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Wednesday, 26th June 2024

John Douglas

Lord Nuffield – the man and his motors

John Douglas started employment in 1959 as an engineering trainee in the Morris Motors foundry at Wellingborough. In 1968, joined Richards of Leicester and worked in a variety of roles becoming a director in 1986. After the closure of the Richards group in 1989, he held directorships of different engineering companies supplying the foundry industry (in Spain, Walsall and Peterborough), until his retirement in 2008. A chartered mechanical engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Cast Metals. On retirement he joined Peterborough Probus02  and was president 2012/13, and in 2017, he moved to Warwickshire and joined Avon Probus in Stratford-upon-Avon where he was President 2022/23.

The Subject

William Morris started his business of repairing bicycles in Oxford in 1893 at the age of 16, his company developed into the manufacture of bicycles, then motor cycles until the production of the first Morris Oxford car in 1912. Following the acquisition of various other companies and upto the merger with the Austin Motor company in 1951 to form the British Motor Corporation, he was one of the most important figures in British industry, receiving the title of Lord Nuffield in 1938.  From 1926 until his death in 1963, he donated millions of pounds to various causes, particularly medical and educational, to become one of Britain's greatest philanthropists.





The benefits of joining Leicester Wyvern Probus


Probus clubs were established to enable men from business and professions to meet socially in a convivial environment to exchange ideas and information on topical matters.  Members include professional and business people in the widest sense; such as academics, teachers, doctors, farmers, lawyers, sportsmen, a range of people from industry, from the armed forces and many others.  Whilst Probus clubs are perhaps traditionally seen as an involvement following retirement, those in work are both encouraged and welcomed.


Wyvern Probus meets at The Leicestershire Golf Club for a social gathering and a three-course lunch followed by an interesting speaker.  The Golf Club has an enviable reputation for good food and has ample car parking within the City boundary.


Speaker topics are varied: some are based on fascinating work-experience or personal interests and some on academic and educational topics.  All are relatively short and designed to be informative, amusing and entertaining.


Wyvern Probus meets monthly (save in December) on the last Wednesday of each month. We mix for half an hour of so of social interaction over a drink in the bar overlooking the golf course, before going into lunch.


Our meetings are an excellent opportunity to expand your circle of friends and to engage in interesting and lively discussion on a variety of business and social topics.  Uniquely amongst Probus clubs we also have a monthly organised walk for those who are more energetic.   Venues across the county are chosen; the walk is in the morning followed by a pub lunch at which non-walkers are welcome.


We hope that once you have visited us as a guest at one of our lunches you may be tempted to join our club.  Membership fees are modest and lunch is excellent value.   We have one mixed lunch at which we entertain our ladies once a year in November. Each year at our November meet we invite our ladies to join us.  We also have a President’s outing each year at which members and their other halves enjoy a day out, tours of St Pancras station and Rockingham Castle have featured amongst such excursions.


So - a couple of hours over lunchtime once a month: a splendid way to enjoy convivial company whilst being educated and entertained by a fascinating range of speakers.


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