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Newsletter sent to families....1st commision
Association visit to HMS Defender
Today, the 25th April 2017 nine of us HMS Exeter Association Members were treated to a visit to HMS Defender in Portsmouth Dockyard.
Once formed up inside Nelson Gate we were taken by minibus to the Refit Support Group area for coffee.
We then all changed into white protective suits, safety boots, hard white hats and safety glasses and looked like ‘flour graders’.
With our ‘smart uniforms’ we approached HMS Defender in dry dock and accepted the opportunity of climbing down into the dock to stand underneath the ship and be briefed on the parts of the ship we could see.
That was a great experience and so was the effort required to climb back up out of the dock. Then we went inside the ship and visited several areas with briefings about what we could see in each area.
Climbing up and down the stairs was interesting with the unfamiliar safety boots that we were wearing, but we all managed, despite our age.
Special thanks must go to WO Jonnie Roome and his team for their efforts in showing us round the ship.
After that we were able to remove the safety suits and equipment changing back into jackets and normal shoes for the next stage.
The minibus then gave us a tour of the dockyard back to Nelson Gate. For the next part we were treated to lunch in the HMS Nelson Wardroom, which was a great experience with all of the oak panelling and paintings of the ‘Battle of Trafalgar’.
From the whole visit those of us who were lucky enough to be present wish to give their special thanks to the sponsor of the visit, Lt Cdr Sean Trevethan, and very special thanks to our host though out the visit, Lt Greg Sinclair.
We all really enjoyed the visit and further developing the links between our Association and the ships Company of HMS Defender.
Thanks to all concerned.
From Peter Cox HMS Exeter Association Committee Macassar Rep, on behalf of those who attended the visit.
HMS Exeter - Solent Radio Controlled Model Boat Club
Fun in the Field 2016 (FITF2)
Several ex-Exeters joined the fun. A Pirate theme this 2nd year.
A little village on the Wiltshire/Dorset border near Shaftesbury decided to get together and organise a weekend to "give something back to servicemen and women and to raise funds for SSAFA.
The weekend started around midday on the Friday with everyone arriving in the field with their tents, caravans and campers, getting set up then settling in and meeting everyone over a few beers. Old friends were reunited and new friends made. A visiting fish and chip van meant we didn't have to cook.
Saturday morning started with Clay pigeon shooting and a black powder demo (Firing cannons)
Afternoon found the pirates getting on it, a BBQ, hog roast and much alcohol (Bar profits supported SSAFA......drinking for charity!) accompanied by a mixture of live entertainment ranging from sea shanties and Sinatra to heavy rock and the local Amateur Dramatics group staging something between a sod's opera and an act of remembrance. Huge raffle, Uckers, charity auction, a fly past, dad dancing, much more alcohol, plenty of rum (Well we WERE Pirates!). Even the heavy rain didn't dampen our spirits (Though it did water them down!)
Sunday brought a hangover, a clear up and some farewells....Can't wait until FITF3! (Aug bank holiday weekend, 1 day longer)
Hot showers, loos, water, gate security, professional lighting/sound equipment, skips, safety equipment, friendly villagers who work heard to ensure we all have a great time.
Next FITF - Aug 2019 (Theme.....Superheroes!)
We took a load of Exeter vets to sea one time. Lovely old boys. I was talking to one in the hangar and, pointing to Lt Cummings, the old boy said 'Who's he?' 'Thats the DWEO' I said, 'why?', the old boy said 'he just asked me if I was a survivor, so I said I did 24 years in the mob, was sunk three times, did 3 and a half years in a Jap POW camp and I was in Nagasaki when they dropped the bomb, if that's not a f*@king survivor, I don't know what is!'. 'Hang on.....that last bit!' I says. So he said he was down the mines just outside Nagasaki as a prisoner when the bomb went off, he came up and poof! city all gone. The only thing he was worried about was not getting his rice issue for that day...bless, poor old bugger.