Spies in History was the subject of our guest speaker, Bob Skelt of Tewkesbury, at our meeting on 10 May.

Describing spying as the second oldest profession, Bob explained the purpose of spies, how they are recruited and how they are used by the security and military services, journalists, the law and commerce.

He said the main reasons that individuals become spies are mainly financial or ideological and that all of them would be unremarkable, unlike the James Bond types of characters.

Spying of course is nothing new, and Bob outlined the roles of Francis Walsingham, William Cecil and Mata Hari. He said that the latter was probably not a spy at all although she was shot as one during the First World War.

He ended his presentation with an explanation of the roles of spies during the Second World War. He remarked that neither MI6 nor the German military intelligence distinguished themselves with their spying due to incompetence.

Following numerous questions, Jeff Jones thanked Bob for his illuminating presentation in his own inimitable way.

Do join us at 10am every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club. See our website www.eveshamprobus.co.uk for details.