Huntingdon & District Branch take to the ‘Airwaves’

On Thursday 7th November 2013, the Chairman and Secretary of Huntingdon & District Branch, S/Ms Bill Small and Karl Webb, were invited to take part on Huntingdon Community Radio’s community affairs programme ‘Over to You’. In the week leading to Remembrance Sunday, Huntingdon Community Radio (HCR) have been talking to military associations, such as the Royal Naval Association, Royal British Legion and SSAFA in order to promote their support to the local community.

Before the show, Nicola Rule welcomed Bill and Karl to HCR. Nicola had visited the Branch in October, so all that was needed was a quick chat about how the programme is usually run, what music would be played during the breaks, and what contact details would be given out to the listeners. Whilst Pete Singleton ended his show with the news and weather, Bill and Karl took to their seats and waited for Nicola to introduce them (after a quick PR photograph of course).

Shipmates Bill Small and Karl Webb prepare to go 'On Air'
Shipmates Bill Small and Karl Webb prepare to go ‘On Air’

During the interview, Bill and Karl spoke about the background, values, and aims, of the Royal Naval Association including details on who can join and the types of membership available. Then the discussion moved to the local branch of the RNA. In 2013, Huntingdon Branch have taken part in a number of local events, they have manned charity stalls in Huntingdon and St Ives, the Branch has attended Civic parades and flag-raising ceremonies, and even took part in the biennial parade at the Cenotaph in London.

The interview covered the social side of the branch, especially with the two main functions that take place each year, the annual BBQ at the Hon. Secretary’s house, and the Trafalgar Night dinner. Bill and Karl spoke of their time in the Royal Navy, and also told Nicola of the Huntingdon branch members that served had during the Second World War.

One of the songs played during the programme was ‘Heart of Oak’ (not ‘Hearts’ as often described and even sung). Karl gave a quick history lesson about Admiral Sir Edward Hawke who, during the Seven Year’s War, had defeated the French navy during the Battle of Quiberon Bay, a month before ‘Heart of Oak’ was first played in December 1759.

Towards the end of the interview, the listeners were reminded that Huntingdon & District Branch will join up with other local veterans associations, the Royal British Legion and Royal Air Forces Association, the military contingent from RAF Wyton, the Chair of Huntingdonshire District Council, Mayor of Huntingdon, Civic dignitaries, and local community groups, for the annual Remembrance Day service. The Branch will also be represented during the annual service in Godmanchester later that evening.

The programme finished with Nicola giving out the branch contact details, and a reminder of when and where the Branch meet, and finally, by thanking Bill and Karl for coming and giving an insight into the local branch of the association. Bill and Karl in turn thanked Nicola for inviting us to join her on the show, and for the opportunity to ‘reach out’ to the community in spreading the word of the association.

Shipmates Karl Webb and Bill Small with Nicola Rule at HCR
Shipmates Karl Webb and Bill Small with Nicola Rule at HCR

For more details of Huntingdon Community Radio, and to see what other community associations have taken part in the ‘Over to You’ programme, please click on the HCR Logo to visit their website.

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