers or pesticides…that is a haven for wildlife…at least 12 different 'Red listed' birds... including Skylarks and Owls…as well as Mice, Moles, Hares , Rabbits and many others. Including Bumble Bees and many other insects.

His Farm is now ..rated as a quality conservation farm.

Growing a quality product


The best quality Lavender is 'Mailette' from France…The hot dry climate of Provence ideal for growing top quality lavender and so is sunny Sussex.

He planted the first crop in 2002, using …'borrowing'… local farmer`s cauliflower planting machine. Initially he bought 25 thousand 'plugs' of lavender……and with the help of his family …that part of Sussex changed it`s colour.…to 4 acres of purple.

The crop is harvested just once a year…in late summer.

As usual the Eastern European countries produce large quantities of lavender but their's is a quantity product rather than Andrew`s quality range..Producing just a modest quantity each year…not even as much fuel...…that the average car takes to fill it`s tank just once….he needed to concentrate on Quality and not to try and compete with the 'quantity' producers…..Now even China has started to grow and export Lavender oil. So the next step in his Marketing plan was not only to offer quality ..but to offer variety….ie …sell the difference..

The next question whom should he sell it..Who was his targeted market.

It became obvious that with just a small amount of land that he could not complete on volume or price. So the plan was to offer a wide range…nicely packed..sold direct to the User…This meant that the best 'outlet' for his ever widening range was…Famers Markets

….His plan is to…Sell Quality …and offer Specially formulations (for different usages) So Farmers Markets now is his targeted market.

Basically a classic Marketing Strategy …..his plan would make an ideal teaching example re Marketing..for Schools and Universities

His whole family run this business. A 'TEAM'
Growing a quality product …to be proud of …and 'conserving nature'

Report by Tony Reynolds FCIM

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