A memory of our Deal visit - commemorating the 25th anniversary of the RMSM bombing atrocity.
Sept 22, 1989

Hello dear Dickie,

It was really nice to get your email today ... and many thanks for trying to sort out my stupid typo. I nearly scuppered all the previous good work at the eleventh hour, but luckily Mike Tellick sent me one of his VERY early morning messages wondering why I had changed the original time. (D'you know ... he wakes up at sparrow-fart and sits in bed and dashes off emails ... mainly to me!!!! He took a selfie on his iPad of him doing this once!!! ... Leslie and I nearly choked on our meusli!!!!!). So, many thanks for getting my corrective massage [sic] adjusting my mistrake [sic] posted so quickly!! (sorry!!!).

Monday (i.e. September 22) is looking like being a day of mixed emotions. [Editor] See guest book entries for relevant details [Editor] I won't be the only person seeing some old pals for the first time in many years ... about half-a-century in my case. We will go to Roger Smith's place later in the day (it's about 200 yards from the "Plough") and record some video messages for Maxie Beare (we can't have a massed live Skype as it's the middle of the night in Kiwiland) and then some of us will go and watch the Collingwood Band's evening Beat Retreat at Deal Castle. Our Centaur old ships Bert Nicholls has a grand-daughter serving with that band!!!!

The attached photo was taken as Christmas approached in 1958. The bunch of reprobates are, from rear left: Richard Baker, me sporting my new, illegal tattoo obtained in Chatham when recovering from a broken collar-bone and an Asian flu strain and 3 matelots on my ward took me ashore, got me drunk ... and got me tattooed!!!!!!! Geordie Brookes back right, Roy "Tex" Pettet front left and Howard Siviter, trombone, who left after a few years in Staff Band, joined the army and got commissioned. I thought this may amuse you!!!

Many thanks for your good wishes for our meeting; I'll add yours to several others I'll announce to the guys on Monday.
With my kindest best wishes to you, as ever.


Back Left: Richard Baker, me (Willi Watson) Geordie Brookes back right,
Roy "Tex" Pettet front left and Howard Siviter, trombone.

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