10th Gathering of the Clans
16th of September was our annual social event and despite not being as well attended as previous events a good time was had by all.
We had the pleasure of a World War Two R Signals Veteran “Bob Harrison” a sprightly gentleman in his 90s.
Entertainment was provide by the Harlepool Male Voice Choir and was warmly received and appreciated.
The event was also attended by representatives from Darlington, Catterick, Newcastle, Rotherham and Sheffield, as well as members from the local veterans breakfast club
We had our AGM on the 14th March, it was agreed to make all effort in promoting the branch moving forward, the committee was re-elected with Rob Moore taking on the duties of Treasurer as well as Secretary.
9th Gathering of the Clans
The event was a huge success again, raising £600 for charity.
M62 Memorial Service
The branch was well represented again this year at the 44th anniversary memorial. It was a bit warmer this year and a large number of veterans from all regiments and corps numbers were a little down this year.
East Durham Veterans Breakfast Club
Founded in April 2016 the breakfast club meets every Saturday at Wetherspoons in Peterlee town centre at 09:30. It is proving to be a popular platform for providing a mutual support group for local veterans. Occasional evening get together s are also arranged and members of the group attend local military funerals and events.
If you would like to join please visit any Saturday and ask for Rob or Martin or check out their Facebook group EDVBC.
M62 Memorial Service
The branch was well represented again this year at the 43rd anniversary memorial. It was a bit warmer this year and a large number of veterans from all regiments and corps we present for an event that grows each year.
The first meeting of the year is also our AGM where the committee is elected. At this years AGM thanks went to Tony Knight stepped down as branch Secretary with Rob Moore taking over. A new role was created “Events Coordinator, Tony Knight was willing to take this on.
East Durham Veterans Breakfast Club
Founded in April 2016 the breakfast club meets every Saturday at Cafe Eden in Peterlee town center at 09:30. It is proving to be a popular platform for providing a mutual support group for local veterans.
If you would like to join please visit any Saturday and ask for Rob, John or Martin or check out their facebook group EDVBC.
It has been another great year for the branch but also a sad one. We started the year with the loss of our President, Dennis Wilson BEM in March. Dennis was a great fella with a good sense of humour and will be sadly missed. We were able to gather 12 standards for the service and gave Dennis a good send off. RIP and Certa Cito Dennis.
The first meeting of the year is also our AGM where the committee is elected. At this years AGM thanks went to Tony Fitches for his term as Treasurer; his work in the role has been very much appreciated.
I felt the cenotaph was in the wrong location and having spoken to several veterans it was clear I was not alone. It is currently located at the cemetery overlooking Horden, it has not been used since the RBL building was sold and is in need of TLC to get it looking nice again. Having looked around the town centre, the only place it could sit and be visible and easily accessed is at St Cuthbert’s Church where we have a 3D cross laying flat on the ground. I have started proceedings with the Town Council. I have now received an email from the Mayor explaining that the “Obelisk” in the cemetary is for decoration and will not be moved, and that the current memorial will be raised so it is more visible. I have contacted the Vicar of St Cuthberts and have gained the Church’s approval.
Gulf War Memorial at the NMA
On the 28th February 2016, Anthony and Rob went to the National Memorial Arboretum for the unveilving of the Gulf War memorial. This coincided with the 25th anniversary of the ending of hostilities.
The memorial, paid for entirely from private funding, is dedicated to the 47 who lost their lives during the conflict, those that have died since and those that are still fighting their own battles.
A bitterly cold day didn’t deter the 2000 people in attendance, most coming specifically for the service, the RAF painted a GR1 and flew it over, Rob took the branch standard but was unable to carry it so the chairman of Birmingham branch kindly stepped in.
Review of 2015
April – we elected a new Chairman, Gerry.
May – Our montly meeting saw Mr Scrivin pay a visit in his capacity as Regional Secretary. On the 15th, we all attended the regional gathering of the RSA at Eden camp. It was a great turn out for what was the first regional gathering and a clear indication to repeat it. Jon volunteered to carry the Catterick standard.
June – As a result of doing so well in May Jon was been duly nominated branch standard bearer. 19/21 saw some of the members head off to Blandford for a weekends reunion activities. It was as usual a fantastic weekend with a few sore heads developing. On Saturday’s parade Jon experienced every standard bearers nightmare, the harness snapped just as we set off for the square, in true spirit Jon held the standard for the entire parade, well done Jon. 22nd was the Flag raising ceremony at Peterlee for Armed Forces Day.
July – On the 9th July we gathered at Peterlee fire station for the 30,000 Last Post celebrations with a live link to the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.
August – We had our annual gathering attended by over 140 people from branches in the NorthEast and guests from as far as Blandford. Durham ACF again provided reception services. The afternoon was a fantastic success and our Chairman kindly created another special cake which was raffled off and then donated back by the winner so that it can be used at another event. Entertainment was provided by the Hartlepool Male Voice Choir. We raised £600.05 for charity, which was donated as follows: RSBF £200; BLESMA £100; SSAFA £100; Great North East Air Ambulance £100; RNLI £50; Guide Dogs for the Blind £50. The remaining 5p was placed in a poppy tin.Thank you to everyone for making the day such a special day.
We have a branch Google Drive, this is the repository for our documentation/correspondence. Access is restricted to branch members, if you are a member and are unable to access, please let Rob know via Contact us