OLD COMRADES ANNUAL LUNCH 17th MAY 2015 SWINDON
Sylvia Wills, my thanks to everyone who made feel so welcome.
Val Newton, we’re looking forward to next year. A great weekend spent in good company.
Lee Doughty, and a big thanks to all, including the staff of the crown.
Yvonne Edey, Great weekend.
Diane Kerwin, I realy enjoyed reading this, it sounded like a great weekend. Would love to have been there.
The Shiners Annual Reunion Lunch was again the success that it always is.
Three people make it a well organized weekend;
Liz Bentley. For the work that she puts into arranging the reunion with the Crown. Informing us and HHQ. Taking, names and numbers, of those wishing to attend. All in her quiet efficient way and that, with pen and paper and a telephone. Nothing is too much trouble.
Bev Doughty. Here is a man that makes sure everything is in working order from flagpoles to lights and seating. If something doesn't work, he will fix it. He has a passion for the Shiners Reunion that is second to none. Nothing is too much trouble.
Danielle and her team. Know what we like and need and will make sure all our needs are attended to. Whether it is last minute changes, no matter what it may be, the friendly chat to us, as she is rushing about. The kitchen staff may sometimes wish they were on holiday, but no, they all stand together as one. How a major accident never happens in the mad rush is down to their skill in navigation and pleasure they have in seeing us all. Nothing is too much trouble.
You are Swindon.
To all the weekenders the regulars the new faces, those who have attended for the first time.
You make Swindon.
Shiners Reunion Update.
Another look at Swindon. The weekender`s arrived during Saturday afternoon and it did not take long before Bev Doughty & Alan Powney were busy with spanners hammers, WD40 & ladders up the flagpoles hanging on for dear life rope between teeth and fag behind an ear, helped by 18 wide eyed project managers and health & safety observers, swigging beer and sipping champagne. Some were to be seen hastily moving vehicles to a safe area. Measuring this and that. What the!!! Are they up to, was heard. Must have been their long journey, affects some people, most nodded. The late afternoon was taken up with small talk, have you ordered this and taken care of that, Bev was asked, how much do we owe you, money & shekels changed hands, even a haircut was organized. There was a rumor he ended up in profit, quickly denied I might add.
Saturday evening about 19 sat down to an enjoyable evening with many shiners and friends attending for the first time. Good food wine and beer, steak & kidney pie for me, ordered by one from far away, others were more refined in their culinary wishes. Liz Bentley was surprised with a large bouquet presented by Bev and thanked by everyone for her efforts in making all the arrangements again this year, a few tears were noticed and why not. Tony Marlow joined us later which was a nice surprise.
After the odd aspirin and breakfast, flags were raised bunting hung tables, table mats and flags were laid, all sorted by the team at the Crown. The best of the rest started to arrive, hello how are you, long time no see and then all were ushered into the dining area, or those that could. A presentation to Peter Hill was made by Tom Knight and Richard Perry, for service`s to the members of the regiment during his four years as Chairman. There were some who were unable to hear what was said and not many saw the pin he received as he left after lunch, pity really. The afternoon went very well as always and many remarked on the good turnout, despite some having to cancel due to illness & accidents. It was with deep sorrow to hear from Ian Clements that Spike Spence passed away early that morning, Spike was due to attend again this year. Very sad news. The late afternoon saw the remnants deep in discussion over the lost years, the plans we have, the regrets on never keeping in touch, but that is life, focus on the years we have to come.
That evening the Crown was full for a Quiz evening, so the faithful 13 formed “The Shiners” team. With the years of experience and learning added together, what could possibly go wrong? It did, but before one of the first questions was “Which symbol represents a battle on a map” crossed swords was the cry from, you guessed it. So all other team`s got it right. There ended our lead, we came last. But taking part was good fun. Monday morning it rained hard, we said our goodbyes drive carefully see you next year. Bye