Commodore: Clive Edwards MIoS, 19 Horsford Street, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UH Tel 07785 392892 email
2023 AGM Minutes
The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club
Commodore’s Newsletter January 2024
Commodore: Clive Edwards MIoS, 19 Horsford Street, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UH Tel 07785 392892 email
The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club
Greetings Shipmates - Firstly here’s a somewhat belated Happy New Year to everyone! Secondly this Newsletter is important because it is also a booking form for our AGM events due to take place on Tuesday 17 th and Wednesday 18 th September 2024 Following our successful and very enjoyable AGM events in Bristol last September, this year, by popular request, we’re returning to The Norfolk Broads this time with a cruise on a Wherry yacht, the “White Moth” which has a covered saloon so, should we get another deluge like we did in 2022, this time everyone should be able to keep dry – even President Vivien! This time thanks to an offer by one of our members Mark Harris and his wife Jane, who are now the proprietors of the beautiful Regency Guest House in Neatishead where several members of our group stayed in 2022, this will be our rendezvous HQ for events this year. Jane is very kindly also arranging for us to have lunch on board White Moth. Our first day will include a visit to the absolutely fascinating RAF Air Defence Radar Museum which is less than five minutes by car from the Regency Guest House. The AGM will be held in Neatishead village hall, (known as the Victory Hall), about 2 minutes’ walk from our HQ. The AGM will be early evening and we hope everyone will follow that by joining up for a meal at the White Horse pub which is actually next door to the Regency Guest House. The Broads cruising will be on the second day of the events, Wednesday 18 th September. Because White Moth can only carry a maximum of 12 passengers at one time we will probably arrange for half the group to be on White Moth in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. Those not on White Moth at the time will get another half day afloat this time either on my boat Elsa II, on our rear commodore Richard Card’s boat Ness Nomad, or on another of our local member’s boat. So with everything apart from the cruises based around Neatishead we’ve been able to keep any necessary travelling to a minimum during the two days and we’re aiming to do the same as regards the cost too . Our intention is to keep the price down to below £35.00 per head to cover the cost of chartering White Moth for the day, entrance to the Radar Museum and the hire of the hall for the meeting, so the only items not included are accommodation and food. So far as accommodation is concerned, Jane and Mark at the Regency Guest House can offer accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis at a discounted rate of £20 per room per night. We have 4 x Doubles and 1 x Twin, at the discounted rate of £100 per night for the event - Please call (07790 011098) or email ( and mention the AGM to claim the discount. Other B&B's available in Neatishead close to us are Ye Old Saddlery ( and The Little Laundry via Jane has also offered to provide lunch for us on the Wednesday during our cruise with a range of home-made options from £10..00 - £14.50. Full details of the options and how to book will be sent out, along with the menu for the evening meal at The White Horse in Neatishead on the Tuesday evening nearer the time . Bearing in mind that we have already needed to pay a quite substantial deposit to charter the White Moth we need to get a commitment from those members who plan to attend what I hope will be our best-ever AGM Events so we are asking you to let us know by email to the names of those who will be attending and make a deposit of £10.00 per head payable by BACS to: MNA Fundraising, Sort Code 51 81 34 Account No. 8850 9400, ref MNABC AGM Alternatively we can accept payment by cheque payable in favour of MNA Fundraising and sent by post to David Cornes, MNABC Membership Sec, The Rusty Anchor, 30 Lower Hillside Road, WOOL, Dorset BH20 6EA LASTLY to those to whom this newsletter has been sent by post if you now have an email address PLEASE LET US HAVE A RECORD OF IT ASAP by email to We currently have about 25% apparently without email and it is costing us serious money to send correspondence through the postal service! With very best wishes for the coming season Yours Aye Clive
Report to National Council November 2023
Commodore: Clive Edwards MIoS, 19 Horsford Street, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UH Tel 07785 392892 email
The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club
Report to National Council November 2023 Following a very interesting and quite lively year in 2022 the Boat Club 2023 has proved every bit as rewarding and has certainly enabled us to promote both the Boat Club and the MNA charity itself quite widely and hopefully effectively as well. After our very successful events around our Boat Club AGM in Norfolk last year which was a hard act to follow but thanks to the support and generosity of Doug & Linda May along with Captain Roger Francis we were able to get the “Balmoral” for our AGM and put on several very interesting events covering two days around our Boat Club AGM again , but this year in Bristol of course .rather than in Norfolk On a very different matter the RNLI finally did us proud with the leading article about the Boat Club’s’ “WaterWatch Safety & Surveillance” scheme being featured in the Winter 2022-23 edition of their Water Safety Magazine. Through our Affiliation with the RYA and the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA) I have been nominated to represent the NSBA and the MNA Boat Club on the Broads Authority’s Boat Safety Management panel and as a result I have been invited to take part as a contributor to a Formal Maritime Safety Assessment Hazard Review this autumn. This Review is in compliance with the 1987 Pilotage Act which was last reviewed in March 2019 before Covid so the aim of this whole day meeting in October was to review all the hazards, capture up-dates, re-categorise against new requirements and identify new hazards and any omissions,so overall a very important input to maritime safety, which certainly contributes to our credibility as a Member of the government’s National Water Safety Forum. In August we were flattered to be one of only five organisations involved in maritime safety to be identified by the National Independent Lifeboat Association (NILA) as a “partner” The other organisations being The Maritime & Coastguard Agency(MCA), The National Coastwatch Insttution, HM Coastguard and the United Kingdom Search & Rescue Service (UKSAR) - see As a result of this partnership the Boat Club is now actively encouraging our members to make contact with their nearest independent lifeboat station and to develop an ongoing relationship with them as a “Friend of the Station” whereby the station routinely includes us in their press releases about incidents that they have been involved in and in return we will feature these reports on our website. Bearing in mind that this proposed activity by Boat Club members doesn’t require the use of a boat It has been suggested that as a maritime charity the MNA itself might consider supporting these independent lifeboat stations by encouraging Branch members to also get involved with the proposed “Friend of the Station” initiative A practical example of our maritime safety activities included the Boat Club once again providing one of the ten “guardships” (Elsa II) and a rescue Dory (both crewed by Boat Club members ) for the internationally famous 24 hour Three Rivers Race in early June details of which can be found via the link and also on the Horning Sailing Club website at On an entirely different matter when I returned from Norfolk last week I arrived home to find an envelope from Buckingham Palace with a letter from HRH The Princess of Wales deputy private secretary addressed to me as MNA Boat Club Commodore setting out the process whereby the Club might apply for permission for our own defaced Red Ensign. I hope the AGM will agree that the Boat Club should begin the process of seeking approval for our own MNA Boat Club defaced Red Ensign which would of course then entitle all our Boat Club members to promote the MNA by flying the Club’s defaced Red Ensign from their boats. As members attending the AGM will see the Boat Club now has its own retractable and easily portable banner for display at the various events where we have a presence, and that, along with our representation at important events such as those I’ve mentioned, is partly at least only viable as a result of our being seen as a Member of the RYA as the government recognised lead body for boating so on behalf of the Boat Club I am grateful to the MNA as whole for their support in terms of funding our RYA Affiliation annual subscription and for facilitating our promotional efforts too. Clive Edwards MIoS
1. Meeting The meeting opened at 11.30 hours. The Commodore welcomed members to the 12th MNABC Annual General Meeting. 2. Members present: Mrs V Foster (MNA President), C Edwards (Commodore & Chairman), R.Card (Rear Commodore) Mrs R Card, Mrs L Edwards, J.Sail (Former MNA Chairman), M.Pick, T.O’Brien 3. Apologies for Absence Apologies were received from: D Hearn (Webmaster), P.Battagliola (Vice Commodore), Chris Wood (Rear Commodore) D.Cornes (Membership Secretary) Tim Brant (Secretary) L Pearson, G.Peaston, L.Peaston, R.Clarke, E.Fyson, R.Muir 4. Introductions Members introduced themselves before or at the start of the meeting. 5. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting (5 Sewptember 2022) Approval of the Minutes: Proposed by V.Foster and seconded by R.Card. Unanimously accepted 6. Matters arising from the previous Annual General Meetings An application for the Queen’s Award had been put on hold with still not enough incidents to make a case, 7. Commodore’s Report Commodore’s report – see attached. The report was unanimously accepted. 8. Membership of the National Water Safety Forum It was noted that membership of the Forum and the pre-requisite affiliation to the RYA had led to a prestigious role for the Boat Club to become one of only five partners with the National Independent Lifeboat Association(NILA) the other partners being The MCA, HM Coastguard, The National Coastwatch and UK Search & Rescue. A proposal drafted by the Commodore (as attached) for the Boat Club to encourage its members to establish a positive and pro-active on- going engagement with their local independent lifeboat station was proposed by V.Foster, seconded by J.Sail and was approved unanimously. 9. WaterWatch partnerships In addition to the partnership with NILA the Boat Club WaterWatch Scheme continues to be an operational partner of the RNLI and the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association 10. Defaced Red Ensign A letter from HRH The Princess Royal (see attached) regarding our bid for approval for an MN Boat Club Defaced Red Ensign was read out and a decision made to progress this on behalf of the Boat Club subject to there being no objection from the MNA National Council. Proposed by V.Foster, seconded by J.Sail. R.Card offered his legal expertise as regards submitting the necessary formal application 11. Any Other Business None. 12. Date of the next MNABC AGM The date and time for the venue to be advised, but due to the low attendance in the southern and western counties most members suggested a return to Norfolk for 2024 with a plan to investigate the possibility of Liverpool for 2025 13. AGM closure
2023 AGM Report by Bristol Branch
The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club AGM in Bristol September 2023 Our crew arrived early at the cottage on Tuesday morning to erect the gazebos and prepare for the barbeque. The weather was very wet, especially compared with the lovely weather only a week before when there had been plenty of warm sunshine. Pete and Anita arrived with a lovely array of salads and plenty of food for the guests and, at 12.30, Pete fired up the barbeque. We also supplied a fair amount of wine and beer for them. While all these preparations were going on, the Boat Club held their AGM on the Balmoral and had a tour of the ship, arranged by Roger Francis. Around 12.00 they started arriving at the cottage. With them were our President Vivien Foster, John Sail Vice-President and the Boat Club Chairman Clive Edwards and his wife Lois. Members of Pill branch arrived around this time too and I welcomed them all and they were shown around the cottage and museum. Our guests thought we have a great location and museum. The barbeque, as always, was first class, the weather didn’t dampen spirits and everyone enjoyed a good day. On Wednesday, a coach picked up the Boat Club and Shiplovers members plus some of our members from Wine Street in Bristol. More of our members had driven to Avonmouth and joined the coach at 10.30 for a tour of Avonmouth and Portbury Docks. Our guide gave us a brief introduction to the many businesses that the Dock Company are involved in. These included the import and export of cars and other vehicles worldwide, the import of fertilisers and wheat from the Americas, aviation fuel for a third of Heathrow’s requirements and the reclamation of scrap metals. A colossal container business with products from all parts of the world. Avonmouth and Portbury are strategically placed for the motorways thus enabling the supply of goods to all the major cities throughout the UK. Roger Francis was given the opportunity to explain his wing sail project with all its possibilities for the future. It was an interesting visit even for those like myself who had previously done the tour. At the end, I was able to say goodbye to our guests and wish them all a good journey home. Doug May, Chairman, Bristol Branch
Merchant Navy Association Boat Club
Press Release January 2024
Response to Press Release by Eastern Daily Press
A lifeboat crew that is prepared to relocate at a moment's notice due to severe erosion has been offered support by the region's boating association. The Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association's management committee has met to discuss how it could support the independent Hemsby Lifeboat amid the impact of coastal erosion over the past 18 months. It comes after Hembsy Lifeboat coxswain Dan Hurd said he feared their base could soon be lost to the sea The committee agreed that it would launch an initiative to promote and support the station and its crew to help ensure it continues to be able to operate its two lifeboats, including its dedicated lifeboat for the Broads. A statement from the association said: "The widely reported major impact of coastal erosion over the past eighteen months on the independent Hemsby Lifeboat station and the operation of its two lifeboats, including its dedicated lifeboat for the Broads, is a serious cause of concern as regards the safety not only of holidaymakers and the public generally but especially to those who enjoy boating on the Broads." Mr Hurd had described how he and his crew are about to start packing up their headquarters in case they have to evacuate at a moment's notice. Speaking on January 16, he said: "I've got an awful feeling we won't survive the winter. The lifeboat shed will be under threat soon. We're planning on starting to pack up the building soon, so we can be on standby if we have to leave." For more than forty years Hemsby Lifeboat has been located by the Gap area of the beach. The last bout of erosion destroyed parts of a dune cliff, leaving a gaping hole in the Beach Road car park. Mr Hurd also called on “emergency powers to be called in to preserve what's left". Discussions as to what form of support the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association may be able to provide are ongoing and details will be announced in the spring.