Monthly Archives: November 2017


Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting at 1030 a.m. and advised of five apologies. He welcomed Richard Cobbald, a guest of last week, who has now joined as a member. Today’s warm up anecdote concerned a dinner, stuffed shirt guests, a five-year old boy’s twist on the act of saying grace causing adult red faces and which received a mirthful response from the audience.

Under “Initial Notices” the Chairman advised that at last weeks meeting £153–40 was raised from the Forum and its individual members for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a splendid effort, and warmly acknowledged by Mike Bevington (Speaker) and in writing by the organisation.

Making a regular and welcome return to today’s Forum was the popular Professor Martin Curzon with his chosen subject of “Teeth, Trees and Totem Poles” or more accurately “The Tribulations of a Backwoods Dentist”.

In 1965 the Professor and his newly acquired wife (also a dentist!!) took a professional placement to British Columbia to bring dental services to around eleven Indian tribes situated in some really remote areas. Outreach Services had begun its operations in 1948 to bring dental services to outlying areas and by 1960 faced in this geographically immense District around two million people requiring dentistry and medical services. We were told about the core programme aimed at 3–9 year olds funded by the Government with clinics run from 830 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day with other patients being charged and seen between 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Whilst the main and large dental equipment was provided by the British Columbian government each individual practitioner was responsible for their own supplies and instruments.The difficulties and extent of travel to about twenty-five communities was highlighted including the use of Float Planes; the vagaries of the climate noted  and the prevalence of very bad teeth in the populace requiring all aspects of dentistry. Payments were made solely in cash and promptly resulting in vastly depleted local economies much to the chagrin of the local storekeepers. Professor Curzon advised us of the make up of the indigenous (Amerindian) Indian Tribes such as the Coast Salish and Haida all with different languages and all with variances on the types of craft works produced which included Totem Poles, Baskets and Blankets. A number of items were circulated by the Speaker during the meeting which reinforced his comments on the workmanship and fast escalating values of recent years. The heraldic influence on Totem Poles was explained with some of the ancient native tales relating to such as the Raven and Bear Mother  narrated. The type of tree wood used for carving and the inclusion of teeth in many of the carvings was also noted. The impact of modern-day Indian Artists such as Bill Reid (1920/1998) was illustrated.

Many of the clinics operated were based in logging camps and a variety of children’s health problems were evident and not just dental e.g. abscesses, head lice and impetigo. Professor Curzon concluded by stating his time spent in British Columbia had led to his career long involvement in children’s dentistry and he fielded a number of questions and comments from members who had obviously appreciated and comprehended the scope of the subjects covered.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 44 attendees was given by Vincent Naylor.




Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting at 1030a.m. advising of five apologies. He also warmly welcomed a new member Allan Anderson and an attending guest Richard Cobbald. His well received icebreaker for this morning paid reference to the recently appointed Bishop of Ripon with a non related anecdote about two bishops and aspects of their secular life!!

Under “Initial Notices” a reminder of the Church Christmas Fayre on Saturday November 25th at 10a.m. was given and John Taylor advised that the Christmas Lunch on December 12th was now fully subscribed.

A welcome and regular returning Speaker for today was Mike Bevington who would give us a “Yorkshire Air Ambulance Update”. He reminded members that Yorkshire Air Ambulance, motto “Saving Lives across Yorkshire”, was divided into four geographical quarters, North, South, East and West with each having a Regional Fund Raising Manager and an Assistant Community Fund Raising Manager supported by establishing a team of Volunteers.

Formed in 2000 as an independent charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves some 5 million people and attended 1543 incidents last year with 322 in North Yorkshire alone. 2013 saw the Y.A.A. move to a new flagship airbase at the Nostell Estate where one helicopter is located and Topcliffe also provides a base for a second helicopter and there is a Head Office to be found in Elland. In 2016 two new Airbus H145 helicopters became operational at a cost of £12 million. These new vehicles had the benefits of reduced running costs, longer flying hours and night-time operations; also they had bigger internal space and were fitted out with state of the art medical equipment including a specialist stretcher. The crew of each helicopter includes a pilot, two paramedics and up to two passengers if required with recent developments seeing the addition of a Doctor. The Y.A.A. service covers 4 million acres in Yorkshire and operates within 20 minutes flying time of a major trauma centre. It is in service 365 days a year from 6a.m. to 12p.m. (18 hours) There is a dedicated Air Desk at Nostell Air Base which is advised of all Yorkshire ambulance incidents and determines priorities which could include road accidents, pedestrian incidents, motor cycle and cycle crashes , sport and leisure mishaps and episodes relating to Industry or Farming etc.

The increasing costs of the service are currently £12K a day reflecting medical advances and technical developments, increasing activity and longer operational hours. Mike touched upon the cross regional support that may happen with other Air Ambulance Charities and other medical rescue liaisons.

He finished by reminding the audience that no funding support is made by Central or Local Government  and the charity is dependant on support from individuals and groups and pointed us in the direction of the Y.A.A. website which details the role of volunteers in fund-raising, recycling through their textile banks and the importance of Gift Aid with donations.

An interested and appreciative audience asked questions during and after the talk and individual donations were gratefully made and received  at the end of the meeting. A total of £113-40 was given by individuals and £40 from Forum funds gave a total donation to the Service of £153-40

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 45 attendees was given by John Corby.




The meeting opened at 1030a.m. under the auspices of His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. who advised of three apologies having being offered.. His ice breaker for this week saw him share an amusing Snow White cartoon involving seven felons and relating to the current Westminster shenanigans. He gave an additional tale that had an international flavour looking at the Paris approach to female harassment and authority’s response as represented by the Gendarmerie!!

Under “Initial Notices” John Taylor stressed the need for Christmas Lunch bookings to be made a.s.a.p. as there is a limit of seventy-two and received orders are already in the sixties.

Mike South took to the floor to advertise the Church Christmas Fayre on Saturday November 25th and encouraged members to attend and spend some money!

Today’s talk was provided by one of our own long-standing members Keith Wadd who invoked his professional expertise as a lecturer up to 1993 to deliver “What You Need To Know About Sociology”. This proved to be a thought-provoking and intellectual topic which would challenge the listening audience individually and in a number of ways. Using an analogy relating to wasps we were told about Sociology being about Society and all the social phenomenon that humans have created. Society is complicated and difficult to understand and has an invisibility about itself. Keith stressed it was about relationships between people and not necessarily as equals.e.g. Teacher/ Child; Parent/ Child where inequalities relate to power/ authority and thar rules or assumptions were enforced by the most powerful although not always of a static nature. Conflict in relationships arose where rules were not adhered too or respected. Social inequalities were created and reinforced by man and not neutral with groupings such as Feudalism; Castes; Social Class and Communism. Differences were highlighted by wealth, income, social status/power and civil rights and a brief overview of these followed. Our Speaker touched on social mobility with some interesting statistics…..two thirds of people do not change social class…and the impact of culture which is passed from one generation to another e.g. knowledge; values; technology etc. and he illustrated in the nature versus nurturing conflict how people are most affected by their personal environment He also positioned cleanliness at a much higher level than godliness, a brave thing to do given the location of his talk!!

Sex and gender differences and developments were noted, with the position of women in Society being considered including some slow-moving changes of recent years. He gave a definition of Sociology to finish with which stated that it was a “study of social phenomenon; how people make it; perpetuate it and are affected by it”.

Questions and comments were given by an interested, stimulated and appreciative gathering.

The Vote Of Thanks on behalf of forty-five attendees was given by David Hopkinson.




Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting by advising of five apologies. He also welcomed two guests to the meeting Alan Hainsworth and Douglas McFarlane and hoped they would enjoy proceedings. The Chairman continued by commenting on last weeks meeting and advising that he was looking for volunteers to perform the cancan at the Christmas Lunch and then shared a well received “bon mot” with the audience.

Mike South, due to increasing audience numbers, advised of evacuation procedures and toilet protocols to minimise lock-ins!! Members were advised that John Taylor was taking orders for Christmas Lunch and it would be helpful to have orders back in the next fortnight. Tom Snelling took to the floor to advise about Otley Men’s Forum which takes place on a Thursday morning and which would welcome increased numbers of attendees.

Todays Speaker was Forum Secretary Neil Ramshaw whose chosen topic was “The Great Schnozzle”. This talk looked at the life and career of Jimmy Durante, the New York born son of Italian immigrants, and whose stellar show business career traversed much of the 20th century. Starting as a Rag Time and Jazz pianist in venues frequented by gangsters and other less desirables , he and his partners Clayton and Jackson moved into Vaudeville and onto Broadway where Durante himself became an individual star of many mediums including Broadway; Films; Radio and the Golden Age of American Television. On Radio and T.V. he had his own shows as well as making frequent guest appearances on many others and he was involved with the biggest and most celebrated performers and personalities of the day from across the spectrum of performing arts. Although he developed a multi faceted and diverse career his great love remained performing live in night clubs and he maintained these appearances throughout the years appearing at the biggest and best venues in the States.

His extensive career of over 60 years was brought to a close at the age of 79 following a massive stroke even though he survived a few more years, albeit in poor health, before passing away at the age of 86.

In all his years in show business Durante established and maintained a reputation for staying true to his roots, displaying loyalty, generosity and kindness and this was reciprocated by the great affection he was regarded with by family, friends and the general public and he was paid many heartfelt tributes both during his lifetime and after his death—-a legend of show business who still lives on in popular culture!!

The Vote of Thanks was given by Peter Staples (my thanks to Peter for the Durante Toby Jug he allowed me to display) on behalf of the forty-five attendees.