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Reunion Report From Larry Smith

The scenery on the Sunday morning was terrific as I drove through the Welsh countryside – I have never seen Cader Idris looking so majestic – even with a hangover from what was another superb AAJLR reunion. Once again Junior Leaders, Permanent Staff and their wives and partners made it safely to Barmouth for the 5th annual reunion over the weekend 5th April. The Myn-y-Mar Hotel was packed to the rafters and several members had to be accommodated a few minutes away from the reunion venue. The full list of those who attended will appear on the Reunion 2008 page on the website - there was a mixture of those who had attended all five, the last three and several first timers. The most members from one Platoon were from Egypt Platoon, Ten I believe. The Friday night was the usual meet and greets and “bloody hell you haven’t changed a bit you just look 40 years older” echoed around the bar. A few warmers into the bank were followed by a Carvery meal that was enjoyed by all; in fact the standard of catering was once again very good through out the weekend.
Saturday's weather was scattered showers and plenty of sunshine. A walk along the sea front, a coffee in the harbour cafe, a ramble with Sherpa Johnny Thompson (JT) for the fitter members, a trip up the coast to Harlech and other places of historical significance. Another “Cader Idris” attempt on the summit was achieved by the class act of Rene Dee and at his first reunion Richard Gale There was plenty to offer in Barmouth with all the attractions of a typical seaside town. JT assembled his troops and they set off to walk somewhere in the hills nearby. Others descended on the camp by car and train and strolled around the camp, it was different 40 years ago when we had to march everywhere!!
After the Grand National members gathered in the dining area for the Annual AGM at 1700 hours. Although the minutes will be posted onto the Reunion 2008 page, a couple of items are of interest. Firstly it was decided that the 2009 reunion would be held on the 4th April at the same venue and secondly it was decided that we should jazz up next year’s reunion format to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the camp opening for Junior Leaders.
79 people attended the evening function, which included a sit down buffet, raffle, cabaret, and for the first time a disco. The food was plentiful and well served by the staff. A toast to the regiment was followed by absent friends and finally a toast to the ladies. There followed a humorous sketch by Brigadier Inge (JT) – his best yet!!.  A “blind” raffle was conducted and a vote of thanks must go to Dave Truelove’s lovely wife Val who was a master at selling tickets. It was decided at the AGM that the proceeds (£270), this year would once again, go half, to Ken Hart, our webmaster, to offset the cost of managing our website and half to the Combat Stress charity.
The Disco was a great success and locals mingled with members and boogied the night away, including the Nolan Sisters from Barmouth!! The Best Male Dancer award was one by Herbie Slaughter!!! Reminiscing about our time in Tonfanau, Towyn, Barmouth, Cader Idris and Menai Bridge Camp went on until the early hours. After a hearty breakfast members departed promising to return in 2009. Well done to the hotel staff for providing an excellent service throughout the weekend.
Thanks to Mike Owsley for putting it all together, to Richard Abraham for his treasurer and search line bits. Thanks to Stan Green for once again providing the memorabilia table decorations a big thanks to all those that made the trip and a big hand for our gallant webmaster Ken Hart, we will get him there one year!! I look forward to seeing you all and others next year.
Larry Smith

 Return To The 2008 Reunion Page 


If you have any reunion photos I would love to show them.

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