The Second
HMS Manchester Association
The Buzz - The Association's Very Own Newsletter
Click Here to Continue....
November 2023


Welcome to the 22nd edition of "The Buzz", the 2nd HMS Manchester Association's own views and newsletter.  We sincerely hope it meets with your approval.  If this is the 22nd edition to come your way, we greatly admire your fortitude and good taste and much appreciate your continued support!  Please, 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 23rd year. 

Well, that's the normal salutations out of the way, and whilst we always try to remain positive, we have got to be honest, it has been rather difficult this year.  2MA is going through a really, really bad and sad time.  Since the last edition of the Buzz we have lost -

Fez Parker
Joe Cocker
Mick Whitehouse
Matty Barnes
Bob Mullen


Added to that, Ken Hinchliffe lost his wife, Philippa, whilst Jack Russell's partner, Irene also passed away.  We are also acutely aware, as we have been for some time, that some of our number are not enjoying the best of health - both physically and mentally - and our thoughts are very much with those who are suffering so much.  Therefore, please appreciate this has been a particularly difficult edition of The Buzz to produce and we trust that no one is offended by any of the features.

Despite these very difficult times, we sailor on, as sailor on we must, and we'll start by giving a formal welcome to two new joiners who have chosen to discard their street cred, left themselves open to abuse, and joined our motley band! and surprisingly they were both Buffers!!  That's four we now have when we include existing members Connie Francis and Pete Rosier, so don't be surprised if Manchester's Rigging Warrant appears at the next Re-union!!

First up is Mark "Scouse" Platt, who joined Pusser (UK) Ltd in January 1980 and among the ships he served on in an eleven year career were BRISTOL, INVINCIBLE, NOTTINGHAM AND FOX (A320, a Bulldog class hydrography survey ship - for the benefit of our ships spotters) - and finally Warship Wonderful 1987-1990, where he trod carefully in Connie's footprints!  He learned about 2MA from an "An array of friends on Facebook"!

Scouse Platt

Also joining 2MA is Alan Heywood who answered the call of the sea way back in 1974 as a young boy, and in a pensionable career he served onboard ARK ROYAL(R09) - the Pusser's last remaining conventional catapult and arrested landing carrier and the first to be equipped with an angled flight deck!  She was also the only non-US aircraft carrier to operate the McDonnell Douglas Phantom at sea (nigh on impossible in harbour!)

Alan's first ship - HMS Ark Royal R09

We don't have a photo of Alan, so we've included his first ship instead!

Further cruises took place on BRISTOL before working warships hove into view in the shape of the GEORDIE GUNBOAT (80-83) and SOUTHAMPTON (84-87) - affectionately known as the "Scummer" by those who served on her, but not so popular with Pompey supporting Dockies!!  Now equipped with extensive Type 42 experience, Alan was now considered a suitable candidate for a draft to the MIGHTY MANCH (90-92) which was followed immediately by a draft to Naval Party 1942 (Cambodia)!!  His final sea going draft was back to NEWCASTLE before retirement in 1998.  Alan's civvy street employment included working for the Prince's Trust, a Health and Safety Consultant, and a driving instructor for Stagecoach and Megabus.  He is now retired and living the dream in South Wales - at 20mph!  Don't get caught speeding, Shipmate!