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Hondon Valley

Welcome to the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion

To find out about The Royal British Legion, the Hondon Valley Branch and getting assistance, please click here

The next meeting of  the Hondon Valley Branch  we will be at the Polideportivo Restaurante, Aspe (old Aspe Road) on Tuesday 16th July 2019, time  7p.m. for 7.30 p.m. (please see map)


We have a full meeting planned so please come along 7.p.m. for 7.30 p.m.  For more information please email the secretary on   hondonvalley.secretary@rbl.community 

June Meeting - Fun and Games Night!

 

 

  

Following the formal part where the Chairman updated members on recent changes to the Legion line up, members settled into an evening of fun and games.

As well as the “normal” darts, table skittles and shove ha’penny (50 cents) there were the more unusual games.  One member, George, correctly guessed the weight of a bottle of whiskey. The “rat down a drain pipe” grew great crowds of participants, as did the “duck shooting gallery” and fairground “grabber” machine.  Rhoda, who “downed” the most ducks in the shooting gallery surprised herself at her fantastic shooting ability, beating some members who thought they were “crack shots”!! Our new venue gave us lots of space to display all the various games.

The next Branch meeting will be 16th July at the Polideportivo Aspe (old Aspe Road) 7 for 7.30 p.m.   A summer party is planned for 18th July and this will be a great outdoor event for members and guests.

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Do you recognise these ladies?!!  They are on the front cover of the latest District North Spain Magazine. Click here

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April Meeting - Easter Bonnets and Eggs.....

The Branch April Meeting had a real Easter feel about it - with lots of eggs - decorated and chocolate, and a wide variety of beautiful hats.  The competition was fierce but our photo below shows the overall winner Sylvia Stewart and all the other contestants.

 

 

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THE HONDÓN VALLEY BRANCH IN RECENT DRAMA
 (we thank Peter Broadbent for the following critique)

DIVAs (Drama in the Valley Association), a fledgling Amateur Dramatic Society in the Hondón Valley, recently staged McGillivray & Zerlin’s ‘Murder at Checkmate Manor’. A production that included scripted missed entrances, an undisciplined set, miss-timed sound effects, seemingly off-the-cuff dialogue and uncertain lighting, proved to be an entertaining and adventurous choice for their first production. Thankfully, the support of the Hondón de los Frailes Ayuntamiento and a small, but effective team of support staff, made everything possible.

Seven of those taking part were members of the local Hondón Valley Branch. The brilliant Sandra Ward, as the scripted Chairperson, heralded the start of a production that occasionally reminded me of the fondly remembered ‘Acorn Antiques’. The nine member cast, gainfully played the numerous characters and unexpected costume and character changes added to the confusion and amusement. Richard de Ste Croix’s purposefully troublesome set had a mind of its own, offering an additional degree of uncertainty. 

As a lover of farce, I found the absurdity of the piece, thoroughly entertaining.  All the cast were well rehearsed under Lorraine Latchford and Julie Cooke’s direction. Anna Woodham as Lady Doreen and Barbara Colclough as Pawn kept the gaffe-filled plot moving along nicely. Thankfully Joe Logan, playing Daphne, disguised his masculinity well within a badly tailored tennis skirt: but reinvented himself in the closing scene as an Astronaut wearing a domestic hot water heater as a back pack! Chris Wyatt, playing Inspector O’Reilly with more than a hint of ‘Clouseau’, benefitted from wearing the same costume throughout.  Along with his “sister” Patricia de Ste Croix, Len Simm  had one of the least demanding roles as a wheel-chaired curmudgeon, later playing the family solicitor. Last, but by no means least, Peggy Wyatt, as a Cook in an inflatable suit, was an extraordinary sight.

Jacqueline Logan, the ‘prompter’, unashamedly sitting amongst the audience, was only required once to my knowledge: but I could be wrong ... not knowing if her intervention was necessary or scripted. Judging by the reaction of those sitting around me, everybody enjoyed the performance. I hope that DIVAs continues to entertain us for years to come: particularly those like me, who lack the ambition ... or talent to ‘tread-the-boards’ themselves!

Those of you with an unfulfilled dream ‘to get up on stage’, are cordially invited to contact Julie Cooke at hondondivas@gmail.com.

I leave you with this .... Sir Thomas Beecham is reputed to have once remarked, ‘If there is to be a chair for Theatre Critics ... I think it had better be an electric one!’

Peter Broadbent.

 

 

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Hondon Valley Branch Commemorates World Forest Day 2019

At the March meeting of the Hondón Valley Branch, members heard from the President, Lt Col Pete Lodge MBE, on a variety of recent events involving Armed Forces personnel and veterans.  He paid tribute to the Forces Wives Challenge raising money for The RBL. The ladies have been in Chile and after undergoing 10 days altitude acclimatisation training, they climbed Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world at 6893 metres above sea level, to raise awareness of loneliness and isolation. He praised their courage and determination.  

Members also heard from Peter Broadbent, a previous Branch President, whose humorous reminiscences revolved around the magazine Campo he started in 2001.  One item that caused much mirth was the following

“Beverley, the 6 year old daughter of friends, was asked where her grandparents lived.   She replied ‘They live at the airport. When we want them, we pick them up. When we’ve finished with them we take them back to the airport.’ “

In March last year, the Branch remembered World Poetry Day and were delighted when a number of members wrote some amazing poems.  This year, however, we commemorated “World Forest Day” and members took part in a quiz testing their knowledge of the rain forest, its inhabitants and flora and fauna.  In April members will be showing their creative skills when they compete for the “best decorated egg” and the Easter Bonnet competition.

 Further information on future events and meetings is available from the Secretary (hondonvalley.secretary@rbl.community)   The Branch meets on the third Tuesday of each month in the Hondón Valley.   New members will be made most welcome and it is not necessary to have an Armed Forces connection in order to join in and take part in any of the Branch events.

Our photo shows members just prior to completing the quiz.

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Hondon Valley Branch Remembers Robert Burns

When members and guests of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion sat down for their Burns’ Night Supper, little did they know just what a great evening was planned.  The venue was El Nuevo Valle, in Hondón de los Frailes and the MC for the evening was Ronnie Mannall.  The piper, Tony Dolphin, did us proud and got us all in the Scottish spirit.

Ronnie recounted the life of Scotland’s National Poet – Robert Burns and we then celebrated in a way Burns would have approved  – eating, drinking,  music, piping and poetry (and of course, the craic!)  The haggis was piped in by Tony, which  we toasted with a “ wee dram “ of whiskey, before tucking into Scotch broth , Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, steak pie, topping off the meal with Boozy Trifle, coffee and Scottish Butter Tablet.  A number of members took part reading poems and the “Toast to the Lassies” by Joe Logan and “Response” by Carol were particularly entertaining.  Following the meal Carol had prepared a super Scottish Quiz where members grouped into Clans.  Tricky questions but very “educational” – for those Sassenachs among us!  After the various toasts we all linked arms for Auld Lang Syne.  A really enjoyable and memorable evening.

 

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Hondón Valley Branch – Great Pride

The AGM of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion was a well attended evening, with both a new President and Chairman being elected.  The President is Lt Col Peter Lodge MBE and he gave a very interesting and poignant speech on his time in the Army and commended the Legion’s work with those leaving the Armed Forces but suffering from PTSD.  Just one thread of the Legion’s support for its beneficiaries.

The Chairman, Neil Pavitt remarked on an amazing year, commencing with a District Award for Recruiting new members.  In August he and Roger Kingham, as Branch Standard Bearer, attended the GP90 Commemoration Ceremony in Belgium;   and then talked of all the social activities and fund raising events of the year.  Neil paid tribute to the Committee and all the members who had helped support the Branch during the year in so many differing ways.  The Branch members showed their pride by loudly applauding our Standard which now displays the Ypres Scroll – being one of only two Branches in the whole of Spain who attended the event.  The other Branch being our colleagues from Mojacar.

The Christmas meeting will be held at The Fogon Restaurant in Hondón de los Frailes and for information regarding this or other Branch activities, please either visit the website: www.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/hondon-valley or contact the secretary on hondonvalley.secretary@rbl.community.  For Community support enquires, please ring 646 45 17 80
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 The Branch Remembrance Service took place on Saturday 10th November at the Catholic Church in the centre of Hondon de los Frailes.  The beautiful Church was full – with standing room only.  Father Don Witts officiated and welcomed Elizabeth Bell MBE, Vice Consul from the British Consulate in Alicante and the congregation to this special service of Remembrance and Commemoration of 100 years since the end of the Great War.  Victor Ramirez Segura, the local European Councillor, read the Lesson in Spanish.  Also taking part was the Spanish choir – Corro-Parroquial Inglesia San-Pedro Apostol de La Romana.  They had written a hymn especially for the Branch – We will Remember Them- and performed it during the Service.

To commemorate the centenary, Branch members read extracts from “Forgotten Voices of the Great War covering each of the four years until the time the Armistice was announced.  These were very emotional and often harrowing accounts of life in the trenches at that time.  (These readings will be displayed on the Branch website)

At the end of the Service, Father Witts blessed the Branch Standard – recognising the new Ypres Scroll following attendance at the Great Pilgrimage 90 in Belgium in August this year.  Hondón Valley Branch was one of only two Branches from the whole of Spain who attended this event and Branch members are very proud that their Standard was one of over one thousand Standards from all over the world.

The Branch Standard and National Flags, together with Piper, Tony Dolphin then led the parade from the Church to the Ayuntamiento garden where wreaths and Memorial crosses were laid. 

 

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The Royal British Legion Remembrance Service on Saturday 10th November will take place at the Catholic Church in the pedestrian area in Hondón de los Frailes.  (We ask that the congregation take their seats by 10.40 a.m.)  This year of course we commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1 and we are planning to include in the Service readings from the trenches;  especially poignant will be reminisces of the moment the Armistice was announced.  Following the service there will be a parade the short distance to the garden of the Ayuntamiento where members, guests and visitors are welcome to lay small crosses of Remembrance in the area provided. (Crosses will be available on the day)

 

 

District North Spain Magazine - October 2018.  (click here for link to the Magazine)  See how many times you can see references to the Branch!!

 

Hondón Valley Legion – Changes at the top - September

 New Chairman And Standard

Last week was the first Branch meeting following the summer break.  It saw the change of Chairman as Ian and his wife at moving to another area.  Neil Pavitt has now taken over as Chairman (pro tem) and thanked Ian for all the work undertaken over his chairmanship. 

Neil then gave the Branch a humorous - and often moving – account of his attendance in August at the Great Pilgrimage in Belgium, along with Branch Standard Bearer Roger Kingham.  They joined thousands of Armed Forces veterans and supporters from across the UK and worldwide in a pilgrimage of remembrance to some of WW1’s most poignant sites.     The three day event saw the 2,200 participants visit the WW1 trenches, battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium.  A very moving experience.

The recreating of the historic pilgrimage of 1928 was the Legion’s biggest membership event in modern history and was a suitable tribute from the members of The Royal British Legion in honour of the First World War generation, echoing the way the British Legion community commemorated the 10th anniversary of the conflict in 1928.

The meeting ended with the Parading of the Branch Standard resplendent in its new “Ypres 2018” scroll, which was in recognition of the Hondon Valley Branch taking part. Neil then thanked Branch members for their support.

Photo:  Ian McNeil and Neil Pavitt

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 HONDÓN VALLEY BRANCH LEGION MEMBERS HONOUR WW1 GENERATION BY RECREATING HISTORIC PILGRIMAGE OF 1928

More than 2,200 standard bearers and wreath layers paid tribute to the fallen.

Members of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion joined thousands of Armed Forces veterans and supporters from across the UK and worldwide in a pilgrimage of remembrance to some of WW1’s most poignant sites.

A spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial, led by 1,100 Standard Bearers, was the culmination of the three day event which saw the 2,200 participants visit the WW1 trenches, battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium.

Roger Kingham and Neil Pavitt attended the Great Pilgrimage 90 as representatives of Hondón Valley Branch, as a Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.

Mr Neil Pavitt, Parade Marshal District North Spain, a member of the Hondón Valley Branch said “Being part of such an historic event and representing my Branch in commemorating those that lost their lives in the First World War, was an honour and something I will never forget.”

The Branch Chairman, Ian McNeil said “The Branch members are extremely proud that Neil and Roger represented the Hondon Valley Branch in this event, recreating the Great Pilgrimage of 1928 and were also able to visit various cemeteries, museums and trenches.”

Roger Kingham And Standard

 

 Roger Kingham, Branch Standard Bearer

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The Hondón Valley Branch held its Summer Party at Tipsy Terrace in Hondón de los Frailes on 15th June.  This year it was in the form of a “Hog Roast”.  The hog weighed in at 80 kilos which meant there were “seconds” and even “thirds” for some!  Thanks goes to Jo, Steve and their team for their support.

Over 100 members, friends and guests enjoyed the afternoon.  Following the meal there was entertainment from the very “energetic” and extremely talented singer Suzie G.  The heat of the day did not seem to affect her exuberance as she encouraged guests to sing along with favourite songs and then dance to the “infectious music”  - including ABBA .

During the afternoon guests could “name the Teddy Bear” – the winning name being Nibbles!  as well as two auctions and lucky number draws.  The afternoon raised in excess of 600€ which was a great sum for Legion funds.

Thanks must go to Neil, Lucy and all the many helpers who made this such a fun event.  click here to see further photos

Group 1

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The May meeting of the Hondón Valley Branch saw us wishing we had a larger venue.  It was the return, by popular request, of Neil’s Magnificent Auctions.  Neil said he was amazed at the number of good quality items donated by members and friends.  At the end of the evening, Neil and his helpers, found they had raised over 350€ with half going to the Poppy Appeal and the remainder towards the cost for two Branch members to attend in August the re enactment of the Great Pilgrimage (90 years on).  With new members joining on the evening plus a full house of regulars, it was once again a fun evening.

Ian McNeil – Chairman – said “It was a lot of hard work by Neil and his “helpers” and I would like to thank them and I really appreciate the support of our members and friends in raising such a large amount in a couple of hours.

The Photo shows  Neil Pavitt and one of his helpers - Carol

Auction 1 (1)

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The April meeting of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion saw the Chairman Ian McNeil presenting certificates to our Branch Poets Extraordinaire.  The poems are now displayed on this website.  The social time included a quiz of anagrams of Beatles Songs, with much mirth as the answers were “sung” by members!  There then followed the Human Fruit Machine where members tried their luck at “three fruits in a row”.  By the end of the evening some of the fruits – particularly the bananas – were inedible!  A great fun evening raising monies for the Poppy Appeal.

Our photo shows our Human Fruit Machine ie.

Lucy, Hazel and Pam

Human Fruit Machine 18

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To commemorate World Poetry Day the Branch held a Poetry Competition.  The overall Members' favourite poem was written by Chris Pedley.  Congratulations to Chris and fellow Poets.  Click here to read all the poems.

Here we have Poets Extraordinaire

l-r  Chris Wyatt, Neil Pavitt, Carol Wealleans, Chris Pedley and Peter Broadbent.

Hv Poets

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Click here to view the April 2018 Edition of the District North Magazine

https://issuu.com/rblspaindistrictnorthnewsletter/docs/district_north_magazine_april_2018

 

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The Hondon Valley Branch is presented with the prestigious Recruiting and Retention Award.

At the District North Spain Conference on 26th January 2018,  Recruiting and Retention Award for 2017 was presented to the Branch Chairman, Ian McNeil.  This Award recognises an increased membership and retention measures over the previous three years.

Ian said he was very surprised and delighted and paid tribute to all the hard work by his Committee members since the Branch was inaugurated 11 years ago.

 2018 Agm Hondon Award Recruitment 1

our photo shows Ian McNeil receiving the award from Emma Cannings, Director for Membership and Volunteering, together with Peggy Wyatt, Principal District Recruiting Officer and other Officers of the Branch.

Congratulations to all

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CELEBRATING BURN’S NIGHT

Tony The Piper

 

Guests 3

40 Members and Guests celebrated Burn’s Night at El Nuevo Valle, Hondón de los Frailes in grand style.  Tony, the Piper did us proud and got us all in the Scottish spirit, with some members even trying out their (bad) Scottish accents!

Our MC for the evening Ronnie Mannell, told us of the life of Scotland’s National Poet – Robert Burns  and we then celebrated in a way that Burns would have approved of  – eating, drinking,  music, piping and poetry! (and of course chatting) The haggis was piped in by Tony, which  we toasted with a “ wee dram “ of whiskey, before tucking into Neeps and Tatties, steak pie, and finally topping off the meal with Tipsy Laird Trifle.

There followed a number of poems and the evening will also be remembered for Neil Pavitt’s poem “There’s a Moose Loose about the Hooooose”! The evening finished with a rendition of one of Burn’s famous songs Auld Lang Syne and fitting tribute to a great evening.

For further photos, please click here

Branch AGM and Awards
Group

The recent Branch AGM was far from a “stodgy” affair.  The Chairman Ian McNeil welcomed the recent past President Peter Broadbent and his wife.  After ten active years, Peter was standing down as President and the role was now undertaken by Dave Stewart.  To Peter’s surprise and delight, he was presented with a Poppy Pin made from British brass artillery fuses found on the battle sites at Passchendaele.  His wife Margaret was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Ian McNeil said he was delighted to recognise the tremendous work for the Branch and the Legion given by the members.  Firstly he presented four Branch Awards – for service over and above that expected of a member – to Neil and Lucy Pavitt and Hazel and Dudley Rice.  Then came the Poppy Awards.  These were presented to Neil and Lucy Pavitt, both for five years service and Dave Sparks for ten years service to the Poppy Appeal.  All these awards received great applause and not a few tears from the members present.

The meeting finished with a fun event put on by Pam Edwards who now covers social activities for the Branch.

The Committee are planning an extensive social programme for 2018 and anyone interested in coming along to any meetings or events is more than welcome- you do not need an Armed Forces background to be a member of a Legion Branch. Normal meetings (except December) are held at the Polideportivo Restaurant in Hondón de las Nieves the third Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. 

Our photo shows recipients of Awards together with the Chairman, Past and Present President.

 

Here is the September District Magazine (look for the article on the Branch Summer Party!!)

Click on this link to see the September Magazine