The West of England Supper resumed after a gap of 7 years and returned to the venue of the Lamb Inn at Hindon, Wiltshire for the first time since 2007. We also met for the first time on a Monday evening due to lots of bookings for shoots! The Lamb Inn has been a public house since the 12th century and the dining room was again a lovely setting for our meal and much conversation.
Despite the long gap since the last reunion in this part of the UK and it being held on a Monday, I was delighted at having a record attendance of OFs and their guests of 24. Our last gathering had only attracted a total of 6! We came from a wide geographical area covering Bath & North East Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and even Essex in the form of former SOF President Simon Dougherty and his wife Maggie.
After the meal I gave a brief talk about two items. Firstly I asked for views on the new website and I was delighted to report that the vast majority of those attending had already registered on the new site and made use of its strong content including what we call Connect@Fram, where you can look up the contact details of contemporaries etc.
Secondly I mentioned the important area of our communications with members and waived a copy of the OF Newspaper issued for the first time earlier this year. I mentioned that in the UK we were intending to send to all OFs who had expressed a preference for a print rather than digital version and had sent out an appeal for annual donations to help partly cover the costs. A number of those present had already responded. Thank you. Look out for future email reminders!
After a toast to the Society, Bob Williams talked about the recent 75th anniversary of Brandeston. Brandeston, which has a special place in OFs hearts as the Society bought the Hall as a memorial to all those who gave their lives in WW1 and WW2. You can see loads of pictures on the website. At the end Bob proposed a toast to the College and Brandeston.
Finally Charlie Blackmore said a few words about his work in Ukraine.
In terms of next year, all those present liked the venue and were happy with a similar time of year and on a Monday evening. I’ll get a date in the diary fairly soon.
Those present were : Andy Allington (K56-63), Charles Blackmore (K65-75), Simon Chaplin-Rogers (S68-73), Simon & Maggie Dougherty (G60-67), Chris & Eryl Essex (K69-75), Andrew & Pat Freemantle (S58-62), Peter & Liz Gasgoyne-Lockwood (R57-64), Simon Harby (S78-81), Harry Hendry (R65-70), Kevin & Christine Horrocks (M66-75), Chris & Fenny Marsh (K62-70), Barry Prewett (R70-78), Julian Stapleton (G58-63), Tess Pearson, Andrew Stroud (M70-80), Andy Towler (R78-82), Bob & Madeleine Williams (Hon OF)