Incorporated by Royal Charter
Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
Registered Charity No: 1068408
Commissioned 20th April 1986
Full Recognition by The Royal Navy
The Bilge Rat
May 2022
Issue No 394
Any items for inclusion in the Bilge Rat are to be
sent to: -
Branch website
Vice Chairman
Membership Sec
Welfare Officer
Welfare Officer
Area Delegate
Social Secretary
Standard Bearer
Slops Bosun
Rum Bosun
PR Officer
Branch Chaplain
Bilge Rat Editor
Sports Officer
S/M Roger Grace
S/M Marie Belfitt
S/M Jerry Fleming
S/M Christina Whitty
S/M Warwick Belfitt
S/M Christina Whitty
S/M Maureen Parker
S/M Terry Whitty
S/M Jerry Fleming
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Warwick Belfitt
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Stephen McGuire
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Roger Grace
S/M Ian Wheatley
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Terry Whitty
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Whilst The Bilge Rat is the magazine of the Liskeard branch of
the Royal Naval Association, it should be clearly understood
that the contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Association, the branch members or the Editor and should not
therefore be interpreted as such.
A colour version of the Bilge Rat may be viewed on the RNA
Branch website:
Birthdays for June 2022
Life 6
Full 37
Associates 22
Total 65
1st Sonya Treadwell
5th Mike Riddiough
9th Neil Bartlett
13th Roger Beck
14th Maureen Parker
18th Arthur Craze
VE Day
The Branch was represented at the ceremony to remember VE Day,
held at the Town war memorial. Standards from the Branch and the
RBL were displayed. Pictured with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor
wreathswere laid on behalf of the Branch, RBL, QARNNS and the
Town Council.
Living in styleon the island of Cyprus
(An interlude of not-so-active service with the Bootnecks)
The year is 1973. Those of you who can cast your mind back that far
will recall that Greece and Turkey were having a spat about who
ownedCyprus. It developed into an unprovoked attack on the north-
ern shores by the Turks, who immediately partitioned the island; Turks
in the north and Greeks to the south.
The Brits were a bit upset about this, as we had two sovereign RAF
bases at either end of the island, to say nothing of their many service
families and even more well-heeled expats, who had retired to this
idyllic holiday island. Once again the Royal Marines were dispatched
to hold the thin green line’. 40 Commando RM at Seaton Barracks,
Plymouth, drew the short straw and were Duty UK Spearhead Battal-
ion at the time.
Around about stand easyI was wrenched from my quiet little office in
the barracks, hurriedly grabbing my kit, and along with about 800
others, unceremoniously piled into coaches drawn up on the parade
ground. In no time at all (thanks to very skilled police outriders) we
found ourselves at RAF Brise Norton. Our families did not know where
we were, none of us went home that day. Needless to say queues for
the telephone boxes at the air base that evening took over 3 hours to
Meanwhile the boys in bluehad dusted off several of their mothballed
Bristol Britannias and VC 10’s and the Unit headed for the Mediterra-
nean, fully booted and spurred’. Once over the island the captain of
our aircraft announced that there was activityon the airfield and we
could not land. We could see quite clearly Lightening Interceptor fight-
ers taking off at regular intervals and more alarmingly, a couple of
awesome black U2 spy planes spiralling upwards towards us in order
to gain height, before they could do their stuff at very high altitude.
Most of us harboured secret thoughts that WWIII had been declared!
After various briefings in stifling heat, Headquarters Company was dis-
patched to a deserted grape farm, just outside Limassol. The farm had
been hastily evacuated two days before. Our accommodationwas a
girt big hole in the ground, the remains of a dried up reservoir; most
unappealing, absolutely no shade, a perfect solar oven on a grand
The HQ officers including the CO and RSM decided to use the shade
provided by a long veranda outside the farm office, the latter had been
hastily converted to an operations room. Once duty watches had been
set and the remains of our compo rations eaten, most of us decided
sleep was in order. Out came our camp beds and sleeping bags and
we lined them up along the veranda. To an outsider the scene must
have resembled an alfresco morgue!
By early morning I was gently woken by numerous incomprehensible
voices. I opened my eyes, it was still dark. Not just dark, black! Yet I
could feel the sun on my feet, even through my sleeping bag. Totally
confused, I carefully rolled out of my pussers camp bed to find a mid-
dle aged Cypriot woman dressed in her customary all black habit,
astride the corner of my bed. She was the head of an all-female queue
at the pay office window, all were demanding their wages .
Needless to say I have never de-camped so fast, along with all the oth-
er officers using the shade of the veranda. Apart from shy smiles, the
ladies ignored our embarrassment!
The RSM directed us down into the hole we had ignored the previous
evening. He and a troop of Royal Engineers had been busy since
dawn converting it into a passable officers mess. Beds, tables and
chairs, a locker or two, all topped off with a couple of immense heavy
duty parachutes to keep the sun off.
This was to be our home for the next 6 weeks, together with a diet of
compo rations, ample supplies of Spam and, while they lasted, an un-
limited supply of premium grapes.
Not a great deal happened on the warfront. The United Nations even-
tually took an interest, and sent Blue Beret troops to police the Atilla
Line(as the partition was later named). Eventually we spent our days
swimming, sailing, site seeing (the Troodos Mountains) and watching
SKC films. At least this schoolie was kept busy!
S/M John Hunt
Jaguar Centenary Weekend
As most of you will be aware, I like my cars. Having acquired a Jaguar
it seemed only fitting to attend the centenary celebration of the Brand.
Terry and Maureen, who also own a Jaguar, myself and Lisa journeyed
up to Brooklands Motor and Air Museum for the celebration.
We travelled up on the Friday afternoon, which with hind sight was not
the smartest of times to attempt the journey, but with good fortune we
only suffered the usual delays of everyone slowing down to gawp at
Stonehenge and the joys of the M25 at 1630 on Friday afternoon.
As we turned into the parking area
of the Brooklands Hotel, where we
were staying for the two nights, we
were met with row upon row of
Jaguars. These ranged from a
1938 SS100 up to new F Type
convertibles and everything in be-
Having checked in, a well de-
served cup of tea was in order be-
fore meeting Terry and Maureen
for an evening meal. The food was excellent but you do need deep
Saturday morning dawned bright and dry and a look out of the window
witnessed a lot of proud Jaguar owners out polishing their cars for the
day ahead.
Following a leisurely breakfast, the group had been invited to visit the
private collection of Robert and Tanya Lewis. This involved an approxi-
mate 30 mile drive, but were warned to allow at least an hour to get
there. Directions were provided in the format of rally stages;
Reset trip meters on exiting the hotel and then take the appropriate
turning at set distances from the hotel. Nothing to confusing, but we
did set the Satnav as well. The first round about demonstrated why we
had to allow at least an hour as everything ground to a halt and
crawled forward one car length at a time. Eventually the traffic cleared
and we had pleasant drive to the collection.
I counted approximately 300 Jaguars there including a party of 42 cars
which had driven across from Switzerland.
The collection was spread around 4
barn/workshops and included every-
thing from Porsche Tractor, F1 race
cars, Koenigsegg hyper car and of
course numerous Jaguars.
Lunch was provided in the
form of a light buffet and
Tanya could be found be-
hind the counter serving
teas and coffee, whilst her
husband was wandering
around the different exhib-
its explaining the history of
each of them.
One exhibit of particular interest was a working model of a Dalek com-
plete with voice distortion. This was based on a motorised wheelchair
and adults could sit inside and drive around.
When it was time to go back to the hotel, directions had been provided
but to return by a slightly different route. This included passing through
the A3 tunnel near Guildford, with notes on the directions to Have
Fun”. There is something about tunnels and loud cars that brings out
the child in car owners. So as we entered there was another V8 engine
car behind us and fortunately the road was relatively quiet, so we were
able to test the acoustics with quick sprints from 30 to 70 mph.
The evening was to be a gala dinner,
black tie with posh frocks. As the din-
ner was being held at a neighbouring
hotel, transport had been arranged in
the form of two classic buses from the
The host for the evening was Tony
Jardine who works as a pundit for For-
mula 1 and other motorsports. He re-
counted numerous amusing dits from
the back stage of motor sport in the
intervals between courses.
At the end of the dinner the guest of honour
was introduced, Sir John Egan, the man credit-
ed with saving the Jaguar brand from failure
under British Leyland.
He recounted his role in re-establishing Jaguar
as a quality product, with examples of some of
the major challenges that he faced before the
brand was privatised.
Towards the end of his speech two Jaguar driv-
ers were introduced; Jan Lammers and Andy
They spoke of driving Jaguars in the Le Mans 24 hours and Andy,
when prompted by Tony, spun the dit about his latest testing for Bugat-
ti, in which he managed to achieve in excess of 300 mph in a road le-
gal production car.
The evening was a great success and was completed with the classic
bus ride back to our hotel.
Sunday morning arrived under dark skies. Fortunately the rain held off
long enough to give the car a quick clean, before we set off for the
Brooklands museum.
After a little confusion about how
to get into the museum, as the
satnav took us back to where we
started, we found the Jaguars
this waysign and joined the back
of the queue.
They had hoped to have 1000 Jaguars
at the museum and I would say they
managed it, everywhere you looked
there were cars, under Concorde, up
the finishing straight and around
the banking. As I had booked to
take my car up the test hill, I was
parked in a separate paddock,
where as Terry was parked half
way up the main straight.
To drive up the test track we had
to have a briefing and sign a dis-
claimer stating that if anything happened it wasnt their fault. The big
warning was to make sure to ease off before you got to the top as you
could end up airborne and miss the 90 degree turn.
Whilst waiting for the brief, the rain started, light at first then steadily
heavier. Then it was time to line up ready to go up the hill.
The hill is graduated so that from horizontal at the bottom it goes to a
1 in 8, then 1 in 5 before increasing to 1 in 4 which is quite steep.
When approaching the start gates Lisa had to get out as the car was
almost grounding, fortunately we made it and managed to get up the
hill—it only lasts about 10 seconds. We then got to drive back around
the banking to the parking where we were to line up for a second run.
Unfortunately the car behind me, an early D Type, had a lot of traction
issues due to the rain and they closed the hill for the rest of the day.
The rest of the day was spent looking at all the museums exhibits.
This included a Wellington
bomber that was built at
Brooklands but crashed into
Loch Ness, where it was
found by a group of Nessie
Fascinating and definitely
worth a visit.
Then the long drive back to
S/M Adam & Lisa Strutt
If anyone would like to see more photos
I took about 200.
The Big Jubilee Lunch
As you may be aware, we will be hosting a "Big Jubilee Lunch", at
Trebenver on Sunday 5th June 2022 to celebrate the Queen's Plati-
num Jubilee.
The Big Lunch events began in 2009, supported by the Eden Project
and The National Lottery, as a means of bringing communities togeth-
er, and an opportunity to meet your neighbours.
After two years of Covid restrictions, the opportunity to get together
and celebrate the Jubilee is a chance not to be missed.
So, we would like to invite you all to join us from 12pm onwards for a
non-street, street party. If you would like to bring some food or some-
thing to drink, that would be great.
There will be food available, so if you are unable to bring anything it
doesn't matter. If you could let us know in advance what you intend to
bring, so that we can try not to have too much of the same thing.
As the theme will be Jubilee Street Party, food will be along the lines
of :-
Sausage rolls
Mini Pasties
Cup Cakes
We will require numbers of people intending to attend, along with any
food offers, by 26th May at the May Branch meeting.
We hope that as many as possible will be able to attend.
If anyone has any concerns regarding transport, let us know and we
will see what can be arranged. The minibus will be available.
S/M Adam and Lisa Strutt
Back in Hailsham, which is my home town, I used to be the occasional quizmaster at
our local club. I thought that perhaps the odd quiz might be enjoyable. Answers at
the end of the Bilge Rat
The rst quiz, appropriately enough, is about the Royal Navy.
1. What is the Motto of the Royal Navy?
2. In October 1939 which famous ship was sunk while at anchor at
Scapa Flow?
3. What was the crest used by the 'Mighty Hood '? This is quite rele-
vant for us!
4. To be the Commanding Officer of a Submarine, Officers have to
pass a tough course, what is it colloquially known as in the Sub-
marine Service?
5. Which are the 6 towns known as the Cinque Ports?
6. Where is HMS Alliance Berthed?
7. In the vast range of Naval Culinary Expertise what were
Elephants Footprints”?
8. When Rum was still issued what was the Motto on the Rum Tub?
9. In March 1966, Ark Royal participated in the Beira Patrol, a mis-
sion to enforce sanctions of oil imports against which southern
African nation?
10. In 1976, Ark Royal was the subject of a BBC television documen-
tary series. Its theme tune was a song by which popular artist?
Puzzle Page
1. Gaping mouth (4)
3. Comrade (6)
8. Man (4,7)
10. Chinese leader (3)
11. Pastoral bliss (5)
12. Funding (7)
14. Umpire (3)
15. Craft (3)
16. Without function (7)
17. Intolerant type (5)
19. Overawe (3)
22. Restore to order (11)
23. Hypodermic (6)
24. Jape (4)
1. Showjumping decider (4-3)
2. Stinging insect (4)
4. Viewer (8)
5. In robust health (5)
6. Little wave (7)
7. Counterfeit (4)
9. New Jersey univ. (9)
13. Marine (8)
14. Towel off (3,4)
15. Attribute (7)
18. Furze (5)
20. Decrease (4)
21. Green fodder store (4)
Last months answers. ACROSS, 1. Goblet, 5. Grief, 8. Err, 9. Bantam, 10. Ocelot, 11. Lace, 12. Tolerate, 14.
Age-old, 15. Plains, 16. Assemble, 18. Rave, 19. Saturn, 21. Sanity, 22. Doe, 23. Ethos, 24. Sherry. DOWN:
2. On a large scale, 3. Lithesome, 4. Tempted, 5. Growl, 6. Ice, 7. Floating voter, 13. Rearrange, 15. Pleases,
17. Bends, 20. Ugh.
3 4
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Social Calendar 2022
2 5/6/2022
Pop-Up Shop
Jubilee weekend
Jubilee Big Lunch—Trebenver
Falklands Memorial
RBL Freedom of the Town/VJ Day
Trafalgar Night
Field of Remembrance
Remembrance Day
All social dates subject to current Covid-19 restrictions.
Updates as situation changes.
If anybody would like to read more on events outside of the Liskeard
area, current and previous issues can be found at the link below.
Liskeard RNA usually meets on the last Thursday of the month, in
the room above the Royal British Legion. The room and bar are open
from 1930 and the meeting starts at 2000. You do not have to be ex
Royal Navy to join. All are welcome.
Anybody who has content for the Bilge Rat, please send to
the Bilge Rat Hon Editor.
Email: -
Breakfast Club· Market Cafe Liskeard
Next Meeting
0930 11
June 2022
1. Si vis pacem, para bellum”; (If you wish for peace, prepare for
2. HMS Royal Oak.
3. The Cornish chough holding an anchor on a blue field.
4. Perishers, due to its high failure rate. If an officer failed this
course he was instantly removed from it and removed from the
Submarine service.
5. Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover, Sandwich and Rye. Rye
was added later when New Romney was damaged in a major
storm, hence the six ports named in the Cinque (5) ports.
6. The Submarine Museum, Gosport
7. Spam Fritters.
8. "The Queen/King, God Bless Her/Him"
9. Rhodesia.
10. Rod Stewart.