On what was the club’s 9th birthday the event was celebrated with a ‘boxing tournament”. Keith Oliver, as Toastmaster, was our MC for the evening, after a rousing burst of music from Rocky and a warm welcome from James Rolfe as Sergeant at Arms got us underway.
Keith set the scene advising that we would have three ‘bouts’, with one professional and two amateur fights on the programme. Our man on the bell at ringside was Neill Burns, who indicated how the various events would be timed, and that the end of each round would be signalled by the bell. Fight Commentator was Michael John Smithson, Grammarian, who set the word of the evening as ‘Altercation’.
The evening warmed up with audience participation as Pat Tunstall asked members and guests to indicate who they would like to fight with. Customer service operators, and petty bureaucrats figured high on the list.
The event now started proper with our first contestant, John Tunstall, “The Gosport Lip” getting us underway with a speech from the advance manuals entitled “Little Boy, Fat Man” about the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. Louise “The Cat” Hockaday followed with a talk about the naval dockyard in Portsmouth, before Adrian “The Ice Man” Reed concluded the speeches with his Icebreaker entitled Bourbon biscuits and gophers.
After three thrilling bouts the audience now settled down for a well earned break.
After the interval the ringside judges, Mustafa Soomro, Marian Way and Steve Green gave their positive, encouraging and observant evaluations of the speeches.
After watching the contestants it was now time for the audience to see how long they could last in the ‘fairground boxing booth’ against our resident grappler George Wilkinson as Table Topics Master. Neil Burns went first being asked to explain the phrase “float like a butterfly sting like a bee”. Our guest, Martin Groom, followed being asked how he would feel as the first entrant into the Olympic pool, before Kanchu McAllister described how she would motivate Andy Murray to win a grand slam. Finally Gavin Meikle described how he would coach Fatima Whitbread to be Queen of the Jungle in “I’m a celebrity...”
We now concluded the evening’s entertainment with reports from the timekeeper and Grammarian, before Mustafa Soomro evaluated the Table Topics contestants. Jewels Carter then had the job of evaluating the whole evening as General Evaluator.