Shipmates from Norwich branch were delighted to pay a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth – and believe they may be the first branch to have made such a trip. Unless you know different...
Chairman S/M Mike Mizen said the outing to the new aircraft carrier was a great success, and thanked Nev for organising such a great day out – apparently he even laid on the good weather.
S/M Mike added that their Royal Navy hosts were “first class”, that the visit had to be a highlight of the year, “if not of the past decade”, and that he was amazed that a branch based so far away appears to have had the honour of being the first to call on the carrier.
At the most recent Norwich branch meeting, S/M Mike not only thanked members for turning out in force for the long trip to Hampshire, but also praised those who had attended Armed Forces Day at Costessey Park on the outskirts of Norwich.
He said it was always difficult to assess what impact their presence had at the event, but it was right to take the opportunity to show what the RNA is about, and as shipmates also took part in the parade the branch certainly made its mark.
Earlier in June shipmates bid a final farewell to branch stalwart and former president S/M Bill Clodd, who had been unable to attend meetings for some time because of ill-health. Bill’s funeral was held at Earlham Crematorium, and members were there in numbers to honour his memory. The branch standard was also paraded.
Looking ahead, shipmates will be visiting the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook at the end of September, arriving at the school – a stone's throw from Shotley, the site of the former HMS Ganges – in time to see Divisions.