22 May 2024

Veterans club marks two years of success

by Rebecca Hannant

The Withernsea Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club has celebrated its second birthday with a trip to Eden Camp.

The club traces its origins back to May 2021, when it held its first event with great success. In total 15 members from Withernsea and South Holderness attended, and they were supported by an established breakfast club from Hull. Also in attendance were the town’s former mayor Felicity Walmsley, East Riding Council Veterans’ Champion David Elvidge and Councillor Lyn Healing, all of whom have continued to support the club.

The AFVBC was set up with the aim that it would give veterans a chance to meet up and socialise among friendly faces. It continues to attract, and actively invites, veterans from all branches of the military including the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.

Two years on, the club has more than 70 members with an average of 40 to 45 each session.

On Sunday, May 28, it celebrated its birthday with a trip for 36 veterans and their partners to Eden Camp in North Yorkshire.

Once there the members looked at the displays from both world wars and more recent conflicts. Some veterans even saw some equipment they had used over the many years that they served, such as mine laying machine, 25-pounder artillery gun, Land Rover and 105 self-propelled guns.

Darren England, the organiser of the WAFVBC, said: “From when I first started this, I expected there to be only about six veterans attend but it has grown over the years, and we are now getting about 40 to 45 at each meeting. We do not just provide this service for Withernsea but also to the outlying villages including Hedon, Thorngumbald, Easington and Roos, to name but a few.

“It’s nice to see and hear the veterans having a butty and brew chatting and having a laugh. Last year on our first birthday we had a coach trip to Bomber Command, but this year even more attended this trip.

“I would personally like to thank the seven admins who are all veterans themselves but give up their time to assist in everything that’s needed to run the BC – without them this club could not function.

“I would also like to thank Sarah’s Trust and Withernsea and District Lions Club for assisting us with the trip this year.”

Anybody who would like to attend the breakfast club can call into the Meridian Centre at 10am on the first and third Saturday of every month. Veterans and serving members can attend for a “butty, brew and banter”, run on an honesty box system with unlimited tea and coffee for £1.50. However, if someone cannot afford to pay, the club will cover the costs.

Withernsea AFVBC covers the South Holderness area, so all are welcome. For more information, either join the Facebook group or email Darren at: [email protected].