Mess Night – 11 January 2022

Hello Shipmates

January Mess Night is fast approaching and will be held on Tuesday 11 January 2022 at 7.30pm for 8pm start.

Arrangements have been made to have a fun quiz and supper will be sausages and mash with peas and onion gravy, followed by apple pie and custard.

Please remember to bring along your used postage stamps for us to send to our Bude Branch for charity.  They will be submitted to Macmillan Cancer Research to raise funds for that organisation.   

We wish you all a happy New Year and look forward to seeing you next week.

Xmas Party Mess Night – 14 December 2021

Our Branch Xmas Party Mess Night is on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at Branch HQ, 7.30pm for 8.00pm.


We have the Land Girls coming to entertain us, followed by a Christmas buffet and cheese board laid on by Candy, and a couple of boozy sherry trifles homemade by Lynda Drake. Food is free this month (paid for by RNA), and there will, of course, be a Christmas raffle!

To help us with judging the numbers for catering, if you plan to attend the event please could you reply to the recent email circulated by Pauline Chalk, Branch Hon Secretary.

So feel free to put on your Christmas jumper (if you have one), and join in our festive gathering.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Mess Night – Tuesday 9 November 2021

Hello Shipmates

Our next Mess Night will be taking place on Tuesday 9 November 2021 at 7.30 for an 8pm start.

We have Lynda Pearson, the RNA Welfare Programme Manager, coming to give us a talk about how Sparko TV and Project Semaphore can help us keep in touch with our shipmates, friends and family – we hope that you will find both topics interesting.

This will be followed by sausage, mash, peas and gravy, and a sweet of Candy’s making.

We look forward to seeing you.

Forthcoming Events – October to December 2021

Please find below details of events between October and December 2021:

  • 30th October at 1000 – launch Ferndown Poppy Appeal at Ferndown Council Office, Barrington Centre. Shipmate Ralph Dodds to represent the Branch with our President to sell first Poppy to the Mayor
  • 7th November at 0930 – Blandford RBL Service for rededication of Memorial, Blandford Market Square followed by second Service at Blandford Cemetery
  • 9th November at 2000 – Mess Night, St Ives & St Leonard’s Ex-Services Club
  • 11th November at 1030 – Armistice Day Service at Ferndown RBL Garden of Remembrance
  • 14th November – Remembrance Sunday (see detailed programme below)
  • 14th December at 2000 – Mess Christmas Party at St Ives & St Leonard’s Ex-Services Club, with entertainment from The Land Girls plus Candy’s Christmas Buffet

Remembrance Sunday Programme

West Moors

  • 1030 – Parade forms up in Riverside Road
  • 1100 – Service at War Memorial
  • 1145 – Parade dismisses in Riverside Road

St Ives & St Leonard’s Ex-Services Club

  • 1230 – Branch Service at St Ives Club

Ferndown Parade and Church Service

  • 1400 – Arrival at KGV Pavilion to prepare for parade form-up
  • 1420 – Parade formed-up at KGV Pavilion
  • 1430 – March-off
  • 1450 – Fall-out at St Mary’s Church
  • 1500 – Church Service
  • 1600 – Return parade fall-in
  • 1620 – Dismiss at King George V Pavilion

Our Chairman and Vice President will be carrying our Standard at all four Services so our wreaths will be laid by:

  • 11th Ferndown RBL – S/m Ian Scraggs
  • 14th West Moors – S/m Linda Peaston
  • 14th St Ives Club:
    • RNA S/m Lynda Drake – MN S/m Linda Peaston
    • Burma Star Association – S/m President Chevalier Robert Barnett
    • RAF – S/m Norman Drake
  • 14th Ferndown – St Mary’s Church – Parkstone Sea Cadet tbc

Events – October 2021

Shipmates Gareth and Linda Peaston attended the Royal British Legion Centenary celebrations on our behalf.

On Saturday 9 October, we held a collection outside Sainsbury’s in Ringwood. Our Shipmates had a very successful day, and raised our profile in the area.

Below are some photographs of both events; we’d like to thank Roy Setchfield for his photographs of the Royal British Legion Centenary Parade in Bournemouth, and also Norman Drake for taking the photographs of the collection at Sainsbury’s and sharing them with us.

Mess Night – Tuesday 12 October 2021

Hello Shipmates

Mess Night is fast approaching – why not join us for a fun presentation by Fiona Dodds who will be telling us the ‘Confessions of a Nurse’, next Tuesday 12 October at 1930 for a 2000 start.

Candy will provide a wonderful supper of Cobbler – Beef Mince and Dumplings – followed by a dessert of her choice – sounds delicious!

It would be very helpful if you could let Pauline Chalk know if you would like to eat (by replying to the email that she has sent to you), this will give Candy some idea of the number to cater for.

We hope to see you there.

Mess Night – Tuesday 14 September 2021

Hello Shipmates

Our next Mess Night is fast approaching.

Shipmate Gareth Peaston will be giving a presentation about his seafaring days. Supper will be sausage and mash with peas and gravy – sounds delicious!

Please bring any remaining returns for the Trafalgar Night Dinner, and any raffle donations will be appreciated at Mess Night.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Mess Night – 10 August 2021

Hello Shipmates,

Our next Mess Night is on Tuesday 10 August 7.30pm for 8pm start.

Our speaker is Keith Partridge talking about ‘Wild Life of The New Forest’, and the supper is Beef Cobbler with a sweet of Candy’s choice.

Promises to be an interesting evening.

We look forward to seeing you all.

Merchant Navy Day and National Conference 2021

Merchant Navy Day – 3 September 2021

Merchant Navy Day is celebrated on 3 September, and is intended to raise public awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependance on seafarers, and the huge contribution they have made during our times of crisis.

Why not come along to the front of the Barrington Centre at 11am to show your support, and see the Red Ensign hoisted by our Vice President Gareth Peaston, supported by local dignitaries. The Red Ensign will also be flown at our Branch Headquarters, St Leonards and St Ives Club.

Change of National Conference Date to 4 September 2021

In light of the ongoing Covid crisis and the restrictions this poses on gatherings of any kind, the decision has been made to push the date of the 2021 National Conference to Saturday 4th September, in the hope that there is a much better chance of it taking place.

The venue remains the same as originally planned for 2021 – The Crowne Plaza, Wollaton Street, Nottingham.

The new Conference booking form has been distributed with the February Issue of Semaphore Circular, and can also be found on the members area of the RNA website at

Prices range from £106.50 pp for a 1 day stay to 4 nights at £224, these prices include the cost of the Gala Night Dinner.

We understand that many Shipmates will be disappointed that we have had to reschedule the conference once again, but we hope you all understand the reason behind this decision. We are really looking forward to coming together once again and celebrating the end of such a difficult period, in true RNA fashion.