20th Annual Reunion, Stafford 2016



6th – 9th MAY 2016

Once again we gathered at the Tillington Hall Hotel for our Annual Reunion and AGM. This time we all stayed in the same hotel, avoiding any repeat of last year’s fiasco when we were booked into two hotels a coach ride apart down the M6. Those who chose not to attend last year for that reason were there in force this year, bringing the total number attending to 140, made up of 89 members and 51 guests.

The Saturday coach trip was to the Severn Valley Railway, and from what I was told everyone enjoyed a nostalgic day out riding on “real” trains pulled by living, breathing steam engines. Because of traffic the two coaches were quite late arriving back at the hotel, so it was a bit of a rush for everyone to get organised in time for the Reunion dinner.

Our normal routine for the dinner is to have a large notice listing the numbered tables with the names of each guest agreed on the Friday or Saturday so everyone can arrange to sit with their friends. This system has always worked well, but some guests didn’t seem to think it applied to them, so management had to hastily carry in another table and set it up to fit everyone in.

Dinner progressed smoothly, albeit rather slowly, and then we were called to attention for the Loyal Toast to the Queen. All I had was an empty wine glass, but I’m sure Her Majesty would have been proud of me for making the effort! The glasses of port that are normally provided for this purpose arrived shortly afterwards.

John Dicks presented the Chairman’s Cup to Len Daniels for the work he does for the Association, primarily arranging local reunions. Dolores James, our Regalia Officer, presented a cheque to the Treasurer representing the proceeds of her regalia sales over the last twelve months.

Founder Member Mike James then stood up and made a short speech reminding us that this was the Association’s 20th Anniversary Reunion. He then nodded towards the bar area and the serving staff that had been looking after us during the evening came trooping out carrying stacks of cardboard boxes. One was delivered to each of the guests in the room, and turned out to contain a plate with the inscription round the edge “Commemorating 20 years of the RAF Changi Association 1996 – 2016” and a picture in the middle of a Changi bus. These were well appreciated by all those present and were, incidentally, provided by Mike at no cost to Association funds.

The last item was the raffle. Pat Holt had, as before, been buying up suitable prizes at favourable prices throughout the year.   She also had more than the usual number of bottles of wine, etc, donated by passing guests. Between us we sold the grand total of 3125 tickets and Pat folded most of them herself, which was quite an achievement with one arm in plaster following a fall the previous week. She presented the profits of £264 to the Treasurer at the AGM on Sunday morning.

P1380178bClick on the thumbnails below to see the full size pictures

The 21st Annual Reunion will again be held at Tillington Hall and the dates have been booked for 5th to 8th May 2017.