25th September 1997, at the Imperial Hotel, Barrow in Furness.
30th Anniversary Celebration of the 1st Commissioning date 1968: 2 - 4 October 1998
"Face to Face" buffet dance at the Lisdoonie Hotel, Abbey Road, Barrow-in-Furness. 150 in attendance
11.00am - Gents to Vickers Shipbuilding - highlight tour of HMS Vanguard - last Trident SSBN. Ladies to "Colony" and lunch in Ulverston.
7.30pm for 8.00pm - Reunion Dinner - dress lounge suit or optional black tie. 170 members and guests were seated at the Lisdoonie Hotel.
11.00am - coffee and goodbyes !
Port And Starboard crew member of the 1st commission
2001 Reunion Meeting
FRIDAY 4th May 2001
The weekend festivities started at 1930 hrs in the Bar of the Lisdoonie Hotel when Shipmates started to arrive for the first evenings get together.
The beer flowed well all evening with plenty of yarns to be told. Everyone remembered each other better this time as it had only been two years since last meeting. We were entertained throughout the evening by a single male singer but with all the electronics used today he sounded just as loud as any group and the Hotel put on a superb buffet. Frank Scutt gave a short speech just to let us all know what was going to happen the following day. I am not sure what time the drinking went on till as I retired at 0100 but going by the eyes of some people the following morning at breakfast it went on quite late.
Saturday 5th May dawned sunny and warm after breakfast all staying at the hotel gathered outside and then made our way to Barrow Town Hall, here we met up with other Repulsives, we then left the wives and made our way down to where the Parade was falling in. This parade was made up of a Naval Guard a contingent of Submariners UK and Canadian and youth organizations plus Standard Bearers from various submariner Associations. We fell in at the rear of all these waiting to be marched off, when we were suddenly spied by a WO GI and no they have not changed since our days up he marched stick under arm and asked what we were doing falling in with his Sailors rank did try to explain to him who we were but to no avail we were politely told to go away, this brought many a tear to old comrades eyes as they had never been dismissed from a parade before. With this the parade moved off led by the Royal Marine Band from Edinburgh.
Any way we made our way back to the Town Hall to watch the Navy being given the Freedom of Barrow this Ceremony was completed by the Guard fixing Bayonets and marching through the town.
We all with wives made our way back to the Parade area where most of the general public were now gathering also, after a bit of milling around the Royal Marine Band arrived and once again we were spied by our Friendly!!!! GI but this time he was more pleasant and asked us if we wished to now take part, so of we all went and fell in behind the Band. Volunteers were asked to take control of their platoons so good old Frank stepped forward. The Band struck up and of we marched yes marched and very well we all did everyone in step, as we reached the parade ground the crowd clapped us old veterans. We all took up our places and then waited Tony Whetstone arrived and took up his place by the dais by this time everyone was feeling the heat but we all stood firm. Tony called the parade to attention and Flag Officer Submarines Rear Admiral Stephen’s arrived, he then carried out an inspection of all mustered and had a chat with most.
Having got back to the Dais he gave a speech about the last hundred years and what a great year this is going to be for the Submarine Service also what it meant to the service being given the Freedom of Barrow.
He then presented medals and a Submarine badge(Dolphins) to an ex X craft Submariner who had never received them on discharge after the war. After this we all Marched passed the Flag Officer and as we left the parade Tony Whetstone and taken up his position and we all eyes right for him. After falling out the rest of the day was our own which was spent looking round the various displays put on by the shipyard BAE Systems and some went of to local bars. The next venue where everyone gathered was the local Rugby ground where we were entertained to an under thirteen’s rugby match one team represented the submariners the other team represented the skimmers, unfortunately we lost. This was followed by beating the retreat by the Royal Marine Band.
We all then departed back to our Hotels to get ready for the evening Dinner Dance. The evening started at 1900hrs with pre dinner drinks and at 1930 we sat down to eat once again many yarns were swapped. On completion of dinner we were entertained by the same chap we had the night before, Frank gave a short speech reading out apologies from those that could not get this time and thanking all for attending once again. Once again at breakfast the following day eyes looked terrible on everyone. Goodbye were said by those who had to get away but at 1100hrs an AGM was held. (Report will be placed on this site).
SEE PHOTOS OF THIS REUNION BELOW
3rd 4th 5th MAY 2002
The venue for this years Reunion was organised by Willy Smith having spoken to the Manager of the RSL Club Norm Williams who agreed to let Willy have six long tables for the meeting, the food was brought by Willy and the catering staff prepared and served it. Willy also invited along Gerry Francis the president of the Victoria Submariners Branch to meet and greet everyone he intern brought along his Vice President, Secretary and PR Officer. The Reunion started on the Friday evening at 6pm in the Returned & Services League Club on Flinders Lane in the centre of Melbourne. The Duckboard Club, which is the clubs official name, is quite small compared to the normal run of RSL Clubs. However it suited our little gathering admirably, we started early and finished late and where the time went nobody knows. There were around forty people there which included members of the RSL Club who were ex RN Submariners and they were particularly good at reminiscing whilst downing a few. The Repulsives that made it were; from the UK, Frank and Anne Scutt and sister Sheila, Ken and Jean Young, Rob and Loleata Brown, Dave and Susan Ingram and Jnr; from New Zealand, John and Brenda Murray (Port Crew POSA) from Australia, Willie and Jean Smith (Tasmania), Hamish and Anne McIlvaney (Dapto NSW), Doug and Jean Holmes(Adelaide). Making up a grand total of sixteen Repulsives. Gerry Frances was an ex RN Submariner who served on the following boats; Seraph, Tapir, Tiptoe, Grampus and Resolution. Also there was Pat Heffernan who served on Talent and Seraph. The first part of the evening was meet and get to know, as we always do at our reunions, as we get older remembering names and faces becomes even more difficult. Eventually most people sorted themselves out into their favoured groups and nattered away. Just prior to the buffet being distributed we were all called to our feet for a short remembrance of one minutes silence “Lest we forget”, our departed colleagues. This short remembrance was followed by a lovely young lady walking around distributing the buffet, a brilliant assortment of shellfish, oysters, canapés you name it, it was there followed by allsorts of succulent delights including sweets, monster fresh fruit salads of the like we had never seen before, the Ladies loved them. At the completion of the refreshments, Frank said a few words to the assembled company thanking the Duckboard Club for entertaining us so well, especially the caterers culinary delights (where was Fritz he might have learnt something). After the refreshments Merv Williams the club Manager opened up the Clubs museum on the first floor, what a treasure trove that was. Numerous cap tallies Photographs memorabilia of the highest order, undescribable, really worth a few minutes browse should be on a website for all to see. Like all good things everything has to come to an end, so we left at around 11pm having arranged between the Repulsives to meet at on Melbourne Southbank for the Penguin Cruise that left at 1700 hrs Saturday evening. Whow! we were going to go to sea again ,this did include a barbecue supper plus a free bar; where could we get better for a Saturday night? What we did not realise was that the river cruiser was licensed to carry thirty people; our thirteen virtually filled the main cabin, eventually twenty six people were found places for the trip and the barbecue supper was served before we set off. There was probably more room on a midget sub. However we all managed to eat our supper then we set sail cruising down the river to the Penguin colony. It wasn’t easy to get to the bar (a square plastic container the size of a milk crate standing on the engine casing packed with ice, red & white wine coke and water) so we put Anne in charge and she distributed the wines admirably. We had quite a leisurely cruise down river (an hour and a half) with the Captain pointing out all the highlights on either side of the river. The penguin colony had to be reached at dusk because that was the time the penguins came out of their holes to feed, so it was all hands on deck for the penguin watch. Actually they were really few and far between, a bit of an anti climax really; never mind you can’t win them all. Anne carried on dishing out the red wine, which was beginning to taste rather “ucky” by now. We really needed a pint and with RA revs on it only took half an hour to get back to the cruisers berth. At this point we said farewells to Ken and Jean, Willie and Jean, John and Brenda The remaining seven Frank, Anne and Sheila, Rob and Loleata, Anne and Hamish headed for the nearest bar on Flinders street to wash away the taste of the ‘cheapo’ wine. At this point we started exchanging names and addresses and we realised that Hamish was not a member of the Repulse Association so we persuaded him to part with ten pounds and he was signed on as a member there and then. Hamish was on the Starboard crew from 1968-1982, there was a clerical error and his name did not appear on the commissioning lists. He was a sonar PO. Sunday was the final day of the reunion weekend and it was decided to meet in the Casino for Sunday lunch and disperse from there. Midday was the appointed hour nine of us arrived but Willie and Jean were missing so Anne McIvaney managed to reach Willie on his mobile to find out that he had gone to the hospital with a sore shoulder. So we continued with our lunch with out Willie. The Casino complex was huge; apart from all the gaming tables, one armed bandits, side bars and lounges, there were over twenty different places you could eat. We decided to settle for a Smorgasbord type eatery where you could eat as much as you liked for $10 which was roughly 3-50 sterling, not a bad buy really. After we had eaten our fill we retired to a lounge area for coffee and brandies. We caught up with Willie again by phoning his hotel to find out that he was OK but on a heavy dose of painkillers, so alcohol was out for him, but not for us so we had one for the road and toasted Willie in his absence and thanked him for his contribution to the weekend. By 3pm we all decided to say our goodbyes and continue with our own individual itineraries. There ended the Associations 2002 reunion in Melbourne Australia. It was good to meet up with John Murray who is still a serving member in the New Zealand Navy still working in the Stores and Logistics department with the rank of Lt Commander, hoping to retire shortly. Also a high light of the weekend was meeting up with the McIlvaney’s and getting them on our mailing list. Prior to the weekend I did meet up with Mike Davidson whilst we were in Sydney and he kindly showed us around the Northern beaches, we met up at Manly, which is on the northside of Sydney harbour and he took us from there. Finally I would like to remind every one that the next reunion will be the thirty fith anniversary of Repulses commissioning and will be held in Barrow on 2nd 3rd 4th of May 2003. Hopefully I will be able to organise a visit to Vickers(BAE systems) so please make every effort to attend.
Friday 2nd May 2003 The evening kicked of at 1930 when everyone started to arrive all gents headed straight for the bar and it was not long before the drinks were flowing and the lamps swinging with yarns of by gone days. The evening entertainment arrived and the buffet was got ready, Frank started to get everyone away from the bar with great difficulty and into the main function room.The stories continued well into the night, one story that cropped up does anyone remember Fangs the chicken that we hatched one Patrol in a home made incubator in the fore ends. As you may remember this story made the national press (if anyone has a copy of this e-mail it to me and i can put it on the WEB Site). I was told the following morning that the drinking did go on well into the night. Saturday 3rd May 2003 The morning was bright and looked fare for the Ladies day out to Lake Windermere. We all met again at the Lisdoonie Hotel where the Men folk boarded a coach for a trip round BAE Systems. The tour started with Coffee and a thirty minute talk and slide show on the present and future of Bae Systems with a question and answer session at the end. We were then split into groups donned safety gear and taken on a tour of the ship yard. We were shown the new Astute class boats being built and the new techniques used. After the tour we were transported back to the Lisdoonie hotel dropping some folks of in town, those that came back to the hotel spent the afternoon reminiscing over pints of beer. Mean while as I said earlier the Ladies were trasported to Lake Windermere for a trip on the lake and then a pub lunch at Bowness and of course the usual shopping trip. The evening started at 1900 everyone was dressed in best suits ready for the evening dinner Menu this year was Starter Veg soup, Main Course Turkey served with the usual trimming Sweet was a choice of Gateaux. Frank then gave a short speach he did express his disappointment at the lack of support this year ie: number present but this was put down to it being a Bank Holiday. Franks speach was followed by a speach from Sir Neville Purvis Vice Admiral retd. known as neddy his speach was humerous and sentimental and went down very well with all present. The rest of the evening was spent as before telling yarns and dancing to Bobby Gavin. Sunday 4th May The AGM was held at 1100 hopefully will report on this later when I receive minutes, but I can tell you the next reunion 2005 will be held at the King Charles Hotel Chatham so get your names to Frank now as we want a good turn out these reunions are now open to all commissions of HM SUBMARINE REPULSE.
Friday 3rd June 2005 Guests started to arrive at the hotel early afternoon where Frank and anne were waiting to greet people the bar was open so people could quench there thirst after there journey's and of cause start swinging the lamp it was soon time to break off and head for the rooms and have quick shower etc. ready for the evening gathering. All started to gather in the usual place before dinner ie the bar at 1930 everyone was seated and dinner was serverd the usual banter went on over dinner and old stories were heard to be told. Once dinner was over a very informal AGM took place Frank told us that the next Reunion would be in Chatham again dates to be confirmed and then the 40th Anniversary Reunion will be back in Barrow at the Lisdoonie Hotel in 2008 once again dates to be confirmed. All though only a small turn out this year Frank said it was nice to see all who attended again but we must try and recruit from other commissions. Frank went onto say that we have been going eight years now and we are holding together okay. Frank finished of by reading out some appologies mainly due to sickness which I will not go into on public site, a toast was then drunk to absent friends. The evening serious drinking then began with more stories of old. Not sure what time the last persons crept of to bed. Saturday morning was soon upon us and breakfast was taken all at different times probably some finding it hard to wake up. At 1000 the Ladies coach arrived to take them to Canterbury for the day all the men folk were shuddering wondering how much money they were going to spend. the men folk boarded there bus for the short journey to Chatham Dockyard where a good day was had by all some like Micky Dack went on old ships HMS Cavalier which brought back quite a few memories for him. It was in the dockyard at lunch time that some of us met up with James Colquhoun looking very well he was on a day trip from London. It was that time of day some of the men folk disappeared to find the local pubs for refreshment others stayed and had a pint in the dockyard. All to soon it was time to catch the bus back and await the return of the Ladies so the bar was a welcome site yet again. After a wash and brush up it was time to all gather for the main dinner of the weekend also by this time we had been joined by other members who could not make the Friday. We sat down at 1930 for a four course meal which was excellant. The after dinner speaches then followed the first from John Murray who is now in the New Zealand Navy Chatham held some good memories for him as he joined up at Chatham and remembered the NAFFI club before it became the King Charles Hotel. He spoke of the Reunion that was had in Australia and a few smiles went round the room, he also spoke about Clive the Barber. At the end he thanked Frank for all he had done and contiues to do. Our next speaker was Mike Jones who became captain of Renown he went onto recall all the good times had on patrol like the pantos and soda operas. He thanked Frank and Polly and team for all they are doing, a bouquet of flowers was then presented to Anne who gave a small thankyou speach. The evening entertainment then started with all dancing etc. Rum flaskes were also seen to be passed around. Sunday morning soon came and those that were going said there good byes and hoped to see all again soon. Those that stayed the extra night were heading for the Dockyard again this time with Wives in tow.
Guest as usual started to arrive on the Friday afternoon and a good gathering got together in the bar and the beer started to flow and the lamps began to swing as usaual. Due to the fact that not many members staying the Friday night dinner was in the main Hotel Restaurant so we were all scattered about a bit plus due to the bad road conditions this particular Friday some people were very late arriving. On completion of the meal it was back to the bar for more drinks and watch the world cup Rugby. Saturday was a day of do your own thing some members headed for Canterbury others into Chatham to look up old going ashore spots (Chatham ratings). During the afternoon most people were back in the hotel bar more drink and stories, then of to get ready for the evening grand dinner. It was nice to see all members smartly dressed some in bow ties the meal was very good and we had the usual after dinner speaches, Frank reminded everyone gathered that next years reunion is back at Barrow as it will be the 40th anniversary and he would like a real good turn out ( so come on you have a year to organise yourselves). John Murray from New Zealand gave another enthralling speach. We had a minutes silence to remember old shipmates and wives who have crossed the bar just before the dinner was served all the names were read out. on completion of the meal we were entertained by a singer/organist some dancing took place but mostly people just wanted to chatter. Sunday morning arrived and breakfast taken those going home said there good byes with the hope to see you all next year.