TWO friends who are both members of the South Manchester Speakers Club and story telling club, Success Stories, won the top places in the Susan Hayhurst Memorial Contest held at the Deanwater Hotel, Stockport, recently..

Mark Saperia, aged 78, and Pennant Roberts, 80, came first and second respectively, beating eleven other contestants from all over the North West.

They were representing the South Manchester Speakers Club and both men believed the story telling club helped them to tell their tales in an interesting way.

Mark, a retired dentist from Arderne Road, Timperley, said: “I was thrilled to bits, indeed elated to discover I had come first. This is the biggest thing I have ever won.”

His story about a history teacher who changes the method of teaching and transforms his life was voted the best by an audience of 50 in a secret ballot.

Pennant, a retired pharmacist from Buckfast Close in Hale, spoke for five minutes on Now that I am Officially Old. It was a comic observation of an archetypical old man who is always looking to the past.

Pennant has come first in this competition twice before but was pleased that Mark had won.

Richard Aves, the founder member of the South Manchester Speakers Club said: “We are enormously proud of our two raconteurs who won the day.”