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An introduction to our President
Born in 1951 in East London, the oldest of 4 children, the family gradually moved further east into Essex and I attended grammar school in Romford.
Having gained some A levels I went to university and whilst studying, did vacation work for a life assurance company in the City of London. After graduation I was employed by the life assurance company and attained my accounting qualification with them.
Following the strikes and blackouts of 1974 the company relocated to Salisbury and we moved with them.
My 2 sons were born in Salisbury but following various company buyouts and takeovers we eventually moved to Fareham in 1987 – although now working for the enlarged insurance company Aviva which did however still include my original life assurance company from London.
Whilst in Fareham we joined the Hill Head Sailing Club and pottered about in a GP14
Both sons were in a local scout group and both my wife and I got involved as helpers, committee members and treasurer and I still do the accounts for the troop scout section
On retirement from Aviva I was accepted as a magistrate – first sitting in Fareham and after closure of that court, then in Portsmouth.
I have been a member of Probus for a number of years, many on the committee as ‘minute’ secretary, then Vice President and now in 2023 as President
An Introduction to our Past President
Born 1939 in Karachi (India) to Scottish parents. Arrived in the UK in 1942/43 when my father was posted home. We lived at various RAF stations in the UK and when dad had another tour, in Egypt.
My family eventually took root in and around Blackpool where I attended a Secondary Modern School and eventually a Technical College where I gained a number of GCE’s.
These GCE’s were sufficient to allow me entry into the RAF as a RADAR mechanic and later as a fitter (engineer). My RAF career took me all around the UK and middle east working on aircraft and in the engineering workshops. I completed a tour in Germany after meeting and marrying my wife Eve who was at that time a member of the WRAF.
We had our first son in Germany and our second when we returned home. My final move in the forces was to RAF Boscombe Down where I first headed up a team to bring into service the MARTEL air to ground missile and when that was completed I moved to carry out RADHAZ testing on various aircraft and equipments.
After 22yrs service and the end of my career in the service, I obtained a job with the then ‘Plessey Assessment Services’ carrying out EMC testing and moved to our present address in Sarisbury Green.
My passion has always been the sea and we have owned a number of sailing yachts which we have cruised locally and to the near continent. Unfortunately, old age has meant progressing to a power boat, which at least keeps us on the water.
I have been a member of Probus for a number of years, many of these as Treasurer and lately as Vice President and now in 2022 as President.
Our most recent members
The photos above are from the New Members Welcome held on December 20th 2019, you can also find them in the Photos section of this website.
New members are asked to provide a short resume as well as doing a two minute introduction at their first Probus meeting as an ‘official member’
I am Tony Wills, born in Southampton and lived in Bassett and Chilworth.
In 1907 my grandparents had moved their family from London to Southampton where grandfather worked for shipbuilders John Thornycroft on the river Itchen. My father, the eldest child soon
My grandmother was an experienced laundress and in the 1920’sgrandparents and father acquired Mafeking Laundry Dyers &Cleaners Ltd, and established Atherley Dyers & Cleaners Ltd.In the early 1950’s my parents started Wills Dry Cleanery Ltd Fareham with receiving shops in locations from Portsmouth to Southampton. One was at Shore Road Warsash on the corner beneath
the clock tower by Roxby garage.
After boarding school, I started work in Winchester with Riley & Neate Ltd to design and build high voltage overhead power lines and substations and attended Southampton Technical College.
Following site experience, I sat the professional interview to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng) Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE). After study in 1977 I gained a Diploma in
Management Studies (DMS) from Portsmouth University. In 1980 I was elected a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management
In my career I have been designer, contractor, client and consultant.
Designer with Gifford & Partners for the Elephant & Castle Shopping
Centre. Contractor Tarmac for Pembroke Power Station, then Costain
London on 3 airports, Hong Kong Tunnel, a bypass and in 1970 flew
to Dubai to build the deep-water harbour and airport.
I was project manager for client English Property Corporation to build
a 60,000m 2 office development in Paris France.
Following another economic slump, work moved to design and build
process and pharmaceutical plants – Beechams, Boots & BP.
Commuting by air from Southampton, I rebuilt a storm damaged
holiday park in Jersey and built retirement flats in the Isle of Wight.
Vodaphone initiated the mobile phone network & I set up the first 100
sites across southern England for them in 1985.
In 1986 I spent 18 months in Jordan building a mini-Disney Park for
I established Antar Consulting and undertook planning applications.
Waste Management Licences also a soft drinks plant in Nigeria
among other projects. I retired in 2013.
My interests are music, reading, DIY, travel, sailing and walking.
I have an elder sister Christina, myself followed by our late brother
David senior partner of Southampton solicitors Pearce Harfield.
Emmanuel and Roe. Our younger brother John – retired Captain
Royal Navy marine engineer, served on HMY Britannia and was
appointed UK Defence and Naval Attaché Greece spanning the
Athens Olympics of 2004.
In 1975 I married Jeannie who sadly passed away in April 2022. We
have two children Piers and Alexandra and our beloved grandson
Noah. Because my parents had their business in Warsash we were
attracted to move here in 1975 and have remained ever since.
I am Chris Griffith. I moved from Birmingham to Southampton in 1989 with my wife Joanna and 3 children, Gemma, John, and Julia. We live in Glen Road Sarisbury Green.
I qualified as a podiatrist in 1972 working in the NHS at first. After 18 months I changed my career direction and was appointed a lecturer at the Birmingham School of Podiatry. I became responsible for running the appliance department within the school, and this led to me developing the first podiatric biomechanics course to be taught in the UK. This is the science of identifying problems with body alignment and muscle function, and then making corrections to improve posture and gait. Treatment is provided with exercise techniques and prescription of shoe inserts called ‘functional neutral foot orthoses’.
I took a post at the Wessex School of Podiatry at LSU here in Southampton as senior lecturer in 1989, soon to become Principal Lecturer and Podiatry Course Director for the new Podiatry BSc Hons degree. By 1995 I had become disillusioned with the machinations of senior education management, and with some regret and soul searching, decided to leave teaching and run my own private practice based in Andover.
It was not long before I leveraged my private practice by employing other trusted podiatrists to work in my practice while I developed specialist biomechanics, clinics in Chichester, Bracknell and Portishead working alongside other Musculo-Skeletal specialists. Then with my wife Joanna we established our own orthotics making facility. It was not long before we were not only making foot orthoses for my own work, but for other podiatrists in the South and 3 NHS trusts.
I joined a business group to promote the Andover podiatry practice further, and by chance became involved in the telecoms and energy industry, supplying phone services, broadband, and energy in an ethical way and at extremely competitive prices. Even though I was only doing this part-time I built up many domestic and business customers.
I am now retired from my podiatry career, but I continue to work parttime on the telecoms and energy side.
I am a keen fly fisher. I do a lot of DIY around the house and enjoy repairing things. When given the opportunity I crew for a friend on his sailing boat. I am a member of the Sarisbury Green Arts Society, Southampton West Ex-Round Tabler’s club. I volunteer for the Keeping Sarisbury Green Association, a local community gardening group
Unfortunately, I am more than a little accident prone, and I fall victim to various situations that are not always entirely of my own making. This has led to the accumulation of many personal anecdotes, but sadly time is too short for me to relate any of these to you today.
I have very much enjoyed meeting members of this group over the last few months, and I look forward to chatting with more of you during forthcoming meetings and events.
I was born in Southampton in 1940! brought up in Hamble and have lived in Locks Heath since 1966.
I attended at a private school in Southampton and left (no qualifications) to start an engineering apprenticeship at Air Service Training (AST) in Hamble. AST became Petters Ltd and I joined the Refrigeration Service Department, originally as a service engineer, left after 21 years as the Service Superintendent.
I then joined another Refrigeration Service company as Service Director, finally forming my own Refrigeration Service Company in 1989 and retiring in 2007.
Married to Sue since 1996, We have five adult children (Sue 3, Me 2) and a total of nine Grandchildren
Hobby’s include Travel, DIY projects, Art, a little golf, general household and gardening duties, and of course Grandchildren!
I am a Member of St Johns Church Locks Heath, Warsash Art Group, and various other interests including Freemasonry
I presented a talk in December 2021 to PROBUS in Titled “Untold Stories of Small Boats at War’
I was born on the 28th May 1941 and have lived in Southampton all my life. I have been married To Sandy for 58 years and we have three sons and five Grandsons.
I started as an apprentice at sixteen as a boat builder and I have been self-employed since I was twenty two. Always working on my tools, I formed Solent Kitchen Design Ltd in 1970 with Sandy running office and accounts and a showroom Manager responsible for final designs.
Initially with two ladies were employed drawing by hand but subsequently we moved on to use a Computer Aided Design (CAD) System.
Whilst I have always been responsible for Site Surveys, workshop and tradesmen, my oldest Son Davis and his wife run the Company.
My Leisure time has been spread over different interests, Fly Fishing, Skiing, Classic cars and Boating. (I have been a member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club for thirty years) and have spent time in the Northern Territories.
I was born in Dulwich Hospital in South London in 1956, andgrew up in and around Camberwell and Peckham. My early years were dominated by either playing or watching football. I lived next door to Dulwich Hamlet and the local professional club was Millwall, and I regularly visited both from a young age. My first job was as a Saturday assistant at Woolworths in Peckham. I went to the local grammar school, and then obtained a degree in business from South Bank Polytechnic. After a year living in a kibbutz in Israel, I went to Birmingham University and obtained a Master’s degree in Operational Research. More importantly I met my wife Ann whilst at Birmingham University.
My first graduate job was developing mathematical models of proposed defence systems for the Ministry of Defence, to establish their effectiveness before development. I then did similar work for a defence consultancy and then at British Aerospace. At British Aerospace I also became involved in supporting the procurement decision making process at the Ministry of Defence, using mathematical models of group decision making. This led to the setting up of a group decision making consultancy with a colleague, and together we helped support decision making groups in pharmaceuticals, chemicals and government agencies in the UK, US and Europe using keypads similar to that used for ‘ask the audience’ in ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’.
Six years later I had 2 young children and wanted to reduce my travelling and I joined Railtrack at the time of the railway privatisation. My job title was Passenger Charges Compilation Manager, and I was responsible for a group of analysts, accountants and software engineers to determine the cost of using the tracks by the new train operating companies. After a couple of years, I decided the newly privatised railway industry wasn’t for me, so I made my final career change in 1996, and joined the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in Information Systems and Project Management, and we moved from Farnborough to Whiteley, which was meant to be temporary. Eight years later I had completed my PhD and became Head of Department for Strategy and Business Systems, responsible for 50 lecturers and professors and 1200 students and their university experience. My last role at the University was Head of Postgraduate Programmes, which enabled me to travel to India, China, Africa and the Middle East to support recruitment of postgraduate students. I retired from the university in 2016.
Now, I still do a little work for the University, mainly supervising postgraduate dissertations, and I am alsooccasionally involved in university inspections, mostly overseas. I have had a variety of volunteering roles; I have been a Citizens Advice Advisor, Garden Guide at Hinton Ampner, and more recently I volunteered at the Covid Vaccination Centre at Fareham Community Hospital. I play badminton, short tennis, golf (badly), I go rambling and even try to do a bit of running and have now completed over 100 parkruns. I’m also a season ticket holder at Southampton. And we still live in the same Whiteley house that we moved to in 1996
To see previous member introductions, please visit the Our Members section of our Archive
If you too would like to be a member of our club, you can find an application form at the end of this section or click on the link here
The club is run by an elected committee
|Vice President||Jim Dodd|
|Past President||Richard Aitken|
|Speaker Coordinator||Chris Collier|
|Website and News emails||Derek Treagus|
|Visits Coordinators||Mike Cresswell|
|Assistant Secretary||Martin Moore|
|Ad Hoc Committee|
|Ladies Dinner Organiser||Chris Collier|
|Theatre Visits||Peter Ellerton|
|Summer Event Organiser||Graham Adams|
|Lunch / Dinner Visits||Mike Cresswell|
You can download a copy of the constitution from here.
List of members
Please contact the club secretary or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of current members
New members are asked to provide short background details by printing out and filling in this application form.