Salisbury (Sarum) Probus Club

Sarum Probus Club is an organisation for retired men living in the Salisbury Area.


  • At their November 11 meeting Probus Club of Sarum welcomed Mr. Andrew Larkham who gave a lecture about the development of telephony. His talk spanned from Graham Bell calling his assistant Watson on March 10, 1876 to the present.

    The first telephone book in the UK was issued on 15 January 1880. 1912 saw the first public telephone exchange in UK. Growing numbers of switchboard operators were needed for the expanding system.

    Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) was introduced in 1958 to allow subscribers to dial trunk calls without operator assistance. These had been mechanical and slow.

    The invention of dual tone multi frequency was much faster (DTMF) and superseded STD. This was soon followed by pulse code modulation (pcm), resulting in the installation of Empress on 11/12/1961, the first pcm exchange in the UK on a single pair of wires, which could carry up to 24 calls in parallel.

    Despite these enormous changes over the years their was no let up in development.This is now culminating in modern day fibre based broadband systems.

  • Here are details of some earlier talks given to the Club.

  • If talks or trips out like this interest you, why not join us. Contact the secretary