SATURDAY 29th JUNE 2013
Quality Hotel in St Albans
Following the resignation of Jonathon Cooper in 2012 (ozzard), Bernard Elwen had gainfully stepped forward as new Head Boy (wizzard). This meeting was therefore the first under his stewardship and he skilfully combined the best of the old with some new ideas, ensuring an eclectic and enlightening meeting. This was enjoyed by over thirty Jennings enthusiasts and we were delighted to be joined by Anthony’s wife Eileen and his children Sally and Tim.
Following tea and biscuits, Bernard opened the meeting followed by a lively In Conversation with Eileen. Geoff Goodyear spoke on Jennings and Reality followed by Steve Floyd with a talk entitled C.A.T.S. and Dogs.
Bernard took the reins again, talking about Jennings at Large, the only Jennings book not based at Linbury Court.
Lunch was preceded by a discussion led by Ellis Cory on Our Favourite Jennings Book. Popular moments included Jack Carr and his car Jack; the infamous “Roman” chariot wheel; General Merridew getting locked in the library; the over-flowing bath; the ill-fated fire engine call out; the search party (which Jenninngs and Darbyshire joined, thus looking for themselves); Jennings little hut…… and if it hadn’t been for the lure of lunch, we would probably have continued recalling other favourites until every page of every chapter of every book had been covered.
Nigel Colman managed to stop anyone snoozing after a hearty buffet lunch, with a lively set entitled Jennings and Humour talking about the influences of comedians such as Max Miller and Tommy Trinder. Nigel included some saucy examples of his favourite jokes, which would certainly have had Matron blushing.
Every year, someone always finds a new angle and this year was no exception, with a surprise item from June Maw, From a Girl’s point of view.
Tim Buckeridge’s speech was entitled Same Author……Different Topic. Tim read out a little known satirical piece written by Anthony Buckeridge, prior to the introduction of Public Lending Rights in 1979, decrying the impoverished state authors had to live in.
Bernard then made us work for our tea with a fiendish quiz, the solution to which spelt out Pottlewhistle Halt (or something similar).
After tea, an outsider listening in would have been mystified by Richard Stephenson’s session I……I……I……Corwumph, which included audience participation, impersonating Mr Wilkins.
The meeting concluded in its traditional manner with a playlet The Lure of the Jumble enthusiastically performed by members of the group.
Review by Quentin Rubens