Thanks to Anna

Thanks to Anna

neilBY NEIL COLEMAN

In 1840 there was in England a great rumbling. Not a rumbling of political disquiet or social change, it was a rumbling coming from the stomach of Anna, seventh Duchess of Bedford. With her lunch long since passed, and the evening meal not due to be served till the fashionably late hour of eight o’clock she was decidedly peckish. As Mars bars had yet to be invented, she asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cakes be brought to her and thus was born the first ever Afternoon Tea.

Jump forward some 175 years and this quintessentially English of events formed the basis of a most splendid Early Birds social as the Kingsway Hall Hotel decked out it’s restaurant with tier upon tier of sandwiches, scones and cakes for our delectation. Some two dozen of us, members and guests alike, came together for the simple pleasure of each others company, proving once and for all that is indeed possible for Toastmasters to commune without someone issuing a Table Topic!

The afternoon was every bit as entertaining and varied as one of our meetings. Sudeshna was regaling with her stories. Mario meandering through the tables with his camera, capturing sound bites. Taz and Mame-Yaa plotting a future table topic session with a difference. Sabrina, Jack and Celine getting to know the group. Division Governor, Jill Segal popping in to say hello. Birthday boy Reece being surprised with a cake and sing song from the staff at the restaurant… Wonderful memories. Wonderful company.

All in all a spiffing afternoon and a perfect reminder of what a delightful community this club is.

Who would have thought that one 19th Century groaning gut could be the source of so much delight? Here’s to you Anna.

Neil Coleman is an expert in 3D software, and has created graphics for projects from science fiction to historical drama. A Past President of EBS, he is currently Assistant Division Governor D71.

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