Your article: Six speakers entertain Pocklington Probus Club members

The club's chairman Graham Ball gave a progress report on the Pocklington Canal.
The club's chairman Graham Ball gave a progress report on the Pocklington Canal.

There were six speakers at Pocklington Probus Club’s recent meeting in the Freemasons’ Hall in Pocklington.

The chairman, Graham Ball, welcomed the members, dealt with the club’s business, and then left the floor to Paul Taylor, the club’s speaker finder co-ordinator.

Paul introduced the members who were to take part in the members’ event – each to speak on a specific subject of their own choice for a short period which would be timed.

The speakers were: the chairman Graham Ball, Brian James, David Brown, Robert Albrecht, Roy Howard and Paul Taylor himself.

Graham opened the proceedings by giving an update about works done and in progress on the Pocklington Canal, proposed events associated with the canal during 2015 and some of its interesting flora and fauna.

He indicated that the canal was the host to several interesting sites especially those of Special Scientific Interest (SSI). He recommended that members take a trip to see for themselves a beauty spot on their doorsteps.

He was followed by Brian James, who enthralled members with his entertaining talk about the films of Humphrey Bogart. He referred to his personal, comprehensive collection of copies of the films starring the actor.

Examples of the rarer ones he brought out of a “magician’s bag” to show to his audience illustrating the changes that had taken place through the many years that Bogart had appeared as a film star.

He told the story of the actor from his early beginnings and how he was suddenly transported from a humble theatre actor to become a star.

David Brown gave a great talk about the difficulties of having a stammer, its effect on one’s progress at school and in later life.

Paul Taylor had brought along, in a large box, a collection, which was very different from that which Brian had produced.

It consisted of many examples of Paul’s woodcarving.

They were mostly in lime-wood and showed how the craft developed and how he had managed to become proficient in carving the artistic themes using the specialist modern tools developed from the traditional ones used.

Robert Albrecht amused the members with his descriptions of how to succeed in the construction industry without really trying. He told of instances where things had gone seriously wrong, such as finding an unrecorded rubbish dump beneath a building site or the omission of correct drawings for a lift.

He showed how it was possible to correct such amazing lapses so that when the job was finished the casual observer would find nothing amiss.

The morning concluded with Roy Howard describing two very strange coincidences that had occurred to him during his long career in the telecommunication industry.

One involved meeting an elderly relative in very unusual circumstances and the other how he met the Carnival King of Maastricht first in Maastricht and, many years later, in Leeds.