Report of the Meeting Held on 12 December 2013, By Doug Weale

The meeting on Thursday 12th December was an opportunity for members and visitors to engage in one of the most challenging features of public speaking: debate. The custom of a Cogers Debate dates back to 1755, when convivial, yet earnest discussion would prevail in the coffee houses of the city of London, opening on reading of items published in  the daily newspaper, fostering the tradition of the “Opener”.

In the role as described, Dr. John Beale, offered a wide variety of subjects gleaned from recent publications. Doug Weale in the Chair then kept order as differing opinions and fiercely held views were voiced and upheld.  Subjects of controversy ranged from over-paid footballers to selective abortion.

Education Director, Frances Pointer, then fulfilled her assignment of evaluation of the proceedings: paying tribute, firstly, to the Opener for his astute selection of issues which he had chosen of ideal subject matter; then complimenting the speakers on the forcefulness of their expression of opinion.

In the customary general evaluation of the evening as a whole, Ben Harris said how much he had enjoyed, what for him-and others present-was an original taste of an exciting aspect of the Club`s programme.

We adjourn for the Festive Seasonal break until January; the second and fourth Thursdays monthly: visitors are always welcome; for all details please contact Doug Weale 01843 592221 or or visit