Thanks to all that attended this year it was again a great success and a weekend to remember. This year we had 34 Troubridge warriors attend at the King Charles Hotel Gillingham Kent.
Friday October 21st, 2011
As my daughter lives in Gillingham I was able to provide a free taxi service from the station to the hotel which many of the lads took advantage of and reminded me of my days as a taxi driver in the Medway towns after I was discharged from the Navy. Friday night was a great night to renew friendships with many new faces attending for the first time. The same weekend saw the King Charles host the reunion of the Royal Navy ratings who were part of the mine sweeping operation of the Corfu channel in the later part of WW11 which made for some interesting stories.
Saturday October 22nd, 2011
Started with great full English breakfast and lots more conversation and swapping of information etc. We held our Annual General meeting which I am happy to say was well attended. Just after the meeting we got a message of a visitor and Roy Silk had travelled down from Crayford in London to join us for a couple of hours. Roy called me up one day out of blue and told me he served on the Troubridge in 1944 and we had a long conversation. He was accompanied by his son as he is now in a wheelchair but he had a great time and his son said Roy had been waiting patiently counting down the days and hours until he could meet us all. We gave him a copy of an oil painting of the Troubridge as a Destroyer as he remembered her along with an 8x10 photograph of her a type 15. I had already put him in touch with Robin Maitland who he served with on the T in 1944 and they have spoken in length.
In the afternoon we had a tour of the Historic Naval Dockyard which was topped off with a personal guided tour of HMS Cavalier (we spent a lot of time with the Cavalier and toured Aussie with her just to refresh your memories) for 27 of us which included a lower deck tour and some of our Tiffies and Stokers got to tour the engine room. The Cavalier is on permanent display in the dockyard and is well worth the visit if you find yourself in the Medway towns believe me being onboard brought back a lot of memories for us all and it was hard to believe that we endured those cramped conditions.
The dinner was a great success and the food was good. Dudley Pound stood in for Jeremy Sanders who unfortunately was not able to join us this year and Dudley did a great job. Smudge Smith ran our raffle of donated items again and it was a great success so it looks like you have a job for life Smudge. Charlie Cooke had to cancel this year but not before he took shirt and hat orders from some of us and delivered on time. After dinner we adjourned to the bar and laughed the night away until the wee small hours and then off to bed exhausted.
Sunday October 23rd, 2011
Sunday morning was a full English breakfast again and a debrief by everyone of last night’s dinner etc and quite a few packed up and reluctantly headed for home around 11:00am and again I provided a free taxi service to the station. Quite a few of us had decided to stay Sunday night and some of us decided to attended the local college quiz night which was being held in the old Chiefs mess in Pembroke barracks only to find out that it started an hour before they got there so it was all over but the shouting when they got there so no chance of a Beira bucket.
Many thanks to Jim Halliwell for a great job as always setting up the meeting room with all the photos as always they went over really well. Great job by all in recruiting new member’s last count we were up to 89.
The King Charles Hotel did a fantastic job of making the weekend a great success and we thank them.
2012 sees us back up north at the Bosworth Hall Hotel The Park Market Bosworth Warwickshire CV13 0LP on October 12th and 13th which is another Britannia hotel as was the Savoy in Blackpool. Jim along with Garry have negotiated us a great deal for the weekend so believe you me you will not be disappointed.
Bryan Pace HMS Troubridge 1966-1969 16 mess Junior Seamen.
2011 KING CHARLES HOTEL GILLINGHAM
October 21st, 2011 thru October 23rd, 2011