Reunion 2016 from 9 to 11 September
In total 44 members , families and friends were ” on parade” for the Association annual dinner.
Well you would think if the reunion was not until Friday that members would not arrive until Friday…No!! some arrived on Thursday and took advantage of the very inexpensive rates offered by the hotel for 19 Signal Regiment personnel.(that is bed, full breakfast and a 3 course evening meal for …wait for it …£51.) and from what I gather, a very good evening was enjoyed by all
A number arrived reasonably early on Friday and took advantage of the fine weather to explore the area. Favourites were touring the Cotswolds, (Bibury, Moreton on the Marsh, Bourton on the Water, Broadway are all within easy reach) while others explored Warwick Castle, Leamington and other tourist attractions around the area.Others preferred to stay in the hotel and ensure that the barman
did not get bored.
One has to say that the evening meal was nothing short of sumptuous. Excellent starters buffet style, at least six different main courses (all help yourself) .The ubiquitous curry was one of the favourites especially requested by Pat Soward, aware of our Far East palate,and if you had room, a selection of puddings some people were prepared to die for. There was never any danger that the barman would “get an early night” on Friday.
And it was raining. And we were going out on a river trip.We arrived by coach just before 11 and it is still raining. Nevermind, all aboard to be greeted with tea, coffee, biscuits. In all there were 32 of us aboard as we had been joined by the late Ray Cank’s family. How wonderful to see them. Ray would have been so proud.
The guide for the day was from Transylvinia. What a comic. This guy was so funny and yet so well versed in the history of Shakespeare, Stratford and just about anything else you care to mention. The trip lasted over an hour…and it is still raining.
Then the dreaded alternative OMG!! Marks and Sparks, Edinbrough Wool Shop, Boots, Debenhams and we were right to be concerned because that is the way it went. Check watches. Still another 2 hours here…and its still raining. Fortunately most of us needed lunch. Plenty of pubs in Stratford. However as it was ….still raining,everybody had the same idea which meant almost all the pubs and restaurants were packed, but I gather eventually everybody found somewhere. After lunch only another hour…and it is still raining.
Finally back on the coach, a couple of beers and prepare for the Gala dinner….and it is still raining!
The Rita Ellen.
Beautiful interior of the Rita Ellen. And the food and drink were there when we arrived.
Even though it rained, Romeo made it all worthwhile
Nina and John Hill
Brian Tewkesbury with Angie Sarsby
Oh Dear It’s catching. That’s not his wife!
Pat Soward and Patsy O'Connor
Wonderful to see you here Patsy.
Maureen Soward and Frank Smith
It’s an epidemic. Thats not Mr Soward.
Better be here every year Pearl. Seletar troop family.
Richard and Sharon Strange
Make sure you come next year too !
Ray Cank's Family
Kelly (Ray’s Daughter) and Paul with Debbie and Sheila
Goldie and Debbie Peters
Did you bring that T shirt back from Singapore in 1969?
Debbie Shakeri trying to say something in the background !
Saturday evening.Gala Dinner
And it is still raining. What a great occasion. What a great family. Sadly, when our Chairman Pat Soward gave his opening welcome we acknowledged that two of our very good friends and members had died in the past year.We remembered Bernard Strange who was OC Seletar Troop and Ray Cank, a well loved member of Ops Troop.
We will remember them
Pat then welcomed Ray’s family who had joined us for the occasion to remember their dad and grandad. Wonderful to see them and Pearl Strange, Bernie’s widow and his son Richard and his wife Sharon. Let us hope they too make this an annual event.
And here Pat made a very special welcome to our new members Chris and julia Mills. Chris knew Bob Foskett of old…but he probably had some good points too. Chris served in Changi and Microwave troop from 69 to 71. Welcome Chris and Julia. Good to have you aboard.
Also sadly missing this year due to illness were Dennis Isaacs and Keith Armitage (both of whom had been very helpful in providing input to the website).Hope you are both progressing. We missed you.
The evening was excellent, The venue was excellent, The company was excellent. The meal was excellent. What else would you want from a Gala dinner?
The meal was
Appetizers: Chicken and Mushroom Pate : Fresh Fruit Platter : Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Main Course: Roast Chicken Breast : Flame Grilled Pork Steak : Mushroom and Nut Roast
Desserts: Vanilla Cheese Cake : Fresh cream filled Profiteroles Steamed Toffee Pudding
and wine, wine and more wine.
Pictures of the dinner attached to the slider below.
Carl and Debbie
Part of Ray’s family group
Kelly and Paul Austin
Lovely to see you both again. Hope to see you next year.
Sit down Trevor
Trevor Broadley trying to chat up Nina or Sharon…or both !
Georgie and Rich
Georgie and Rich are Alan Lewis’s family.
John and Joyce Horne
Well organised John and Joyce
Chelsea and Dale
Chel and Dale ( with the red eyes)
Frank Smith..about to say something
about to give us a bit of wisdom Frank
After dinner, Frank Smith (all the way from Dundee) gave the loyal toasts to The Queen,The Princess Royal and Absent Friends (Particularly poignant this year). then a very short break and an even shorter AGM where Frank Smith gave a treasurers report and the webmaster, that’s me, gave an update on the new website.
At this stage I stopped taking photographs. Brian Tewkesbury, had taken off his tie, much to the chagrin of wife Nicky and involved himself selling The Goosey christmas cards to anybody new.
Then off to the bar and ensure once again that the barman does not have an early night.
More photos below. Just click on a particular photo to enlarge it.
Further report on the reunion by Pat Soward.
Reunion 2016 was again well received although the promised sunny weather did not materialize. Unfortunately four members had to cancel during the week before the reunion due to various ‘health issues’. Hotel management was very understanding and no cancellation charges have been levied.
On Saturday morning we arrived early for our cruise along the River Avon aboard the Rita Ellen. A day or so previously we had been asked if we would be inconvenienced if the cruise were to be extended from 45 minutes to an hour at no extra cost. An executive decision had been made on the spot and the extra time allowed us to travel further up river. Our tour guide, Romeo, was a walking encyclopedia on things Shakespearean and pointed out waterside features of that we would certainly not have otherwise appreciated. He quickly summed up the mood of our group and responded with equal banter!
After a period of retail therapy in Stratford we returned to the hotel and assembled for dinner at 7.30pm sharp. As we have grown to expect the food was good, the service impeccable and the company sparkling. The evening was tinged with sadness as two staunch supporters had died since our last reunion. Pearl Strange, widow of Bernard, accompanied by son and daughter-in-law, was greeted by a spontaneous round of applause. A letter from Pat Cank, very recently widowed, was read out followed by news that she had treated us to Port for our toasts. This, again, was greeted by sympathetic applause. Ray and Pat’s son and daughter. Carl and Kelly were accompanied by Carl’s son. Joshua, and daughter, Chelsea, and their partners. It is very heartening to see the children and grand-children of our members enjoying our company.