Copyright ©  2001-2005Mike Kemble Updated: 10 Sept  05

  10th Anniversary Reunion of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment
Scarborough, Yorkshire, England 26-28 September 2003

Some of you only have one page book marked and apparently did not know of the rest of this site!!! Amazing!!
Click on the home page button on top of this page and use THAT page as your book mark - "stunned of Sutton"

Its was 1630 hrs on the Sunday afternoon of "the event of the year" as far as the good people of Scarborough are concerned and I had not long got back home. Sue said something about not hearing from me for a week whilst I work on this. To say it was a brilliant weekend would be an understatement. Congratulations to Paul Ramsay for the 10th Anniversary of his brainchild, and to Steve and Mrs Matthews, Ray & Joan Crellin and to everyone who helped Paul to stage this excellent event, to all the staff at the Drill Hall for sweating buckets to get everything done on time and served in a professional manner. Thanks also to all the landlords of the various B & B's, hotels etc around Scarborough, except for the one were Pat & Mrs Brown were stayin' - warra numpty! Thanks also to all the taxi drivers who suddenly found themselves overworked big style with non stop, incessant phone calls all weekend, except to the booking staff of Boro Taxis who kept me waiting an hour then said I had not booked - won't be using you again pal! Thanks also from me to all the people who piled praise on me for this site, its a labour of love in truth. Some of you out there slipped notes into my top pocket to help in the financial running of this domain; I lost track of who gave what, but gratitude of an eternal nature hardly seems worthy of you all. Thanks to Mr Farmer (forgot your first name) for the last contribution. "Keep Off The Grass" eh?

Sue and I began our weekend motoring up the M42, M1 into "gods county" and I immediately felt at home. (I was born in Yorkshire!). We arrived in Scarborough and booked into the Perry's Court and then legged it down to the "Nelly" after a brief rest to meet up with Tony Fergie, Paul Danisz, Digger Bell, Jim Barclay, Graham Smethurst, Derek Atherton, Paul " My Hero" Ramsay and many many others for a brief "half" before Sue dragged me off to the shops! Tony and Connie Dransfield finally made it to Perry's Court after much consultation with loads and loads of cars continuously blocking their way from Liverpool! We headed off to a Chinese that I could not find again and ended up in a "Chinkies" off the main shopping street called Hong Kong. After that we got the taxi to the Drill Hall were I started hitting the button on the camera almost as soon as I got through the door!  Thanks here goes to Paul Danisz for those excellent cards he made up for me giving the web site details, I handed out about 300 over the 2 nights; still have some left for next year. Also thanks to Paul Danisz for the car "bumper" stickers he made to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of this bash. I don't know how many are left but they went fast. Got back to the hotel and hit the sack, asleep immediately, to be woken up by Sue in time "for some fresh air" before our 1000 hrs breakfast. Tony, Connie, Sue and I hit the town again but this time we decided to skip the Nelly as we wanted to relish the night time better. Talked to Alan Hodges outside the Lord Nelson and saw Baz "118" Winrow "Got your Number Mate!" in his black wig and "muzzy" - looked a real improvement Baz!  Tony decided that maybe the "Nelly" could do with his presence, so we lost him there. Loads of Tankies were walking around town, almost like shopping day in Hildesheim!

Saturday Night, United had won at Leicester 4-1, with a hat trick from Ruud The Man,  so I was happily off to the Drill Hall again where we had a pleasant surprise in the form of Grant & Janette Gibson, with John Paul, who had already arrived, for their first Tankie Reunion. It was quite a "Bloody 'ell, look whose here?" reunion and then everyone was talking at once.  As the night wore on others arrived like Don Thomas and his missus June - brilliant to see you baldy! Special mention here for a special event for two special people - Alan & Chris Walby celebrated their 32nd Wedding Anniversary last night (27th) and Alan surprised his wife with a bouquet of flowers in front of everyone. Congratulations to both of you from all of us. Spent most of the night taking images and chatting to everyone, it was an brilliant night. Already looking forward to next year - we might make a week of it next time! With Charlton beating Liverpool, it capped a great weekend!  Paul Ramsay was presented with a digital camera in honour of the day by Gordon Farrell, richly deserved. Don't forget the spanish snaps Paul? I was talking to Derek Atherton about the site and I mentioned what we could have done in "our day" if we had the technology of now, then! All that stuff I dealt with would have been so easy to maintain with today's technology. Its not all that long ago, but we were operating in the Stone Age!! Ah well, hindsight is a wonderful whip on your back!

The first 5 images below are in the Lord Nelson Friday afternoon. Some came out too blurred due to excessive movement, I binned them. I really must use the flash, even though indoors is usually ok; its the movement that throws it!  I am a bit disappointed in this years batch though. If you have images of the bash for publication, please mail them to me. If its by snail mail, don't forget name and return address please. John Rushton and Tom Fielding, your photographs will be back in the post tomorrow (Tuesday). These follow in sequence Friday through Saturday to Sunday morning... Contributors: Myself, Eddie Atkinson; Gerda Chandler; up to now.

Thanks to John Rushton, Tom Fielding and Wendy Frost for the images for me to scan in, They are now all online in their various squadron pages. Thanks also to Eddie Atkinson, who mailed me a load, also now online in Reunion 03. I understand that the Hospice Fund benefited from a large donation of £57 from an individual - would like to know the final amount to mention it on here. Don't forget to click on any image you want to enlarge to see the full picture. This has been the best year yet for photos as you can see below.

Fergie & "Danny"

Lord Nelson

on Friday

Graham Smethurst & Derek Atherton

Fergie and Paul

The Lord Nelson is opposite

the Lifeboat Station

Hotel Bar

Hotel Bar

Don & June Thomas

Brian Sands

Pat Brown

Slim Herbert

Mick Shearing

Steve Lewington

John Dartnall

Tam Dunn & The Sheridans

And onto Saturday night --->

Janette &

Grant Gibson

Joan & Ray in the Reception

Spock with Steve Greaves

Dave & Barry

Harry Birkner and Jap Smith

Ray & Paul

How the hell do some people not age?

Paul gets a present off Gordon

Alan & Chris 32nd Anniv

Marie & Nev
Sunday Morning
That's the lot from me, don't forget send me your images please. The following are from Eddie Atkinson
Thanks Eddie and now for something completely different - Stev & Gerda Chandler sent the following:
More here from Eddy Atkinson
From Tommy Cormack --->
A CD Full of images from Baz Winrow follows:

FEAR NAUGHT 2004                                                          Paul Ramsay

                                                                                                26 Lee Moor Road



                                                                                                West Yorkshire

 September 2004                                                            

                                                                                                Tele: 07717456203


                                                                                                Tele: 01924 835872




Well what can I say the best ever turn out – a big, big thank you for all involved. Makes the effort all worth while!!   It is with deep regret that I have to tell those who have not already heard that Sgt Stan Lewis has gone to join the gang already occupying the “GREEN FIELDS”, another true 1 RTR man who has gone and left us.  I am sure you all have memories of Stan and quite a lot of you have voiced them on our very own web site (  RIP Stan our old friend.  Eddy Atkinson attended his funeral and ensured he had a good send off.


This years party is the 1st weekend in October - 1st to the 3rd – Golf is booked for the 1st! is the url for the booking form - mk. 

Who would have thought that 10 years ago we would be holding such a fabulous weekend like we had last year, what started out as a few drinks with a couple of lads at my 40th birthday would turn into an annual pilgrimage to our adopted home in Scarborough, as I have said it was the biggest turn out since it began all those years ago. Congratulations to you all for travelling from far and wide.  I do realise it cost you all in time, travel and money but to see all the “brothers in arms” again I am sure it is worth it!! So saying, I hope we can have a good turn out again this year. A lot has happened over the last 10 years and no more so than the loss of the “brothers” who can no longer make it and have gone to the “Green Fields” but I sincerely hope they are gathered over the same weekend and are looking down on us from some silky cloud and enjoying as much fun as us.  To those up above - a quick message, YOU ARE ALL MISSED AND WE WISH YOU WERE DOWN HERE TO SHARE THE FUN AND LAUGHTER WITH US.  God bless you all. The planning for 2003 was different to other years as we set out to try and make some money for the St Catherine’s Hospice and the McMillan Trust, I will cover this now.

At the end of the 2002 party, Steve Mathews, Gordon Farrell, myself , the staff from the Drill Hall and members from the above organisation met to sort out a plan for the fundraising.  It was a successful meeting and lots of plans were drawn up, we started off with £200 from the raffle and a £100 donation from Eddie Wells funeral, (we said goodbye to an old rogue and made sure he was gone by depositing his body in the grave!! Arthur Abraham said he was only light when he died – didn’t count on the heavy oak coffin he went in!!  Thanks to Steve Choudury, Steve Mathews and Dave Wilde for their help – RIP Eddie our old mate……..  The Regimental Flag came in for this funeral and I hold one if needed (hope we never do!!)  So not a bad start £300….. then we received £80 from Eddie Kirwan’s birthday bash and then £150 from a personal friend, and fellow Leeds fan, Marion who was the secretary of the London branch, who was cruelly taken away from us by the dreaded disease.  Lovely girl and sadly missed to this day – we see her every week as her ashes are safely intered  in the goalmouth of the South Stand at Elland  Road – (RIP Marion xx)  total now £530.  We then paid £400 for the privilidge of going to the St Catherine’s Summer Ball, 10 of us went and were treated like second class citizens, put in a separate room from the main bash with a disco and corner band, no waitresses and generally kept away from the party upstairs.  Not a good thing to be doing to potential fund raisers.

Subsequently the sponsored walk, it’s a knockout, bike ride were all cancelled denying them valuable money for the new hospice – so nearly a £1,000 passed across already, Steve Mathews raised over £400 on his end of course party whilst training to look after some of the worlds top criminals here in Leeds so now over £1400 without really trying.  Come the weekend then, collections in the Lord Nelson from the 118 -118 boys (well done Winnie!!) the subsequent raffle and auction plus a bit left over from the golf boosted the total to over £2500!!!, when Gordon and I went to cash it in with the hospice staff they couldn’t be bothered to count it would you believe, couldn’t find where the money had gone and asked us how to split it!! Never got a thank you letter from them which was so disappointing but luckily enough Gordon was with me to verify the whole situation and can safely say we won’t be doing it for them again. Ungrateful was not the word.  Well done to all those involved again especially Gordon and Steve for their help.

Next up was the golf!!  Now me being a modest type of guy turned up dressed in my Dick Turpin gear along with Mr Lawson – thrown together as a no hope team, all the proper Dick Turpins were paired off and the day began, headaches and hangovers being the order of the day and this accounted for John Murray and Dozy Carson who withdrew cos his one remaining arm was shaking that bad he couldn’t hold the club.  All the usual jokers were out for this one ( H Robinson, Tommy, Bambie, Hatty, Mezza Jaquesy, Herbie to name a few) and at the tee off Jeff Lyman, Gordon, Martin and myself took to the course, with a gallery of comedians watching!!, us all waiting for the Rambo man to make a big mistake – sorry to let you down guys!!!  We played some outstanding golf and eventually ran out winners from Jeff and Gordon by a couple of strokes.  Having not played myself for a few months I was surprised at my form or was it from the alcohol the night before.

Thanks to Marty for getting me through it!! I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back this year to try and take our title of us!!  Will have to try and get a sponsored trophy for this if it is to be an annual event – suggestions please – surely some of you super rich Tankies can con your firms into sponsoring the day!!  Names, if any, to me please. Will try RHQ RTR to see if they have a suitable trophy knocking about that they could come and present – funny I know but there you are, nothing gained if nothing tried.

Gordon will be running it again this year so I am sure he will be putting some thing out about it soon.  (See attached entry form).  All cheques to be paid in full for those who want to play to Gordon, last year we lost money due to peeps not turning up or turning up and not playing – this time round pay before play ok.  Date for the golf is Friday 1st October. Remember booking things like this costs money for the organiser so lets play the game and help him do it right.  We will need to know numbers for tee off times, prizes can be bought before hand, meals booked etc, etc, You all know the score so please book early. A big thank you for Gordon for organising what was a really good day out.

Now onto the weekend proper, Thursday was a day for travelling, booking into hotels and generally “shaking out”  but as usual the lure of the Lord Nelson started taking over and all hands started drifting in that direction, just to see who was there you must understand!!.  Met Graham Smethurst in the hotel and having not seen him for nearly 20 years we had a lot to catch up on. Graham, Mad Dog Kev Madden the late John Acton Brown and another Leeds lad who has gone to the Green Fields (committed suicide) Paul Fisher all passed off together in the summer of 73’.

Bob Jones – my drinking partner - the notable absence of the other musketeer Roger Stevens was evident – hope to see you this year Roger!! – had also arrived and the banter began in earnest – sensible conversations out of the window and that common phrase REMEMBER WHEN started creeping into the conversation, who was that who did what? Remember that nutter? Wasn’t me!! all the norm until the ale starts flowing and the truth then comes out – such wonderful conversations and long standing memories.

Remember the fight at the ok coral (Silver Birches hotel in Omagh) finally found out how that actually started, no names no pack drill hey DINGER!! been in some punch ups along the way but that one was the mother – 10 min troop – guard – RUC – dogs - pissed up tankies, the lot - what a way to ruin some prejudiced catholic wedding!!  All because Dinger was skint !!!  I would have bought you a drink Dinger, you didn’t have to hit the giant of a man with a stool!!

Look out the North, the Dinger man is on his way up here to live……. Welcome mate, closer than Pompey, and easier to see your old ” brothers.”  Might even rope you in to starting up the North of England Branch with me!! food for thought. Don’t live too close to Captain  Pugwash  Harding – and do not get roped up in his schemes!!

Keep away from the Titanic and don’t get caught up in his dodgy boat smuggling trips. Silly man wants to lead a flotilla into Scarborough – err North Sea in October I think not… besides don’t want two of you in string vests and pirate hats carrying parrots for the weekend. .  He is now the proud owner of an electric cattle prod – use your imagination on that one!! Hi Eric, how are you brother?  ….no way am I going to go fishing in that tub……

The drinks kept flowing and the characters kept coming into the Nelson, Barney Barnes and Joe Gototgonk in their usual seats by the corner of the bar, Barney, got to blame you for buying me the first drink that led me on the road to ruin that night, Tiny, Tommy, H Robinson, Jaquesy, Mezza, Dinger, Big Dan and Gloria Fallon - who started off a week earlier this year so they did not miss the weekend.  Somehow we all managed to drift up to the Lord Roseby – for those that know it, it is a Witherspoons and sells cheap ale and has a curry night on a Thursday – typical tankie nosh when pissed…….. Here there was more of the gang assembled – Cilla Farrell – Big Herbie, Dozy and John Murray but to name a few.  It was becoming just like a Squadron Bar and the civilian populus were most intrigued at all these men wearing the now infamous black 10th anniversary  polo shirt and how grand everyone looked especially with their names on – no telling porkies to the birds in the nightclubs wearing these shirts, was there lads ha ha.  Glynn Buckley turned up – Tony Fergie as well.  Do not  remember  leaving the Roseby but had to go to be up for the infamous golf the next day.  A great start to the weekend.

Friday came and as reported elsewhere the golf was participated in and did I tell you about Marty and myself winning  - if not read back a page or so!!!  After the golf we all headed back down to the Nelson – purely for medicinal purposes to recover from the hard day on the golf course.  The place was packed to the rafters with the boys in black, Stevie and Jan Mathews, Ray and Joan Crellin ( a great big thank you for organising the polo shirts and well done for selling so many) Big Nev Symms and all the way from Holland Steve Chandler plus there Ladies, Dave Clarkson and his son, my son Chris and his girlfriend arrived and two more friends Jill and Trish who were responsible for raising some of the money for St Catherines.  Brian and Emer Sands, Sandy and Mick O’Sullivan and big sister Wendy, great to see them all once again. Steve Culley, Bruce Major and Arthur McCardle again long time no see ….. don’t leave it too late again lads will you.  Stan and Mandy Keen, Scouse and Jane (followed me to OZ and met up with Hendo and Jenny, and like me had a ball). 

It was soon time to go up to the Drill Hall and carry on the motion, again a full house up there, Davy Ellis, Podge Rice, and returning after a long absence Boggy and Pat Marsh with offspring, good to see a lot of the Regimental children there last year, please encourage them to come and enjoy and find out what their old men got up to in their  youth!!  In some cases perhaps NOT!!

Graham Taylor was another 1st timer and his brother Mick – good solid MT lads in their day.  Tam and Judy along with Sue Kelly and her nutcase boyfriend Carl, gee that man is funny when pissed – would have fit into the Regiment very well….welcome to her sister and her husband as well – Johnny Dartnall and his lady, the two lovvies made a guest appearance again John and Lorraine Dixon, Barry and Sue Wright along with yet another 1st Timer John and Marie Marsden, Bert and Sue Charman, Derek Atherton, Renee Gorton and a host of others – all talking 20 to the dozen and catching up on the missed years, that is what all this weekend is about, people catching up and enjoying themselves – brilliant.  The banter was great and the laughter was ringing throughout the building, the drinks were flowing and once again the Green Howards TA did us proud, cheap ale and a decent curry.  More and more people were flooding into the place and by close of play on the door there were over 320 of us packed into the building, wives, girlfriends, children (adult type!!) friends all under one roof.

This is The Best and best attended of all the Regimental Re-unions and it is down to you lads – long may it last………….. as long as I am alive it will anyway!! The evening seemed never to end, those who went “down town” had a ball I believe, those who stopped in the drill hall stayed long into the night and copious amounts of alcohol were quaffed and all too soon the taxis started arriving to ferry the gang back to their hotels, guesthouses and even more banter and laughter!! My team were welcomed back to a few cans of ale and a cold and small porch – a no smoking ban was in force but hey ho won’t be going there again…. We laughed and caught up with each other, especially Steve Greaves, Graham and myself – hard core of the Ord Room!! Remembering times past and the guys we worked with.

My Golf partner and his good Lady were holding court, Sue and Carl were making everyone laugh and making silly bets!! Who cares who won - Johnny Dartnall still telling awful jokes, we seemed to have lost the Crellins somewhere along the line, Bob Jones keeping the beer flowing – pity our boozing partner was not there to help him – Roger u had better be there this year!!, Tam and Judy discussing massaging Indians heads or something, Trish and Gill were laughing but to this day I know not why!! But they were enjoying it and want to come again……….we eventually said our good nights and headed off to our rooms at some ridiculous hour of the morning.  No rocking to sleep for me and before we knew where we were it was breakfast time!!!

You have to be there to appreciate a Saturday breakfast with the Scarborough gang no matter what hotel you are stopping in!!  bleary eyes, what did I do last night, did I upset anyone you know that sort of thing!! Ray Crellin is a top comedian at breakfast and nobody escapes his wit!! Graham, Steve, Bob and I took a steady after breakfast walk down into Scarborough, all around us was a sea of black shirts, all the locals were impressed I must say!!  Coffee all round for the lads, Sam & Julie Walker – Barry and Chris Winrow – Don and June Thomas – Tiny with Bambie, Tommy, Harry, Mezza all at the same coffee machine trying to get over the previous days hangovers, Boggy and Pat were strolling bye window shopping or at least Boggy thought he was!!  Buckers appeared worse the wear again, all the way down to the sea front were 1st Tankies heading slowly down to the Nelson, when we arrived it was awash with the Black Shirted gang, I was only in the place a few seconds and Dinger had shoved a pint in my hand, again this set the pattern for the afternoon. There was no room in the Inn, it was packed to the rafters all chatting 10 to the dozen.  As the afternoon wore on the fun began in earnest and the usual Karaoke took off, Winnie and Ian Hatfield came in with the 118 118  wigs on and then the coachload of lads from Stoke or somewhere all came in with the same wigs on and the banter with them was good, the lads also helped fill the buckets with money.  All too soon the afternoon was drawing to a close and time to go upto the drill hall again for the evening session, more polo shirts were sold and handed over, great to see Andy Oliver here for the first time and the first of many more to come. One notable name that has been missing for a few years now is Howard Murray, hope he is ok and will come again one day.

Thanks once again for the help from Ray and Joan and Steve and Janine, it is appreciated.

The Drill Hall was once again packed to the Rafters and the noise of everyone talking and laughing was too behold and the banter is as always second to none, another successful raffle and auction of the Man Utd memorabilia that is kindly donated by Alan Hodges, thanks once again mate and the money went to a good cause.

On a personal note I was totally surprised at your generosity in buying me the digital camera to go on my travels with, although I have run the reunion for the past 10 years now it has been a labour of love as opposed to something for reward and I will continue to do it as long as you lads want me to, it is the satisfaction of having us all under one roof again that I enjoy most and the spirit that lives within us all and the memories of OUR time with the Regiment and in the Army, we all did jobs away from the Regiment at some time or other, in my case  8 years all over the world doing little jobs here and there!!!!!  Thank you all and it did come in handy on my travels – especially with my time with Hendo and Jenny who both send their regards to you all.

The Ladies from Peterborough were once again enjoying themselves and headed off down town dancing again. They are always welcome and always will be.

All too soon the night comes to yet another close about 2am!! The TA staff and especially Andy Springham, deserve a big thank you from us all and they do look after us in a tremendous way.  It is a good venue and they like having us, brings in funds for them and adds to the reasoning of keeping the centre open.

Anyway I digress, back to the hotel and more ale flowing sat in the conservatory!!  Carl and Sue once more with Viv and Marty, Tam and Judy all laughing over nothing really but everything seems funny when you have had a few!!

Sunday comes round far too soon and people wend there weary heads down the A64 in an homeward direction, but may I add there are those who like to see the weekend through, and go and watch the one and only Danny Downing, Scarborough’s own version of Elvis!!  He is that bad he is good!!  Saw Steve and Jane Culley – amongst the rain drops!! Was nice to have a good chat with them while it was quiet, Dave Harmon was propping the bar up again wanting to shove ale down my neck!!  The weather put paid to the B-B-Q at Gordon’s but I think most people had hangovers and were travelling home anyway. 

The end of another great weekend, I slept Sunday night like a log in the Hotel for the first time in 4 days.  Monday was taken up with Gordon and the Hospice staff – their unwillingness to count the money is now ledgendry so we will not go there.

Funny events of the weekend: 

Mr Pugwash Harding running round the accommodation part of the Nelson stark naked – says he was looking for a toilet – likely story!!  The barmaid saw him and started laughing – something about his tackle being on the small size – and it wasn’t his fishing tackle may I add, went home on the Saturday morning felling all forlorn and deflated but still managed to look like 25 stone!!  The truth will out Pugwash……………..

Then again in the Nelson, Buckers had had a drop of something too much and started flirting with a gang of girlies on a hen night but he went too far and the bouncer sent him to bed!!

Any more secrets tell me in confidence and I will publish them in here ok.


Attached are the list of people who made the weekend a huge success and a list of those who kindly wrote and said they could not make it.  Thank you for replying anyway.

This year I really need any telephone number changes, e-mail addresses, or indeed new addresses for our address list, I will try and get a copy on Mike’s web site somehow, but if you want one then you will have to tell me your details so I can post one on. – this is our own website run by Mike Kemble and I would like to thank Mike publicly and on the behalf of everyone who has used the site over the last 12 months on the brilliance of it, it shames RHQ and the Regimental efforts sadly. It is a magnet for fun and the regular users know what I mean!! It has brought many new members who will be attending our swaree in Scarborough this year.

It has brought good Tankies out of the woodwork all over the world including Gilbey Bridger (Canada), John Pope (Finland), Pete Champion (US of A) Gary Walker (Germany) Stevie Chandler (Holland) Chris Young( Germany) Hendo (Australia) John Hughes (Cyprus) Dougie Cowx(N Ireland) and a host of others. It is the most used Military Site after Forces re-united so you can see how big we have become,  get in there lads and lets have your thought and views on lots of subjects!!


  1. List of personnel who attended the 10th Anniversary bash and those who couldn’t.


  1. This years form to be sent back as soon as possible.


  1. The golf application form to be returned to Gordon with monies as soon as possible. This can be found on:

On a more personal and final note – thank you all for the letters and phone calls of support during my recent illness, thank god they never found anything but I have to go back for more tests soon.

Fear Naught


From Mike: Alternatively, if you want to print them off go to this address:


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