7th Armoured Division (Desert Rats) Thetford Forest Memorial Association



January 2009

It's a new year and time for resolutions for many of us, started with the best of intentions on January 1st and gone by the wayside by the time I sat down to write this to you, those of you who know me well, will know my annual resolution and properly take bets on how long I keep it up for, or even if I start at all. I still have the good intensions but haven't started yet. Maybe next week.

The committee would like this chance to wish you ail a Happy and Healthy New Year, and thank everyone who turned out to support us at all last year's events.

The remembrance service was very well attended at least 40-50 people, this service seams to be growing each year, the association would like to thank Baroness Shepard who turned out for us again and laid the Association's wreath.

Dates to remember for this year Due to circumstances beyond our control, the next Association meeting has been changed from Tuesday February 3"' and will now take place on Tuesday 10th February and will be held at the Schoolroom, Forest Headquarters, Santon Downham, Brandon, Suffolk, at 10-00am.

The A.G.M. will be held at the same venue at 10-00am on Tuesday 28th April 2009 (and not as previously advised 10th April), as usual alight lunch will be served at this meeting, all people intending to attend this meeting please inform the secretary by March 20th to insure the correct numbers are catered for. Open Day this year will be held on Sunday June 21s' as usual we will be looking for willing hands to help set up, and are always on the lookout for any exhibitors, who are willing to come along and join us, if you know of anyone who would or could be of help please let us know.

At the AGM we will discuss any increase to parking charges, but only association members and exhibitors are likely to be able to park for free.

The Orwell Park reunion will take place on Saturday September 12th. This is an invitation only event and this year will be open, only to association members. Members are been issued with membership cards on receipt of this years fees.

Please note that due to the increase in postage there will be no other reminder to the meeting dates, although there will be updates on the open day. Alas it is time for membership fees to be collected again, please send all monies to the treasurer Mrs. Scott.

Please note. All Cheques MUST be made out to The 7th ARMOURED DIVISION COMMEMORATIVE FUND.

Mrs. Scott has had to return some Cheques to members because the have been made out to The Desert Rats. / Desert Rat Association. The bank will no longer accept Cheques made out this way. This is going to be a hard year for small associations and charities like ours so your continued support is invaluable and more than appreciated by us.

For attending the AGM Reply to Secretary
Mrs. P Raburn
21 Main Street

Tele - 01842-827719

Membership Fees To Treasurer
Mrs. T Scott
8 Thurston Road

Tele - 01359 270490

Patrica Raburn

June 2009

Open day is almost with us again, how time flies. Please find enclosed your vehicle pass for the event. Place your pass in the windscreen of your car this will allow you to park in the car park adjacent to the Memorial, which will be marked for Members and VIP guests. Please also note that your pass allows you and one other person free entry, any other passengers will have to pay the 3-50 entry fee. For those who live locally and may have seen signs at the memorial read June 22nd, please note that open day is still June 21st The date was changed by some joker with too much time on their hands. 

I am pleased to tell you that this year's event will be attended by representatives from the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery and The 7th Armoured Brigade.

We are also looking for help in many areas, if you feel you could be of any assistance please call Mr Scott on 01359 270490 or myself on 01842 827719 just an hour of your time would be wonderful. That would allow break times for the people running the car parking and serving teas and cakes in the association tent. We also still need raffle prizes and cakes any donations will be more than gratefully received by Mrs. Scott in the association tent. 

The A G M. held in April was well attended. The officers and members of the committee remain unchanged. We would like to say thank you to those who attended, it is very nice to get together and have lunch after the meeting. We have now been given the go ahead to put another Nissan hut on site, this will be placed next to the existing hut, as soon as can be arranged. This will be set up as a small museum replicating how the huts were set up.

You may have noticed last year that the area around the base of the memorial plinth was becoming uneven, I am pleased to let you know that work to re-lay this has now been completed. We look forward to seeing you on open day. Take care, arrive safe these events are nothing without you.

Patricia Raburn

August 2009

I start this letter by thanking everyone who attended the open day in June for turning out and making this what seems to have being our most successful to date. Special thanks this year go to the Scott and Raburn families for their considerable help. This year extra thanks must go to Arron and Theresa Leonard for the very successful BBQ. This was the first year the association had taken over the responsibility for the hot food, and it turned out to be a winner, we made over 100-00 profit on this food alone, all open day expenses will be available by the next association meeting. Our thanks must also go to Lydia Smith and Lee Valentine who manned the tea and coffees for the day. Lily for helping Tina with the tombola. Mark for his help with parking cars. Ken Harris for cleaning and keeping the Memorial looking so good, plus spending open day ferrying people around on the golf cart. The boys and girls of The Marine Cadet band were enjoyed by all. Thanks to those of you who enquired about those who passed out due to the heat; I am pleased to tell you that they all made a speedy recovery. Just a great big thank to all, exhibitors and visitors for a wonderful day. Now work starts on next year, which will be on Sunday June 20th and once again we are asking for your ideas, suggestions and the usual appeal for help on the day.

Mr. Scott is pushing ahead to get the new Nissan hut moved up to High Ash, and has arranged for a water and electric supply to be incorporated. Norfolk County Council are assisting in raising the funds needed to create a visitors centre and proper museum.

We pass on our thanks to Julie Dean the new secretary at Orwell Park School for getting the invitations for the reunion out this year. I know from the few calls I had, some of you were getting worried as these were running a little later than usual. Unfortunately the original paperwork was lost with some of the outgoing staff, but with help from some of the permanent staff, Julie and Tina Scott, we were able to draw up a new list, hopefully by now you have all received your invitations. We look forward to seeing those of you attending on September 12th.

The next association meeting will be held at 10-00am on Tuesday 29th September in the Schoolroom, Forest Headquarters ,Santon Downham, Brandon Suffolk. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Patricia Raburn

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