Welcome to the 17th edition of "The Buzz"! The 2nd HMS Manchester Association's own annual news and views letter. If this is the first edition to come your way, we hope it meets with your approval. If this is in fact the seventeenth edition to come your way, we greatly admire your fortitude and greatly appreciate your continued support! Please keep it up, and don't give up now it WILL get better, honest! The arrival of this Buzz! also marks the point where 2MA moves into it's18th year. Eighteen Years? Where has the time gone?
Is it really nearly eight years since the ship de-commissioned? (24th February 2011) and four years since she left Pompey for the last time on her way to the Turkish Scrapyard (14th November 2014) - and where has all that steel finally ended up? We may even be shaving with it!
During this past year we have been pleased to welcome Tony Candler and John McGuire into our motley band, and they are the 329th and 330th former ships company members to join. By way of introduction, this is what they admitted to on their Joining Routines!
Tony joined Pusser (UK) Limited as a Cabbage Mechanic in 1979, and served on Hermes 1981, and Kent (HTS) 81 - 83, before he hit the jackpot with a draft to Manchester 1985 - 87….. and Global 86! (Yawn!) and subsequently Bristol 87 - 88. Keen to explore things deeper than a deep fat fryer, Tony then branch changed to Clearance Diver and went to sea on Kellington 89 - 90 and Catistock 97 - 99. What he did in the SEVEN years between sea drafts was not disclosed! He went outside in 2003.
John joined the sleepy world of WE's in 1976, and was a bunk light bosun on the GMD Norfolk (77 - 79) before joining Manchester in build at Barrow, for sea on completion, until 1984. An infamous 909er and an athletic
type, he well recalls participating in a cross country event with the Army in the Falklands, shortly after hostilities ended. All was going well until he realised that part of the course was on a reputedly cleared path through a live minefield! Discretion being the better part of valour, he let the Army boys go first! Having survived, he subsequently joined Birmingham (1988 - 1990) before going outside in 1991.
From an administrative point of view, we have enjoyed a reasonably successful year. Our 17th annual Re-union went well and was well received, and due to the continued generosity of our members, we have been able to donate £2,115.00 for various charities and good causes, which is rather remarkable when you consider the actual size of the Association. We have circa 234 active members as of 30th September 2018.
Our Website continues to generate much interest, and by the end of September 2018 had attracted a phenomenal 151,115 visits this year alone, which is 26,669 more than we received for the whole of 2017, which in itself was our best year to date. There is even more good news too! Alyson, our acting local unpaid webmistress and typist has just retired and will now be able to devote even more time to the webby! Brilliant! We hear you all chorus! (Oops! Is that a frying pan that's looming larger in my peripheral vision?! Clunk!).
However, our reasons to be cheerful have been severely dampened by various extremely sad and challenging situations impacting on our fellow shipmates and their nearest and dearest, much of which you may already be aware of. Suffice it to say our thoughts and support are very much with them during these very difficult times.
Following the issue of the Re-union Calling Notice, we duly received circa 130 MRUs and among the more interesting and reasonable reasons for absence were -
Dave Atkinson - Working in China
Simon Attwell - Attending a wedding
Chris Baldwin - Working in Hungary
Mervyn Cowdrey - Visiting family in Texas
Paddy Derwin - 60th Birthday bash in Amsterdam
Jon Evans - Attending another wedding
Colin Fortune - Visiting his new Grandson
Kev Freestone - Moving to Tenerife
George Hubbard (our Exotic Holidays Correspondent!) - Celebrating his 60th Birthday in Mauritius! (Well it wouldn't be Margate, would it?!)
George! Tropical location not disclosed!
Ian Kiff - Sailing in the European Yachting Championships
Jim Kirkland - Attending HMS Montrose Re-union
Paul "Lou" Lewis - Deployed in Gulf with FSU
Stan Matthews - Training cadets at HMS Sultan
Al McKendrick - On retirement courses - Being an ex-Wafoo all courses are in the horizontal position!
John Motton - Working at a Concert at Wembley Stadium (Mmm - Future Re-Union location? Might need a few more members!)
Pip Piper - Working in Sydney - not met any Global Girls, Yet!