History of the Probus Club

Probus clubs were created for retired or semi-retired business or professional people. The movement operates on a worldwide scale.

The Probus club movement was formed in the United Kingdom in 1965. The Probus movement had its beggininings in two clubs, bothe were created by Rotary Club members. In 1965, Fred Carnill, a member of the Welwyn Garden City Rotary Club, met other retired friends for morning coffee, mostly ex-commuters to London, with professional and business backgrounds. From this, he launched the Luncheon club. The Rotary Club president arranged the first meeting and 45 men attended. This club was known as 'Te Campus Club', the name deriving from the fact that the meeting place was facing the center of town, 'The Campus'.

The Rotary District took up the scheme with the result that Rotary International, Britain and Ireland published a leaflet about the idea to encourage other Rotary Clubs to sponsor a similar club. The Probus Club was conceived by three businessmen traveling to London by train. The three were reaching the point of retirement and realised that they had a need for a fellowship and presented the idea to the Rotary Club.

The members of the Rotary Club Vocational Service committee decided to organise a monthly lunch. In February 1966, a meeting was advertised for all retired professional and businessmen aged 60 and over. 42 men turned up. A monthly lunch was arranged, at which the Rotary Club president took the chair until the club had formed its own rules and committee. The inaugural luncheon of the first Probus Club in the United Kingdom was on the 2nd March 1966.

The name 'Probus' was suggested by a member who first took the first three letters from 'PROfessional and BUSiness'. This was also a latin word from which 'probity' is derived.


History behind Tavistock, The Abbey, and The Bedford Hotel

Tavistock and The Bedford Hotel is steeped in great history. The hotel itself is built on the remains of Benedictine Abbey in Tavistock. The abbey was given its Royal Charter in 1105. The town was built on this historic landmark. The only parts of the Abbey that remain are the tower, the refectory, two arches, and the gateway which all surround the Bedford Hotel.

The Abbey was badly damaged by the Vikings in 997AD for which is was restored back to its historic glory. The restoral process took a lot of hard work from local workers as well as Ordulf, The Earl Of Devon, whose father was responsible for establishing the Abbey in the first place.

Ordulf helped feed the workers with bread, clotted cream and jam preserves which was when the Devon cream tea was born. According to historic manuscripts, monks of Tavistock's Benedictine Abbey are to thank for creating the 'Devon Cream Tea' which we all love and are famous for, all over the country.

The Bedford Hotel has over 200 years of rich history. Not only is it built on top of the remains of one of the most famous Abbeys in the UK, but Jeffery Wyatt was appointed as architect to construct the hotel, who was responsible for the transformation of Windsor Castle in 1824.

The inn, as it was at the time, was first noted in 1719 under Wyatt's help and transformed into the Bedford Hotel which was completed in 1822. The luxurious ballroom was added in 1830.

To read more about the Bedford Hotel, visit their official website right here.