Chairman Peter Staples opened the ever popular Members’ Morning by announcing that three apologies had been received. He asked John Corby to update members regarding David Essam , a former member, who moved to Beverley last year and has experienced some ill-health but pleasingly is now on the mend and had asked to be remembered to those who knew him.
First up this morning was Mike Tutt giving his first talk to the Forum and who kickstarted the morning’s proceedings by sharing his experiences of “My Electrical Life”. Born in 1938 in Folkestone he made us aware of his early moves due to evacuation in World War 2 and advised that he had always been interested in electrical things such as batteries and crystal radios even from an early age and when eight this was consolidated on receipt of a Meccano Set as a gift which stimulated his attention further. On leaving school he became a Unilever Electrical Trainee (Batchelor’s Foods) which after a year turned into a five-year apprenticeship including stints at Port Sunlight Training School and Day Release at a College. Five years National Service from 1960 saw him chose an electrical trade, enjoy various postings around the world whilst working on aeroplanes.De-mobbed back to the U.K. in Southall with initial jobs on gyroscopic equipment at Heathrow he met his future wife and moved to Huddersfield with work firstly in Bradford and then with the C.E.G.B. ending up at Beckwith Knowle and is now semi retired taking contract work in his capacity as a sole trader. His entertaining discourse shared anecdotes about camels and golf clubs in unusual places!!
Our second Speaker was Richard Wright who has given a full talk previously to the Forum regarding Gambia and his personal and professional involvement there. Today he gave us an update particularly on the unstable, dangerous and changing political situation of recent months. Since 1994 the country has been under the despotic sway of Yahya Jammeh of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council which deposed the previous government and gradually assumed the trappings of a dictatorship–lack of democracy, corruption, Secret Police and a Death Squad and prohibiting the views of independent voices whilst imprisoning opponents and leaving the Commonwealth in 2013. The period also saw Gambia’s economic decline from being the third most prosperous country in West Africa to last and becoming an Islamic Republic in 2015. However the 2016 elections saw six Opposition parties come together and defeat the incumbent with Adama Barrow declared the new President. After more turbulence, threats and a constitutional crisis Jammeh finally stepped down in January 2017 and Gambia has begun a new era including reverting the Islamic status of the country and looking to return to the Commonwealth grouping. It is to be hoped the country enjoys less interesting times going forward!!
Former Chairman Michael Cochrane gave the third address of the morning which shared his recollections of enjoying cricket and hospitality in “The Committee Room At Headingley”. The journey to the Committee Room had started many year previously when he met up in National Service at Catterick with John Budd who was a Gloucestershire Cricket Colt, a very keen player and all-rounder who was able to indulge his passion whilst doing his military service. Mike’s subsequent invitation to Headingley came from him when Gloucester were to play Yorkshire in a one day match with the proceedings being enjoyed due to the game, the company, refreshments and betting on the results!! Sadly Yorkshire lost this match.
Our final Speaker was Terry Byrne , in his second season as a Forum Member, but well-known as Chairman of the Residents Group and a First Aid Lecturer. His talk “The First Eight Minutes”, in which he was assisted by a dummy patient, painted scenarios around somebody having a heart attack and the actions that could and should be taken to give the best chance of survival and recovery and in which the initial eight minutes are vital. Terry focussed on the following factors highlighted by the starting letter to assist recall;
Danger. Response. Shout. Airway.
Breathing. Compression. Defibrillation.
He used his dummy to show how these actions should be addressed and we were reminded of the Bee Gee’s aid to compression and shown how to position an A.E.D. (Defibrillator) He stressed the importance of knowing where defibrillators are located and accessing them and finished by sharing some amusing recollections of situations he had been in.
The morning had obviously been enjoyed by the thirty-five members attending and the Chairman thanked all the Speakers for their excellent efforts and praised the variety and scope of the different talks.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY