JULY 2017

Lutterworth Speakers’ Club – here to help you speak!

Do you secretly want to try public speaking, but haven’t plucked up the courage?  Do you need to develop your speaking skills, or perhaps have to give a speech at a special occasion and would like some help?

If so, our club could be for you.  Lutterworth Speakers’ Club aims to give people the skills they need to speak with confidence.  We follow a structured programme that enables you to progress at your own pace, with encouragement and feedback from more experienced members.

A typical meeting will have a variety of speeches, with constructive feedback, and a topics session of impromptu speaking with the emphasis on fun. We also run occasional special evenings such as our Mock Trial last year. Every year there are competitions with other clubs in the area, starting in September with a team-speaking event called  ‘Chatterbox’ which Lutterworth has won four years in a row!

Following our summer break we start again on Monday, September 4th, 7.30p.m. We meet at Karter’s Café, 20, Church Street, Lutterworth, a friendly and relaxed venue with drinks and a wonderful selection of cakes available. For more details ring Maggie Barlow on 01455 207774 or see our website LutterworthSpeakersClub.com.

MAY 2017

We brought the season to an end in May with our AGM, followed by a lively debate, at Karter’s Cafe.

Our Club President, Allan Rimmer, chose Edward Taylor for ‘Most Improved Speaker of the Year’, particularly in light of his recent hilarious rendition of a drunken vicar. Allan Heggs also received the President’s Award for his outstanding contribution as our Education Director, a role in which he provides advice and training sessions for club members on all the various aspects of what makes a good speaker.  Then Allan Rimmer himself received a heartfelt Vote of Thanks for his indefatigable work promoting the club in the local community. This has brought in a number of new members this year and considerably raised our profile.  Congratulations to all.

Then followed a lively, and heartfelt, debate. The motion was ‘This house believes that the female of the species is deadlier than the male”.  Lydia Oatridge led the team speaking for the motion, whilst Margaret Baldwin led the team speaking against.  Despite some lighter moments, e.g. discussing Adam and Eve’s contribution to the subject, the issue was taken seriously and the theme thoroughly explored. The opposing team had the stronger arguments.  Domestic violence is largely committed by men; the atom bomb was invented by a man, and Adolf Hitler was, of course, a man. Case closed, and the motion was lost.

We meet at Karter’s Café on Church St, Lutterworth, Sept to May, 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 7.30 to 9.30pm.    We welcome guests and visitors; just drop in any time.    We break until Monday, 4th September.  In the meantime, for further information see our website, LutterworthSpeakersClub.com, or ring Maggie Barlow on 01455 207774 for details.

APRIL 2017

We had a very entertaining night before Easter. Eileen Fox, recently returned from a trip to South Africa, took us on a trip to Durban and gave us an imaginary tour of that beautiful country. Her wonderful descriptions of the beaches and mountains made us all want to see them for ourselves.

Then we had a special event – Wedding Speeches.  Instead of our normal impromptu Topics, Allan Heggs invited us to choose in advance from a selection of characters, each with a different angle on the wedding, and prepare a mini-speech. The mother of the groom thought her son was marrying beneath him; the bridesmaid, sister of the bride, told us what a pain her big sister was; the hotel manager was desperate to avoid any damage to his newly-decorated hotel, and the vicar was partial to ‘a drink or six’.

We had great fun with this. New members Lydia Oatridge and Steve Wagstaff threw themselves into their characters, Lydia as the carping bridesmaid and Steve playing the best man as a highly-amusing Shrek. Margaret Baldwin gave a great spontaneous turn as the snooty mother of the groom and Allan Heggs was a wonderfully two-faced hotel manager. But the star turn of the night was Edward Taylor as the drunken vicar, who had us all in stitches with a brilliant comic performance.

We meet at Karter’s Café on Church St, Lutterworth, Sept to May, 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 7.30 to 9.30pm.  We welcome guests and visitors; just drop in any time, ring Maggie Barlow on 01455 207774 or see our website LutterworthSpeakersClub.com.

March 2017 with sadness

We are very sad to announce the death of Mary Evans.  Mary was our longest-serving member, having joined the then Lutterworth Ladies speaking club over 30 years ago. She was a fount of wisdom and expertise, and had the knack of making new members feel welcome and appreciated, and gave us all invaluable advice and encouragement in her lovely lilting Welsh voice.

Mary played an active role in the club throughout her time, taking roles such as President, Treasurer, and Publicity Officer. She always maintained a sharp mind, clear judgement, excellent memory and a lively sense of humour, coupled with an optimism that things would always get better.

Mary played an active role for many years in the wider community. She was well known throughout the town through its various associations and institutions. A fuller obituary will follow in the May edition of the Lutterworth and District Journal.

Mary will be much missed and our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time.

MARCH 2017

Our club recently had two very successful evenings at Karter’s Cafe.  We held a special guest night and amongst a gathering of 20 welcomed three new members.

The following evening saw us entertain – or rather, be entertained by, members of the Leicester Speakers Club.  Kamal Dhutia spoke about the basics of photography, a new passion of his; Ramesh Bellur mused on the nature of time, and Mohamed Kasam gave us his history of accidental injuries – a lurid account dating back to early childhood. Carmen Gilfillan ran a fascinating Topics session, encouraging us with famous film titles to spark interesting memories or stories. A good time was had by all, both evenings helped to foster a spirit of friendliness and inclusion, and the new members had a useful introduction to the ways of the South East Midlands Area of the ASC.

We meet at Karter’s Café on Church St, Lutterworth, Sept to May, 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 7.30 to 9.30pm.    We welcome guests and visitors;  just drop in any time.


In December we ran a special event – a Mock Trial.  David Hanger was in the dock, accused of painting the words ‘Lutterworth Needs HS2!’ on the Whittle aeroplane on our beloved roundabout just south of the town.

There was plenty of mocked-up evidence against Dave, who is a self-confessed train nut. A faked-up photograph of graffiti on the plane, and paint-spattered clothing and dustsheet (kindly supplied by Dave’s wife Sue) all pointed to him being guilty.

The scene was set, with our Area President Dora Mack acting as Judge and other visitors taking a place on the jury. There were two witnesses – Maggie Barlow for the prosecution and Edward Taylor for the defence.  Prosecuting counsel Allan Heggs tried to convince the jury that Dave had done the deed, while defence counsel Eileen Fox argued his innocence.  The jury, with guest Foreman David Grayson from the Market Harborough Speakers Club, unanimously decided he was not guilty. The judge, in two minds herself, reluctantly agreed to set him free.

It was a fun evening, enjoyed by all, and thanks go to the Frank Whittle studio on Bitteswell Road, who helped us out when we had a late change of venue.


Lutterworth Speakers held a special American themed night just before the US election. We had two speeches.   Eileen Fox did an excellent and informative speech concerning unknown facts about US Presidents – such as Obama’s fondness for collecting Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian comic books.   Then Maggie Barlow gave an impromptu speech about MacDonalds. Maggie described the two occasions in her life she has eaten there, and what she knows about the fast-food chain. Safe to say it was not her favourite food, though their ice-cream and children’s parties were stoutly defended by others afterwards.  Edward Taylor completed the session with a reading on American culture.

Then Allan Rimmer set the Topics session. Resplendent in a stars-and-stripes tie, he gave everyone a different angle.  Visitor Nina flew over New York in a hot-air balloon; Edward lived in an eerie house in Death Valley; Dave Hanger queried the moon landings; Sarah Waters travelled along Route 66; Allan Heggs had a chat with Abe Lincoln, and visitor Roy Sutton discussed his Presidential priorities. Eileen revisited Hound Dog for us and Maggie celebrated Independence Day with line dancing and a rodeo. All in all, a very enjoyable evening.

Our club meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, 7.30- 9.30 p.m. at the Indian Lounge, George Street, and visitors will receive a warm welcome. See our website LutterworthSpeakersClub.com for more details or ring Maggie Barlow on 01455 207774.