The meeting was opened with three apologies being offered by Chairman Roger Bancroft. Last weeks prospective new member Richard Wright today became a full member and is welcomed to the Forum numbers. Two notices were announced to the audience, the first being a request for old bicycles for Jame Stamford on behalf of Marie Curie as part of a fund raising exercise–anyone who can help please contact Programme Secretary John Taylor. The second notice was an update on Member Ken Burcher who is home from hospital and in Suffolk to convalesce with his son but he sent thanks to the Forum for the card that had been sent to him.
Today’s Speaker Mrs Angela Henson , returning for the seventh time, took us on a trip to ” Norway: Land of Mountains and Flowers “. This would involve her on taking us on her various visits ( over a 45 year period ) and a distance of approximately 1,000 miles. We were made privy to some of the splendors of the Fjords, the capital Oslo, Trondheim the Royal Capital and its great museums and Town Hall building and Viglen’s sculptures in Frogner Park. Stavanger was the first port of entry and the base for the Norwegian oil industry and we then moved on to Bergen which was built on a number of hills and still possesses its charming old wooden 18th century houses. To our delight Angela shared the discovery of a mini Fountains Abbey 15 miles from Bergen and founded by the same family of Cistercian monks associated with our more immediate locality. The Oslo–Bergen Railway of 1909 , electrified in 1964 was shown and pointed out that it never fails to run!! Some of the incredible roads in the country were also shown and discussed as were another standout feature Stave Churches. Viking Hall Ice Rink at Lillehammer was the only permanent building from the 1994 Winter Olympics , the rest of the buildings used having been transported around Norway for use as other things.. We enjoyed pictures of elks, reindeer, various mountains, the Hardangervidda plateau , lakes and glaciers and a wide selection of Norwegian flora such as glacial buttercups, King Charles candlesticks, blind campions and various orchids including the Lady Slipper. The presentation was accompanied throughout by a range of excellent slides and provoked interesting and thoughtful questions and comment at the end.
The Vote of Thanks was given by John Taylor on behalf of the 32 attendees.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY