Branch Meeting Update – February 2020

February’s Branch Meeting was held at the Canary Social Club on 11 February 2020 with 38 members attending.

Following a presentation on the Policing in Norwich in the 1960’s by Barry Leggett, who was introduced by S/M Stuart Fidler, the usual formalities were observed with a minute’s silence for those that have crossed the bar, followed by reports from:


  • The Chairman opened by thanking all members present for turning out this evening, continuing that Branch social events over the last month amounted to zero; however that is the norm following on from Christmas.
  • Commented that this allowance is for those where one partner pays basic tax and the other doesn’t earn enough to pay tax, the current threshold is £12,500.  The partner who pays tax can claim their other halves £1250 tax allowance.  The secretary at Forces2Canaries has done this and could claim back to 2015.  He has received a cheque for over £900.  So go online at the HMRC website and type in marriage allowance.
  • Reported that himself and S/M Reg McGuire had attended the Veterans Norfolk Trustee’s meeting at Aylsham Road on Friday 7 February.  Amongst the many topics covered on the agenda was the sad demise of the Combined Ex-Services Association which the Chairman was sure that all are aware of.  Going forward, Veterans Norfolk will cover as many events previously managed by the CExSA.  The event that needs clarification soonest is the AFD event at the forum on the 21 June.  If the Cadet youth organisations take it in on, i.e.  planning and finances then all well and good, if not then the Chairman doesn’t see this event going ahead.  Another fallout from the CExSA demise is event organisation, so VN will be looking for someone to take on that role.  Also at this meeting, there was a report of 2 Walts turning up a Veterans funeral recently.  Thankfully they were invited to leave very quickly by the veteran’s present.  The Chairman commented that his opinion was “If you see it call it” is always the best policy.
  • Commented that a Veterans railcard is planned to be launched on Armistice day this year for Veterans under the age of 60.  The initial launch will cost individuals £21 rising to £30 which is the same as the 60 plus railcard.  The Chairman commented that this was 25 years overdue; but still very welcome.
  • Advised that it has been announced that service leavers will keep their ID card with the corner cut in the future and this will be the Veterans card after they leave the Armed Forces.  Seems the best and cheapest way to do this.  Other Veterans should get their cards in due course.
  • Advised that veterans from various local RNA Branches have been helping out over the past decade with training for new recruits going through the system at HMS Raleigh.  The mentors help the young sailors with all aspects of Navy life ranging from getting kit ready for inspections, outdoor activities, assault course and the 2-day slog round Gutter Tor.  Also, the local Veterans are there to provide general support when needed and this is certainly a great use of the wealth of experience that exists amongst the Veteran Community.
  • Concluded that the Army have moved back to the Careers Office now that the funding has been found to repair the building.


  • There will be a special service to mark the 80th anniversary of the Le Paradis Massacre at Honningham church on Wednesday 27 May 2020.  Will all Standards and veterans please muster at 1030am for the service at 1100hrs.
  • Reported that there are 11 people left to renew and thanked all those that have paid their membership fees for 2020.  We have had an amazing response and membership stickers for those that paid in January have been handed out this evening. Continued that for those that haven’t yet paid, he would be taking payments during stand easy and if anyone would like to pay by bank transfer then please speak to him. Thanked all for their continued support of the Association, and particularly Norwich Branch.
  • Reported that following a discussion at last week’s Committee Meeting, the members service details on the Branch Website had been reviewed.  Taking into consideration the recent announcements regards Veteran ID Cards and Railcards and how easy it would be for this data to be misused by unscrupulous persons to obtain such items with this information, it had been decided to remove this data from the website and restrict the amount of this information that is published in Up Spirits.
  • Read on behalf of S/M Mike Massen: Evening ship mates, firstly my apologies for not being present this month but my wife is getting ready to have an operation this week. Not much to report this month our Drill and Piping competition I mentioned last month got rearranged because of the recent weather we have all encountered, will report on this next month. We are now recruiting for more cadets and committee members, to hopefully try and come up with a plan on getting our own bigger premises, as you can imagine this is very difficult in our current climate and we invite any ship mates who would want to be apart of this part of our history to get in contact with us. Cadets are doing well and getting as many qualifications as possible as are our staff, and plans are being put in place to get involved more in the community over this year, to raise valuable funds, some things we are planning are bag packs and street collections at the moment, but always looking for other ideas, I will keep you informed as to when they happen and how well we have done. Our footballers that I mentioned got through to Area last month done very well but unfortunately did not win any trophies this time around, but they had an enjoyable day. Not much else to report at the moment hope to have more next month.

Welfare Secretary

  • Reported that he has been able to help the families of two deceased veterans of World War Two find out a little bit more of the history of their service.  Further details can be found in this month’s Up Spirits.

Social Secretary

Forthcoming Events

16th Feb – Breakfast Club – 1000 – Nelson Table Table

23rd Feb – English Whisky Distillery Tour – 1030 – Roudham – Mark Rundle from the RMA will be running the tour as he did last time. £5 per person.

10th Mar – Branch AGM – 1930 – CSC

14th Mar – HMS Invincible Memorial Service – 1200 – Happisburgh

21st Mar – NCFC Armed Forces Day – 1500 – Carrow Road – Armed Forces Day halftime pitch parade at the NCFC v Everton game kick-off 1500. This is a date change from our last meeting. Free match ticket for all those taking part. All complimentary tickets have been allocated to Veterans who want to take part. Date of this fixture is still subject to change due to TV pics.

16th May – Branch Run Ashore – 2000 – The Fat Cat First Run ashore of the year at the NR2 4NA

18th May – RBL Trip – Email and itinerary from Stuart Blackburn
27th Jun – AFD – Northrepps Village Hall

1st – 2nd Jul – RNS Costessey Showground – The bid has gone in via Max Marriner for the RNA to have a pitch in the military village for both days as we did last year.

31st Jul – Black Tot Day BBQ – At present we are looking at a pub venue which will cost £10-£15 per head or stage it round at the Chairman’s house.

Any Other Business

S/M Phil Coates

  • Advised that Christmas Squares are now back on sale.
  • Reported that it was intended to host a Family Event on the late May Day Bank Holiday and requested a show of hands as to who would be interested in attending. Following a positive response he asked for volunteers to join a sub-committee to help organising the event advising that he would contact those that had volunteered in the very near future.

S/M John Kett

  • Advised that at the March Branch Meeting he will be taking names for the boat trip, with places costing £15 (£11.50 for the tickets and £3.50 towards a raffle on the day). Also advised that he will be taking names for Trafalgar Night at the March Branch Meeting.

S/M Steve Phillips

  • Advised that he will be visiting S/M Vera Read to celebrate her 107th Birthday and will be delivering flowers and a card on behalf of the Branch.
  • Commented that there is a veteran’s funeral at the end of the month, and more information will be promulgated once known.

S/M Stuart Fidler

  • Reported that the Tesco Railcard offer has changed slightly, it is now £1 voucher equals £3 therefore the Railcard can be purchased for £10 of VoucherCodes. Details at:

RNA Norwich

The Norwich Branch is one of 300+ branches of the Royal Naval Association world wide. It was commissioned in 1979 and today has a membership of just over 90. It is a registered charity in its own right - the Registered Charity Number is: 1068699

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