Club Meeting Monday 13 August 2018

The Club held its monthly meeting at the Dursley Community Centre, over 60 were present and in the absence of President Martin Lee, Vice President Martin Budden chaired the meeting. He welcomed guests Roy King, guest of Ken Hembury and Graham Glossop, guest of John Moore. He also extended a special welcome, to Graham Peake who was formally inducted as a full member of the Club with clear enthusiasm from the floor.

Vice President Martin reflected on the recent Club visit to the Welsh National Botanic Gardens and organiser Colin Wyatt was thanked for conceiving and managing a most enjoyable day.

This week we will return to the Uley home of David and Dawn Valentin for our annual barbecue, one of the highlights of the Club year. As is the tradition, the weatherman left us in excruciating agony until the very last moment, but finally relented and blessed us with a perfect afternoon.

Vice President Martin Budden and Past President Don Powell have finalised plans for a short visit to east Devon based on Seaton & Exeter. We will visit Exeter Cathedral, the Seaton Tramway and Powderham Castle with a river cruise from Exmouth to Exeter.

In October we hope to visit the Brunel Museum in Bristol. Organiser Colin Wyatt has been able to arrange for us to have lunch on the SS Great Britain which will be an added bonus for the day.

It is some time since the Club enjoyed a theatre visit but one is proposed for November. We hope to visit the Everyman in Cheltenham to see a production of “The Messiah”, a comedy with an impressive star line.

Looking ahead to the new year, two past presidents Tom Potts and Brian Lamerton are putting together plans for a wine and cheese evening in January.

The meeting welcomed the return of guest speaker Brian Bertram to talk on the topic of Lions. Brian had spent some time working as a zoologist in the Serengeti National Park working with these animals and gave a comprehensive, informative and frequently humorous talk on tracking and monitoring their behavior and social organisation. He focused particularly on the dynamics of the social order in the Pride and how this worked in hunting and family life. He greatly impressed his audience with his description of fitting radio-location collars to lionesses and the technique he evolved for weighing them. Such a talk inspired many questions from the floor, including one from a member who asked if Brian had ever needed to face down a lion. His reason for asking was that he had once had to do this to a tiger!

In his Vote of Thanks John Moore remarked on this, praising Brian’s talk and noting that we had learned a lot about lions but also about one of our members! Vice President Martin then closed the meeting and Members retired to the bar followed by lunch.