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Annual Reunion 17
Once again Hotel Sheraton in Blackpool did us proud for the 2nd year in succession. With the beautiful spring
weather, a location overlooking the Irish Sea, and with probably our best turnout for some time, the whole
purpose of 'Reunion' was evident to see.
Thursday 18th April
Arrival on Thursday gives an opportunity for those who travel long distances (including Cyprus & Germany this year)
to unwind following their journeys. They are joined of course by those who live much locally but who just look
forward to having a great, long weekend (and a car park space!).
Around 50 checked in and spent an afternoon of chat, and later the included evening meal in the Hotel's restaurant.
For the adventurous and younger element amongst us it was off to Mecca Bingo for an evening of hope (no tales of
anyone winning a prize though).
Friday 19th April
With more check-ins for today's arrivals, and a bar open from 11:00am, the lounge areas began to fill up and lot's
of hand-shaking was seen everywhere. The Noah's Arc Shop did exceptionally good business - in particular completely
selling out of stock of our Regimental engraved tankards and the car grille badges.
Despite a good trade from the Hotel's lunch offerings, Afternoon Tea brought more food to the tables - and, with
cream cakes and scones, delicious it was too.
And so to Friday's main event.
In 2011 we had held a highly successful 'German Oompah' evening and this was followed last year with a 'Hoe Down'
which never really took off. It was with some trepidation therefore that your Committee elected to return to 'Oompah'
for our entertainment this year. Any fears we had though were quickly dispelled once Karl's Bavarian Brass got
going - in fact they hardly ever stopped! Encouraged by Kay Whittle (what a star), Noddy & Ruth Gregory, and
our elected 'Berlin' and 'Hamburg' team captains, the room was soon filled with laughter, music, dancing, slapping,
plucking, and knobbly knees, which all took place in a wonderful atmosphere.
More food came in the form of Bratwurst, Bockwurst and Schnitzeln, along with all of the right accompaniments.
All-in-all, possibly one of the best nights we've ever had. The Hotel announced that 166 of us were booked in but
I guess we can add another 20 or more to that figure when the non-diners were counted.
Saturday 20th April
Our location proved its worth this time around. Having received a refurbishment to Blackpool's Promenades, and the
provision of a brand new tram system, our guest took the opportunity to visit Blackpool Town, Bispham, Cleveleys,
Fleetwood or just to sit out in the warm sunshine.
The fayre for the night was our 4-course dinner based around Prime Sirloin of Beef served to around 220 diners. A
further 30 or so made sure the bar staff were kept busy.
The evening began with a short speech, our 'Absent Friends' toast, and the flag raising, this year with two flags -
our Regimental Flag being joined by our own customised Medicina Flag. Reveille once again came from Don Bateman
who found himself under close scrutiny from a very welcome contingent of ex-band Hawks. Within our gallery you
might spot Colin Petheram, Brian Lydiard, Peter Harding, Ken Jones, Bob Gunner, Ken Sargent, John Swales, Ernie
Pattle, Ken Crick and their ladies.
Following the dinner, guests were invited to take their seats in another Hotel suite and this proved of benefit
to all. Those who wanted to be close to the music and dancing were nevertheless within close contact of those who
preferred the main lounge and the bars, whilst those looking for 'peace and quiet' found it to their own liking.
Altogether yet another great Noah's Arc function with Pyramid providing a range of 50s-70s music and dancing to
suit all tastes.
The Annual Draw again took place and the fortunate winners were:
Congratulations to all of them. We're sorry if it wasn't your turn this year - but there's always next year :
Raffles were held on both evenings and we'd like to thank Kay, Holly, Wendy, Denise, Ruth, Drac, Bulldog,
George & Moya and Rick for contributing to their success.
It's again at the Sheraton for the weekend of 24th-26th April 2014.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE