Skegness Reunion 2001

Sue Harpers Pics

Back. Left to right Johnny Farrel. Sue & Gordon(Reme)Harper Trev Davies-John&Chris Pell -Pete Weedon-Bob Cook-Sid&Bridget Wilson - Jean&Pat Gallager – Frank and Lynne Del Pinto – Second from back Bill&Phil Jack – Alan Tasker – Pete Drage – Gordon Scott – Gordon Park – Ian Jackson – Jacky Farrel – Jim Brookes – Celia Knill – Andy Bartlett – Tom Watt – Chris Abbott – Bill Higgs – Taff Powell – Jim Foley – Anne Ferrier – Winston Rock – Andy’s Friend – Alan Dixon – Standing. Terri Crow – Andrew Crow – Mrs Nelson – Jim Nelson – Mick & Trish Altham – Mick & Chris Sheldon – John Turvey – Shirley Bellingham – Chris & Judy Cottom – Hazel & Ted Hebden – Audrey & Dicky Grange – Mrs & Dave Aldous – Mrs & Trevor Evans – Evie & Jan – Tony & Josephine Teague – Ray & Pat Lyons – John & Noreen Dixon - Sandra Dixon – Charlie & Margaret Wickham – Lockie & Janine Turnbull – Brenda & Wayne – Julie & John Hamer

Anon 2001 Skegness       

Arrived Friday lunchtime at the Ex Servicements Club in Skegness in convoy with Gordon & Sue Harper, Trevor Davies, Tom Watt & Jim Brooks. This was to meet representatives from the British Legion to confirm the details of Remembrance Sunday and the order of the parade and of course this had to be helped along with some liquid refreshments. A sign of things to come !

Off to Butlins to book in and to meet up with friends. We planned to meet at the **** but it was still closed. Ted & I decided that people would have congregated in a bar somewhere so we set off to explore the camp. Into the main entertainment area and we spotted Chris ( Bud ) Abbott doing the same as us. Had drink at the bar then proceed to the ****** pub. Still we found no one we knew. Were they all in on some secret we did not know about ? We finally managed to track down a few members in the Irish Bar.

Back to the accommodation and to change for dinner. We went round to the dining room and look for our allocated tables, but for so many people we had not seen for years that it took a while for everyone to sit and eat. For us meeting up with Margaret & Charlie Wickham was emotional as we had been very close friends in Krefeld.

After dinner it was round to the club to sit and talk and meet up with late arrivals. The weather was awful and people were freezing cold, it had taken some longer to get from the South of England to Skegness than it took for Brenda & Wayne to fly from Canada. At 9pm our bar was opened up to the rest of Butlins and it began to get very noisy with a group doing their thing in the background and all we wanted to do was talk so we moved onto the pub.

Saturday.

Down to breakfast where we totally confused the staff by ignoring the numbers they had put on tables and sat where we liked.

We then had to prepare for the AGM which I personally found very daunting. Up until this year we had had the AGM’s informally around tables having a brew. Addressing a meeting so big ( biggest so far) was not my idea of fun. The only word to describe my feeling at the time , terror !!! It’s not really Ted’s cup of tea either addressing a meeting but we managed to get through it covering everything we needed to. ( Minutes are issued separately ).

After lunch Ted & I decided to go into Skegness as the weather was very nice and we needed to check out the route for the Remembrance Day Parade and the parking facilities. Back to get ready for the Gala Dinner. Having been told we could bring our own drink John & Jackie Farrell had gone on a booze run in the town with some allocated money from the funds for ample wine for dinner.

Before we all sat down for dinner a group photo was organised with Johnny Farrell using his special talents for rounding up the gang into some suitable posing order and then the event really began. We were joined by Andy Bartlett ( Chris’ son ) and perhaps it really dawned on him what his Dad had started and why of course it is going to continue. There was a solemn moment when we drank to Chris from the tankard engraved in his memory. Audrey took the tankard round to each table, topping it up to ensure that everyone had the opportunity for a sip.

After a very enjoyable meal and plenty of liquid many of us went round to Bill & Fil Jack’s apartment to carry on partying there until the early hours. Some of us leaving a bit later than others ! Johnny & Jackie Farrell’s name coming to mind !!!

Sunday.

We were pleasantly woken up by some Brummy tone deaf kilted make believe Scotsman who thinks he can play the bagpipes ensured that we had our early call for the parade. After breakfast we all travelled into Skegness – the earlier recce being of great value when Gordon decided to go the other way ! Marching through Skegness really brought back a few memories with 16 Signal Regiment proving that they can still do it – old habits die hard. It was a particularly beautiful sunny day and the service outside the Church was attended by many people. Ted laid out a wreath from the club and after the service we made our way ( without much prompting ) to the Ex Servicemens Club where we were made really welcome.

A pennant sent by Brian Cummings from his branch of the British Legion was presented to the Skegness branch .

A walk along the sea front blew away the cobwebs and it was hard to believe it was November. After the evening meal where the staff had totally given up on numbering the tables we went round to the **** pub. We were still catching up on news from long lost friends and there were some more discussions on the next reunion. Time was called and some of us went out to another pub recommended by the staff who had been waiting on in the dining room. It was karaoke night and there was no holding Tom Watt and Gordon Harper who were up there on the stage singing their heads off ( with some of Butlins off duty staff ) and we have the photos to prove it! (see the website).

Monday

Another wakeup call from Jan with his bagpipes and off to breakfast. This is the sad part of the weekend when you have to say goodbye. But we had all had a great time and it was time to look forward to the next year. I know that many of the members have get togethers during the year and this is what it is really all about , keeping in touch with friends.