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2nd Annual Veterans’ Lunch - 2015

This June the Certified Grips & Crane Techs Branch hosted its 2nd Veterans Lunch, the accompanying photos were taken by Branch member Ed Lancaster, who also managed to eat something in between snapping the assembled diners. The photos give you a flavour of the great day had by one and all. Thank you Ed.

Last year's lunch proved such a huge success that it was decided shortly after that we would stick our toe in the water a second time around and return to the Rucola restaurant in Uxbridge, (if they would have us), where we were looked after so well in 2013, it was also decided to hold the lunch on a Saturday not a Friday as last year. Toby Plaskitt our esteemed treasurer once again did all the leg work and although we had hoped to host the Luncheon around Easter time events and availability conspired against us and we had to postpone until late June. Nevertheless this year saw another successful day and we were pleased to welcome along with our veterans from last year John Payne, who accompanied our 1st Branch chairman Jimmy Dawes and 1st committee member Brian "Osie" Osborne, all ferried to and from the venue by Phil Murray who forfeited his quota of shant as designated driver in the family people carrier so that the aforementioned could give it plenty during and after lunch.

This year saw some welcome faces who were unable to attend last years lunch, and we were pleased to have Branch members John Flemming, Kenny Atherfold and Ian Buckley (all certified) join us for the jolly, along with veterans Bill Geddes, Paul Brinkworth, Tony Cridlin and Teddy Tucker accompanied by wife Sheila, all of whom attended last years lunch.

Of course the celebrations were tempered somewhat when Tony Rowland rose to say a few words and asked us all to raise a glass in remembrance to those who had shuffled off this mortal coil over the last twelve months, we remembered our dear friends Victor Selwyn Hammond and Ray Hall along with a dozen other friends and colleagues who had passed away. They will all be greatly missed, including Colin Manning who passed away shortly after this years luncheon and was planning to attend next year. Colin's death was another great sadness so soon after our get together.

Apart from some sad reflection for those above, as is always fitting of the department in general, the turps continued to flow well into the afternoon and early evening, with stories, recollections and memories of all the past pouring out along with the shant. Dennis Fraser who was in America and couldn't attend this year had given a generous donation to put behind the bar after we had eaten, all of it was spent forthwith. We were finally ejected from the venue just before the evenings clientele arrived for dinner, and it can be said that all in all this years lunch was an even bigger success than lasts, We hope to repeat this next year and Branch would like to thank all those veterans and members who attended and those on the committee who helped Toby organise the event.

Hopefully we will see even more members next year, when we hope to hold the veterans lunch once again just before or after Easter.

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