SECRETARY’S REPORT

Chairman  Peter Staples opened the meeting at 1030a.m. with four apologies having been offered.The Anniversary Lunch Menu’s were out for members to take, with choices and payments to be returned to John Taylor by Tuesday April 11th 2017.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw gave notice of the A.G.M. on Tuesday April 25th 2017 and asked for proposals/prospective Officers elect to be advised to him by April 11th 2017 to allow preparatory work for the meeting to take place.He also advised names were needed to come forward for the Second Vice Chairman and also reserve cover for the Catering Team. Brief mention was also made of an informal approach to Harrogate Lions for Defibrillator Funding but this also needs to be taken forward with the Church if it is to be progressed.

Forum Members were today entertained and engaged by Mr Michael Duncombe from Leeds but originally from near Rotherham who shared his “Musical Memories of the 50’s and 60’s”. His story involved himself and two childhood friends growing up in the mid to late 50’s , joining a Methodist Church Youth Club in their village Whiston, attracted by the presence of girls but being introduced to music! Music was radically changing at this time as evidenced by T.V. Shows such as “Oh Boy!” and “Ready Steady Go” all promoting the “new” music. The three friends decided to pursue the new genre, clubbed together and purchased one guitar and a book “The Guitar Made Easy”. Supported by a kindly Aunt and Uncle (Edie and Philip) the fledglings used Sunday afternoons at the relatives house to hone their developing talent using Uncle’s tape recorder and the additional benefits of Auntie’s sumptuous Sunday teas!! We heard about homemade guitar cases made from blankets and rain coats , how the trio started locally but were invited to audition for the Carol Levis Talent Show at the Sheffield Empire Theatre courtesy of a helping hand from Aunt Edie and being inspired by shop names to adopt the moniker “The Saxons” as their show business name. A 30 second audition saw them make one of the initial main shows and then the Saturday Grand Final with a combination of talent and Aunt Edie’s “rent a crowd” activity! Compere of the Sheffield shows was interestingly a youthful Jackie Collins. The Saxons enjoyed local success and began appearing at Garden Parties, Charity Functions, Hotels, Dance Halls and leading memorably to an appearance at a Girls Remand Home. Following an invite , for a time they were part of the Burrells Concert Party and moved into appearances at Working Men’s Clubs. In the mid 60’s a particular highlight was being asked to perform in the finale of a production (“A God Forsaken Hole”) at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1969 the trio finished their time in entertainment together after 12 years due to domestic moves but stayed in touch as friends and twenty-four years later reformed and went back on the road but sadly and poignantly finished for good in 1997 due to the illness and subsequent passing of one of their number. During the talk tracks were played from the trio’s one C.D. which gave a lovely flavour of their talent and musical taste. These included “Crying in the Rain”; “Scarlet Ribbons”; “Another You”; “Let It Be Me” and “Jimmy Brown”. Whilst never going professional with their musical talents they came across as inspired amateurs.

It was evident from the questions, comments and general enthusiasm shown by the audience that the morning in pop parlance had been a hit delivered by a Speaker whose relaxed, amusing and most affable manner had greatly enlivened proceedings as well as attending with a great story.

The Vote Of Thanks was given by Roger Bancroft on behalf of thirty-six appreciative members.

 

NEIL RAMSHAW   SECRETARY

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