A Summery of our year 2014 is once again full of tasty food and social chat with certain functions raising sums for Merchant Charities. Following the seasons we have partaken of a Burns Lunch, Hot Cross Buns, Strawberry tea, a Summer Meal, a Christmas lunch and a Sherry and Mince pie gathering. In between, we have been offered Fish & Chips, Pasties and Pud, a Ploughmans lunch and various delights at coffee mornings. [No wonder we have difficulty in keeping our figures in shape]. Not even drawing the beetles at the Mariners Challenge was a help this year.
At the monthly meetings we have been entertained by Speakers from Chicks [an organisation offering respite holidays for child carers], Plymouth Age Concern, Marks & Spencers, Arthritus Care including exercises, Shekinah Mission, The Sailor’s Children’s Society and a talk on knitting and wool. During other social events we have been shown a Flower demonstration, Scarf tying and the rudiments of croquet at the Plymouth Croquet Club.
The Watch Ashore National AGM was held in Birmingham with 14 members of the Plymouth Branch attending. As part of the weekend we were able to visit the National Arburetum. Wreath layings and Civic functions were attended by representatives of the Branch throughout the year.
2013 summary: Our lunches and meetings this year have been well attended and we have been entertained by speakers from Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support, Members of the Magistrates Association, Community Network (Seafarers Link) and a representative from the Maritime Charities Group. Also a talk on ‘Seaside Memories’ illustrated with postcards, and in house entertainment ‘a bit of a quiz’ on ships. Outside visits have included a workshop at Mr Edgecombe where several members made hanging baskets, a tour of behind the scenes at the Plymouth Library and a tour of the Magistrates Court. We were able to put up a display in the Library advertising Seafarers Awareness Week.
The Birthday Dinner, Summer Meal and Christmas Lunch were augmented during the year with a Fish Friday Lunch at the local church hall (raising £120 for the deepsea fishermen), Hot Cross Bun coffee morning, Pasty & Strawberry lunch, Daffodil tea, Sherry and Mince Pie morning held by members at appropriate times of the year and the odd coffee morning including a ‘Bling and Buy’. The Charity Coffee morning this year was a Fashion Show by Country Casuals held at the Holiday Inn. In October we welcomed the Lord Mayor Mrs Vivienne Pengelly to become an honorary member and we demonstrated knitted hats destined for the Seamans Mission by wearing them for a photo shoot. (During this calendar year we were able to donate £822 to Seafaring charities)
2012-Events this year saw a mixture of emotions. There were several new additions, new homes and significant anniversaries, however these were tempered with the loss of two members, Beryl Williams and Barbara Everett. We had a variety of speakers at our monthly meetings. Our social events, held at members homes, included a hot cross buns and a coffee and cakes morning, a Pasty and Pud and a Burn’s lunch, and a Wimbledon tea. A Charity Fashion Show was held at the Moorland Gardens Hotel and the proceeds given to Seafarers Link. The Christmas season saw a Lunch at the Moorland Garden Hotel and a Sherry and Mince pies morning. Various events within the City have been attended by The Chairman and branch members including Mayor Choosing, a memorial service for the crew of the Titanic and a reception held by Seafarers UK attended by the Earl of Wessex. In September our Chairman laid a wreath for Atlantic Day. We had the yearly skittles match against the Southwest Company of Mariners, we came second again. The Highlights of the year were our 50th Birthday celebrations and the National Triennial meeting in May.