THE lights at the cosy Excelsior Club in Sale (membership just £20) were turned down on Monday night for a story telling session.

This was no ordinary story telling session. It was the storyteller of the year competition arranged by Success Stories headed by Sharon Richards.

The winner, decided by audience ballot, was Mark Saperia, a retired dentist who returned to Sale in 2004 after 33 years in South Africa.

His piece was about a successful history teacher who later advised him on how to approach women – unsuccessfully!

This is the second time Mark has won a competition.

Last year he won the Susan Hayhurst Trophy, a competition for men and women organised by Stockport Ladies Speakers Club.

Mark said: “I was thrilled to win tonight because the other speakers were so good.”

He received a trophy presented by last year’s winner. Steven Tarling who had travelled from Shrewsbury.

The Runners Up were Marilyn Mastin for a poem she had written about the Isle of Man and Paul Bernie, whose tale about a marine with a dirty raffle had a twist at the end. Paul also came top in One Minute Wonders, a short contest for stories of less than a minute.

Last year’s winner recited two stories. The second one was about a poor crofter’s daughter who went to America, married and whose son, Donald, became the leader of the free world.

• Success Stories meets at the Excelsior Club, Sale on the second Monday of the month. For more information, telephone 07854 227 805.