Annual Report published in the
Forty-Fourth Annual Report for 1959
President: Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon G.N.C. Wigram, MC., JP.
Chairman: Mr W Derrick, 7, Devonshire Road, Westbury Park, Bristol 6
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer: Mr F Chivers, 75, Dursley Rd, Shirehampton, Bristol 9. Tel: Avonmouth 2505
Headquarters: Crown & Sceptre Hotel, Bridewell St., Bristol 1. (Opposite the Central Fire Station)
Committee Meeting: On the first Friday in every month, commencing 7.30pm
Annual Dinner and Dance: Friday, 6th November 1959 at the Grand Hotel, Bristol
This report commences on a sad note. We deeply regret to record the death of Mr FL Risely, our senior Vice-President and one of our founder members. He was the mainstay of the Branch in its early days; and the Branch as a whole, as well as many individual members owe much to him. We feel a great loss with his passing. The Branch was well represented at his memorial Service held at St Stephen's Church, Bristol on 20th February. We also mourn the passing of 19130 W. Task and 24565 JG Hoare, both keen members of the Association, who will be greatly missed. The death of our old friend Albert Fox MM, on 25th March was a sad blow to us all. Albert served us faithfully as our secretary for ten years before being forced to give up through illness two years ago. His memorial service and funeral were attended by very many Comrades on the 31st March and he was truly described as "That Faithful and Well Loved Old Comrade."
The past year has been a comparatively quiet one, although the normal Branch activities have continued a usual. These are fairly well supported both by our familiar old friends and by many new members who have recently left The Colours. The latter are always welcome, but one wishes that they were able to attend more regularly and so help to make our Branch even more successful.
A party from Bristol again made the journey to Wellington Barracks for Regimental Remembrance Sunday. The coach was not filled to capacity, but those who did travel in it were greatly entertained by the reminiscences of "Spud" Murphy and Bill Prout who both appear to have spent large part of their Colour Service in paying off extra drills and CB!
The highlight of the year was a visit to the President's home and farm near Cirencester on Sunday 17th August, some seventy members and their families availed themselves of the President's kind invitation and spent a most enjoyable day there. We are all deeply grateful to him, and to his family and the staff at Poulton Fields for the welcome they gave us, and for the hard work they put into making our day there such a pleasant and really memorable occasion.
Our Branch Dinner was held on the first Friday in November as usual. The guest of honour was Brigadier A. de L. Cazenove, President of the Bristol Branch of the Coldstreamer's Association and one-time Commandant of the Guards Depot. We were also pleased to welcome Lieut.-Colonel R. Steele, MBE Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion and were greatly interested in his account of the Regiment's varied activities. Again it was good to see so many of our country members, including Mr W. Britton who travelled up from Budleigh Salterton in Devon to be with us. He must have thought it a worthwhile journey because two of the Christmas draw tickets he bought at the Dinner won him a chicken and a bottle of port. Whilst on the subject or the Dinner, we are rather disturbed by the dwindling attendances in recent years, so this year we shall be making it a Dinner and Dance in the hope that this will appeal to our younger members, and their wives and lady friends.
The Christmas draw was held at the Royal Hotel, Avonmouth, and our thanks go to Mr Griffiths, the landlord and a member of the Branch for the excellent arrangements he made for us. The draw was organised by Sam Tucker ; preside over by our Chairman Bill Derrick, and the profit again helped to reinforce Branch funds. After the draw we played the local team at skittles and concluded a jolly good evening with a get-together in the cocktail bar.
A combined Grenadier/Coldstream social evening was held in November and we wound up the Christmas season with a party dance, again admirably organised by Frank Theolbald and enjoyed by all who attended it.
Five welfare cases were investigated and dealt with during the year; assistance being given where necessary. Six of our members received Christmas parcels from the Regiment, and a member in St Joseph's Home in Bristol was supplied with tobacco.
The strength of the Branch increased slightly and now stands at about 370 members, in spite of the fact that some thirty members had to be removed from the roll for non-payment of subscriptions. This is a sad duty for any Branch Secretary!
We are all pleased to see our Vice-Chairman Jack Hackling, restored to health again after his operation in Southmead Hospital, and we wish our Committee member Sergeant-Major John Bowles, late of Bristol University O.T.C., the very best of luck on his return to civilian life.
Our Dinner and Dance will be held at the Grand Hotel, Bristol on Friday 6th November, and during the year we shall be organising parties to London for Regimental Remembrance Day on 31st May; to Pirbright for the Boyton Cup Day on Sunday 30th August, and possibly to the Guards Depot "At Home Day" if it is decided to hold it this year. The President has also invited us to visit him again at Poulton Fields in August, the date of which will be notified to the Branch later. Other parties will be arranged in accordance with suggestions received. Any member interested in any of these trips should inform the Secretary without delay. Please note the new Secretary's name and address, and we take this opportunity of promising Mr Chivers our loyal support.
Our thanks go to our President for his great interest in Branch matters, to our Chairman and Committee for all time they and trouble they take to keep the Branch running, and to all those other members who take an active part in Branch affairs, so helping to make it a flourishing part of our Association.
In conclusion, we thank the Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding the Regiment, and also the General Secretary of the Association, Lieutenant-Colonel GF Turner for all the help and advice they have so readily given us during the year.
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