MSC Annual Club Dinner & Tall Tales Contest 2015

by Steve Cann

A wonderful night was had by all from MSC as members and special guests enjoyed a memorable evening of dining & tall tales – held amongst the backdrop of  the historic Norden Farm Centre for the Arts long barn restaurant in Maidenhead.

Club President Julie kicked off proceedings (with glass in hand) by proposing a toast to Maidenhead Speakers’ Club – very appropriate! And we were all very happy of course to oblige.

Club members and guests all seated in the Long Barn and waiting for the evening to begin!
Club members and guests all seated in the Long Barn and waiting for the evening to begin!

After polishing off our scrumptious 3-course dinner, we then moved on to the Tall Tales Competition – an annual fixture at the MSC Dinner. Our genial host for the contest was Keith, who started off by explaining exactly what a tall tale actually is (a short story speech with a twist) before holding aloft the coveted trophy… which he warned us came in 2 detachable parts!

First speaker Paul‘s story was cleverly inspired by the recent Hatton Garden Heist – although his robbery concerned a Faberge egg heist instead! Paul involved himself in the story as a member of the gang, who goes on to make his escape to the Highlands of Scotland to survive on… haggis!

Next speaker Chris described his rather unusual & somewhat bizarre schooldays – where he studied science, maths… & ancient runes! He recounted a cross-country competition – where the runners had to fight off crocodiles & venomous snakes along the way – and from which he emerged victorious by fighting off a lion, all for the prize of a voucher… for a free pizza!

Third speaker was last year’s winner Eric, speaking of the discovery of an alleged journal from the year 53BC all about Julius Caesar fighting the Scots. He spoke of the rather familiar-sounding (to MSC members anyway!) Scots tribes of Elliotts, Frasers & McLeods who ventured north to rob the distilleries. But Caesar sent master-spy Luda-Chris to restore order – and the prisoners were thrown to the Nessies! But those who escaped were pardoned – which is why Scotland always wins swimming gold at the Olympics…!

Next up was Nick, who had an unusual explanation for the growing number of Red Kites in our skies… apparently, if you look very closely, they’re all wearing red caps containing hidden cameras – as part of Thames Valley Police’s 1.7m aerial surveillance technology initiative! This ingenious plan was allegedly ‘hatched’ due to the severe lack of CCTV in the countryside. You have been warned… and the next step might be arming these feathered fiends with tazers!

Final speaker was Monica, whose speech was equally full of espionage, intrigue & the problems of national security, as she recounted a colourful & action-packed James Bond-style story to us. She also got one of the biggest laughs of the evening from the audience, as she concluded her speech with the clever punchline, ‘The Spy who Bugged Me’!

With the Contest now complete & votes being counted, Keith used this time to relay a personal anecdote (or was it another tall tale perhaps!?) about his time in the building trade, presenting plans to a boardroom of people. Once the presentation was complete, he snapped his briefcase shut – without realizing he’d accidentally shut his tie in it! About to leave (& grabbing the briefcase from the table in a flourish) unfortunately had the undesired effect of making his head bang down unceremoniously on said table – but, he did manage to maintain his dignity and laugh it off. So his mantra from that day on is: whatever befalls you, just carry on!

The winner of the Tall Tales Contest was Paul – well done Paul!

Club President Julie Farrell awards Paul Aherne the trophy as Best Tall Tales Speaker 2015
Club President Julie awards Paul the trophy as Best Tall Tales Speaker 2015

Following the trophy presentation, Julie thanked Keith for doing such an excellent job of hosting the Tall Tales Contest, Gerard for operating those all-important Timing lights, and all our contestants and everyone for coming & making the evening such as success.

She also gave a special mention to Doreen for all her hard work behind the scenes in organizing the dinner so effectively, and presented her with a bouquet of flowers as a big thank you from all of us.

Julie alongside event organizer Doreen Gowing, & victorious Tall Taler Paul
Julie alongside event organizer Doreen, & victorious Tall Taler Paul

That concluded what turned out to be a most enjoyable & successful 2015 Dinner – looking forward to seeing you all at our next regular club night (at our usual venue of St Luke’s Hall) on April 27th!


Published by Steve Cann

I love music! I've also recorded & performed my own songs (& once played in a band) & sometimes attend open mic nights. I enjoy comedy club nights & rock gigs, & countryside walks/country pubs... & life's simple pleasures, such as relaxing with a great book. I love exploring London, & particularly pub walks - there's so many wonderful pubs in the metropolis that I didn't know existed before I started doing these... I never get tired of London. I enjoy meditation, keeping fit, yoga & staying in good shape - healthy body, healthy mind & all that. I'm always open to new experiences, & strive to live life mindfully - enjoying the present moment. I've more recently got into public speaking, becoming a Toastmaster - it's great fun, & an invaluable way of learning new skills & extra confidence.

One thought on “MSC Annual Club Dinner & Tall Tales Contest 2015

  1. Well done Steve for capturing the atmosphere of the evening. Again a big thank you to everyone who helped me behind the scenes to make it such an enjoyable evening. A special thanks to Sandra & Mike for squeezing all the club kit into his very nice car and driving me home in style.
    If you missed this year’s event there is always next year’s to look forward to.

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