The 2003 reunion. 2003.
Picture taken by David Poole, hence his absence.
This year's reunion was based on Rochester and organised by Bill and Jenny Mewis.
Friday afternoon was spent in Rochester, which has been transformed since it was bypassed. The High Street is the average width for a single lane one way street, back in the sixties it was the A2 with traffic flowing both ways and leaving dirt everywhere! The Cathedral is just off the High Street and is one of the oldest in the country.
On Saturday, we visited The Historic Dockyard which proved to be a fascinating day out.
Each year has its highlights and one of this year's was The Pam Roberts Show. Pam quiet, a label that is gone forever.
As if that were not enough for Gareth, Gill told Angela about the side effects of the Rosemary Conley diet. After being on it for several weeks Gill had gone swimming. Gareth just heard the bit about "after breast stroking, my knees went weak". Poor man nearly choked.
Bill had arranged a tour of The Historic Dockyard and an excellent day it was too in every respect. We had good weather and it proved to be a fascinating location. The ship immediately below was perhaps the most elegant but the submarine Ocelot and destroyer Cavalier had their own interest. The guides were excellent and one could only be grateful to the men who had served on these ships and endured terrible conditions to protect this country.
This submarine could stay submerged for two or three months at a time but water supplies were strictly rationed, they could only be replenished when at periscope depth. The men had a bowl of water a week to wash in and were known by other sailors as Pongos. Their bedding had to be burnt on returning to dock.
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of HMS Cavalier. Although the men had more space, the conditions were still pretty tough considering the time the men spent at sea. 150 of these destroyers were sunk with a loss of 30,000 lives. The bridge was open to give the advantage of better visibility than the German ships with an enclosed bridge that suffered condensation problems. Imagine a watch though in the North Atlantic on an open bridge in freezing conditions! I had an uncle who served on these boats and my cousin told me he would never speak about it. This made me understand why.
... but not until we stuffed the French 24 - 7 at rugby!
A great job Bill and Jenny. Rochester has been transformed and Chatham was an excellent day. Don't know how you arranged the weather and perhaps best not to ask, but well done there as well.
Perhaps Pam was not the only one having a good time? See what you think.
A little wine.
A little conversation
The mind boggles! To be fair, Pam was sitting opposite.
And here, the picture of innocence!
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