Front Row L to R: Bob Dufton, Des Halfacre, Dickie Dawson, Len Smailes, Benny Lynch, Jim Dixon.
Back Row L to R: Dave Wickham, Alan Bell, Kevin Davy, Tony Conder, Tex Scott, Reg Lowe, Buster Brown, Peter Greenhalgh,
Dave Butler, Bob Gordon, Keith Baker Brian Coward, Ginge Power, Alan Simmonds, Ray Freshwater, Clive Watts.
Behind Alan Simmonds is Bob McNeil and behind Ray Freshwater is David James.
Not in photo is David Hessey, Colin Cooke-Priest and David Salmon.
Friday saw shipmates arriving at the Royal Maritime Club to be greeted by David Wickham and his wife Cynthia.
Derry polo shirts had been issued to those who had purchased them to be worn that evening. A tot of Mount Gay rum was served courtesy of Brian Coward and toasts were made to family and absent friends. A letter from the Captain, Ian Primrose, to the ship's company was read out by Colin Cooke-Priest, accompanied by anecdotes of his experiences aboard the Derry.
Representatives from the HMS Londonderry Stokehold Association (the last commission's marine engineers) were presented with the Carrick District Council Tall Ships' Race 1982 tankard. This commemorated when the Derry was the RN Guard ship at the Tall Ships' Race at Falmouth.The ship's company raffle was a major event of the evening with some excellent prizes to be won due to the splendid generosity of shipmates. A lively evening followed with much lamp swinging and a certain amount of partaking of the amber nectars, including another rum issue, courtesy this time of the Stokehold Association.
Local shore leave was granted to all, and many took the opportunity to sample the delights of the Gunwharf Complex, located on the old site of HMS Vernon; the amazing Spinnaker Tower; the Historic Dockyard with HMS Warrior, HMS Victory, HMS Mary Rose, etc. and a Portsmouth Town home soccer match which Pompey won 3 - 2 against Watford.
In the evening the Gala Dinner was held in the Senior Rates Mess at HMS Nelson (ex Vicky barracks). David Salmon spoke to the gathering saying how pleased he was to be able to attend the reunions and that the Londonderry had been the happiest ship he had served in. When David Wickham made the unexpected announcement that there would be a final reunion weekend which would be 50 years exactly from the actual date that the ship entered Portsmouth to pay off in 1962, i.e. 27th April 2012, he was warmly applauded. He and Cynthia were presented with an inscribed clock by Buster Brown (Greenie) and thanked for all the work they had put in.
The ships company then retired to the bar where some very cheap drinks were enjoyed and appreciated by all, and the more athletic took to the dance floor.
The remaining ships company enjoyed another sunny autumn day sampling the many delights of the Portsmouth area before a final get together in the evening at the Royal Maritime Club.
Commander Primrose enjoying a sip from the ship's commissioning tankard March 2010.