Monday, 01 March 2021

Henley Probus Club

AT the July meeting held at Badgemore Park Golf Club, the chairman welcomed members and guests and told them about a coach trip to Bruges in late September with the Henley (men’s) Probus Club.

She then introduced the speaker, Mark Harling, the chief inspector for neighbourhood police in South Oxfordshire.

Mark, who was born and bred in Henley, joined Thames Valley Police in 1988 and worked in various departments as he forged his career.

He described how different things were years ago with no mobile phones or computers, only fax machines.

South Oxfordshire has the largest non-metropolitan police force in the country, covering 260 square miles.

Thames Valley Police has 4,000 police officers, 500 community police officers and 200 clerical staff.

Mark said the public did not always see what went on behind the scenes, for example when there was a major terrorist incident in the country, all police forces put into action certain preventative measures.

He gave us examples of the variety of calls they might receive over 24 hours.

This was a very informative and at times humorous talk that was very well received judging by the amount of questions which followed.

Just over 20 years ago a group of Henley ladies established their own Probus Club following the example of the men. This has developed into a thriving lunch club open to all ladies of retirement age.

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at Badgemore Park Golf Club and the aim of the club is to promote good fellowship. In the morning there is a talk of general interest on a wide variety of subjects. This is followed by a drink and a chat and a two-course lunch.

New members are always welcome. For more information, please call Marion Whitaker on (01491) 628629 or email her at

The next meeting will be on Thursday, August 10 at 10.30am for 11am, when Valerie Alasia will talk about the history of Townlands Hospital and the Henley workhouse.

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