Two trips to Swanage in November of 2011:
Wessex Belle meal and Remembrance weekend
The first was an invitation to a meal on the Wessex Belle as a thank-you for the work as a volunteer worker on the Swanage Railway.
This was on the evening of Sunday, 6th and started with drinks with Martin & Vicki Cooper in the Conservative club, just across the road from the station. The train departed just after 19:30 and completed two return trips to Corfe Castle while we tucked into our three-course meal and wine (OK, so I had beer instead of wine!). At my table were Alan, Jules and ?, Jules' wife. Jules is a Ltn Cmdr in the Royal navy where he is PTI for the Gun crew demonstration teams!
Following the meal, a quick drinkin the Anchor before we left to get back to Swanwick.
The second trip was a long weekend for Remembrance day.
For the first time, I was in Swanage for the weekend at the invitation of Frank Roberts.
As well as a Team Herston event at Herston halt, members of the 11th Signal Regiment were on the platform at Swanage station recreating the journey to?, some nn miles.
In the evening, a social evening with Vicki & Martin, Frank, Alan, Andy and myself in the Red Lion (followed by an unplanned excursion to the Anchor - NOT recommended really with a busy day tomorrow)
There are some pictures of the weekend's combined events below.
Sunday was Remembrance Sunday. After watching the official ceremony from London on TV, we prepared for the local event.
Frank addressed the troops of 11th Signal Regiment, 3 (Harrogate) Squadron about the meaning of Remembrance day and why it is important to remember those that have fallen.
That was followed by a parade from the seafront to the local Church, St Mary's, led by Frank Roberts as Parade Master for the first time. An honour for him.
The service was followed by wreath laying at the Cenotaph, overlooking the bay.
The Soldiers were then formed up and marched to the Royal British Legion club in the High street where they were fed and watered, as were the rest of us!
Although a sad occasion, it was a brilliant weekend which I hope to repeat next year.