Basingstoke Branch (406) - Royal Air Forces Association ... Basingstoke Branch (406) Recent Branch activities

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    Basingstoke Branch (406)

    Recent Branch activities

    Visits and functions

    Branch Christmas Ball This event took place on Friday 2nd December at the Red Lion Hotel. It was the first time that we have organised a Branch Christmas Dinner and because of the positive feedback, it has already been incorporated into the 2017 Social Calendar. Thirty one Branch members participated and there were 22 people from other organisations. It was an

    enjoyable occasion with a Christmas theme and dancing; unlike the memorable Summer Ball, the lights and the kitchen stoves stayed on. Of course the menu included turkey and Christmas pudding. The raffle made £125. The highlight of the evening was a special presentation to Maurice Bastable for his outstanding support to our Wings Appeal collections even though he is not a member of the RAFA. The picture below shows Chairman Pip presenting a certificate to Maurice.

    Newsletter April 2017

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    Christmas Drinks For the first time, owing to the closure of the Ex Services Club, our annual Christmas drinks evening on Wednesday 14th December was held in the Red Lion Hotel. In the past we have taken our own food, but the Red Lion provided a tasty finger buffet for a small charge and the evening was judged a great success. The raffle made £84.

    RAFA/ATC Carol Service Our annual candle-lit carol service took place on Thursday 15th December at St Gabriel’s Church in Popley presided over by our Branch Chaplain, Rev Arthur Botham. The carols and tunes (and readings) hardly change and so one of the pleasures is being reminded of Christmases when we were very much younger. This is a joint event with 443 Sqn ATC Cadets and it is wonderful that the “old” and the “new” combine together on this happy occasion.

    Christmas Lunch The 3rd Monday of December, the 19th, was the occasion of our 2016 Christmas lunch at the Beach Arms. For this meal, the menu has 3 courses although the carvery is still a popular choice for the main course. The Beach Arms know us well now and thanks to our organiser, Vikki, reserved tables were ready for us at 12 noon. Over 30 members and friends enjoyed this informal Christmas meal. Thanks to Vikki for organising the event, indeed Vikki organises all the Beach Arms lunches throughout the year.

    Age Concern I make no apology for repeating this Age Concern section; it really does offer a wide range of valuable services to older members and friends (Editor).

    Age Concern’s Hampshire web site for Basingstoke services is:

    http://www.ageconcernhampshire. wellbeing.html and is well worth a look. Age Concern Hampshire has seven activity centres for older people in various parts of the Basingstoke & Deane area which are great places to meet new people, take part in weekly activities such as quizzes, bingo, chair exercises, New Age Kurling and other activities or simply just to share a cup of tea with friends and chat. There is a wealth of help. Advice and information available.

    Age Concern Hampshire’s Community Café is open every Wednesday from 10.30am to 1pm at Church Cottage behind St Michael’s Church in Basingstoke. Last food order is 12.30pm. (The church is opposite the slope beside Marks & Spencer). Please note that there is no parking on the site but plenty available nearby. For more information on all the above call 01256 423874, or email to

    New Members RAFA HQ has recently updated our Branch membership records. According to the new list, as of January 2017, we now

    Recent events continued

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    have 198 members. However, a December 2016 End-of-Year update of new members listed 35 new members. We think this includes former “floating” members that have now been allocated to our Branch. So we may never see them all, but we will include their email addresses in our list and post News Letters to those without email (if they are in the UK), i.e. we will treat everyone as full members and we welcome them all.

    Interesting Snippets from recent meetings

    December meeting - 1. A superb presentation on his recent tour in the Falklands was given by Flt Lt Simon Arnett. It showed both operational and personal aspects of life there including the adverse weather conditions and the terrain. It was well received by those members present. 2. Ilene gave her report on a Hampshire Region meeting held on 19th November. There were 5 Officers, 5 Delegates and 7 visitors present. Area is organising a ceremony at Runneymede Memorial on 17th June 2018 to commemorate RAF100. The Region also plans to hold something, possibly at Southwick Park, but no details have been finalised yet. (Post meeting note - Southwick Park is not available for this.) 3. Sainsbury at Tadley has offered us a day for Wings Appeal collecting on Saturday 10th December (they did not offer us anything during September). January meeting - 1. The Area Conference will be held at Potter’s

    Resort, Norfolk from 17th to 19th March. The total cost for the weekend is £170 per person. 2. The Annual Conference is at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Staffordshire from 12th to 14th May. Cost is £55 per night for a single room or £75 for double or twin. 3. RAFALO’s report - Paul said planning for the branch visit to RAF Odiham on Thursday 23rd March is coming together. A RAF coach will collect us at Alencon Link (between Festival Place and the Railway Station) at 9.0am returning sometime in the afternoon. It is hoped to visit Air Traffic Control, the Fire Section, the Gliding Club, Safety Equipment Section and one of the hangers. 4. John (Thornton) said that we hear so much these days that the Armed Forces personnel are not looked after very well, but he could report a very different side. John’s son was on detachment in the Falklands recently when his mother died. The RAF laid on an aircraft to fly him to Brazil where a BA aircraft was held up to wait for him and he arrived back in the UK the next morning. February meeting - 1. Annual Dinner - The menu was circulated. The cost is £21 per person. It was proposed by Maureen, seconded by Jim and carried that the cost for branch members is subsidised by £3 from the Social Fund. 2. Wings Appeal. Two dates for this year’s collection have already been agreed: Chineham Shopping Centre 21st to 26th August, and - Sainsbury Hatch Warren 9 t h September. Owing to adjustments made at CHQ as a result of a donation of £512:50 from RAF Odiham and a

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    street collection in Reading of £243:03 our final total for 2016 is £6,548:26. 3. Steve Oakley thanked those who had donated calculators. They have now been delivered to the school on Gan. He then reported that to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the RAF next year, the Gan Veteran’s Association will be holding a reunion on Gan. Contact Steve for more details. March meeting - 1. Our Area Director, Ken Clarke, is retiring at the end of March. Branches have been asked to donate towards a farewell present which will be presented at Area Conference. It was proposed by Brendan, seconded by Lynn and carried that we donate £25 from the General Fund. 2. Donations were made by Hampshire Region as follows: £100 to Worthies Sports & Social Club; £80 to the Friends of Sussexdown; £250 to the Welfare Holiday Home; £100 to the Not Forgotten Association. 3. A new Trophy will be presented at Area Conference called the Presidents Cup. It will be awarded to an individual or branch who is seen to have given outstanding service to the Association. 4. ATC Report - Graeme Lee gave the report: Flt Lt Rob Phillips has now returned to the Squadron and has once more taken over the role of CO. There are currently 32 cadets on the books. 5. Lynn said she was a volunteer with the Bomber Command Memorial in Lincoln and she has been tasked with carrying out interviews with those who experienced life during the 2nd World War, not only serving personnel but also civilians. She is

    also looking for photographs and memorabilia of any relevant war-time activities. Please contact Lynn if you can help.

    South East & Eastern Area - February Newsletter (Extracts)

    1. Membership Renewal - Branches and members are reminded that membership renewals were due on 1 January. With the new system in place, if any member has not yet renewed, their membership lapsed on 31st January 2017 and should be renewed as soon as possible. Membership renewal can be done via post, by phone (0116 268 8789) or online via the Association's website. If you haven't already done so, why not arrange to renew your membership via Direct Debit.

    2. Membership Subscriptions 2017/2018 (Prices held from


    Ordinary Member - 1 Year £20.50 Ordinary Member - 4 Year £78.00 (Existing 4 Year members only) Associate Member - 1 Year - Air Mail £14.50 Associate Member - 1 Year - No Air Mail£8.50 Associate Member - 4 Year -- Air Mail £55.50 (Existing 4 Year members only) Associate Membe