Welcome to the 15th 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 fifteenth edition you have had to endure, many, many thanks for your continued support! Among those who featured in the very first "Buzz" way back in 2002, and who have lasted the course are:- Dave Arthur, Boff Bancroft, Pete Berrow, Lenny Bilton, Pete Burnett, Joe Cocker, Dan Daly, Mick D'arcy, Gary Dudley, Connie Francis, Lenny Goodwin, Jack Guntrip, Glyn Harris, Don Hazeldon, The "Don" Hiller, Alan Ivison, Steve Jack, Jones the Rocket, Roger Jones, Shady Lane, Bob Mullen, Ned Naylor, Terry Partington, Ian Perryman, Ian Poulter, Pete Rosier, Tony Shingler, Mike Smith, Ray Vere, Knocker with the Big Phalanx, Slinger Woods, Keith Woolven, Sting Wray and Skid Wroe!
Having given due recognition if not reward to our longstanding members, it also gives us great pleasure to welcome:-
into the Association, and to also welcome John Darby back! - although sadly for some of us, among the new joiners there was yet another Global 86 dit spinner!
Dave "Aki" Atkinson
Matthew "Foggy" Fairweather
Matthew "Tam" Hay
Robert "Ronnie" Barker
Paul "Nobby" Clark
and Mark "Gerry" Rafferty
Obviously, the main focal point of the year was our 15th Annual Re-union. We were rather proud that 2MA had reached it's fifteenth birthday, and we were determined to mark the occasion in style. Furthermore, we were also very well aware that 2MA's anniversary also coincided with the 30th Anniversary of Global 86. What greater incentive to push the boat out would we need?! Judging by the feedback we achieved our objective - but it was a very close run thing, and it was by far the hardest Re-union we've arranged, as we shall explain later. Once again, we were able to raise and donate a considerable sum for various charities - considering the size of the Association - and our website, with a record breaking 71,064 visitors in 2015 and 53,621 this year, to date, has retained its popularity.
As for the Re-union itself, we sold 127 tickets, an increase of six on last year and maintains our average of circa 125 attendees each year, which is comfortably inside the maximum capacity for our current venue.
We duly received circa 120 MRU's, and from these we gleaned that 2MA members would be spread "Globally" on the night of the re-union, with Chris Baker at his son's wedding in Beijing (it would have been cheaper in Bournemouth, Shipmate!), Barney Foster was in Seattle, Billy Bayliss was on a Mediterranean cruise, Dave Robertson was somewhere in the USA, Tom Smyth was also in the USA (Boston), Andy Thompson swapped one small island (Wight) for another (Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands), Chris Baldwin was "overseas", Mick Whitehouse was in Abu Dhobey, and Dave Heasman was in Marseille watching England play Russia in Euro 2016. (You should have been with us, shipmate, enjoying oodles of free beer whilst being bored shxtless by Hodgson's Zeroes!)
Ray Vere had commitments to the HMS Glamorgan Association, Kev Shepherd was at the Isle of Wight Festival, Ernie Northern was….wait for it - "Dolphin Shearing", Terry Beddoes was at his granddaughter's 3rd birthday party (hope the scran was good!). John Motton was running a major concert at Wembley (Capital FM Summertime Ball). Paddy Derwin was away fishing, and Crash Evans was at his Mum's 70th birthday bash. Swerving Mervyn Cowdrey was running a village tea party celebrating ER of London's 90th Birthday, Abi Hirgi was fasting, and Brian Roberts and Jones the Rocket were on holiday. Meanwhile, Mark Robinson was looking after the dog!
Pete Curtis couldn't make it due to the recent arrival of a second son…..but that didn't stop him getting the wets in for his shipmates! He arranged for the bell to be rung in the mess and we duly raised a glass to the Curtis family.
Finally, Chris Day was having his first sitting of a semi-nude self-portrait.
Any similarity is purely co-incidental, honest!
Sadly, long standing ill health and recent hospitalisation prevented Pete Kellett, 'Slim' Richards, John Scott, 'Scouse' Hayward and Mick Snaith from joining us and we are aware of a number of our Association who are burdened with health issues regarding their nearest and dearest. Our thoughts and good wishes are with you all.
We had 19 nil responses among the 250 plus calling notices we sent out - despite our sending a second email which we subsequently followed up with an answerphone message. Surprisingly among these were Archie Dickie, Gary Lucas, Sam McKeown and Jez Raymond, who have all regularly kept in touch in the past.
We were obviously pleased to see new joiners, (Matthew) Foggy Fairweather, (Paul) Nobby Clark and (Mark) Gerry Rafferty entering the fray - we hope they enjoyed the experience, and among those lurking around the three barrels of free beer were:- Angry Anderson, George Annable, Dave Arthur, Nick Athawes, (Peter) Bill Bailey, Martyn Banner, Matty Barnes, Buzz Bee, Pete Berrow, Lenny Bilton, John Bullock, Pete Burnett, Roger Caldwell, (Derek) Bobby Charlton, Andy Coombs, Andy Crook, John Darby, Mike D'Arcy, Kim Darker, Ian Dodd, Andy Dunning, Steve Fletcher, Steve Found, Connie Francis, Kev Freestone, Gilly Gilchrist, Lenny Goodwin, Jack Guntrip and Whiskey Haigh.
Together with Dons Hazeldon and Hiller, Ken Hinchliffe, Alan Ivison, Steve Jack, Roger Jones, Keys Keyworth, Shane Kyme, Shady Lane, Jan Leeming, Jiff Lemmon, Doss Living, Barry Lucas, Alan McKendrick, Andy McMain, Dave Merrick, Steve Moffatt, Bob Mullen, Ned Naylor, Fez Parker, Ian Poulter, Pricky Price, Percy Purcell, Trev Quickfall, Andy Rafferty, Dave Redden, Ronnie Ronson, Mike Smith, Red Snape, Phil Southcott and if you think it's getting crowded, Whiskey Walker, Ted Weager, Sam Wellens, Knocker with the big Phalanx, (Mark) Bungy Williams, Mark Winch, Slinger Woods, Keith Woolven, Sting Wray and Skid Wroe were also there!
….and many were accompanied by wives, girlfriends, sons, daughters, and people they had met in pubs!