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To view a selection of photos, see here.

In the wardroom of palatial Royal Naval Headquarters North of England and The Isle of Man, 70 members and guests of our organisations - many members of both - enjoyed a delightful meal and evening. RNSA NW and IOM branch were leading this year. 2017 will be an RNVRYC lead. Members had travelled from as far afield as Wester Ross and Cornwall, with all points in between

Starting with a bubbly reception, the immaculately turned out Mersey Sea Cadets attending to the nibbles we were piped through the “HMS Eagle” wardroom door by our very own piper, Scott Lindsay, who gave an early Burns night flavour to our proceedings. All seventy of us sat around one table, it was a very long one, splendidly decked with many candelabra, a red rose and trinket for all the ladies as a surprise – which gave a ladies’ night feel.

The guest speakers were Naval Regional Commander Gary Doyle and RNSA Rear Commodore Cruising. They held us spellbound with their speeches.

During the reception and in the interval Rosina Hearn played the Welsh harp for us. We are a cultural lot, The said angelic harp player, a serving reservist at HMS Eaglet, is campaigning a RNSA dinghy magnificently whilst working for the RYA Cymru at Plas Menai and running the Nuffield sailing facility at Indefatigable, near Llanfair PG.

The Eaglet Officers Association caterer, Martin Bates provided a sumptuous meal cooked in field conditions as the building was undergoing a phenomenal amount of refurbishment. The galley was in pieces on the drill deck which resembled an elephant’s graveyard. “Is it year end money?” an astute wag was heard to say.

Doug and Carol Smith organised the raffle and it is with regret that after the costs of the hired cooking equipment and associated unforeseen costs at this new venue we only had £45-00 surplus for the local Sea Cadet Association. Lessons have been learned and recorded for next year’s organisers. Thankfully we have been able to support our youngsters in a more fulsome manner, with numerous hundreds of pounds in the previous number of years.

A great night was had by all.

The flag officers have requested that the 2017 Northern Dinner be at the same venue on 18 March 2017, so you now have a pencil diary date.

Cedric Loughran