Bridgnorth social club founder celebrates turning 102

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

The only surviving founder of a traditional social club has celebrated his 102nd birthday.

Maurice with Lewis Salt, chairman (left), and Mike Duke, president, (right). Photo: Mike Purnell

Maurice Barton still attends the Bridgnorth Probus Club's monthly meetings, as he has done since he started the group back in 1974.

The 102-year-old was visited at his home by the club's current president, Mike Duke and club chairman, Lewis Salt, who presented him with a Probus birthday card signed by all the members.

Having been both a president and chairman of the group himself, Maurice started the club to provide regular meetings and activities for retired or partly retired professional businessmen.

The club meets once a month at The Down Inn, in Ludlow Road, for a two-course lunch before an official meeting.

During the summer months, members also play a game of bowls at Top Green and a guest speaker attends the meets during the winter.

Mike Purnell, spokesman for the club, said: "Maurice was a founding member of Bridgnorth Probus Club and has been chairman and president over the years and still attends their monthly meetings, when he feels up to it.

"To keep his mind active in retirement, he studied and achieved his BA honours degree at 80 and at 102 he is never far from his book of puzzles.

"Maurice didn't feel up to attending this month's Probus meeting so the president and chairman popped to visit him and celebrated with a pot of tea and biscuits and then gave him his Probus 102nd birthday car, signed by all the members."


Born in London, Maurice reached the rank of Major and served in the Second World War stationed in India, before being made the chief of military police in Bangkok.

He was married to his wife, Ferrier, for more than 50 years and had twin sons Mike and Pete, and a daughter, Suzanne.

In the 60s and 70s, Maurice worked in local Government as the housing manager in Wolverhampton before retiring and founding Bridgnorth Probus Club in 1974.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.


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