After Dinner Speakers

Announcement Date: 1st January 1922

Minutes record the first of a series of guest speakers, eminent in the hospital world, who were to include in due course at each February meeting, such members of the peerage as the Earl of Arran, Viscounts Hambleden and Knutsford, and Lord Riddell.

In addition, as the minutes clearly disclose, the Club meetings of the 1920s were concerned with discussions on a variety of interesting and important topics. These ranged from Lord Cave’s Ministry of Health’s views on co-operation between hospitals, both voluntary and municipal; to the Local Government Bill of 1929, waking hours of patients, co-operative advertising, sweep-stakes, brighter out-patient departments and the use of publicity agents.

The trend continued into the 1930s, and in the Club’s golden jubilee year at a meeting on 25th October 1935, it was generally agreed ‘that some matter of general hospital interest shall be included in the agenda for each dinner of the Club’.

To list the speakers and their subjects over the past forty years (impressive though they are) would be both tiresome and time consuming. A few taken at random are Sir Wilson Jameson in the Club’s diamond jubilee year speaking generally on hospital matters in the run up to the NHS; Mr C W Guillebaud in 1956, on his committee’s report on NHS costs; Mr H V Hodgson, Editor of the Sunday Times, in 1960 on hospitals and the Press; Sir Arthur Porritt in 1963 on his Medical Services Review Committee report and, of course, just for the pure fun and joy of it, the master after-dinner speaker Mr Arthur Dixon Wright, MS, FRCS, who also addressed the Club in 1963, typically on ‘Inter alia – the NHS’.