Monthly Archives: April 2018


I have posted a summary of today’s A.G.M. for attention.



In Attendance: President Rev. Christine Gillespie and 32 members.

Apologies: 7 apologies received.

Outgoing Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson opened the meeting by thanking all officers and members for their support in contributing to another successful season and the pride we should have and share about our group.

The Forum President Rev. Christine Gillespie took the chair for the rest of the meeting.

Minutes of Last A.G.M.: Agreed as a correct record, approved by members and signed by the Chairperson as confirmation.

No Matters Arising raised.

Chairperson’s Remarks: Christine paid her tribute to the Forum and stressed the importance of continuing to give a positive and good impression to all those it comes into contact with.

General Secretary’s Report: 12 new members in during season; 12 members dropped from membership for various reasons with registered members continuing at 64. Thanks to outgoing Chairman Derek for his amusing and good-natured stewardship during the last season.

Programme Secretary’s Report: High level attendances continued over from previous season (average 38) and excellent contribution from members to programme (5 talks given).

Disappointment expressed by John over a couple of talks with one being a late cancellation.

Advised that next season , his 12th as Programme Secretary, will be his last.

Treasurer’s Report: Indicative Accounts prepared and circulated. Finances remain healthy and a 3O pound discrepancy in figures explained by unpresented cheque. Church Collection of 140 pounds mentioned. Continuing 500 pound plus balance continues to be maintained to cover contingencies.

Proposals: Fees and Subscriptions to remain unchanged for another year…agreed by meeting.

Church Donation of 870 pounds ..agreed by meeting unanimously.

Secretaries Honorariums totalling  100 pounds agreed by meeting unanimously.

Terry Byrne raised issue of defibrillator for Church. Treasurer Roy and Chairperson Christine explained background and costs involved which also covered possibility or otherwise of blind in the church. Principle of defibrillator at Church o.k. but funds needed to be raised and permission given to General Secretary to approach local businesses on the Hill for support and pledges during the summer recess.

Deceased Members: Three members and one former member had passed away during the last season and the Chairperson asked attendees to stand and observe a period of silence in remembrance.

Election of Officers for 2018/2019:

Vacancies for Second Vice Chairman (to be Chairman in 2020/2021) and for a further volunteer in the Catering Team.

Malcolm Wood gave a positive and encouraging overview of the Chairman’s role, drawing on his own experiences, what it would involve and the support available.

Longer term a candidate to replace John Taylor as Programme Secretary will be required for 2019/2020.

The following positions were confirmed en-bloc.


President:       Rev. Christine Gillespie

Chairman:              Michael Cochrane

Vice Chairman:     Richard Wright

Second Vice Chairman: VACANT

General Secretary: Neil Ramshaw

Programme Secretary: John Taylor

Treasurer:                     Roy Smith

Registrar:                      Derek Simpson

Church Contact:          Mike South

Catering Officers: John Clark; Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft;

Reserve:                       Richard Brooks

Auditor:                       Chris Butterfield

Any Other Business:

Proposal from Neil Ramshaw that next season sees the final Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting. Reasons given and some discussion … agreed by meeting.

Mike South discussed merits of using Church room when appropriate as opposed to normal meeting  room. Again some discussion and different views from floor but general support for the proposition to use the Church room when deemed appropriate.

Tom Snellig raised issue of increasing Open Meetings each season to four. This received support and some concern from the floor but the meeting agreed that in future the President’s Morning would become an Open Meeting leaving the Programme Secretary with the normal three to identify.

Chairperson Christine Gillespie brought the meeting to a close.


2018 Wednesday May 23rd 1030a.m. –12.00 a.m.  Coffee Morning at Hollins Hall for those booked with John Taylor.

The 2018/2019 season starts on Tuesday October 2nd 10.a.m. for 1030 a.m.






His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the final meeting and advised of three apologies.

Chairman Derek shared a quote from D.J. Sara Cox regarding school days being the best (or possibly not!!) days of your life.

Today’s Speaker was the Forum’s own Programme Secretary and Honorary Life Member John Taylor who would entertain and inform with his “Hollins Hall Story”.

John and his wife Margaret are residents at the Audley Court Retirement Village (Hollins Hall) and mentioned some of the discreet and less discreet responses to their making such a move but stressed that it was independent living for the over 55’s with some residents still gainfully employed.

We were advised of the history of the location which was uninhabitable up to the 18th century although there was a Hollins Hall farm from 1723 and Levens Hall in the area. As the transport infrastructure improves with the establishment of the Skipton Road this led to the building of Hollins Hall in around 1818. John then structured his talk around the seven ages of Hollins Hall;

–Four private owners.

–World War Two.


—Retirement Village.

Hollins Hall was originally built for John Williams, the Recorder of Ripon and his wife Dorothy and occupied by latterly Dorothy until 1855 (her death). The property was then purchased by the Tetley family (Joshua) but only for a short period due to their advanced age and was subsequently bought in 1868 by John and Letitia Wright who took up residence. Letitia was an ardent teetotaler and actively involved in the Temperance Movement. In 1909 Hollins Hall changed hands again at auction and was secured by Frederick Jowett, a West Riding Wool Merchant. 1939 saw the outbreak of World War Two and the Hall was requisitioned for evacuees, sixty-eight children and young mothers, originally coming from Woolwich. In 1941 new evacuees arrived facilitated by Barnado’s and were primarily physically handicapped youngsters. In 1943 Michael Hubert Tetley (great-grandson of Joshua Tetley) and the Vice Chairman of Barnado’s purchased Hollins Hall and gives it to the charity in memory of his son Ian who lost his life in 1941 when H.M.S. Neptune sank. The Hall is renamed the Ian Tetley Memorial School, a residential school for children with special needs. With the changing and more integrated nature of education the school closes in 1996 and Hollins Hall is sold to Audley Court to be developed as private housing for older people. This new enterprise was opened by Sir Bernard Ingham in 2000 and currently affords  seventy properties for occupation.

The talk was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and questions/comments taken at its conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty attendees was given by Neil Ramshaw.





His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting at 1030a.m. and advised of three apologies having been offered.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw advised of the final call for the A.G.M. on April 24th with no candidates forthcoming as yet for Second Vice Chairman and two items for discussion under “Any Other Business” (Meeting Room–Mike South and Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting–Neil Ramshaw).

Programme Secretary John Taylor updated members on the collection for the previous Speaker Geoff Queen which amounted to forty-five pounds from members and his Speaking Fee taking the total to close to one hundred pounds which goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital. He also outlined the Hollins Hall coffee morning arrangements for Wednesday May 23rd, also detailed in his written handout to members.

Chairman Derek introduced today’s Speaker Ms Wendy Eccles whose topic would be ” I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” and gave a quote about the seaside relating to the unnecessary volume of space taken up by water!!

Wendy then took her audience on a trip down memory lane recalling the origins and early days of seaside breaks/holidays and how adults particularly wore the same day clothes as normal even when on the beach. The initial attraction of the coast was the fact that if offered “free fun” for the whole day.

We were advised of Scarborough’s development as a resort staring in the 1600’s with the discovery of Spa Water by Mrs Farrer and Dr Wittie’s book about Scarborough Spa. The first spa was built in 1698 and was very successful with many middle class visitors coming from afar for weekend breaks. Transport was initially, in the 19th century, by way of stagecoach with railways providing a substantial improvement as the century developed. Blackpool became popular in the 1840’s and whilst the railways brought an increase in the number of visitors some concern was expressed about the rough stock of the largely textile workers arriving. In Blackpool three piers opened with a penny charge on one and featured what would now be understood as freak shows or lots of popular extravaganzas. Talbot Railway Station in Blackpool was established for holidaymakers convenience  and we were told about bathing machines for use in the sea.

The developement of Skegness was touched upon. Accomodation was mentioned including big, old hotels such as the Grand in Scarborough and the Imperial in Torquay. Most visitors however went to the archetypal boarding houses run by the dreaded (and unfairly maligned) landlady’s.

Beach activities centred on Buckets and Spades, the Sea, Picnics, Donkey Rides, Gypsy Rose Lee Fortune Tellers and everything needed to spend the full day on the beach at low-cost. Later developments included Fairgrounds and Punch and Judy Shows which were introduced from Europe. Blackpool Rock was highlighted and Ben Bullocks credited with putting the letters in said rock. In 1879 the Illuminations began life in Blackpool.  Holiday Camps made a 20th century appearance and Wendy told us about Cunningham’s on the Isle of Man and the ubiquitous Butlin’s.

Moving to more modern times the impact of motor cars as a form of easier and flexible travel along with parking difficulties started to impact the seaside economies which were further affected by caravans and their associated sites.

The talk was illustrated with pictures, postcards and a number of books which overall provided a very pleasant mornings interlude for the gathered members. Comments following the end of the talk showed how many memories had been stirred in the audience.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 39 attendees was given by Mike Jones.