Club News

April 2022

Annual General Meeting

Ladies Take the Reins.

Wokingham Probus Club was founded over 50 years ago, part of a worldwide network of clubs for retired professional and business men.

Times have moved on and most clubs now welcome lady members, the Wokingham Club has been “mixed” since 2018. The Club is now officially for retired and professional business people.

Since 2018 membership has grown and ladies have taken their place on our committee.  Following our AGM on 6th April we now have a new Chair, Val Briault, Rosie Smith as Secretary and Pauline Williams as Social Secretary. Ladies in key positions leading us forth into 2022.

May 2022


At our monthly meeting in May we were treated to the fascinating history of photography. This was the story of cameras and film from their primitive technical beginnings, evolving to mass produced universal consumer products.

Our speaker was Tony Earle who had spent 40 years of his working life working for Kodak at their factory in Harrow. He is indeed an expert on the technical and commercial sides of the business.

Tony traced the early beginnings of various photo processes, through Calotypes, Daguerreotypes, wet plates and dry plates eventually producing cellulose film for virtually universal use by the non-professional public.

George Eastman who had been making photographic dry plates since 1880 founded Kodak in Rochester, New York state in 1889 and quickly followed this by establishing a presence in the UK at Harrow in 1891.

The Kodak “Box Brownie” of the 1900 created a new mass market for photography and Eastman was a consummate advertising man, coining the phrase “you press the button, we do the rest”

Tony recounted the progress of the Kodak in the UK through the twentieth century taking in colour pictures and instant cameras until the factory’s closure in 2016 when digital cameras had long replaced film in the mass market.

Tony’s talk was spiced by amusing anecdotes and well illustrated by numerous slides. He also brought along his own collection of cameras of bygone years which sparked a little nostalgia as well as technical interest. All in all an entertaining presentation about a former household name whose products now concentrate on business equipment.

Lunch Payments

Due to rising costs in the catering business, our lunch fee had to be increased to £22 with effect from 5th January 2022. This does include a gratuity to the Hotel staff. Please note that we can no longer accept cash payments for lunch. Please pay by bank transfer, cheque or bank card. You will be asked your preferred payment method on arrival at the lunch.  Those wanting to provide cheques should give them to the treasurer to save on postage.

Membership Enquiries

Anyone interested in our Probus Club is welcome to attend a lunch and talk without obligation to join. But by prior arrangement with Club Secretary Rosie Smith, please, so that we can advise the caterer.  Rosie will also be happy to provide any further information about the Club which is open to both men and women members.

Rosie Smith – e-mail