Annual Report published in the Gazette 2004 Issue No 27

PRESIDENT: Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, KCVO, OBE.

CHAIRMAN: K. Smith

TREASURER: P.J. Shelbourne BEM

HON. SECRETARY: A. James, 25, Cowling Drive, Stock Wood, Bristol BS14 8DT Tel: - 1275- 839988

MEETINGS: General and Half Yearly at Kingswood and Hanham Royal British Legion, Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol - As notified - Committee meetings Third Monday of each month except March and August.

Two members represented the Branch at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Colston Hall in Bristol. The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines were in attendance. A local theatre produced some very good skits about two Legion members drinking at the bar, it also included scenes from WW2 and was a most enjoyable evening. The Remembrance Parade in Bristol was well attended; Branch members led from the front of the parade. The Lord Mayor took the salute outside Council House. The Parade was overseen by the keen eye by our Chairman Keith Smith, who is the Parade Marshall for the Ex-Serviceman's Contingent.

The Branch Annual dinner was again held at the Jury's Hotel in Bristol. The dinner was well attended with 65 guest enjoying a fantastic three-course meal. Our guest speaker was Col. E.T. Bolitho OBE, who gave us a rundown on what the Regiment was doing.

We took one coach to Regimental Remembrance Day but numbers were a little down on last year. However, it was a good parade and a fine day. Dennis Griffiths (Vice-President) did the Branch proud being one of the Wreath Bearers. He was immaculate as always. Our Branch annual AGM was held on the 17th March at Kingswood & Hanham Royal British Legion Club. There was a good turnout and many useful points were discussed regarding the future of the Branch.

We took a coach consisting of members, family and friends to the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The day included a conducted tour of the Hospital and grounds, taking about two hours. Once the tour ended members had an opportunity to do some shopping on the King's Road and some even made time to go to the London Eye, before meeting back at the In-Pensioner's Bar for a few well earned drinks and to rest the weary feet. Some entertainment was laid on which we all enjoyed. Before setting off back home we all tucked in to a pie & chip supper. A good day was had by all that attended. We had the privilege of the Regimental Band playing in Bristol Cathedral in July; this was in aid of the Cathedral Appeal and the High Sheriffs Charity. Members of the Branch attended and the feedback was fabulous. They were a credit.

The newly formed Sandbag Club gathering took place in July. This club was formed to attract the younger members into the Branch and a meeting takes place at the Galleon Club, in Filton, Bristol about every 3 months. It has been a great success and is an ideal location, as Paul Clifford and his wife run the club. Paul is ex-2nd Battalion and served in No One Company and the Recce. about 20 attended, including wives and great night of lamp swinging was had.

Grenadier Day was again held at Windsor racecourse. We took a coach of 52 including members, families and friends. The weather was fantastic, glorious unbroken sunshine all day, which helped the event go even better. Our Cider Stall was an outstanding success. The flagons that we acquired from Thatcher's went down so well that we could have sold even more twice over. The standard of our stall goes from strength to strength, to the envy of other Branches! We also made a healthy profit to help boost the Branch Coffers. This year it was decided to have a presentation board showing what the branch has been up to and also future events that are planned for 2004. This seemed to attract a lot of attention from other Branches.

In September we ran a trip the Tower of London  and over 20 members of the Branch attended. We were able to incorporate a few hours in London before having a really enjoyable evening under the watchful eye of Simon Dodd. We recommend any branch looking for an enjoyable day out to try this.