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Club run by members for members goes from strength to strength

Judy Brown

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Whaley Bridge Whaley Bridge Probus Club White Hart Walter Hyde

Whaley Bridge Probus Club is a companionable group of retired and semi-retired men from Whaley and surrounding areas. ‘We’re a sociable crew with wide-ranging interests and a warm welcome for anyone who’d like to come along,’ says club secretary Walter Hyde. 

Members meet at 10.15am on alternate Wednesday mornings at the White Hart in Whaley Bridge. ‘There’s coffee and a talk from a visiting speaker, then we usually carry on putting the world to rights at the bar. Talks can cover just about anything, apart from religion or politics. Last year we had topics as diverse as advances in heart surgery, Peak District rambles, breeds of dog, the American Civil War and prison service careers.’ 

Members also arrange car or coach trips. Recently they toured the Toyota factory at Burnaston and the JCB plant near Uttoxeter, visited the Manchester United stadium and Bury’s Fusilier Museum, went on a canal trip to inspect the Anderton Boat Lift, rode the East Lancashire Railway and, further afield, enjoyed a day at Beamish and a weekend at Whitby. 

‘Sometimes we bring our wives or partners,’ admits Walter, a trifle reluctantly. ‘We do invite the ladies to our occasional club lunches and the Christmas dinner. But Probus clubs were originally founded to encourage fellowship among like-minded men, and we’re comfortable with that. Besides, our wives are generally delighted to have us “out from under” now and then. The White Hart is easily accessible so it makes a warm friendly place to spend a morning.’

Whaley Bridge Probus Club began in 1973 to bring together retired professional or business men with time on their hands. But, as Walter says, ‘We don’t go in for labels like that these days. Today’s members come with all sorts of life experiences and all sorts of interests. Fees are nominal and the club is run for members by members. We’d like more to join us, and everyone is welcome.’ 

For more information, call Walter Hyde on 01663 733607 or chairman John Keens on 732543, or drop in at the White Hart on a Wednesday morning.