The Society maintains a list of more than 60 speakers based all over the country who, between them, offer well over 400 talks. New talks and speakers usually appear on the list every year. Nearly all the speakers offer their services without a fee to BCSS branches but do expect to receive travelling expenses. Those who are prepared to travel long distances, and there are quite a few, also require hospitality. The speakers range from those known locally to people of international repute and their repertoires range from just one or two talks to dozens. The talks cover a very large variety of topics including travelogues from many parts of the world, cultivation of cacti and succulents, descriptions of particular groups of plants, quizzes and "discussion starters". Most can be tailored for beginners or for experts and are nearly always illustrated by live plants, traditional slides or more frequently nowadays, by digital presentations. Some speakers will even prepare a specific talk to suit their host's requirements.
Graham Charles speaking at Bradford Branch 60th. Anniv. meeting.
Photo: John Cox.
Every branch Secretary has a copy of the Speakers List and this is supplemented by regular updates published in CactusWorld. Members can view the list either on request form their branch secretary or download a copy from the members section and make suggestions to their local Secretary for future programmes. Nearly all of the BCSS speakers are happy to talk to other plant and horticultural societies and interest groups, both national and local, and a special edition of the list is available for circulation to these groups, either electronically or as a hard copy, by contacting the Vice-chairman.