The speaker for the 10th October meeting was Andrew Thwaite who has been in chocolate
and baking all his working life but as a Chocolatier he now trains, demonstrates
and speaks on the art of working with chocolate.
Andrew gave a brief history of the harvesting of the beans right through to the final
process which is mainly in Belgium. Andrew told us that, in the process, fat is
added to the chocolate beans with a larger percentage of fat being used by the main
manufacturers than Andrew uses – obviously less fattening!!
The members were delighted that Andrew was not only talking but demonstrating the
process of chocolate-making. Chocolate had been heated in a microwave (melting it
over a pan of hot water is no longer advised) and was then placed in moulds which
were refrigerated for a short time to harden. Members were advised not to store chocolate
in a fridge since it will absorb smells from other products thus ending up with a
very different taste, plus a white covering.
He related a tale he had been told from an employee of one of York’s main chocolate
producers - a chocolate dipper who had dentures paid for by her employers since the
continual cleaning of the “dipper stick” by licking had caused her teeth to decay.
An unlimited supply of free chocolate might also have contributed.
Finally, after an interesting talk and demonstration, a tray heaped with delicious
chocolates was handed round the hall for everyone to sample. An excellent end to
The Speaker for our November meeting was Norman Oberheim who entertained us with
‘Photographs and a LivelyTalk. As a keen photographer and member of a Camera Club
his photographs were many and varied and of the highest standard. We went through
the seasons with children sledging, snowdrops in a churchyard, crocus’s on The Stray,
snow on the hills in Scotland and through various events and places that he had visited
during the year. Most memorable of these were photographs taken of Lincoln Cathedral
from the Castle Walls, the Tall Ships event in Hartlepool and several photographs
taken at Whitby of the harbour and beach and ended closer to home with Swaledale
sheep at Kilnsey Show. The meeting was very well attended so many of our members
were able to enjoy the excellent presentation.
MY LIFE IN LAUGHS
The speaker for our January meeting was Patti Gold who entertained us for 50 minutes
with reminiscences of her wonderful career in show business.
Starting at the age of 3 when she joined a school of dancing in Leeds, progressing
through appearances as a Sunbeam and in the chorus in Leeds pantomimes, onto summer
seasons in coastal resorts and appearances at the City Hall, Sheffield and at the
Batley Variety Club. She worked on Worker’s Playtime which was recorded in various
venues in Leeds and visited Gracie Fields at her home in Capri! She has appeared
with many famous comedians who were household names in our younger day – Mike & Bernie
Winters, Les Dawson, Vince Hill, Tony Christie – to name but a few.
In the course of working on cruise ships she has been round the world five times.
It was a wonderful trip down memory lane for many of us and it was a very enjoyable
start to our 2019 programme.
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