Monthly Archives: November 2014

Secretary’s Report

The meeting was started by the Chairman Michael Cochrane who welcomed the seven lady guests to the Open Meeting. A new member Mike Hawkins was also welcomed and there were two apologies offered. Confirmation was given that the Christmas Lunch at the Ascot House Hotel had been booked for December 16th with 59 signed up!!

Today’s Speaker Mrs Angela Henson had spoken at the Forum many times previously but this would be her final appearance as she was retiring from the speaker circuit and she was thanked for her talks, time and contribution to the Forum and wished well for the future. Her final talk was titled “The Azores: Stepping Stones to the New World” and supported by an excellent slide show she enlightened and entertained the audience in equal measure with her discourse. The Azores belong to Portugal and are about 1,000 miles west of there in the North Atlantic. The islands are volcanic in nature either sitting on or close to the Mid Atlantic Ridge and were first discovered in 1427 (Santa Maria). San Miguel is the biggest island with Pico, Terceira and six other major ones split into autonomous regions of Portugal. Mrs Henson took us on an island hopping trip which displayed the full panorama of these volcanic isles,their geographical and flora features along with a look at some of their main towns,  churches and customs including the use of the underground thermal heat for cooking. The Azores are basically self-sufficient in food derived from smallholdings/little farms whilst exporting some cheese to Portugal and producing outstanding pineapples as well as cultivating a tea plantation. Her talk may have encouraged some of the audience to consider the area worthy of a visit!

The Vote of Thanks was given by David Essam on behalf of 39 members and 7 guests.




Secretary’s Report

The meeting was started by the Chairman Michael Cochrane with the announcement of two new members attending namely John Stott and Fred Spurrier and one prospective member David Siddans. Two apologies had been given.

It was confirmed that David Essam had been nominated as Second Vice Chairman and members agreed this appointment by acclamation. The final call for Christmas lunch payment and menus was made and the audience was advised a record 57 had booked.

Returning for a third time Mr Alun Pugh spoke on “Teaching–An Interruption To My Holidays”. This proved to be an extremely entertaining and amusing hour of stories and anecdotes from the teaching industry including some of a personal nature. Name checked amongst his tales were Gervase Phinn, John Lennon, Jilly Cooper and Phil Willis  amongst others.  He also shared some of his father’s recollections, who was also a teacher, from his post war diaries and then of his own experiences from teaching in the Leeds area including his most “famous” pupil Stuart McAll. What stood out was the noticeable changes in accepted behaviors and disciplines from the 1940’s through the 1960’s to the present day and what was deemed acceptable then and almost nostalgic but which would be deemed unacceptable today!! An engaged audience offered a number of comments and questions at the end of the talk.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Vincent Naylor on behalf of the appreciative 44 attendees.





Secretary’s Report

Chairman Michael Cochrane started the meeting by advising members that there would be a 2 minute silence at 11a.m. to reflect it was Armistice Day. Eight apologies had been received for today and a final reminder of the Forum’s Christmas lunch was given for December 16th with a need to have menu’s and payments to John Taylor by next Tuesday(18th) latest. The Chairman then shared a story about an Officer soldier A. E. J. Collins of the Royal Engineers killed in the first battle of Ypres who had been an outstanding sportsman and still holds the record for 628 not out in a school match where he also took 11 wickets!! He was 13 at the time and his run score made in the Old Cliftonian match still stands as a record.

Mr Norman Oberheim today’s Speaker is a member and former Chairman of Bilton Forum , a keen cyclist and a member of Harrogate Photographic Society.It is in the latter capacity he was returning to our Forum for a second time to share “A Second Photo Miscellany”.  The audience was shown an assortment of photographs of the Stray, Ripon Market, river scenes, the Cutty Sark , local and not so local landscapes ,Tour De France 2014 pictures, Edinburgh Tatoo and various aeroplanes and machinery amongst an eclectic collection. Mr Oberheim shared some of the tricks of the trade for digitally enhancing photos or for using multiple shots to create panoramic scenes and showed the amazingly small camera he uses to such good purpose.  A pleasant ,interesting and informative hour soon passed by.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Mike South on behalf of 32 attendees.



Secretary’s Report

The Meeting was promptly opened by Chairman Michael Cochrane  with six apologies having been given. A reminder of the Christmas Lunch was made and notice that menu’s/payments needed to be with John Taylor by Tuesday 18th November.

Mrs Jean Macquarrie Editor of the Harrogate Advertiser was the guest speaker and a “Meet the Editor” interlude took place. Mrs Macquarrie had been Editor of the Advertiser for over 20 years and it was 10 years since she had last spoken to the Forum. The Harrogate Advertiser started life in 1836 and was basically a list of prominent visitors staying in Harrogate each week. Ackrill’s was the family name who originally owned the paper. In 1984 the newspaper changed hands to United Newspapers then again to Regional Independent Media and 12 years ago to Johnstone Press P.L.C.. the second biggest Regional publisher in the U.K. Throughout all these changes complete Editorial independence and integrity has been maintained as well as maintenance of political independence. The impact of going tabloid was discussed and some initial negativity which the paper responded too and mention was made of the ongoing bugbear of spelling and grammatical errors against a background of tight cost control and reducing staff posts. More recent issues include the massive growth in the Web audience–larger than the traditional print readership with advertising revenue by far the biggest income stream for the paper but moving increasingly to digital advertising and the likely introduction of apprenticeships back into the company. Some well known former Advertiser employees were given a name check including Martin Sixsmith and John Craven.

Following on from Mrs Macquarrie’s overview was a lively and active question and answer session covering a variety of topics including critical style of reporting; printing and distribution; coverage of local and county council issues; levels of reporters and photographers (numbers) and the post- Leveson position of the Group. It was obvious from the comments and questions that there had been a high level of engagement with the morning’s Speaker.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Peter Staples on behalf of the 35 attendees.