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Newsletter

Welcome to the Redcar Branch of The Royal British Legion

REDCAR BRANCH – ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

NEWSLETTER – AUTUMN 2018

 

Latest News                         Many things have happened over the past few months within the branch. New national rules and rules imposed by the charity commission and Data protection have created members of the committee with a lot of extra work. Almost every committee member has had to undergo training to comply with the new regulations plus the whole new recording system has become electronic so extra training on computer recording has been undertaken. Its certainly not like it used to be. Thankfully our members have done this without question and it has all been done in their own time with no costs imposed on the branch itself. It is because of these new systems that we encourage more people to join on line and to pay by direct debit. Anyone who is I.T. enthusiasts and would like to help the branch is asked to come forward and volunteer to help us comply with the rules and help us run the branch efficiently. We aren’t getting any younger. Also, none of the branch committee should hold more than one role but most of us hold two or three, can you help? We really need more members so can you help us and become our recruiting officer.

 

Armed Forces Day             What a great day, it really was one of our best yet but it wasn’t easy with so many rules and regulations to imposed by the local authority and so many none legion members having a say in the planning of the event. We had to attend so many meetings and site visits in addition to trying to raise the funding to pay for the many things that we did. We are hoping that next year we can find sponsors who will give us financial support in return for their company logos/names being included within the program or having a stall on the High Street. It really was a great day with work by the three cadet forces to show off their respective skills, plus many reserve units showing their roles within the army. Many local charities and ex-service charities having stalls plus our main partners in organising the event, Redcar Rotary and RCBC. We had a march along the High Street with many standard bearers and veterans led by the army cadet pipe and drum band, followed by a nice service conducted by the Rev Rachel Harrison from St Peters Church in company with of the Vice Lord Lieutenant and the local Mayor. We had a brass band, a children’s choir, a roving lady singing old time songs and lots, lots more plus plenty of sunshine to make it so memorable, plus a fly over by a Dakota aircraft from the Memorial Flight.

 

Funerals       Sadly we have attended many recently with the branch standard which is our duty and our honour to thank those who have served their country. We are always available at no cost to anyone.

 

Cadets           We continue to work closely with all our local cadet forces and I’m pleased to say we have now a contact with the Royal Marine Cadet detachment so hope to have them on board for some of our future events. On Armed Forces Day we held our annual drill and standard bearers drill competitions as part of the days entertainment, with he Air Training Corps 2394 Detachment winning the main drill competition and a young lady cadet from the TS Zetland (Sea Cadet) winning the Standard Bearers trophy, both these were presented by Redcar Rotary and presented to the winners on H4H Race Day.2394Sqn Air Training Corps have now applied to be affiliated to Redcar Branch of the Royal British Legion.

 

Fund Raising           The branch have had its stall at so many events this year including some organised by non-military groups and these have been met with a good response from the public who have really supported us in raising money for the Poppy Appeal. We had our annual Help 4 Heroes (H4H) race day which again proved a great success and gave us some good media coverage. We really are trying to promote the legion, especially our own branch and we are trying to recruit people of all ages. Please try yourselves to encourage people to join, it is no longer for service and ex service people anyone can be a member now and for what is less that 33 pence a week they can have the honour of being a member of one of the most helpful charities for our service and ex service community. Can you get one person to join us this year please try, or if you once were a member but have let your membership lapse, think how your membership can help someone who has been there ready to put their lives on the line so we can be free. We had a stall on Yorkshire Day in the town which was a great success, we have one planned for three days in October for the Railways War Weekend at Grosmont Railway Station with a parade and service of remembrance on the Sunday of that weekend in 14th. Come along and visit us or even volunteer to help us once you have joined the branch.

 

Garden of Remembrance            You may have noticed that we have got  rid of all the shrubs from the rockery that had overgrown and obscured the rocks but we are working now closely with the council  and Friends of Redcar (FRED) with a view to having something placed there to commemorate the end of World War One but it may be into next year before it happens as funding has to be sought. We have though cleared the grass from around the flag pole and had slate spread there which looks really nice and clean also easier to maintain plus over the next month or so we are having gates fitted to all the entrances to the garden which we hope will stop the dog fouling. The front gates are to be financed by Redcar Rotary and the two rear ones from the Cenotaph Restoration Fund.

 

Sponsored swim    Our branch president Mr Alan Frankland (85 Years) is doing a swim to raise money for the Poppy Appeal, he is swimming a total of 100 miles to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One. He is swimming half a mile a day, Monday to Friday in Redcar Swimming pool and hopes to complete this fabulous achievement by the end of October. If you would like to help him by sponsoring him you can send it to our branch office at Coatham Road Social Club, Redcar. He really is an inspiration to us all.

Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90)        This was an event to mark the 90th anniversary of the pilgrimage that took place in 1928 when the legion took thousands of veterans from the Great War, their families and relatives of those who had lost their lives during that war. It was planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the last 100 days of that war. The intention was to take as many standard bearers and wreath layers from as many branches as possible to march through Ypres in Belgium to hold a service of Remembrance at the Menin Gate on the 8th August. Each wreath was designed to have GP90 in the centre with a band across bearing the name of the branch. I was honoured to be selected by the branch committee to carry Redcar Branch Standard and our president Alan Frankland to carry the branch wreath. The card on the wreath had been written by a couple of school children chosen following a competition between the schools, we also took some wooden crosses from members and school children from Zetland Primary school with a book of poems they had completed and these we placed at war graves in France and Belgium that we visited during our stay. We had two days touring battlefields and war graves then held the march on the 8th August. It was a long day we left the hotel at 7.30am arriving in Ypres at 8.45am we then waited around until just after 1030am when we were formed up on a street on the outskirts of town in four ranks, around 1200 Standard Bearers and the same amount od wreath layers waited in this street getting everyone in  position, it was around 25 degrees, so quite warm and we were rather close together to ensure we were all in the one street. This street was during the war the main street where our troops had arrived by rail at the nearby station and walked up this same street to the front line, so it was rather moving, making us think how lucky we were to be here where these men had walked so infact many never to return. We then marched at 10.45 through the town about a mile through the Menin Gate doing a “U” turn back towards the gate and stopping 12 across for the service of remembrance, during the silence poppy petals fell….many a tear was shed during that period, what a honour and privilege it was to be there representing our branch and town. We had travelled a long way but not that many as we met a Standard Bearer from South Africa and one from The Falkland Islands so some journey they had covered. Following the service at around 1.30pm we marched back through the gate, through the town back towards where we started and just before the end everyone burst into song, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” , what applause we got from the crowds lining the streets. Such a proud moment for us all, I doubt if this will ever be repeated. Our Standard will now bear the scroll, “Ypres 2018”.

Forthcoming Events         Friday 14th September at 7pm – branch 100th anniversary of the War Social Evening in Coatham Road Social Club, our home. Entrance for the evening is only £2 and all the proceeds go to the Poppy Appeal. We have Dave Miller Singer/guitarist entertaining us at no expense, he is actually the Chairman of Boosebeck branch and we thank him so much. Plus we have bingo and a raffle, so if you have any unwanted gifts that you would like to donate please let us have them as soon as possible. Tickets are on sale behind the bar but may be available on the night but we are restricted in numbers. Our surprise for the evening though is the branches own version of the old TV comedy show “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”, when members of the branch will be performing this show or trying to, we are in rehearsals now, please come along and support us on the night and help the appeal.

Grosmont War Weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12th, 13th and 14th October we will have a stall on the platform in aid of the Poppy Appeal, on the Sunday on the car park to the rear of the station we will hold a short parade of veterans and Standards with a short service of remembrance around lunch time please come and join us, its usually a great weekend.

Launch of 2018/2019 Poppy Appeal – On Friday 26th October 10.30am at the Garden of Remembrance, Coatham Road, opposite the Cenotaph we will launch the appeal, not just for Redcar but this year we are honoured to have been asked to host the launch here not just for Redcar but for the whole of North Yorkshire County. WE will   have representatives from North and East Yorkshire County Committee but other VIPs including the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. We would love it if as many of our members and members of the general public came along for this very special day for the town and this branch. The following Day Saturday 27th we launch the street collection part of the appeal when all the cadets and our other appeal collectors join together in the High Street to meet the Mayor and our branch officials for the launch of the street collection, this too is at 10.30am so please come along and show your support to our collectors who brave the elements to collect for this very worthy charity supporting our service and ex-service community.

Friday 2nd November          Poppy Appeal Social Evening, from 7pm in Coatham Road Social Club, a full evening of entertainment with a professional artist to sing to us and get the night swinging with a great selection of music, old and new, plus a usual great raffle, bingo and tombola. We thank the Committee of the social club who pay for the artist for this special evening where again all the proceeds go to the appeal. Any unwanted gifts or goods would be appreciated. A small charge of £2 entrance will be made on the evening.

Sunday 11th November 1040am Remembrance Day Parade from Coatham Road Social Club.

Branch Meetings    We still hold our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month in our home at Coatham Road Social Club, 92/94 Coatham Road, Redcar TS10 1RY, our email address is rblredcar@live.co.uk phone number 01642 20177 (answerphone as we don’t man the office all the time). We would love people to come along to these meetings and met not just the committee but other members who come along just for a hour or so to find out what is happening within the branch. We try to make it an easy evening but start with the honours first to those who have gone before us. We ask all members to speak to their friends and try to encourage them to join this worthwhile charity that is dedicated to the service and Ex-service community. You don’t have to have served in any branch of the armed forces to become a member and joining is so easy and not expensive. You need no money on the evening of our meetings, there are no hidden extras.

Produced by Eric Howden BEM – Chairman Redcar Branch & Vice Chairman North and East Yorkshire. Printed by Redcar Branch Royal British Legion.

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