Welcome to the 21st edition of "The Buzz", the 2nd HMS Manchester Association's own views and newsletter. We hope it meets with your approval. If this is the 21st edition to come your way, we greatly admire your fortitude and good taste and much appreciate your continued support. Please keep it up - things will get better, honest! The arrival of this edition of "The Buzz" also marks the point where 2MA moves into its 22nd year. Just think, matelots have joined up, done their time, and gone outside on pension in the time we have been in existence!! Already it is nearly twelve years since the white ensign was finally lowered on D95.
Normal salutations out of the way and before we go into detail, an apology for the late arrival of this edition of the Buzz. The predominant reason is this stupid mid-season FIFA World Cup! As many of you are aware, Alyson and I are season ticket holders at United, and we attend the away games as well, including Europe. Since mid-September, United have been playing every three days with the added bonus of skyjackings - fixtures changed by the great god Sky with very inconvenient o'clock kick off times added for good measure!
On tour at Leicester City with Dave Arthur, Ian, Alyson & Buzz Bee
For the record, United won 1-0
This has also impacted on another hobby, vegetable gardening, which involves our two allotments and its harvest time!! We are self-sufficient with a number of crops, but they need picking or digging up, freezing and stowing! Furthermore, we've also been investigating alternative venues for our next re-union, whilst Stevie, having retired, has been pursuing a new career! So we've not been loafing - we've all been pretty busy, and as I look out the window I can see the grass needs cutting!! So please accept our apologies - we'll get this copy of the Buzz to you ASAP.
Despite these tribulations, we sailor on, and following our massive haul of new joiners numbering twenty five last year, we've returned to our normal average of three or four, and in this years haul, two are re-joiners! So now it's time to welcome, and re-welcome: -
Roger Billington (364) - Roger joined Pusser (UK) as a Clanky in 1974, and in a 25 year career, he sailed the seven seas on KENT (74-76), BRISTOL (76-79), GLAMORGAN
(80-84), ARK ROYAL (87-88), ILLUSTRIOUS (88-90), and finally Warship Wonderful as a POMEM (M) (90-95)! He kept his hobbies and post Pusser activities a closely guarded secret, but we are aware that he was an enthusiastic participant in NBCDXs, and just loved setting off smoke bombs to everyone's annoyance!
Mick Mortimore (365) - Joined the Pusser in 1972 when he was deceived by the Recruiter into joining as a WAFU! This resulted in him joining the old ARK ROYAL (74-76) - reputed to be the last real aircraft carrier - and HERMES (80-82). He also claims to have been on BULWARK, in 1982, but evidence suggests this was for a DTS!! Extensive shoreside training then followed before he hit the jackpot with a draft to the Mighty Manch and Global 86 (The Lucky B@stard!). However, WAFUHQ insisted he stay onboard until 1990 as a penance. Mick, as the Chief Air Engineering Artificer, rose to fame during "The Cruise" by contributing towards the successful firing of a Sea Skua Missile - a notable achievement when considering the area designated as the flight deck was in fact the primary bronzy bronzy and steel deck banyan facility!!! Outside since 1990 - Mick has just cracked a 33 year stretch with Hampshire Police - which occasionally gave him the opportunity to talk to miscreant matelots! An attendee at our last Re-union.
Steve Mourby (366) - Joined the Pusser in 1984 as an AB(R), and in a pensionable career he frequented the gloom rooms on BIRMINGHAM, CARDIFF, GRAFTON and RICHMOND as well as MANCHESTER (88-91). A re-joiner to 2MA, Mourbs originally joined in 2005, disappeared, re-joined in 2012 - disappeared again, and resurfaced in 2022! He currently works for Avanti West Coast at a small, rarely visited, railway station - Preston!!
The Royal Beach Hotel
On the 23rd July we held our first shore side Re-union in the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea. This was a compromise date as we were keen to get back to our normal second weekend in June date, but out of respect for Falklands 40 commemorations, and the significant number of our members involved, we went to a date half way between. Sadly, things did not go entirely to plan. Our lack of success wasn't due to bad planning, that we can assure you. We simply had some initial bad luck, which started off a chain reaction which snowballed and it wasn't the normal success we were hoping for. As this is the part of the Buzz that appears on the www, we will keep comments and views for the "Members Only" section of this magazine.
Certainly, on the 23rd July, 2022, we could not complain about the weather, it was hot, very hot, and no one had difficulty finding the Royal Beach Hotel, due to the adjacency of the site of the late lamented Joanna's nightclub, aka The Royal Navy School of Dancing!
Early arrivals Fletch, Ken, Raffers and George
It wasn't long before the lower bar started to fill up and among the personalities supping ale and spinning dits were:- Sonya Anderson, (Yep, no Angry!! Some event at the London Stadium featuring Britain's shortest man with the calmest temper, forced his non attendance! Rumour has it if you couldn't walk under the turnstile you were eliminated immediately!! He got that bit right! And stayed calm as he didn't bang his head!)
With Sonya were George Annable, Dave Arthur, Pete and Sue Berrow, Pete Burnett and Julie Salienus, Bobby Charlton and Karla Burnett, Nobby and Michele Clark, Taff and Wendy Coombs, Barry Cuthbert and Tracy Sharp, Kim Darker, Al Denham and Ann Scoble and two very special people, who we will tell you about later!
Whilst you are waiting, the above were joined by Paddy Derwin and a host of his guests, Ian and Rosie Dodd, Andy and Wendy Dunning, Cliff Edge, Mick Farrow, J. J. Fialho and Linda James and Steve Fletcher, who was fresh from writing an exceptional letter of praise for a restaurant he had dined in on the Greek Island of Evia. The only snag was he sent it to the wrong restaurant!! and among those laughing were two very, very special people - but this is not the time to tell you who they are - that comes later!
Taff & Wendy Coombs, Gilly Gilchrist, Andrea Lewins,