ISSUE NUMBER ONE. JUNE 2001
This is is a "sanitised" version of the original sent by email of snail mail. i.e. email and real addresses etc. have been removed
This is my first attempt at a newsletter so I must hold my hand up if there are any mistakes.
REUNION. As those of you who were there will know, on the weekend of 28/29th April at the Hanover International Hotel Bromsgrove we held a reunion to celebrate 50 years of our joining the Apprentices. Of the 77 who attended there were 42 ex-apps and 35 wives. Notable attendees were Graham Eves and Sam West from New Zealand, Derek Holt from Calgary and Roy Thompson from Colorado Springs. We had a great time renewing old acquaintances over the odd pint of the amber nectar. The ladies, God Bless them, enjoyed the trip to Stratford that had been organised for them. A full report together with an Entry photo is in the current edition of the "Haltonian"
We all owe a vote of thanks to Mike Williams who, with the able assistance of Margaret, organised it all. It was so successful that we are going to do it all again in 2004 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our "Passing Out". More of this later.
68th ASSOCIATION. During our reunion we held a meeting at which it was decided to form an Entry Association. The main object of the exercise was to build on the work already done by one or two of us in bringing old friends together and keeping everyone up to speed on what is happening. The current members of the committee are: -
Tony Whiting Chairman
John Player Secretary
Mike Williams Treasurer
Maurice Kidney, Jim Le Moine and Eddie Harmer are representing their respective trades. To keep everyone up to date I intend to produce a twice-yearly newsletter, this being the first. Incidentally I have a list of the whereabouts of some 98 of our Entry members as well as, sadly, news of some that have passed away. If you wish to contact anyone or you know the whereabouts of any of our members that have slipped through the net so to speak, then get in touch.
ENTRY WINDOW. Thanks to the generosity of most of you we were able to have the Entry window manufactured and installed in St George's Church. The dedication took place on 29th August last year. Thanks must go to Ray (Whitey) Hart and to Maurice (Paddy) Kidney for their work on the design. Anyone who is passing Halton may go to the Maitland guardroom and on proof of identity draw the keys to the church and see the window. Incidentally Maurice also produced a book entitled "Diary of a Window" which describes the events from first thoughts on the subject, to the dedication service. The original copy was presented to the Trenchard Museum, which, for those of you that don't know is the old Henderson Gym and well worth a visit.
HALTON GROVE. The National Memorial Arboretum, which is at Alrewas, Nr Tamworth has a grove of trees dedicated to the Apprentices. The grove is in the shape of the wheel that we all wore on our arms in those far off days. We donated £50.00 from the window fund towards the purchase of trees and our Entry number appears on the dedication plaque. Unfortunately due to the petrol crisis of last year only two of our Entry managed to get to the Dedication but at least we were represented.
ENTRY WEB PAGE. Thanks to Brian McCarthy (A computer genius by any other name) we have a web page all of our own. It is still in it's infancy and being added to all the time but for those of you on the net it is well worth a visit, the address is: - the68th.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk Brian is the webmaster so any inputs or suggestions to him please. The Halton Apprentices Association also have a website, the address of that is; - members.aol.com/haltonapps/halton.htm While we are on the subject of the internet, will all of you that have 'E' mail addresses let me have them as it will save on postage when I come to distribute newsletter No 2. It looks like the Internet is here to stay, so those of you who aren't connected should think seriously about it. It's a whole new world out there guys.
2004 REUNION. As I said earlier, we intend to hold a reunion to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Passing Out. The current arrangements are that we use the Hanover International Hotel at Bromsgrove again, it is centrally located and ideally suits our purpose in so many ways. The provisional dates are; - Friday 23rd April to Sunday 25th April 2004. Needless to say we can't be specific about the cost yet but we are working on this year's cost plus a 10% mark up to cover inflation, this will bring the price to round about £275.00 per couple. It may on the face of it seem a little expensive but if you look at what you get it is good value for money. The itinerary is: -
Friday 23rd April 2004.
12.00 Golf for those that wish to play.
Dinner and drinks in the bar.
Saturday 24th April.
Breakfast then own devices
Coach trip to Birmingham
Entry meeting in the Hotel
Pre-dinner drinks Europa Suite foyer bar
Dinner and Dancing
Sunday 25th April
Breakfast and depart at leisure.
If anyone wishes to pay for the weekend by instalments so to
speak, then Mike Williams is happy to accept either cash or cheques for
whatever amount at whatever intervals. We would ask that you make the cheques
payable to 68th Association the interest we make on
this account will go to swell the amount we are able to put behind the bar on
the Saturday night.
We will keep you updated on the reunion state of play through the newsletters.
ROY THOMPSON'S BOOK. One of our brethren Roy Thompson who currently resides in Colorado Springs is writing a book about the Entry. He has asked that as many of us as possible let him know what happened to us after we left Halton. A brief history of our service careers and what we got up to after we left the service, he suggested one sheet of foolscap would be o-kay. I know that one of us became a "Pop Star" and another has an old bookshop so there are plenty of untold stories out there. Roy's address is available
TRIENNIAL REUNION. All members of the H.A.A.A. will be aware that the reunion is on Saturday 22nd September this year. We see the same few faces every time we attend and of course we would like to see a few more. All of you that aren't members need to be aware that unlike other years non members won't be admitted until they have joined the Association. If you join on the day it will cost you £25 for admission and one years membership. It is much cheaper to join beforehand. Phone 01296 623535 Ext 6300 for details. The office is manned on Tuesday and Thursday.
FINAL PLEA. I have emptied my brain on to this piece of paper. Now it's up to you. I need inputs from you for the next newsletter, which will come out in December. Don't let me send out a blank sheet of paper. I have the technology, you have the stories.