Club Meeting – Monday 9th July 2018

The Club held its monthly meeting at the Dursley Community Centre, over 60 members were present with President Martin Lee in the Chair. He welcomed the following guests; Michael Hartley, guest of Charles Hartley, Dave Jennings, guest of Roger Davis and Philip Muzzlewhite, guest of David Valentin.

The President reflected with some satisfaction on the recent Club mini break, centred on the Isle of Wight, and thanked all those who had supported him.

This month we visit the Welsh National Botanic Gardens and organiser Colin Wyatt gave further details of the arrangements he proposed.

In August we will be returning to the Uley home of David and Dawn Valentin for our annual barbecue. One of the highlights of the Club year, but a challenge for the President who is responsible for arranging fine weather!

Vice President Martin Budden and Past President Don Powell have advanced plans for a short visit to east Devon based on Seaton and Exeter. We will visit Exeter Cathedral, the Seaton Tramway and Powderham Castle with a river cruise from Exmouth to Exeter.

In October we hope to visit the Brunel Museum in Bristol. Organiser Colin Wyatt has been able to arrange for us to have lunch on the SS Great Britain which will be an added bonus for the day.

It is some time since the Club enjoyed a theatre visit but one is proposed for November. We hope to visit the Everyman in Cheltenham to see a production of “The Messiah”, a comedy with an impressive star line.

The meeting welcomed the return of guest speaker Bill Affleck whose topic was “Vergaltungswaffen”, the German V weapons of WW2. Much is known of these weapons but Bill’s presentation focused on the background and reality of their story. The concept of these “retaliation weapons” was as an answer to allied bombing raids on German cities. The original development site at Peenemunde was jointly run by the Army and the Luftwaffe but this was not an easy relationship and resulted in the SS taking control. Allied attacks on this site resulted in the relocation to the Harz Mountains to an underground facility built by slave labour. V1 “flying bomb” production enabled a launch rate of one every 10 minutes against both London and Antwerp with Antwerp as the main target. The V2 rocket was more feared than the cruder V1 but as a weapon it was far less effective. Indeed, the reality of the story was that the combined effect was that there were more casualties on the German side than on the targets they were aimed at!

The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Chris Dunn and President Martin closed the meeting. Members then retired to the bar followed by lunch.