Reunion 2019 – an invitation from our secretary

Secretary: Veteran Colin Fletcher
41 Sunrise Avenue
Chelmsford
Essex
CM1 4JN
Direct Dial: 01245 267696
February 2019 E-mail : Secretary@marconi-veterans.org

 

Dear Veterans & Friends

First, let me wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2019.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new members and friends to the Association and hope to see them at the Annual Reunion, which will be held on Saturday 6tht April 2019 and will be our 83rd Reunion. The venue will, as usual, be Hampton Sports & Leisure (ex-Marconi Club), Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, where there is ample parking for those who travel by road. The Member’s Bar is to the left as you enter the Club and will open at 11.00 a.m.

Whilst Friends are invited to the Reunion and Luncheon and are welcome to remain for the AGM, you are asked not to participate in the AGM discussions unless invited to do so. Friends are not eligible to vote. On the very rare occasions that a sensitive subject is to be discussed, you may be asked to leave the Hall for the duration of that discussion.

There will be various displays and the merchandise table will, again, be located in the hall. You will have plenty of time to enjoy meeting up with other attendees until it is time to take your seats for the luncheon.  This will take place, as usual, at 1.00 p.m. with the Annual General Meeting and the Raffle concluding the proceedings. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ring me on the above number.

We are, again, producing a commemorative Coaster and one per person is included in the ticket price.  There will also be additional coasters, for sale, plus some coasters from previous years.

Our President for 2019 is Veteran John Bower, ex Manufacturing Manager, Mobile Radio

Joining the Reunion as our Honoured Guest is Albert Smith, a college friend of John Bower.

This year, we have returned to the Standard menu: –

Brussels Pate with Melba Toast and a Caramelised Onion Chutney
Chicken Wellington stuffed with Sage and Onion
Pear and Blackberry Crumble with a Pistachio topping
Cheese & Biscuits, Tea or Coffee

We appreciate that some attendees may have special dietary requirements and would request that you indicate this on your application. We are able to cater for most requirements.

As happened last year, Friends are now invited to the Reunion.  Veterans will continue to benefit from a reduced price – this year £28 – whereas Friends will be asked to pay £33. I am sure that you will agree that this is excellent value for a four-course meal with tea/coffee and wine. Subscriptions will remain for Veterans at £6.00 per annum and £3.00 for Friends. As the Association has a very limited income, and in order to keep our expenses to a minimum, receipts for Subscriptions and/or Donations will not be issued unless requested so we thank you in anticipation.

Those who wish to attend are requested to apply to the above address at the earliest possible date but not later than Friday 22nd March. We regret having to set this tight deadline but it is necessary to enable the caterers to source the ingredients for our meal. To reduce administration, please combine your ticket price, subscription, etc. onto a single cheque which should be made payable to ‘Marconi Veterans’ Association’.

Please note that it is not acceptable for attendees to bring their own drink or food into the Club. Please refrain from this practice as anyone doing so may be asked to leave the Reunion and could be refused a ticket in the future.  As last year, additional drinks can be purchased from the bar.

We often hear comments that members would come to the Reunion but are afraid that they “would not know anyone on their table” or that “the speeches are long winded and boring”. If you feel this way, please read the article in this year’s Newsletter, speak to a Veteran or Friend who does attend or give me a ring. Then, if you’re still not decided, try it – if it really isn’t your ‘thing’ then there is no obligation to come again.

Your assistance is requested with the seating arrangements and we ask you to indicate, on your application, with which Company you would prefer to sit (i.e. Comms, Mobile, Radar, Baddow, Basildon, Marine, MI).

We continue to compile a list of forenames and nicknames in an effort to make the various lists less formal and enable people to distinguish between Colleagues with similar initials.  With regard to the name tags, last year’s arrangements seemed to work quite well so we will, again, produce the name tags on A4 sheets which will be at the merchandise table so you can collect your label as you enter the Hall.  When you order your ticket, please indicate, in the box provided, how you would like your tag to read.  Please note that THE DEFAULT WILL BE TO PRINT YOUR NAME AS IT APPEARS ON THE FIRST LINE OF YOUR ADDRESS LABEL.

So please fill in the spaces on the Subscription/Ticket application form.

We are, as usual, inviting entries for the ‘Absent Friends’ book, containing messages from Veterans or Friends who were unable to attend.  Two copies will be produced and prominently displayed at the Reunion.  If you wish to place a message in the book, please use the space provided on the enclosed form. Entries will be identified by name but no contact details will be provided unless you include them within the message area.

Your Committee is prepared to receive any nominations, propositions or suggestions from Veterans for submission to the Annual General Meeting providing they reach me in writing by 22nd March 2019.

We now have over 70 ‘Friends of the Marconi Veterans’ Association’ and would be pleased to welcome more. If you know of anyone who would like to attend the Reunion, or just receive the newsletter, please urge them to contact me, at the above address, as soon as possible.

I am often not informed when a Veteran or Friend dies, and in these circumstances, I would like to extend my condolences to members of the families who receive this letter and apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused.  Should you be aware of any Veterans or Friends who have passed away recently, I would appreciate it if you would let me know so that I can amend our records and avoid any embarrassment.

As announced previously, Barry Powell has stepped down as Secretary and passed the baton to me. Hopefully the changeover will be smooth and seamless. Fortunately, Barry remains ever available to offer good sound advice and ‘nudge’ me in the right direction. We are indeed fortunate to have Barry.

We trust that you will accept this letter as a very cordial invitation to attend the Eighty-Third Reunion, but if, for any reason, you cannot be with us, the Committee would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck and good health for the future.

Finally, the 2020 Reunion will be on Saturday 25th April

I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion.

With kindest regards

Yours sincerely

Veteran Colin Fletcher

Secretary

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application Veterans form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.

For a copy of the Subscription/Ticket application Friends form for downloading and printing please CLICK HERE.

We regret we are no yet able to accept electronic payments.

In Memoriam

We regret to report the deaths of the following Veterans and extend our sympathy to the families of those mentioned.

Keith Chittenden1955
Mike Field1961
Derek Sizeman1944
Ray Walls1946

This list was correct on 14 January 2019 and supersedes the list published on 5 December 2018

We have intentionally kept this page as simple as possible and provide minimal details of the deceased.  However, where we have biographical details of a person and/or funeral details these will be published under the Notices tab above.

At the request of some Veterans we have included Given names where these are known to us.

Keith Chittenden

Keith Chittenden, Managing Director of Marconi Radar Systems at the time of his retirement, passed away on Saturday 12th January aged 84.  He is survived by his wife Sylvia, his daughter Sandra and his son Jeremy.

Keith was born at Ipswich in 1934 and was educated at Hymers College Hull, Nottingham High School, and Imperial College, University of London, where he gained a BSc Honours degree.

In 1955 he joined Elliott Bros., Borehamwood, starting as an engineer and progressing to Senior Engineer and Project Leader.  In 1962 he transferred to Elliott Space and Weapon Automation Systems, Frimley, Surrey, which was later absorbed into Marconi Space and Defence Systems, becoming Assistant Chief Engineer and then Project Manager DN181 ‘Blindfire’ Radar development. After several years as Divisional Manager, Radar and Missile Systems Division, he was appointed Deputy General Manager in 1978 and General Manager in 1981.

He was appointed Managing Director at Marconi Radar Systems at Chelmsford from 1982 until his retirement towards the end of the decade in about 1987.

An article written by Keith is included in the MVA Newsletter for 2009 at http://www.marconi-veterans.org/?p=490&page=22

A service commemorating his life will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Minchinhampton at 2pm on Tuesday 29th January.

In Memoriam

We regret to report the deaths of the following Veterans and extend our sympathy to the families of those mentioned.

D C Bloomfield1967
Alan Camp1959
K F Kippen1950
K W Hawthorne1953
Ron Mills1949

This list was correct on 5 December 2018 and supersedes the list published on 24 September 2018

We have intentionally kept this page as simple as possible and provide minimal details of the deceased.  However, where we have biographical details of a person and/or funeral details these will be published under the Notices tab above.

At the request of some Veterans we have included Given names where these are known to us.