Wok­ing­ham PROBUS Club

The Wokingham Paper - - SOCIETY - DAVID HUNTER

WOK­ING­HAM PROBUS Club mem­bers meet­ing at John

Nike Cen­tre, Brack­nell, on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 1, were en­thralled by a tale from club mem­ber Tony We­ston on his de­tec­tive work around a piece of an­tique fur­ni­ture.

Tony ex­plained that when an an­tique writ­ing box in­her­ited from his grand­mother was sent for restora­tion a cache of house­hold bills and let­ters was found in a se­cret com­part­ment.

Th­ese doc­u­ments which dated from the lat­ter part of the 19th Cen­tury were put there by a well to do fam­ily in Not­ting­hamshire long be­fore the minia­ture desk came into Tony’s fam­ily.

From incomplete names and ad­dresses ‘Sher­lock’

Tony pieced to­gether the cir­cum­stances of the Scales fam­ily, all from Mrs Scales’ ac­counts with lo­cal trades­men. The fam­ily turned out to be prom­i­nent linen pro­duc­ers with a sub­stan­tial fac­tory in Newark and busi­ness con­nec­tions in Lon­don.

Once the iden­tity of this fam­ily had been re­vealed, the cen­sus re­turns and var­i­ous mu­seum searches were opened up. This cul­mi­nated in find­ing present day de­scen­dents of the Scales.

Tony’s talk gave a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight to late Vic­to­rian life. Wages and prices paid then were com­pared with their mod­ern day equiv­a­lents, ev­ery­thing from ba­con to corsets!

A most en­ter­tain­ing talk, much ap­pre­ci­ated by mem­bers and guests.

PROBUS is a meet­ing place for re­tired or semi-re­tired pro­fes­sional and busi­ness peo­ple who as­sem­ble monthly in an in­for­mal and friendly at­mos­phere for so­cial chat, a pleas­ant lunch and a talk on a gen­eral in­ter­est topic.

New mem­bers will be most wel­come. Fees are mod­est, lunches good value and the com­pany friendly with a wide range of ex­pe­ri­ences from their var­ied work­ing lives.

Meet­ings are on the first Wed­nes­day of the month at 12.30pm for 1pm lunch, with a talk usu­ally fol­low­ing. The meet­ing place is John Nike Leisure­s­port, John Nike Way, Brack­nell, R 12 8TN.

For more de­tails, please con­tact the Sec­re­tary, Cec Williams, by e-mail at pand­cec@ya­hoo.com.

Prospec­tive mem­bers will be most wel­come to come and meet us, by prior ar­range­ment please, and try us out without obli­ga­tion.

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