The meeting was opened by Chairman Peter Staples with two apologies having been received. The Forum were delighted to welcome Keith Acum as a new member.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw gave a second call for the A.G.M. on Tuesday April 25th 2017 and asked for proposals/Officers to elect to be advised to him by Tuesday April 11th 2017. Members were reminded that Programme Secretary John Taylor was taking bookings for the May 2nd Anniversary Lunch with choices and payments to him by Tuesday April 11th 2017.

Today saw the return to the Forum of Mr Alan Pitchfork, a member of Knaresborough Men’s  Forum, whose topic would be “Tales of the Unexpected”. He started by reminding us of the T.V. series from the 1970’s introduced by Roald Dahl and based on short stories which could be unnerving and always had a twist in the tale. In fact Alan started with one from the T.V. series based on an Austrian–Hungary border post in 1889, a snow blizzard and the birth of a much wanted baby boy to one of the border guards and his wife.

Stories then followed on about Butch O’Hare, an American Navy Pilot hero from World War 2 who won the American Medal of Honour, had Chicago International Airport named after him but also had some strange connections to prohibition-era Chicago, the Mob, Al Capone and the Mobster’s Lawyer of choice “Easy” Eddie. Further tales followed including the U534 German submarine sank the day after war ceased in 1945 and was then salvaged nearly fifty years later. We heard some more personal anecdotes that had an element of the peculiar or remarkable coincidence including one about a “Dream” Mike had and a”Billabong”; the strange case of a silver Datsun and its distinctive number plate; neighbourly occurrences from Knaresborough into the wider world and employment in Egypt with links to a squash game in Knaresborough. His penultimate tale was again personal and related to a copy of the book “The Cruel Sea”, its mysterious appearance in his childhood trunk and a deceased connection in their new house. The final story related to an engineer, who in the days prior to mobile communications, answering a ringing phone in a red G.P.O. Box he was walking past and the call being for him!!

Audience Members shared a number of their out of the normal experiences or unlikely coincidences as the morning came to an end.

The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of forty attendees was given by Peter Belton.




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