Monthly Archives: April 2016

ANNALS 2015/2016


The 38th season ended with 63 members registered on Forum records. During the close season the Forum was sorry to hear of the death of Honorary Life Member Reg Jackson at the great age of 101 years and 9 months. A founder member of the Forum (38 years membership), twice Chairman and giver of twenty-six (official) talks. Whilst sad to record his passing he was the oldest member ever of the Forum and had demonstrated a remarkably well lived life when attending the Forum in  October 2013 in celebration of his centenary year and he will be remembered fondly by Forum members.

The revised membership total for the start of the 39th season was therefore 62 members.

“Calendar of Meetings” and a “Welcome Back Slip” had been circulated to all members. External distribution of “Calendar of Meetings” had also gone to Harrogate Library, Harrogate Tourist Information Centre, our local Harlow News Correspondent (Harrogate Advertiser) Charlotte South and also to Rosalind Crew our Church contact who includes details on the Harlow Hill Methodist Church Website with its links to the Nidd Valley Methodist Church.

Oct 6th: The first meeting of the season saw two new members join –Tony Bills and Robert Bradwell.

Oct 13th: three new members added to the membership–Terry Byrne; David Jackson and John Tyreman

Oct 20th: meeting with a charity presentation re: St. Michael’s Hospice and a total amount of £118–50 collected for them.

Nov 3rd: The popular and now annual Members’ Morning –5 Speakers from amongst the membership.

Nov 10th: new member Leslie Parkes joins us.

Nov 17th: first Open Meeting of the season saw eight lady guests bolster attendance to a very healthy forty-one which also include new member Peter Wood

Dec 8th: this meeting saw a record attendance of fifty members.

Dec 15th: a very successful Christmas Lunch at Ascot House Hotel with another record attendance of seventy-one members and guests. The Charitable Collection of £370 was also an all time high and would be passed to a fellow community association Harrogate 20th Scout Group who are raising funds to provide a new Scout Hut.


Jan 12th: The following were dropped from membership;

John Knell & Allan Ridley (own request)

Richard Barker (ill-health)

Malcolm Rawdon (advised deceased)

Jan 19th: second Open Meeting of the season saw nine lady guests join with forty-one members.

Feb 2nd: Update on former member Brian Blakey now in Southlands Care Home Ripon Road Harrogate. Reverend Christine Gillespie completed her second ” President’s Morning”.

Feb 9th: charitable collection taken for Aid to Eastern Europe (John Shackleton) raising £102-40 plus Speaker’s Fee of £30.

Mar 8th: Third Open Meeting of season with thirty-seven members and eleven lady guests.

Mar 22nd: John Stott removed from membership…no longer attending.

Apr 12th:Philip Sladdin removed from membership due to ill-health.

Apr 19th:Dennis Jennings removed from membership as moving to Bakewell.

April 25th: Death of Ken Lupton advised.

April 26th: A.G.M. Informed of recent death of former member Stuart Metcalfe. Season concludes with 61 members registered on Forum Records.

May 3rd : Members’ Spring Lunch at Bay Horse Goldsborough.




ATTENDANCE: President Rev. Christine Gillespie and 24 members present.

APOLOGIES: 12 apologies received from members.

MINUTES: Minutes of 38th Annual General Meeting agreed correct and signed by President. No amendments, corrections or matters arising.

CHAIRMAN& GEN. SECRETARY REPORT: Chairman Neil Ramshaw thanked officers and members for their support and for making his year as Chairman a pleasant experience.

At the close of the previous season 63 members on Forum Records were reduced to 62 at the start of the 39th season due to Reg Jackson’s death during the summer.

—-7 new members joined during the last season

—-8 members were removed from membership which sadly included two further deaths. (Malcolm Rawdon and Ken Lupton)

At the close of the season (26/4/2016) 61 members were registered on Forum Records.

Continuing publicity through Harrogate Advertiser/Church Website Links/Harrogate Library and Tourist Information Centre along with our own Website. Advocacy from Members is still our best recruiting agent.

PROGRAMME SECRETARY’S REPORT: Attendance Records continue to be broken with an average weekly attendance of 38. Highest attendance of 50 at an all male meeting; record numbers of “guests” at an Open Meeting; biggest Christmas Lunch gathering of 70 and record Charitable Lunch Collection there of £370.

Interesting talks from regular and new Speakers. Major contributions from our own members including Richard Wright (Gambia); David Siddans (Traffic Jams) and Judge Derek Clarkson (Curiosities) not forgetting John Taylor who shared some recollections of Schooldays. Another successful Members’ Morning with 5 Speakers providing eclectic entertainment and our annual President’s  Morning providing enjoyable education.

Thanks to all Tuesday Helpers, Officers and not least Members for attendance and friendly attitude which makes Harlow Men’s Forum so welcoming.

Charitable Donations amounted to £878-80 made up of £250 to various Speakers who fund their own good causes; £370 collected at Christmas Lunch for 20th Harrogate Scout Group and three Meeting Collections. (St. Michael’s Hospice; John Shackleton–Eastern Europe Ambulance and R.N.L.I.)

TREASURER’S REPORT: Very healthy Bank Balance going forward–£659-49 (confirmed by Treasurer after meeting).

Donation to Church for room usage proposed and agreed at £825.

Further Donation of £100 proposed and agreed to Church for rear porch refurbishment work.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS 2016/2017 (as detailed below)

Malcolm Wood spoke persuasively and exhorted members to consider taking office particularly as Chairman.

Vice Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson and Second Vice Chairman Michael Cochrane proposed, seconded and agreed by acclaim at meeting. All other Officers to continue in role as agreed by Meeting Attendees.


PRESIDENT:                               Rev. Christine Gillespie.

CHAIRMAN:                               Peter Staples.

VICE CHAIRMAN:                    Judge Derek Clarkson.

SECOND VICE CHAIRMAN:  Michael Cochrane.

GENERAL SECRETARY:          Neil Ramshaw.


TREASURER:                              Roy Smith.

REGISTRAR:                               Derek Simpson.

CHURCH CONTACT:                Mike South.

Peter Belton.

CATERING OFFICERS:       John Clark; Bill McNicol;

Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft.

AUDITOR:                                     Chris Butterfield .

The position of Welfare Officer has been vacant for some time and a decision taken to discontinue the role. Any such matters arising can be brought to the Forum’s attention by any aware member where appropriate.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS: 2016 Christmas Lunch Charitable Collection to be split between St Michael’s Hospice and The Air Ambulance.

Thanks to Officers of the Forum on behalf of members from Peter Staples.

NEXT EVENT: Members’ Spring Lunch Tuesday May 3rd.

40th Season of Harlow Men’s Forum will open on Tuesday October 4th at 10a.m. for 1030 a.m.




It is with regret that I have to advise you of the death yesterday of Ken Lupton.

Ken was not a member of long-standing but had contributed with a short talk one Members morning. We had not seen him at Forum since last October when those present may recall him not being well and an ambulance having to be summoned. It transpired that he was battling cancer and although in his early nineties stayed cheerful and medication kept him going until latterly.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made although his daughter advised me there will be a short cremation service in Harrogate and a Memorial Service in Hartlepool where he comes from and where he played the organ at his local church for 40 years.

I have offered mine and the Forum’s condolences to his daughter and family at this sad time.




The final “normal “meeting of the 39th season commenced promptly at 1030 a.m. with eight apologies having been offered.

The members were advised that one item for addition to the A.G.M. Agenda had been notified concerning the distribution of the Christmas Lunch Charitable collection but no candidates had been added to the list for positions of First and Second Vice Chairmen and which were ideally needed for the Forum’s organisation going forward. John Taylor was still able to take bookings for the Members’ Spring Lunch (33 out of 50 potential places taken) with a deadline of next week’s meeting (A.G.M.).

The Forum Membership were pleased to welcome back Mr Michael Bevington Tour Guide for Fountain’s Abbey and associated places who would conclude his trilogy of talks to us with “The Studley Deer Park”. Over the next hour Michael entertained and informed us about Studley Royal Estate, The Obelisk and St Mary’s Church, Studley House and Stables, The Deer Park, The Lime Kiln and Glacial Valley, The Ice Houses and The Valley of the Seven Bridges. Some of the Family History associated with the Estate was shared with us starting in 1180 with Richard De Aleman Lord of Studley Royal; in 1452 ten generations of Mallory’s inhabited the Estate and marriage saw the introduction of the Aislabie family name with the Estate then in the same family/descendants until 1966. We were informed of the genesis and construction of St Mary’s Church commissioned in 1870 by George Robinson 1st Marquess of Ripon and designed by architect William Burges, the same pair being responsible for a further Memorial Church The Church of Christ The Consoler at Skelton-cum- Newby in memory of Robinson’s brother-in-law Frederick Vyner murdered by Greek Bandits in 1870. Mention was made of Studley House built in 1750 but destroyed by fire in 1946; The Choristers’ House built in 1873 as a Music School and the Lost Belvedere, a Folly or Gazebo. Information was shared about the make up of the Deer in the Park namely Fallow, Red and Sika with a total population of around 350/400. The talk was supported by an excellent slide show covering the principal features of the Estate. Questions were asked at the end of the talk and appetites had been whetted to visit or revisit these National Trust Locations.

The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of thirty- one attendees was given by Michael Cochrane.




Chairman Neil Ramshaw opened the meeting at 1030 a.m. and advised that seven apologies had been received. In his capacity as Secretary he gave a last advance call for the April 26th A.G.M. requesting proposals/discussion items for the Agenda and Officers for election for next season. A reminder that John Taylor requires returned menu choices from those wishing to attend the Members’ Spring Lunch on Tuesday May 3rd and there is a capacity limit of fifty.

We welcomed today’s Speaker Mr Colin Senior from Wakefield accompanied by his wife June who would advise us about the work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. His talk and accompanying D.V.D.’s were interesting, informative and at times emotional and struck an empathetic chord with the audience.The Institution is manned mainly by volunteers who at times operate in appalling conditions particularly offshore and deserve the best equipment and training possible to help save lives.

Sir William Hillary from Douglas Isle of Man formed what became known as the R.N.L.I. in 1824 with the motto “With Courage Nothing Is Impossible” and around 141,000 lives have since been saved. There has been a continuous development of Lifeboats, their design and supporting technology over the years with over 340 all-weather and inshore Lifeboats and 236 Lifeboat Stations servicing the British Isles. 4715 Volunteer Crew Members–men and women–form the backbone of this emergency service and whilst some have fishing backgrounds increasingly many are drawn from all other walks of life with the key requirements being the need to be physically fit and possessing the ability to work as part of a team. The R.N.L.I. is a Charity and National Emergency Service with its Headquarters in Poole but as well as coastlines operates on Inland Waterways (e.g. Flood Relief) with boats on the Thames, Loch Ness for instance and small Hovercraft at places such as Hunstanton, Morecambe, Southend and New Brighton, very often stationed in response to previous disasters such as the Marchioness sinking or the fate of the Chinese Cockle Pickers at Morecambe Bay. Lifeguards are also part of the R.N.L.I.brief and cover over 200 beaches in the U.K. and Channel Islands.

With one in ten volunteers only from a maritime background, training is essential and needs to cover such things as First Aid, Personal Safety, Navigation and Rolling Water training with the cost of such training in excess of £5700 per annum. Other notable statistics were that £410,000 per day is the cost to run the R.N.L.I. ; 24 people on average per day are rescued; 65% of income comes from legacies, 28% from voluntary contributions and the rest from merchandising etc.

Two D.V.D.’s were shown to the Forum Members , one relating to the 1981 rescue of the Bonita Crew which was caught in a hurricane resulting in the highest R.N.L.I. awards to the rescuers and closer to home a 2015 Scarborough “Gallantry Film”  about the magnificent efforts of the Scarborough Lifeboat in treacherous conditions to save Andrew McGeown who unfortunately did not survive.

The engagement of those listening was shown by the questions and comments following and an opportunity for a financial collection was provided. (£50 fee plus £85 from members totalling £135)

The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of forty-one attendees was given by Roger Bancroft.




The meeting was opened at 1030a.m. with six apologies having been received. Chairman Neil Ramshaw gave a short update on two members and made the third call for the April 26th A.G.M. with any proposals/discussion items/ officers for election to be advised to the Secretary by next Tuesday April 12th latest. There is also an urgent need for a candidate to take up the position of Vice Chairman next year given the changes at Chairman level outlined to members. Details of the Members’ Spring Lunch were provided by John Taylor with a need for bookings and menus to be back with him by April 26th.

The Forum saw returning Speaker Mr Tony Burkitt attend with his talk on ” Ireland–A Green And Pleasant Land”. The audience was then entertained for an hour with an impressive slide show starting in Dublin but travelling around many parts of Southern Ireland including County Kerry and Connemara. Many impressive buildings were shown in Dublin including Customs House, ( originally built in 1791; burnt down by the I.R.A. in 1921 and subsequently restored) Dublin Castle, other splendid examples of Georgian buildings and their coloured doors and some of the statues to be found around the city including James Joyce, Molly Malone, Charles Stewart Parnell and Daniel O’Connell. Other landmarks were illustrated  such as the G.P.O. Building (notable in 1916 Easter Uprising), the Ha’Penny Bridge across the Liffey and Trinity College (University Of Dublin) where the Book Of Kells can be seen. Tony then moved us to the Wicklow Mountains with great landscapes and some fine Mansions to peruse. We called in at Avoca better known as Ballykissangel from B.B.C. T.V.  and were shown castles, churches, ancient ruins and crosses, monk’s retreats and colour washed properties along with pictures of the many varied wild flowers to be found. The talk was underpinned with a flavour of the history of this at times troubled province particularly the longstanding sectarian differences and mention was made of some of the legends that are integral to this country. A short question and answer session concluded the morning’s proceedings.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the thirty-six attendees was given by Mike South.