RETIREMENT offers plenty of opportunities for relaxing but a group of men in Chipping Norton recognise the need to keep an active mind.

The Bliss Probus Club, celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, meets at the Chequers Pub in Goddard Lane every month and welcomes guest speakers covering topics from advanced science to the life of Oliver Cromwell.

It has about 30 members who are either retired or semi-retired businessmen or professionals.

Chairman Tony Clark, 79, a former book-binding development manager at Unilever, said: “It keeps our brains going because all of us are getting on.

“The main thing is really companionship and listening to educated speakers who make you think. There’s a lot of professional people in Chipping Norton who don’t want their brains to go dead.

“It’s like anything – if you’re a table tennis player and play against good players your game improves. This is the same because when you have a meeting and you’re talking to intelligent people it keeps you on your toes.”