DECEMBER AT THE FORUM
Richard Willis, who runs pleasure trips from the Ripon Canal to the River Ure near Newby Hall, was our last speaker before Christmas. In a highly individual and entertaining talk he took us around the canal system from the high aqueduct of Pontcysllte near Llangollen to the modern marvel of the Falkirk Wheel. The Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal requires patience as it takes two or three hours to navigate. Richard recalled with glee the occasion when the lock-keeper allowed him to operate Bingley 5-Rise on his own. Devizes in Wiltshire has an even loger flight of 11 locks which were instantly recognised by our own member Derek Simpson. In the Midlands the motorway around Spaghetti Junction was built on stilts above the canal because of the shortage of other available open space. Roger Bancroft, our Vice-Chairman who operated larger craft as a tanker captain, gave the vote of thanks for a most entertaining presentation.
The following Tuesday 11 December 51 members and friends gathered at Ascot House Hotel for the Christmas Lunch. Once again David, Umberto and his team did us proud and everybody enjoyed an excellent meal. Afterwards Bill Blades and Derek Clarkson spoke well but briefly as befits a festive occasion. £160 was collected for Alzheimer’s Society and for a girl hoping to work for the Project Trust in Africa. In conversation members commented on the good publicity which Neil Ramshaw had secured for us in Ackrill’s Club Focus.