Monthly Archives: October 2018


Today’s meeting opened with Chairman Michael Cochrane advising of two apologies.

Under “Initial Notices” Programme Secretary John Taylor gave details of the Christmas Lunch arrangements for Tuesday December 11th at the Ascot House Hotel. Written details/menu choice and order form were available for members to take away. There is a numerical limit of 72 at the venue and reservations will be taken on a first come,  first served basis but orders and payments to John Taylor by the Tuesday meeting November 27th at the latest.

General Secretary Neil Ramshaw advised that our grant application for a defibrillator via Harrogate Lions/ Harrogate Borough Council Community Scheme had been successful and installation at the Church should take place in early December. Liaison with other parties was in hand and the electricians installation costs had been kick started by a very generous anonymous member donation of £100.

Today’s Speaker was the Forum’s own Alan Barker, a member of one year’s standing whose topic was “I Wish”. Alan started with a poetic tribute to his late mother in law and then told his audience about his road trip from the north-east to the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Much of this entailed hitching lifts with air flights from Scotland to New York, his journeys across the U.S.A. and Canada, back into the U.S.A. and eventually into Mexico and on to Mexico City. Accompanied by his brother Cec and dressed as English gentlemen complete with bowler hats and umbrellas the brothers were certainly noticeable and this led to many of their offers of assistance including lifts, accommodation and food and drink. Many places were visited including New York; Hamilton; Houston; Monterey; Washington and the eventual destination of Mexico City. In Mexico they came across B.B.C. reporter Martin Bell and his team and were interviewed at the Opening Ceremony drinking their “champagne” which had travelled with them namely Newcastle Brown Ale. The subsequent publicity home and abroad including a Newcastle Breweries advert led to some welcome sponsorship and their road trip finished very successfully and on a high  producing great lifetime memories for our Speaker and fulfilling his personal wishes . Questions and comments came from the floor when Alan concluded.

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




Chairman Michael Cochrane opened the meeting on schedule and advised of four apologies. He also advised that the Christmas Lunch invites will be available to members from next week.

Today saw Mr Trevor Moody travel from Huddersfield to present his talk/variety show entitled ” Comedians of our Good All Days”. The time period covered was the 1940’s–1980’s and members were entertained with a trip down memory lane listening too wireless clips and watching television sketches of some of the well-known and perhaps lesser known comedians of the times. These included Robb Wilton of “The Day War Broke Out “fame; Jimmy James with his gormless accomplices in the “In the Box” sketch and some homespun humour from Billy Russell. Albert Modley and Al Read received mentions with more up to date performances from Frankie Howerd; Tommy Cooper; Morecambe & Wise; Les Dawson ; Peter Sellers and Bernie Clifton and his ubiquitous Emu!! Excerpts from the Parkinson Show showing Howerd and Sellers at their best and a reminder of Les Dawson from his show displaying his skilful but tuneless piano playing added to the morning’s enjoyment . The presentation ended on a high with one of the truly great Morecambe & Wise sketches showing  Andre Previn playing a full and highly amusing part.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 41 attendees was given by Frank Ellis our own Music Hall and Variety expert.




The third meeting of the season was opened by Chairman Michael Cochrane who advised of seven apologies.

Today’s Speaker saw the return of Mr Tony Brown with his titled talk being ” In the Kingdom of the Ice Bear”. This was the tale of his sailing trip to the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard and surrounding islands (formerly Spitsbergen) located 600 miles from the North Pole. The boat would prove to be their home for 10 days with shifting ice making a land base problematical. Backed up with a first class photographic slide show the audience was treat to a panorama of geographical features that make up this part of the world with its landscape of ice caps, tundra and floes. Tony’s visit was during the summer and benefitted from a 24 day with no dark night time.

The buildings shown were of wood construction and had Polar Bear preventative measures in place. We were shown Reindeer, Husky Dogs, Walruses, Seals, Minke Whales  an Arctic and Blue Fox and a great variety of seabirds such as Arctic Terns, Eider Ducks,  and Puffins. The crowning glory was of course pictures of Polar Bears the undoubted kingpins of the area and very much top of the food chain. Suprisingly for such inhospitable climes there were a good deal of flowers although small in size. We learnt about how the animals operated in this environment and advised of the peculiar fact that nothing prior to 1945 can be removed from the beaches…its classed as Heritage!! Comments and questions were raised at the conclusion of the talk.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 36 attendees was given by Terry Byrne.




Chairman Michael Cochrane opened the second meeting of the new season by advising of an improved turnout and that four apologies had been offered. He introduced new member Robert Edenbrow to Forum Members and who was welcomed in the usual manner.

General Secretary Neil Ramshaw advised of a number of matters arising from the April A.G.M. in particular the need for supplementary kitchen support; an outstanding position of 2nd Vice Chairman to fill and the need for a Programme Secretary for next season. Enquiries from interested parties would be appreciated. A reminder to keep the Secretary up to date with any change of personal details was also requested.

Today’s Speaker was Mr David Alred, a regular “returning visitor “, taking us previously from the Washburn Valley to the Grand Canyon! His topic this morning would be part two of his “Nidderdale Heritage”.

Starting at Pateley Bridge, a black and white slide show of heritage photographs was shown and David provided appropriate detail in support. We saw a familiar looking “Pateley” high street from over a hundred years ago, mention of Metcalfe Brewers (Nidderdale Ales) and the Old Market Hall. Scenes from the 1935 Silver Jubilee Procession  were shown along with the local  Quarry which produced supplies of Yorkshire Stone. The railway came to Pateley Bridge in the 1860’s and operated until 1951 with seven trains a day to and from Harrogate including stops at Birstwith, Ripley Valley and Dacre amongst others. Photos included farming scenes of yesteryear with horses working the fields, before mechanisation, involving  ploughing and haystacking. Other rural illustrations showed sheep shearing and “Young Farmers Clubs” displaying cattle at local shows such as Nidderdale and Ripley. The slide show moved on to businesses using horse power for transport including the Post Office; early garages with hire vehicles and charabancs; blacksmiths at work; old mills such as the one at Darley and the extensive and labour intensive construction of a number of reservoirs in the area, some specifically to service Bradford. The final part of the talk showed family, sporting and a few quirky pictures. This walk down memory lane of a not too distant past, but much removed from our present, proved a nostalgic treat.

Questions and comments were made at the talk’s conclusion and Mike South gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty-one attendees.



Concorde: Up in Flames

Mr Duncan Verity: Concorde: Up in Flames

First meeting of the new season chaired by Mike Cochrane.
Tribute to 3 time Chairman and life member Roy Howard (d. 2/6/18) by John Taylor.
Outline of new banking arrangements and short financial update by Roy Smith. Audited accounts to follow.

Duncan verity from Wetherby MF gave a competent presentation; but a horrendous one. Duncan introduced a National Geographic DVD about the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde airliner on take-off at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2001, which killed all 109 passengers and 4 people on the ground. Firstly we were shown a dramatic reconstruction of the moments before the crash from the point of view of the devastated traffic controller, who first noticed flames coming from the aircraft. Then we followed in detail the twists and turns of the Air France investigation during which all Concordes were grounded. There were 3 major clues – a ruptured tyre, a shattered fuel tank and a mysterious strip of metal. It transpired that the metal strip came off an American DC10 which had left a few minutes before Concorde. Tests showed that the Concorde fuel tank had shattered from the inside out on contact with the strip. Concorde flights were resumed but were abandoned in November 2003. The cost running “the beautiful white Supersonic bird” had become uneconomic.

Mr Verety explained, however, that many experts consider that some additional issues were not addressed. For example the 6 tons of extra weight which Concorde was carrying above its recommended load. These and other questions led to some interesting comments from members. Mike Cochrane gave the vote of thanks and recalled a visit to Filton in the 1960s when he saw Concorde being built.