Some Past Events We Have Enjoyed
D DAY BBQ
June 2006 the branch held a D Day celebration & bbq. Members were asked to come in 1940's attire and most did so. Even Hitler made an appearance! We were joined by a local WWII re-enactors group who brought along various authentic weapons which thrilled all the children there.
FUSILIER GATHERING 2006
In September 2006 some of the branch travelled across to Celle in Germany for a Fusilier Gathering. 1 RRF hosted the event and a great time was had by all who made the effort to go across. Alex Hendry even had time to run a cadre on mini bus tire changing!!
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2006
Remembrance Sunday Parade 2006; The Branch was boosted in numbers by 6 serving members of 1RRF for the largest parade outside London! One of the young lads ( Fus Aaron Foster) is the son of branch member Steve Foster. The two were photographed together and an article appeared in the Sunderland Echo!
CRIMBO PARTY 2006
As with every event we have held, it was a resounding success due mostly to the careful planning and preparation put into the evening by Alex & Myself! There was quite a good turnout, however there were a few familiar faces missing, the terrible weather conditions may have put a few people off!
Although it was our usual night for the Branch meeting, it was decided not to hold the meeting but just to enjoy the evening instead. There was a huge buffet supplied by the members, so huge in fact, that the rest of the drinkers in the " Gunners Club" also benefited from it later in the evening when the surplus food was handed out in the bar and lounge!
There were over twenty prizes in the raffle, again supplied by the Branch members. The raffle was a great success making £125 for the Branch and we all had a great laugh when Mark " Mons" Monson won a day of his and her pampering, only to discover it was in fact his and hers grooming kit from the Pound Shop!
Our oldest member Ted Holt, also won a cracking prize of a meal for two! and was then presented with a bag full of "Compo Rations" gift wrapped!
Johny Bowes sent a fiver to buy raffle tickets in his absence & won " A Day of Golfing" on a course of his choice! yep you guessed it, a kiddies golf set from the pound shop!
St GEORGE'S DAY 2007
St George's weekend 2007 was a fantastic success. on the Saturday night we attended a reunion dance at St George's barracks, Newcastle. On the Sunday morning with hangovers we travelled to Morpeth for a church service followed by parade through Morpeth high street. From there it was back to Newcastle for more liquid refreshments.
In May 2007 the branch held a family fun weekend at Stainton Camp near Barnard Castle in County Durham. Everyone slept in dorms with bunk beds and ate in the "cookhouse". During the day everyone took part in archery,assault course, rock climbing, shooting in the range & air rifle shooting. By evening we all retired to the mess for drinks, buffet, quiz & of course kareoke. TC otherwise known as Elvis did a great show of the "Kings" hits. The kareoke was still going as the sun came up! A brilliant weekend!
D DAY CELEBRATION AND DANCE
June 2007 saw two major events, the first being a D Day celebration and dance. It took place at Londonderry Hall in South Shields. During the day we once again had the WWII re-enactors to come along with all their original uniforms, dress, weapons and even vehicles. They laid on a superb display. We even had a German soldier firing blank ammunition from WWII weapons. In the evening the drill hall was turned into a dance hall and nearly 200 people came along for a great night of music and dance.
VETERANS CUP CHARITY FOOTBALL MATCH
In 2007 it was thought it would be a good idea if ex Fusilier, Sunderland and Newcastle supporters should settle there differences on the football pitch. Branch member Steve (Fossie) Foster jumped in with both feet and organised the match. It got so much interest that it was decided to try and make some money out of the event for a charity. All the players were given sponsor forms and various gifts were given to raffle off. The match was played at the Nissan Sports Center in Sunderland on Saturday 23rd June. Lads and thier families travelled from all over the country to be there, nearly 180 people turned up on the day. The game was played through a terrible thunderstorm which seen off most of the supporters, but the players, in true Fusilier fashion played on. Newcastle Fusiliers bolstered by players from Liverpool, Birmingham and Peterborough ran out 6.4 winners. After the game everyone retired to the function room where a raffle was held and the total raised for the Army Benevolent fund was £1650 which was a truely fantastic effort by all.
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2007
Once again the branch had another fantastic turn out for Remembrance Sunday. It as always a very proud moment to march through your home town, especially when you are being cheered on by thousands of bystanders. The event in Sunderland gets bigger every year! It has been usual for most of the members to travel through to St George's Bks after the parade but this year for the first time, we held our own function afterwards. It was held in the Railway Club just a stones theow from the parade. We had a substantial buffet and it turned into an all day session!
CRIMBO PARTY 2007
There was a huge turn out for the Christmas Party and we think 2008 will see a bigger venue. There was the usual buffet and raffle but this year we also had bingo and a live act who were brilliant and really got the night going. Some of us younger members carried on partying long into the early hours!!
St George's Day 2008
On Saturday 19th April the Sunderland Branch took part in the St George's Day celebrations in Newcastle. A good number of us travelled through to Newcastle on the Saturday morning for a very uplifting service at St Nicholas's Cathedral, in the presence of the Duke of Northumberland, Brigadier Minter & Colonel Simon Marr. As well as the Mayor of Newcastle, a Coy of 2RRF, 5RRF and the cadets. After the service we formed up and marched through Newcastle before moving on to the Assembly Rooms for a superb buffet and free wine!!
In the evening the Ex Northumberlands attended a function at Federation Breweries, while us younger members went through to St George's TA Centre. It was great to catch up with lots of old mates and it was a fantastic turnout, probably the biggest yet! Capt Jock Stacey and his staff did us proud, a big thanks to them for a great night. See photo's.
Stainton Camp 2008
The Branch family weekend at Stainton Camp was a huge success. Around 70 people turned up for this years camp. The weather was fine and sunny and everyone had a great time enjoying the facilities including rifle range, assault course, archery and cycling. There was a steam ralley taking place over the road, while there was a fairground in the local town of Barnard Castle. Some members also travelled out to the Lakes, Darlington and the nearby beauty spots of High & Low Force. TC brought along his disco kareoke and also entertained with an hour long set of Elvis. The food was fantastic and it was washed down by quite a few pints. Over £300 was made for the Branch by having a raffle, football cards, a quiz and a few games of Play Your Cards Right.
Veterans Cup Charity Football Match
The Veterans Cup 2008 has been another huge success for the Branch. Around 150 people turned up on Saturday 7th June at the Archibald Stadium, Durham. It was a glorious hot summers day which made it hard work for the players! Sunderland ran out 3.1 winners but the result wasn't important. It was the money raised for the Army Benevolent Fund. This years total is around £2500! Thanks goes to everyone who turned up on the day, Rob Park, Dianne & Brenda for running the turnstiles, Alex for driving the mini bus & doing the announcements, Dot & Anne for doing a great job once again selling raffle tickets. Not to mention all who made donations. Well done to you all and roll on next year!!
Trip To The National Soldiers Memorial
On Sunday 29th June 2008, some Branch members enjoyed the day at the National Soldiers Memorial in Staffordshire. They met up with members of the Newcastle Branch for a memorial parade which was attended by Associations Nationwide.
We also had a write up in the local Sunderland Echo where we are trying to encourage local buisnesses to "Honour Our Brave" A campaign started by the Echo.
Army Benevolent Fund Function
On Thursday 14th August 2008, Steve " Fossie " Foster the Veterans Cup organiser and Branch Chairman Norman Ward were invited to The Mansion House, Newcastle. This is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle. It was all in aid of The Army Benevolant Fund and we were asked to present a cheque to the Mayor on behalf of the ABF from the Charity Match.
He made a speech, as did Major Eric Ingram of the ABF thanking us all for our hard work in raising such an amount for a very good cause. There were a couple of cheques presented and ours was by far the largest sum, so you should all be very proud of yourselves.
Well done and roll on next year.
The total is still short of what we had anticipated as there is still money outstanding.
Fusilier Gathering, Tower of London, Sept 2008
On Saturday 20th Sept 2008 a good contingent of our younger branch members made the long trip down to London for the Fusilier Gathering. On Saturday night we were hosted by the T.A. at Balam T.A.C. It was a great night with good food, wine and entertainment. The partying went on well into the night and on Sunday morning with heads pounding we made our way to the Tower. We formed up overlooking the Thames with Association members from the Northumberlands, Warwicks and Lancs, three platoons of TA and the Corp of Drums. Cheered on by family, friends and hundreds of tourists, we proudly marched into the Tower! The inspecting officer was Brigadier Trevor Minter, who, on the Sat night had made a point of coming over to chat with us from 1RRF.
After the parade there was, for those lucky enough to squeeze into the small chapel, a very poignant and moving service. After which, we all went to the banqueting hall for a wonderful meal and more to drink!! We then made our way via various pubs back to the hotel where a quick change was the order of the day before hitting the West End. Monday consisted of a spot of sight seeing before the journey home. A fantastic weekend was had by all!
Remembrance Sunday 2008
Remembrance Sunday 2008 was another fantastic event! With each passing year we can judge just how successful our branch has become by the number of members and friends willing to travel the length and breadth of the country to march with us. Special mentions must go to Shaun Hodgeson who once again came up from Kent, Billy Lamb from Lincoln and for the first time since leaving the army, Paul Rushton & Critch, both Bolton lads and neither of whom had marched since leaving 1RRF, chose the Sunderland Parade to do so. They have promised they will be back.
Well done to everyone who could make it and make it another memorable occasion especially as for the first time the branch marched with both Branch Standards.