Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda

TOT CLUB NEWS 
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Return to Dow Hill Fort
Tot Club Keep Fit continues the assault on Dow Hill Fort
Tot Club hosts participants in RNVR Yacht Club Caribbean Rally

The RNVRYC were guests of the Club at the Tot on Saturday, 24th February on the eve of their departure from Antigua on their bi-annual Caribbean Rally.  Led by their Cdre  Peter Costalas (also a Tot Club Member) the group of 30 were welcomed by the Chairman and enjoyed taking part in the ceremony which was held in the Copper & Lumber Hotel courtyard.  Incoming pork pies and mature cheddar cheese, brought by the visitors, together with nibbles produced by RNTCAB Members were sampled by all following the Tot and disappeared in the usual rapid fashion.

Members attending - Mike Rose, Terry Bowen, Les Steward, Anthea Beck, John Duffy, Peter & Nicky Bovey, Michael Briggs, Peter Carey, Charlie Chaffin, Jenny Killick-Gordon, Mark & Amanda Clinch, Joe Karpinski, Trevor Marston, Willie Wanklyn, Kathleen Hugessen, Arnold Baird, David Ball, Greg Evans, Tim Goodwin, Simon Jackson, Steve Martin, Peter Costalas and Frank Ficken.
RFA Mounts Bay visits Antigua
contributions by Mike Rose, Malcolm Harvey and Anthea Beck
Unfortunately the visit was curtailed and the arrival party cancelled by “Christmas Winds”, up to 30 kts. preventing her from coming alongside for the first two days of her planned visit. She eventually berthed at Heritage Quay on the morning of Thursday, 8th February. During her visit she sent working parties of fifteen on the Friday and Saturday to the Good Shepherd Home for abused girls.  For many years the Tot Club has been involved in assistance and maintenance of the home, either alone or together with visiting RN/RFA ships.  This time RFA Mounts Bay provided the manpower and the Tot Club the funds to the tune of just over $2,000.00 for parts and equipment for the repair and maintenance work required.

Members of the TOT were invited to take a tour of the ship on the Friday.  She had been in the Caribbean since the hurricanes late last year and has been bringing relief to some of the more severely damaged islands.

Mounts Bay is a member of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and was designed to transport troops, vehicles, store and equipment around the world. She was built by BAE systems on the Clyde and has been in service since 2006.   She is one of four LSD (Landing Ships Dock) craft in service.

After a presentation in the briefing room Tot Club members were taken on a fascinating and informative tour of the ship by Jonathan Church, Mounts Bay’s Operations Officer.
 
As a sealift ship, Mounts Bay is capable of carrying up to 24 Challenger tanks or 150 light trucks.  The cargo capacity is equivalent of 200 tons of ammunition, or 24 Twenty-foot equivalent unit containers. During normal conditions, she can carry 356 soldiers, but this can be almost doubled to 700 in overload conditions. Her helicopter was not on board at the time of our visit, but the flight deck is capable of handling helicopters up to the size of Chinooks, a very impressive vessel.

It was fascinating to learn how our Fleet Auxiliary can very rapidly deploy to get an island’s infrastructure functioning again.
 
By way of thanks Captain David Buck, Stephen Norris, Jonathan Church and other members of Mount Bay’s crew were invited to attend that evening’s TOT at the Copper and Lumber. Mike Rose was presented with a framed picture of Mounts Bay and in return Mike gave Captain Norris a TOT Club wall plaque for the mess.  Tot Club members present: Arnold Baird; David Ball; Anthea Beck; Peter Bovey; Nicky Bovey; Terry Bowen; Ian Brayley; Peter Carey; Trudie Cardone; Zoë Carlton; Mike Critchley; Bill Dunn; Greg Evans; Richard Fear; Mervyn Gutteridge; Malcolm Harvey; Tom Hollway; Kathleen Hugessen; Andy Jeffrey; Joe Karpinski; Anita Little; “Tiny” Little; Trevor Marston; Steve Martin; Des Meehan; “Des” O’Connor; Mike Rose; Rob Stevens; Les Steward; Mark Sturton;  Willie Wanklyn and Richard Watson.  
  
Mounts Bay is likely to be stationed in the Caribbean for the next three years, so there may be further opportunity for members to be taken on tours.
At the risk of boring Members - More Keep Fit News
24 Members, aspirants and guests turned out on Sunday 14th January for Keep Fit and were split into two parties, one clearing the land around the gravestones at the top of the Jones Valley Trail and the other, larger, party continuing the work at the Dow Hill Fort. 

There were advantages and disadvantages to so many.  The person responsible for water (who will remain nameless) failed to estimate the amount required and there were insufficient tools and nowhere near enough gloves so the thorns got their revenge but as one of the two Keep Fit mottos says "If you are not bleeding, you haven't been working hard enough".  For those who may be curious, the other motto is "Naturalis historiae conservare destruentes"  Please apply for a translation.

The positive side to such large numbers is that there are plenty of clearers for the foliage cut down by the chainsaws and loppers and vastly more work is done plus it looks good that the Tot Club is doing something useful although the Treasurer is complaining about the size of the bar bill and the repairs to the now aging Tot Club tools.

The smaller party working on the Jones Valley graves appear to have lacked a photographer so only the Dow Hill Fort party get the lime light this week.
Keep Fit on Tour
Most people have never heard of a baobab tree (although those of us who lived in Africa knew them as upsidedown trees)
70% of all flora and fauna in Antigua is imported including baobab trees of which five survive.
Tot member Tim deGavre has made it his personal mission to 'rescue' one of these trees which is located behind the new cricket stadium.
On Tuesday 9th January, before returning the US, Tim cajoled his wife Caroline into clearing the land around the tree.
Unfortunately, a chainsaw was essential to clearing the land and John Duffy was inveigled into turning up at 10 am, chainsaw in hand.
Much blood, sweat and swearing later, the baobab was exposed to an unsuspecting (and probably unappreciative) public.
Before and During
After and Painful
First Keep Fit of 2018
Just been reminded we did one on 1st January.  There are good reasons for not remembering that.
Before and during clearing operations
18 members, aspiring members and guests.
(It is now a requirement that aspiring members attend at least one Keep Fit)
After and ABF
and the last Keep Fit of 2017
In view of the number of hats, it's just as well it was not a circle.
CHAIRMAN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
THANKS, Mike and Anne!
Fabulous party. The two fishes and three loaves (posing as curry and spaghetti Bolognese) fed the multitude — all washed down with top-of-the-barrel rums. A rainy night to remember. To use his word, “Brills!” Or even, “Proper job!”  “Standards” exceeded
TRAFALGAR DINNER ANTIGUA
Held at Clarence House, Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua
TRAFALGAR DINNER DARTMOUTH
Members present: Anthea Beck, Les Steward, Peter Costalas, Bernie Steed, Peter Bovey, Tracey Boardman, Tom Hollway, Elwyn Jones, Richard & Sian Keith, Ian Knight, Sam & Peter Lye, Des Meeham, Steve Parry, Grant Sharpe
GUEST OF HONOUR Commodore Jake Moores OBE DL RN
CAPTION COMPETITION WINNER
The Chairman has spoken and the winning caption is:-

I am thinking that the chairman has spotted an interloper and means to see him off. "I see you, you bastard" 
submitted by Willy Wanklyn who will have to collect his rum on his next visit to Antigua from Canada

Other captions, in no particular order, were:-

Who’s tonight’s Rum Bosun? - That guest does not have a full tot!!

I've found a Willing Foe, but I need some Sea Room!

Who needs a sickly season when you can have a bloody good war!

Watch out for the press Gang!

Ho ho ho and a bottle of Rum

It’s like herding my five dogs. I called, “Up Spirits!” five minutes ago. Standards. Standards.

Oh! what happened to my head Last Night?

I know they don't like it up em, but they're still going to get it 

Where's the orchestra then?  I'll give him rhythm stick

Morris Dancers beginners session!

It's about to be a bad day for the French!

Bugger the sea room, I’m coming on the inside.

DOMINICA FUND RAISER

Member of the Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda, Peter Carey, volunteered to have his head shaved in order to raise funds to assist in the relief effort for Dominica which was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

The head shaving took place on Wednesday 4th October and a total of EC$5,256.50 was raised in either pledges or cash.  By Friday, all pledges were collected except for a few who will be visiting mainly from the US in the next couple of weeks.  The Tot Club covered the pledges which are yet to be paid and Peter Carey and John Duffy went shopping for supplies.

A conversation with the head of the Dominica Marine Association led to a concentration on tarpaulins, hammers, crowbars and nails from the Builder’s Merchants in Tyrrolls who gave a 30% discount with a total net spend of EC$2,438.63

A visit to nearby Bargain Centre where the manager offered a discount of goods purchased led to four supermarket trolleys of assorted foodstuffs mainly comprising tinned foods with either ring pull lids or key opening mechanisms, dried foods, powdered milk, sugar, etc. and despite best efforts, only EC$1,619.42 was spent leaving a balance of EC$1,198.45 to be allocated for further supplies with a thought to ordering portable water purification systems.

A boat leaving Jolly Harbour for Dominica on Sunday 8th October will be taking all the supplies.  It is anticipated that there will be a few more donations to add to the balance and the money will be used in time for the next boat to leave for Dominica.
We are very grateful to donations from Members -

Mark Boswell, Terry Bowen, Ian & (Helen) Brayley, Mike Briggs, Paul & Jean Cambridge, Geoff Croft, John Cusick, Martin Dempsey, John Duffy, Lindsay Duffy, Zoe Carlton/Richard Fear, Nick Fletcher, Martin & (Kate) Freeman, Will Howatson, Pete Ives, Joe Karpinsky, Rob & Lucinda Mclean, David Medlock, Jolyon Mehannick, Anne Morcom, Peter Mullins, David Parson, Sandy Perkins, Mike Rose, Anthea Beck/Les Stewart, Chris Thom, Willy Wanklyn, Richard Watson, Moya Williams.

and from non-Members - Janie Easton, Kerry Gordon-Jones, Cap Green, Andy Hatton, Phil Hopton.

AND, if you are really bored, you can watch the full live action on 3 YouTube videos - Click here - Video 1   Video 2   Video 3

Tot at Portsmouth Sailing Club  29th September 2017

There was a great turn-out for the monthly meeting of the Portsmouth Chapter with a Tot held at Portsmouth Sailing Club.  Twenty-eight Tot Club members and guests assembled, with New member Peter Garratt sailing his old gaffer, ‘Firstin’, single handed from Yarmouth, whilst others, travelling by more modern means, arrived from as far afield as the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Sussex.
   
We were delighted to welcome both Portsmouth sailing Club’s Commodore, Sarah Mantell, and Rear Commodore David Price (also CO of HMS Bristol) , along with other PSC members and guests to join us for both the Tot, and the mismuster to celebrate Nelson’s birthday.  The occasion was also used to raise support in aid of the ABSAR Barbuda Relief Fund following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma with £270 being donated during the evening.

To express our thanks to Portsmouth Sailing Club for hosing us, and such a warm welcome, Chris Smith presented a RNTCAB Crest to the Portsmouth SC which was graciously received by the Commodore, Sarah Mantell, who, in return, presented the Tot Club with a PSC Burgee and extended an invitation for us to return.
                  
In best Tot Club tradition we also managed to boost the bar take by drinking the sailing club dry.  Proper Job!

Present were: Chris Smith, Dan Connor, Anthea Connor, Jane Santy, Wiggy Bennett, Ken Neilsen, Mags Neilsen, Chuck Norris, Anthea Beck, Les Steward, Dick Flack, Clarissa Flack,  Carl Nolan, Tracey Boardman, Peter Garratt, Sue Cassidy-Burgin, Rob Bissell, Clive Eggington, Sarah Mantell, David Price,Heather Jackson, Mark Fisher, Richard Horne, Robin Younger, Jo , John Shaw
In Memory of Bernard Turner
Report by Christine Webster, photo by Mike Beggs
A special Tot for Bernard Turner was held on the lawn of the Royal Solent Yacht Club on Friday 25th August. It was a balmy evening with the sun reflecting on the Solent water and the gentle breeze just stirring the Tot club flags. It was Folkboat Week and many Folkboat  sailors joined 15 Tot Club members to swell numbers participating to 32.

Rodney Barton was unable to attend, so Christine Hartley Webster conducted proceedings and also read her special poem for Bernard, which is a poignant reflection of our regard for him and brought tears to many people's eyes.

When we meet at the dock- you'll be here,
When we sail round Black Rock - you'll be here,
When the Long Solent's rough,
And the going gets tough,
You'll be here, you will always be here.

When we drink in the Club, you'll be here,
When we sing in the pub, you'll be here,
At the closing bell's ring,
We'll continue to sing,
And your deep baritone we will cheer.

When we take a small Tot, you'll be here,
When we swig down the lot, you'll be here,
And as everyone knows, 
When that sweet Pusser flows,
You'll be with us, you will always be here.

Bernard, we miss you.

Then, we held the Friday Tot followed by a convivial drink and chat after which we adjourned to the RSYC club restaurants which were buzzing with members, Folkboat sailors, Parkstone Club sailors and Tot Club members. There, we all consumed delicious fish and chips!

Terry & Connie's 59th Wedding Anniversary
photos by Tim DeGavre
EXETER RUM FEST
Members in attendance Anthea Beck, Les Steward, Moya Williams, Sam & Peter Lye, Mike Beggs, Jolyon Menhinick, Tracey Boardman, Bernie Steed, Peter Keesom, Elwyn Jones, Bob & Carol Attwood and guests including Rum Fest organisers and Pussers U.K. rep who kindly donated the Pussers rum for the Tot.
CAPTION COMPETITION
Best caption receives a pirate's skull of rum (to be collected and drunk in Antigua).

First caption received -

"I'm collecting subs!"


To enter your caption click here
OTHER CAPTIONS
Who’s tonight’s Rum Bosun? - That guest does not have a full tot!!

I've found a Willing Foe, but I need some Sea Room!
Who needs a sickly season when you can have a bloody good war!

Watch out for the press Gang!

Tot Club member, Geoff Croft (right in picture) receives Lion of the Year Award for his charitable works in Antigua with the Lion's Club, an international charity which works with disadvantaged people.
Chairman's Last Tot on his U.K. Tour
by Derek 'Wiggy' Bennett
Ref the Chairman's farewell Tot after his "Whirlwind" UK tour. I believe his "Jalopy" did close too or exceeded 2000 miles whilst in the UK and was exhausted, yes both him and the car.

The event was held a Portsmouth Sailing Club  and hastily  arranged by Chris Smith, even at short notice it was well attended, (plus the Pork Pies), those taking part:  Chuck Norris, Chris Smith, Chris & Vickie Rogers, Stephen & Angela Parry, Mike Critchley and Andy Jeffrey plus guests Ken & Mags Neilson, Phil Jones, Doc Cunningham, Nigel Rees and V/Adm John McAnally CB LVO. Oh! and me Wiggy...   The Obligatory missmuster was held... Cos we can...

We'd like thank the PSC for making it a lovely evening and allowing us to Fly the rather large RNTCAB burgee.

The photo with the Three, Chuck, Mike and Ken was taken as these two were on HMS Liverpool and joined the Tot during emergency relief for Montserrat...

Historic Tot on Tour, 2017, HMS Trincomalee, Hartlepool

The Chairman's annual UK Tot on Tour this year took place on board HMS Trincomalee in Jackson Dock, Hartlepool on Thursday 15th June.

HMS Trincomalee is currently the world's oldest warship afloat.  She was built of Malabar teak in 1817 as a 46-gun, fifth rate, Leda Class frigate.  Following a period "in ordinary" after her build she undertook two commissions in the mid-19th century which included anti-slavery patrols, charting, oceanography, hydrographic survey work and promoting British trade interests overseas.  Following the advent of steam ships she became an RNR drill ship and subsequently spent much of the 20th century in private hands as TS Foudroyant.

Under the Chairmanship of Captain David Smith, father of Tot Club member Chris Smith, the Foudroyant Trust returned the ship to Hartlepool in 1987 and raised over £10.5m to fund a 10+ year programme to restore her to her second commission configuration of 1852.  At the same time her name was changed back to her original HMS Trincomalee.

At the time of the ship's restoration the Tees-side Development Corporation carried out an impressive re-development of the quayside surrounding  Jackson Dock.  The result is an excellent group of buildings in the Georgian style containing high quality displays of life at sea and ashore in the Nelsonian era.  Tot Club members enjoyed touring this historic quayside area before mustering for a tour of the ship and, at 18:00, the Tot in sunshine on the main deck.  In a break with tradition Chris Smith read his account of the ship's history in place of the RN Day by Day reading.  This proved to be a very fitting tribute to the ship and the part played by his father in her restoration.  This was followed by a dinner ashore in the dockside Sir William Gray Suite from which HMS Trincomalee could be seen in all her splendour in the evening sun.  Throughout the procedings a No.4-sized RNTCAB pennant, courtesy of Chris Smith, flew from the mizzen gaff of the ship as can be seen in some of the accompanying photos.

Members attending were:  Mike Rose, John Watson, Steve & Debbie Johnson, Richard & Denette Matthews, Anthea Beck, Les Steward, Peter Keesom, Bob Temple, Tom Hollway, Ken Morgan, Joe Karpinski, Christine Webster, Adrian Hartley, Chris Smith, Mike Beggs, David Beverley, Melissa O'Brien, Sharon Quinn, Alasdair & Gill MacLean, Peter & Nicky Bovey, William Wanklyn, Kathleen Hugessen, Peter Garrett, John Denby.

NOTE FROM ONE OF OUR AMERICAN MEMBERS - The USS Constitution (44) was laid down in 1 November 1794 and launched 21 October 1797 and is currently afloat in Boston Harbour.

The USS Constellation (38) was launched in 7 September 1797 and while it went through a significant rebuild in 1853-4, it was never struck from the navy list. It is currently afloat in Baltimore's inner harbour.

So, I think the Trincomalle is more accurately the world's 3rd oldest warship afloat.

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