On Monday 17th November 2014, 24 of the 38 members of the St Neots and District Branch met up to celebrate their branch’s 42nd anniversary of its commissioning in 1972. Their attendance included 3 of the 6 founder members, Tom Mumford, Alan and Terry Brown celebrating this special occasion.
Also present at the inauguration were 98 future members who joined on 1st January 1973. Of these, only 5 are now current members in this branch. Over subsequent years membership has grown and contracted. In the early days our then Chairman Ted Smith as a National Council Member spread the word about the continuing companionship in the RNA and encouraged members to migrate and start up a further three local branches. These were in Biggleswade, Peterborough and Huntingdon. Sadly Biggleswade branch recently decommissioned.
The celebration lunch was conceived by our events sub group, John Gibbs, Mike Milne, Kati Page and Terry Brown. Little did Terry know the occasion would also mark the award of Life membership to her for 42 years of loyal support! Here we see Tom Mumford, Branch President making the presentation. Standing, is Keith Ridley our Branch Chairman and No 6 Area, National Council Member. This rare award was only the sixth Life Membership made by the branch in its 42 year history.
Like so many organisations our branch membership is ageing. Our branch maintains contact with the local cadet forces, the scouts, plays an active role in programming and promoting Armed Forces Day and turns out with its standard at Remembrance ceremonies in town and local villages.
Year on year it is pleasing to see an increasing presence at events by the public, especially attendance and participation by children.
However we do not see any young blood looking to join the RNA. The HQ initiative of granting membership to all those currently serving has yet to bear fruit here.
Our branch is looking for ideas to attract younger members. Please pass on details of your successful recruitment of new members. Thank you shipmates.
Membership Secretary St Neots and District Branch Royal Naval Association Email RNAemail@example.com