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Message Number: 2635 - Friday, October 18, 2019 22:58:01 EST
[IP = 31.125.70.85] -
Name:  Bill Hartland
Service Number:  RMBX3050
Hometown:  Congresbury
Instrument/s:  Solo Clart
Comments:

Where have the Years gone by?

21st October 1952, raining and cold and a three badge lance corporal to greet us at Deal Railway Station! He drove us to East Barracks via the Rear Gate and dumped us out at ‘L’ Block.

Met by Senior Boy, the late Terry Williams (Bassoon) who ironically I last met and had a chat with in Naval Barracks Portsmouth. How many actually joined that day I have no recall upon, but, there were a few from the West Country and Ireland who arrived the next day or so.

I have resisted any comment on the Annual Reunion, but, as I was billeted in Naval Barracks at the start of my EVT Course in November 1974, which was taking place in Whale Island. I stood for the OD’s for one night and made my complaint to the Commander who immediately authorized my transfer to Eastney where I met up with the late John Williams (French Horn)

I attended one reunion in Pompey Naval Barracks, and, what a calamity that was even then, and one thing I recall about it was that Noel Crook got upset with me because I didn’t recognize him after some twenty or so years since I last saw him.

Having attended many different Reunions both at home and abroad, I frankly believe that the simple Reunion run by Barry Radford in Whale Island was ok for myself.

Another issue with Pompey was the lack of Car Parking at the Old Cathedral and also the lack of seating in the Cathedral.

Well, on Monday 21st October 2019, I intend to remember my joining the RMSM by enjoying a Steak Lunch at my Local Beefeater. I will make my humble apologies to my Diabetic Nurse on Wednesday 23rd for any increase in my Cholesterol levels…….

Best wishes to the entire October 21st contingent of 1952 who may recall myself and others.

Yours aye,

Bill.

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Message Number: 2634 - Thursday, October 17, 2019 20:19:22 EST
[IP = 86.144.151.11] -
Name:  Barry Radford
Service Number:  RMB3507
Hometown:  Meols Wirral
Instrument/s:  Euph and Cello
Comments:

Dear Richard,

'If I may offer a strong reply to Susan's posting.

No no no!!!

The School of Music is in Portsmouth. I understand the strong links we all have with Deal. My main focus at the Reunion Weekend is the truly moving Memorial Sevice in Portsmouth's great Cathedral. Indeed this year there were great and lasting tributes to our colleagues murdered some 30 years ago.

Any problems or discontent arising from this years Reunion must be sorted, and we should all be able to attend a reunion, that is well organised and worthy of all serving, and all veterans of our amazing Band Service Family. The Reunion belongs in the place which is the current home of the RMSM.

Regards to all

Barry Radford

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Message Number: 2633 - Thursday, October 17, 2019 17:23:03 EST
[IP = 74.67.27.133] -
Name:  RICHARD VALENTINE
Service Number:  RMB 4069
Hometown:  Preston
Comments:

Willi is home!

Just had a few minutes interrupting his Rugby watching to catch up with him after his recent spell in sick bay. Very positive and he's raring to get back into the garden and keep things 'ticketyboo'.

Good to know he's on the mend and we wish him well.

Dickie.

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Message Number: 2632 - Thursday, October 17, 2019 17:12:11 EST
[IP = 2.218.213.12] -
Name:  Susan Garbutt
Service Number:  R m b 3706 Trevor foster
Hometown:  Waterlooville
Instrument/s:  Euphonium/ cello
Comments:

With the problems of the last reunion, how about moving the date to a summer month May /June and going down to Deal a marquee on the green opposite the R M A, near to St Saviours Church. Send out menus from the local Indian Chinese and the chippy when people book. The take aways will deliver. I am sure the old bandies that live in Deal would do all they could to help to organise music and anything else that is needed. Let's face it Deal is and has always been the home of the band.

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Message Number: 2631 - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 18:43:44 EST
[IP = 90.248.247.35] -
Name:  Michael Hutton
Service Number:  Berkshire
Hometown:  NEWBURY
Comments:

I have just sent a letter to the Blue Band editor hopefully he will include it in the next issue. It is similar to this site but perhaps a little more polite. Do keep sending in your opinions as if we want a reunion we need it to be for us, not just what the serving lot want. . Michael

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Message Number: 2630 - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 17:09:22 EST
[IP = 74.67.27.133] -
Name:  RICHARD VALENTINE
Service Number:  RMB 4069
Hometown:  Proud Preston
Instrument/s:  Solo Clarinet
Comments:

WILLI'S WOES!

Just had a voicemail from Willi Watson who has been laid up back in hospital with pneumonia but after some more tests hopes to be released tomorrow Oct 16th. Just on behalf of all who know him I'd say we wish him well for a full recovery.

Sincerely

Dickie.

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Message Number: 2629 - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 15:07:36 EST
[IP = 88.107.68.188] -
Name:  Len Lewry
Service Number:  RMB 3859
Hometown:  PORTSMOUTH
Instrument/s:  Solo Clarinet
Comments:

With reference to previous comments about the Reunion. Unfortunately, there has not been Cat. IVs for some time now. I thought it was a valiant effort to hold it at the RMSM, but not entirely successful. The CPO's Mess at Collingwood was ideal, but too expensive.

The Reunion in the distant past allowed members to meet up having had little or no contact. Those were the days when there was no Email / FB, or this site which allows us now to keep in touch a lot easier.. Further, there are now "mini" reunions happening regularly (West Country, Scotland, Deal, Centaur, Australia etc) My thought is this;

That the Reunion be held every two years. If the CPO mess charges £800, this would have the effect of halving the fee. Also, it may encourage those who don't attend, for whatever reason (distance?), to do so.

It is, in my opinion, an important institution and must continue. Standing by......

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Message Number: 2628 - Thursday, October 10, 2019 04:02:23 EST
[IP = 80.7.179.26] -
Name:  Stan Puttrell
Service Number:  RMB 3487
Hometown:  Gosport
Instrument/s:  Solo Clart
Comments:

Well Well ! this years Re-Union was somewhat different, but honestly I think a lot of ex bandies will think twice about returning back next year, listening to everyone's comments on the night. On arrival at 7pm, we were escorted into an holding area which was the old cells (now practice rooms) for at least an hour without moving. This was a problem, as there were quite a few physically challenged ex bandies just stood around chatting and complaining waiting to see what was going to happen. Eventually we were then escorted across to the reception / dining area for the remainder of the evening. The bar was the main talking point as to why we had a limited choice of drinks. Selling just cans of beer mainly. No soft drinks as such, no cordials, NO SPIRITS! This put the dampers on for the remainder of the evening. However, we had the same old food, two choices of Curry. Please note! Some people cannot eat curry, so why not put an alternative choice on the menu, the £20 would still cover this.

The Drum display was excellent and the music throughout the evening on stage was really good. Hope the powers that be will take onboard all of our comments for next year to improve facilities, that's if we/any/many turn up anyway.

Sorry to sound off, but I felt really let down on the night. Sunday Church as always was a big turn out and the RMA afterwards was great to relax with mates.

Rgds Stan

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Message Number: 2627 - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 15:13:24 EST
[IP = 81.129.232.6] -
Name:  Paddy Semple
Service Number:  RMB 3868
Hometown:  Carrickfergus
Instrument/s:  Trombone
Comments:

Three wonderful letters on your Website Dickie along with a fine report, all from eminent ex members of the Royal Marines Band Service regarding last weekend’s Reunion. My fear is the real problem has developed because we are singing from different Hymn Sheets and perhaps talking to ourselves when we write about it.

The website address is www.exroyalmarinesbandsmen.net so there is a good chance todays serving members, who organise the Reunion, do not have direct access to read the information available on this popular Ex R.M. Bandsmen website.

Last year I suggested we need some ex R.M. Bandsmen in the Portsmouth area to get involved and I still believe this would be a major contribution in solving any problems with the Reunion.

I believe there is a real difference in the exroyalmarinesbandsmen of yesteryear and those serving today. What we went through was different, our type of service was different, we served in different conditions, our camaraderie is different and our loyalty to the Band Service is different. Unless we can get our message across, which could commence by offering to help organise the reunion and put across the feelings of those wonderful people who loyally support the reunion every year and have done so for many years, things will never change.

I just cannot believe any of today’s serving members would set out to damage our reunion in any way whatsoever and unless we get involved directly it will continue as is. The difference between our shock at having no Band Display and their shock as to why it is important to us was tangible. I spoke directly to the Excellent Corps of Drums members and they appeared genuinely shocked at my disbelief the Full Band was not playing at the Reunion.

Surely there must be possible volunteers (one person is enough to kick start this) in the RM Association Band who could help by fostering / developing a relationship with the organisers of the Reunion to ensure next year we have a reunion to remember and one that is really enjoyed by all attending. Even a price increase would be acceptable to help provide a more desirable buffet.

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Message Number: 2626 - Sunday, October 6, 2019 12:40:15 EST
[IP = 159.253.162.171] -
Name:  Barry Radford
Service Number:  RMB 3507
Hometown:  Meols. Wirral
Instrument/s:  Euph and Cello
Comments:

Dear Richard,

Really sad that you couldn't make it to be with us all this weekend. But you were with us in our thoughts. We had a chat with Tony, and were updated on your well being. Take care dear friend.

Saturday evening reunion, was indeed a very terrible affair and totally disjointed and fractured in its set up. But I will leave the full details to dear old Jem Tugwood.

But what I must comment on, (and please feel free if you choose not to post my comments!!!) The second senior Band Officer in his welcome speech, felt the need to make a very flippant comment about some of us who were disappointed, re the missing Band Display. I amongst many others will think very very seriously about attending another Saturday event after suffering this one. I truly understand how much work and effort is required to organise a reunion. I have done it, and hopefully quite successfully.

What I must say is that, the present day incumbents of the Royal Marine School of Music, are only Guardians of our beloved Band Service Family, there was a Band Service before them and hopefully there will still be when they leave. Whatever Rank we had on leaving, the majority of us have gone forward and made different and varied success of our lives. Is it really too much to ask for us to be treated and spoken to in any address, with a little respect ?? Did I feel that we were welcome??? Truthfully. NO.

BUT I DO RESPECT AND ACKNOWLEDGE TOTALLY, THE EFFORT AND HARD WORK OF THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE BAR AND THE CATERERS. Thank You!

Sunday in the Cathedral. Truly amazing.

Barry Radford

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