Monthly meetings are held at The Stanborough Centre, 609 St Albans Road, Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire WD25 9JL.

Start time 8.00pm. Admission for non-members of the Association £3.

Thursday 6th July 2017

The work of a Professional Toastmaster.

Speaker: Robin Powell.

Robin Powell is currently Vice President of the London Guild of Toastmasters.  Following his retirement as a Police Inspector 14 years ago, he decided to embark on a career as a professional Toastmaster and MC.  He plans to introduce the Chairman and Committee to the audience, so providing an example of how functions are usually introduced.  He will then go on to describe the type of functions he works at together with some unusual and sometimes funny experiences.

Thursday 3rd August 2017

The Bells.

Speaker: John Neal.

John Neal was born in London, brought up in London and for 27 years served in the Metropolitian Police until 1984. Since then he has worked as a London 'Blue Badge' guide, taking Londoners (and a few foreign tourists) to all parts of the capital. He will entertain us by introducing us to the fascinating 'Bells of London'.

Thursday 7th September 2017

Charles Dickens, Conjuror: Playbills of Victorian Showmen.

Speaker: Ian Keable.

Amongst his other skills Charles Dickens was an accomplished conjuror, calling himself The Unparalleled Necromancer. We know this from a playbill that Dickens wrote for a show he did on the Isle of Wight. Playbills were a principal means of advertising entertainment in the 19th century, capturing the public’s imagination with their exaggerated wording. In this talk Dicken’s own playbill is brought to life by reference to their historical development through various amusing animal acts, contemporary conjurors that directly influenced him and some demonstrations of legerdemain which the great man himself actually performed. And all presented by a professional magician and author of Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature.

Thursday 5th October 2017

The Watford Bronze Age Hoard.

Speaker: Laurie Elvin.

Local archaeologist, Laurie Elvin, will talk about the discovery of a Late Bronze Age hoard of metalwork on the Holywell Industrial Estate, Watford in 1960, part of which is on display at Watford Museum. As well as a description of the items in the hoard, the talk will also cover some background to Bronze making and the Bronze Age in prehistory, together with current opinions as to why such hoards came to be buried.

Thursday 2nd November 2017

That's Odd - part two.

Speaker: Alan Copeland.

Following on from ‘That’s odd part 1’ in June 2016, Alan Copeland returns to us again with his fascinating collection of curiosities and information. He is currently the Chairman of Whitchurch Camera Club.

Thursday 7th December 2017

17 Years in a Grotto.

Speaker Colin Oakes.

This is Santa speaking at last! Since 1996 I have played Father Christmas, first at schools. Then since 1998 with only one year missing at my local Garden Centre at Chenies. Hear what it is like to wear Santa’s robes, how fulfilling the job is amongst all its challenges: Troublesome children, close shaves, encounters with animals, depressed adults, troublesome teenagers, autistic children. It’s all here. Present requests can be eccentric, it helps that I am too!

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