Merchant Navy Week, Dormanstown/Redcar style
To mark Merchant Navy Day, the branch always start a week early by holding a Flag Day in Redcar High Street. This year, for the first time in 11 years we had rain, which in turn cost us more expense by having to buy a gazebo for the lads to use as their HQ for the day. Despite the weather and economic climate, the branch managed to raise £688.68.
Red Ensigns were flying in and around the town as well as one that was flown for a week at the town's Cenotaph. The local councils of Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland also flew the Ensign at their respective Town Halls.
The branch usually holds two services for Merchant Navy Day, one on the 3rd at our anchor memorial in the Garden of Remembrance and another on the seafront at our second anchor memorial that we have taken over from the council, the following Sunday, which draws a good crowd from the general public.
Due to the dates for these two events coming so close together, the branch decided to hold just the one memorial day on the 4th September. There were 15 Standards on parade as well as a good turn out of veterans, supported by the sea cadets from TS Zetland, Redcar and the air cadets of the 2934 (East Cleveland) Squadron.
The wreath layers were led by Col. M. Stewart on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Lord Crathorne, followed by the Worshipful Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Cllr Olwyn Peters, the Vice President of the branch Cllr Ray Goddard, Mr Stan Prevley president of the RBL Redcar, Mr Andrew Dobson on behalf of the NE Chamber of Shipping and Lieutenant Michael Williams of TS Zetland.
Music was provided by the Cleveland Police Band, and the service was conducted by Mr Colin Worswick, chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, Teesport. After the wreath laying ladies of the branch then placed MN poppy crosses at the anchor.
The Redcar lifeboat launched specifically at 1100 hrs and scattered poppy petals upon a clock calm sea. The photograph of the lifeboat carrying out this service shows the crew had removed their helmets in respect. (the photo was taken by Mr David Cox deputy launching authority of the Redcar Lifeboat Station).
For more photographs please see the galleries.