The 2008 West Country Reunion
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A grand evening was had by those fortunate enough to attend the 2008 West Country Reunion, organised again by Pete Westaway and his lady wife Joan. I felt that numbers were down on previous occasions, but, that did not detract from the evening.

The loyal toast was proposed by 78 year old Cliff Meatheringham. Pete Westaway made a short speech and reminded those present that it was little use standing at the bar, and then complaining that you hadn't seen your old oppo this year, even though he was standing about six feet away from you! In other words, instead of taking root at the bar, get mobile and mingle.

A short period then followed as the Raffle was completed, and that was followed by a substantial Buffet. Either some were not hungry, or, they catered for more people than attended as there was quite a lot of food left over.

Toward the latter part of the evening, Pete again stood on the burning deck and attempted to use the temperamental microphone, to announce that the Bugler Branch was much a part of the Band Service as we Musicians, so we should make them welcome. A huge cheer went up from those Buglers attending, coupled with applause from the floor. It was announced that due to the organisation and sponsorship by a generous Paddy Semple, there would now take place a 'Mess Beatings'! March on the four buglers with side drums and they promptly carried out a display which has now become a familiar part of all Beat Retreats. The finale of their display was a Drum Solo followed by a Bugle Fanfare, and a request from the Leader to Pete Westaway for permission to March Off as Mess Beatings had been completed. Then followed a unique way of giving permission to march off! From the sidelines appeared two Tots, which were duly drunk by the Leading Drummer and Pete Westaway, to much cheering and applause.

On a personal note, I noticed that John Ware was the only former D of M to attend the WCR.

The pictures I have named according to those appearing in them, so I hope that will suffice for you and the above text will do for a Report, which Pete asked me to do for you on his behalf. I only hope that I have done justice to those attending in what I have jotted down and to Peter who again organised a very good evening.

Finally, for those who are interested, the 2009 WCR will be held on April 18th. The venue next year will be at the china fleet club Saltash. Watch for further announcements on that from Pete Westway. This later date will enable those attending the Aussie Reunion time to recover from their journey so that they can attend both, as some did this year.

Yours Aye!

Bill Hartland.


















Hi Richard

I am attempting to send you some photo's from the reunion in Plymouth a couple of weeks ago. We had a great night and were entertained with a drum display, who were of course superb, sponsored by Paddy Semple. It was great to see new old faces to the west country reunion. My first picture is of four of us who served together aboard H.M.S. Ocean '56-57. From left to right Ted Drake, George Latham. Willy Wardle and Nobby Clark. I understand that as the Devonport fleet club is to be sold, next year we will be gathering at the China Fleet Club in Saltash just the name should bring back memories. If I'm successful in sending this I will send a couple more. Thanks for all you do Rich'


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