The Forum was founded in 1951 when ten gentlemen held a meeting in a cafe in Harrogate. They proposed that a group should be formed which would encourage retired and semi-retired men to meet for friendship and learning. Little did they know that, 69 years later, the organisation would continue to flourish. The popularity of the Forum grew until there were 190 members with a waiting list. Using the Forum as a model, similar groups were established in other parts of Harrogate, and in Ripon and Knaresborough.
The affairs of the Forum are managed by a small committee consisting of the President, the current Chairman, the Officers and other elected and co-opted members
We enjoy a good reputation and as a result our Member of Parliament and other notable personalities have accepted our invitations to speak. The Mayor and the Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough visit us every 100th. meeting at which they give a 'State of the Borough' address. They also respond to questions and comments about the work of the Council and its plans for the town.
In 2009, our 2000th Meeting was held in the presence of HM lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire: The Lord Crathorne.
Many of our speakers donate their fee to charities of their choice and, in recent years the Forum has made financial contributions to the Macmillan Nurses, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Royal Hall Restoration Fund.
When the number of members outgrew our original venue, we moved to St. Paul’s Church Hall where we still meet.