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[ WROCC Home » Meetings » Past Meetings » December 2009 ]

An Evening of Festive Fun

December 2009 meeting – report by Rick Sterry

In 2008 we dropped the annual December auction in favour of a ‘fun night’. At first, we tried not to call it that, as it seemed a bit trite, but having failed to think of a better title, we gave in!

It seemed to go down rather well, so we decided to repeat the formula in 2009. The evening started off with some amusing video clips which I had acquired, after which we had a short break to tuck into the mince pies, stollen cake and shortbread biscuits provided for the occasion. Having had our ‘sugar hit’, we moved on to a computer-related quiz of 42 questions (the number is significant for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), hosted by Peter Richmond. Some of the questions were extremely obscure, a few were easy, but most of them were somewhere in between – they certainly got everyone very animated! The “Nearest the Windows” team scored 12 points, “Rick’s WROCCers” scored 26½, “Chris’s Lot” scored 27½, but the clear winners were “Steve and his Two Sidekicks” with 33½ points. I reckon a spread of scores like that indicates that the overall difficulty of the questions was somewhere about right. There were no prizes, other than the warm satisfaction of having taken part.

We had another little break in which the few remaining morsels were consumed, and then after Chris Hughes had shown some animations from Weakend Productions, including the superb Jeb’s Jobs – Technical Support (by popular request), we handed over to Colin Sutton to close the evening.

He showed us a slide show, which did not yet have commentary added, showing an event called “Hug the Odeon” which took place in July 2007. This was an organised protest against the planned demolition of the Odeon cinema in Bradford, and its replacement by a tall glass modern structure. For those not familiar with Bradford, the Odeon is a sort of younger sister to the Alhambra Theatre, and sits almost alongside it. However, that’s where the comparison ends, for whereas the magnificent Alhambra managed to escape the wrecker’s ball and benefited from a comprehensive refurbishment programme in the 1980s, the Odeon has sat empty and neglected since 2000. The proposed modern replacement building may be all right in itself, but what better to compliment the Alhambra than a remodelled Odeon with new uses? As an aside, even non-Bradfordians must be well aware from media reports that the regeneration of the city centre in Bradford is, to say the least, not going very well at the moment. The natives are getting more than a little restless!

Also made available at the meeting were printed copies of the Odeon Observer, the publicity organ of the wonderfully named B.O.R.G., which stands for Bradford Odeon Rescue Group. You can find further information on the group’s website at www.bradfordodeonrescuegroup.co.uk, as well as on Colin’s own cinema history site at www.kingsdr.demon.co.uk/cinemas/newvic.htm, and also on YouTube – just search for “Hug Bradford Odeon”. Colin then ran a slideshow of a different kind of spectacular event in Bradford’s Centenary Square.

Many thanks to both Peter and Colin, for making this a very enjoyable evening.

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