Hampton Probus started life in 1995. Founder member Terry Finney wrote:
“In January 1995 I returned to the UK and settled down into our house in Amberley which we had purchased in 1988. We did not really know anyone in the village but gradually made some acquaintances through the Church and local organisations. One of these was the late Roy Gardner, who, together with his wife Margaret, formed a couple who to me seemed to know everyone and everything about Amberley and its environs. Shortly after meeting Roy he broached the subject of Probus. I had never heard of such an organisation but became interested when he said that they usually went out for lunch after their twice monthly meetings. I said I would consider it and let him know my answer. Roy was at this time either President, or a Past President of the Minchinhampton Probus. I must have looked a suitable candidate as I was then visited by Reg Acock of Houndscroft who was then also some official at the Probus.
I must confess that after showing initial interest I forgot all about it immersed in trying to get the house and garden up to scratch. However, a few months later Roy told me that as the waiting list for the Probus was over 20, he and Reg had decided to try to get another Probus started using the waiting list people as founder members.
This was why I think 18 people met in Minchinhampton on 1 June 1995, Roy and Reg explained matters and asked those attending if they wished to start up their own Probus apart from the established one in Minchinhampton. We agreed to do this and then Roy called for volunteers for the various posts and then proposed me as President. No one objected to this but I was somewhat embarrassed as I knew very few people in the room. However, we thanked Roy and Reg and off they went and left us to sort things out!
This was not too difficult as it was a good team with myself, Chris Pearson, Paul Haslam, Ken Thomas and Ed Morley forming the committee and we could always call on Alan Brown, (a member of the other Probus who joined us also). We decided to have the minimum of rules and regulations and to meet on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. We were initially Minchinhampton Probus II but we did not like this and soon, after a lot of deliberation and suggestions , we became Hampton Probus, meeting in the Porch Rooms. We now meet in the Cotswold Club.
We adopted much of the format of the other Probus but we have always been less formal. We also thought that changing officials each year was too much and so we opted for two year tours of duty.”
After twenty-eight years, Hampton Probus is thriving and some founder members are still with us but there has also been a steady influx of new and younger members. All previous Presidents have influenced the development of our events and proceedings and Ed Morley set an early example of how to record minutes and details of the speakers!