Our talk on Wednesday, 13th February was given by Anne Richards and went by the
title “Remembering the 1970’s”.
Anne started by apologising for being unable to show her slides as her equipment
was unsuitable for such a large group as ours, but she delivered her talk with enthusiasm
for the subject.
We didn’t really learn anything about Anne apart from being told that she enjoyed
walking and youth hostalling. She started by describing a holiday she had taken with
a friend in 1971 to the north of Scotland, travelling in their Hillman Imp via Motor-rail
from York to Inverness.
Visiting Iona seemed to be the highlight especially having to alert the ferryman
by standing on a rock and waving a handkerchief! This also brought back memories
from one of our members who had visited Iona on family holidays before there was
even a cafe. As the friends continued their journey across Scotland they were caught
in a traffic jam, and had the pleasure of seeing Concord flying past to a local air
show. ( In the 70’s I was working in London and also remember seeing Concord near
Heathrow, it was such a beautiful plane I had to stop the car, and watch its progress.)
Further into the 70’s she then started having holidays abroad, courtesy of Freddie
Laker who introduced budget air travel. I’m sure that rang a bell with everyone!
Anne talked about the Queens Jubilee celebrations when beacons were lit across the
country, and how she and some friends had gone to Ingleton to see the beacon there.
( Again that brought back a memory I had forgotten about – I was in London so went
to Windsor Great Park to watch the Queen light the beacon there.)
Fashion was briefly mentioned, not mini skirts, bell bottom trousers, or platform
shoes, but wedding dresses – I’m sure we all remember ours with high necks and long
It was a shame we didn’t have the slides to accompany the talk, but I’m sure our
members enjoyed remembering their own experiences of the 1970’s.
THE ACTOR, THE SINGER , THE MEDIC AND THE SOLICITOR
The speaker for our March meeting was Lesley Newman who gave us a very interesting
talk about four men who had been prominent in Leeds and who are buried in Beckett
The actor was called John Langford Pritchard who performed on the York Theatre Circuit
that included many Yorkshire towns and he also produced performances for charity.
Joshua Cawthra was the singer who was also an organist and choir master at Leeds
Parish Church and sang in several of the Leeds chapels and the Mechanics Literary
Institute, now the Leeds City Museum.
The surgeon was William Price who initially was a naval surgeon but who returned
to Leeds as a surgeon at The Dispensary and eventually joined the Leeds Medical School
when it opened at Leeds University.
John Hope Shaw was the solicitor whose office was in Albion Street Leeds. He became
Mayor of Leeds and laid the foundation stone of the Town Hall under which copies
of Leeds and London papers, coins and the names of all the people who had been involved
in achieving the building were buried.
The funerals of all four men were very well attended with many people lining the
streets en route to Beckett Street Cemetry. A most enjoyable talk on a very unusual
Jennyruth Workshop - May Meeting
In spite of it being a very cold day, with strong winds and heavy rain, giving many
reasons to stay in comfort at home, there was a good attendance at the May meeting.
The presentation by staff and workers from the Jennyruth Workshops, Ripon, was both
informative and enjoyable.
The workshops exist to provide training and support for those in the community requiring
extra help and encouragement both in the world of work and socially. In a presentation
which was headed by worker Jonathan and supported by Tony, a member of staff, a slide
show took us into different aspects of the workshops. Here the workers are trained
in the use of tools and also a variety of crafts, making gifts for sale to raise
funds for the support of the Workshops.
There could be 28 workers at any one time. Besides photographs of the productive
side there were some very happy 'snaps' of social occasions.
The Workshop was very proud to have won the Prince Andrew Award for service to the
community and Jonathan was shown with Prince Andrew - a very proud moment.
After the talk there was an opportunity to ask questions when much interest was shown
and to buy goods that were sold in aid of the project.
Altogether it was a happy and friendly afternoon, just the thing for a ' wintry'
July Meeting - Keith Barber – “A Trip down Memory Lane”
Keith Barber recalled his childhood in Leeds, having been born in a back-to-back
house with no electricity, no inside toilet and no supermarkets, but having a very
Keith’s presentation showed pictures of key items representing the 1940s, 1950s and
1960s and members clearly remembered many of these. He referred to BHS, which was
not “Before the Health Service”, but Before Health and Safety and admitted that many
of the activities of previous decades would not be allowed now. Tin baths, clip rugs,
icy windows and the dividend (divi) from the Co-op were all associated with the 1940/1950s.
Pictures of gas masks, Anderson shelter, Cod Liver Oil, concentrated orange juice
plus the ration book all marked the war years and the 1940s and rationing did not
in fact end completely until 1954.
The street was the playground for children in these decades and hopscotch, marbles
and football were enjoyed in a relatively “car-less” area. Evening entertainment
was the radio but the 1950s saw the television becoming available to most families,
originally having just the BBC. Programmes started at 5.00pm (first hour for children)
and ended at 10.30 with the National Anthem, interrupted by the “interlude”.
The talk ended with a list of Yorkshire sayings and Keith commented that laughing
makes you feel better. Certainly, members came away smiling and remembering times