Welcome to the 16th edition of "The Buzz"! The 2nd HMS Manchester Association's own news and views letter. If this is the first edition to come your way, we hope it meets with your approval. If this in fact the sixteenth edition you have had to endure, many, many thanks for your continued support! Please keep it up!.....and whilst 2MA members have been soaking up the sun in such faraway places as Bournemouth and Bali, 2MA quietly slipped into its 17th year.
During this past year we have been pleased to welcome:-
1. Dave Littler - Joined Pusser (UK) Ltd in 1976, did a full stretch and left in 2000. Served on D95 as a POMEM (M) 87 - 89 during which time he also played rugby for the ship. Dave also clambered up the gangway of Ark Royal, Cherry B, Phoebe, Fearless, Reliant and London before changing "gender" and becoming a submariner, cracking a full draft on Triumph. In 2016 he pedalled from Lands End to John O' Groats in aid of Help for Heroes. Lives in the Wirral.
2. Craig "Jack" Dawes - He didn't tell us when he joined and left the RN or what other ships he had, but was very quick to tell us he was on Manchester as a RO1 (G) from November 85 to March 88 and is therefore a Global 86 dit spinning specialist. Claims to be an oppo of Ronnie Ronson. Lives in South Yorkshire.
3. Richard "Spider" Webb - Served onboard D95 as a Stoker 84/85 and another who was robbed of a journey of a lifetime on Global 86. Heard about 2MA from Steve Moffatt. Joined 2MA just in time to crack
Re-union 16. He didn't have far to travel - he lives in Berkshire.
4. Nigel Dowland - Another Armilla 85 matelot, who spent loads of time on the upper scupper bronzing as a RO1 (T). Big mates with Ronnie Ronson, rumours abound that later in his Service career he metamorphosised as a Regulator. We await his sworn statement! Lives close to the sea!
5. John Robinson - No! Not that John Robinson! But the John Robinson who served as a PO Sonar on D95 89 - 91 just before he went outside. He previously cracked drafts to Bristol twice and Illustrious. Lives in North Wales and wherever his HGV takes him.
6. Shaun Turl - Joined the Pusser in 85 and served as an overworked Scot Maintainer on Warship Wonderful 91- 93. Other adventures took place on York, Nottingham, Richmond, Dumbarton Castle, Richmond again, Lancaster, Dauntless and Westminster (not sure if these were drafts or call rounds! Ed.) Still serving as a WO1 doing missionary work with the RAF. He lives in Lincolnshire and runs a smallholding keeping Pigs, Sheep, Geese, Chickens and Dogs; which he purchased via Zoopla!
into our motley band, and surprise, surprise we have managed to recruit yet another Global 86 dit spinning specialist!
It's normal at this point that we start to rattle on about what a good year we've had, but to do so this year could be seen as distorting the truth somewhat. We always knew that we would have great difficulty in surpassing the outstanding success of our milestone 15th re-union, we nevertheless put every effort into Re-union 16, but unfortunately a few things conspired against us, and it would probably be best to describe the year as a whole and Re-union 16 as a very challenging experience. We will go into more detail in the member's only section, as that part will not be re-edited and placed on the www.
However, 2MA once again showed its true colours, and we again raised a commendable amount for charitable causes, considering the size of the Association. Meanwhile our website continues to generate much interest, and by the end of September had attracted in excess of 84,000 visits. This was twelve thousand more than the whole of 2016, which was our best return to date, and we look set to exceeding 100,000 visits in one calendar year. This equates to 274 visits per day or 11 visits per hour. Obviously the reason for this interest is down purely to the excellent editorial quality of the www, and the outstanding attributes of the folk who get a deserved mensh. Well that's our reasoning. What's yours?!
As for the actual Re-union itself, we only managed to sell 90 tickets, as opposed the 127 sold for Re-union 15. We expected a drop in numbers due mainly to HMS Glamorgan's 35th Anniversary Dinner, Sultans Falklands Dinner, and the Type 42 bi-annual re-union in July, but we did think 105 - 110 was a reasonable target but as you can see we came up short. You can view the financial impact of this in our Members only section on page 39.
We duly received circa 150 MRU's, and from this we again learned that on re-union night at least our members would be spread right across the globe. Among the more interesting reasons for non-attendance were those submitted by……….
George Hubbard, our exotic holiday's consultant, was just back from Asia where he had the misfortune to catch a certain type of tropical disease. (Should have worn a Burberry, Shipmate!) On completion of medication, he would be convalescing at his Villa in Tenerife.
Neil Osborne had recently taken over as the Landlord at the Fort Cumberland Arms in Eastney and was busy building up trade. Generously, he has also said that should any 2MA members venture in, your FIRST PINT is FREE (The postcode for the Fort Cumberland Arms is PO4 9JB!)
Ian Perryman was relaxing at home….in Italy!
Lenny Bilton had business enterprises to attend to in Georgia, USA.
Trev Quickfall was on a trip to the Kyle of Lochalsh on the paddle steamer Waverley, (Being a permanently shore based bean bosun, he needed the sea-time!).
Crash "Jon" Evans was on a stag run in Gib…
Colin Fortune was happily moving his daughter into her new home (no news forwarded as to whether she is still Miss Fortune!).
Jack Russell was attending his step-son's wedding in Thailand.
Gary Sobol was away fishing….at Cape Cod! (Obviously the Plaice to go!).
Roger Jones was returning from a cycling trip to Lanzarote, ETA LGW 2330 (a quick pedal, shipmate, and you could have made last orders!).
Andy Thompson used the same excuse for the 15th consecutive year - scablifting on the Isle of Wight!
The Dodds - Father and Son were at sea.
Following the General Election, Roger Caldwell was at home waiting for a call to enter the new Cabinet as Minister for Honesty in Politics……he is still waiting!
Carl "Pip" Piper was on standby to start a new job in Sydney, Australia. He was looking forward to the challenge but was absolutely dreading being accosted by an Aussie bird of indeterminate years spinning dits on how she was drilled senseless by some marauding matelot from the Mighty Manch during Global 86! (Fair point! Ed).
Dave Heasman and Archie Geddes were watching Scotland v England at Hampden Park (not the matches they used to be!).
Tom Petty was in Turkey, Dave Childs was in Gran Canaria, Dave Robertson was in Cyprus and Stoney Rhodes was on a romantic weekend away with "she who must be obeyed" - destination unknown!
Skid Wroe was competing in a 100k Ultra Run.
Emma Powell was involved with Triathlon, while Alan McKendrick was at his daughter's graduation ceremony.