Kyrle Probus Club
   of Ross-on-Wye


December Meetings 2012 and the Year Ahead

 John Hatcher on the Leather Trade and Early Typesetting by Computer


THE run-up to the end of the year for Kyrle Probus began with a talk by member John Hatcher who spoke about his working life first in the leather trade in the UK and then in the early days of the computer revolution.


John told members that in the late 40s, the UK became one of the biggest leather manufacturers in the world. He had a job with a hide and skin trader and as well as dealing with the domestic hide and calf skins, it involved inspecting incoming cargo, checking for quality. But the tanning industry in the UK began contracting in the 1960s, resulting in a reduced outlet for leather.


John’s company suffered and he tried to get it to diversify, without success. Finally, he said, he diversified himself by leaving the company. After many job applications, he landed a job with a firm of book printers and this led him into the world of typesetting, using early computers.


The Christmas Message


The club’s second meeting in December, included the traditional Christmas Message, which this year was given by Rev Glyn Jenkins. Members’ wives and guests were in attendance and afterwards enjoyed a buffet lunch.


 The Year Ahead


Looking ahead to 2013, the club’s social calendar includes a number of old favourites, such as the New Year Lunch later this month at the Chase Hotel, the annual car treasure hunt in June, followed by the hog roast in July which this year will be held at Wilton Castle and will include a tour of the gardens.


In March, members and guests will be off to the cinema.  Following lunch at the Royal Hotel in Ross, they will move next door to see one of the ‘Flicks at the Phoenix’ films.


There is plenty to enjoy as a member of Kyrle Probus. In addition to the varied social events, there is always an interesting speaker to listen to at the twice-monthly meetings. If anyone is interested in finding out more about the club, with a view to joining, they can contact club secretary, Keith Leyshon on  01989 562884, or visit the Kyrle Probus website on



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