Royal Naval Association (RNA)

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National Chairman Shipmate Keith RidleyNational Chairman Shipmate Keith Ridley

Chairman's Chat


Dear Shipmates,

Just a brief chat this month. Shipmates, what fantastic weather we have been enjoying, especially here in Cambridgeshire and I hope it has been the same where you are. One must be on the ball when it comes to garden as the plants have been taking a battering with the heat, albeit they get a well-deserved drink late evening. However, the Ship’s Met Officer has advised on locating something called an Umbrella for the coming weekend.

As reported last month Charlie Darlington has joined the team and is settling in well. Charlie is already putting forward ideas on how to spruce up our media profile.

Two pieces of Good News this month to cheer us up after months of Lock Down. First, the government have eased the restrictions with regards Covid 19. With government restrictions easing regarding Covid 19 we must not get too complacent when out and about and it is most important to comply with social distancing so please keep your guard up.

Whilst visiting our local GP Surgery an elderly gentleman engaged my wife in conversation and tried to convince her that Covid 19 was just a nonsense and there was no such virus and was a ploy by the government. Obviously, this mis-guided chap as not been watching the TV news, that the Nightingale Hospitals and scenes of the various hospitals trying to deal with those unfortunate people who had contracted the virus was a TV drama. Shipmates, without doubt, I know I can rely on you to keep up your Defence Watches until we are Stood Down. Oh, I nearly forgot, the other Good News is that the Royal Navy now has a fully operational Aircraft Carrier which has passed FOST inspection with full colours. Hopefully, it will not be too long before HMS PRINCE of WALES joins her sister ship.

The Virtual TOT Night held under the supervision of S/m’s Eric Holmwood and Kevin Hackett of RNA Wrexham Branch continue to be a great evening with lots of Banter. The downside is that it can devastate your Rum stock as it has done for me! The Monday night Zoom Fireside chats have been most interesting with talks on the Battle of Jutland, the taking of South Georgia by HMS ANTRIM, memories of a D Day Veteran and the Battle of Tarranto which was a great victory for the Fleet Air Arm.

Look out in the Semaphore Circular for the diary of forthcoming talks which are highly recommended. Branch quiz nights held using Zoom are becoming popular and are open to all. For more information check out the Royal Naval Association Community Site on Facebook for events & dates along with sign in ID’s and Passwords. Although the basic Zoom only allows you 40 minutes for free, it has been agreed to allow Branches to take out the Zoom Pro non contract subscription of £11.99 per month which Branch Treasurers can claim back from Michelle Bainbridge @ Central Office. The subscription can be cancelled without notice.

With the Government Green light on Clubs and Pubs opening, Branches can now begin to consider how best to hold meetings but with caution whilst strictly observing government guidelines. Consideration is now being given by Central Office on issuing guidelines to Branches on how to consider safely holding a meeting, however, it will be for individual Branches
to actually decide on the best way forward given the premises you meet at. Meanwhile, keep up communicating with your Branch members to ease isolation.

UCKERS – As mentioned last month and hanging my head in shame, I downloaded LUDO from Play Store to use on my mobile phone as I could not locate an Uckers App. It is pleasing to know my Chats are read as a Shipmate immediately emailed me with information on an App for UCKERS for which I am grateful. Bill Oliphant is now considering a new date on which to hold the World Uckers Competition, but not before he has learnt how to play, and that Ludo is not Uckers! So, get training Shipmates to hone your skills.

To those serving and all reservists of the Royal Navy who continue to support the frontline against Covid 19 keep up the good work. With relaxed government guidelines I hope you are now being able to see your families more often.

To all readers please continue to spin and share your dits, Branch & Ship’s news by sending them to Andy Christie at no matter how short they maybe. To our Overseas Branches – where are you? , we would like to hear your news. To Shipmates and your families in the UK and throughout the world, keep safe and adhere to all the advice being given to you. Remember, let us all set our sights on coming out of this crisis together. Stay Safe.

Yours aye,   
Keith Ridley