Monthly Archives: October 2015


In the absence of the Chairman, Second Vice Chairman Peter Staples controlled proceedings and advised of eight apologies. He advised that Christmas lunch arrangements would be published at the next meeting. Ken Lupton was making a good recovery and thanked members for their help and concern when he was taken ill the previous week.

The Speaker for this meeting was the Forum’s own Programme Secretary John Taylor whose theme “Not the Happiest Days of Your Life” contradicted the perceived adult wisdom that schooldays were the happiest time of our lives and his own personal experience similarly did not support that perception following a school career of varying fortunes. In fact John blossomed late at Manchester University and he went on to outline problems experienced during their younger days by a variety of characters such as  the Duke of Wellington, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Winston Churchill and Keir Hardie. Samuel Butler had commented that we often face chill winds during our youth whereas middle and early old age is a more mellow period. An interesting discussion among members followed with Keith Wadd pointing out the relative recent adoption of child centred education.

His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson gave the Vote of Thanks and also paid a nice tribute to the Forum when commenting that Tuesday mornings at Harlow were some of the happiest days of his life!! The meeting was attended by thirty-six members.



The meeting opened with the advise of six apologies. Mention was made of Members’ Morning on Tuesday November 3rd when at least four Speakers would be welcomed to talk for 10/15 minutes on a topic of their choice. Anyone wishing to participate should advise Programme Secretary John Taylor. Kitchen support was urgently required for next week with a number of absences from the Catering Team…again advise John Taylor if able to help. Two slots on the “Vote of Thanks” rota for the 17th and 24th November require filling.

The topic for today’s talk was “St. Michael’s Hospice” and was presented jointly by Mr Keith Peters and Mr Richard Cyster respectively. The talk would hopefully improve member’s knowledge of the Hospice in terms of the services offered, funding and why it does what it does. St. Michael’s Hospice is an important and large part of the local community and is set up as an independent local charity. It has been operating for over 30 years and offers high quality end of life care and services provided free at point of need. It is committed to providing care and last days of life with respect and dignity. Services are available to anyone with terminal illnesses and 2,000 people over the age of eighteen are supported each year. Hospice support is also provided in homes or a place of choice such as Care Homes or Hospitals and care is tailored individually.

The Hospice based services include ten rooms, 24 hour/ 365 day care, an extensive and personalised menu with visitors being welcomed at any time of day. A planned new development in the current grounds at Hornbeam Park will provide increased in care facilities. Other aspects of the Hospice Operation include Day Therapy, St. Michael’s Macmillan Nurse’s and bringing support closer to home. St. Michael’s in Starbeck, the former Library opened in June 2014 and is a community base for Hospice services including the Bereavement and Counselling Service (Just B). Part of the St. Michael ethos is to help people live and die well!!

There is an increasing need for their services with an ageing population and a cost of £5 million each year with Government funding at 21%.There is a heavy reliance on volunteers currently six to each paid member of staff and funding is an ongoing issue being sourced from Gifts in Wills, eight Retail Shops, Trusts and Corporate Support and a variety of fund-raisers including the Midnight Walk and Light Up a Life. A salutary statistic is that one in three people are impacted by the Hospice’s work. The talk stirred interest which led to a number of questions to the Speaker’s  at the end. A collection amongst members raised £68-50 supplemented by a Forum payment of £50 totalling £118–50 to St. Michael Hospice funds.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Gordon Richardson on behalf of the 37 attendees.



Chairman Neil Ramshaw welcomed three new members in addition to attending members to the second meeting of the season. A warm welcome was extended to Terry Byrne; David Jackson and John Tyreman. Six apologies had been received from Dennis Anderson; Tony Bills; Grahame Devonport; Mike McKevitt; Roy Smith and John Taylor.

The “Vote of Thanks” rota still had two unfilled vacancies which Dave Essam would be grateful to see filled as he is away for the next few weeks.

Today’s Speaker Mr Roger Oldfield is a current member and recent Programme Secretary at Harrogate Men’s Forum. His topic of “Small Acorns-Mighty Oaks” was not he assured about trees but rather about three local men who in their time made a significant impact in their chosen fields of expertise.

From Thwaite in Swaledale came the brothers Kearton, Richard (1862-1928)and more significantly Cherry (1871-1940) who would take their childhood interests in birds and the countryside into important and inspiring careers based on wildlife lectures and illustrated books, wildlife photography and innovations such as the use of tele-photo lens,first motion photographs of animals and aerial photography. A significant meeting in their teens was with Sidney Gilpin a founder of Cassells and Gilpins Publishing House at a local shoot which led to job offers eventually to both of them and a move to the capital.Together with Richard writing and Cherry illustrating, a number of books were produced including the British Birds Nest Book in 1897. Cherry Kearton became more prominent and his C.V. included taking photographs on the Western Front in World War One; taking the first aerial photograph from a collapsing! airship and going on safari’s with President Theodore Roosevelt and his son Kermit and filming their exploits. No less than David Attenborough holds Cherry Kearton as one of his childhood heroes.

Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) came from Dent in Dentdale and became an acknowledged master in the geology field. Educated at Cambridge University he made that body’s geological collection one of the finest of its kind. His most important work took in the geological mapping of Devon and Cornwall; the Lake District; Scotland and North and South Wales and he formed the system for classification of Cambrian rocks. He was elected President of the Geological Society in 1829. One of his students/assistants was Charles Darwin who he maintained a continuing but at times fractious relationship with.

The third local hero was Reginald Farrer (1880-1920) who although born in London settled at an early age in Clapham in Cravendale.His family bought and extended Ingleborough Hall and Estate and due to some unfortunate physical defects as a child Reginald became something of a loner. This led to him developing a keen interest in botanic’s stimulated by his experiences on his home estate. He went to Balliol College Oxford and subsequently a trip to Japan and seeing the oriental gardens inspired him further. He established Craven Nurseries in his home village and found success with his Travel Books including “My Rock Garden” in 1908. He successfully brought back many plants from abroad that could be grown in a naturalistic style and a lasting legacy of this can be seen in plants growing wild around Ingleborough. At the end of this illuminating and entertaining talk the Speaker took questions from the audience.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Michael Cochrane on behalf of the 41 attendees.




The first meeting of the 39th season started promptly at 1030 a.m. with new Chairman Neil Ramshaw welcoming everyone back after the summer break. Two new members Robert Bradwell and Tony Bills were welcomed to the gathering. Two apologies from Dennis Anderson and Mike McKeviit had been offered.

Mention was made of John Clark’s illness and recovery but due to continuing medical treatment there would be times when kitchen support would be required from 950 a.m. onwards on Forum days. Anyone able to offer assistance should make themselves known and it would be appreciated.

Roy Smith (Treasurer) spent a few minutes talking through the Receipts and Payments Account for the year ending 30th June 2015 confirming the Forum remained in rude financial health particularly as grant proceeds for the projector costs (£209.99) had been received in the new financial year.

Dave Essam advised members that the Vote of Thanks Rota had been filled for the first five weeks and three slots remained in the period up to Christmas which he would welcome being taken.

Today’s Speaker was Mr Keith Barber from South Leeds and his topic “Memory Lane” promised members nostalgia and entertainment in equal measure. The talk backed up by a comprehensive slide show presentation took the audience back through the 1940’s/50’s and 60’s in the main with many expressions of recall and recognition being expressed. The World War Two years were covered with remembrances of rationing, gas masks and drills, various  bomb shelter types and the exuberant joyous scenes from V.E. day. Housing stock particularly back to back street terraces and pre-fabs were commented upon including outside and shared toilets, sculleries with antiquated plumbing and tin baths!! Old style corner shops (pre supermarkets times) were shown and discussed and the absence of health and safety restrictions of modern times noted. The acute winter of 1948 and excessive amount and period with snow was remembered. The numerous cigarette brands were shown, old style sweet brands recalled and popular Radio and T.V. shows and entertainment stars of the period brought to mind. Children grew up with freedom to play outside for considerable periods of time participating amongst other things in street football and cricket, skipping, hopscotch and constructing bogeys. Motor Vehicles were in much more limited use with horse and carts still about, sterling coinage still held sway and the great fairgrounds of the period were affectionately recalled. The presentation was thoroughly enjoyed by members and questions taken at its conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks was given by John Taylor on behalf of the 41 attendees.