As usual at this time of year the annual Summer Pub lunch of the Probus Club of Basingstoke took place. On this occasion it was at The Poacher Inn in South Warnborough which is situated on the Alton road south of Odiham. Chris Perkins MVO, of Kempshott, being the newly appointed president, selected the hostelry ensuring not to replicate past venues.
This is an attractive and welcoming pub with a modern accommodation block, offering good pub food and the party of thirty six, consisting of members and their spouses/partners, enjoyed their time together.
During World War Two, the pub, then called The Plough Inn, was a popular off duty “watering hole” for all manner of air and ground crews from the nearby aerodrome. These not only included the Royal Air Force, but personnel from Canadian fighter squadrons together with Belgian and Free-French trainee pilots from the newly formed Elementary Flying School on the base. Today, renamed The Poacher Inn, it continues to be a popular haunt for many of the helicopter squadrons. The landlady and her team go to great lengths to offer their hospitality to all and have endeavoured to integrate the pub with the local community by providing an ideal venue for meetings and functions.
Chris commented, “As I served for many years at RAF Odiham meant that I was familiar with this establishment and confident that the licencee would be able to cope with such numbers arriving on their doorstep.”
He was not wrong. It was a splendid choice and the range of food and drinks on offer were of high quality and competitively priced.
Now in its fortieth year, the Probus Club of Basingstoke has a full programme of activities with monthly speaker lunches for members, who are all retired professional and business managers, with a variety of social outings that always involve the ladies.