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.


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