Category Archives: Programme

Programme of Winter meetings


The revised Speaker for next week will be Tony Craster whose subject will be “45 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES IN THE FALKANDS”

He is likely to appear in uniform and with genuine but decommissioned weapons so “Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!!


Speaker cancellation 4th January 2022

Catherine Robertshaw from NatWest Bank is unable to speak to us live about “Friends against Scams”. The Banks Covid protocols preclude face-to-face encounters. Being close to the New Year, we will take an extended break until 11th January when David Siddans will speak about “The American War of Independence”

Change of Speaker for 23rd November

Unfortunately, Veronica Bird who was due to speak to us on 23rd November is presently indisposed and has sent her sincere apologies. We wish Veronica well with a speedy recovery.

Therefore, on 23rd November we will now welcome Richard Newman who will speak to his Middle Eastern experiences of “Cockroach on my shoulder”


Secretary’s Report October 19th 2021

Opening the meeting, Chairman Peter Wilson was pleased to annouce that Roger and Lindsay Bancroft had volunteered to organise the Christmas Lunch at Ascot House. Members showed their appreciation of another fine example of participation in the running of the Forum.

Our Speaker, Malcolm Johnson, returned to continue his previous foray into Children’s Favourites on BBC radio – this time from 1960 onwards to its close in 1982. When updating his talk he surprisingly found that it became a rather harrowing story full of sad endings for many of the artists. Sex and drugs and depression and suicide and gambling and bancruptcy and murder all featured in the unfolding tales from the pop stars of the era.

First on Malcolm’s list was Adam Faith who had seven consecutive chart hits in the early 60s He made the headlines in an eclectic range of topics from dating Chris Evert to theatre and journalism. He wrote a financial advice column in the Daily Mail until he declared bancruptcy owing £32m.! His notorious womanising produced many more hits than his singing until 2003 when he died of a heart attack in a hotel bed with a 22-year old.

Lonnie Donegan with his skiffle group was the inspiration for many a 60’s pop artist including Paul McCartney, Brian May, and Roger Daltrey,. His career spanned from the mid 50’s with Chris Barber and Ken Collyer to a final appearance at Glastonbury in 1999. Malcolm declared his favourite memory was listening to “My old man’s a dustman” after a Saturday morning visit to the childrens matinee.

Harry Belafonte, Charlie Drake, Bernhard Cribbins, Kenneth Wiliams, Josh McRae, Speedy Gonzales, Clive Dunn, David Bowie, Benny Hill all featured amongst his favourites chosen for analysis.

Also mentioned were that wholesome Danish/Dutch duo Nina and Frederik whose final hit released in 1999 was “Puff the Magic Dragon” An intriguing title when linked to the untimely death of Frederik, who was shot on a beach in the Phillipines in a drug related incident in – 1999.

Finally, Malcolm gave us the breaking news of the revival of the Wombles from family favourites of the 1970s to the singalong musical theme for COP26. In case you didn’t know Wombles live in burrows, originally on Wimbledon Common, where they aim to help the environment by collecting and recycling human rubbish in creative ways. So there’s the link.

Godfrey Alderson proposed a vote of thanks to Malcolm for his well constructed talk which engaged and enlightened the audience with childhood memories and some surprising revelations.


Harlow Men’s Forum 2021-22 44th Season Calendar

05 Oct	John Taylor	  100 Not Out - some Centenarians
12 Oct	John Ashworth	  Tax care and Toy Boys
19 Oct	Malcolm Johnson	  Children’s Favourites  1960++
26 Oct	Michael Greatorex My life as a fairy in the RAF
02 Nov	Rev. Moses John	  President’s Address
09 Nov	Jim McPhail	  Share Africa Charity
16 Nov	Harry Satloka	* Harrogate Free Walking Tour
23 Nov	Veronica Baird	  The Russian Job
30 Nov	John Butterwick	  Wines for Christmas
07 Dec	Alun Pugh	  The story of Roundhay Park
14 Dec	Dr.Judy Blezzard* The Carol: A Christmas Crib
21 Dec	Christmas Lunch	* Ascot House
28 Dec				
04 Jan	Catherine Robertshaw Friends against scams
11 Jan	David Siddans	  The American War of Independence
18 Jan	Canon Roger Dedman Aspects of the Post Office
25 Jan	Martin Curzon      Sugar,honey and all things nice
01 Feb	Eric Jackson	   The history of grave robbing
08 Feb	Tim Forman	   20 years in Sales & Marketing
15 Feb	Dawn Pearson	 * Harrogate Foodbanks
22 Feb	Member’s Morning   Various Member’s anecdotes
01 Mar	Roger Oldfield	   Olicana to Vinand’s Mere
08 Mar	Paul Zealand   Storytelling,from Campfire to Tweet
15 Mar	Douglas Cossar	   Understanding the Germans
22 Mar	John Gilleghan	   The James Herriot story
29 Mar	David Alred	   NW Highlands of Scotland 
06 Apr	Ellie Jackson    * Harrogate Hospital Radio
12 Apr	Easter		
19 Apr	Easter		
26 Apr	AGM		


The Forum has cancelled the rest of the 2020/2021 season which was due to run until the end of April next year. This is due to the continuing difficulties and uncertainty created by the COVID situation. Members have been advised separately and booked Speakers similarly advised.

It is hoped the Forum can recommence with the 2021/2022 programme beginning on Tuesday October 5th 2021.



Due to the continuing COVID 19 situation , which means our venue is not available , the first half of the 2020/2021 season i.e. October to December has been cancelled.

The position will be reviewed at the end of November/beginning of December 2020 and a decision made as to whether a restart can be made in January 2021 when the prevailing circumstances at that time will be considered.

Members have been individually advised and will be kept up to date with any changes and this site will similarly be updated.



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.



The Bilton Hogspital

The Bilton Hogspital

Today’s meeting started at 1030 a.m. with Chairman Richard welcoming members and guests to our Open Meeting.

The speaker today was Teresa who was accompanied by her husband Robert from The Bilton Hogspital.

Teresa spoke about her work with Hedgehogs over a 25 years period. Richard set up the excellent visual aids.

Teresa explained the life cycle of hedgehogs and also about the injuries they sometimes suffered.

The talk was well illustrated with photographs. She did bring a live hedgehog which we saw for about ten minutes. This animal had been with them for rehabilitation and would be returned to its habitat this week.

The main aim of the talk was to make us well aware of this wonderful animal at a time their numbers have plummeted. This once common garden friend is in serious trouble!

We can all help by taking part in Hedgehog Street. Hedgehogs can travel more than a mile each night in order to find enough food or a suitable mate, often passing through several gardens. So we need lots of volunteer Hedgehog Champions to rally the support of their neighbours and create streets full of interconnecting hedgehog-friendly gardens. Visit the website: to join in. For one example a gap of 13 x 13cm gives access to your garden. That is the size of a CD cover. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society provides a leaflet on Creating a Wildlife Garden.

Hibernation is a complicated and often perilous conservation strategy. It is not just ‘going to sleep.’ When asleep all bodily functions remain nearly normal; but in hibernation metabolism is almost at a standstill.

Towards the end of autumn, hedgehogs consider the best places to build nests (called hibernacula). Favourite sites are under hedges and roots of trees, in piles of brushwood, inside compost heaps or in old rabbit burrows and underneath timber buildings and sheds. You can see the dangers! For further information check out www,

Some hedgehogs live to the age of ten.

It was an enjoyable meeting which was well received by all. We now know how we can help this small endangered creature to survive.

The Bilton Hogspital: “Helping Harrogate Hedgehogs …

The Bilton Hogspital is a private hedgehog rehabilitation facility based in the Bilton area of Harrogate. It is run by Teresa Marshall, who started caring for hedgehogs in this way in 1995. Although Teresa is listed as a hedgehog carer by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the Bilton Hogspital is completely independent, voluntary and unfunded.

The vote of thanks was given by Roy Smith.



Oct 1:     Mr Malcolm Johnson        Children’s Favourites 1 (1950’s)

Oct 8:     Mr Roger Oldfield              Racehorses, Cheese And Waterfalls

Oct 15:    Mr Steve Caldwell             Windsor Castle After The Fire

Oct 22:    Mr Keith Wadd                   My Sporting Life: The Life And Times Of A                                                                                       Mediocre Sportsman

Oct 29:   Professor Martin Curzon     Artists Of The Great Plains: George                                                                                                    Caitlin And Fredrick Remington

Nov 5:    Canon Roger Dedman          The Rise Of The Post Office

Nov 12:   Mr Andy Dennis                   Without Borders (OPEN MEETING)

Nov 19:   Mr Eric Jackson                     Wonderful Things

Nov 26:  Mrs Angela Schofield             The N.H.S. Hospital Trust

Dec3:      Mr Alun Pugh                     The Long And Winding  Road  “how                                                                     the Beatles became…”                      (OPEN MEETING)

Dec 10:                                           CHRISTMAS LUNCH at Ascot House Hotel




Jan 7:        Mr Neil Ramshaw              The Two Funniest Words in the                                                                                                         English Language

Jan 14:      Mr Mark Smith                   Organ Donations: An Inspiring Story

Jan 21:      Mr Frank Ellis                     Tom Who?

Jan 28:      Mr Bob Soper                       Motor Sport’s Golden Years–The Era                                                                                                 of “The Old F***’s”

Feb 4:        Mr Michael Williams         Tall Ships Youth Trust

Feb 11:                                           MEMBERS’ MORNING

Feb 18:       Mrs Jenny Stacey                A Sniff Of Snuff

Feb 25:       Mr David Davies                 The Awkward Neighbours: Britain’s                                                                                                  Relationship With Europe Since 1945

Mar 3:        Mrs Teresa Marshall          Bilton Hogspital–Helping                                                                                                                     Hedgehogs       (OPEN MEETING)

Mar 10:      Dr David Allen                      London Livery and Freemen

Mar 17:      Mr Jeff Jacklin                       I Used To Be A Referee But I’m Better                                                                                                Now

Mar 24:      Mrs Pat Osborne                   The Life Of L.S. Lowry

Mar 31:      Mr John Taylor                      100 Not Out–Some Centenarians


—                                             ———–EASTER HOLIDAY————–

Apr 21:       Mr Stuart Atkins                   The Great American Songbook

Apr 28:                                      43RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

May 5:                                      Spring Event —to be arranged