Welcome to the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion
THE HONDÓN VALLEY BRANCH OF THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
VISITS “TOP GUN”
A few months ago, following the attendance at a Hondón Valley Branch meeting by Sgt (Dai) Williams RAF, a seed was sown to try and organise a visit to the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) based at Los Llanos Military Airbase, Albacete.
TLP delivers training courses for NATO pilots and support personnel. During these courses, they hold open days exclusively for course participants. It was decided that a visit during one of these open days would be an enjoyable and rare opportunity for TRBL members to engage with military personnel and aircraft from many different nations. Following a confirmatory trip and some intense planning and organisation, Hondón Valley Branch members headed north to Albacete on Thursday 17th November.
With a full coach of rather exited aviation fans, we were met and very professionally hosted all day by Sgt Williams. After a hot beverage in the Airman’s canteen, we were given a guided tour of the Students’ accommodation, recreation areas and facilities.
A rather filling 3 course lunch then followed in the air base restaurant.
The TLP Commandant, Colonel Luis Villar Coloma and Suboficial mayor (WO) Zaranton formally welcomed the Group to Los Llanos Airbase and the TLP Facilities. In return Nigel Hails, District Chairman, thanked them for their co-operation and assistance in enabling the visit to go ahead.
The next activity was an important safety briefing before being ‘Let Loose ‘ onto the Runway/ Flight line for 2 hours.
The Branch members were spellbound by the informality and closeness you could achieve with 35 different NATO Fighter aircraft. Pilots and ground crew were on site to give guided tours of their respective jets, answer any questions and help visitors into the cockpits for the amazing photograph opportunities.
During the Flight line visit Cpl Simmons, (RAF) very kindly donated the unit’s Poppy Appeal contributions to the Branch. The photograph opportunity for this event was taken in front of a Royal Air Force Hawk Jet.
Reluctantly the Branch were then gathered together before a Group-Team photograph. The Base memorabilia shop opened selling an array of “Top Gun Aviator” type goodies, clothing and merchandise.
After a cold drink and some farewells, the Branch were mustered onto the coach and returned to Home Base, the Hondon Valley.
The Branch would like to extend a massive thank –you to the TLP Commandant and his team based at Los Llanos.
The November weather was perfect. The sun shone in blue skies and Branch members will remember the visit for a long time.
Remembrance Service - November 2014
At the Hondón Valley Branch Remembrance Service on llth November, we were honoured to have Captain Lemkes, RN, Defence Attaché together with Sgt Michelle Kadshaw RAF, Assistant to the Defence Attaché from the British Embassy in Madrid in attendance. They are pictured here with Chris Wyatt, Branch Chairman, and Nigel Hails, Chairman of District North.
The Service, was lead by the Branch Padre Reverend Canon Terence Sampson and included music from the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums and the Phoenix Concert Band. A local Spanish choir sang several songs, one of which they had written for the Service. Branch member Tony Brown read a self penned poem entitled..... to end all wars.
It was a delightful service with many thought provoking elements with extra emphasis given to the beginning of WW1 l00 years ago. The little Aula del Cultura in Hondón de las Nieves was full of members and friends both English and Spanish from around the area. click here to read the poem from Tony Brown
Branch Celebrates its 8th Birthday.
The Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion celebrated their 8th Birthday with a huge cake designed as a poppy. Three of the original founding members were on hand to cut the cake, current Chairman Chris Wyatt, past Chairman Dave Stewart and Treasurer and cake baker Wendy Dengate.
The evening also included a Photographic Competition, a picture quiz, a talk on welfare when we heard that not only does the Legion spend £1.4m a week on welfare services, but our Branch had raised over 45,000€ since its inception. A fantastic amount for a small inland Branch.
Our birthday evening finished off with a slide show of photos taken over the past eight years of all the various Branch events and it was “a walk down memory lane” - amazing how different some of us look! It didn’t take too long to eat the cake either! Now the Branch is looking forward to its ninth year and gathering new members along with new memories.
Discovery of Orito & Monforte 1st July 2014
Members and friends of Hondón Valley and Pinoso Branches of The Royal British Legion enjoyed a fabulous day out organised by Monforte Town Hall and Orito Micro Brewery and thanks go them both for all their help and assistance. Anna & Pedro, English speaking guides, explained the history around the San Pascual Hermit Cave and Father Lorenzo, who tends the area, was on hand to answer questions. San Pascual was the last Saint to be made in Spain and he had many healing powers. Brides today still take their bouquets to lay in the chapel and ask for good health. The San Pascual Pilgrimage, held in May, is a well attended fiesta. The best views ever were to be seen from the top of the mountain. After a quick look in the Tourist Office in the centre of Orito we were privileged to be shown around the Convent by one of the Cappuccino monks and see much of the cultural changes since the 1500´s. After an enjoyable Spanish menu del dia at San Pascual Terrace Restaurant it was onto visit Manuel and Jessica at the Orito Brewery actually in Monforte. Tasting of the beer was a great way to end the day and some went home well stocked up! (click here for further photos)
Crescendo International Choir sings for the Poppy Appeal
The Crescendo International Choir staged an evening of popular music on 14th June in the Aula del Cultura, Hondón de las Nieves to raise funds for the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion. Nearly 300€ was raised towards the 2014 Poppy Appeal. The choir sang a repertoire of musicals and poignant music from the past including the song written by Chas Smith for the RBL 90th Celebrations staged in Alicante in 2011 ¨Remember Them¨. They were directed and accompanied by Musical Director Irene Oliva Andres and pianist Tony Guillen. The Mayor and Councillors of Hondón de las Nieves attended and enjoyed the evening saying that ¨ music crosses all nations and has joined us together for a wonderful evening¨. Event Organiser Wendy Dengate said ¨Our thanks go to all the Members of the choir who willingly gave their support and we look forward to welcoming them back in the future¨.
Poppy Appeal total for 2013
The Branch Christmas Party was held in Hondón de las Nieves. Following an “American Supper” with tables groaning with food, member Tony Brown entertained everyone with two cameo roles including the “Patagonian Eagle” that had a tendency to moult! much to the hilarity of the audience. Wendy and Tony organised a quick quiz and party games – pass the parcel being particularly popular.
During the evening the Poppy Appeal total for 2013 was announced. The Branch had raised 8036.28€ a superb amount and thanks went to all those who had helped raise money for the Charity.
Remembrance Service - llth November 2013
l-r Chris Wyatt, District Chairman, Peter Broadbent, Branch President, Alan Reed, Neil Pavitt and John Hodson - Standard Bearers and Dave Stewart, Branch Chairman
The service took place at the village Church in Hondon de los Frailes. For further photos, please click here.
To see a You Tube video, please click here
The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading Armed Forces charity and one of its largest membership organisations. Members get together through the network of branches and clubs all over the country and overseas to participate in social, fundraising and welfare activities.
Hondón Valley Branch meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Restaurante Monte Alto, Poligono Industrial, Hondón de las Nieves at 7.00pm for 7.30pm.
Membership is open to everyone. If you have an interest in the objectives of the Legion and want to help and support for those who have served and their families, come and join us. We welcome men and women of all ages, whether they have served in the Armed Forces or not.
Legion membership ensures that
- Remembrance is kept alive and that the sacrifices our brave Service men and women have made are never forgotten.
- The ex-Service community have a voice and that their concerns are brought to the public eye.
Becoming a member also provides the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities and events held locally, regionally and nationally throughout the year.
If you wish to contact us or to report any inaccuracies or omissions on this site, please click here
About The Royal British Legion
We provide financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces - past and present and their families. The Legion is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces and is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.
Founded in 1921, the Legion is not just about those who fought in the two World Wars of the last century, but also about those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting for the freedom we enjoy today.
Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk for details of our national initiatives.