These are at the monthly meetings.

Date Speaker Subject

Speakers for 2024

3 July Wilf Lower Broadly Speaking
5 June Peter Griffiths 45 Years in Aviation
1 May Pam Stephens RNLI
3 April AGM Bring & Buy Sale
6 March Mike Grillo Two Kinds of Teardrop
7 February Delia Taylor The Fabulous Fifties
3 January Mary Winder A Day in Court

Speakers for 2023

6 December Mick Abbot Singer/Entertainer
1 November Dr Nikki Gammons Bumblebee Nests
4 October MaidARA Members Members Contributions
6 September Colin Harvey History Documentary
3 August Peter Hartley A Royal Interlude
3 May Susan Shaw Peru
5 April AGM & Prize Bingo
1 March Helen Allinson Crime in Victorian Kent
1 February Guy Bartlett Vulcan Bomber Restoration
4 January Kim White My Experiences with Kent Police (part 2)

Speakers for 2022

7 December Jasmine Kittermaster Classic Christmas Show
5 October Steve Valentine 50s & 60s music
7 September Trevor Sayer Blood Runners
3 August Flower Power
1 April Elizabeth Duncan Recycling issues in Maidstone
4 March Martin Sissons Emmaus & their work with the homeless
5 February Mark Bathurst The Medway Queen
8 January John Walker The Kray Brothers: The Truth

Speakers for 2019

4 December Laurie Blake Singer & Keyboard Player
6 November Peter Camrass Yalding Floods
2 October Susan Shaw Jungle Tales - India
4 September Mary Smith A Schoolgirls War
7 August Dean Caston Stars that won the War
3 July TBA
5 June TBA
1 May Pamela Marsh Songs from the Musicals
3 April Gwen Walker ??????? & AGM
6 March Augusta Cookeovery How to avoid Scamming
6 February Mary Winder A Day as a Magistrate

Speakers for 2018

7 November Roger Smith Village Signs in Kent
3 October Colin Breed Royal Visits in Kent
5 September Rob Thompsett 50s & 60s on the Ukelele
1 August Jenny Hurkett 
Blue Town Heritage Centre
2 May June Faulkner
Growing Old Disgracefully
4 April AGM
7 March Everest Pioneer Sandra Noel
7 February Alan Haines A kick up the Sixties
3 January Lucy Allen The Highs and Lows of a Stunt Woman

Speakers for 2017

6 December David Grimwood Hand Bell Ringing
1 November Zoe Kirby An overview of The Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal
4 October Terry King Tax, Music and Song
13 September Jacqueline Aviolet Four Days at the Nursery from Behind the Shed
2 August Roy Ingleton The Heartbeat Years- Policing in Kent 1945-1975
5 July Mick Cayless Bomb Disposal part 2
7 June Paddy Earp The Trials and Tribulations of a Tour Guide
3 May Helen Allinson A Look at Victorian Crime in Kent
5 April
1 March Rob Thompsett 50s & 60s on the Ukelele
1 February Ann Astin From Motorina to Racing Driver
4 January Barbara Stevens My Year as a Journalist (Part One)

Speakers for 2016

7 December Surprise
2 November David Clark Last voyage of RMS Queen Mary
12 October: Note Date Change Chris Hall Fun & Games - Experience of the Olympics
7 September Melanie Gibson-Barton The Life & Times of Edith Cavell
3 August Derek Hodge Auctioneering and Valuation Experiences
6 July Mick Cayless Bomb Disposal
8 June Peter Kneebone Singer/Entertainer
4 May Chris Hare A to Z of Show Of Business
6 April Barbara Stevens My years as a Journalist (part 1) POSTPONED
2 March Jasmine Kittermaster Dreamcoats & Petticoats
3 February Wilf Lower Life upon the Wicked Stage: tales of the stars who moved from pierrot shows and Rep Theatre onto TV etc.
6 January Andy Thomas Corn Circles: Thought provoking talk leaving questions unanswered.

Speakers for 2015

2 December Rob Tompsett Vocal & ukulele entertainer
4 November Margaret Watson Harpist: A superb and entertaining afternoon by a fine raconteur and musician.
7 October Neil Arnold Spooky Kent: An interesting talk about strange doings on in Kent,
2 September Lesley Bouchard St Clement Clog dancers & musicians
5 August Dr Ann Kneif Lola Montez: A feisty courtesan & actress whose portrait is in Leeds Castle but she had liaisons with many European aristocrats in the mid 1800s.
1 July Dave & Sally Cash Pirate radio stations of the 60s
3 June Wilf Lower Under billowing sails (tall ships) An amusing, interesting talk and we learned that a lot of well known sayings (such as ''show a leg'') originated from use on sailing ships.
6 May John Pearse Portrait of Matt Monro. An interesting & absorbing insight into how Matt achieved fame.
8 April Andy Thomas


4 March Chris Hare Forty Years without a job. A very amusing talk about Chris' work in the Entertainment business with lots of ''name dropping''.
4 February Hazel Arnold Hazel described a rather daring, eventful, life starting with eloping to Scotland with a Nigerian in the 60s and moving on to live in Nigeria with him and all that that entailed. What a quiet life many of us have had by comparison.
7 January Sue Spiel Comedy Poetry recital a la Pam Ayres

Speakers for 2014

3 December Joy Dey We were very lucky to have such a wonderful singer and personality at our Christmas party. Listen to this song on Youtube: Joy Dey
5 November Rob Masters The Joys of Christmas. Amusing anecdotes from Rob's years as a Faversham Primary School Head, and life in Boughton under Blean.
1 October

Mercy Ships: Imagine a ship crewed by doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists visiting some of the world's poorest countries. Now imagine their life-changing services offered free of charge. This was an inspiring talk this month.

3 September Graham Lilley Watercolour painting; Graham gave a talk about watercolour painting whilst actually painting a picture.
6 August A mudlark gave an interesting talk about her hobby of scrabbling about amongst the detritus left at low tide along the River Thames. Her prize find 4was a bejewelled ring that she brought along to show.
2 July Rex Swain Town Crier
4 June Short stories of interest in your lives
7 May Colin Breed

Colin Breed, a retired Kent Police Detective Chief Inspector, gave a detailed and thoughtful talk about the tragic 1987 Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster. He told of the Zeebrugge based Kent Police role in dealing with the aftermath, and the unsuccessful efforts to achieve some sort of justice for the victims of a preventable disaster.

2 April AGM

Paddy Langdown

The last flying Vulcan
5 March Sharon & Brian Lucky the Dog: Medical detection. A very informative talk about the vital role that trained Medical Detection dogs play in potentially saving someone's life. Lucky took all the attention in her stride. A worthwhile charity to support.
5 February Nigel Cox The Magistrates Court: An interesting interactive talk on the operation & work of the local Magistrates Court. In a case study the audience verdict was Guilty: 50%: Not guilty 50%!
8 January Dr Ann Kneif Leeds Castle. An informative talk expanding on the Leeds Castle you thought you knew.

Speakers for 2013

4 December Gordon Bennett Cockney! Excellent musical entertainment with Christmas songs from a gentleman called Gordon Bennett dressed in a Pearly King's outfit
6 November Neil Arnold Mystery animals of Kent. Neil proved beyond doubt that there were wild Big Cats in Kent, especially near Maidstone. He showed the difference between a Puma and Black Leopard, the latter having a long curled tail. Neil asked that members notify him of any sightings. 
2 October Susan Scrivens Susan Srivens gave an interesting, amusing talk of her trials and tribulations after finding a unique plant in an old overgrown part of her garden. Her perserverance over very many years in trying to make this plant available to all gardeners demonstrated that 'experts' are not necessarily the best judges of what people might actually want. She eventually found the right 'expert', resulting in Gold Medal success at the 2002 Chelsea Flower Show for Saltwood Summer, the Orchard Foxglove.
4 September Bob Ogley Bob Ogley, who rose to fame with his book 'In the wake of the hurricane' gave an interesting & informative talk on the V1 & V2 ''Doodlebugs & Rockets'', which many in the audience remembered only too well. This is the subject of one of the many books he has written about Kent and the South East.
7 August Rob Masters Rob Masters gave a very amusing Allotment related talk centred upon the village of Boughton. Amongst other things we now know how to get rid of moles, with or without pictures of the Mother-in-Law.
3 July Francis Doyle

Francis Doyle gave an interesting and pertinent talk about CROP (Citizens Rights for Older People). He is the Director of this volunteer organisation which aims to help older people within the area who do not have anyone else to assist them make important decisions. It comprises about 40 volunteers and is mostly funded by KCC. It is so good that in 2012 it won The Queen's Award for Voluntary Services.

He explained that a lot of older people do not claim the financial help that they are entitled to. CROP can assist people to find out what is available to them and help them to find their way through the bureaucratic maze.

CROP puts leaflets about their work in Libraries, Council Gateways and other locations.

If you have access to a computer check out the CROP Website: 


5 June Joy Dey An excellent singer, Joy Dey, entertained members with songs from the shows and Italian opera arias.
1 May Mark Bathurst The paddle steamer The Medway Queen
6 March Victoria Harris The story of Maidstone Zoo
6 February Roger Lewin Keyboard & Singalong: Roger Lewin entertained members on his keyboard with
a wonderful selection of music and included a small section of old
songs for members' participation.
2 January Dean Castone Victoria Palace Theatre: Dean, an amateur performer from Rainham and a Variety Show & Musical enthusiast, took us through the history and Shows of the Victoria Palace Theatre, London. This brought back happy memories for many of the audience. He mentioned at the end that he will be appearing in a Music Hall Show at The Criterion Music Hall at Bluetown Heritage Centre Sheppey on Wed to Fri for six weeks from 6th March.

Speakers for 2012

Date Speaker Subject
5 September Barry Daniels The Wandering Minstrel - Barry's entertaining talk comprised reminiscences of his career on the stage, including his meetings with up & coming and established stars, interspersed with songs both solo & with audience participarion.
3 October Wilf Lower Behind the Scenes of TV Golden Years: Wilf worked on the most memorable screenings in these years and, as well as giving us an insight into these, he told us of the Spanish Practicies which went on in the background, sometimes derailing major productions 
7 November Martin Gurdon My life with with chickens: An amusing talk by a lifelong chicken fancier whose book on the subject : Hen and the art of chicken maintenance is readily available.Martin has also written children's books, but his day job is as a Motoring Journalist.
5 December John & Peggy Scott The Four Pearlies: John (Pearly King of Mile End) & Peggy (Pearly Queen of Highgate) gave a lively talk on the history of the Pearly Kings & Queens, including a session on Cockney rhyming slang. After a short tea interval they hosted a 45 minute singalong fully embracing audience participation. In the Pearly King tradition they travel widely raising money for charity.