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Defibrillator

The Defibrillator has now been installed. Thanks for all the donations from members and other kind sources.

Derek Simpson’s Funeral

Derek ‘s Funeral Will take place at Skipton Crematorium on Monday 21st January at 2.10pm.

Skipton Crematorium Carleton Rd, Skipton, United Kingdom

Derek Simpson 1937- 2019

Derek Simpson 1937- 2019

The Treasurer Roy Smith informed the membership that our Registrar Derek Simpson had died on Monday 7th January 2019. Derek was a railway man through and through. He had a vast knowledge of the British rail network and the European railways.

His hobbies included walking, skiing and model railways. His layout of train models all complied with British Rail standards. When he retired Derek set himself the task of walking the towpaths of the English Canal system. He had no intention of becoming a ‘couch potato’!

In his library he had all the Ordinance Survey maps of England. Derek was a good skier and taught many folk to ski when there was a dry ski slope in Harrogate.

When out walking he always had the company of Fran or Meg his well behaved dogs.

He will be missed by many friends and colleagues.



Gordon Middleton

6 days ago
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Derek Simpson 1937- 2019
Hi. My name is Gordon Middleton and I am Derek Simpson’s nephew. First of all I’d like to thank your members for their kind words regarding Derek’s life.
Any friends and colleagues who wish to attend his funeral are informed that on Monday 21st, 2.10pm It will be held at Skipton Crematorium then onto Carleton Social club about a mile away in Carleton village. Everybody is welcome.

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An Egyptian Odyssey

Mrs Jocelyn Brooks An Egyptian Odyssey

Mrs Brooks gave an interesting presentation about the importance of the River Nile to Egypt. It was illustrated with photographs of some of the temples and the wonders of the ancient world.
Without the Nile river, all of Egypt would be desert. Only about a 2.5cm of rain falls throughout Egypt each year. In summer, the Nile river level rises with water from it’s source in Ethiopia. The land in the Nile valley floods, enabling crops and trees to grow.

Egypt was founded 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. The culture flourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language and customs.

Many of the members of the Forum had visited Egypt. The vote of thanks was given by Roger Bancroft. 36 members attended.

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.

Quiz

We had a substitutes bench today: the Deputy Chairman was Richard and the speaker was Geoff Queen.
The Deputy Chairman welcomed the ladies to this open meeting and advised that three apologies had been received.
The programmed speaker Tim Fee was unable to attend. Geoff Queen was thanked for substituting at short notice.

Geoff displayed pictures from the UK and the Isle of Man. He tested the members of the forum’s knowledge with a photographic quiz.

The slides started with ones of pictures from Yorkshire and became more difficult as the talk progressed.
The pictures covered landscapes, castles and churches from different areas of the British Isles.
The Forum members were on form it was a whitewash!

Some questions were asked and Geoff said his favourite Cathedral was Hereford.

The vote of thanks was given by Tom Snelling. The proceeds of the talk today were in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

PS
Richard Wright took the chair and welcomed 31 members and 9 ladies to the meeting. He explained how grateful we were to our old friend Geoff Queen for stepping in when Tim Fee was unable to attend. Geoff has raised over £11000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital through his talks and in total we gave him around £85 after today’s meeting as fee plus generous donations from our members.

Unusually Geoff’s talk was close to home and in the form of a quiz to see how many well-known places in Great Britain we could recognise. On nearly every occasion we won the contest with Tony Bills being exceptionally knowledgeable (even remembering the gaelic name of a mountain in Glencoe). Starting with Knaresborough railway bridge we were taken through familiar Yorkshire landmarks from Bolton Abbey to Whitby Harbour, then processed around the country to some of Geoff’s favourite places from Liverpool where he enjoyed the Scouse humour when working there to Worcester where he had combined his love of cricket with his love of Cathedral music on the same day. One of his favourite images was Barmouth railway bridge with the Welsh peaks including Cader Idris behind. Altogether we recognised over 40 places and finished our journey seasonally with the crocuses on Harrogate Stray.

We also enjoyed two splendid anecdotes. Richard told us about the horticulturist who was nearly arrested for terrorist offences and Geoff told us how the cricket writer Neville Cardus treated his wedding as a small interlude in a slow day’s batting by Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Report 13th February 2018

FORUM 13 FEB The Chairman welcomed 39 members to the meeting and announced the sad news of the death of Roland Moor, a friend of Roy Howard and George Wells and a former member of the Forum. Our speaker Chris Helme from Brighouse is a former police officer but his subject was “Other People’s Rubbish”. He alluded in an amusing introduction to the way that men hoard bits of plugs, wires and pieces of wood in their sheds in the mistaken belief that they will be useful one day. Women hoard buttons in the same way. He collects items that other people would throw away – old 78s and EPs, tapes, council minute books and newspapers for significant dates that reveal bits of local history such as a proposal to name a local street after Elvis that would otherwise be forgotten. Chris is a keen local historian and wrote a column for the local press for 30 years on the nostalgia theme, drawing his material from his collection saved from the skip or bought for a few pence. To show that he is not a stick in the mud, he told us that he has run a class helping older people to use mobile phones. Many of us had to admit that we mostly keep our phones switched off – typical apparently! Chris could have talked for hours but we had to call proceedings to a halt at 11.50!

Report 6th Feb

FORUM MEETING 6 FEBRUARY 2018 The Chairman welcomed a good number of members on a snowy day. He mentioned the 100th Anniversary of women over 30 gaining the vote and the 66th Anniversary of the Queen’s Accession. He then told a good joke involving the Queen Mother and Fokker Aircraft. 4 Forum members had attended Ray Snowden’s funeral which had been a celebration of his life and Malcolm Wood showed a photograph of Ray in typical form at Ascot House enjoying a knickerbocker glory. The popular Alun Pugh returned “to augment my pension” with his Illustrated History of Leeds. In an hour he showed us some of the familiar buildings still standing from the city’s past including the Minster,St. John’s Church, Kirkstall Abbey, the waterfront warehouses now apartments, Temple Newsam (founded by the Knight’s Templar) and the Egyptian-style mill. Other important landmarks in the city’s history have long since gone, such as Leeds Manor House, the Moot Hall in the middle of Briggate and the Coloured Cloth Hall for the textile trade which made Leeds important. In general much more has survived south of the main railway line than north of it. Until 1700 Leeds was insignificant in comparison with York but the Aire and Calder Navigation, the coming of steam power developed in the city by Matthew Murray and the railways led to rapid growth but also massive pollution. Charles Dickens called Leeds “the nastiest place I know”. The grand Town Hall of the 1850s opened by Queen Victoria showed anew civic pride and Roundhay Park was bought for the city to give the working population somewhere to relax and exercise. Alun finished his talk around 1905 with the building of Kirkgate Market, the shopping arcades and the opening of City Square. Malcolm Wood, himself a Leeds “loiner”, origin of the phrase unknown even to our speaker, gave the vote of thanks to our speaker on behalf of 38 members who showed by their applause how much they had enjoyed the talk.

The Work of Barnes Wallis

The chairman His Honour Judge Clarkson opened the meeting. 42 members attended plus one guest. There were 7 apologies. Malcolm said a few words in memory of Ray Snowdon and there was a minutes silence in his memory.

The chairman welcomed the speaker Peter Rix. His talk was entitled: Airships to Astro-physics: The Work of Barnes Wallis. When we think of Barnes Wallis he is inevitably linked with inventions which greatly contributed to the Allied victory in World War 2 in particular the bouncing bombs.

The main thrust of Peter’s talk was to illustrate that Barnes Wallis was a ‘genius of our time’, an aircraft designer and engineer who made a contribution that hastened the end of World War 2 and much more.

He was born in Ripley Derbyshire in 1887. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital school, however, he did not wish to study Classics and became an apprentice at Thames Engineering at Blackheath. When work became slack he left home and went to J Samuel White’s shipyard at Cowes in 1908. He trained as a marine draughtsman and engineer. His work included building torpedo boats, destroyers, and learning about diesel engines.

In April 1913 he was chief assistant to H B Pratt of Vickers. Wallis turned his mind from the restless sea to the almost unconquered mysteries of the air. He designed Britain’s second rigid airship, the R.9, for the Navy.

Wallis was a key member of the team that built the private enterprise airship the R100. This airship was 709 feet in length with a diameter of 133 feet. Its Maximum speed: 80 m.p.h. carrying capacity: 100 passengers. It was as big as an Atlantic liner, yet only weighed 150 tons.

The R. 100 escaped the disastrous fate that overtook the R. 101, but her life was all too brief. Supreme effort had gone into design and construction and her successful double Atlantic flight to Montreal and back to Cardington seemed to argur well for her future. But she was put into the Cardington shed to allow the Government-built R. 101 to attempt her flight to India. The official bungling and her terrible end virtually killed the airship in Britain. The R. 100 never flew again. In 1931 she was handed over to the breakers for £450.

Barnes Wallis’s life was not only centred around aeronautics and aerial warfare; he participated in the development of radio telescopy and nuclear submarines, he pioneered work in the de-icing of trawlers, and he gave much time and money to educational advancement and to charity. Above all, he was a devoted family man who believed in many of the steadfast Victorian ideals.

He made a wood-carving of his wife Molly. This illustrated he was a very good artist as well as a brilliant engineer.

References: Barnes Wallis by John B Rabbets and R.100 July 5th 1928 M.F. Wallis.

I Did it for Kicks

The Chairman said that he was sorry that Mrs Coggan was unable to attend the Memorial Meeting and sent his good wishes to her on behalf of the Forum. John Taylor will write to Mrs Coggan.
In 1886 John Tiller watched the precision of guardsmen on military exercise and decided to extend the principle to female dance when he founded the Tiller School of Dance in Manchester. The girls were to be ladies, not chorus girls of ill-repute and their nails were regularly inspected as symbols of general cleanliness.
When our speaker Pam Harcourt joined the Tiller Girls as a teenager in 1951, the troupe was run by the strict Miss Doris and Miss Barbara, following the death of the founder and his wife. Pay was parsimonious and 24 girls were given 1 bottle of sherry between them to celebrate the New Year. Pam appeared in pantomime with Albert Modley, did several seasons in Blackpool and at the Victoria Palace with the Crazy Gang and her group co-starred on Shirley Bassey’s first appearance. She became Head Girl and danced on ITV’s Opening Night in 1955 and later on Sunday Night at the London Palladium.  The Tillers were on ITV, the Toppers, their great rivals, on BBC TV.
The talk was made more interesting because Pam showed that life in show business is often far from glamorous. In 1952 the girls had to struggle back in London smogs to digs in Brixton. Arriving in towns on tour on Sundays led to evenings watching old films in seedy cinemas and lodgings in Llandudno and Liverpool were pretty primitive. The dancers in their white ankle socks often shivered on stage although they were allowed tights eventually. Nevertheless as kicking Tillers they considered themselves superior to “pantomime” Tillers.
A reunion in 1987 led to a revival of the 60s Tillers and Pam still appeared occasionally until a few years ago. At the end she showed that she could still do a high kick.  After several questions from an enthralled audience, Peter Belton gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the forty attending members and six guests.