Club News Archive 2009

Eldergate Toastmasters and North Bucks Speakers – Two Clubs, One Mission
Club News Archives 2009
NBS Draws Another Successful Year To A Close – 27th December 2009
North Bucks Speakers drew another successful year to a close with its now traditional improvised pantomime night on December 17. Members of the speaking club, founded in 2004 to help local people acquire exceptional public speaking skills at low cost and with rapid effect, devised, improvised and finally performed a version of Mother Goose, with director Tony Alexander doing his manful best to bring calm and creativity from near anarchy and chaosCurrent club president Louise Mason played the female lead role (Fairy Nuff) while relative newcomer Mark Ty-Wharton starred alongside as Demon Greed. Jim Reynolds played the eponymous heroine, Mother Goose, while Esmé Driver, guesting from sister club Elder Gate Toastmasters, played Priscilla, the goose that laid golden eggs. Mo Gainda filled the role of Mother Goose’s son Jack, responsible for bringing Priscilla into the family. Brian Bollen played the Wicked Squire, whose sidekicks Scratch ‘n Sniff were played by Margaret Bollen and aspiring new member Craig Norris. Other roles were filled by Lynda Andrews, Roger Crews, Dave Minzey, Carole Minzey, Joanne Waine, and Gillian Bladen-Clark, while a number of guests gamely joined in as dancing extras.A great time was had by all. God bless us every one!The first meeting of 2010 will take place on January 7 from 7.15pm, and mark a return to near normality. Guests are warmly welcomed, at no

Elder Gate Toastmasters On The Move – 1st December 2009
Elder Gate Toastmasters is on the move. From the club’s first meeting in 2010, on January 11, its venue will be England’s National Badminton Centre in Bradwell Road, Loughton, Milton Keynes, immediately opposite Herons Lodge, where the club has met since the summer of 2005.The move reflects the desire of many members to enhance the image of the club as a must-have membership for ambitious professionals, without losing any of the community spirit that has come to characterise the Elder Gate meeting experience in recent years. It also reflects a growing awareness among Toastmasters clubs of the need to have wheelchair-friendly meeting places. The NBC has a lift delivering ready access to the first floor.Starting time will remain unchanged, being 5.30pm for a 5.45pm start. The club will meet in the NBC’s Seminar Room, with details highlighted on the prominent LED display board in the NBC entrance hall. Light refreshments will be available from the coffee shop on the premises, which remains open until 6.30pm. The bar opens at 7pm.The Seminar Room is a purpose-built meeting room, which has a built-in projector and screen as well as a flipchart and other standard amenities.For further information on Elder Gate Toastmasters, and its sister club in Milton Keynes, North Bucks Speakers, please ring Brian Bollen on 01908 234952 or email

It’s Laughing Time Again! – 18th August 2009
September sees the hugely popular annual Humorous Speech contest take place at both North Bucks Speakers (September 3) and Elder Gate Toastmasters (September 18).The NBS contest will take place at the usual venue, The Well Community Centre in Willen, with a start time of 7.15pm.The Elder Gate contest will take place on a special evening at The Crown, Market Square, Stony Stratford.Both evenings will also feature the first round of this year’s Table Topics contest, a test of improvised speaking skills. Guests are warmly welcomed, though they are well advised to book a place as these evenings are always particularly popular.For NBS, email Chris Hoggart for details, as Contest Chair.For Elder Gate Toastmasters, email Jenny Chalmers as Education Vice President.

Elder Gate On The Move This Summer – 23th July 2009
Elder Gate Toastmasters is on the move this summer, because of the unavailability of the club’s usual venue (Herons Lodge Guide Centre) during school holidays.The club meeting of July 27th will take place at the Ramada Encore Hotel on Midsummer Boulevard in Central Milton Keynes starting at the usual time of 5.30pm. The meetings of August 10 and August 24 will take place at the Slug and Lettuce pub in the Theatre District in Milton Keynes, again starting at 5.30pm ( Guests will be warmly welcomed to all three meetings as always, for no charge.
Ramada Encore Milton Keynes ( Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA, United Kingdom
+44 870 428 1438
Get directions

New Year, New Blood – 23th July 2009
The dawning of the new Toastmasters International year, 2009-10, has brought significant new blood rushing into the committees of both clubs in Milton Keynes, Elder Gate Toastmasters and North Bucks Speakers. In both cases, as in several other clubs in nearby towns and counties, the committees are led by women presidents, and feature several other female members.The new President at Elder Gate Toastmasters is Trisha Page, ably supported by Jenny Chalmers as Education Vice President, Phil Chippendale as Treasurer, Stephanie Stasiuk as Publicity Vice President, Richard Foster-Fletcher as Membership VP, Margaret Bollen as Secretary and Josh Worrell as Sergeant-at-Arms.Louise Mason has taken over as President of North Bucks Speakers, with Jim Reynolds as Education Vice President, Roger Crews as Treasurer, Sue Fleming as Publicity VP, Tim Akers as Membership VP, Margaret Bollen as Secretary and Rodney Hodge as Sergeant-at-Arms.We wish them every success in the coming year.

Success In The Cotswolds – 15th May 2009
The District 71 conference proved a huge success, and I would like once again to thank everyone who made that possible. The energy, enthusiasm and creativity generated by Toastmasters meetings never fails to amaze me; when representatives of our 202 clubs in the UK and Ireland meet for the twice-a-year gathering, the results are mind-blowing.And results are important, not least to those who achieve them. Congratulations in particular are due for Gareth McHale, who won the District 71 International Speech Contest with his thought-provoking and very entertaining speech entitled ‘A Good Point’, while Simon Bucknall took first place in the Speech Evaluation Contest.Bob Ferguson took second place in the International Speech Contest, with his speech ‘I’ll Tell You What I Want, What I Really, Really Want’ while Colm McGlade came third with ‘A Reason To Live’.Second and third respectively in the Speech Evaluation Contest were Lindy Irving and Sue Coppens-Browne. A number of video files from the weekend can be found at:

Other weekend winners included Margaret Bollen for her Sally Bowles costume, in which she faced fierce competition from Teresa Dukes. Photographs are in circulation…

Gary Sander
District 71 Governor
Toastmasters International

Toastmasters TV Update – 9th March 2009
BBC Television has now set the date for the start of the new reality series devoted to public speaking. BBC2 will begin transmitting The Speaker on the evening of April 7, at 8pm. The Speaker follows the experiences of young people across the UK learning how to speak effectively and improve their chances of success at school and in later life.The broadcasting of two hour-long episodes each week for four weeks is almost certain to spark off a surge of interest in speaking, and Toastmasters International in the UK and Ireland is being presented with a possibly unique opportunity to piggyback on someone else’s hard work and gain unprecedented publicity for what we can offer would-be speakers.Sean Kennedy, a committed Toastmaster from Dublin and a former president of London Communicators, acted as a consultant in the programme from the very beginning and is keen to spread the word not only about the project itself but how it could be used to raise the profile of Toastmasters International in District 71.Full details can be found in a message from District Governor Gary Sander on

NEWS FLASH: The Speaker is on the Launchpad – 10th February 2009
BBC Two has announced that it will begin transmitting a new reality series about learning how to speak in public. The Speaker has been scheduled for broadcast in April on BBC Two, airing twice a week for eight one-hour episodes. We believe it will spark an increase in learning how to speak in public, and are happy to receive new requests from would-be members, and welcome them to our clubs as guests.If you would like to enquire, please contact Brian Bollen or Margaret Bollen on 01908 234952
or via email: or here for full details of the rest of the story (MS Word document)…

Loughton Man Rises To Double Challenge – 24th February 2009
In the week when BBC Television announced the launched of a nationwide speaking contest for teenagers, to be broadcast on BBC2 two nights a week in April, Loughton-based international financial journalist and author Brian Bollen continued his own personal progress in the more grown-up version by taking first prize in both elements of the first round of this year’s speaking contests at Elder Gate Toastmasters.

Kaz Kowalski, Brian Bollen
and Emmet Cassidy

Competing in a limited field, Brian won the International Speech Contest with a speech entitled ‘My Precioussss’, reflecting on the positive side of the miracles of everyday life, with clubmate and former Catholic priest Kaz Kowalski taking the runner-up spot.
Brian also won the Speech Evaluation Contest, with Emmet Cassidy, son of a local General Practitioner, taking the runner-up slot.

Brian now goes on to represent the club and the town in the Area final for the Bucks, Beds and Herts area, at Huntingdon on April 4. The ultimate goal is to reach the World Speaking Championships in the USA later this year.

Further information on both clubs and on Toastmasters itself is available from the website

The Speaker follows a group of young would-be speakers across the country, and features comedienne Jo Brand taking on a new role as chief judge.
Among the mentors guiding the youngsters as they seek to improve is Alastair Campbell, formerly chief spin doctor to Prime Minister Blair.
The programme is thought likely to spark a surge in interest in public speaking which Toastmasters International will be delighted to satisfy.

For further background information, contact Brian Bollen or Margaret Bollen on 01908 234952
or via email: or

Contests Ahoy – 10th February 2009
Elder Gate Toastmasters and North Bucks Speakers will both shortly be holding their first round of this year’s International Speech Contest and Speech Evaluation Contest.The Elder Gate Contest is scheduled to take place on February 23 at Herons Lodge Guide Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton, at the usual time, 5.30pm for a 5.45pm start.
Members who would like to enter either or both contests, or help on the evening by acting as a judge, timekeeper, sergeant-at-arms, etc, should contact Kate Coleman: are warmly welcome, as always, to this special evening.North Bucks Speakers holds its contests on March 5, at The Well Community Centre in Willen, at the usual time of 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. There will be a strong social element to the evening; members and guests are invited to bring along food and drink and share the fun.
Anyone wishing to enter or volunteer for a role should contact our new Education Vice President, Louise Mason:, or contest organiser Jim Reynolds: further background information, contact Brian Bollen on, telephone 01908 234952.
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