On the 19th of September the Forum welcomed its guest speaker John Hargreaves from Halifax. John is a retired teacher and a writer who has provided a number of entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies.
The dictionary had been lacking in entries from the north and John has provided items to correct this deficit, a selection of which formed the basis of his talk titled Yorkshire History Makers.
The first famous Yorkshireman was Wilfred Pickles, a native of Halifax who was a radio personality during WW2 and the years immediately after. He is best remembered for his radio programme Have a Go which was the first to feature ordinary people in a relaxed setting and was the first to give cash prizes (a big £3). In later years Pickles became a character actor featuring in films and TV shows.
The next famous figure was Judge James Pickles, Wilfred’s nephew. In his youth he was rebellious and anti-authoritarian but obtained legal qualifications and eventually became a circuit judge. He became notorious for some controversial sentencing and left the law to become a playwright and novelist.
Harry Corbett was the third person featured. Over many years he presented a children’s TV programme featuring a bear glove puppet called Sooty which he had bought in Blackpool for 7/6d.
The last person featured was Jane Tomlinson who, although suffering from cancer herself, raised large sums of money for cancer charities. Although she had shown no interest in sport at school most of her exploits involved sporting achievement.
Forum Chairman Mike Earle proposed a vote of thanks to John Hargreaves for a most interesting talk.