Another year has gone by and with eager anticipation my family and I, Mandy, Glenn & Sue, Gail & Keith and my grandson Andrew, waited for the 21st of September to come round so we could be with our dear friends the 249'ers again. They have given us so much over the years, their warm and generous welcome in the good times and their steadfast support in the difficult times. This year we were determined to give something back.


Everyone was arriving on the afternoon of Friday the 21st, meeting and greeting each other with lots of laughter and catching up, it was like time had stood still since last year.

We were all staying in the Hallmark Strathallen Hotel, Birmingham. The hotel accommodation itself was rather mediocre but the food and waiter/waitress service was excellent, dinner was served at 7 o'clock.

My family and I had decided to wear our 249 Signal Squadron Brat T shirts again. Sadly this year my eldest son Ron was absent as his beloved wife Sharon had passed away in February 2018 and he felt unable to attend. However my grandson Andrew came and his T shirt was emblazoned with 249 SIGNAL SQUADRON BRAT’S BRAT.


To mark the occasion this year the Drew Family became the entertainment on the first night. I began with a poem which I had written for my grandchildren many years ago and I followed it with a funny one about my children being an unruly bunch since their dad Ray had died. Mandy, my eldest daughter, gave a rendition of 'London’s Burning' on the recorder and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' on the keyboard. Both items left a lot to be desired musically but it was so funny. Mandy then recited a poem, in answer to mine about the family, which went down very well indeed. The finale was ….

'A Tribute to the Veterans'
We really loved doing it and everyone said how very much they had enjoyed it. The evening ended with copious drinking and reminiscing.

On Saturday we ate a hearty breakfast and were whisked off at 10 o'clock on an excursion into Stratford upon Avon where we had free time followed by a cream tea on a boat ride down the river Avon.

While on the boat we found a new friend. A Swan came along side looking for tidbits, he was not disappointed.

  Back at our hotel at half six we were treated to a red and white wine reception followed by our delicious gala meal at 7 o'clock.  
  We were entertained by a singer/comedian and after dancing the night away we then chatted into the early hours. A great time was had by everyone.  

Our raffle was a great success raising £210 for the 249 Signal Squadron website. (As the webmaster I would like to take this opportunity to thank the attendees for their generous donation which will keep the website alive for a while yet.)


On Sunday 23rd we were taken on a very interesting excursion to The Black Country Working Museum. It was a lovely sunny day so we could walk round at our leisure, chat and glean information from people situated in the various establishments along the way. They were all dressed for the part and were very informative.


My grandson, daughter Mandy and I went down the on-site coal mine and that certainly proved to be an eye opener as to how the miners were treated, especially the children who worked in the pits.

It was a lovely day out with lots to see and do.

Sunday evening dinner was taken at 7 o'clock and it was followed by a quiz. Next Eric Webster recited a funny Poem called 'The Tea Dance' and I finished off with another funny poem of mine called 'My Saga Holiday'.

  The whole weekend was fantastic and everyone is looking forward to next year now.  

A great big special thank you goes to Ted Pemberton and staff of Isle of Wight Tours for organising the event and to Ted & Joan and Leslie & Graham for all their efforts in making it all run smoothly. As I have said before it’s the people who make it what it is and it just seems to get better and better.


What can be a more enjoyable way to enjoy ourselves than to meet up with old friends, have fun and laughter and reminisce on the wonderful times gone by, it is so special.


We really would like to boost the numbers attending next year so come on you 249'ers, make a big effort to come, we can't promise you glorious weather or free beer but we can certainly promise you a good time.