Roger Bancroft deputised as Chairman for Bill Blades who was attending the 1000th meeting of Bilton Men’s Forum. He announced with regret that Forum member Jim Bromhead had died after a period of serious illness. Our speaker was Terry Frazier, also deputising for John Bevers who had cancelled because of a severe throat infection. Terry has been a volunteer lecturer for the National Trust for 38 years and he gave us an excellent talk with slides about the Trust in the Lakes and the North-East.
The late wintry weather had reduced our average attendance of 33 to 26 but Terry immediately cheered us up by transporting us to a green Lake District of blue summer skies and shining waters. In 1901 the Trust began its association with the Lakes when it purchased the Brandelhow Estate to protect Derwentwater from the villa developments which occurred at Windermere. One quarter of the National Park is now owned or protected by the Trust. Recently Ennerdale has returned to the wild and Allan Bank and Wray Castle opened to the public. Excellent photographs of the Lakes then and now enhanced the talk. Finally we moved via Durham to Norhumberland’s fine houses at Seaton Delaval, Wallington and Cragside and to the enchanting puffins on the Farne Islands. John Taylor gave the vote of thanks.
The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of a possible visit on 7 May. Ripon Museums, Bradford Media Museum or a pub lunch apppeared to be the most likely options. It is hoped to make a decision at the next meeting.