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Scottish and NW England Gathering

Scottish and NW England Regional Gathering: Moffat

Once again members of the Scottish and NW England regions got together at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel in Moffat, DG10 9ET, Scotland over the 9-10 November 2019. We were fantastically hosted by 9410 Dave Smith, WP 256 Yvonne Smith and their family Polly, Clint and Lara supported by 6507 Seamus Power.

Some members took advantage of the great rates offered and arrived on the Friday. The majority arriving on Saturday to be met by our hosts and presented with a special edition of the Outpost with the programme for the weekend, a map of Rhodesia (in case were got lost) and BSAP form 11 – Investigation Diary, to make notes. Dave had arranged it so that the 28 of us had the hotel to ourselves.

Several members settled in for “elevenses” whilst some of the ladies went walkabout round the town and returned for a light lunch. Later that afternoon we all proceeded to the Moffat Woollen Mill for a whisky tasting and Dave had negotiated a 10% discount on all purchases (unfortunately Scottish law prevents discounting on alcohol).

The buffet in the evening, which amongst other items consisted of traditional Rhodesian and SA sadza, relish, boerewors, gem squash, bobotie, with melk tart, guavas and mangoes for sweets ……… was preceded by a very interesting talk on whisky distilling by Nicholas Bullard who introduced Moffat’s own blend of malt whisky “The Moffat”, accompanied by the usual tasting experience.

In addition it was Pete and Brenda Wilson’s 56th wedding anniversary as well as John and Colleen Willoughby’s 45th – Colleen also read out a poem for the occasion. Everyone signed a card for each couple.

A raffle was well supported using stock items donated by our esteemed Quartermaster, Bertie Cubitt as well as the book “Outpost – Stories of the Rhodesian Police” donated by Ian Robertson. Thanks must go to Wendy Acornley, Pauline Seaward and Margaret Dearden for their assistance – £110 was raised (before expenses) for Branch Funds.

Thereafter all trekked off to the bar and enjoyed the “oldies music” selected and presented by Seamus Power. The ever present laughter and story telling continued into the evening with the ladies eventually heading off to bed leaving, what Jock Gemmell refers to as “the last  men standing (before Brien faded)”

The following morning after a hearty breakfast, we all gathered at 10h00 at the Moffat Town Hall and were called to parade by the Chairman of the Royal British Legion Scotland – the BSA Police were the fourth in the line (no longer right of the line!). We marched to the

Cenotaph in the Town Square, diagonally opposite the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and after the necessary ceremony, along with the Lord Lieutenant, civic leaders, and Royal British Legion Scotland, Steve Acornley laid a wreath of behalf of the BSAP UK Branch. The parade then marched to the Church where a number of members attended the service.

A Buffet lunch was held by the Royal British Legion Scotland at the Buccleuch Arms, to which the BSAP contingent was invited. 18 of us enjoyed a light meal and comradeship,  with the Legion footing the bill for us all. It was then decided that we would purchase a BSAP plaque for their hall from the raffle funds. A short inscription “From the Scottish and NW England Regions of the BSA Police Regimental Association UK Branch – Comradeship and Remembrance 10 November 2019” will be arranged.

Those in attendance were: 5355 Hugh and Ray Gibson; 5601 Eric Robb and Anne Binney; 5907 Pete and Brenda Wilson; 5976 Nigel and Pauline Seaward; 6507 Seamus Power; 6508 Graham and Pat Rogers; 6880 Bert and Katherine Hilliard; 7050 John and Colleen Willoughby; 7084 Frank and Margaret Dearden; 7418 Colyn and Jutta James; 7784 Steve and Wendy Acornley; 7833 Ralph and Beryl Macleod; 7902 Brien and Anne Bonynge; 9345 Jock and Caroline Gemmell, WP 185 Cathy Mason and Ray Senior and of course 9410 Dave and WP 256 Yvonne Smith. (31).

The weekend is proving to be so popular that there are only 3 bookings left in the hotel for next year’s gathering over the 7th and 8th November 2020. No doubt as per this year, arrangements will be made with local B&B’s to take up any overflow from the hotel.

More photographs and march past video can be viewed at:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cIQL5fgfH2cufGCpnG32xldWgD76sZLY

Or if you are on facebook at: https://tinyurl.com/yx59r8bp

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