Monthly Archives: October 2013

Secretary’s Report

The fifth meeting of the season was promptly started by Chairman Roger Bancroft with six apologies being offered. Last weeks guest Ian Blyth had turned into this weeks new member and he is most welcome. A reminder of the First World War Enquiry Day in Harrogate on Wednesday 6th November was given as well as a further gentle nudge for Christmas lunch orders to John Taylor…20 so far received!!

Mr David Alred was today’s speaker on the subject of “Nidderdale Yesterday”. This proved to be an extremely entertaining and nostalgic look at Nidderdale in the period 1880’s–1950’s with emphasis on Pately Bridge, the Nidderdale Show, Railways and the construction of three reservoirs (Gouthwaite; Angram and Scar House) in that area.  The talk was illustrated by an excellent selection of old photographs which the speaker had put together by cold call knocking on doors in the area principally farms and by developing good relations with the locals who helped him build up his impressive collection. The memories of old style agricultural methods, the advent of motor vehicles replacing horse transport and the arduous feats of engineering to build the reservoirs brought back fond memories for many in the audience as did the dress from years gone by in school and outing photo’s. Other topics considered as we were taken down “Memory Lane”  included grouse shooting, sheep shearing and washing and lead mining with a reminder that as now and so then there was a marked difference between the have’s and the have not’s!!

The Vote of Thanks for a very pleasant morning was given by Mr David Hopkinson and 35 members were in attendance.



Chairman Roger Bancroft started the meeting by welcoming visitor Ian Blyth an old friend and former neighbour. There were three apologies.

Under Informal Notices John Taylor brought member’s attention to the Christmas Lunch on December 10th and the menus and details he had issued. Final orders and payment are to be made by Tuesday November 19th.

Neil Ramshaw advised members regarding the “Harrogate Remembers the First World War ” enquiry day on Wednesday November 6th 10–12 noon at Harrogate Library where photographs/mementos and stories are required to contribute to an event next year. Details on poster at next meetings or from Secretary.

Treasurer Roy Smith updated members regarding the Third Party excess insurance query which was fixed and would remain as it is.

The Speaker today was Mr Roy Cressey whose topic “Shipshape” consisted of an interesting slide show and stories of ships that could have been seen at various ports and places in the United Kingdom and a brief history of their use and fate in recent years. Many famous ships were shown such as the old Queen Mary, Q.E. II, Royal Yacht Britannia as well as various naval vessels that saw Falklands action to more mundane vessels that transported various commodities and materials, to ferries and international ships from Russia and China. The extent of involvement of ports in Yorkshire and the North East such as Hull, Bridlington, Scarborough and Teesside reminded members of years gone by but sadly the demise of such industries in latter years.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Mr John Clark and 31 members attended the meeting.



The meeting was started promptly by Chair with five apologies given.

Doug Hay was welcomed back after a years absence due to ill health—it was good to see him!!

Treasurer Roy Smith took a short time to point out from the Forum Accounts that we were in rude health and invited questions from the audience.

The speaker was Mr Gordon  Darlington whose mysterious topic was “The Great Cover Up”. This transpired to be the curious and intriguing tale of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Deputy who apparently took it upon himself or with the connivance of other to fly to Scotland early in World War Two with a view to suing for peace. Matters then became complex and entangled with rumours of Royal family involvement, possible Doppelgangers, brainwashing and other nefarious practices.  Suffice to say he was interned for the remainder of hostilities and received a life imprisonment at Nuremberg War Crime Trials in 1946 which he served at Spandau prison until he was ninety three years old. Even in death intrigue and mystery still enveloped him…was it suicide (official verdict) or were more sinister forces at work. It is unlikely that this story has yet run its course and more may come out in the years to come.

The talk concluded but raised a number of interesting questions and comments from the audience.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Mr Vincent Naylor with 33 attendees at the Forum meeting.



Chairman Roger Bancroft welcomed everyone to the meeting and said it was pleasing to see such a good turnout on such a pleasant morning weather wise.

The Speaker Mr Duncan Verity was introduced and members advised that he was the Programme Secretary for Wetherby Men’s Forum. His topic was the “Songs of Stage and Screen”

Mr Duncan Verity advised that it was not his intention to educate but more to bring back happy memories and entertain the audience with video, film and sound clips from musical stage, screen and T.V. productions and he encouraged the active participation of members by joining in with  singing as appropriate.

We were treated to performances from Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, George Formby, Howard Keel, Doris Day, Laurel and Hardy, Norman Wisdom, Harry Secombe, Julie Andrews, Michael Crawford, Al Jolson and finished with “Time to Say Goodbye” performed by Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and the London Symphony Orchestra. An eclectic feast of entertainment with something for everyone!

The Vote of Thanks was given by Mr Malcolm Wood with 32 members attending the Forum meeting.



Chairman Roger Bancroft welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Forum’s 37th season with a particular acknowledgement to the lady guests and presence of our two Honorary Life Members.

Two sad pieces of news were reported by the Chairman namely the deaths of former member Mr  John Teasdale and member Mr Peter Jackson during the summer period — cards of sympathy from the Forum had been sent to their families.

Mr Roy Smith (Treasurer) announced that he had issued copies of the audited accounts for 2012/2013 and would be happy to take questions at a future meeting.

This first meeting was an Open Meeting in celebration of Mr Reg Jackson (Honorary Life Member who had achieved his 100th year on the 25th September making him the first to do this and the oldest member of the Forum ever!! The talk was given by Mr John Taylor (Programme Secretary) with the active participation of Mr Reg Jackson   on the topic of Centenarians.

In the first part of the talk Mr John Taylor outlined some details about Mr Reg Jackson and his involvement with the Forum since joining as a founder member 36 years ago . He particularly highlighted his twice being Chairman and the 26 (official) talks given by him over the years —a record!! Some time was then spent discussing the myths and exaggerations of extreme age claims particularly before the advent of official records and how in the last two centuries the remarkable increases in life spans had taken place. This has also led to a massive increase in the number of existing centenarians which has reached 12750 currently in the United Kingdom with important factors including genetics and lifestyle choices. He touched upon some famous people who made the magical 100 years including St. Anthony, the Queen Mother, Emmanuel Shinwell, Bob Hope and Sir Thomas Sopwith amongst others.

In the second part of the talk a “Question and Answer” approach saw the involvement of Mr Reg Jackson which explored reminiscences from his childhood, early schooling, apprenticeship and qualification as a Pharmacist , his second World War service on  to his life and eventual retirement in Harrogate— a series of fascinating and extraordinary memories from over many years!!

The Vote of Thanks was given by Mr Mike South and the Chairman closed the meeting by thanking members and guests for their attendance.

The meeting was attended by 34 members as well as a number of guests.