Category Archives: Talks

The Death Of The Common Attorney.- Jerry Pearlman — 14 August 2017

Born in Redcar and art­icled in Leeds in 1950’s, Jerry Pearlman prac­ticed as a soli­citor in Leeds for nearly sixty years.  As well as the enorm­ous range of work one might expect in a gen­eral legal prac­tice,  Jerry has par­tic­u­lar expert­ise in rights of way.  His ram­bling and access talk how­ever is for another occa­sion.

Whilst look­ing at many aspects of a legal gen­eral prac­tice, his theme was to com­pare the legal pro­fes­sion of yes­ter­day with the legal industry of today and to ques­tion if the public is now really better served.

When Jerry qual­i­fied the use of Latin phrases was common place and helped to dis­tin­guish the legal pro­fes­sion.  An aver­age house cost £500 as did a motor car and the con­vey­an­cing fees for house pur­chases were often the main stay of a soli­cit­ors prac­tice.  Today the cost of con­vey­an­cing has come down but so has the secur­ity of the trans­ac­tions. Traditionally the con­vey­ance date was on a Friday.  This is now called Bad Friday and is when fraud­sters target soli­cit­ors offices on line to inter­cept money trans­ac­tions and redir­ect funds into their bogus bank accounts.  The intro­duc­tion of licensed con­vey­an­cers over the past 45 years has brought down costs for the public but Jerry argued that the busi­ness is less secure.

On the sub­ject of pre­par­ing one’s will, it used to be the sole province of a soli­citor and the value of a soli­cit­ors prac­tice was often based on the number of wills kept in the office safe.  Then account­ants and Banks offered the ser­vice and now there is even a Society of Will Writers.  The latter is com­pletely unreg­u­lated.  Jerry asked if this is really in the best interests of the public?

Liquor licens­ing is another area where Jerry wondered if the relax­ing of having to prove public need is a good thing.  Today alco­hol can be bought at most super­mar­kets and even at petrol sta­tions.  He blamed this for an increase of binge drink­ing and alco­hol con­sump­tion gen­er­ally.

Divorce is another area that was the province of the soli­citor who might be able to temper the situ­ation.  Now with legal aid more dif­fi­cult to obtain, divorce can be some­thing where much is done on line.  Law stu­dents now help couples through divorce.

The Police  now have a power to cau­tion and fewer minor cases  come to court.  This means that there is less oppor­tun­ity to train young law­yers in court pro­ced­ures and this has lead to a lower­ing in the stand­ard of the law­yers’ per­form­ance in court.

This was a  pro­vok­ing talk on mat­ters that most people are aware of but have not given thought to.  There was great poten­tial for dis­cus­sion during and after the talk which was well received.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance -Robin Simpson — 7th August 2017.

One of our mem­bers has every reason to be indebted to Yorkshire Air Ambulance as it most cer­tainly saved his life. Taken ill with a heart attack whilst walk­ing with a group in the Derbyshire Peak District, he was too far from public roads for an ambu­lance and too ill to walk or be car­ried. Calling the emer­gency heli­copter was the only hope. The heli­copter was there within 20 minutes and landed on an out­crop of rock sur­roun­ded by peat bog. The patient was air lifted to Chesterfield hos­pital where he received life saving treat­ment — all in a day’s work for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA)

YAA was star­ted in the year 2000 and since then 7200 people have reason to thank this superb facil­ity, which is avail­able 7 days a week and 365 days a year, cov­er­ing 1500 incid­ents last year ( 3 incid­ents on aver­age a week). YAA has 2 bases at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk and Nostell Estate near Wakefield which ensures 90% of Yorkshire’s pop­u­la­tion of 5 mil­lion can be accessed within 20 minutes. The prime target is to get the patient to a trauma centre within one hour of the incid­ent hap­pen­ing. The ser­vice covers Yorkshire but will respond to emer­gency calls in North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as required..

When YAA was formed they had one ageing heli­copter 20 years old. Last year they pur­chased 2 new heli­copters cost­ing £6M each giving all the bene­fits of modern machines in terms of per­form­ance and clin­ical equip­ment. There are 8 pilots, mostly from a mil­it­ary back­ground, para­med­ics and doc­tors. A heli­copter would nor­mally be crewed by a pilot, 2 para­med­ics and a doctor. At base, a para­medic is on duty to screen emer­gency calls, assess the situ­ation and decide whether to call out the heli­copter which could involve road acci­dents, indus­trial, sports / leis­ure acci­dents and sudden ill­ness.

YAA costs £44M a year to run or around £1200 a day . It is a pro­fes­sion­ally run char­ity depend­ent on the gen­er­os­ity of its sup­port­ers and gen­eral public. An excel­lent present­a­tion by Robin who is a volun­teer clearly com­mit­ted to the cause.

The Importance of Woodland – Past, Present & Future – Gerald Price – 31st July 2017

The Woodland Trust was formed in 1972 as a char­it­able trust. They now own 1,200 woods cov­er­ing approx­im­ately 75 sqare miles through­out the British Isles, and also work with landown­ers who own their own woods.

With around 300 employ­ees, 300,000 mem­bers and many volun­teers, they are fin­anced equally by legacies, mem­ber­ship, grants, full-time fun­draisers and spon­sors such as Sainsburys, WH Smith and IKEA.

Woodlands are defined as trees, hedges, park­land with trees in them, and any other clusters, copses or clumps of trees. Twelve and a half per cent of the land­scape in Britain is wood­land, and the aim is to reach 25 per cent. Notably, London has 20 per cent wood­land and there are 50 woods within 10 miles of Sheffield.

Trees live the longest of all living things and are the tallest. They are between 20 and 25 per cent carbon, so absorb CO2 from the atmo­sphere and emit O2, as well as provid­ing an essen­tial biod­i­verse hab­itat for 50 per cent of all wild life.

In the canopy of trees, for safety, there are rap­tors, but­ter­flies such as purple emperor and hair­streaks, bats and other creatures. Lower down there are garden birds, other but­ter­flies and mam­mals, while on the ground are mam­mals and flora. In the ground, fungi have a sym­bi­otic arrange­ment with the roots of trees. The roots also hold the soil, aid water per­col­a­tion and take up water, help­ing to pre­vent flood­ing.

Past ancient wood­lands tend to be where plough­ing was dif­fi­cult, so biod­iversity in the wood­land has had time to develop and there­fore con­tains the rarer spe­cies of flora & fauna.

Ancient wood­lands of native spe­cies have been cop­piced for hun­dreds of years, for char­coal, which was needed in steel­mak­ing. They have also been cop­piced for white coal (wood dried, then charred), which was needed for lead smelt­ing, as it burns at a lower tem­per­at­ure. The cop­picing was rotated in a wood and over­seen by a wood ward, who was an import­ant man.

Present object­ives of the Woodland Trust are:

1. Protection — Promoting tree man­age­ment and trying to link up ancient bits, when think­ing of buying. This cre­ates cor­ridors for mam­mals.

2. Restoration – For example, repla­cing pine woods (which were planted after WW1 by the newly formed Forestry Commission to provide wood for com­mer­cial use, and are dark and unat­tract­ive to the flora and fauna) with woods of oak and native spe­cies, which are light, airy and more biod­i­verse, attract­ing flora & fauna.

3. Creation – Planting new trees by donat­ing young sap­lings to com­munit­ies, and work­ing with the com­munit­ies to plant on any bits of public land that cannot be used for any­thing else.

4. Control of pests and dis­eases – There are 19 threats at present, includ­ing dis­eased chest­nut trees and ash die-back. It is likely we will lose all our ash trees which is the second most pop­u­lous tree.

Future object­ives are described in the Woodland Trust’s new ‘Charter for Trees, Woods & People’ which will be launched on 7th November 2017, which is the 800th anniversary of the ‘Charter of the Forest’ in 1217 (around the time of the Magna Carta) which recog­nised that the peas­ants had rights over the woods too.

Some 70,000 sig­na­tures of sup­port for the new charter have been col­lec­ted to date, and 100,000 is the target.

The 10 object­ives are:

1. Thriving hab­it­ats for diverse spe­cies
2. Planting for the future
3. Celebrating the cul­tural impact of trees
4. Thriving forestry sector that deliv­ers for the UK
5. Better pro­tec­tion for import­ant trees & woods (TPOs)
6. Enhancing new devel­op­ments with trees
7. Understanding and using the nat­ural health bene­fits of trees
8. Access to trees for every­one, with paths
9. Addressing threats to trees and woods through good man­age­ment
10. Strengthening land­scapes with woods and trees

The Woodland Trust are doing essen­tial and very valu­able work to main­tain and improve our wood­lands an d envir­on­ment for the bene­fit of all.

Gerald gave us an excel­lent present­a­tion, and encour­aged us to sup­port the Woodland Trust and get involved. For fur­ther inform­a­tion see

The UK Hospice Movement And Our Local Blue Bell Wood Hospice — Angie Beasley — 24th July 2017.

Angie Beasley.

Angie Beasley is a Child and Family Co-ordinator at the Blue Bell Wood chil­drens hos­pice, near Sheffield, where she has worked for the past eight years since its open­ing. Prior to that she has worked in other adult hos­pices in the UK.

Angie explained that the word “hos­pice” first began to be used in the mid 1800s in France and referred to the caring of dying patients. It was later taken up by Irish Sisters of Charity when they opened Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin, Ireland in 1879. However hos­pices did not become more widely known until 1967 when Dame Cicely Saunders foun­ded St Christopher’s House. Having said that St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield exis­ted many years before that to my know­ledge.

Angie explained that Helen House, based on the out­skirts of Oxford was the first children’s hos­pice, open­ing in November 1982, and now there are 49 through­out the UK.

Blue Bell Wood Hospice came about as the result of the care provided to a ter­min­ally ill boy called Richard Cooper, aged 10. No children’s hos­pice exis­ted in the area at that time and Richard’s par­ents stayed at his bed­side through­out his fre­quent visits to hos­pital, slept in chairs and bought food in from out­side of the hos­pital. Richard spent his final few weeks at home and died on the 13th March 1997, aged 11.

A char­ity was estab­lished in 1998 to help fam­il­ies in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire who needed care and sup­port out­side of the hos­pital envir­on­ment, and after a lot of fund rais­ing Blue Bell Wood hos­pice for chil­dren and young adults opened its doors on the 19th September 2008.

Originally it was inten­ded that the hos­pice should be built in Doncaster at the exist­ing adult Hospice of St John’s in Doncaster but there was an issue with bats on the site and so, even­tu­ally it was decided that it would be built at Cramafit Road in North Anston, Sheffield.

It is built in six  and a half acres of land and is in the shape of a large horse shoe. There are eight en-suite bed­rooms for the children/ young adults on one leg of the horse shoe and eight en-suite bed­rooms for the fam­il­ies of the chil­dren on the other, plus two com­plete apart­ments for a child/young adult and family on the end of each wing of the build­ing. These are named “Primrose” and Forget-me-not suites. The expres­sion child/young adult is used because the age of the patients can range from just a few hours up to 25 years old.

The Hospice is sur­roun­ded by beau­ti­ful gar­dens includ­ing a Dragonfly Remembrance Garden which was built by Alan Titchmarsh and the team from ITV’s ‘Love Your Garden’. The garden is suit­able for wheel­chairs and has a veget­able patch, a giant chess set, a play­house and a shaded area for hot days.

The hos­pice  believes in gen­er­at­ing love, laughter and some happy memor­ies at  this cru­cial stage of life. It  is cur­rently sup­port­ing around 250 fam­il­ies, both in their own homes and at the hos­pice in North Anston, Sheffield.

Angie and her team provide coun­selling to indi­vidu­als and fam­il­ies for as short or as long as required, with each ses­sion last­ing one hour and both the hos­pice and the coun­selling is abso­lutely free. She also organ­ises dis­cus­sion groups where par­ents can come, dis­cuss and share their feel­ings and emo­tions  that they have exper­i­enced and are exper­i­en­cing, to draw strength from other par­ents in the same situ­ation.

All this comes at a cost which is cur­rently run­ning at over £4 mil­lion  a year to keep the doors open. 10% of this comes from stat­utory gov­ern­ment sources, 1% from the local author­ity and the rest from fund rais­ing.

Angie’s talk can only be described as both emo­tional and riv­et­ing, with many ques­tions being asked both during and after the talk.

This text does not really do justice to her talk but you can learn more about Blue Bell Wood children’s hos­pice by click­ing on the link “Blue Bell Wood”

Fix-My-PC — Jonathan Frost — 17th July 2017.

Jonathan began by warn­ing us not to trust anyone who rang up claim­ing to be from Microsoft who said that they have detec­ted a fault on our com­puter.  They offer to cure the fault if we allow them access to the com­puter.

It is a scam.  Microsoft, our banks, HMRC etc. will not con­tact us by ‘phone if they need to deal with prob­lems affect­ing our equip­ment or accounts so say, “Thank you for call­ing.” then hang up the ‘phone.

He asked how many of us back up our com­puter using an external hard drive.  If we have sev­eral hun­dred photos stored in the com­puter memory and it crashes we could lose all those memor­ies if they could not be retrieved.  In fact, he sug­ges­ted, it is better to back up onto two external hard drives because they are easily dam­aged by a knock or being dropped.

USB memory sticks should be used for trans­fer­ring files or photos, but not for stor­ing them, because memory sticks or flash drives can also be easily dam­aged.

Someone said he backed up his com­puter using the Cloud.  That is a slow pro­cess if you try to put in a lot of photos at once but is O.K. if you are adding  a few at a time over a longer period.

Modern tech­no­logy is advan­cing so rap­idly that com­mu­nic­a­tion and stor­age meth­ods are fast becom­ing out of date.  Audio tapes and VHS and even CDs are becom­ing use­less because you soon will not be able to buy a machine to play them.  Writing on paper or prin­ted photos is often the best way to keep inform­a­tion for any length of time — they don’t need machines to inter­pret them!

Passwords are often easier to guess than we might think.  Criminals may be able to log in to your com­puter and get a super com­puter to guess yours.  Because these com­puters can per­form mil­lions of actions in a short time, they may be able to try enough com­bin­a­tions to determ­ine you pass­word in as little as three days!

Jonathan sug­ges­ted that a more com­plex pass­word of the type   ‘cor­rect   horse   bat­tery  staple’  would take even a super com­puter about 550 years to guess!   Obviously you would have to choose a sequence of words that you could remem­ber.

He asked if anyone had com­puter ques­tions that he could help with.  Antivirus soft­ware?  None would be good for a long time because more and more vir­uses occurred.  He recom­men­ded Avast free.    Avoiding  hack­ers and vir­uses?
1.Too many free apps on your phone may make you vul­ner­able  to both.
2. Never click on a link in an e-mail unless you trust the source.
3.If you still use XP don’t use it on the Internet — it is not safe.

He said that he and his son con­duct a free com­puter clinic each Wednesday from 10am to 12pm at Broomhill lib­rary.

Finally he asked how many of us look at our web­site and did we have com­ments?   Most looked at blogs or future speak­ers, not many used the Forum.  Some blogs (like this one?) were too long.

A very good present­a­tion that was help­ful, but I think I need to attend  free clinic to get the full bene­fit!


Resuscitation and defibrillation

Helen Till, a retired clin­ical nurse, now has a new role as a resus­cit­a­tion officer in the hos­pital envir­on­ment.

She men­tioned that in the UK every year, 30,000 cases of sudden car­diac arrest (SCA) occur.

  • Survival rate is less than one in ten
  • Death is inev­it­able unless SCA recog­nised promptly, CPR com­men­ded and defib­ril­la­tion per­formed


  • What is a car­diac arrest?  The heart has stopped pump­ing blood to the body and brain, the person will fall uncon­scious and stop breath­ing.  Without CPR the person will die within minutes
  • How does CPR help?   By per­form­ing chest com­pres­sions (and rescue breaths) this pumps blood and oxygen around the body.
  • Is a car­diac arrest the same as a heart attack?  No — they are not the same — a heart attack can lead to a car­diac arrest but both are med­ical emer­gen­cies and it is neces­sary to call 999

Most SCA cases are due to abnor­mal heart rhythm.  The major factor lim­it­ing sur­vival is that SCA and AED (defib­ril­lator) are used within the crit­ical time (con­di­tions are optimal only for a few minutes after the onset but can be exten­ded by effect­ive CPR.

Defibrillation helps by deliv­er­ing a high energy elec­tric shock to the heart through the chest wall  and chest com­pres­sions also help.

Survival of an SCA is pos­it­ively asso­ci­ated with:

  • Witness col­lapse
  • Early CPR by bystand­ers
  • Presence of shock­able rhythm
  • Short time from col­lapse to start of CPR
  • Short time from col­lapse to AED

Do CPR until ambu­lance arrives.

Helen demon­strated on a man­nekin how to apply CPR and use a defib­ril­lator. The AED, when activ­ated, gave recor­ded instruc­tion at every step.  It told how and where to place the pads which had to be applied to bare skin.

Members of the club volun­teered to per­form the tech­nique on the man­nekin and were amazed at how much effort was required to do the CPR.

There were mul­tiple ques­tions from the floor and Helen answered them all.  She was thanked for her invalu­able talk and demon­stra­tions.