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3:26pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
WOMEN’S FORUM: Last month we had a record-breaking attendance while this fortnight it was one of our lowest. Snow left the roads clear, but the pavements and side roads treacherous, and many of our members are into the second half of life. Broken bones are more serious, so we were not surprised that some did not make it. But those who did were treated to a very knowledgeable talk with slides on the subject of Warp and Weft given by Sue Seegar, who traced the use of woven material from the earliest statues extant to the present day. Very interesting, but the models were all as slim as rails, so we did not aspire to wearing any of them. After our coffee break we had a representative from the Wheatfields Hospice, our charity this year, to talk to us on their activities and structure, so that we know what our contributions are helping. Our next meeting will be on February 7, which will be our AGM followed by a talk by Meg Morton on York Gardens. It will be held in the Methodist Church from 9.45-11.45am as usual. All will be welcome.
MEN’S FORUM: A first-class raconteur who has stories about Dickens, Lowry, Beatrix Potter and the Brontes in her repertoire, Pat Osbourne told us the life story of Sir Norman Wisdom. She des-cribed him as a brilliant anarchic comedian who rose from child-hood poverty to become one of the most popular comedians in Britain. He and his elder brother were left in a one room flat to fend for themselves and between the ages of nine and 11 became urchins, stealing fruit to survive. At the age of 14 he walked from London to Cardiff and with the help of a friendly docker became a cabin boy on a ship bound for Argentina. There was no further work for him as a seaman and he lived rough in London until he joined the Army, spending five years in India as a bandsman. It was during this time that he discovered his ability to entertain and amuse people. Upon leaving the Army he tried his hand at variety. After a successful period working with David Nixon he branched out and started to give solo performances. Vera Lynn was so impressed that she helped him to obtain top billing. This success caused Rank to offer him a seven-year contract and his first film for them Trouble in Store in 1953 was so successful that his career as a very popular film star blossomed. He made 17 films and appeared on numerous television shows, taking part in This is Your Life on two occasions before also showing his ability as a serious actor. He was knighted in 2000 and gradually reduced his work load as age and infirmity prevented his continuation as a performer. He spent his last 30 years on the Isle of Man and eventually died there at the age of 95 in 2010. Our next meeting at Otley Methodist Church is on Thursday, February 7, at 10am when Jim Monte will tell us about Lead Mining in Yorkshire.