Roy Howard …Funeral Arrangements

The funeral for Roy Howard will take place at Stonefall Crematorium/Cemetry on Thursday June 28th at 11 a.m.


Passing of Honorary Life Member Roy Howard.

It is with sadness that I have to advise of the death of Roy Howard at the age of 89 after a long period of deteriorating health.

Roy was the Londoner who came to Harrogate as a child and went to Harrogate Grammar School before a career as a Social Security Officer. In his younger days he was a great walker and Joss Naylor the Cumbrian fell- runner was his cousin. Roy, it seems, once climbed Ben Nevis in the early morning and was dancing in the Royal Hall in the evening. Ballroom dancing was another of his many interests. For many years he was a keen member of Harrogate Photographic Society. He joined the Forum nearly 20 years ago, spoke to us three times and was three times Chairman, a unique distinction. He was elected an Honorary Life Member after the death of his friend George Mountford who was our first Honorary Member.

Our condolences go to his family and his presence at the Forum will be missed.

Funeral details will be entered here when known.



Secretary’s Note

I have today posted the 2017/2018 Annals which concludes matters for the last season.

Have a great summer!!

ANNALS 2017/2018


The 40th season ended with 64 members on the records.

“Calendar of Meetings” and “Welcome Back” messages were issued to all members including a second Calendar for members to pass to any interested friends/neighbours. The normal external distribution for information and advertising had as usual encompassed Harrogate Library, Harrogate Tourist Information Centre, our local Harlow News Correspondent (Harrogate Advertiser) Charlotte South and also to our Church Contact Rosalind Crew who includes details on the Harlow Hill Methodist Church Website with its links to the Nidd Valley Methodist Church.

Oct 3rd: First meeting of new season under Chairmanship of His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. saw two new members join, Jim McPhail and Alan Barker. Charles Lubelski the next weeks Speaker attended as a guest.

Oct 17th: Four new members welcomed to Forum namely Derek Mitchell; Brian Gallagher; John Pearson and Eric Smith.

Oct 24: A further new member Vic Welborn and prospective new member attending as a guest Rob Allison.

Oct 31st: First Open Meeting of the season and also Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting. Attended by 40 members and 6 guests.

Nov 14th: Peter Wells attended as a guest.

Nov 21st: Allan Anderson and Rob Allison joined as new members and Richard Cobbald attended as a guest.

Nov 28th: Richard Cobbald added to the membership.

Dec 5th: Five members dropped from Forum Records for various reasons;

Robert Bradwell (ill-health and sadly died shortly after) ; Jeffrey Harrop (non-attendance/ contact); David Jackson (non-attendance/ contact); Mike McKevitt (ill-health); J.Graeme Smith (non-attendance due to health issues and asked to resign).

Dec 12th: An excellent Christmas Lunch at the Ascot House Hotel was attended by 68 members and guests. The after-lunch charitable collection raised £280 to be split between the Girl Guides to assist renovating Birk Crag facilities and to Harlow Hill Methodist Church where we meet.


Jan 16th: Dropped Ray Snowden from membership. (deceased)

Dropped Jim Wilson from membership. (ill-health/non-attendance)

Jan 30th: Open Meeting and Presidents Morning….thirty five member attendees and six lady guests.

Feb 6th: Patrick Halligan new member welcomed.

Feb 13th: Advised of death of former member Roland Moor.

Feb 20th:Members Morning with welcome contributions from Alan Barker; John Corby; Frank Ellis; Brian Gallagher and Gordon Percy. Dropped from membership Lou Consentine (not in country/non-attendance).Also sadly dropped from membership Gordon Richardson who has passed away.

Feb 27th: Welcomed Edward Rowe as a new member.

Dropped from membership Michael Andrews (ill-health/other commitments) and Richard Pugh (resigned).

Mar 6th: Dropped from membership Ken Roberts (ill-health).

Mar 27: Third Open Meeting of season saw a late cancellation and Geoff Queen stepped in at short notice with his ” Great Britain Quiz.

Apr 24: 41st A.G.M. held.

May 23: A party of 20 members and guests entertained by John and Margaret Taylor at a coffee morning at Hollins Hall.

Season concludes with 64 members registered on records.





I have posted a summary of today’s A.G.M. for attention.



In Attendance: President Rev. Christine Gillespie and 32 members.

Apologies: 7 apologies received.

Outgoing Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson opened the meeting by thanking all officers and members for their support in contributing to another successful season and the pride we should have and share about our group.

The Forum President Rev. Christine Gillespie took the chair for the rest of the meeting.

Minutes of Last A.G.M.: Agreed as a correct record, approved by members and signed by the Chairperson as confirmation.

No Matters Arising raised.

Chairperson’s Remarks: Christine paid her tribute to the Forum and stressed the importance of continuing to give a positive and good impression to all those it comes into contact with.

General Secretary’s Report: 12 new members in during season; 12 members dropped from membership for various reasons with registered members continuing at 64. Thanks to outgoing Chairman Derek for his amusing and good-natured stewardship during the last season.

Programme Secretary’s Report: High level attendances continued over from previous season (average 38) and excellent contribution from members to programme (5 talks given).

Disappointment expressed by John over a couple of talks with one being a late cancellation.

Advised that next season , his 12th as Programme Secretary, will be his last.

Treasurer’s Report: Indicative Accounts prepared and circulated. Finances remain healthy and a 3O pound discrepancy in figures explained by unpresented cheque. Church Collection of 140 pounds mentioned. Continuing 500 pound plus balance continues to be maintained to cover contingencies.

Proposals: Fees and Subscriptions to remain unchanged for another year…agreed by meeting.

Church Donation of 870 pounds ..agreed by meeting unanimously.

Secretaries Honorariums totalling  100 pounds agreed by meeting unanimously.

Terry Byrne raised issue of defibrillator for Church. Treasurer Roy and Chairperson Christine explained background and costs involved which also covered possibility or otherwise of blind in the church. Principle of defibrillator at Church o.k. but funds needed to be raised and permission given to General Secretary to approach local businesses on the Hill for support and pledges during the summer recess.

Deceased Members: Three members and one former member had passed away during the last season and the Chairperson asked attendees to stand and observe a period of silence in remembrance.

Election of Officers for 2018/2019:

Vacancies for Second Vice Chairman (to be Chairman in 2020/2021) and for a further volunteer in the Catering Team.

Malcolm Wood gave a positive and encouraging overview of the Chairman’s role, drawing on his own experiences, what it would involve and the support available.

Longer term a candidate to replace John Taylor as Programme Secretary will be required for 2019/2020.

The following positions were confirmed en-bloc.


President:       Rev. Christine Gillespie

Chairman:              Michael Cochrane

Vice Chairman:     Richard Wright

Second Vice Chairman: VACANT

General Secretary: Neil Ramshaw

Programme Secretary: John Taylor

Treasurer:                     Roy Smith

Registrar:                      Derek Simpson

Church Contact:          Mike South

Catering Officers: John Clark; Tom Snelling; Roger Bancroft;

Reserve:                       Richard Brooks

Auditor:                       Chris Butterfield

Any Other Business:

Proposal from Neil Ramshaw that next season sees the final Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting. Reasons given and some discussion … agreed by meeting.

Mike South discussed merits of using Church room when appropriate as opposed to normal meeting  room. Again some discussion and different views from floor but general support for the proposition to use the Church room when deemed appropriate.

Tom Snellig raised issue of increasing Open Meetings each season to four. This received support and some concern from the floor but the meeting agreed that in future the President’s Morning would become an Open Meeting leaving the Programme Secretary with the normal three to identify.

Chairperson Christine Gillespie brought the meeting to a close.


2018 Wednesday May 23rd 1030a.m. –12.00 a.m.  Coffee Morning at Hollins Hall for those booked with John Taylor.

The 2018/2019 season starts on Tuesday October 2nd 10.a.m. for 1030 a.m.






His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the final meeting and advised of three apologies.

Chairman Derek shared a quote from D.J. Sara Cox regarding school days being the best (or possibly not!!) days of your life.

Today’s Speaker was the Forum’s own Programme Secretary and Honorary Life Member John Taylor who would entertain and inform with his “Hollins Hall Story”.

John and his wife Margaret are residents at the Audley Court Retirement Village (Hollins Hall) and mentioned some of the discreet and less discreet responses to their making such a move but stressed that it was independent living for the over 55’s with some residents still gainfully employed.

We were advised of the history of the location which was uninhabitable up to the 18th century although there was a Hollins Hall farm from 1723 and Levens Hall in the area. As the transport infrastructure improves with the establishment of the Skipton Road this led to the building of Hollins Hall in around 1818. John then structured his talk around the seven ages of Hollins Hall;

–Four private owners.

–World War Two.


—Retirement Village.

Hollins Hall was originally built for John Williams, the Recorder of Ripon and his wife Dorothy and occupied by latterly Dorothy until 1855 (her death). The property was then purchased by the Tetley family (Joshua) but only for a short period due to their advanced age and was subsequently bought in 1868 by John and Letitia Wright who took up residence. Letitia was an ardent teetotaler and actively involved in the Temperance Movement. In 1909 Hollins Hall changed hands again at auction and was secured by Frederick Jowett, a West Riding Wool Merchant. 1939 saw the outbreak of World War Two and the Hall was requisitioned for evacuees, sixty-eight children and young mothers, originally coming from Woolwich. In 1941 new evacuees arrived facilitated by Barnado’s and were primarily physically handicapped youngsters. In 1943 Michael Hubert Tetley (great-grandson of Joshua Tetley) and the Vice Chairman of Barnado’s purchased Hollins Hall and gives it to the charity in memory of his son Ian who lost his life in 1941 when H.M.S. Neptune sank. The Hall is renamed the Ian Tetley Memorial School, a residential school for children with special needs. With the changing and more integrated nature of education the school closes in 1996 and Hollins Hall is sold to Audley Court to be developed as private housing for older people. This new enterprise was opened by Sir Bernard Ingham in 2000 and currently affords  seventy properties for occupation.

The talk was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and questions/comments taken at its conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty attendees was given by Neil Ramshaw.





His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting at 1030a.m. and advised of three apologies having been offered.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw advised of the final call for the A.G.M. on April 24th with no candidates forthcoming as yet for Second Vice Chairman and two items for discussion under “Any Other Business” (Meeting Room–Mike South and Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting–Neil Ramshaw).

Programme Secretary John Taylor updated members on the collection for the previous Speaker Geoff Queen which amounted to forty-five pounds from members and his Speaking Fee taking the total to close to one hundred pounds which goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital. He also outlined the Hollins Hall coffee morning arrangements for Wednesday May 23rd, also detailed in his written handout to members.

Chairman Derek introduced today’s Speaker Ms Wendy Eccles whose topic would be ” I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” and gave a quote about the seaside relating to the unnecessary volume of space taken up by water!!

Wendy then took her audience on a trip down memory lane recalling the origins and early days of seaside breaks/holidays and how adults particularly wore the same day clothes as normal even when on the beach. The initial attraction of the coast was the fact that if offered “free fun” for the whole day.

We were advised of Scarborough’s development as a resort staring in the 1600’s with the discovery of Spa Water by Mrs Farrer and Dr Wittie’s book about Scarborough Spa. The first spa was built in 1698 and was very successful with many middle class visitors coming from afar for weekend breaks. Transport was initially, in the 19th century, by way of stagecoach with railways providing a substantial improvement as the century developed. Blackpool became popular in the 1840’s and whilst the railways brought an increase in the number of visitors some concern was expressed about the rough stock of the largely textile workers arriving. In Blackpool three piers opened with a penny charge on one and featured what would now be understood as freak shows or lots of popular extravaganzas. Talbot Railway Station in Blackpool was established for holidaymakers convenience  and we were told about bathing machines for use in the sea.

The developement of Skegness was touched upon. Accomodation was mentioned including big, old hotels such as the Grand in Scarborough and the Imperial in Torquay. Most visitors however went to the archetypal boarding houses run by the dreaded (and unfairly maligned) landlady’s.

Beach activities centred on Buckets and Spades, the Sea, Picnics, Donkey Rides, Gypsy Rose Lee Fortune Tellers and everything needed to spend the full day on the beach at low-cost. Later developments included Fairgrounds and Punch and Judy Shows which were introduced from Europe. Blackpool Rock was highlighted and Ben Bullocks credited with putting the letters in said rock. In 1879 the Illuminations began life in Blackpool.  Holiday Camps made a 20th century appearance and Wendy told us about Cunningham’s on the Isle of Man and the ubiquitous Butlin’s.

Moving to more modern times the impact of motor cars as a form of easier and flexible travel along with parking difficulties started to impact the seaside economies which were further affected by caravans and their associated sites.

The talk was illustrated with pictures, postcards and a number of books which overall provided a very pleasant mornings interlude for the gathered members. Comments following the end of the talk showed how many memories had been stirred in the audience.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 39 attendees was given by Mike Jones.




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.

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.


Unfortunately there is a late change to next weeks Open  Meeting as Mr Tim Fee is unable to attend and will be replaced by Mr Geoff Queen who will present a Great British Quiz.

Geoff Queen has been a regular visitor to the Forum and will provide a more than able replacement.