Wetherby Retired Men's Forum
Chairman Peter Mullaly welcomed the 60 members present to the first meeting of the spring session of the ‘Forum’ and reminded them that the summer outing would be on Wednesday, June 6. Doug Burgess introduced the speaker, Alun Pugh, a retired teacher who gave a talk entitled ‘Cycling the Leeds/Liverpool Canal’. He was very amusing and said he and cycling companion Martin, started from Liverpool to ride the 126 miles back to Leeds. He also read from a book by travel writer Bill Bryson, who wrote that when he arrived in Liverpool they were having a Festival of Litter with the city being strewn with acres of colourful waste paper and packaging. The talk was illustrated with colour slides of Liverpool showing The Cavern Club made famous by The Beatles. There was Penny Lane and pictures of ferry boats made famous in the song Ferry Across the Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers. There was the Liver Building and the Anglican and Catholic churches. There was Aintree Racecourse too. And so to the canal, which was finished in 1816 and is U-shaped to allow the canal boats easy passage. There were many slides of interesting people the intrepid cyclists met on their journey: swans, narrow boats, unusual lodging and Wigan Pier and locks. The anecdotes caused much laughter and then the audience realised why the speaker kept saying they had not gone far and he only had ten minutes left: his companion, Martin, hit an obstacle which buckled his front wheel and could not be repaired, so the journey was abandoned and they went home. George Hall proposed the vote of thanks to this excellent raconteur.