We were pleased to be joined by so many FEPOWs, wives and widows again this year; Bill Marshall, Mac & Brenda McDaniel, John Baxter, Tom Boardman, Bob Boocock & Flora, Sheila Brede, Bill Frankland, Chick Henderson, Olive Ladmore, Bill Macauley, Ray Masters, William Mundy, Ken Pett, Vic & Elsie Pugh, Ted Read, George Reynolds, Stan Roberts, Pam Stubbs, Erica Thompson, Stan Vickerstaff and Margaret Williams, as well as locals, Ron Mockford, Harold Pleasance and Noel Price.
Front, left to right: Bill Frankland, William Mundy, Ken Pett, George Reynolds, Mac McDaniel, Bill Marshall, Chick Henderson, Ted Read, Harold Pleasance & Ray Masters.Back, left to right; Stan Vickerstaff, Ron Mockford, Bob Boocock, Stan Roberts, Vic Pugh, Tom Boardman, Bill Macauley & John Baxter.
We also had many Associate Members in attendance to meet with their fathers' friends, and honour their memories, which included, Adrian & Jane Batty (son of Bill & Doris Batty), Jean & Roger Bedford (daughter of Alf & Ivy Pickering), Kath & Idris Booth (daughter of Harry Hamer), Christine & Alan Broadhurst (daughter of Edgar Marriott), Richard & Susan Brown (son of Bernard Brown), Jacq & Alan Crofts (gt niece of Jack Frith), Yvonne & Ian Fields and Marian & Tony Rutherford (daughters of Reg Beck), Vic Ient (son of Albert Ient), Martin & Nook Prechner (son of Harold Prechner), Frank & Anne Williams (son of Ron Williams) and Hazel Wilson (daughter of James Goode), plus of course other friends and family.
2013 Group photo
Sadly there were some last minute cancellations due to ill health; Maurice Crowther, Elsie Edwards, Edna Fry & Dave Blatt, Jim Gale, Herbert Gregory, Dave Harries, Bob Morrell, Bill Welch and Joyce Wilgoss, all of whom were greatly missed. As was local Councillor Chris Wall who had broken his leg but still organised our wheelchairs for use at the weekend.
53 of our members attended our AGM on the Saturday morning, followed by our normal handing around of the microphone so everyone could introduce themselves. It's lovely for us all to get to know each other and fosters a great friendly 'Java Club Family' atmosphere for the rest of the weekend. We met Tom Boardman, Bill Frankland, Ron Mockford, Ken Pett, Noel Price, Vic Pugh, and George Reynolds for the first time - so great to have so many 'newbie' FEPOWs attending!
There were 76 of us for the Saturday evening Gala Dinner and were joined by Stratford upon Avon Mayor Diane Walden (who made a great impact on all the gentlemen), and her consort (or is it 'concubine'?), Dominic Guyver, RBL Chairman Dave Hastie and his wife Margaret, and our local thespians Eric & Rose Smith and friend Steve, who entertained us wonderfully again with their singing. Thanks to Marian Rutherford for doing our raffle which raised £264. We then ended the dinner a good old singalong finishing with a rousing chorus of 'Land of Hope and Glory' and lots of flag waving.
Our Memorial Service in the lovely Remembrance Gardens went well, thanks to the organisation of Dave Hastie from the RBL. The rain even cleared just in time for the actual service to take place!
2013 Group photo
Thank you to everyone who made such a great effort to attend, and the Associate & family members who brought them, it makes our hard work so worthwhile to see so many happy smiling faces!
If you didn't attend, as you can see it's a friendly and warm weekend with a mix of business, fun and remembrance - I hope this has whet your appetite to join us next year!
All photographs courtesy of Stratford's Civic Photographer Simon Foster www.fosterstudio.co.uk