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.



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