Monthly Archives: January 2013

Change to next Tuesday’s Programme

Moira Smith has been called away to attend a meeting in Birmingham and will be unable to give her talk on Tuesday 5th February.  Instead she has found a very capable
substitute Mr. Geoff  Pawson who will talk about “The wild flowers of Bolton Abbey”.


The meeting started with a short request from Geoff Scurrah of the Harrogate in Bloom committee who are looking for local street coordinators to enhance this year’s contest and more details can be obtained from him on 01423 509889.

Harrogate Easier Living Project are also looking for volunteers to help support the elderly, disabled and vulnerable in a variety of roles and more information is available from poster/leaflets held by the Secretary or by direct contact on 01423 813093.

This meeting was President’s Morning and Forum President Reverend Mark Godfrey gave his sixth talk to members about his interesting recollections and photo memories of his summer trip last year to Krakow, Vienna, Bratislava and some walking experiences in the mountain areas of Slovakia and Poland. Whilst the weather was initially good for his city visits it turned rather for the worse for his excursions into the mountains but overall there were many interesting sights  and places of interest for him to comment upon.

The good Reverend also experienced a rather heavy fall on his trip and needed the ministrations of the local hospital services who appear to have patched him up rather well!! He also managed a run in with the Czech Police for failing to have a motorway pass on his car but came to an amicable settlement with the local officers and was allowed to continue his travels.

John Taylor gave the vote of thanks at the end of the meeting.


Secretary’s Report

To cancel or not to cancel is the dilemma of a Programme Secretary in snowy and icy weather. In the event 19
members braved the poor conditions to hear David Davies talk about “The years of recovery and change from 1951 to 1964”.  During this period living conditions improved as austerity eased and controls were lifted but Britain’s economic performance lagged behind European countries and imperial commitments were discarded after the Suez fiasco showed that we could not act independently of the USA on the world stage. Four conservative Prime Ministers (Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Home) sought to rule from the centre and did not undermine the welfare state established by the Labour government of 1945 to 1951. Mr Davies lightens the serious analysis of his talks with photographs of the time including on this occasion the London smogs, the Mini, teenage Mods and Rockers and the iconic images of Hillary on Mount Everest and Bannister completing the 4 minute mile.  Most remarkably of all perhaps the Queen has reigned throughout the period under discussion and will overtake Queen Victoria as our longest reigning monarch in three years time.  Vincent Naylor gave the vote of thanks and several members stayed to discuss issues raised with the speaker afterwards, always a sign of a successful morning.

Secretary’s Report

Michael Langford was our speaker today. He took us “around the world for 80 reasons”. Michael runs his own travel agency in Harrogate which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. People consult him for business trips, specialist holidays, beach holidays and everything from honeymoon travel to emergencies caused by the sudden death of a relative abroad.  In an engaging power point presentation he took us alphabetically from architecture to waterfalls in his explanation of the different reasons for travel. On a snowy day we travelled to New York, Thailand and South Africa and many other places in our imagination. It was clear from Michael’s talk that the small travel agent organising tailor-made holidays has to weigh up very carefully the preferences and needs of each potential client.  Michael himself is no longer travelling to familiar places but is looking forward to visiting Vietnam. In closing the meeting our Chairman Bill Blades revealed that he had travelled first class with his wife on honeymoon to Blackpool but had returned by bus a few days later!

Secretary’s Report

At the first meeting of 2013 John Taylor paid tribute to former Chairman John Pearce who died sadly only 5 days after the Forum Christmas lunch.  He had a distinguished career in civil engineering and later had supported many good causes.  Universally regarded as a good, kind man he had introduced many new members to the Forum.
The Chairman Bill Blades then introduced Mike and Anna McKevitt who in a pleasing conversational style described Mike’s career in the theatre as an actor. Is there no end to the variety of experience within our group of around 50 members?  Mike or Frank as he was then known grew up in Glasgow and started as a drummer. He was introduced in that role to the great Sir Harry Lauder and later played Lauder in a play based on his life story.  After a spell in the Forces in Egypt and a brief period as a shop assistant, his success in amateur drama obtained him the promise of parts in the Donald Wolfit company. Although in the event he never worked with the great man, Mike became a member of the great Joan Littlewoood company at Stratford East with Harry H. Corbett, appeared in a Wesker play at the Royal Court during the radical 60s and had parts in many long running TV series such as Emergency Ward 10, Dr Finlay and Redcap, the last with John Thaw. After the presentation there were many questions which reflected our appreciation of a fascinating life story.  Derek Clarkson who has attended 800 West End plays gave the vote of thanks.