Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

The last 6 months Chairman's letter to the branch published - the latest first.




2019

May

April

March

February

January


2018

December





Chairman's Letter May 2019


I hope this missive finds you all as well as …..


  • The AGM: Yet again we have had an outstanding year. We have been busy as usual and I believe we have upheld the aims and ethos of our Association. You should all be proud of what you have brought to the party and I personally thank each and everyone of you. As always a full record of the meeting is in the bulletin for May.


  • The Committee: I would like to thank Colin and Sue Shearsby for their dedication to duty and supporting me during their time in Office. I would also like to welcome 3 new members to the Committee – Bob Winslow, Jimmy Headrick and Bob Martin. Jimmy will assume Sue’s role and the two Bob’s will support – events, functions and raffles etc. It is hoped that with these extra willing “Hands” the Chairman’s candle will not burn down so rapidly. There is one other role, which we need to support – and that is of Welfare Support Officer. This role will be to assist Bruce and me to carry out this vital task, and one, which is the main priority of the Association. Anyone interested please contact me – to find out more. AT THAT STAGE THERE WILL BE NO OBLIGATION.


  • The Yomp 2019: I currently have 4 people attending this event on the 22nd June with one or two other showing an interest. If you want to come along you need to do 2 things – inform me that you are planning to attend and complete the entry form on the RMA website (I can assist with this if needed). We have 2 cars available so enough space for 10 including drivers.


  • Our Regimental Dinner –15th June: This is approaching fast. We currently have around 70 attendees including guests Lt Col Alderson RM, Maj Heenan RM, Ops Managers Richie Puttock and Phil Gilby to mention a few. There is still time to book your place. So let me know in the first instance and we can go from there and don’t forget – you can been friends. TRhe more people we expose to what we do the better.


  • D Day 75: The schools event at Arromanche Camp, RM Instow has gone very well and my thanks to those who helped look after our young guests. We plan to support Appledore Museum with their presentations in June and there is an event on the 8th June in Hartland run by the RBL, which you will have had details of. Please support these events if you can.


  • Sainsbury’s Challenge 2019 - 15th July to 2000 on the 19th July. This will commence at 0800 on the Monday and will finish each day at 2000/2100. The current plan is for a treadmill for our team, but this might revert to a bike. If we go with a treadmill for those in the “Phys” team there is no obligation to run, jog, stumble at speed or even power walking. Our target is 4 mph for the 12 hours, which I think, is very doable. Names to me with dates and times and whether you are doing the phys or just bucket holding. I will be emailing my “Usual Suspects” in due course.


  • Corps Family Weekend (formerly known as the RMA Reunion) – 14th/15th September: As mentioned during the AGM the format for the Saturday lends itself for an “Away Day” for the branch with a civilised departure and return time on the same day. We will discussed a plan at Committee in June and a proposition made to branch at the July meeting. I have had the programme for Saturday attached with this month’s bulletin to give you a flavour of the event.


As always, I operate an open door policy, so if you need to get in touch I am here to listen and help, whether it’s for you or someone else. Thanks to all for you’re continued support. My contact details are below and those of key Branch Officers can be found at the end of this monthly bulletin.


JP


[email protected],co.uk Tel - 01237477438 or Mobile – 07845989377

Chairman’s Letter April 2019.


I hope this missive finds you all as well as …..


  • April’s Branch Meeting – As always this was well represented by our “Usual Suspects”. The raffle raised £90+ (thank you all). This was the first “Meat Draw” we have had and my personal thanks to Bob Winslow for working his magic. A little light amusement was had in the bar afterwards with a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” quiz, which challenged the gray matter of those in attendance.


  • CLR’s Freedom of Barnstaple - April 4th – Although the weather was 4 seasons in a day – by some sort of divine event the sun shone briefly (on the righteous – I think) while the parade was formed up at the dais and the Mayor and CO gave their addresses. The event went off well – even though we felt they could have had greater involvement and, as dictated by the Unit, the attendance by branch members was kept to the restricted number requested. This was a little disappointing as on the day there was plenty of space and I feel we could have formed a very smart Honour Guard by the Dais. Sadly not to be and we move upwards and onwards.


  • Wilko’s/Track Day – Our first fundraiser of the year went off very well with £909.52 being raised for RM Charities. Although only a small participation by branch members this was the ideal number and didn’t require mass attendance similar to our Xmas Appeal or Sainsbury’s. My thanks to all who helped “shake a bucket” and cycle.


  • Branch AGM –This will be held on 17th May. It is understood that all officers, with the exception of Team Shearsby who, in the next few months will be heading North for pastures new, are standing again. We have two new members who have volunteered to join the Committee – but anyone else who would like to help run the branch or put their names forward for an officers position (other than Treasurer) are welcome to do so. Please submit your names to me by the end of April.


  • The Yomp 2019 – Details of this organised 12 mile ramble around Dartmoor is included in the main bulletin. I plan to go down for the walk myself and will have 3 (4 at a squeeze) free places in my car if anyone else would like to join me. Of course, if there are more want to join us we can discuss additional transport arrangements. It cost £15 for this well organised, not very hard, ramble which supports our Charity. Please pass names to me if you are interested.


  • Our Regimental Dinner –15th June. You will have received your invitations by name. Please help the organisers by getting your requests in early. Please also note that payment by BACS is offered. However, a contact email address was not added to the form. Please ensure if you are replying by email because you have paid by BACS your email comes to me at [email protected] and not Sue Shearsby.


  • D Day 75. With the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings in June, there will be a number of events, which there maybe branch involvement. We are supporting 11ATTRM, Instow with their schools event in May, the Appledore Museum with their presentations in June and there is an event on the 8th June in Hartland run by the RBL. A poster of that event is attached to this bulletin.


As always, I operate an open door policy, so if you need to get in touch I am here to listen and help, whether it’s for you or someone else. Thanks to all for you’re continued support. My contact details are below and those of key Branch Officers can be found at the end of this monthly bulletin.


JP

[email protected],co.uk Tel - 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377




Chairman’s Letter March 2019.


I hope this missive finds you all as well as …..



  • March Branch Meeting - We had a good evening in March with a guest appearance from Matt Mason of Hunted fame. Matt talked about his experiences on Hunted and his planned epic row across the Atlantic in 2020. We are hoping to support him with this project this year.



  • CLR’s Freedom of Barnstaple - April 4th. Please note the date change. Information is filtering through but I have endeavoured to give you guidance in the main bulletin. Unless stated plan to muster at the Dais area, situated on the Strand in Barnstaple at 1000/1030. Parking has not been allocated so you will need to make your own arrangements. Please let me know if you plan to attend so I can pass numbers on.



  • Our Regimental Dinner – June 15th. This date is now confirmed. For those who haven’t attended this function before this is our many celebration of the branch year. Guests always include serving senior officers from CLR and beyond and an interesting and relevant main speaker. I am please to inform you that this year we have the RMA Operations Manager, Richie Puttock, who up until the introduction of a 2nd Ops Manager, managed the entire RMA nationwide – an outstanding achievement. The proforma for reserving seats along with the menu is with this bulleting. Please get your chits in asap. And don’t forget it is open to your friends.



  • South West Regional funded trip to Spean Bridge -June 27th-July 8Th. This outing has been cancelled. I will report back on discussion about any future plans.



  • Possible Trip to 1 Assault Group RM, Plymouth. I am still waiting for an update on this.



  • D Day 75. With the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings in June there will be a number of events, which there maybe branch involvement. As things develop I will advise.



  • Communications. Finally, just a reminder that our primary means of communicating with you all is by email. I urge you to check your emails a couple of times a week so you don’t miss out on information and updates, coming out between bulletins. Of course those not on email will not have that option. So where possible you will be contacted by phone if necessary.



As always, I operate an open door policy, so if you need to get in touch I am here to listen and help, whether it’s for you or someone else. Thanks to all for you’re continued support. My contact details are below and those of key Branch Officers can be found at the end of the monthly bulletin.



JP


[email protected],co.uk Tel - 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377





Chairman’s Letter February 2019.


I hope this missive finds you all as well as …..


  • February’s meeting – our Mini Burns Supper was held on the 8th. The Haggis was ceremonially “Piped” into the Mess at 1900. The evening included Toast to the Haggis by Jimmy Headrick, The Toast to the Lassies (Col Shearsby) and Response from the Lassies (Susan McCulloch). A great evening.


  • CLR’s Freedom of Barnstaple - April 11th. No further information has come out about this but hopefully by the end of this month I will know more. It has been mentioned is that the date might slide.


  • Our Regimental Dinner – June 15th. This date is now confirmed. For those who haven’t attended this function before this is our many celebration of the branch year. Guests always include serving senior officers from CLR and beyond and an interesting and relevant main speaker. I am please to inform you that this year we have the RMA Operations Manager, Richie Puttock, who up until the introduction of a 2nd Ops Manager managed the entire RMA nationwide – an outstanding achievement. Anyway more details will be coming out in the next month or so but rest assured this will be a popular event so put it on your calendar and when invited get your request in quickly. It is open to your friends.


  • South West Regional funded trip to Spean Bridge -June 27th-July 8Th - including a 7 day, 96-mile yomp along the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William. The Regional Chairman, Derek Sargent, is still keen to hear from anyone interested. His details are at the bottom of the main bulletin.


  • Branch Calendar. This month you will have received the new formatted branch calendar. Please put it somewhere safe so you can refer to it, transpose dates to your personal household calendar and read the “What’s Coming Up” section of the branch bulletin for any changes, additions or removals of dates as they occur through the year. If you think you have missed something or are uncertain about details of an event you want to attend, including any branch meeting please ASK.


  • Possible Trip to 1 Assault Group RM. I have been approached that there maybe a day out at 1 AGRM, Devonport, home of the amphibious element of the Royal Marines. Although primarily this outing is for our most senior Normandy Veteran, Cliff Coates, my understanding is the CO at 1 AGRM are keen to involve the branch. As soon as I have more information I will cascade it down to all.


  • RMA and Branch Membership. Sue Shearsby, our Branch Sec, and I have been working through our list of members and those registered on the RMA Central Office Website and have noted a few differences. It appears we have members who aren’t actually members of the RMA. As a branch I have no real issue with this but ask this question – As it is now free to join – why shouldn’t you? I assure you by doing this you will NOT be expected to do anything more than you already do and it will not cost you anymore. There are no hidden charges and no-one will try to encourage you to participate more than you do. What you will benefit from is regular comms from Central Office, access to the RMA website and therefore all events which you may want to attend with preferential ticketing available. In the coming months those Sue and I have identified will receive an individual invitation to join. It is very simple to do so please consider this.


As always, I operate an open door policy, so if you need to get in touch I am here to listen and help, whether it’s for you or someone else. Thanks to all for you’re continued support. My contact details are below and those of key Branch Officers can be found at the end of the monthly bulletin.


JP

[email protected],co.uk Tel - 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377

Chairman’s Letter January 2019.


I hope this missive finds you all as well as …..

  • We had a good first branch evening of the year this month with the showing of a DVD on L Company, 42 Cdo Limbang Raid in 1962 at the start of the Borneo Confrontation. Amongst our members we had two former RM’s – John Grebby who was on that raid and name appeared in the credits and Bob Fergie who was with 40 Cdo. during their regular deployments to Borneo during the conflict. Both added relevance to the DVD. Thanks to John and Bob.

  • February’s meeting on the 8th will be a Mini “Burns Night” again. Meet in the Ajax Bay Bar at 1800. We will hold a very brief Branch Business update at 1830 and be ready to be “Piped” into the Mess to “Welcome the Haggis” at 1900. The evening will include Toast to the Haggis, The Lassies and The Laddies. The wearing of Tartan is encouraged. Following the extended meal we will retreat to the bar.

  • Regarding CLR’s Freedom of Barnstaple - April 11th & Our Regimental Dinner May/June – by February’s branch meeting I may have updates. One point to emphasise about the Freedom of Barnstaple is that when 40 Cdo got the freedom of Taunton; RMA Taunton marched in the parade and there were a number who were less mobile and would not have been able to complete the distance so were allowed to use mobility aids. Hopefully the same policy will be adopted for those from our branch who may need that assistance. Even though we all still have the “Can Do” attitude there is no disgrace in saying “I can” but not that far.

  • You will note in this months bulletin that it is planned to have a South West Regional funded trip to Spean Bridge ( June 27th-July 8Th) including a 7 day, 96-mile yomp along the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William. There is some funding being provided by the Region for those wanting to take part. Please read this item and if you want to know more please get in touch.

  • To enhance our communication and news reporting ability we are working to streamline our branch website. I encourage all who have access to the Internet, even if you aren’t a member of the site, to “Google” – www.rmand16641664.webs.com and have a look at the site and various pages we have. You may like to join and you can do this by clicking on Register in the top right hand corner and follow the instructions. It is free and as a member of the site your will get regular emails when we have updated any of the pages.

  • We are also working on this year’s Branch Calendar. In an attempt to reduce work, printer ink and paper we will be providing a single list of key dates of Branch, Region and National events for you to copy to your own calendars. We will also keep the calendar section on the branch website upto date and any changes, new events or updates will appear as normal in the bulletin each month. We can do no more to get this information out to you. If you don’t want to miss out, I would urge you all to ensure, if nothing else, you keep abreast of this information. If you think you have missed something or are uncertain about details of an event you want to attend, including any branch meeting please ASK.

As always, I operate an open door policy, so if you need to get in touch I am here to listen and help, whether it’s for you or someone else. Thanks to all for your continued support and I look forward to another successful year for the North Devon Branch. My contact details are below and those of key Branch Officers can be found at the end of the monthly bulletin.



JP

[email protected],co.uk Tel - 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377


 

    Chairman’s Letter December 2018.

 

Festive Greetings to You All.  I hope this finds you all as well as and your Christmas has been a good one.

 

  • Yet again we have had a very successful Christmas Appeal fund raising for RM Associated Charities and should raise over £8300. I will update everyone with the final figure and distribution at the next meeting and January’s Bulletin. We also have made our annual donation of  £150.00 to the RMB Chivenor Children’s Christmas party.

 

  • There were 64 guests at our Christmas Party on Friday 14th in the Officers Mess and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves – I did.  We are hoping to secure a date towards the end on May or the 1st Saturday in June for our Regimental Dinner.

 

  • Our next branch “Get together” is scheduled for Friday the 11th January.  The timings are as usual- 1800 for food and 1900 for branch business. If you intend coming along please let me know by January 7th so I can give the Chef our food orders.  The meal choice will be Chicken Kiev + Chips and a cold dessert.  We will be showing a DVD on L Coy, 42 Cdo. Limbang Raid in 1962 at the start of the Borneo Confrontation with a Q&A by branch member, John Grebby who was a young RM on the raid.

 

  • February’s meeting on the 8th will be a Burns Night Theme again.

 

  • One very important date for your diary: On the 11th April Commando Logisitc Regiment will receive the Freedom of Barnstaple and the CO has personally invited the branch to attend (and possibly march).  I will update you as to our involvement when I have had more information but see this as a one off honour for the branch.

 

  • With the imminent merging of the two charities – the RMA and RMC - it is likely there will be information relevant to us at branch level I will need to get out to you as and when.  But I see it as “Business as Usual” for us. One change is that membership is free.  If you have standing order you need to cancel it immediately.  Direct debits will be cancelled automatically. Don’t worry everyone who is a member, remains a member without having to do anything.

 

  • It only leaves me to thank you all for your support in what has been another busy but successful year for the branch here in North Devon.  We continue to punch well above our weight and hold the spirit of the RMA and Corps family uppermost. A special thanks to our multi cap-badge colleagues, your contribution to our branch, our events and the work we do is outstanding.

 

My Committee, Jacky and I, albeit belated, hope your Christmas was full of Festive Fun and may 2019 bring good fortune, happiness, safety and good health.      

 

  JP

 

Contact Details:

Chairman - John Peel: 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377

Vice Chairman - Colin Shearsby: 01271 813821 or Mobile - 07737204646

Support Officer - Bruce White: 01271 346611