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Nearly 100 members and their guests celebrated the50th anniversary of the establishment of the Club at a lunch in the Court Yard Hotel last Thursday. The Club first met at then Rose and crown on 17th October 1968 when it was decided to call it “The Retired Executives Club of Knutsford” or as it became known “The Rex Club”.
The subscription was set at £1 per annum plus 2s 6d per person to cover coffee and biscuits ! It was also decided to meet twice a month on Thursdays at 11.00 to 12.30. This was later changed to 10.30 to allow more time for discussion – and so it remains today.
Although it always considered itself to be a professional businessman’s club it was not until 1996 that Probus was fully included in the official name.
It has always had varied interests for its members including a bowls section from an early stage, walks, discussion groups, bridge, golf and IT sections as well as social events like annual holidays in the UK and lunches for members and their wives.
At the last meeting Anthony Whitworth and Scott Martin reported on the successful holiday York which attracted 34 members and their wives. They had guided tours of the Minster and the city as well as a cruise on the Ouse. Barri Dodgson was even given permission to play the organ in the Chapel of the west wing of Castle Howard. Richard Fenby and Brian Williams , who organised the holiday, were presented with boxes of wine in appreciation of their efforts.
The speaker at the meeting was Chris Holden who described the story of “The Royal Charter”, a steam clipper which was wrecked off the beach of Porth Alerth in Dulas Bay on the north-east coast of Anglesey on 26th October 1859. the ship was completing its fifth trip from Australia to Liverpool and most of it near 500 passengers were coming back from Ballarat and its Gold Rush and had plenty of gold in their belongings.
From Storm Force 10 the winds increased to Hurricane Force 12 as the ship moved from Holyhead in an attempt to complete its journey to Liverpool. Two anchors were dropped but they were snapped off and the ship was driven towards the rocks above a sandy beach where she went aground. A total of 41were saved but more than 450 lost their lives as huge waves battered the ship against the rocks until she broke up.
Over the years gold sovereigns, pistols and many personal items have been found by scuba divers in the area and one prospector from Norfolk found a gold nugget in 2012 that was about 40 metres from the site of the The Royal Charter wreck.