Monthly Archives: April 2017

SUMMARY OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON APRIL 25th 2017

Outgoing Chairman Peter Staples opened the meeting expressing his thanks to members for their support during the year and then handed control of the proceedings to President Reverend Christine Gillespie.

ATTENDANCE: President Reverend Christine Gillespie and 32 members present.

APOLOGIES: 6 apologies received from members.

MINUTES: Minutes of the 39th Annual General Meeting agreed correct and signed by President. No amendments, corrections or matters arising.

GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT: At close of previous season (2015/2016) 61 members were registered on Forum records.

–Dave Essam left us during the summer recess.

—5 new members joined during the last season.

—1 member left our database as he could no longer attend.

At the close of the season (2016/2017) 64 members were left recorded on our books although there are a number we are unlikely to see again due to age/ infirmity.

Continued publicity through Harrogate Advertiser/ Church Website Links, Harrogate Library and Tourist Information Centre as well as our own Website. Personal member advocacy still best recruiter and two Programme of Meeting cards issued to help facilitate this.

PROGRAMME SECRETARY’S REPORT: Another year of strong attendances and an all time record at February 14th Open Meeting of 51. Charitable Donations totalled an impressive £645.

Special Anniversary events were well supported– Daytones Group and Malcolm Neesam and good reception afforded to Professor Dixon (Ilkley Water Cure) and Michael Duncombe (Musical Memories of the 50’s and 60’s). Open Meetings and Members Morning  also well established and received.

Thanks to all Tuesday Helpers and Officers and appreciative of Honorary Life Membership Award.

New Season commences Tuesday October 3rd 2017.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Very adequate Bank Balance of around £495 going into new season.

Donation to Church for room usage proposed and agreed at £850.

Secretarial Honorariums (2) amounting to £100 proposed and agreed.

No increase in fees/subs in next season

Discussion re funding defibrillator for Church Premises— to be agreed by Church and Forum Members to consider how we can support if it goes ahead.

HARLOW MENS FORUM OFFICERS 2017/2018.

President:                      Rev. Christine Gillespie.

Chairman: His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson.

Vice Chairman:                      Michael Cochrane.

Second Vice Chairman:            Richard Wright.

General Secretary:                      Neil Ramshaw.

Programme Secretary:                   John Taylor.

Treasurer:                                           Roy Smith.

Registrar:                                   Derek Simpson.

Church Contact:                               Mike South.                                                                                                                              Peter Belton.

Catering Officers: John Clark; Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft.                                                      Reserve:                        Richard Brooks.

Auditor:                                       Chris Butterfield.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

—Anniversary Spring Lunch Tuesday May 2nd 12p.m. for 1230p.m. at Ascot House Hotel.

—41st Season of Harlow Men’s Forum to commence Tuesday October 3rd 10a.m. for 1030a.m.

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Chairman Peter Staples opened the final normal meeting of our 40th (Ruby) season at 1030a.m. announcing seven apologies including sadly Honorary Life Member Roy Howard who is indisposed and in Littondale Ward at Harrogate Hospital and would welcome visitors. We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Today’s Speaker Mr Terry Williams is a short notice stand in due to a cancellation and we are very grateful to him. A resident of North Harrogate he is an authority on the history of the New Park area and has travelled worldwide including a year spent living in the U.S.A.

His topic for his talk “Life in a New England Mansion” developed from a student friendship with an American Andy Dauphin. This friend, a Canadian by birth, moved into New Hampshire spending his formative years in Claremont and in 1991 purchased his boyhood dream of a mansion in the town Highland View Farm which was in a tremendous state of neglect and disrepair.

Highland View Farm had been owned in the 19th century by William H Moody , owner of a Shoe and Boot Company, who whilst an enterprising man, suffered from ill-health probably due to the stresses from his business interests and would use the purchased estate as a retreat and refuge. He employed an architect Hira Beckwith to design buildings and extend the estate and Moody would develop a reputation for producing the best racing stock (horses) at this location which included on the land a racing track. With the demise of Moody in 1925 (his wife predeceased him in 1923) and no children to pass the estate to, the properties declined through many of the following years becoming derelict.

In 1991 Andy Dauphin purchased the house for $112,000 but also with a massive amount of restoration work requiring to be done both externally and internally. Plans were drawn up to restore it as far as possible to its original 19th century condition and over the years extensive work was carried out in a sympathetic and considered manner with the purchase of antique furniture and fittings, stain glass windows including the refurbishment of originals and an attention to detail and  labour of love which came across strongly in the presentation. Andy Dauphin lives in the revamped property and estate with two of his autistic charges from his company “Bear Den”.

In 1916 Moody gave part of his estate to the City of Claremont….now Moody Park a recreational area and purchased a hotel (Hotel Claremont) which is now Moody Buildings with shop units and office/conference space. Moody Buildings is also now owned by Andy Dauphin.

The talk was backed up by a comprehensive slide show which detailed the estate in its 19th century guise, through its decline and as it now looks following its regeneration. The audience had enjoyed the discourse and a number of pertinent questions confirmed the interest aroused.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the thirty-four attendees was given by John Taylor.

NEIL RAMSHAW   SECRETARY

SECRETARY’S REPORT

The meeting opened promptly at 1030a.m. with Chairman Peter Staples advising of seven apologies having been received. A welcome was extended to visitor Don Birkin.

Under “Initial Notices” the last call for A.G.M. items to be advised to Secretary Neil Ramshaw was made and final bookings for the Anniversary Lunch to Programme Secretary John Taylor were asked for, both with an April 11th cut off date.

Today saw the 40th Anniversary Lecture and the Forum were delighted that it was to be given by Harrogate’s foremost historian Mr Malcolm Neesam who although a regular Speaker to groups in the town was appearing at this gathering for the first time. His topic appropriately was about one of Harrogate’s illustrious Victorians and characters “Samson Fox: Victorian Industrialist”.

For the next hour the audience were treated to an excellent discourse about the great Samson Fox, genius , industrialist and philanthropist with the talk being supported by an illustrated and evocative slide show.

Born in 1838 in Bowling near Bradford his beginnings were from an impoverished background and at the age of nine finished his rudimentary education and went to work at Armley Mill but even from an early age wanted to be a mechanic. In 1853 he was apprenticed to the Victorian Iron Foundry in  Leeds and by 1861 at the age of twenty-three had made enough money to make his first marriage to Mary Anne Slinger from Knaresborough. In 1862 he was sent by his employers to attend the Great Exhibition at Crystal Place in London and in 1863 made his first patent for “Improvements to Machinery”. He was also the Chief Rep for Scotts of Greenock involved with shipping and wrestling with the ever-present danger of Marine Boilers blowing up. In 1874 Samson Fox founded the Leeds Forge Company which at its height would employ 2,000 men. In 1877 he patented the Corrugated Boiler Flue , a world leading development, which massively improved the safety and reliability of Marine Boilers and which established his considerable fortune. In the workplace he continued with developments such as new methods of steel manufacture, started the production of the Press Steel Railway Bogies and by 1900 had three forges producing his steel products.

In 1883 he purchased Grove House Skipton Road Harrogate and moved here. In 1889 he was elected to Harrogate Borough Council and very quickly became Mayor for three years. His philanthropic activities , running in tandem with his business and private life, saw him provide £45,000 to build the Royal College of Music Building as well as many more localised good works such as houses for workers and financial support together with him providing his notable roasted ox celebrations most notably in 1887 on the Stray to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

Other things mentioned in the life story of Samson Fox  included the mystery of Louis Aime Augustin  Le Prince; his dealings with “Diamond” Jim Brady to facilitate sales in America and his involvement with the great and good of Victorian Society.

We also were advised of the failed Water Gas Syndicate launched by Samson Fox which saw a lengthy court case eventually won  following a literary attack by the author Jerome K Jerome. Following the death of his first wife Fox remarried a much younger woman Annie Louise Baxter in 1899. His son and heir Willie Fox did not come across well appearing to be the antithesis of his father and following a period of ill-health Samson Fox passed away in October 1903.

Some questions and comments made at the conclusion of the lecture showed the interest and stimulation of the members attending with general agreement that Samson Fox is a true local great who should perhaps be more lauded than he has been.

An appropriate and fitting Vote of Thanks was given to Malcolm Neesam By His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson on behalf of the forty attendees. (40 at the 40th Anniversary Lecture!!)

NEIL RAMSHAW    SECRETARY