The last meeting of the Strathmore Speakers’ current session was an excellent evening’s entertainment for the audience gathered at the Kirriemuir Golf Club.
President Muriel Smith was the first to speak, introduced by Jim Gibb the training session chairman for the evening.
The subject she chose was ‘Secret Games’. It was a six to eight-minute speech during which she explained about the Waddington Monopoly sets being modified to include maps and currency to aid the escape of risoners of war during the Second World War.
Marks like full stops after Marylebone Station indicated a secret escape map of Italy was included and Italian Lira concealed with the Monopoly money. It was a plan hatched with the government and Waddingtons as Red Cross parcels were never used for this purpose for fear of damaging their integrity. The ‘straight boards’ were marked ‘Patent applied for’ with a full stop. Evaluator Iain Orr was full of praise for her research and presentation.
Jim Smith delivered a speech entitled ‘A Naval Tradition’, painting a vivid picture of historic life in the navy with a particular emphasis on the rum ration, abolished in 1970 due to the high-tech nature of modern ships. Evaluator David Affleck congratulated Jim for conveying his depth of knowledge to his appreciative audience.
The final speech was by Eric Summers, entitled ‘Grant’s Greatness’. It was an account of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the USA, but also a successful commanding general in the American Civil War.
Douglas Wares declared it a masterpiece and read a poem ‘To a (click) Mouse’ instead of an appraisal.
The speakers in the topics session spoke for three minutes on their first-time experiences of a variety of venues. Bob Stewart spoke about the Zoo, Helen Fleming took everyone to Ardrossan Beach and Andrew Buist confessed to not enjoying the fairground. Alison Summers remembered her father helping her to ride a bike, David Howat was a reluctant cinema-goer and Denise McTaggart regaled the company with tales of her camping experiences.