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Food glorious food

This is the August 2019 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Food glorious food – the theme of our programme of impromptu speeches for our August meeting.

Each member was invited to place two slips of paper in the hat on which was written an item associated with food, it could be an ingredient or a utensil. A speaker then selected a slip from the hat. The group as a whole were given ten minutes to construct a speech.

The result was an eclectic mix of speeches, demonstrating a speaker’s knowledge and experience of a different foods, their origins, how they are prepared, etc. Nostalgia crept into a couple of speeches – jellies and children’s parties in the early fifties, when the catering was not as lavish as today. A question was asked if “Tupperware Parties” were still in vogue in view of the opposition to the use of plastics. We heard how the growing popularity of Chinese cuisine was brought to the western palate by migrant workers. The star of the month was awarded to Jane Lindsley for her speech on vegetarianism.

The reviewer for the speeches was Sylvia Bosworth who gave a constructive and eloquent review.

Needless, to say, we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website http://leicspeakers.co.uk/. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Poets, bakers and golfers

This is the July 2019 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

We listened with rapt attention to Sylvia Bosworth as she spoke about the life and achievements of the master of language and metaphor – W H Auden. Sylvia read extracts of “The Night Mail” and “Stop the Clocks” just two of his well loved poems.

A delightful speech was delivered by Marion Broomhead entitled “The Humble Loaf”.  Bread making has its origins in Egypt more than eight thousand years ago and nowadays we are spoilt for choice. She ended with some sound advice, “You will never go hungry if you have a loaf and a jar of jam!”

“That Little White Ball” was the topic of John Baron’s speech telling us of the history and origins of golf. In 1389 the citizens of Haarlem in the Netherlands were given a field for the sole use of playing Colf (which evolved into Golf – an ancient Scottish verb ‘to strike’). The first rules of golf were established in 1774 by The Gentlemen of Leith.  Did you know in 1457 King James II of Scotland banned the playing of golf and football? This decision was made to preserve the skills of archery.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Heroes!

This is the May 2019 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

May seems to have arrived in a flash and it was again time to hold our AGM. After the business session, we were delighted to inaugurate Bev Capewell as our President for the ensuing year. After all officers had been voted in the entertainment began.

Members were invited to promote their hero. This produced an eclectic mix of subjects: Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web, Bodicea the feisty and courageous queen on the British Iceni Tribe who defeated the Romans. Another subject was Ethel Haythornwaite who was a keen walker to become a respected and keen environmentalist helping to get the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act onto the statute books thus allowing people to enjoy the countryside freely and last but not least Jimmy Hendrix!

Following all the speeches, members had to chose three speeches and after a ballot the resultant three speakers had an opportunity to plead their case, and this was done with passion. The ultimate winner being Tim Berners-Lee, John Baron’s hero.

This interesting and entertaining evening augurs well for the coming year!

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Maze Or Labyrinth?

This is the February 2019 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

A light-hearted start to our meeting was provided by John Baron reading Edward Lear’s nonsense poem, The Pobble Who Has No Toes.

We listened to three good speeches during our February meeting. The difference between a maze and labyrinth was very eloquently explained to us by Penny. Apparently, labyrinths have healing properties and help with mindfulness.

There seemed to be a parallel between the speech on mazes and labyrinths as we listened to Sue taking us through the various intricacies of the law in order to seek compensation. Sue’s knowledge of the law certainly shone through.

Did you know that King George V sported a tattoo of a dragon on his arm? The speaker discovered this fact whilst researching the history of tattooing. We learned how the ancient art of tattooing spread from the Polynesian islands in the Pacific to New Zealand and was bought to our shores in 1774 by a heavily tattooed Polynesian who disembarked off a ship returning from Captain Cook’s South Pacific expedition.

Our topics session was very topical (we met on 13th February) and Bev our topics chairman for the evening decided because the next day was St Valentine’s, each speaker in turn should imagine they were internet dating. The results were hilarious, there was some great acting. One told her prospective date that she had five children and loved all their fathers but she was not interested in producing a sixth.  Space doesn’t allow me to tell more tales!

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

 

A Pill to Cure All Ills!

This is the January 2019 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

“Ode to a Pill”, read with such expression by one of our experienced members, reduced the audience to convulsive laughter – what a happy way to open our January meeting!

There were two speeches on the programme, we had a superb speech entitled “Dignity and Honour”; the subject of which was the re-interment of Richard III’s remains in Leicester Cathedral. Our speaker told about the logistics of placing the stone tomb which had been cut from a solid block of Swalesdale fossil limestone and placed on a plinth of Kilkenny marble. The choice of Kilkenny marble was influenced by the fact that Richard III also held the title Lord of Ireland. The beautiful blue marble bears Richard’s dates, name, coat of arms and his motto “Loyalty Binds Me” inscribed in archaic French.

We then moved on to a most moving and joyful speech about a mother being reunited with a child adopted at birth. This was beautifully delivered and had the audience smiling with admiration of the speaker for sharing her story.

The topics session was intriguing; speakers were given a picture or word and asked to use their imagination to link their subject with that of the previous speaker. A narrative was given to the first speaker to help start the round.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website http://leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

The Etiquette of Queueing

This is the November 2018 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

There three wonderful speeches this month. Mark gave a great speech entitled “To Hell in a Hand Cart”. Comparisons with social behaviour now and a century ago, suggested that the generation before us seem to look back with sentimental nostalgia eulogising how wonderful life was when they were young. Mark quashed this misconception with some hard-hitting statistics that demonstrated things had actually improved.

Penny’s speech about queuing had us all smiling. The Japanese queue in a long line and when the train actually comes into the station the leading part of the queue form a quadrille and peal off like an English folk dance; her word pictures were graphic.

Marion spoke about the pitfalls of perfect family holidays with a cautionary tale of ensuring the accommodation suit one’s requirements.

Sue’s speech concerned the tragedy of the American Plains Indians, and particularly the very brave and charismatic Sitting Bull.

The topics section devised by Wyn caused the most hilarity of the evening. The first speaker had set an atmospheric scene as part of the first chapter of a book subsequent speakers added to the story much like the game ‘consequences’. The end result was unbelievable!

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Show a Leg!

This is the October 2018 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Sylvia Bosworth read an extract from Bill Bryson’s “A Small Island” which emphasised today’s trend of town planners seemingly following a particular pattern layout of our towns and cities and giving the impression one could be almost anywhere.

According to John Baron many sayings in use today originated from the Royal Navy in the eighteenth century. He gave many examples in his speech, based on meaningful gestures, and one in particular was very amusing. ‘Show a leg’. When a ship came back to its home port a sailor would be allowed to share his hammock with a lady for the night and she was allowed an extra thirty minutes in the hammock after her companion left for duty. The officer of the day would walk amongst the hammocks crying “show a leg” thus ensuring no member of crew was malingering.

A great topics session was led by Mark Snow which allowed people to demonstrate their passion or dislike for something. The subjects ranged from mobile phones to cooking.

Our October meeting was a lively, fun-filled evening.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

September 2018 Meeting Report

This is the September 2018 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Following the business meeting we started our programme listening to Bev reading a poem by the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke entitled “Autumn Day” which epitomises restlessness and wandering by the Austrian Poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

Our September meeting produced an eclectic selection of speeches.  Hiten gave us a humorous speech entitled ‘Clichés’ based on the vocabulary section of our learning manual. He gave many examples of clichés and often giving the hint that he was not impressed and a little irritated by the overuse of some, in particular ‘when we touch base’ instead of using ‘when we next meet’.

We were delighted listening to Sylvia as she gave her first speech concerning her life in chapter form – and what an interesting book. A story of a life filled with ambition, achievement, adventure, a touch of sadness, lots of joy and enthusiastic zest for living!

The title of a researched speech given by Val was “Will following fashion trends cost us the earth?” She highlighted the scandal of burning unsold fashion stock to protect the ‘snob value’ of designer labels and how much clothing went for landfill. There were examples of the detrimental effect fast fashion is having on our environment and the earth’s resources.

The topics session devised by Penny was really ‘quirky’. Each speaker was given a slip of paper on which was written a phrase that could be applied to a review, a title, or whatever. Black to Basics led to Bev advertising the services of a cut price funeral directors, provided by Ed Stone and Coffin. There were tears of laughter as she described the shiny black hearses and the possibility of a second hand coffin!

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Bev Capewell on 0116 2770266 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk.  We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

Strange Things Occur When One Picks Up A Glowing Object!

This is the June 2018 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

As usual Our June meeting was held in the Drop In Centre, Blaby.

The evening’s programme was wonderfully entertaining. Marion Broomhead imparted some very interesting facts about the moon. Her speech was inspired by the Moon hanging in Leicester Cathedral. Hiten Vyas gave some wonderful advice and words of caution regarding the ownership of a dog. We were all very amused and somewhat perplexed at the antics of his dog, Quentin

Mark Snow is to be congratulated on the structure of his topics session. We were invited to imagine that whilst we are walking through the woods we see a green glowing object. Human nature being what it is, we pick it up to later discover it left the holder with magic powers. A slip of paper informed the speaker of their special power, the first speaker was given three minutes thinking time, and in turn the next speaker could open their slip of paper and so it went on until all had spoken. The results were hilarious, one speaker described how her power made those around her freeze in time thus allowing her to take full advantage of queues, etc.

Anne Jones delivered the education slot explaining the importance and usefulness of the training manual (our blue book) and how to take full advantage of it.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

AGM & May Meeting

This is the May 2018 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

After the formalities of the Annual General Meeting. It was time for true or false stories.

The results were interesting, bizarre and hilarious. One speaker had by all accounts been rescued off the coast of Devon by an Australian Life Guard. We heard how a member and her sister were convinced they were being kidnapped by a boat man in Thailand. An hilarious account of member wrongly accusing a fellow passenger of stealing her Kit Kat.

There was an incredulous account of an unusual funeral which brought much comfort and smiles to the mourners.

We were all informed of how Nicola Sturgeon acquired her sobriquet of “The Wee Nippie”. Apparently a contingent of Scottish suffragettes who were fleet of foot and managed to outwit the police, hence they were known as nippies. I leave the reader to decide if this was true or false.

A story of misconception of a regular customer at fish stall who appeared to prefer the best white fish and always requested a mackerel for the wife was told. The fishmonger began to form an opinion of a miser but was soon put right by the wife when she accompanied her husband on one occasion and delighted in telling him that mackerel was her favourite fish!

Unfortunately, I am constrained by space to write about all the tales we heard, so the aforementioned is just a taster of what hear at our meetings.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public.  We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.