GOLDEN VALLEY PROBUS CLUB
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ABOUT US - what we are, who we are + what we do

 

The Club's formal name is 'The Golden Valley Probus Club, Herefordshire'. We are a Club for retired & semi-retired professional and business-men who live in or near the beautiful Golden Valley in Herefordshire. If you do not know the area well then you may find some of the sites linked to on the Links page to be useful and some of the photos linked to from the Gallery page to be interesting (perhaps starting with Where are we?).

We are a small but active group of men and have a wide range of Activities including Monthly Meetings, Outings, and Annual Events. Whilst our Monthly Meetings are all-male, we invite partners & friends to all other events (apart from the Christmas Lunch which, in effect, replaces the Monthly Meeting for December). We even invite members of those local women's groups who never (or only very rarely) invite men to their events! Our participation rate is high such that, when there are coach-seat limits, we sometimes have to restrict the number of people who can attend certain events. We see that as evidence of the genial atmosphere that prevails and of the friendly welcome that is offered to all guests.

Information shown below
History of the Club
More about us
Activities
Joining the Club

History of the Club

The Club was formed in October 1999 in recognition of the fact that, whilst local women had (for example) the Womens Institute & Womens Guild to support their general social needs, there was not a forum for retired & semi-retired professional & business men in South-West Herefordshire. The Founding Members followed the example of many other groups of men and set up this Probus Club to provide a forum for men who have in common a wish to meet from time-to-time with others who have a similar approach to Life.

Links to sites where more information can be found on the activities of Probus in the UK are given on our Links page. You may see reference to the fact that some Probus Clubs are linked to the Rotary Movement. Ours is not; it is fully autonomous. Indeed, we view with some amusement (albeit also with some despair) when people think that we must have something to do with Rotary, the Masons, or whatever. We have nothing against such organisations but we are very different! Whereas many Probus Clubs are quite formal, ours is quite relaxed & informal.

More about us

We have numbered in the early/mid-40s for some years. The Club is managed by a Committee whose members are shown on the Contact page. Through our Monthly Meetings and other activities (see below), we usually have at least 2 events going on every month. We are presently seeking to build 'friendly connections' with some other Probus Clubs, both inside and outside the UK.

We ask nothing of our Members except that they:
- pay an annual subscription (currently £30 a year: this may be reduced for people who join the Club part-way through the year);
- make an effort to attend at least some of our Monthly Meetings and other activities; and
- take their turn to be responsible for arranging a Speaker at a Monthly Meeting (normally once every 3-4 years; as reported here, assistance with this can be provided if needed).
About 75% of our Members come regularly to our Monthly Meetings whilst about a third come regularly to our Outings (another third or so coming occasionally), many bringing a partner or friend.

Whilst all of our Members have had professional or business-oriented careers (broadly defined), they come from a wide range of backgrounds and between them have had a wide range of experiences. This helps ensure that the talks/presentations at our Monthly Meetings generate real interest & entertainment - though, in common with other Probus Clubs, we like to avoid discussions on potentially-divisive subjects such as Politics and Religion! We are very pleased that the Club makes such a positive contribution to the social life of many of its Members and their Friends/Guests.

Some references to our Constitution and the way in which we manage our affairs are made on our Contact page.

Activities

Our activites fall under the following categories. Details of future activities are given on the Notices page whilst details of past outings are given on our Archives page.

Monthly Meetings   We meet every month, except December, in the Functions Room (upstairs) at The Temple Bar Inn (Ewyas Harold HR2 0EU, 01981-240423), normally on the 4th Tuesday of the month although that is subject to adjustment when there are Bank Holidays around that time or there is a clash with another activity. These meetings are normally well attended, with 70-80% of the Members being present. The meetings start at 10.30am but most people arrive 15-30 minutes earlier for a chat and some tea or coffee plus a biscuit or two. The meetings start with the Business of the Day, with notices normally reported by the Club President + Club Secretary + Treasurer + Visits Secretaries. Then comes the main part of the meeting: a talk/presentation which normally lasts 40-60 minutes, leaving time at the end for questions, aiming to have the meeting closed shortly before 12 noon. [For more on the talks, see the Speakers page.] After the meeting, lunch is held in the Inn's Restaurant (downstairs). Normally, about half of those who attend the Meeting stay for the lunch.
Outings   There are normally 6-9 Outings each year and we try to ensure that there is an Outing in months when there is not an Annual or Special Event. Some Outings involve Members (and their Guests) travelling independently to the venue, others involve people sharing a coach, and others combine both. Most years, at least one of the Outings is to a local farm.
Lunch Club   We have a Lunch together at a nearby hostelry every 3 months or so, normally on a Sunday. As always, Guests are very welcome.
Annual Events   Most years we have a Pub Skittles Competition (normally January), a Golf Day at the Burghill Valley Golf Club (normally May), and a Ladies Night (normally August). These are all normally very well attended with many Guests joining the Members. In December we have a Christmas Lunch which is also well attended though, as that takes the place of a Monthly Meeting that month, it is 'Members Only'.
Minibreaks   In recent years we have arranged a Minibreak out of the county, if not out of the country, normally in early September just after the grandchildren have gone back to school. A list of previous destinations is shown on the main Archive page whilst reports on the more recent trips are given in the Gallery. The trip normally lasts for 5 days or so with Members and their Guests travelling together by coach, staying all/most of the nights in one hotel, and enjoying a number of day-trips around the relevant area.

A note on the venues used by the Club for its Monthly Meetings is given in the Location section of the Contact page. Information on what the Club has done in the past is given in the Archive. Information on what the Club has planned for the future is given on the Notices page.

Joining the Club

Membership of the Club is open to "professional and business men who have fully or partially retired". For this purpose, "professional and business" has not been formally defined. It is normally interpreted generously. However, membership is normally limited to people who are no longer committed to work full-time, who are interested in participating in at least some of our meetings & events, and who either live in the Golden Valley in Herefordshire or live close enough to that valley to enable them to attend at least some of our meetings & events. Applicants are normally aged at least 60 but that is not a requirement of our Constitution so being (a bit) younger than 60 is not a barrier to entry.

Anyone who is interested in joining the Club would be welcome to attend a Meeting or Event to see for himself what we are made of. The only proviso to this is that he must first obtain an invitation from an existing Member to do so. If you are new to the area, you are welcome to contact any Committee Member and invite him to a local hostelry (or other place of mutual convenience) where you may talk with him about the Club. Application to join the Club will be considered only after attendance at 2 Monthly Meetings, which gives current Members opportunity to see the applicant as well as allowing the applicant to see the Club 'in action'. Applications have to be sponsored by a current Member, seconded by another current Member, and accepted by the Committee. That acceptance is often provided by open confirmation or acknowledgement at one of our Monthly Meetings.

 

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