The 2010 programme got off to flying start with a night
of nostalgia provided by Mr Keith Barber. Forty five members and guests
gathered to see Keith's presentation offering a trip down memory lane
with photos of Leeds from the 40's, 50's and 60's. Keith, a former distribution
manager with the Burton Group, one of the city's major companies, now
spends his retirement visiting groups and organisations to remind us what
Leeds was like when we were all growing up here. Keith is fortunate in
that he is sponsored to present the show by Wm. Dodgson Funeral Services
Ltd . who cover all his expenses to take this highly entertaining presentation
to groups all over the city.
He initially put the show together from his father's collection of photographs
and says it represents his life in Leeds having been born in Beeston in
1940. He began by showing a photo of the first Rolls Royce hearse in the
country which was owned in the 1920's by the Dodgson undertaking firm.
He explained how the profession had grown from cabinet makers and carpenters
who only made coffins, most other tasks being undertaken by family members,
to the funeral services businesses we know today. He then went on to show
a fascinating selection of photographs from all areas of the city including
the city centre. During his commentary he reminded us of activities such
as the family bath night in front of the fire (all sharing the same water)
to playing cricket or hopscotch in the street, or, a firm favourite ,
"laiking at taws" - playing with marbles to you and me. We settled
down to be reminded of the famous stores Leeds once offered from the high
class Marshall and Snelgrove, which Keith's Mum said they could only afford
to walk through, to the mighty Schofields with its separate furniture
store joined to the main store by an overhead walkway. As well as the
large stores in the city centre, Keith also had photos of the theatres
which graced town and revived memories of many a happy December afternoon
or evening spent at the pantomime entranced by the dancing of the Sunbeams
dance troupe. The thoroughly eclectic mix of photographs including scenes
from the filming of two long running TV series , Queenie's Castle starring
Diana Dors, and The Good Old Days, both produced in the city, was enhanced
by Keith's delightful commentary and throwaway humour. We were also reminded
of products now long gone but familiar to us all, such as Rinso washing
powder and favourite sweets Spangles. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed
by all the audience. Keith ended his presentation by distributing some
extremely useful booklets kindly provided by Wm. Dodgson Ltd.
The next meeting will be on Monday 22nd February when
Pam Judkins will present an illustrated talk entitled "Old for New"
- excavations in the Wakefield area.