How fitting that the latest meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club, held on St. Valentine’s Day, was tinged with passion and emotion, as we bade a fond farewell to William Morris House, our home ever since the club was formed back in 1998. But before we said hello to our new home at Wimbledon Library in a couple of weeks, there was time to send the old place off in fine style!
And we did just that, as Sam took the chair to welcome the audience to an action-packed evening, the highlight of which was the Annual Speech Evaluation Contest, for which we were honoured to have Suzanne Taylor Warren from Chaucer Speakers Club (and former National Evaluation Finalist) in attendance to judge the competition.
After the traditional icebreaker where Sam asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell us about one memorable place we’d been to in our lives, he then moved onto the Topics session, which this week centred around one of his passions – horse racing! Having noted some of the wonderful words and phrases that owners give to their horses, he gave each participant the name of one horse that ran the previous weekend and asked them to speak for 2 minutes in any particular way about that word or phrase. Our Topics Evaluator for the evening, Bilwa, noted the fantastic and inventive responses that were given to all Topics, including ‘Deeds Not Words’ by Katherine, ‘Whatswrongwithyou’ by Debra and ‘Shortbackandsides’ by William, but Michael took the honours for the final time at William Morris House, with his response to ‘Bloody Nose’! Special mentions must also go to our three newcomers on the evening – Anne, Natasha and Roya, who all participated brilliantly on their first visit.
After the brief business session and a cup of tea, it was time for the Main Event. Ben provided the Target Speech for the contest – a Level 3 ‘Mean What You Say’ speech entitled ‘From Duckling To Dolphin’ – where he told the audience of his experience of training for his first triathlon. John, Bilwa and Joseph took part in the contest and, after careful consideration and describing the key things she was looking for in the evaluation, Suzanne announced that Bilwa was this year’s champion. Many congratulations to Bilwa who goes on to represent our club in the next round of the competition. As Sam remarked, our new venue has a large mantelpiece that would look great with a trophy on it……
After some last quick-fire topics, it was time for Michael to close the evening with his general evaluation – a fitting way to bring the curtain down on 20 years at William Morris House. And with that, Debra, our Club Secretary and Founder, closed the door for the final time….
And so now it’s time for pastures new!! We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 28th February (kick off 7.30pm) which will take place in our new home of Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!