Pocklington Probus Club members mark Roy Howard’s impending 100th birthday

A regular feature of the Pocklington Post is the monthly report from the Pocklington Probus Club.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:35 am
Probus Club member Roy Howard.

Readers may not know that the report is written by Roy Howard, who has been the club’s press officer for the past 15 years and has continued to write the reports as he enters his 100th year.

He is a founder member of the Pocklington Probus Club in March 1994 and served as chairman in 2012/13.

As a member of Pocklington Methodist Church he has been involved at various times as building steward, health and safety officer, and archivist. For several years he was also Wilberfoss Parish Clerk.

Roy was born in Tottenham on March 16, 1921.

Roy and his wife Muriel married in August 1943, having met in London at the beginning of World War II.

They were both working in central London throughout the blitz of 1940 and endured its many hazards.

There was sadness in the loss of workmates to bombing, injuries to persons we knew, but we were the fortunate ones who lived through it all’.

During the war, Roy’s work with Post Office Engineering involved working on highly secret engineering developments.

In his own words ‘It was not until more than 50 years after the end of World War II before I found out about some of the work I was involved in within this period. When information about the work at Bletchley Park began to be published.

I was very interested to recognise an electrical circuit that I recalled being asked to build under great secrecy.

I now realise that it was to be for the deciphering of encrypted German military teleprinter signals using the analysis provided by what has become known as Colossus, the first programmed computer’.

His extraordinarily varied career included working on the introduction of subscriber trunk dialling, the development of electronic telephone exchanges and the modernisation of the national telegraph network.

Additionally, Roy worked in Holland in the late 1960s for SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe) on classified engineering initiatives.

Roy and Muriel lived in Leeds from 1969 then moved to Pocklington on retirement, where they have lived in the same house for 40 years.

At the Probus meeting on Wednesday, March 10, members were able to use the Zoom facility to share memories with Roy and to congratulate him on his imminent birthday.