For all news on what is happening to the Morecambe and Lancaster Branch go to: http://rafamorecambeandlancaster9.webnode.com
Here will be highlighted photos of some main news:
Wonderful Morecambe Band RAF100 Concert
Morecambe has some interesting events now days and this is one of them:
Lovely venue for our Evening and Drop-in drink and Chat meetings
Talks from April to September, fourth Saturday of each month: 7.30 pm
Drop-in, first Saturday of each month throughout the year: from 7.30 pm
Calling all Parents and Relations of Serving Personnel
It is amazing that we have such few members who have relations serving in the RAF. This is very sad because all that we do is focussed on gathering funds and support for serving personnel in time of need and yet their families show little to no interest. Their loved ones are in difficulties and strangers help them by collections and other activities. When they leave the service for any reason we are there to help them should they need us.
Dear parents and relations of serving personnel, you don’t have to have been in the RAF to join us. Just having someone you love or know in the RAF means you can have a Full Associate Membership at the small annual minimum cost of £8.50.
If you don’t join us and as our numbers deplete, we and the funds won’t be there to provide the assistance required.
Show your concern by getting in touch and join us now!
RAF 100 Dining-in-night
For possibly the first time since World War II, Morecambe hosted a formal RAF Dining-In Night. On Friday 20thApril, 115 serving and ex-service RAF personnel, honoured guests, RAF Air Cadets, families and friends sat down to a splendid meal at the Headway Hotel to celebrate the 100thanniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force.
An event which had been two years in the planning was, on the night, extremely tested when a nasty crash on the M6 delayed both dinner guests and a coach party also destined for the hotel – inevitably they arrived together!
“We always get excellent service from the Headway and an event of this size, together with a full hotel, would have been a challenge at the best of times,” said Squadron Leader Brian Jefferson, RAF Association Branch President and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, “but the way the staff coped with this upset to their plans was truly amazing. We can’t thank them enough.”
Air Cadets from 455 (Morecambe & Heysham), 1127 (Kendal) and 2246 (Carnforth) Squadrons did a sterling job of escorting guests to their tables and persuading them to part with their money for the Grand Raffle!
Guests heard an address by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, who revealed a personal connection with the RAF: his cousin, the third Lord Shuttleworth, had been an RAF pilot and was shot down off the Isle of Wight on 8thMay 1940.
“An excellent evening was had by all. As one guest commented: “I love the camaraderie of the armed forces associations and the work they do and yesterday demonstrated what they are all about. To have senior officers, high ranking civic dignitaries, service and ex-service personnel of all ranks and young cadets all mixing together, and excellent and emotional speeches and a super “master of ceremonies” was a wonderful thing.”
Here are numerous photos to mark this important event:
Top Table guests: (front row left to right) Mrs Deb Lee; Squadron Leader Brian Jefferson MBE, RAF Association Branch President & Master of Ceremonies; Cllr Roger Mace & Mrs Joyce Mace, Mayor & Mayoress of Lancaster; Lady Anne Shuttleworth; (back row left to right) Rev Gp Capt Richard Lee (Northern Region Chaplain RAF Air Cadets); Lord Charles Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire; Mrs Amy Robinson, RAFA Northern Area Director; Mrs Mandy Cliffe; Air Vice Marshall John Cliffe, Chairman RAFA Central Council. (Missing from the photograph: Cllr Pat Wooff, Mayor of Carnforth and her daughter Mrs Leonie Hodgson; Cllr Liz Scott, Lancaster City Council Armed Forces Champion.)
Lord Shuttleworth giving his address.
Representatives of the RAF Air Cadets welcomed all the guests showing them to their hosting committee member and four others sold over £400 worth of raffle tickets. They came for 455 Morecambe and Heysham Squadron and 2246 Carnforth Squadron
These photos show 115 guests enjoying a wonderful evening.
Such events don’t happen by themselves: for this one the agreement for use of the Headway Hotel was obtained in January 2016 and planning started from then. Eyes were focussed on opportunities to invite the most senior of people for the top table. On the two days on and before the event a wonderful display of RAF activities capturing 100 years had to be put in place and we are most thankful to Squadron Leader Brian Jefferson Branch President and David Hodgson Welfare Officer for all their hard work in collecting the exhibits and displaying them. Other members had to put up all the flags and bunting, the hotel staff prepared a fitting and beautiful setting for 121 places, a video covering 100 years had to be collated and displayed and finally the RAF Air Cadets had to be briefed.
All was going according to plan until a car crash on the M6 put a spoke into it all with late guests and a coach load of holiday makers collided with the people going down to dinner. Some how all was sorted out without any apparent fuss or loss of decorum. The hotel staff were just magnificent: they fed some 80 hotel guests and RAF100; the food was all up to their highest standard. Somebody just asked when were going to do this again, next week perhaps: not in our time we can tell you.
Secretary General Talk
Secretary General provided a very interesting and stimulating talk to Branch members, who all thought it was well worth attending:
An interesting AGM at which 29 members were present with Laura Northern Area Branch Support Officer in attendance:
Regent Park Pavilion Evening Venue for 2018
The Branch has agreed to move from Bare Village Club, which costs, excluding speakers, £30 per evening. The Pavilion is a more cosy venue with bar and snacks at no hiring costs. This year the manager and supporters won two major local awards for its flowers and setting.
Collectors with the Mayor of Lancaster
Armed Forces Sunday lowering of the Standards
Morecambe & Lancaster Branch: National Presidential Certificate
The Chairman and Secretary receive the National Presidential Certificate for services rendered to RAFA Morecambe and Lancaster Branch. In their view they were receiving this award on behalf of the Branch because many members contributed to it in a variety of ways. Many thanks to one and all.
Annual Christmas Lunch at the Headway Hotel Morecambe
This was a great event not to be missed and, as somebody commented, excellent value for money, superb organisation and friendly atmosphere with everybody enjoying themselves. If you missed out, then there is always next year!
Sunday Parade and Service at the Cenotaph in Morecambe
Remembrance Day on 11th November, Remembered
Members attended the parade at Morecambe Cenotaph. In the afternoon two members supported the Royal British Legion by manning a table in Morrison’s.
Rusland Annual Remembrance Service and Parade of Standards
Four Committee Members, including our Standard Bearer attended the event. The Royal British Legion were well represented and as usual provided, through the parish, excellent hospitality which was gratefully received.
Battle of Britain Service
The Battle of Britain Service in St Barnabas Parish Church, Morecambe, incorporated the theme of the Few and the Many. Before the Service a silent video was shown of the main events, from the departure of the RAF in France up to the Blitz This provided the correct atmosphere for what was a very moving service.