Monthly Archives: April 2011

Report 19th April 2011

Annual General Meeting

At the 2011 AGM George Mountford was re-elected as General Secretary, John Taylor as Programme Secretary and Roy Smith as Treasurer. The officers reported on a successful year with an increased attendance resulting in a healthy surplus. Special meetings will be held next session to mark the forum’s 35th season, beginning on 27th September. The Chairman then will be Roy Howard.

Our President, Rev. Mark Godfrey, took the chair for the 34th Annual General Meeting. Malcolm Wood, our retiring Chairman, read a letter from Save the Children, thanking the forum for a donation in lieu of Speaker’s fees. It was noted from George Mountford’s report that we had 54 members on the books but some were inactive. We still need to recruit more members and it is hoped that some will transfer from Woodlands Men’s Fellowship which has been disbanded. Roy Smith reported on the progress of the forum Blog which is run at virtually no cost to the group.

John Taylor reported on a successful year as Programme Secretary with an average attendance of 29, three more than last season.

The most successful meetings were: ‘Nightshift at York Minster’, ‘So you want to be a Nuclear Engineer’ and ‘Ice Age 10’. He thanked all his colleagues for their help and Denis Smith was given a special round of applause on his re-appearance as Registrar.

Roy Smith reported a healthy financial balance. It was agreed that £780 should be paid to Harlow Hill Methodist Church as rent and £90 should be given to the Secretaries as honoraria. Because of the impact of the recession it was agreed that the joining fee should remain at £3.00 and the weekly fee at £2.00.

£295 was given to charitable causes during the year either as donations or in lieu of speaker’s fees.

All existing Committee members were re-elected with the exception of Bob Jones who retired as Auditor. Chris Butterfield was elected as Auditor. John Clark joins the ‘kitchen team’ and Roger Bancroft was elected as an additional Vice-Chairman. Peter Copley reported on his visits to sick members, most recently to John Teasdale in Hampden House.

The Christmas lunch will be on Tuesday the 13th December 2011 and the visit to Drax Power Station will take place on Tuesday 3rd May 2011 and preliminary arrangements were made.

The 2011 – 2012 35th Anniversary season will begin one week earlier on Tuesday 27th September 2011 when it is hoped that Andrew Jones MP will speak about his first year at Westminster.

29 members attended this AGM, the largest at an AGM for several years.

John Taylor

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Report 12th April 2011

The History of Eddie Brown’s

Mrs Sue Scarborough gave the last talk of the season on the ‘History of Eddie Brown’s Coaches’ from its beginnings in 1949 in Helperby with one 36-seater bus to a modern business based in Thorp Arch with 40 coaches, some of which cost £300,000 each.

Mrs Scarborough is an accomplished talker and the anecdotes flowed.  The power behind the throne was Eddie’s wife Gwen who supplied the ideas and drive which her husband implemented.  Since Gwen’s death, her daughter Deirdrie has carried the business further.  In 2000 Eddie Brown took over Wray’s Coach and next week the company will run service buses for the first time.

Coaches for football teams in the Premiership and Superleague are now luxurious and include kitchens with toasters and panini makers and a horseshoe lounge area at the back.  These coaches are a far cry from the 1950 charabanc, which was a converted ex-army ambulance.

John Taylor 

Report 5th April 2011

Ice Age ‘10

Mrs.Judith Yeats gave a talk entitled Ice Age’10, about a cold holiday which she had enjoyed in Canada and Alaska. Her photography was of the highest quality. She travelled on the Rocky Mountaineer train to Vancouver and then cruised the Inner Passage to Alaskan gold rush territory.

Mrs. Yeats showed us breathtaking views and wonderful sunsets with some stunning photographs of glaciers, forests and lakes, snow-covered mountains and fast flowing streams.

We learned a new word ‘HOODOO’ , the name of the strangely shaped rock pillars near Banff which are the result of glacial action. On the Alaskan part of the holiday Judith had been able to visit towns like Skagway, now tiny, once very busy in the rough and tumble existence of the Gold Rush. Many Alaskan towns including Juneau, one of the major centres, are only accessible by water.

Mrs. Yeats disclosed that our meeting was her first ever talk to a group, amazing in view of her very professional delivery. During questions, Roy Howard, Reg Jackson and John Pearce were able to exchange experiences with Judith of Canadian holidays. 30% of the population of Vancouver is Chinese but race relations in the whole of Canada are apparently excellent. Bill Blades gave the vote of thanks.

John Taylor.