Author Archives: harlowmensforumorg


PRESIDENT: Rev. Moses John.

CHAIRMAN: Peter Wilson.

GENERAL SECRETARY: Neil Ramshaw. Tel: 01423 879535.



TREASURER: Roy Smith. Tel: 01423 538404.


Due to the coronavirus lockdown and the early curtailment of the last season the normal gathering for the A.G.M. on April 28th was not possible and a decision was taken therefore to hold a “virtual” type meeting with all documentation issued by E/Mail or Post to members and any agreement/issues or concerns fed back to the General Secretary. Any matters needing further resolution would be tabled at the first meeting of the new season.


—-Minutes of 2019 A.G.M. no issues arising and therefore taken to be agreed as a correct record.

—Chairman’s Message: reflections on a shortened season and thanks to those members who supported the Forum’s ongoing operations.

—General Secretary’s Report: season started with 57 members and finished with 53 members on books. Three members sadly passed away namely Messrs Mike Hawkins; Bill McNicol and Dennis Anderson. New President Reverend Moses John elected during the season.

—Programme Secretary Report: another good selection of new and old Speakers; three Open Meetings and a successful Members’ Morning. Excellent Christmas Lunch with £312 raised there for Martin House Hospice. Total Charitable contributions (inc. Xmas Lunch) totalled £1104 from member donations and Speakers’ fee donations. Good level of attendances averaging around 35 but concerns over overall declining membership numbers.

—Treasurers Report: Finances remain in rude order and annual/weekly fees to remain unchanged at £5 and £2 respectively.

Due to shortened season the Church Donation is suggested at £600 with a possible further £200 when the Forum starts its new season.

—Election of Officers:

President: Rev. Moses John.

Chairman: Peter Wilson.

General Secretary: Neil Ramshaw.

Vice/Second Vice Chairman: BOTH VACANT.

Programme Secretary: VACANT.

Treasurer: Roy Smith.

Registrar: David Hill.

Church Contact: Mike South.

Catering Officers: Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft; Richard Brooks; Edward Rowe.

Auditor: Chris Butterfield.

Following the issue of the documentation significant feedback was received agreeing it was a correct record of the season with no issues or dissent raised.



ANNALS 2019/2020.

I have today posted the Annals for 2019/2020 following the premature ending of the season.

This concludes matters for this season and details for the new season, normally starting in October, will be posted when known and finalised.

Stay safe, enjoy the summer as best you can and hopefully I’ll see you all again later in the year.


ANNALS 2019/2020


The 42nd season finished with 57 members registered on our records. The death of Mike Hawkins was reported during the summer break which meant the 43rd season 2019/2020 started with 56 registered members.

“Calendar of Meetings (two) and a “Welcome Back Note” were issued to all members. Meeting Cards were, as usual, distributed to Harrogate Library; Harrogate Tourist Information Office; our local Harlow News Correspondent(Harrogate Advertiser) Charlotte South and also our Church Contact Rosalind Crew who includes details on the Harlow Methodist Church Website with links to Nidd Valley Methodist Church.

Oct 1: First meeting of new season under Chairmanship of Richard Wright. Derek Mitchell paid tribute to Member Mike Hawkins who died during the summer recess.

Oct 8: New Member George Cram joins our group.

Oct 15: Peter Wilson agrees to take up Vice Chairman position. New member Chris Shott joins our ranks.

Oct 22: Treasurer Roy Smith presents indicative accounts (unaudited) for y/e 30/6/2019.

Nov 12: Two dropped from membership… Allan Anderson (resigned) and Richard Cobbald (ill-health).

First Open Meeting of season with Mr Andy Dennis (N.H.S. Nurse) speaking about Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). £50 fee plus £169–71 collected for M.S.F. Attendance of 30 members plus 6 Lady Guests.

Nov 19: Sad death of Member Bill McNicol announced.

Nov 26: New President Reverend Moses John welcomed.

Dec 3: Second Open Meeting of the season with Alun Pugh (Speaker) and the Beatles early history. 39 members attended and 6 lady guests.

Dropped John Tyreman from membership due to ill health.

Dec 10: Christmas Lunch at Ascot House Hotel attended by 57 members and guests. Charitable Collection raised £312 for Adam and Jane Curtis ‘ Just Giving which goes to Martin House Hospice. His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson celebrated his 90th birthday and was presented with a card and birthday cake.


Jan 3: Death of member Dennis Anderson reported.

Jan 28: Two guests at meeting, Brian South (Mike South’s brother) and Alex Jackson (Friend of Speaker Bob Soper).

Feb 11: Member’s Morning with contributions from Malcolm Wood; John Pearson; Brian Gallagher; David Hopkinson; Vincent Naylor.

Mar 3: Open Meeting with Teresa Marshall from Bilton Hogspital. In addition to Speaker’s fee another £43-05 contributed by members.

Mar 17: This meeting would be the last for the season with premature closure of the Forum due to the coronavirus outbreak and remaining meetings and events cancelled.

Season concludes with 53 members on our records.


At today’s meeting , which understandably drew a small audience of eleven, it was decided that the season would conclude and meetings scheduled for March 24th; March 31st; April 21st; April 28th A.G.M. and May 5th Spring Event would all be cancelled.

Given the current health concerns and the speed of developing information and restrictions this was felt to be a sensible and realistic outcome.

Hopefully matters will have improved for the start of next season in October and information will be posted here when appropriate.

May I wish you all the best through what maybe some difficult weeks and months and stay safe and well until we meet again (cue Vera Lynn!!).



Chairman Richard Wright opened, what would be the final meeting of the season, at 1030 a.m. to a much smaller audience than normal with ten apologies having being offered.

Bilton Hogspital had sent a “thank you” for the additional donations received on March 3rd of £43-05 which were extra to their Speaker’s fee and which would pay the latest hedgehogs foods bill.

Today saw the return of Mr Jeff Jacklin with his talk of “I Used to be a Football Referee But I’m Better Now !”. This proved to be a very entertaining hour for his appreciative audience and detailed in a light hearted way some of his refereeing experiences in parks and Sunday League games. He told us about his nine weeks training and qualification course at the age of sixteen which covered the seventeen laws in football and the exam which required an 85% pass mark. Details of his first “referee” match at Scawby against a much superior Scunthorpe side (U17’S) included a number of mishaps such as arriving at the wrong playing field; forgotten coin for toss-up; linesmen on same side of the pitch and an overrunning first half of 52 minutes instead of 40 minutes. His referee career then took a twenty one year sabbatical whilst he pursued his own direct sporting participancy. He then requalified as a referee and we were treated to his experience at Broadmoor Hospital officiating a match between inmates and an outside team.

Jeff’s talk was interspersed with videos and tests for the audience which enlivened proceedings further.

The talk concluded and Chairman Richard gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the eleven attendees. Richard also proffered his thanks to members and in particular the “Tea Boys”, Mike South, Roy Smith and Neil Ramshaw for their support during his year as Chairman.




Tomorrow’s meeting, March 17th, will be taking place but there is a strong possibility that this will be the final meeting of this season.

Watch this space for an update later this week or attend tomorrow to help make the decision.



Chairman Richard Wright opened the meeting at 1030 a.m. and advised of two apologies. He reminded members of the April 28th A.G.M. and also the urgent need for nominations for the vacancies of Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chairman and Programme Secretary. Richard then updated members on current volatile situations with reference to the Stock Market (three positives in the F.T.S.E. 350 including Dignitas!!). There was also a Potato Decree from Buckingham Palace and Marathon Training advice for those in lock down situations as advised from Wuhan.

Today’s Speaker was Dr. David Allen, appearing for the first time at Forum, and whose talk was titled “London Livery and Freemen”.

In an unusual and intriguing start to his talk David had handed out laminated cards with a number and company name detailed. He started by informing members that he was a Freeman of the City of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers . As a Freeman he told us of the three things that he could do… herd sheep (real or artificial) across London Bridge to Southwark Cathedral; carry an unsheathed sword in the City of London (not recommended in the current climate!) and in the event of being found guilty of treason or a major felony being hung with a silk rope. To achieve the status of a Freeman can only be through patrimony, good works or servitude.

The next part of the morning saw David call out a number and an audience member would then shout out the name and date of the Worshipful Company on his card. The Speaker then explained the background and rationale of that Livery Company with emphasis on its focus on maintaining high standards. Differentiation was made between ancient companies, now mostly ceremonial, and modern companies that still fulfil their function. There was a top twelve Livery Companies with the others ranking below them in importance. We heard, amongst many, about companies such as mercers, haberdashers, goldsmiths, grocers and drapers.

The talk concluded with questions being taken and it was clear that a very interesting and entertaining talk had been enjoyed by the members.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of thirty attendees was given by Vice Chairman Peter Wilson.



I’m sorry to have to advise you of the death of Ken Selkirk, a former member who attended intermittently for many years and may be remembered for his polished votes of thanks.

My thanks to John Taylor for providing this information.



Today’s meeting started at 1030 a.m. with Chairman Richard Wright advising of three apologies. As it was Shrove Tuesday Chairman Richard had two anecdotes about pancakes, the second story highlighting the alleged growth properties that a diet of pancakes can give.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw gave the first call for the April 28th A.G.M. advising of the three vacancies that need to be filled namely Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chairman and particularly Programme Secretary.

Today saw popular returning Speaker Mr David Davies bring his talk ” The Awkward Neighbours: Britain’s Relationship with Europe Since 1945″. This proved to be a fascinating and well structured potted history of the major events and personalities that imprinted that time period starting with the Yalta Conference in 1945. David outlined the position that Great Britain, Europe, the U.S.A. and Russia were facing post World War II and some of the key decisions taken by the “Big Three”, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. These included the division of Germany, creation of the United Nations and the need to rebuild France and give it a position on the U.N. Security Council. Britain’s powers were on the wane exhausted financially and economically by World War II. We heard about Jean Monnet, Father of the European Union; the Congress of Europe in 1948 which led to the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. Ernest Bevin’s pivotal role as Foreign Secretary was discussed and the 1948/49 Berlin Airlift recalled. The Marshall Aid Plan of 1948–52 was covered and its impact and costs. N.A.T.O’s formation in 1949 and its aims were scrutinised. The Schuman Plan of 1950 saw the genesis of the European Coal and Steel Community–the E.E.C. forerunner.

Other key events mentioned were the Korean War 1950/53; Great Britain going nuclear in 1952 and the volatility of Stalin’s successor Krushchev. Britain’s torturous progress from staying out of Europe initially, to wanting to join in the 1960’s and being twice vetoed by De Gaulle, to eventually entry in 1973, led by Heath, and subsequent referendums in 1975 and 2016 received an airing with similar unresolved arguments being propounded by both sides over a sixty year period. Analysis of G.P.D’s, Defence Costs and their impacts were mentioned by David and the various Treaties that federalised the European Community e.g. 1988 Treaty of Bruges.

Up to date issues such as European Budgets and the ongoing Refugee Crisis explained some of the current tensions being experienced on the continent.

An interested and engaged audience had obviously enjoyed the morning which, for many, reflected the period of their own lifetime and questions were taken at the talk’s conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the thirty five attendees was given by Vice Chairman Peter Wilson.