Chairman Roger Bancroft opened the meeting and announced eight apologies. A visitor Roger Howell was welcomed to the meeting. The Chairman confirmed the sad news of Honorary Life Member George Mountford’s death at the weekend following a stroke and John Taylor took the floor to pay tribute to him and in particular the good works and offices he had performed and held in his fourteen years as a Forum member. A thanksgiving service will be held at St. Peter’s Church in Harrogate town centre at 12.15 p.m. on Monday 10th February.
Mention was made of the Harrogate Theatre tour last Thursday morning which was enjoyed by a small but select audience of seventeen members and guests.
Today saw a returning speaker Mr Alun Pugh whose topic was “Saltaire” the Victorian model village created in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt a Victorian businessman, politician and philanthropist. Titus Salt born in 1803 and brought up in Morley was the eldest of six children whose parents had very different dispositions and outlooks which were both influential on his development. Apprenticed in the wool trade he became his father’s partner in the family firm taking over and eventually making his substantial fortune in said trade. Married to wife Caroline at Guiseley church and not unusually for those times had a large family of eleven children. In those days the living conditions of the general population were poor and there was a low life expectancy and at the age of forty six Titus Salt decided to build his model community which showed concern for his workers both in welfare terms and in the facilities he made available for them—the living conditions he created were far superior to those normally experienced at that time. Saltaire therefore came into being and is now a recognized World Heritage site. The accompanying slides to the talk showed Sataire’s original architectural splendour both in business sites, housing and the leisure amenities provided displaying the proprietor’s far sightedness and a large degree of compassion for his employees. Sir Titus Salt died in 1876 at the age of seventy three and the family eventually sold out their interests in Saltaire at the end of the 19th century. Salt Mills was closed in 1986 but purchased in 1987 by Jonathan Silver and developed to its present status.
The highly interesting and entertaining talk was much enjoyed by the audience of 32 and the Vote of Thanks was proposed by David Essam.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY