RNA Conference, Folkestone 2015

On Friday 19th June 2015, shipmate Karl Webb, Hon. Secretary for Huntingdon & District Branch, headed off to Folkestone for the Royal Naval Association’s annual conference. On arrival in Folkestone, Karl booked into the Grand Burstin Hotel. From the very start, it looked like this was going to be a great weekend, everywhere anyone looked, RNA personnel were either welcoming the new arrivals, heading off to the bar, or simply catching up with shipmates from near and far.

The Grand Burstin Hotel

The Grand Burstin Hotel

After checking in, shipmates were able to enjoy a few drinks in the ballroom. Shipmates from No 6 Area touched base to make sure everyone had settled in ok.

Shipmates enjoying an evening reception

Shipmates enjoying an evening reception

The Grand Burstin staff entertained their guests with some live entertainment (and bingo for those that had brought their dobbers!).

Live entertainment at the Grand Burstin

Live entertainment at the Grand Burstin

A highlight for s/m Karl Webb was meeting up with s/m Shaun (Charlie) Brosnan, after serving together on HMS Berwick 31 years ago, it was great to catch up and enjoy a few more drinks.

Catching up after 31 years

Catching up after 31 years

On the Saturday morning, shipmates prepared for the business side of the weekend, the ballroom had been rearranged to enable delegates to be seated in front of the top table where the National President, VIPs (which included the Town Mayor of Folkestone, Councillor Emily Arnold), General Secretary and main Council members would be seated. Sadly, the National President was called away on a family matter, so at the last minute the Deputy National President stepped in.

Ready for Conference 2015

Ready for Conference 2015

The details of the Conference will be published on HQ’s official website, but the meeting was a great success, as with any democratic process, things will not go everyone’s way, but overall everyone felt that a lot has been achieved in looking towards the future of our Association. On completion of business, shipmates from Area 6 got together for a rare group photo.

No 6 Area delegates, observers and NCM after the conference

No 6 Area delegates, observers and NCM after the conference

A photographer from the Veterans Portrait Project was also in attendance, he managed to photograph a number of shipmates as part of a drive to capture images of veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces. The shipmates photographed on Saturday will eventually be displayed on the Veterans Project website in a couple of weeks: Veterans Portrait Project UK

The Grand Burstin at night

The Grand Burstin at night

On Saturday night, shipmates held a gala dinner at the Grand Burstin, a great way to end the day.

Shipmates gather for the Gala Dinner

Shipmates gather for the Gala Dinner

As with previous RNA Conferences, the final day was marked with a parade of National, Area, and Branch Standards, shipmates from the RNA and other naval Associations (mainly from Ireland), and led by the T.S. Invicta Sea Cadet Corps’ band.

Folkestone Cadets lead the Parade

Folkestone Cadets lead the Parade

RNA Standard Bearers march off from the Grand Burstin.

Standard Bearers paraded National, Area, and Branch Standards

Standard Bearers paraded National, Area, and Branch Standards

With words of thanks from the Mayor of Folkestone, our National Chairman, prayers from the padre, and an impressive Drumhead Service from the sea cadets, it was time to draw the conference to a close. Once again, a rare opportunity arose to get a photograph of the No 6 Area Standard Bearers before most headed back home.

No 6 Area Standard Bearers

No 6 Area Standard Bearers

…not without the traditional tot of course.

Time for a well earned 'tot'

Time for a well earned ‘tot’

Shipmates from Area 6 would like to say BZ to Area 2 shipmates, and HQ staff, for all the hard work that went in to ensure we had a successful conference.

This page will be updated in due course with links to the official summary, and photography, of Conference 2015.

RNA HQ – Official Website

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To see more pictures from shipmate Karl Webb’s time at Conference 2015, click on the first thumbnail below and scroll through the images.

The Grand Burstin Hotel The harbour view in front of the Grand Burstin Harbour and cliff view another harbour view
Ship's anchor The Grand Burstin Evening drinks at the Grand Burstin Shipmates waiting for their drinks!
Not the first of the night... NCM joins in and this was early on in the evening! Time for some live entertainment
Evening entertainment ...and the fun continues Shipmates and hotel guests enjoy the entertainment Nigel catches up with Keith Ridley
Time for some Bingo! The ladies are keen to play Bingo over, now for the entertainment to restart They were very good
Spider and Charlie meet up after 31 years! Saturday morning, the hotel survived the naval onslaught The top table Delegates' seating area
SLOPs open for business One of the display boards Shipmates from No 6 Area Grand Burstin at night
Shipmates at the gala dinner Grand Burstin place mats Never let a tot go to waste! Sunday morning
Preparations for the main Parade Dave Corrigan with No 6 Area Standard Cadet Band will lead the parade and the Parade marches off
the young in front National Council members National, Area, and Branch Standards Shipmates follow the Standard Bearers
Shipmates on parade On the parade ground Dave rounds up No 6 Area Standard Bearers a small formation
No 6 Area Standard Bearers Time for a tot especially for the Standard Bearers The last act to close the conference
Sightseeing around Folkestone Sightseeing around Folkestone Last of the giants! Old rail bridge
The Grand Burstin Heading along the coast On the beach From the beach
Towards the Warren The Step Short Centenary Arch Remembering the RAF Step Short Arch
War Memorial Road of Remembrance The Road of Remembrance Back towards the Grand Burstin
Last night at the Grand Burstin Harbour at night The Grand Burstin Final view of the Grand Burstin

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