SECRETARY’S REPORT

The meeting opened at 1030a.m. and Chairman Neil Ramshaw advised that three apologies had been received.

Under “Initial Notices” a second reminder for the April 26th 2016 A.G.M. was given and the need to advise proposals/A.O.B. or Officers for election by April 12th.

Soundings had been taken in respect of the Members Spring Lunch on May 3rd and consensus was for the Bay Horse Goldsborough with details to be advised in due course. Thanks were given to Malcolm Wood for his painstaking personal research at the various hostelry options!!

Today saw the return of a popular and regular Speaker Mr David Davies whose topic was “Wilson and the Sailors 1964–1979”. For the next hour the audience were entertained, informed and reminded of many of the key events in United Kingdom history from 1964–1979. David enhanced his discourse with slides and outlined the situation and events facing the country from 1964 including high public debt/ inflation, the Israeli–Egypt Six Day War and the need for Trade Union reforms. This period also saw the grammar school boys (Wilson; Heath and Callaghan) move into the political ascendancy replacing the old “aristocracy” but whilst Great Britain had made progress through the 1950’s, manufacturing particularly was in decline internationally against emerging economies such as Japan…industries in retreat included Motorbikes, Cars and Shipbuilding. The dismantling of Empire was inevitably taking place and other issues such as Rhodesia had to be contended with. Brief pen pictures of some of the key players from the period were given e.g. the three Prime Ministers and other secondary but significant personalities  such as  Enoch Powell; Anthony Wedgwood-Benn; Roy Jenkins; Barbara Castle; George Brown and Denis Healey were recalled. We were reminded of Mary Whitehouse, John Poulson, T Dan Smith, Idi Amin, Germaine Greer and Henry Cooper. Carnaby Street was brought to mind along with Concorde, the film “Zulu”, the start of I.R.A. terrorism and the “Cod Wars” with Iceland. The amount of political consensus that existed was stressed and the ongoing similar problems faced by successive Governments was often unresolved. Centralised Planning, Wage Restraint, High Inflation, Industrial Disorder, Devaluation, “Three Day Week” and the 1978/9 Winter of Discontent were all touched upon as well as the vexed question of E.E.C. Membership (vetoed by French in the 60’s) agreed and achieved in 1973 and subjected to Referendum in 1975!! Great Social change occurred–the end of Flogging/ Capital Punishment; Homosexual and Divorce Reform and Theatre Censorship being relaxed. Labour were in power 1964–70; Conservatives 1970-74 and Labour again 1974-79 but all failed because of the same difficulties; a failing economy and adverse Industrial Relations issues. At the close of the talk an appreciative audience made comments and asked questions on the matters raised.

The Vote of Thanks was given on behalf of the thirty-nine attendees by John Corby.

 

NEIL RAMSHAW  SECRETARY

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