Our Background and Aims
Welcome to the Web Site of the Dormanstown & Redcar Branch of the Merchant Navy Association. We meet at the Ennis Road Social Club, Dormanstown on the 2nd Wednesday of the month starting at 1930 hrs. All serving and ex Merchant Navy personnel welcome.
The Dormanstown and Redcar branch of the Merchant Navy association (MNA) was founded on the 4th February 1993, holding its first meeting in the Ennis Square Social Club, Dormanstown, where it still remains today for its full branch meetings.
News of the branch being formed, was at first by word of mouth, and the first meeting had eight persons "Turning To". Edward (Ted) Dobson of Redcar was elected chairman, Thomas (Tom) Jones of Redcar was elected treasurer, and Terrence (Terry) Sullivan of Dormanstown took on the roll of secretary. David Buckworth of Redcar, who was at the meeting, gave a 10 note to open an account at the Yorkshire Bank. It was further agreed that branch meetings would take place monthly on the second Thursday, later changed to a Wednesday.
It did not take long for a branch Standard to be obtained, and this was, with great thanks to the generosity of authoress Catharine Cookson, who was so kind in granting the full cost of 400 to the newly formed branch.
Membership soon grew, which was boosted by a number of men who wished to become associated to the branch, and it wasn't long before the membership had grown to about 70 members. (Branch membership today in 2010 stands at 50 with only a few of these being associates).
It is always so surprising that more ex-merchant mariners have not come forward to join when we consider the thousands of men who were registered with the Middlesbrough Pool alone.
The branch soon became very well known, and invites to attend various events flooded in from military associations who had not forgotten what the merchant navy had stood for in two world wars and the Falklands campaign. Today the branch has two Standards and both are carried at all occasions from funerals to Remembrance Day.
Very soon after its formation the branch joined the National Merchant Navy Association (MNA), to which it still remains today, and through which it has become well known throughout the UK from Cornwall in the Southwest to Caithness in the North of Scotland and also overseas,
In 1994, after much work and achievement, Terry Sullivan resigned as branch secretary on health grounds, and following an emergency meeting, Dave Buckworth was asked if he would take on the mantle. At the next full branch meeting, he told the members that he would work at all times for the betterment of the branch and its members.
One of the biggest milestones in the MNA's history, was in 2000 with the granting of the 3rd September each year being called 'Merchant Navy Day.' This led to the branch holding its own parade in Redcar and it is well supported by the military associations and the general public.
In 1995, secretary Dave Buckworth, raised the idea of the branch having its own Memorial to North-East mariners lost in service of their country, and it was not until the year 2000 that the idea came to fruition with an anchor Memorial in the 'Garden of Remembrance' opposite the Cenotaph in Redcar, the garden also holds Memorials from other military associations.
The Dormanstown and Redcar branch of the Merchant Navy Association is well run with a very friendly crew who work well together to further the branch's good name, and carry out the 'Act of Remembrance' for the thousands of merchant mariners who didn't 'Pay Off' and have no known grave but the sea.
One item that the branch is very proud of, is the way that it looks after the widows of branch members who have 'Crossed the Bar' by giving them a cash Christmas box and Christmas card. This means so much to these widows as they know that they have not just been forgotten and that they are still a part of this family.