The meeting was opened by Acting Chairman Dave Essam who welcomed a record audience for an all male meeting of forty-four attracted, according to him, by his presence in the Chair!! A number of apologies were offered.
A reminder that next week ( December 1st ) is the last opportunity to book for the Christmas lunch although John Taylor advises that we are very close to capacity (70/72 ).
The large audience may have had more to do with the popularity of our evergreen member and regular Speaker His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson treating the assembly in his normal erudite and engaging way to ” More Curiosities”!! As usual a large area of different subjects were covered but his language skills saw a seamless transition from one topic to another. He mentioned Famous Yorkshiremen namely Percy Shaw ( Cats’ Eyes Inventor ), Mr Atkinson ( Nipper Mousetrap ) and Charles Laughton Oscar-winning Actor and Director whose family ran a hotel in Scarborough. Derek’s fascination with large numbers came to the fore–HS2 train now costing £60billion!! ; a devoted filmgoer has seen the Sound of Music no less than 942 times ( presumably where the saying ” a glutton for punishment” comes from) . He also touched upon nostalgia referring to Errol Flynn’s 1938 ” The Adventures of Robin Hood” and the tremendous impact of Olivier’s Henry V which he saw as a schoolboy at Leeds Odeon in 1944. Later in his career as a Recorder at Huddersfield Derek appeared in full robes and wig at the opening of Scammonden Dam where nearby is the farm where the M62 bifurcates; rumoured that the farm was saved possibly by the determination of an Englishman to defend his home but the truth being the area around the farm was geologically unsound for building a road. Questions at the end revealed that Dave Hill had sold curtains to Percy Shaw from his Halifax shop.
On behalf of an appreciative Membership the Vote of Thanks was given by Malcolm Wood who also mentioned the warm regard for ” The Judge” not only in the Forum but throughout the town.
JOHN TAYLOR / ROY SMITH