rSA BRANCH HARROGATE

Welcome to the Royal Signals Association, Harrogate Branch.

Harrogate is located between Leeds to the south and the Cathedral City of Ripon to the north and first sprang to prominence as a Spa town. Although not many visitors come to take the waters today, the town is a thriving tourist destination and has become the gateway to the Yorkshire dales. The town is now famous for it's many conferences, festivals and trade shows that are held throughout the year, including the International Toy Fair and Great Yorkshire Show to name but two.

Less well known is that on the map of 1871 'History and Topography of Harrogate' William Grainge marks Roman camps at Horn Bank near Pannal, and on Killinghall Moor, and also a Roman road running north-south between Catterick and Adel, which passed close to Harlow Hill. The interesting fact about this is that the Army Foundation College is situated only a stones throw from Killinghall Moor, and one could claim today's young soldiers serving at the college, are carrying on a fine military tradition, as old as time itself.

It is by no coincidence that the town was presented with this contemporary stone sculptured sundial, to commemorate the links between the college and the town from 1947 to 1999, when the Royal Signals Army Apprentice College closed. We are proud to have been associated with the town for over fifty years.

Many members of the corps will have undergone basic, and trade training at the former Army Apprentices Collage Harrogate. Many would return in later years as instructors, or supporting staff, put down roots and eventually settle in Harrogate at the end of their careers.

bRANCH AIMS

In addition to the aims of the Royal Signals Association, the aim of the Harrogate branch is to provide a social forum for all current and past members of the corps living within the Harrogate area. Where every member's opinions, input and contribution is valued and respected, and where every member is treated equally, where friendship and fun replaces formality.

We respect the pasts, but are not bound by it, and progressively move forward to meet the needs and aspirations of our membership, in an ever changing world.

We strongly encourage all ex- members of the corps to attend our monthly informal gatherings, to continue old friendships, and to make new ones.

cOMMITTEE

The committee is democratically elected by the membership annually at the AGM, and is elected to carry out their duties and responsibilities on behalf of the branch for a period of one year.

Role Name Email Tel
President Lt Col (Retd) Ian Buckley MBE This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 569876
Chairman Mr Peter Shepherd This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 563026
Vice President Mr Chippy Wood This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 505326
Vice President Mr Bruce Graham This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 503539 
Secretary Mr Jim McPhee This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 884470
Treasurer Mrs Bridget Wilson Contact through the Secretary  
Welfare Officer Mr Rick Levett This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01423 507960
Standard Bearer Mr Syd Wilson                                                                           

If you would like any further information regarding the branch, branch membership, or would like to visit us on one of our Friday night social evenings, please do not hesitate to contact the branch secretary, or any member of the committee, and we would be pleased to help.

wHERE, AND WHEN DO WE MEET?

We meet by kind permission of the Secretary, Harrogate Conservative Club, on the third Friday of the month from approximately 8 PM onwards.

It must be stressed, that the Royal Signals Association is a non-political organisation, and that the venue has been chosen for it's convenient location, and that the club facilities are made available for our meetings, free of charge.

The Conservative Club is conveniently situated within easy walking distance from either the bus, or train station, is served by a large car park opposite the building and a taxi office adjacent to the club.

Due to its location and facilities, the Conservative Club provides an ideal location for our monthly meetings. Its comfortable interior, the warm welcome from the staff, and relaxed atmosphere, enhance the enjoyment of the evening. At the beginning of May 2005, the Club started its program of renovation, which has truly enhanced the venue.

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A typical monthly meeting

It's hoped that the above rogues gallery will give you an insight into a typical monthly get together. It's a chance for an informal chinwag, mutual leg pulling, a beer or two and where wives and partners are always welcome.

Following suggestions from our membership, we hope to develop the social activities of the branch. It is proposed to hold a bowling night, and a games night this year, in addition to our social calendar which includes our Annual Dinner held in November each year.

If you enjoy golf, we also have a strong 'golfing fraternity', who in the past have gone over to Ireland for a weeks golfing holiday. This is just one more reason to look us up.

Membership of the branch isn't all about hankering after the past and reliving past glories, but about enjoying the present and looking forward to the future.

branch history

The First recorded meeting of the Harrogate Branch of the Association was held over half a century ago on Friday 16 th November 1951. The meeting was held in the Drill Hall situated on Strawberry Dale, and was attended by 19 members. The last recorded meeting was held on Thursday 10th October 1970. This was held in Hut 15 of Hilderbrand Barracks with only 4 members in attendance. On 11th February 1971 an AGM was called, with only 3 members attending. The meeting was cancelled and no further entries were recorded in the minute book.

On the 28th March 1982, and 2nd May 1982, meetings were held to discuss the re-establishment of the branch. These meetings were attended by Lt Col (Retd) L J D Davies TD, Maj (Retd) K G Doyle, and Mr P C Wood. The reaction to these meetings was the decision to have a re-inaugural meeting on the 21st May 1982 in the Cpl's Club (The old Sgts Mess) in Uniacke Barracks.

The re-inaugural meeting was supported by 48 members and apologies were received from a further 9 members. Amongst those to give their support, and to answer any queries that may have arisen were;

Col P Verdon Commandant of the Army Apprentice College.

Lt Col R l Murray OBE, General Secretary of The Royal Signals Association.

Maj (Retd) B Edwards, President of the Leeds Branch of the Association.

The current membership of the Harrogate branch reflects the diversity of the Corps, and has members whose origins stem throughout the UK, and even as far a field as Fiji. We currently have a membership of approximately seventy, and are actively recruiting new members. If you would like to become a member of the branch, or if you are visiting the area, and are a member of another branch, or a serving member of the corps, why not come and join us in the relaxed atmosphere of the Conservative Club Harrogate, where a warm welcome awaits you.