H.M.S. SUPERB REUNION NEWS
This year’s reunion was fun as usual with all the salty tales from the days of yore to the fore. Due to incapacity there were several regular members missing and we drank a toast to their health. In the end just ten members were present but with wives, relatives and friends some 24 sat down at the festive board.
One of the notable traditions put aside this year was the absence of a “Turner Masterpiece” as Shipmate Brian Turner was not able to attend due to an illness recently contracted during a return trip from Canada.
In view of the fact that Libby Saunders is a frequent winner of this annual event I did ask Shipmate Turner to post it directly to my home address thus avoiding the necessity of me travelling my car to the reunion ! (Some say unkindly it’s the only reason my wife and I travel up by car each time as it would be too large to get on an aeroplane with it under my arm). I guess my message didn’t reach Brian so the picture will be raffled next year.
Not to be defeated by the missing painting Robin’s family (Denise, Caroline, Steve & Trevor) gathered round and auctioned a fairly large radio-controlled model sailing yacht which, after some bidding, was won by Ron Baker, Sharkey Ward’s brother-in-law.
The usual £50 cash prizes were won by Allan Harmer and Clive Godley who were unfortunately unable to attend the dinner.
Thanks to our Chairman, Robin Smith, once again for his constant hard work for the Association.
Just thinking on the October get-together. Splendid girl singist with familiar repertoire, delivered in a soft melodious voice that allowed gossip amongst the throng to be conducted without shouting. I can only guess she is a favourite wherever performing. One would hope ‘esteemed Chairperson’ has her pencilled in for the future.
Speaking of ‘himself’, the A.G.M. passed off rapidly. We can sit back and admire ‘slick organisation’; if you can holiday in New Zealand in spring and still have change in the company Kitty, then win the raffle star prize: that’s slick organisation.
We should employ any ruse, take any precaution to ensure he’s not head-hunted by that other tribe he attends, ‘Lion and Mercury’ if he decamps with his ‘captive coterie of crumpet’ – assistants, we will be like the Marie Celeste, adrift in a sea of indecision.
We seem to be a tiny ship’s company, almost on the verge of extinction, but each year the number at dinner is about constant, glad to still clap eyes upon one another. Tiny we may be, but intellectually very rich.
We have shipmate Lambert, a published author, he of luxuriant beard in silver. Shipmate Turner, our very own illustrator and marine artist, who has us on tenter hooks each year with his gift, for the raffle, usually about 2’6” by 2’6”, much sought after. Then shipmates Saunders, one of each gender, architects, creators of our very own association website; delivered to your door, so to speak, in full colour and a font size kind to the glaucoma section.
Do send them your stories so we all can read them; get this – world wide, they are BRIAN and MIZ LIBBY.
Remember the old adage engraved upon your nautical heart – one volunteer is better than ten pressed men – We of Superb Cruiser’s Association have a bull’s eye! Our people-friendly reunion served up, no effort required other than ‘Turn-up’!
We can trust this fellow with our cash, how often can that be said? His rules are minimal, demands near non-existent, we take the mickey with no fear of reprisal, he sees to the ‘Thank you’s’ for those who excel on our behalf, informs, quarterly, of goings on in our wee orbit, even the progress of his in growing toe nail !
We love you Rob in a manly sort of way
At evening’s end we drift boozily away in a mellow state, forgetting manners that owe a hearty ‘three cheers’ to CHAIRMAN ROBIN SMITH.
Probably one of the best reunions inasmuch there were more people attending this year which resulted in a lot of laughter and singing. The latter as a result of the live entertainment supplied by Cheryl King, a talented solo artist, who provided a pleasant variety of songs throughout the evening which concluded just before midnight.
Several of our shipmates returned to the fold this year and it was a real pleasure to see them despite many of us racking our brains to remember historical anecdotes. For my part it was a revelation to realise that one member and I were in the same mess at the same time despite having been corresponding over some months !
The witticisms and sotto voce comments were manifold from Messrs Brierley, Lambert & Ward with additional material from Neville Howe's' son, Philip.
Raffle prizes were numerous and generously provided by members with one particular table seemingly having sold their souls and garnering the greater part of the prizes. Perhaps it was why one of the diners rejoices in the name of Sharky.
However, the evening's main prize, an oil painting of the clipper Thermopylae, unsurprisingly was won (again) by Libby Saunders who happened to be sitting at the same table as the artist Brian Turner. Some unkindly say that is why we travel up from France by car instead of flying, in order to save the expense of paying for a luggage check-in on the aeroplane.
Brian generously donates a sample of his art each year and this one item generates a considerable amount to the Association's funds allowing for expenditure on things such as the entertainment.
Of course the logistics of the reunion are left in the capable hands of our Chairman, Robin Smith, and his family who rally round and support him. So our thanks go to Caroline, Denise and their families for their continued help.
Members attending the Dinner were (in alphabetical first name order)
Wives, friends and relatives are not included in this list
Reunion Saturday October 6th 2017. - by Andy Brierley
A jolly success, gathering high points out of ten. Robin’s girls pushing things along, ticket selling and prize distribution, their chosen solo singer, a lady with unbroken string of those tunes we all know. Her opening comment was to say the selection would be soft and gentle allowing civilised conversation – and so it was. To be freed of the pestilence of shouted conversation made for a long and pleasant evening. Most venues one visits of late equate volume with quality. I am of the opinion it kills conversation, the reason folks gather. I’ve a feeling we may be seeing the lady again.
Brian Turner’s donated painting for the raffle really twanged my thong. I had held the view his finest effort was steam/sail ship ‘Gannet under sail’. Seeing his gift to us this year; Barque against the coast with Chinese junks in the foreground pips it to first place. As a picture addict Jo and I bought a bunch of tickets, prepared to be on bread and water till next month’s pension comes in. Libby Saunders bought a shed load. To see her wet a finger to separate the winning ticket was akin to a kick in the ‘danglies’. With absolutely no malice of forethought I told myself, in Latin, ‘The lucky bitch has won it again’ I was forced to shuffle off to the gentlemen’s for a piercing scream, in private.
Going to the dining room earlier was beneficial, allowing all to get sorted out rapidly. The lounge is not configured to cope with us in a like manner. Am of the opinion, service lacked the presence of the usual ‘maître d’’. Am certain you know I refer to the small man, slight build, always greets with a smile, anxious to bustle about sorting seat preferences etc.. I heard his absence commented on by two or three people.
Was uplifted to see a couple of new faces, happy smiling faces, amongst the regulars. That mainly due to the combined efforts of Brian and Libby Saunders, via the web site. The rumour we are expiring on our feet thus proved false.
For effort in that area I awarded Brian an O.B.E earlier in the year – and he wore it with pride!
A small meeting of army boys opposite, in the lounge, were heard commenting on it. Jo wet herself hearing one fellow say he did not realise said ‘decoration’ was that large. Honestly, those ‘brown jobs' are not very worldly.
The old saying proved right, ‘class will out’. I hope our website continues to thrive; a ‘jack stay’ for those ancient Super B’s who don’t manage to visit the King Charles for many reasons.
I sat next to Ray Lambert during dinner. He of the luxuriant white beard; got to know him much better.
Did pay particular attention and can report, without fear or favour, said beard does not contain any livestock.
That’s my personal view of the reunion, in a nutshell. To those who showed me friendship after these long years be aware of my gratitude.
I feel an absolute cockroach at being unable to bring up the name of ‘Scots lad with specs’ who gave me a history book on Sheerness Dockyard, a place I’ve been bumping up against over many years. Your face is rock solid; name will come back whilst I’m doing my light dusting on the morrow.
It was splendid news to hear our shipmate George Messmer and family, in Florida, had been treated lightly by the recent tornado that devastated his part of the world.
I hope the rest of the year treats you all in such a mellow manner.
Again this year we settled down at the King Charles Hotel and enjoyed a very nice meal with plenty of humour and repartee among those ancient mariners (and their other halves).
On the Friday evening most of us assembled in the Pegasus Room for our Annual chat and discussed amongst other things the fact that so many members don't seem to be able to attend which is a shame because our numbers are slowly dwindling. Nevertheless 27 did sit down to enjoy the geniality and the raffle in which the prizes were so numerous that I would think virtually everyone won something.
The star prize which was an oil painting, by our member Brian Turner, of the sailing ship "Wandia" was won by John (Sharky) Ward much to the chagrin of the Saunders family who were again disappointed this year. As you are aware Brian donates his piece of art each year so that money can be raised to support the Association funds.
A great deal of thanks must again go to the family of our Chairman for their sterling efforts in getting everything together to make one happy weekend.
Some usual attendees were not able to make it due to illness or prior engagements but it was nice to see a few who had come back to the fold.
If you are reading this and you weren't present try and make an effort next year - it would be great to meet up again and chat.
Shipmates Present were:
Our 17th reunion went very well again this year. We had the usual attendees coupled with some who hadn't been able to manage it last year. Those of us who were able to arrive on the Friday night assembled in a little ante room behind the hotel's bar and attempted to resolve some issues under the chairmanship of Robin Smith who had organised the festivities and then all retired to the hotel's restaurant where we enjoyed our first evening meal. The night of the reunion saw us dining in the "Pembroke" suite on an excellent menu presented by very courteous staff.
A general raffle was held with many prizes, mostly being won by a certain table that seemed to have had some inside information on which tickets to buy or perhaps who had brought "lady Luck" as a guest. There was some keen bidding principally by Messrs. Brierley, Heaton and Saunders during the auction of a model brass cannon which had been previously donated to the Association by a website viewer. This raised the sum of £41 (as does the proceeds of the general raffle) which goes to the running of our Association.
Once again Shipmate Brian Turner produced a splendid framed oil canvas painting which was optimistically coveted by Libby Saunders (previously twice the recipient of the prize) but in the event was most fittingly won by Sharon Goodall the daughter of our recently deceased founder Fred Kinsey.
All in all we had a very good evening thanks to our Chairman and his family who put in the hours to arrange it all.
This year's reunion was seen as a bumper start for our new Chairman, Robin Smith, who has manfully taken over the reins or should we say the helm.
After the traditional pre-dinner Pussers rum welcome (with sherry for most of the ladies!) a total of 34 sat down to a really tasty 3 course meal in the Pembroke Suite of the King Charles Hotel, Gillingham. This number included 18 Shipmates amongst whom was one Jack Cocks due to celebrate his 88th birthday the following day.
A lot of hard work had gone into the preparation of the event by Robin and his family as well as able assistance by the redoubtable Andy Brierley who even brought a replica of the old ship's bell which he enjoyed ringing. There were numerous prizes to be won in the raffle including, for the first time, a monetary one drawn by lottery at the dinner and won by Shipmate Harold (Yorkie) Brookes
It was nice to see a presentation made to our Associate shipmate and renowned artist Brian Turner. Brian was presented with a stone engraved with the "HMS Superb" emblem as a mark of respect and a token of thanks for his annual donation of one of his paintings done especially for the raffle and which over the years has brought in a lot of money for the Association funds.
This year the painting was won (for the second time) by Mrs Libby Saunders wife of Shipmate Brian.
Well done to all those who assisted in the organisation of this event now have a look at the photos.
Having now returned from a short break after the last Reunion on 1.10.11 at the King Charles Hotel, I feel it important that tribute be paid to our Head Cook, Bottlewasher, Secretary, Chairman etc., Fred Kinsey, for carrying out yet another “Superb” Reunion.
It was noticeable that he was a bit off colour on the night and I think we all owe him a great debt of gratitude for holding the Association together, as many would not take on the task of keeping in touch with Shipmates, compiling 4 Newsletters a year, which are copied and sent to all the members wherever they now live, organising the Reunion and entertainment and very often representing the Association at the funerals of those who crossed the bar.Fred was a little disappointed in that numbers this year, had dropped to around 40, but we have to take into account that most of our members were youngsters by comparison when they served on the Super-B fifty odd years ago.Sadly news was received of two more bereavements and I might not have made it if it hadn’t been for the skills of my surgeon, who at the beginning of the year advised I might only last 6-12 months!
It was good to see many old faces who turn up regularly and I hope to see them all again next year.
Submitted by Shipmate Brian Keeler
To assist members living north of Watford, the members at the 99 re-union agreed to hold this event in Scarborough, the dates are the weekend of 5-8th October 2001, and will take place at the Brooklands Hotel, Esplanade Gardens, South Cliff, Scarborough. There will be entertainment for the weekend, and the terms will be three nights @ £78 per person or two nights @ £58 per person, these terms include half board and the cost of the Superb re-union banquet. The cost for the banquet only will be £16 per person. The hotel has lifts to all floors but no ground floor bedrooms, all 63 bedrooms are en-suite, and the hotel can accommodate 125 persons, so let's try and fill it! Booking forms will be available later in the year, and the hotel requires 12 months notice of expected numbers attending, only fair really, then they can let the other rooms to people who are not Superb!
We would hope to be able to arrange coach travel from the South East, and the fare would of course include enough to pay for the drivers accommmodation. Also there is a strong possibility that lifts could be arranged, this could be co-ordinated from this web site if there is enough demand.
Booking forms for the 2001 re-union are now available from the H.M.S.Superb (Cruiser) Association address, and must be returned by the last day of October 2000. Please enclose return postage when requesting booking forms from the Association.
68 members and their guests attended the Dinner, a bit less than last years 82. The feed back is that most members seemed to have enjoyed themselves, and the raffle organised by Ernie O'Brien, his wife, and shipmate pals raised £173 which will go a long way towards the costs of running the association.
It would appear that the bookings for the 2001 re-union are quite low at the moment, so if you want to come do something now. I am not too sure whether it is because the venue is the frozen north (there is electricity up there now), or some other reason. The choice of the north was to assist those members living north of Watford, and there seems to be quite a lot of those, so if there is another reason tell Fred Kinsey.
The 2000 AGM
This was as usual held just before the Annual Dinner, and was by all accounts "lively", unfortunately due to domestic reasons I was unable to attend. Fred Kinsey has sent you all a newsletter explaining the position so all members will be aware. If you are NOT a member join now and find out the latest buzz.
Due to the "liveliness" of the meeting it would appear that a vote was not taken on two very important issues:
eligibility for membership.
Fred has asked that members return their views on both subjects ASAP, so that decisions can be taken in time for sub renewal date. My own personal view is that subs should be a minimum of £5, leaving those members who can afford the current £10 to continue to pay it they so wish. I am conscious of the amount of work put into this Association by Fred for the sheer love of it, and also the very high cost of postage, stationery, reproduction etc. It is true that you only get what you pay for, but in this Association you get more than you pay for!
Remember that propositions for the 2001 AGM can only be submitted PRIOR TO THE MEETING, I would suggest at least a month before so that the relevant paper work can be completed, i.e. before the 5th of September 2001.
This reunion was held in the King Charles Hotel in Gillingham as last year, but this year we had a much larger room with round tables seating 8 rather than the long tables of the year before.
For various domestic reasons I did not stay overnight and this of course curtailed any drinking as I had to drive home afterwards. I do not expect to make this mistake again.
Once again it was a very good turnout with quite a few Ladies present this time. I was loaned a digital camera by my son to record the whole event, this I did BUT.......... he forgot to tell me to push the button twice, I don't think there was enough steam in it to get it going properly. By some fluke we have two good pictures taken of the top table at the meeting before the dinner.
This meeting followed the usual pattern of drinking a tot of Pussers generously donated by Fred, and a brief discussion of any items which had been raised previously. It was agreed to raise the subscription, which is only reasonable as Fred had been carrying a lot of financial deficit himself, it was also agreed to hold the 2000 re-union in Chatham at the King Charles Hotel, because as Fred pointed out he had already had to make the booking or we would not have got in.
A very interesting event occurred when a member who had come from the USA for the re-union was recognised by his old oppo, not from his appearance , but from something he said! Lots of hugs and kisses -- very touching really. The solid silver wheel spanner was in evidence, and Fred was allowed to use it (under supervision of course). Well it's not really solid silver but burnished to such a high degree that it could be.
The dinner seemed to be going well from where I was sitting, but I was being kept under control by my management who told me when it was time to go home, so unfortunately we left as things were warming up. Paul Ryder told me he recognised me instantly from 1953 and that I had hardly changed, I was real chuffed, and Abdul Porter looked a picture, same as ever but greyer hair, really nice to see them both at this their first re-union.