About Us

What is a Probus Club?

A Probus Club is a local association of retired and semi-retired professional and business people, and others who have had some measure of responsibility in any field of worthy endeavour, who are of good character and respected in their communities.

The name ‘Probus Club’ originated with the first club formed by the Caterham Rotary Club. The name was derived from the words PROfessional and BUSiness and has a comfortable association with the word ‘Probity’.

Clubs meet regularly for fun, social activities and fellowship, and an extension of their interests.

Each club is autonomous and chooses its own rules and regulations. Some clubs meet weekly, some monthly, some twice a month. Some have coffee mornings with guest speakers, some have lunches or dinners. Most organise day trips and holidays to which partners and friends may be invited if the club so chooses.

Each club elects its own officers, typically a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and membership secretary.

PROBUS is not a fund-raising organisation.

There are over 2,000 Probus clubs in the UK, and many thousands more internationally.

History of the Crowborough Probus Club

The Probus Club of Crowborough was established at around 9pm on Thursday the 16th of April 1987 at a meeting organised and chaired by Bill Pickering, the Chairman of the Activities Committee of the Crowborough Rotary Club. He told the 10 other people at the meeting that the Crowborough Rotary Club was willing to sponsor the formation of a Probus Club in Crowborough and to make available a donation of £25 to help with it.

At that time several Rotary Clubs were sponsoring the formation of Probus clubs – in part so their retired members would have another club to join!

Two of the most active of the 11 at that auspicious meeting had both been members of the recently formed Tunbridge Wells Probus Club and so they brought with them lots of enthusiasm and knowledge. One, Jim Nicholson, was elected as the Club’s first President, with the other, Ken Dowling, as its first Secretary.

The Club met monthly at the Winston Manor Hotel and then in 1988 moved to the Plough and Horses Public House.

Our membership outgrew this venue and in 2016 we moved to the Barnsgate Manor. When this closed in 2020 we moved to our current venue, the Crowborough Rugby Football Club at Steel Cross. In February 2021 our membership criteria changed to include both men and women, and the most recent notable change occurred a year later when we relaxed our dress code to ‘smart casual’ for all monthly lunches except our key annual President and Christmas lunches. Finally, it is important to note that the management of the Club is shared amongst our members and is currently as shown in the Club Committee listing below.

The Crowborough Probus Club today

The members of the Crowborough Probus Club meet monthly for lunch at the Crowborough Rugby Club 12.30 for 1.00 pm on the second Thursday of the month. The meetings usually last for about two and a half hours often with a speaker. Members may bring prospective members, guests, or visitors by prior agreement with the Luncheon Secretary. In total around 150 people are in regular contact with the Club. These are the members, associate members, members’ spouses and partners, widows, friends, and senior life members.

The Club has a committee which organises both the monthly lunches and a series of monthly events and outings throughout the year, some of which are shown in the pictures below.

The Clubs Committee

In April every year the Club holds its Annual General Meeting and elects its officials to hold office for the following 12 months. Most officials hold two or more positions. The current officials are as follows.

PresidentMel Parsons
Immediate Past PresidentBob Bruce
Vice PresidentTom Waldron
SecretaryPhilip Spicer
TreasurerJohn Bokor-Ingram
CommitteeJudith Donald, Lawrence Muffett, Graham Hughes, Tom Waldron
Membership SecretaryBob Bruce
Assistant TreasurerJohn Paremain
Luncheon SecretaryChris Rapley
Minute SecretaryRobin Streatfield
AlmonerGraham Bucksey
Risk AssessorTony Connorton
Speaker’s SecretaryMel Parsons
Newsletter EditorTom Waldron
Lunch PaymentsDavid Martin
AuditorGraham Hughes
Monthly Lunch RafflesTom Waldron
Probus Club SalesVic Humphrey
Public RelationsTerry Mason
ArchivistBob Bruce
Website AdministratorsBob Bruce, Philip Spicer, David Wyld
Crowborough Probus