The second Open Meeting of the season was also the ” Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting” in memory of a much respected and missed former stalwart of the Forum over a period of many years and saw an audience of fifty gather which included nine lady guests. Four apologies had been offered prior to the meeting.

John Taylor (Programme Secretary) spent a few minutes reminiscing about Ray Coggan and provided a thumbnail portrait of him as a person and his immense contribution to the activities and running of Harlow Men’s Forum.

Today saw the return of a very popular Speaker Mr Alun Pugh whose topic was ” A Tour of the Leeds –Liverpool Canal”. This proved to be an idiosyncratic presentation backed up with slides and a host of amusing anecdotes from a cycling tour undertaken by him and his friend Martin in the early 2000’s. The making of canals saw the first involvement of Civil Engineers such as James Brindley in the process and canals were in the 18th and early 19th century the main transport system of the day primarily to service industry and transport commodities such as coal. The Leeds– Liverpool canal commenced its building phase in 1770 and was completed in 1816 and was constructed with a propensity to meander around obstacles in its path and with lots of swing bridges put in place.The length of the canal is in the region of 126 miles and with 91 locks on its main route.His slides included scenes from Liverpool City such as the many historic buildings and cathedrals as well as more rural pictures once en route and great amusement was shared by his highlighting of various cycle mishaps and the lycra riding gear worn including padding for comfort!! His journey with us had only progressed from Liverpool to Wigan and up to Chorley before an enjoyable hour had elapsed and the Speaker indicated a need for us to book him for part two at a later date!

Questions and comments were heard at the conclusion of the talk and on behalf of the forty-one members and nine guests John Corby gave the Vote of Thanks.



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