Hello again all you taxi troopers! Fast Eddie signing in with an update.
It only seems like yesterday I was wishing you all a Merry Christmas and here we are knocking on the door of February. Needless to say, time waits for no man and the committee’s work goes on regardless.
During January, the committee was busy giving serious consideration to where and what we may be doing for our main veterans event this coming year.
It has been suggested that we make a pilgrimage trip to the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium in mid May. It is early days yet and nothing at this moment is definite, but we are researching the planning/ hotels/ itinerary/ transport, etc.
Some members of the committee will be going to Ypres on a recce trip during February to see if the proposed trip is viable, so watch this space!
In January, we received the Christmas collection (£300) that was taken up at the North Cheam Sports & Social Club from Tony Millard, one of our most ardent sponsors. Maybe your own club or group could do something similar? We need all the help we can get to care for our veterans. Thank you to Tony and all the club members.
Thursday 28 January 2016 saw our first event of 2016: the collectors’ lunch. We decided to take a trip on the river Thames and combine lunch for our dedicated team of veteran collectors.
We gathered them together at the Embankment pier at Westminster at 11:15 am. Sixty persons were sitting down to lunch on board the Thames cruiser.
A number of committee members, including yours truly, were there to meet and greet, and make sure things run smoothly.
We set sail at 12:15 pm from Cleopatra’s Needle and headed east downstream towards Canary Wharf, passing many famous landmarks en route, including Waterloo Bridge, the Southbank, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe theatre and the Golden Hind.
Under London Bridge, past the Shard and the Gherkin, and then all eyes were on HMS Belfast, the last of the “big gun” battleships from the second world war. Commissioned in 1939, she took a key role in the D-Day landings.
After Tower Bridge and the the Tower of London, we headed round the bend to see the impressive skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Slowly we turned around in the river and then made the return journey.
Whilst this magnificent landscape passed before our eyes, we were served lunch and a glass of wine which our veterans thoroughly enjoyed.
Our collectors deserve a little reward: they collected £112,000 last year for the charity. Without their superb efforts, our charity simply could not function.
We berthed back at the Embankment pier and said our goodbyes. We shall meet again at our first collection in 2016 at Liverpool Street underground station on Friday 12 February. Until then, be careful out there.