Monthly Archives: May 2015


I have today updated the Website with a summary from the A.G.M. held on April 28th and also the Annals for 2014/2015.

To all members have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you when the Forum starts its 39th season on Tuesday October 6th 2015.



ANNALS 2014/2015


The 38th season opened with 60 members registered on Forum records. Forum members had been saddened to learn of the death of Bill Blades in June–Bill had been a recent Chairman of the Forum and a stalwart in the kitchen team and would be much missed.

“Calendar of Meetings” and a “Welcome Back Slip”  had been circulated to all members. External distribution of “Calendar of Meetings” had also gone to Harrogate Library, Harrogate Tourist Information Centre, our local Harlow News Correspondent (Harrogate Advertiser) Charlotte South and also to Rosalind Crew our Church Contact who includes details on the Harlow Hill Methodist Church Website with its links to the Nidd Valley Methodist Circuit.

October 7th: The first meeting of the season saw two new members join… Mike Tutt and Jim Wilson.

October 14th: A further new member enrolled … George Thomas.

October 28th: Two new members joined us … Les Simpson and Geoff Harrop. This was also the ever popular “Members Morning” with contributions from John Taylor, Richard Wright, Ken Lupton, Roy Smith and Malcolm Wood.

November 11th: The Forum met on Remembrance Day and observed a period of silence in respect to those who fell in the hostilities.

November 18th: Two new members added to the books … John Stott and Fred Spurrier. This meeting saw 44 attendees … a record for an all male audience!!

November 25th: Another new member Michael Hawkins joined us. This was an Open Meeting with seven lady guests in attendance. It also saw Angela Henson a regular and popular travel speaker at the Forum over the years give her last talk to us before retiring.

December 9th: New member Ron Colquitt increased our numbers.

December 16th: Christmas Lunch at the Ascot House Hotel with a record fifty-nine members and guests attending and where our new President Reverend Christine Gillespie attended her first Forum event. Members and guests generously contributed to an all time high charitable collection of £300 which was to be split between Harrogate Homeless Project, Solar Aid to provide solar lamps for African children and to help finance the studies of a Tanzanian girl.


January 6th: The New Year started with a further new member to the assembly … David Siddans.Written acknowledgements had been received from  the charities supported by the Christmas Lunch collection. The Forum considered and agreed in principle to the purchase of a digital projector with the possibility of grant support.

January 13th: Sadly the death was reported of long-standing Forum Member Alan Norton. A new member Graham Smith signed up. Seven members were removed from membership for various valid reasons.

January 20th: Open Meeting and “The Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting” to which six lady guests were in attendance.

February 3rd: A new member Allan Ridley was added. One member removed from membership. A visitor in attendance Roger Howell.

February 17th: A visitor Peter Wells was welcomed to this meeting.

February 24th: President’s Morning … Reverend Christine Gillespie makes her debut appearance at the Forum.

March 10th: Forum’s 1000th Meeting and in attendance the Mayor of Harrogate Councillor Jim Clark who also is our local Council representative.

March 17th: Church Jumble Sale on 28th supported by member donations.

March 24th: Open Meeting which saw record member audience and record overall attendance.(48)

April 14th: New member Dennis Jennings joins Forum numbers.

April 21st: One member dropped from records. Last normal meeting of season with Professor Martin Curzon making a welcome return as Speaker.

April 28th: A.G.M. and season concludes with 63 members registered on Forum records



Attendance: President Rev. Christine Gillespie and 26 members present.

Apologies: 10 apologies received from members.

Minutes: Minutes of 37th Annual General Meeting agreed correct and signed by President. No amendments, corrections or matters arising.

Chairman’s Report: Chairman Michael Cochrane gave details from his report and expressed his pleasure at having been Chairman this last year.

General Secretary’s Report: 60 members on record at close of previous season.

—13 new members joined during this last season.

—10 members were dropped from membership, sadly this included 2 deaths.

At close of season (28/04/2015) 63 members remained on Forum records.

Continuing publicity through Harrogate Advertiser/Church Website Links/ Harrogate Library and Tourist Information Centre and Forum Website. “Word of Mouth” recommendation from members remains our best advertisement.

Programme Secretary’s Report: All Forum Records for attendance broken!!–Average attendance 35; highest attendance at all male meeting 44 and highest attendance at Open Meeting of 48. Record attendance (59) and charity collection at Ascot House Christmas Lunch raised £300 and similar charitable contributions for Speakers good causes meant over £600 raised in total. Varied programme of talks included two on First World War, talks from regular visitors and Forum members and some encouraging debut appearances. Mayor of Harrogate attended our 1000th meeting.

Treasurers Report: Indicative Receipts and Payments Account shows a continuing but reduced surplus (£421) with a deficit of £100 for current period caused by purchase of digital projector. No concerns however and fees/subs to remain at current levels next season. Increase in rent donation to Church by £10 to £810 and contribution of £85 to upgrade Speakers in Church Hall agreed by meeting.

Election of Officers: As detailed below with Peter Staples now in 2nd Vice Chairman position. All Officer appointments agreed by meeting. There remains a vacancy for Welfare Officer.


President:                       Rev. Christine Gillespie.

Chairman:                       Neil Ramshaw.

Vice Chairman:               David Essam.

Second Vice Chairman:  Peter Staples.

General Secretary:            Neil Ramshaw.

Programme Secretary:     John Taylor.

Treasurer:                           Roy Smith.

Registrar:                            Derek Simpson.

Church Contact:                 Mike South.

Welfare Officer:                  VACANT.

Catering Officers:            John Clark; Bill McNicol; Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft.

Auditor:                               Chris Butterfield.

Any Other Business:

1. “Vote of Thanks” Rota to continue next season.

2. “Name Badges” discussed and agreed would be provided at a cost of around 30 pence each member who would then be responsible for wearing at meetings and ongoing maintenance. Possibility of Group Photograph raised and deferred.

Malcolm Wood thanked Officers for their running of the Forum which was supported by the President and added to the appreciation shown to individual officers and as a collective by the attending members…this was appreciated!!

39th Season of Harlow Men’s Forum will open on Tuesday October  6th 10a.m for 1030a.m