Probus Hears From Local Author & Raconteur


President Richard Wood with Speaker Mel Rees

The ability to engulf an audience in laughter is a real skill which Mel Rees easily displays. He was the guest speaker at the latest Probus Club meeting and yet just spoke off the cuff. He had nothing but his memory to rely on as he thoroughly entertained everyone. There was no specific topic despite his talk having the title “My Family and Other Setbacks” as he gave anecdote after anecdote about his observations of life.

It is not surprising he has been passed on from one club to another so these days he gives over 200 talks each year across the south-east of England, sometimes two a day, driving over 30,000 miles in the process. And what good value he gives as he passes from one topic to another with always the amusing aspects of life’s experiences coming to the fore.

Living in Ash Vale, or, as he describes it, Upper Ash Vale in Surrey, with a posh GU postcode, he, therefore, asserts he cannot catch the Coronavirus and is most disparaging about the neighbouring conurbation of Aldershot. When he had to use a mobile medical unit he asked the nurses if next time instead of using the Tesco car park that they use the one at Waitrose as they would get better quality patients.

A multi-faceted individual he acts as a tour guide at the Hoggs Back Brewery and finds it amusing when talking to the visitors, if they hesitate before answering, he knows they lie about where they live. Reigate instead of Redhill, near Horsham instead of Crawley, Hove instead of Brighton – it becomes a double-barrelled name of Hove Actually, West Camberley instead of Blackwater.

He has written several books which mirror his view on life and its vagaries especially about politics and his view of Guardianesta readers and PC attitudes. His nomme de plume is Anthony Mann and despite having one book as the Daily Express book of the month he could not get any literary agent or publisher interested in his outpourings. He had no option but to self publish and set up The Trouser Press. Today several of his books are on their third printing. Naturally, all editions were on sale so a steady trade was carried out. But they can also be purchased on Amazon or downloaded as an E-book.