We can now officially describe our annual function as a Reunion Weekend - maybe it's
the Blackpool sea air that is attractive (or the smell of the tarmac) but a far greater
number than previously made it a full weekend - from Friday lunchtime when Mick & John
Gates supervised the opening of the Residents Bar to Sunday noon there was a packed lobby
at the Park House.
For those brave enough, Saturday was spent walking Blackpool
Promenade and shopping center, or on a tram trip to Fleetwood or on the local golf course or,
of course, carrying out further supervision of the bar.
Having outgrown all of our previous locations the results of a Questionnaire pointed us
to the North West coast. Already familiar to most of us, Blackpool is a bustling resort and
the North Promenade still presents a most beautiful Victorian spectre.
The Hotel overlooks the Irish Sea and is just about perfect for our purpose. From the front
entrance through to the ballroom at the rear there are a host of niches to meet and chat: The
Public Bar (B Squadron LAD HQ), The no-smoking lounge, the front lobby, the Residents Bar,
the rear lobby, the function room bar - you name it we filled them all!
Another 'plus' for the Hotel is that we can eat in the large Dining Room where the tables had
been very tactfully decorated in Regimental colours. A traditional Lancashire Hotpot supper
was appreciated by most 'normal' visitors with apple pie & cream to follow if anyone needed
to fill up.
Another great advantage is that if you don't like the 'noise' you can get well away from it. However
it was noticeable that those who chose to sit in the Ballroom (festooned with Regimental flags)
stayed there throughout the whole evening, obviously enjoying the dancing to the modern and 'right
for us' music.
We had two Official Guests this year. Lt Col Peter Harman is of course Chairman of
the Regimental Association and, attending as President of Noah's Arc for the first
time, we had Lt Col Brian (DRAC) Draper MBE accompanied of course by Denny.
Every year we find faces turning up that haven't been seen or heard of for ages. In particular
this year we were delighted to see Mick (Sticky) Stowell and Andy Navin who spent the whole evening
walking around saying "this is fantastic" while re-telling tales that we had heard
many times before!
Peter Law (1952) came over from Canada
and was delighted to meet up with Jim Rudge and Jim Hedges to talk about their era. Henry Gorry
was another traveller who, for once, was almost stuck for words!
Bob & Eileen Butler showed outstanding devotion to duty in providing our Sales Bureaux
in the foyer. Their efforts resulted in every attendee (apart from those with funny coloured
shirts) sporting the Noah's Arc tie. Sweaters, caps and fleeces were in great demand too. Well done
to Bob & Eileen and everyone who helped them out.
The Golf Match
Our thanks must go to Bill Butcher for arranging the Noah's Arc Golf challenge. Held at Bill's course
(the De Vere) a fine day was had by all with the trophy (a crystal piece donated by Bill)
going to Terry Carter. Well done Terry.
A change from previous years this year when the Committee provided funds to purchase
prizes in order to give a variety of attractive prizes. John Marcelle very kindly donated a
number of History of the Regimental Band books. Prize Winners:
Unclaimed Prizes : Salmon 901 and Yellow 291
When Don Davies is sitting next to you approaching 3:00am with a pint in his hand saying "I
don't want tonight to end!" you know you've done something right.
Yet another wonderful get-together. The word most often used (apart from 'absolutely', Waggy)
was 'family' - and that's what we are. The Regiment has moved on and will continue as
the KRH with our full support but we are the remnants of an age when the 14th/20th King's
Hussars was our life - we will continue to do everything in our power to maintain the special
relationship that we have.
I thank everyone who helped make this year's reunion an outstanding occasion.
Bob Harrison 4/3/2002.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE - UNTIL NEXT YEAR
"Sign the book - buy a tie - see Mick"