Moving on, our gathering was enhanced by the arrival of Gilly Gilchrist and wife, Sharon, Jack Guntrip, Whiskey Haigh, Don and Ann Hazeldon and guests, Daz Major, Stan Matthews, Andy McMain, Steve Moffat, Bob Pape, Terry Partington, Ian and Angela Poulter, our two unrelated Rafferty's, Andy and Gerry, Phil Redmond and Sarah Merritt, Brian and Jenny Roberts and Ronnie and Julie Ronson, plus the two special people I mentioned earlier - but now is still not quite the time to tell you who they are!
Also there was global traveller Tanky Shingler, The Snape family - Red, Alison and Connor, Phil Southcott, Taff Spear, Don Hiller, Teninchliffe, Jacko, Jan Leeming, Jiff and Karen Lemmon, Eddie and Andrea Lewins, and making a very welcome return after serious illness, Doss Living and wife Jacqui, and also White Mafia representatives, Taff Llewellyn and Barry Lucas. Plus the two very, very, very special people I promise to tell you all about - in a minute!
Mick Farrow, Tanky Shingler, Steve "Fletch" Fletcher,
Andy Rafferty, Ronnie Ronson, George Annable,
Phil Southcott, Jack Dawes, Ken Hinchliffe and Neil "Sharkey" Ward
Last but not least, also thronging the bar were, John Tucker, Sharkey and Tracey Ward, Ted Weager, Knocker White, Bungy Williams, Mark Winch, Slinger and Stella Woods and Keith Woolven.
Sadly, varying reasons robbed us of the pleasure very late on, of the company of Lenny Bilton, Dan Daly, Connie and Sue Francis, Lee Grosvenor, Sam and Maura McKeown, Roger Jones and Sting Wray and, as we discovered, Covid has not gone away.
Deserving of a special mention in despatches at this point are Jack and Louise Dawes who travelled by car and ferry from their home in Portugal - bringing two bottles of a particular local produce with them!!!
But who are these two special people I alluded to earlier? … and if you hadn't guessed, it was Jack Russell and his partner, Catherine Baird.
In a nutshell, both have had a really shxt year! Since our last re-union Jack has been in and out of hospital for various reasons, indeed, we are reliably informed that he spent nearly as much time in a hospital bed in the last year as he did in his rack during the whole time he was onboard D95! - if such a thing was possible!
Meanwhile, Catherine's year has also been peppered with illness and misfortune as well as the unenviable task of caring for Jack! As a result, it was absolutely brilliant to see them cast all their cares aside and turn up at the Re-union! Well Done! Both of you, your shipmates salute you!
In the run up to the Re-union we received 162 apologies, with many citing work commitments, holidays and sadly long term ill health. To those affected by ill health we forward our sincere best wishes.
Among those who gave a more specific and printable reason were: -
Chris Baker - on holiday in the Maldives
Chris Baldwin - away in Sweden
Boff Bancroft - on an Adriatic cruise
David Banks - off celebrating his 60th Birthday
Terry Beddoes - on holiday in Anglesey
Buzz Bee - Checking out football grounds in the West Country, ready for next season!