News

The season continues online

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

The club have now conducted 4 meetings using Zoom video conferencing – on 2nd, 16th & 30th April and 14th May.

With cameras in place and technology mastered, meetings have featured speeches and evaluations followed by a “chain” topics session where one member gives a topic to another member, who gives a topic to the next member, and so on until all have spoken. Then each evaluates the topic  by the member to whom they had given a topic.  The sessions have all been good fun and enjoyed by all.

The feel might be different from speaking to an audience in the same room but is far better than not speaking and it provides the opportunity to learn both new technology and a different technique.

The next meeting will be our AGM on Thursday 28th May commencing 8.05 pm (to allow time for the applause for the NHS at 8 pm.)

Peter Ryans shines on club visit to York

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

In what turned out to be the last meeting before the season was suspended, five members of Wetherby SC visited York RISC for our biannual joint meeting.

Peter Ryans with the InterCity trophy

Peter Ryans with the InterCity trophy

Peter Ryans won the InterCy Trophy for the best speech of the night, his topical and witty piece entitled “Just Do It” ably evaluated by Sarah Daniel.  The name of the trophy provides a clue to the era in which the prize originated! The meeting was evaluated by Peter Wilson of Wetherby SC.

District AGM and the future of the ASC (and another trophy for Wetherby!)

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

The National Education Director, Tom Scott, travelled from Edinburgh to speak at the Eastern District AGM on Sunday 1st March at The Bridge Inn, Walshford. He spoke eloquently about the need for change if the ASC is to survive long term. The current structure was designed for a membership of 3-4000 whereas our numbers have fallen to approximately 1100.

Tom Scott at The Bridge Inn

Tom Scott at The Bridge Inn

He facilitated a productive discussion about the motions proposed at the national AGM in April, namely: one member one vote; two year terms for certain national officers (including the president); the 6 region model (to replace 8 districts); the adoption of the new constitution to reflect these changes.

Tom’s session also featured a lively conversation about the new evaluation guideline not to pass or ask to repeat any of the first five assignments. This is about retaining new members. The risk of losing someone is much lower after completing the first five assignments, and in any case we can expect to see substantial improvement during that stage through practice and constructive feedback.

The district contests preceded the AGM. Chris Clissitt won the evaluation contest and will represent Eastern District on 26th April in Manchester. Halifax & Huddersfield provided the winners of both of the other contests: Trevor Millar in the topics and Anne Todd in the speech contest with her excellent and very much of the moment piece entitled “Post Truth.”

 

Vale of York Area Contests and AGM

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

Wetherby retained the Area evaluation trophy at the Vale of York Area contests on Sunday 2nd February. Chris Clissitt won the contest with John Holian runner-up.

Chris Clissitt receives the evaluation trophy from chief judge Denise Adlard

Chris Clissitt receives the evaluation trophy from chief judge Denise Adlard

Clive Dawson of York RI Speakers Club won both the speech and topics contests. Neil Wilson was runner up in the former with his speech “They Go Low, We Go High” and Chris Clissitt in the latter.

Neil Wilson agreed to stay on as Area President for a second term in 2020/21.

Evaluation and Topics contests

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

John Holian retained the club topics crown on Thursday 16th January with Chris Clissitt runner up. Unfortunately John is barred from further progress in the topics contests as he came third in the national final last year, but this gives a great opportunity to Lisa Duffield who came a highly commendable third to enter the Vale of York Area Contests on 2nd February.

As last year, the decision was made by judges rather than audience vote. Philip Solity and Catriona Webb obliged as adjudicators.

Jeff Denton gave the target speech for the Evaluation contest, a discourse on Superman  entitled “Man of Steel”. In a repeat of last year’s result, Chris Clissitt was the winner with John Holian runner up.

The Vale of York Area contests take place at York RI Bowls Club on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Howard Herbert is unable to attend and John Holian will take his place. Here is the club line up for the area contests:

Speech:          Neil Wilson & John Holian

Evaluation:     Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Topics:           Chris Clissitt & Lisa Duffield

Club Speech Contest 2019/20

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Neil Wilson won the club speech trophy on Thursday 5th December with a speech entitled “They Go Low, We Go High”, in which he paid tribute to three prominent politicians of the last century.

Howard Herbert was runner up with a speech entitled  “Extinction”, a look at some of the science behind climate change and what we can do about it.

The judge was Catriona Webb from Bradford Speakers Club. Neil and Howard will represent the club at the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on 2nd February 2019 in York.

The evening also featured a debut speech from our youngest member, Ruby Latham, who delivered a persuasive, humorous and well constructed piece entitled “Teenage Dreams.”

2019/20 Committee

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

At the club AGM on 9th May there were only two changes to the committee. Niki Boersma moved to Social Secretary after two years as Education Director, a role which will be filled by Jocelyn Brooks. Peter Wilson will continue as President for a second year.

Neil Wilson will be Vale of York Area President in 2019/20 in addition to his role as club Publicity Officer.

The new season will kick off on Thursday 19th September at Linton Memorial Hall.

This is the full committee:

President: Peter Wilson

Vice President: Rachel Kato

Treasurer: John Holian

Education Director: Jocelyn Brooks

Secretary: Chris Clissitt

Social Secretary: Niki Boersma

Publicity Officer: Neil Wilson

Webmaster: Chris Clissitt

Silverware at National Finals in Edinburgh

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019
Ramana, Chris and 3rd placed Lucy Pitts with speech contest trophies

Ramana, Chris and 3rd placed Lucy Pitts with speech contest trophies

Chris Clissitt won the National Speech Contest for the third time in Edinburgh on Saturday 27th April with a speech about customer satisfaction surveys entitled “How was it for you?” The runner up was Ramana Sundara, known to us as Eastern District President and a member of York RI SC, but this time representing Midlands District through his membership of Newark SC. Both are past national winners, Ramana in 2016 and Chris in 2013 and 2015, becoming the first person to win three times.

There was more silverware for Wetherby SC in the Topics Contest where John Holian gained third place speaking on the subject “Mistakes.”  John delivered an excellent topic, well worthy of the honour in a high standard competition.

New Olympic Events at After Dinner Speech Contest

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Jocelyn Brooks (Empty Condo) with the after dinner speech trophy

Jocelyn Brooks (Empty Condo) with the after dinner speech trophy

Following the news that break dancing was to feature in the 2024 Olympic games, champions of other skilful and physically demanding activities made their pitch for future inclusion.

This was the scenario for the annual After Dinner Speech Contest held at the Bridge Inn, Walshford, on Friday 12th April.  Speakers adopted thinly disguised characters and delivered light hearted speeches as they tried to persuade us that their activity was worthy of Olympic status.

Congratulations to the winner, Jocelyn Brooks, as Empty Condo, who convinced the judge that tidying and decluttering should be added to the Olympic roster (with a little help from Great Aunt Maud!)

The other speakers were Craig Level-Hardwood (Neil Wilson) for ballroom dancing, Alan Ditchmarks (Peter Wilson) for gardening, Bare Thrills (Howard Herbert) for survival skills, Eric Briskthrow (John Holian) for darts and Paul Wallyhood (Chris Clissitt) for baking.

The MC was Arcy Hustle (Niki Boersma, winner last year) and the judge was Philip Solity.

Double win at District for Wetherby

Monday, March 4th, 2019

John Holian won the Eastern District Topics contest on Sunday 3rd March at the Bridge Inn, Walshford speaking on “Freedom.”

Jackie Mafi presents Chris with the speech trophy

Jackie Mafi presents Chris with the speech trophy

John receives the District topics trophy from National President, Jackie Mafi

John receives the District topics trophy from National President, Jackie Mafi

Chris Clissitt made it a double success, winning the speech contest with “How Not To Run A Business?”

Chris was also 2nd in the Evaluation contest.

John and Chris were well supported by a good turn out of Wetherby Speakers Club members and will go on to represent Eastern District at the national finals on Saturday 27th April in Edinburgh.

Wetherby sweeps the board at Area contests

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Wetherby Speakers Club won all three trophies at the Vale of York Area contests in York on Sunday 3rd February.  John Holian won the topics contest and Chris Clissitt won both the evaluation and speech contests, the latter with a speech entitled “An

John Holian receives the topics trophy from chief judge Denise Adlard

John Holian receives the Topics trophy from chief judge Denise Adlard

Chris Clissitt with judge Denise Adlard and Evaluation trophy

Chris Clissitt with judge Denise Adlard and Evaluation trophy

Elegant Sufficiency.”

York took silver in each case. Clive Dawson was runner up in both speech and evaluation while Gillian Munday was second in the topics contest.

Chris and John will compete in the District contests on Sunday 3rd March at The Bridge Inn, Walshford.

At the Area AGM Neil Wilson was appointed as Area President in succession to Ramana Sundara.

Evaluation and Topics contests

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

John Holian won the Topics contest on Thursday 3rd January with Howard Herbert runner up. For the first time in many years the decision was made by a judge rather than audience vote. Catriona Webb obliged as adjudicator.

Philip Solity gave the target speech for the Evaluation contest, again judged by Catriona Webb. Chris Clissitt was the winner with John Holian runner up.

The Vale of York Area contests take place at York RI Bowls Club on Sunday 3rd February 2019. Here is the club line up for the area contests:

Speech:          John Holian & Chris Clissitt

Evaluation:     Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Topics:           John Holian & Howard Herbert

Club speech contest 2018/19 – a win for John Holian

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

John Holian won the club speech trophy on Thursday 22nd November with a speech entitled “Our Perfect Cousin,” a fascinating take on our German neighbours.

John receives the trophy from judge Denise Adlard

John receives the trophy from judge Denise Adlard

Chris Clissitt was runner up with “Whataboutery” and Lisa Duffield was 3rd with “The Ticking Clock!” The judges were Denise Adlard from Bradford Speakers Club and our own Niki Boersma.

John and Chris will represent the club at the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on 3rd February 2019 in York.

New President for 2018/19

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

At the club AGM on 17th May Peter Wilson was elected as Club President for the season 2018/19, a role he last undertook in the late 1980s.

Mavis Cryer has stepped down as Social Secretary after years of sterling service and Rachel Kato will take her place. Chris Clissitt has swapped with Peter and will resume the role of Secretary.

The new season will kick off on Thursday 6th September at Linton Memorial Hall.

This is the full committee:

President: Peter Wilson

Vice President: Rachel Kato

Treasurer: John Holian

Education Director: Niki Boersma

Secretary: Chris Clissitt

Social Secretary: Rachel Kato

Publicity Officer: Neil Wilson

Webmaster: Chris Clissitt

Immediate Past President: Chris Clissitt

Tony Morris

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

York area contest 2011 (2)We are saddened to learn of the death earlier this week of Tony Morris, so well known to many in Eastern District. As Joe James said, “Everything about him was positive.  A great colleague, a good friend and a hero in the face of adversity.”

Below is a tribute written by Jan Millar, Eastern District President:

I am very sad to hear of the death of our good friend Tony Morris of Bradford SC.  Although he has not had good health for a number of years his untimely death has come as a shock to all his friends.

Tony was an enthusiastic member of the ASC for many years and a familiar face at both local and national events.  He was an excellent speaker and evaluator having been a National Finalist in both and also a judge in National Competitions.  He was always willing to share his skills with others and led many training events as well as acting as a mentor to newer members.  Whenever I was looking for a volunteer, health permitting, Tony would always offer his services.  He was also a very skilled photographer and took many excellent shots at a wide range of ASC events.

I first got to know him many years ago at a National Conference in Blackpool when he joined our ‘gang’ for a fun filled weekend.  He subsequently became an enthusiastic and dedicated member of my choral speaking group ‘Jan’s People’ and helped us to win a number of Arts Festivals.

He will be sorely missed in the ASC not only for his contributions as a speaker and evaluator but also as a dear friend.

After Dinner Speech Contest travels back in time to October 1977

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

To commemorate 40 years of Wetherby Speakers Club we travelled back to October 1977, the month when  the club was founded.

Opera Gin-free (niki Boersma) receives the trophy from judge Catriona Webb

Opera Gin-free (Niki Boersma) receives the trophy from judge Catriona Webb

Speakers adopted thinly disguised characters representing half a dozen young(ish) people talking in 1977 about their hopes and ambitions and how they thought things would turn out for them over the next four decades. This was the scenario for the annual After Dinner Speech Contest held at the Bridge Inn, Walshford, on Friday 16th March.

After 6 light hearted and entertaining speeches the winner was declared – congratulations to Niki Boersma who gave a powerful and humorous address as Opera Gin-free.

The other speakers were Nutella Lawson (Jocelyn Brooks), Alex Fergietime (Neil Wilson), Tim Earners Glee (Peter Wilson), James Tryson (Howard Herbert) and Bill Doorways (John Holian).

The MC was Jeremy Axeman (Chris Clissitt) and the judge was Catriona Webb.

That’s York TV at York RISC meeting

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

That’s York TV filmed the meeting at York Speakers Club on Thursday 8th March. You can see the footage used for broadcast here.

That’s York TV is run by York St John University and is available on Freeview channel 7.

District contests – another blank for Wetherby

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

At the District Conference and Contests at the Bridge Inn, Walshford on Sunday 4th March Chris Clissitt could only manage 2nd (out of a field of 2!) in the Evaluation contest. Congratulations to the winner, Denise Adlard of Bradford SC who will compete at the national final in York in April.

And some good news for Vale of York Area – Lindsay Dutch won both the speech and topics contests and will have a busy time at the nationals in April!

Vale of York Area Contests and AGM

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Wetherby retained the Area evaluation trophy at the Vale of York Area contests on Sunday 4th February.

Chris Clissitt receives the Evaluation trophy from Chief Judge Chris Birch

Chris Clissitt receives the Evaluation trophy from Chief Judge Chris Birch

Chris Clissitt won the contest but relinquished the speech trophy, finishing runner up to Lindsay Dutch of York who also won the Topics contest. John Holian was runner up in that one.

Our Area President, Jocelyn Brooks, handed over to her successor (who also happens to be her predecessor!) Ramana Sundara, although he doesn’t officially take over until 1st June.

 

 

Evaluation contest and Area line up

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Chris Clissitt won the club evaluation contest on Thursday 18th January with John Holian runner up. Chris and John will represent the club in the Vale of York Area contests at York RI Bowls Club on Sunday 4th February 2018. The speaker was Jeff Denton and Peter Wilson judged.

Niki Boersma is unable to take part in the speech contest so Rachel Kato will step in. This our full line up for the area contests:

Speech:          Chris Clissitt & Rachel Kato

Evaluation:     Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Topics:           Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Topics Contest 2017

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

On Thursday 30th November the club held the annual Topics Contest. Niki Boersma chaired and 5 members took part.

Topics contest Nov 2017 - CopyVotes  were cast by all present and the joint winners were John Holian and Chris Clissitt who will represent the club at the Area Contests to be held in York on Sunday 4th February 2018.

Club Speech Contest 2017/18

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Chris Clissitt retained the club speech trophy on Thursday 2nd November with a speech entitled “The Idle Brume.”

Chris receives the trophy from Judge Peter Wilson

Chris receives the trophy from Judge Peter Wilson

Niki Boersma was runner up with “Reliant Robin” and Rachel Kato was 3rd with “Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.” The judge was Peter Wilson.

Chris and Niki will represent the club at the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on 4th February 2018 in York

Eastern District Training Day Saturday 4th November

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

There will be an Eastern District Training Day from 1.30pm to 4.30pm at The Bridge Hotel at Walshford on Saturday 4 November.  The National Education Director Thomas Scott will be leading a session on Speaking Games and Activities and then Alan Rogers will chair the National Conversation on Evaluation.

 

Change of date for May 2018 meeting

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Please note that our meeting scheduled for Thursday 3rd May 2018 will now take place on Tuesday 8th May at Linton Memorial Hall at 7.45pm for 8pm.

 

This is to accommodate a performance by the Wetherby Musical Theatre Group on our original date.

New committee for 2017/18

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

At the club AGM on 25th May there were changes in seven of the nine committee positions, with only Social Secretary and Webmaster remaining the same There was an element of seat swapping, but we are very pleased to welcome some new blood onto the committee (Rachel Kato) and to welcome back some old blood, (John Holian and Peter Wilson.)

Our outgoing Immediate Past President, Jocelyn Brooks, will be Vale of York Area President in 2017/18, while Jan Millar, who holds dual membership with Bradford and Wetherby, will be Eastern District President 2017/18.

The new season will kick off on Thursday 7th September at Linton Memorial Hall.

This is the full committee:

President: Chris Clissitt

Vice President: Rachel Kato

Treasurer: John Holian

Education Director: Niki Boersma

Secretary: Peter Wilson

Social Secretary: Mavis Cryer

Publicity Officer: Neil Wilson

Webmaster: Chris Clissitt

Immediate Past President: Jeff Denton