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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.