poppy field









Membership News


Three new members have joined us since the last Newsletter: We welcome Mr Peter Percival, ex RAF, Mr P Guggenheim ex Merchant Navy, and Sergeant Alex Hicks serving in the RAF at Benson; this brings our current membership up to 231. However there are still a number of cash payers who have not yet renewed their subscriptions for the year 2009/10, and we would be very pleased to receive these as soon as possible. As in previous years money can be paid to any committee member or, thanks once again to the co-operation of the staff, left in a suitably marked envelope at Watlington Post Office. Remember it is stillonly £11.00 for the year, but it was due on 1st October.


Branch Matters


         Meetings: In future Tuesday evenings are to be Pool Nights in Watlington Memorial Club, and in order to avoid the possibility of disruption at our monthly meetings the decision was taken by members at the AGM to change from the first Tuesday in the month to the 2nd Monday starting in January 2010. Your committee made this recommendation after much deliberation and apologises to anyone who may be inconvenienced by it.

         Recent meetings have been well attended and the talks interesting and informative, especially that by Sqn Leader M C Allen in October. The December meeting will still be on the first Tuesday, ie December 1st, when chefs from RAF Benson will demonstrate their skills.

         The AGM was held on November 3rd; all the officers and committee members were re-elected and were joined by Alec Powell who was also elected.

         Welfare. It is a pleasure to report that 4 members have added their names to the list of volunteer drivers. A big thank you to them.

         Garden Fete in August was another great success and once again the weather was kind to us. The takings this year received a welcome boost from the Draw in which the first prize was won by Don Campbell who immediately donated it all back, 50% to the Legion and 50% to the Band. Thank you Don. We are also extremely grateful to the local shops and businesses which provided prizes and sponsorships as well of course to the many of you who bought and sold tickets. Gross income from the Fete and the Draw was £2701.00.

         Next year's programme will kick off with a talk on January 11th by Wing Commander Steve Molsom from RAF Benson; in February we shall be entertained by Mr Hugh Grainger on the subject of Deception in WW2;  in March we hope to host ex-Marine Gavin Stewart who will be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro early in December, and in April Mr Malcolm White from Thames Valley Police will address us on the subject of Crime Prevention. Further talks are being planned but have not yet been confirmed, so watch this space.


The Poppy Appeal was launched in Watlington by Squadron Leader M C Allen RAF

The Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service was very well attended and more people than ever were thought to be present. Chief Technician Boris Burnettfrom RAF Benson kept the contingents in good order. Chris Williams carried the Standard and the front rank was led by our newest member, Sgt A Hicks RAF. Wreaths were laid and the names of the fallen from both World Wars were read out.


         Although some of the collections were surprisingly down on last year, others were up, and the total amount collected during the two weeks was £7007.72which equates to a rise of almost 12% over 2008. So a huge thank you to Julie for organising everything so efficiently, to all the volunteer collectors, to the Post Office staff for their help with the counting and banking, and of course to all the generous donors and Poppy buyers.


Other Matters


Would you like to adopt a soldier? If so the Padre of 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan early next year would love to hear from you. Write to him at Somme Barracks, Catterick Garrison, N Yorks, DL9 4LD.

A visit by coach to Bovingdon tank Museum in Dorset is being planned if enough people show interest. The likely cost will be £20 - £25. If anyone would like to go please contact the Chairman on 613105.

Watlington Concert Band will be giving their annual concert in the Primary School on Saturday 28th November. Doors open @ 7.30, concert starts at 8pm.

Michael Slater, acclaimed author of a new biography of Charles Dickens, will be reading from "A Christmas Carol"  in the Town Hall on Wednesday 16th December. There will be mulled wine and mince pies, but admission will be by ticket only, available from the secretary and Watlington Post Office priced £6.00. Proceeds will go to the Poppy Appeal.