Bob Davies writes:
On the afternoon of Saturday 6 May, three special presentations took place in the club. The first was a presentation to Mike Baxter, our former Secretary to say ‘thank you’ for his hard work and commitment over many years as part of the management committee. Secondly, our Chairman, Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson presented a cheque on behalf of the Sgts’ Mess Pantomime to former Royal Marine, Andy Merry, who having recently been diagnosed with MS, is climbing Mount Blanc in the company of his son, brother and others to raise money for the MS Society and the RM Charity. Lastly, Jeff Knight presented to our new secretary ‘Pastie’ Cornish a ‘Gavel Block’, which he had made to be used on special occasions in the club, like the Corps Dinner. Thanks Jeff for the gift and your excellent workmanship.
Members of the Branch and club, including ‘Dusty’, Jimmy, ‘Timber’, Gerry, Marion Maquire and Maggie Murphy attended the Graspan Parade on 14 May. Also there was our town Mayor, Councillor David Cronk who attended with members of his family, as his father was a former Royal Marine and Corps Boxer. All reported on the excellent reception held in the UJC.
Saturday 3 June and a coach party of members and friends travelled to the Tower of London for a short private tour, conducted by Andy Merry who works as a Warder there, and to witness the ‘Ceremony of the Keys’. Romford Branch met us there and joined our group. Although the tour was enjoyable and uneventful, that evening was the time of the London Bridge terrorist attack and therefore the journey back out of the area was worrying and difficult, the coach not returning to Deal until after 0230 hrs.
The evening of Saturday 10 June and several members went to hear the Central Band of the RBL play a concert at St. George’s Church in the town. The Band was conducted by the wonderful David Cole MVO and included Branch Members, ‘Riggo’, Bryan ‘Billy’ Walker, Ian Clarkson and Mike Scurfield.
On the morning of Saturday 17 June we were proud to support on Walmer Green, a team taking part in the 1664 challenge run, running another leg of 16.64 miles to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity. On a lovely summer’s day, members and local residents, after watching a short display by the Corps of Drums, cheered them on their way. Our two Standards were paraded once again by ‘Dusty’ and ‘Timber’.
Deal’s celebration of Armed Forces day was held on Sunday 25 June and took place on the apron of the pier and took the form of a Drum Head Service. This well supported event was enhanced by the sixteen Standards present, the TS Lynx Sea Cadet Band and the Deal Brass Academy Band. ‘Dusty’ paraded our Standard and the salute was taken by Col Jo Gunnell OBE DL.
A new Sgts’ Mess Pantomime will take place and will be ‘loosely’ based on the ‘Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory’ story, and is expected to be called ‘Wonky Willy’. More details in future editions.