Chairman Richard Wright opened his first meeting and the first of the 43rd season promptly at 1030 a.m. advising of five apologies. He welcomed members back after the summer and reminded them of directions to Harrogate Town Centre given its out of bounds status during the U.C.I. Cycling Road Closures.
Remembrance of the loss , during the close season , of past member Ken Roberts; Phyllis Coggan and member Michael Hawkins was made with a short period of quiet reflection.
Derek Mitchell paid a tribute to Michael Hawkins who had been a close friend for over seventy years.
Neil Ramshaw (Secretary) reminded members to advise him of any personal detail changes to keep Forum records in order and also mentioned the unfilled Forum Officer positions.
Chairman Richard then spoke about a couple of initiatives he would like to put in place to improve social interaction in the Forum such as a group photo with names appended and where new members join , for them to give a short bio of themselves as part of their introduction.
Today’s Speaker was Mr Malcolm Johnson, returning for a second time, with his topic “Children’s Favourites 1950’s”. He reminded his audience of those times when Radio dominated the airwaves (the Light and Home Programmes), when media was largely black and white and of Children’s Favourites–his personally most popular radio show of the week in the 50’s. The programme started on Christmas Day 1952 and its original theme tune used for many years was “Puffing Billy” by Edward White. The show was first known as Children’s Choice and its first host was Donald Peers with different hosts each week until 1954 when it became Children’s Favourites and was compered by Derek McCullogh (Uncle Mac) up to the mid 1960’s albeit with occasional guest hosts covering illness and holiday periods.
Malcolm then treat members to excerpts of some of the most popular songs requested with accompanying pen pictures of the artistes.
Songs played included “Teddy Bears Picnic” (Henry Hall) ; “Me And My Teddy Bear” (Rosemary Clooney) ;”Laughing Policeman” (Charles Penrose) ;”Banana Boat Song” (Harry Belafonte) ; Two Children’s Choirs” (One German, one Manchester) ;”Nellie The Elephant” (Mandy Miller) ;”How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” (Lito Roza).
There was also popular songs from film, T.V. and Cartoons……”Little Black Bull” (Tommy Steele) ; “Big Rock Candy Mountain” (Burl Ives) ;”Popeye” (Billy Costello) and “Champion The Wonder Horse” (Frankie Laine) amongst others.
Malcolm encouraged members to sing along which added to the gaiety and enjoyment of the moment but with many more marks achieved for enthusiasm than for technical appreciation!!
For those attending it proved to be an enjoyable and nostalgic morning with the Vote of Thanks being proposed by Neil Ramshaw on behalf of thirty three attendees.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY