Category Archives: Talks

Mr Neville Maggs 11th June. Adventures In the BT Global Round the World Challenge

Ironman, Marathon man, marmalade maker extraordin­aire and now sail­ing – it there any­thing this man won’t take on? Some quite superb pic­tures of his trip on the Boston to South America leg of the Global chal­lenge. A late taken place meant that he was not quite as pre­pared as he would have wished never having been on a boat before! As always Neville rose man­fully to the chal­lenge!

14th May Mr Pat McLaughlin Symbolism in South Yorkshire Faith Sites.

96252The sym­bols that adorn so many churches are paint­ing a story of the events of the Bible, much like a comic does today, because in the early days so many people could neither read nor write. The qual­ity of Pat’s pic­tures of the sym­bols in many churches in Yorkshire were only matched by his encyc­lo­paedic know­ledge and storytelling skills. The well-known symbol of the fish — ever-watchful with its unblink­ing eyes — was one of the most import­ant sym­bols of Christ to the early Christians. In Greek, the phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God Savior,” is “Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter.” The first let­ters of each of these Greek words, when put together, spell “ich­thys,” the Greek word for “fish”. The Christians’ choice of a cross as the symbol of our faith is really sur­pris­ing when one con­siders the horror with which cru­ci­fix­ion was regarded in the ancient world. So the next time you go in a church, look around at the sym­bols in the stained glass win­dows, the paint­ings, carvings and stone work for they tell their own story and have their own mean­ings. The web will help you unravel them!




30th April 2012 Mike Gildersleeve Thornbridge Hall

thornbridge_hall_64[1]Mike spent his work­ing life in edu­ca­tion and he came upon Thornbridge Hall when it was owned by Sheffield City Council and used as an edu­ca­tional centre. He clearly became very fond of the place and his pictorial tour of the hall took us from the early days in the 12th cen­tury when it was the family seat of the Longsdon family. Since then it has been in the care of a number of wealthy busi­ness people includ­ing the cur­rent owners who have lov­ingly restored almost the com­plete build­ing. The open day on the first Sunday in July falls this year on Sunday 1st July when the Annual Charity Garden Party at Thornbridge Hall will be open to all to help raise money for our local char­it­ies. Gates open at 10.00am this year so you can get in early to get your plants before they sell out !!! Tickets avail­able on the door. Those of us who have been, say it is one not to be missed! Have a look at


23rd April 2012 Dr A Murray Wilson Medical Equipment

Murray Wilson’s career was spent in anaes­thet­ics and by nature an invent­ive man with a great curi­os­ity and desire to find better ways of admin­is­ter­ing anaes­thet­ics. Dropping ether onto a gauze mask was, sur­pris­ingly, hap­pen­ing rather more recently then you might care to ima­gine! In the early days of gas cyl­in­ders of oxygen and nitrous oxide it was all too easy to con­nect up the piping the wrong way round, which could have fatal con­sequences. Furthermore it was dif­fi­cult to gauge when the bottles were run­ning out and after the inad­equa­cies of then cur­rent gas fail­ure alarms, such as the Bosun developed by BOC, Murray designed an alarm that over­came these flaws. The design was taken up by Eardley’s of Sheffield – a com­pany better known for pro­du­cing beer dis­pens­ing equip­ment – and so was born the Eardley gas alarm. Many other ingeni­ous pieces of equip­ment owe their birth to Murray and per­haps one of his most respec­ted devices is the Sheffield Ventilator designed whilst a Registrar at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital in 1964.
The Sheffield Ventilator


He proved his abil­ity to design equip­ment is only matched by his won­der­ful sense of humour! Another fas­cin­at­ing morn­ing!The Eardley Gas Alarm



Mr. Harry Strong — Zimbabwe.

Harry’s illus­trated talk began with the emig­ra­tion of his grand­father in 1925 to Rhodesia to start a new life. He found employ­ment out there and as a result of a chance meet­ing on a train he met a min­eral pro­specter and prop­erty spec­u­lator whom he went into busi­ness with and star­ted farm­ing on the totally undeveloped land. He planted tobacco which is a fast grow­ing crop and had a good return. He told us how his grand­father divided the land to give his son, Harry’s father enough land for a farm of his own. This even­tu­ally was split between Harry and his brother who farmed inde­pend­ently, grow­ing tobacco.

He explained how they had to do everything, includ­ing making approx­im­ately 1,000,000 bricks a year to build their house, barns and out build­ings. They built a dam for irrig­a­tion pur­poses which also provided recre­ation facil­it­ies such as fish­ing and boat­ing. Weekends were always very busy because their neigh­bours, who lived sev­eral miles away would come around for a social get together. The return from tobacco was paid out in Zimbabwe dol­lars and the mar­ket­ing of the crop was highly reg­u­lated and so Harry diver­si­fied into other crops such as chil­lies and pep­pers.

It was an ideal place to live and to bring up chil­dren. However all this changed when, under Robert Mugabe, white farmer’s land began to be con­fis­cated and given to the black work­ers, politi­cians, and people in high places. Their homes became fort­resses and they had to be armed at all times.

Eventually in 2001 Harry and family returned to England and came to live in Sheffield. They brought very little with them and had to start again on some money which they had inves­ted over here from pre­vi­ous years.

Harry became a part­ner in an engin­eer­ing com­pany but when the credit crunch came his other part­ners bought him out. Ever resource­ful Harry bought a van and star­ted his own busi­ness doing aerial pho­to­graphy. The back of the van was fitted with a large tele­scopic pole which extends to about 90 feet. The top of the pole is fitted with his camera equip­ment, enabling him to take elev­ated pho­to­graphs which would be impossible by any other means. His com­pany is called Sky High Camera Limited and we wish him every suc­cess. His web address is