Plans are being
made to include a celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Uganda's January
1952 launch. As usual the BI flag will fly from the hotel's flagpole
and flags or other memorabilia will be welcome to decorate the function
room. Those who were at Runnymede in 2008 will remember that
Nevasa's bell and a brass plate from her engine room were displayed.
In Newcastle it was Sirdhana's bell, brought along by Sandy Bowman,
that summoned us to dinner while David Mitchell did the honours at
the curry lunch by ringing Rajula's bell. Similar
exhibits in Southampton would be splendid, so let Sue Spence know if
you have anything you'd like to bring along. There will be the usual
notice boards for anyone wishing to post information.
The organisers have
teamed up with Seb Rees (son of John Rees of BI), and his Travel Services
agency, who has been negotiating with the hotel, has secured a discount
on rooms for BI guests, and will be handling all accommodation arrangements.
Bookings should be made on the TS
booking form which needs to be printed and returned to
TS. Should anyone wish to make their own arrangements there are several
If you are intending
to join the Southampton reunion, please print and complete the BI
Reunion Booking Form and return it as soon as possible to Sue
Spence with your cheque for £36
per person, which covers deposit and registration fee.
Please make cheques payable to “BI Reunion”. The balance
will be due at the end of July 2012, for which a reminder
with confirmation of arrangements and a guest list will be sent.
(The non-refundable registration fee is £6 per person to cover
postage, name badges, stationery etc.)
full details in PDF. May be subject to minor alterations)
1830 for 1930 Reception
followed by Reunion Dinner in the Mayflower Suite. Dress:
lounge suit/smart casual. £38 per head.
After dinner, a short presentation by Odyssey Marine Exploration and the
team that discovered the shipwrecks of Gairsoppa
visit to Southampton Vessel Traffic Services centre, arranged
by Mike Bechley. (Limited places remaining)
of Uganda's Diamond Jubilee with a visit
to ss Shieldhall*. Presentation
on Uganda by Barrie Sanderson and tour of Shieldhall at Berth
48. Coach leaves hotel at 0945
two-hour harbour and river cruise on Blue Funnel’s
Ocean Scene. This catamaran is stable in all weathers, has
covered upper and lower decks, two large sun decks, bars and
is heated throughout. Return coach transport will be provided
between the Grand Harbour Hotel to Ocean Village. £8 pp inc
transport, based on a minimum 100 bookings.
1800-2100 Talk by Simon Rees on BI's educational cruises, followed by a film
show and buffet, in the Bradford, Standish & Winslow
Suite. An informal get-together at the hotel for a screening of
six films featuring BI ships.
At 2000 a
hot buffet will be served in between screenings.
Please note: the maximum number for this event is 90, with seating
at cabaret-style round tables. £25 pp inc hot buffet (and room
hire). (Limited places remaining)
1230 for 1300 Curry
Lunch. Buffet Lunch in the Mayflower Suite with a selection
of meat, fish and vegetable curries and the usual accompaniments. £20
List | Programme | Cruises
Rooms are being
held at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton SO15 1AG spanning pre
and post reunion nights. The organisers, Sue and John Spence, encourage
everyone to stay at the hotel as key parts of the weekend are based
there, however other hotels are available nearby. Discounted
rates have been negotiated with the Grand Harbour:
a straight £100 per room per night for bed and full breakfast. Car
parking is an additional £5 per day. To take advantage of this rate
book with reunion travel agent Travel Services by July 20.
booking form | Accommodation
booking form | Review of Newcastle reunion
A heritage ship, included in the British National
Historic Fleet and generally recognised to be the largest working steamship
of her type in Britain. Built by Lobnitz & Co of Renfrew,
she was launched in 1955. In 1976 after 21 years of faithful service
on the Clyde operating as a sludge vessel she was purchased in 1977 by
Southern Water and operated until 1985 when she was withdrawn from service.
Shieldhall returned from Falmouth in May 2011 having spent a week in
dry dock for planned survey work and maintenance. Problems identified
with corrosion of the hull frames in the engineroom mean that she will
not be sailing in 2011. However, she will be ready to resume service
in April 2012. Visits to the engineroom and bridge are encouraged. Disabled
access: please note steep shore/ship gangway, high sills, and steep companionways
on board. A preservation society was formed in 1988 which operates as
a charity and all restoration work is carried out by unpaid volunteers.
The ship is based at berth 29 off European Way, via Dock Gate 4 and is
normally open for visits on a Saturday, as that is one of their main
workdays; any other visits by prior arrangement, between 1000 and 1600.
Visitors are asked to make donations of at least £2.50. Further
information including directions.
This will be
the twelfth reunion that John and I have organised in the
UK and it will also, I'm afraid, be our last. When
a small group of friends from Nevasa got together way back
in 1989 and decided to meet up again in 1990, we spread
the word among those from BI with whom we had kept in touch,
little realising what we'd started. To our utter
surprise, 120 people responded enthusiastically and gathered
at the Lyndhurst Park Hotel for a wonderful reunion. Since
then we have visited Stratford-on-Avon (1992), Botley (1994),
Fareham (1996 & 1998), York (2000),
Bristol (2002), Portsmouth (2004), Glasgow (2006), Runnymede
(2008) and Newcastle (2010). Numbers increased with
each reunion, peaking in 2006 in Glasgow for the 150th
BI Anniversary Reunion. While
numbers are still healthy, inevitably the passage of time means
that they will continue to decline and I feel this is the right
time for us to stand down. It's been a great pleasure
and a privilege, not to mention hugely enjoyable, to have played
a part in keeping the BI flag flying and to have made so many
friends within the BI community. It therefore seems
fitting that Southampton, BI's home port, should be our final
anyone out there has other ideas!
Sue & John
Tel: 0114 230 4815