Monthly Archives: March 2011

Report 29th March 2011

Bargain Hunting

Our speaker was introduced by his friend , John Taylor, who many years ago had shared some of Graham Kendall’s early morning forays buying and selling at antique fairs. 

Graham spoke about the world of antique fairs and car-boots in his talk “Bargain Hunting”. He advised members to look carefully at items which they might wish to purchase to ensure that they were genuine and spoke of some of his own successes and failures.

Antiques come in and out of fashion;  barley twist oak candlesticks, for example,  were once purchased in large numbers by Americans but are not now in demand.

Graham’s very interesting talk was interspersed with items which he showed or passed around.  A bottle opener which normally might only be worth 10 pence had sold for £60 because it was from a defunct brewery in York called Hunt’s and was therefore needed for a collection.  He also showed us a railway whistle, beautifully engraved, which had been produced in 1875 for the 50th aniversary of the Stockton – Darlington Railway.  A similar one, now in the National Railway Museum had fetched £400 at auction.

Gordon Richardson gave the vote of thanks.  Earlier John Taylor had thanked our Chairman, Malcolm Wood, for the cheerful and warm-hearted manner in which he had conducted our meetings across a long winter season.  Malcolm had said that he had been very apprehensive of the Chairman’s role but had thoroughly enjoyed himself and would recommend other members to accept the role if nominated.

John Taylor

Visit to Place of Interest

Drax Power Station

At the meeting on 22nd March 2011 it was agreed by members that John Taylor should investigate further a visit to Drax Power Sation.  At least 16 members were interested.  Please note that Bettys and Taylors no longer organise bakery visits.

George Mountford

Change to Programme

5th April 2011

Please note that on Tuesday 5th April our guest speaker will be Mrs. Yeats who will give us her talk: Ice Age ’10.

George Mountford.

Report 22nd March 2011


This week our Vice Chairman, Roy Howard, reminisced about his upbringing in London during the blitz, his cousin Joss Naylor the Cumbrian fell-runner and his interests in mountaineering, music and ballroom dancing.

Roy gave his talk at very short notice because Mrs. Judith Yeats from Wesley Chapel was ill.  He began by comparing life today with the period of his birth when there were no televisions, computers or washing machines.  He explained how he overcame sickness as a child and how he has struggled to overcome agoraphobia all his life.

He saw the Crystal Palace on fire in 1936 and the Jarrow Hunger Marchers and later experienced the blitz.  His family moved to Harrogate in 1940 and he attended Harrogate Grammar School.  He was a capable violinist but found, as an adult, that his mother had thrown all his music away.  Roy worked for years as a Civil Servant for the National Assistence Board. 

He was a keen mountaineer, fell-walker and photographer and still enjoys ballroom dancing.  During questions after his talk, he said that he is glad each day to be alive after a serious operation some years ago. 

Roger Bancroft gave the vote of thanks and drew attention to the importance of recording this kind of family history for posterity.

John Taylor  

Change to Programme

Please make a note of the following change in the programme:

March 22nd 2011  

The talk  will be given by member Mr Roy Howard who will give us some of his ‘ Reminiscences’.

George Mountford

Report 15th March 2011

Members’ Morning

The idea of a members’ Morning has been under consideration for some time and our four speakers did us proud. In discussion afterwards it seemed that we should repeat the experiment next year.

KEN ROBERTS – Ken spoke about the unique area of Yorkshire between Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham where deep seam coal mining developed.

By 1929 there were 33 pits in the area. After the bitterness of the Miners’ Strike in the 1980s it was government policy to obliterate all traces of the mining past. Manvers Main, where Ken worked as a Bevin Boy in 1944 is now a country park with a lake and bird hides.

PETER JACKSON – Peter was a hospital consultant and later medical manager but a poor linguist. In Saskatchewan as a gynaecologist he encountered one of the few patients who spoke only French which caused difficulties when discussing menstrual and sexual problems.

When in Wales it was eventually agreed, when the National Eisteddfod came to his part of Pembrokeshire that English could be spoken in the medical tent – but only if the medical tent was officially placed outside the Eisteddfod! Only Welsh is allowed within.

JOHN CLARK – John showed some model boats from his collection. He is one of the Claro Marine Modellers who meet in the Valley Gardens on Sunday mornings. Highlight of his talk was a model of a US Coastguard vessel. The full size vessel can plough through six-feet of ice at three knots. A model of this type would cost £250. It was the first time that John had spoken in public.

MIKE SOUTH – Mike talked about the concept of the gap-year which developed in the 1960s, sometimes an excuse for idleness but sometimes very useful if properly planned, e.g. by Gap Activities Project. His slides showed worthwhile years off in Gap, France ( very appropriately), helping disabled people in East Africa and his own experiences in Northern Nigeria, with an unusual style of fishing.

Reg Jackson, our oldest member and most regular speaker, now 97 years of age, gave the vote of thanks.

John Taylor

Report 8th March 2011

Night Shift in York Minster

This week 35 members and friends thoroughly enjoyed Roy Pawsey’s presentation ‘Night Shift at York Minster’. Mr Pawsey was a member of the Minster Police for 14 years and often spent nights alone in the Cathedral. His slides provided “the alternative view” of the Minster away from the usual tourist photographs. 

Mr Pawsey had a rich fund of stories about his experiences working in the Minster and answered questions about the fire in 1984.  The policeman on duty that night did not stay long in the job.  Night duty begins with a check of the building as it is very easy to hide in the choir stalls or even under the altar.  On one occasion he was helping a workman in the Minster tower who asked him to go down to collect his tools – 10 minutes to get down and 20 minutes to climb back by vertical ladders and spiral staircases!  CCTV means that people in the environs of the Minster are more closely scrutinised than they realise – on one occasion our speaker found himself eavesdropping on a proposal of marriage. 

36 members and friends attended – the second biggest attendance in the four years since Ray Coggan retired.

John Taylor

Report 1st March 2011

President’s Morning

This week our President Rev. Mark Godfrey showed slides of the mountains, forests, lakes and limestone caves of the small Alpine country of Slovenia.

Slovenia gained its indepedence from Yugoslavia in 1991 after a short 10 day conflict.  It now seems very prosperous and is part of the European Community and Euro zone.  The most spectacular scenery is around Lake Bled.

Mark showed us the capital city Ljubljana with its medieval buildings, the narrow coastal strip and the limestone caves which are of a considerable extent.  The technical term for limestone scenery is Karst. 

Brian Blakey gave the vote of thanks.

John Taylor