Report of the Meeting Held on Thursday 11 June 2015, by Deborah Percy

It was a particularly small event with only eight people in attendance including one newcomer, who was warmly welcomed and stood up twice to speak. An intimate atmosphere brings its own advantages including an excellent opportunity for everyone to speak to a small, unintimidating audience.

Garry Costain, club Vice President, chaired the meeting at a moment’s notice to cover an unexpected absence and it was unclear whether he thinking on his feet or already prepared as, without taking time to pause, he began the evening with a warm up. Everyone in turn shared who they most dreaded being stuck in a lift, with thoughts ranging from politicians to sports celebrities.

The first part of the evening was a prepared presentation with the common theme of pet dogs, a dress rehearsal for an area competition to be held at the next meeting. Veteran club member Doug Weale chaired and presented this collection of funny speeches. We heard from John Beale about a fantastic initiative to match dog poo left in the street to the owner via medical science, apparently underway in the borough of Barking, of all places. Bernie Morgan told the story of a family pet who combined the look of toilet-paper-advert cuteness with the ability to destroy every item in the house. Deborah Percy put a one-sided case for a  society in which dogs are not kept as pets.

Garry gave his evaluation with suggestions particularly about the balance of the speeches, three people told stories whereas Deborah did not. Various comments were also taken from the floor with the aim of improving the presentation as the Thanet club are keen to win the competition.

Even when attendance is low the ten minute break is never long enough to chat to everyone in this lovely venue. The Yacht Club has comfortable chairs, wonderful views over Ramsgate harbour and a reasonably priced bar.

At every meeting the second part of the evening is an opportunity for everyone to take part, delivering a short speech on a theme. Ron Sheldrake chaired and we were offered months of the year. Doug’s speech about June focused on the weather and its impact on his garden, it was voted as the best speech of the second half.

Ben Harris evaluated the topics session and Bernie rounded off with an evaluation of the enjoyable evening.

The next meeting will be Thursday 25th with far greater numbers expected as other areas visit to compete for the Hopper Cup and the four team member will give their honed presentation on dogs. All guests are welcome and the evening is free for visitors to attend. For further details Thanet Speakers Club is on social media or you can leave a message for Deborah on 01843 607192.