A Brief History of the Forum

The inaugural meeting of the “Menston Retired Men’s Forum” took place on 14th November 1972 at Kirklands community centre, following the drawing up of the Draft Constitution.

25 persons were present at this meeting and the first committee was formed:

Chairman          F.H.Voigt

Vice Chairman   V.R. Hall

Secretary          J. Cousin

Treasurer           J.G. Allcott

Registrar           H.M. Spenceley

Committee        A. Young and J.C. Robinson

During this first year there were 4 committee meetings at which the committee agreed to give £5 each for formation expenses and that there should be no annual subscription. The Treasurer reported a balance in hand of £17.70. But being true Yorkshire folk the committee agreed that the Local Authority should be approached with a view to obtaining a grant.

The first annual general meeting took place at Kirklands on 19th December 1973.

By July 1974 the Treasurer was able to report that the balance in hand was now £24.02 but at the same committee meeting there was a request for an improvement in the quality of the coffee.

January 1975. It was reported that the quality of the coffee was now entirely satisfactory. The room rent had been increased and an application for an increased grant was made to the Local Authority.

November 1975. An additional grant of £15 had been received from Bradford Council but the committee had asked Bradford for free use of the room under their scheme for elderly people.

December 1976. The charge for coffee at each meeting was increased from 10p to 15p. The membership had increased to 55 with average attendance at 40.

September 1981. Bradford Metropolitan Council had increased the room rent to £3.88 for each meeting.

December 1984. A new kitchen rota had been agreed.

November 1986. It was announced that Mr F.H. Voigt the founding chairman had died.

December 1986. Membership had grown to such an extent that Bradford council lettings department had told the Forum, because of fire regulations; it had to limit attendance at meetings to 50 persons. The committee was now considering a “waiting list” system.

November 1987. Mrs Hazel Broch, one of the speakers, said the £5 she had received had been used to plant a tree dedicated to Menston Retired Men’s Forum in the Holy Land near Nazareth.

December 1987. Annual membership fees set at £1.50

November 1990 Annual membership fees raised to £3.00

October 1997. On the 19th the Forum held its 25th Anniversary dinner at Otley Golf Club.

November 2007. Annual membership fees raised to £8.00

January 19th 2011. Birthday party for Jack Hilditch, a member of our Forum, who celebrated his 100th birthday this month. Reported in the Ilkley Gazette. Unfortunately, immediately prior to this important celebration Jack had tripped at home and fallen flat on his face.

If anyone has any additional information regarding the history of the Forum could you please let me know via the “Contact Us” form

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One Response to A Brief History of the Forum

  1. Bill says:

    After the death of F.H.Voigt, I believe that Alan Smethurst then became chairman and then Vincent Hall became Life President.
    I do not know the dates.

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