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I had a very nice card from Liz Bentley, thanking us for the lovely flower’s and help with the Swindon Reunion. We should thank you Liz, for you did all the organising and work, we just helped with moving a few tables and chairs about and informing members of booking and accommodation details. Of course, we do like a pat on the back now and then, ta. This year saw an increase in the members who have not been for a few years, which was good, and some who attended for the first time. Some of us have not seen them for over 50 years, does tug at emotions. Pete Elvey, Tony Preston, John Lumsdon, Pete Edwards, June and Ron Fletcher Ken Byrant and his wife and Trevor Weston, to name just a few.

Saturday saw the new Polo Shirt’being received, most were pre-ordered and one or two are still being finished. 10th Royal Hussars pen’s,  penknives, clocks were high in demand, Del Boy Doughty enjoyed his new role. A member has donated 25 new baseball caps maroon and blue thank you very much for the generosity. The evening meal, what can one say, a great evening was had by everyone again, last minute sales took place across the table, very  funny to observe the “Squaddy” banter between John Lumsdon and Pete Edwards at one end and   Eddie  Ankers at the other end of the long table, no knives were thrown.

Ted Williams, one of the older members of the regiment, Ted left in 1953, was accompanied by Janet, who drove him down, enjoyed meeting everyone and was seen late into the night deep in conversation with the gentlemen from Durham Richard Bevin, Bob Griffin and other’s. Unfortunately, Ted had a nose bleed in the night and had to be taken to Swindon Hospital. Janet spent all night there and informed us early Sunday morning. I would like to thank Spud Murphy, Bill Knight and Peter Jagger, for looking after her during lunch, she was very tired and worried. Ted is now home and we have spoken to him, he is now fine looking forward to next year. He was not involved in the Eddie Ankers and co. shenanigans, I might add.

It was great to speak to Nancy Wilson and her son (sorry forgotten name) quite a giggle when I mentioned Fudge (Tug’s favourite sweet) now they know who I am, hmmm. was very good to speak to Mary Reed have not seen Mary for so many years, had to tell me her name, very embarrassing. Mike Sellick and I had a good laugh and a joke, we both confessed we were as poor as a church mouse. Clive Presswell is the only person who gets £5 a year pocket money and still goes home each year with more than he came with. He is pleased he is still taller than Gilbert but not by much. Clive’s financial situation was confirmed by Jayne. Mike and I should ask him how it’s done.

The Highlight this year was of course the presentation of the KRH Rosette to Liz, June and Ron, well done, Liz says she will wear it with pride each year. Tom Knight and Richard Perry were in good form this year. A photo of the last Aqaba old sweats was a good idea.

The memoirs of F C Walker BEM were well received the experiences of men like him will probably not come forward again. Dougie Covill remembers “The Boy” and they were once on guard duty together. A separate post will be made of this. I may have to get some more booklets printed. 4th Troop got their long-awaited  photo and “H” looked well pleased all day. Sunday evening was again the Quiz evening and although we had the knowledge base of Spud and the Durham delegation we came last again, the correct answers were  given but incorrectly written down. This was due to Eddie the scribe having his fingers in the chip bowl and not around the pen. I was informed of a comment some days later that numbers were down from the previous year, who cares, Swindon is not about counting how many attends but by enjoying the weekend and more important Sunday lunch meeting friends and old comrades each year and not because of any celebrity who happens to attend.

When one looks back to the years that reunions started, there were a number in the early nineties and maybe before, the first organised by John McKay was in 1992 at the George Inn Cambridge, near Stroud there were about 20+ old comrades and their wives John McKay, Ian Clements, Dave Robbo 504, Dave Coleman, Spike Spence, David Robinson, Tom Knight, Jack Shearing, Jim Peters, Bill Todhunter to name a few, wife’s names escape me, sorry. 1993 saw the next but I am unsure where. Taunton 1994, this time John McKay asked Robbo 504 to organise that. Dorcan near Swindon was the first in the area not sure of the year but could have been 1998 here there was an increase in attendance, this time John McKay got Bill Todhunter to find the venue, people like Don Kane, Mike Cox and many others started to travel longer  distances to enjoy reunions. The white Hart was also used at some stage but due to the lack of space the Crown became the venue for all later years although I am unsure when that was. There were other reunions up and down the country most years, I believe Fred Nickolas did some and of course Stockport and Southern Shiners are some of the most notable among the regular ones. The photo’s I am sure you may have seen before, but they do bring back fond memories not only of the people involved but how the Shiners Club reunions started and grew into the highlight of all Shiners reunions. There are I am sure members who can correct me on some of the dates of the reunions I welcome any help, just hope I don’t get hauled over the coals.


Home History Shiners Club Obituaries Locations