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Reunion Report From Larry Smith

The daffodils were in full bloom, the sun was shining, and apart from the occasional slow caravans former Junior Leaders, Permanent Staff and their wives and partners made it safely to Barmouth for the 3rd annual reunion. We certainly struck gold with the Myn-y-Mar Hotel as it proved to be a considerably better than the Corbett in Tywyn. The full list of those who attended will appear on the Reunion 2006 page on the website - there was a mixture of those who had attended all three, the last two and several first timers. Regrettably one or two new members did not meet anybody that they knew from their time at Tonfanau - better luck next year! Friday night was the usual meet and greet and allowed for a few "warmers into the bank". The evening meal was a Carvery that was enjoyed by all; in fact the standard of catering was very good through out the weekend.
Saturday's weather was superb with plenty of sunshine. A walk along the sea front, a coffee in the harbour cafe, a ramble with Sherpa Johnny Thompson (JT) for the fitter members, a trip up the coast to Harlech and a pilgrimage to the Camp were the order of the day. There was plenty to offer in Barmouth with all the attractions of a typical seaside town - even the fairground was open! JT assembled his troops and they set off to walk across the Railway Bridge and the hills on the other side of the estuary - a good time was had by all. A bit different from 40 years ago, when crossing the bridge then you would be wearing a Bradley's suit, winkle pickers, Old Spice and Brylcream with 5 shillings in your pocket. A group drove the 21 miles down the coast to the camp (45 Minutes) and Dave Truelove and his good lady went the better route by train from Barmouth, which took only 20 minutes. Apart from the sheep, all branded in company colours, the camp was empty so many took the opportunity to stroll around the camp roads and pinpoint where certain places were.
Members gathered in the dining area for the Annual AGM at 1600 hours. Although the minutes will be posted onto the Reunion 2006 page, a couple of items are of interest. Firstly it was decided that the 2007 reunion would be held on 31 March at the same venue and secondly it was decided to go ahead with the placing of a Commemoration plaque/stone on the station platform. Further details of this will be promulgated once we have got clearance from the appropriate authorities. It was suggested that the stone/plaque be unveiled at the 2007 reunion, at a time to be decided. Members could travel by train from Barmouth, having a short ceremony, a bottle or two of bubbly, a group photograph, Platoon Commanders disposal then back on the train (depending on landslides!).
Sixty Three people attended the evening function, which included a sit down buffet, raffle and cabaret. The food was plentiful and well served by the staff. There was a toast to the ladies, the reading of a couple of apologies followed by a humorous sketch by Brigadier Inge (JT). This was well received and he has already been booked for next year. A "blind” raffle was conducted and a vote of thanks must go to Dave Truelove’s lovely wife who was a master at selling tickets. A "Dutch Auction" of a 24 Hour Ration Pack and unwanted prizes raised even more money. It was decided at the AGM that the proceeds this year would go to Ken Hart, our webmaster, to offset the cost of managing our website.
Reminiscing about Tonfanau, Cpl Fagg, bed blocks and Kendal Mint cake went on until the early hours. We were greeted on the Sunday morning by a wet, windy gale coming in off the sea. After a hearty breakfast members departed promising to return in 2007. Well done to the Landlady, Helen and her staff who were caring and provided great hospitality. Thanks to Mike Owsley for putting it all together, to Richard Abraham (our search line) for his sterling work through out the year. He found 39 ex juniors and permanent staff some of those were at their first reunion. We are grateful to Chuck and Sandy for proving that the less fortunate in wheelchairs can be accommodated adequately. Thank you to Stan Green for once again providing the memorabilia table decorations; to Allan Likeman for suggesting the venue and finally a big thanks to all those that made the trip and I look forward to seeing you all and others next year.
Larry Smith

 Return To The 2006 Reunion Page 


If you have any reunion photos I would love to show them.

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