Probus was started in 1966 by members of Rotary who had identified a need for a club for retired or semi-retired people which was purely a fellowship organisation. The principle of such clubs was promoted by Rotary throughout the UK and overseas. By 2003 there were about 1800 Probus Clubs in the UK. The UK Clubs are each run by their own members with individual constitutions. There is no central organisation such as exists with Rotary or Lions etc. Most UK Clubs have between 40 and 100 members.
Tunbridge Wells Probus Club was formed in 1973, as the following extract from the Rotary Archive shows:
Minutes of Rotary Council Meeting at the Spa Hotel 25th April 1973
The first meeting of the Probus Club on 18th April had been successful. Approx 20 men had attended and heard a talk by Mr Leslie Crick of Sevenoaks. He thought that Rotarians Simmonds, Gibby and Evison had done a very capable job in forming the Probus Club and thanks were recorded.
Tunbridge Wells Probus Club currently has about 75 members. These have diverse backgrounds and careers, including Bankers, Engineers, Accountants, Farmers, Teachers and Doctors. Two of the regular monthly lunch meetings (in May and November) are Ladies Lunches where wives, partners and widows are invited.
The Club is run by a small committee of members headed by a President. The holder of the post of President changes each year. The other Committee Members such as Treasurer and Secretary may change each year but more typically are held for a few years by one member.
The Club has links with France via the Probus Club in Senlis.