This page will have all of the written reports that have been generated on topic discussions and topics of interest.

Posted by TPC-ADMIN on October 27, 2018

Dartmoor Archaeology

Tavistock Probus Club enjoyed Dartmoor Guide Simon Dell’s presentation on Dartmoor archaeology when he visited this month at the Bedford Hotel. Simon has visited the Club on a number of occasions and always proves to be a popular and erudite speaker.
Simon explained about the basics of Archaeology relating to the National Park within a national picture and included all the major features such as Hut Circles, Stone Rows and Granite crosses as well as specific sites of interest such as Merrivale and Grimspound. The recent excavation of the Whitehorse Hill chamber was also detailed with interesting images of the site as well as a wealth of photographs all around the moorland area. He then put it all into a chronological timescale from Palaeolithic right up through to the Bronze Age and on to modern day 21st century archaeology.
Tony Smith gave a vote of thanks and complimented Simon on his knowledge and clarity, which made for a greatly enjoyable and easily understood presentation. The presentation was complemented by a collection of flint arrowheads, axes and bronze artefacts etc which the members enjoyed looking at. Of great interest was the recent surveying of Tavistock’s ‘Trendle’ near Mount Kelly School which involved modern and scientific methods of ground penetrating LIDAR technology which had unearthed previously-unknown features which are being analysed at this present time.

Posted by TPC-ADMIN on October 27, 2018

Sea Cruises

Probus Club Speakers Secretary, David Denton, gave an illustrated talk to the Club at its recent well-attended meeting. The talk, entitled ‘This Cruising Life’ made use of the large number of photographs which David had taken during several cruises and sought to highlight some of the interesting and unusual places the voyages visited.
David and his late wife Phillippa started cruising after their retirement and have visited many unusual places around the world. In addition to the photographs, David was able to give the history and background to the places highlighted which included the Panama Canal, Egypt, Petra, Salalah in Oman, the Taj Mahal and the north east coast of the USA. Of particular interest to some members of the Club were the world’s first nuclear missile armed submarine in New York and a World War II corvette in Halifax, Nova Scotia. David was also able to describe in detail being on board MS Balmoral when it was chased by pirates in the Gulf of Aden who got within 300 metres of the ship before excellent ship handling by the Captain prevented them attempting to board.

Posted by TPC-ADMIN on June 19, 2017

Tavistock Probus Club Celebrate Their 25th Anniversary

A CELEBRATION lunch was held in the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the town’s Probus Club.

The occasion was held in the hotel’s Gallery 26 restaurant and attended by the Mayor of Tavistock and the president of Tavistock Rotary.

The Rev Michael Lapage said grace, and two founder members, Malcolm Gore and David Kettle, proposed ’The Loyal Toast’ and ’The Trafalgar Day toast’.

Tavistock mayor Cllr Harry Smith praised Tavistock Probus Club for its long record of enriching the life of Tavistock and in response, the chairman Tony Dunk said that the club is a happy and joyful group, a sentiment echoed by all members present.

Tony Everett brought greetings from Tavistock Rotary and wished the Probus Club well.

Anyone interested in Probus can contact the secretary on 01822 615669.

To view the actual article in the Tavistock Times Gazette, follow this link.

Posted by TPC-ADMIN on June 8, 2017

Dartmoor Rescue

We are lucky to live in the stunningly beautiful national park of Dartmoor, but with that dramatic landscape comes danger, be it mist, heavy rain, bogs, severe injury or simply losing one’s way. Dartmoor Rescue is ready to come to our aid, day or night throughout the year.

James Metcalf FRCS is a badged member of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue team skilled in swift water rescue and a member of the “Hasty” team – they carry out searches on foot at high-speed! James gave members a very interesting account of all the services which Dartmoor Rescue can and do offer. This includes: finding people who are lost or injured, administering first aid, getting people to a place of safety, providing safety cover for large events such as Ten Tors and giving talks on mountain safety. The training of team members is demanding and usually lasts 6 to 12 months. Most important are navigation skills, first aid, local knowledge, use of communications equipment, off-road driving and assistance of helicopters. They also work closely with the police.

Dartmoor Rescue is a vital local service and is a charity, relying on the generosity of the local population to cover its operational costs. Members are volunteers and can be called out to help at any time, day or night. The teams are supplemented by some very important members – the search dogs. Dartmoor Rescue has used the services of two spaniels, an Aberdeen pinscher, and two collies. They would love to have a St Bernard.

Peter Brinsden gave the Vote of Thanks saying how much we are grateful to volunteers like James who give up their time and safety to go out and rescue people. In July, we hold our Club Lunch in the Bedford Hotel. Tavistock Probus Club is always pleased to welcome new members.

If you would like more information or a complimentary invitation to one of our talks, please have a word with our secretary on 01822 615669.

Posted by TPC-ADMIN on May 8, 2017


Our talk this month was given by Ted Sherrell who, for 40 years, was a Tavistock Councillor, 30 years a Justice of the Peace and, for very many years, a journalist at the Tavistock Times and Gazette. Ted entertained members with reminiscences of his working life as a journalist.

The Tavistock Gazette was founded in 1857 followed by The Tavistock Times in 1920 and throughout their early years, the two newspapers ran as separate titles. Ted joined the staff of the Times in 1959 as a sub-reporter. In those days, the newspaper was printed on site. Both newspapers were crucial to Tavistock as a source of local news, events and the activities of the town’s organisations. In 1977, the owner and editor of the Tavistock Gazette invited Ted to switch sides and join his newspaper.

The Times was owned by The Mirror Group and was used as a training ground for novice journalists. Ted surprised members by saying that one of those novices was Alastair Campbell and that he worked in Tavistock in the 1980s before returning to The Mirror in London.

In 1987, Ted helped set up the Tavistock Clarion but this venture was not the success he had hoped for and in 1991 Ted returned to the Times where he is, to this day, writing his own very popular column.

Ray Hurle gave the vote of thanks describing Ted as a wonderful character both in his talks and his many books. Tavistock Probus Club is always pleased to welcome new members. 

If you would like more information or a complimentary invitation to one of our Tavistock Probus Club talks, please have a word with our secretary on 01822 615669.