South Wales Branch have been able to keep regular contact by phone for the core members who come along to the lunches. Everyone is managing okay. Our next meeting will be Wednesday 30th September for 11:00/11:30am with lunch at 12 noon at our usual venue – The Norton House Hotel, Mumbles, Swansea.
With the closure of the SPA South Wales branch all who were SMBP employees, branded to Shell or BP, are very welcome to join the 44 Club South Wales branch. We understand those who worked in Shell Tankers (fleet or coastal), Shell Chemicals and subsidiary companies e.g. Colas, Enterprise etc. would join their respective groups.
Any new potential members interested should contact Viv Perry via the contact form at the end of this page.
Can everyone please note future reservations for Wednesday 11th November together with our Christmas gathering for Wednesday16th December 2020. All at The Norton House Hotel, Mumbles. A deposit will be required for Christmas so could members please advise Viv Perry either at the September meeting or by e-mail.
We all gathered once again at for a very festive lunch at The Norton House Hotel, Mumbles on 18th December 2019. Built in 1790 and now run as a 3* Hotel, Norton House Hotel is a traditional, classic style building, set in spacious gardens, close to the historic village of Mumbles. It has an aspect of charm, character and sophistication our visit was one we shall remember.
We met for coffee and a chat at 11:30 followed by lunch in the conservatory at 12:30. As our number were 12, we enjoyed a good size couple of round tables but as you can see from the photo below the ladies favoured the top table away from the men. The men enjoyed a great deal of reminiscing of time gone by whereas the girls …. well their subjects were far ranging as you would expect. Our meal was a traditional Christmas fayre lunch with turkey and the trimmings with Christmas pudding.
The South Wales branch have agreed to meet every two months – on the second Wednesday - in 2020. We shall be changing the venue for the next meeting to the Mountain Gate, Ammonford on Wednesday 8th January. Meeting will come together at 11.30am for coffee and a chat with light lunch at 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome. The plan is to meet Wednesday 11th March, 13th May, 8th July, 9th September, 11th November and Christmas (date to be agreed).
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy prosperous New Year
Best wishes to everyone.
Christmas Lunch 2019
Left to right: Glyn and Barbara Steadman, Yvonne and Alan Davies, Rowena and Dave Sanders, Sylvia and Graham Cork, Flo and Clive Hillman, Christine and Viv Perry.
Norton House Hotel
The Summer visit to Don and Ann Knight's Japanese garden was a highlight of the year. A full report is in the Winter Edition of the 44 Club Magazine (no 165) but here are some additional photographs as a reminder of the day.
Photographs from the Summer 2019 Outing to Don and Ann Knight's Japanese Garden
The Autumn 2019 edition of Chatterbox is now online, just click HERE to read it.
The Spring 2019 edition of Chatterbox is now online, just click HERE to read it.
South Wales Branch met again on 13 February 2019 in the convivial surroundings of Sketty Hall, Sketty, Swansea and I think it’s fair to say we all had a an enjoyable time. Lunch was the usual jacket potato or a nice tasty sandwich but in private dining. We enjoyed a welcome drink in the bar prior to dining where we gathered and had a good 'chin wag’.
Thanks to our resident photographer Don Knight who took as many photographs as he could in the relaxed atmosphere. Sketty Hall management treated us with excellent courtesy and could not have been more helpful. We all paid for ourselves so those who did not drink had a cheap bill but the quality of the light lunch is pretty good.
We had a very wide open discussion on our plans to visit Don and Ann's garden in Llantwit Major. Don has been a keen bonsai gardener for over 40 years and created a garden whenever he has moved house. This one is no exception. They charge on ‘entrance’ fee of £5 and all money is for the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital caner research. We plan to go Wednesday 12 June, although we are looking at the Sunday 9th as well. We will meet at Sketty Hall around 10 am. and have a minibus, alternatively we can go in a group of cars (cost dependant). Don and Ann will provide a light lunch - sandwiches and tea. We should return to Sketty hall by 5.00 pm. An invitation will be out soon and we hope to extend our visit to friend and colleagues from the SPA and BPA social groups.
Our next meeting at Sketty Hall is Wednesday 10 April 2019 at 11:30 for coffee with lunch around 12:30. Hope to see you all there.
All at Sketty Hall enjoyed Christmas lunch on Thursday 13 December 2018. Glyn Jones and his wife Marged joined us for the first time.
Our group (see photograph below, from left to right) is David Sanders, Graham Corke, Rowena Sanders, Sylvia Corke, Glyn Jones (pseudo father Christmas), Clive Hillman, Viv Perry, Marged Jones, Chris Perry, Flo Hillman and Stuart Evans. We missed Alan and Yvonne Davies who regrettably are both unwell and we all wish them a very speedy recovery. Don and Ann Knight had a previous engagement therefore we missed with his camera and photographic abilities but we look forward to seeing them at our next meeting.
We have arranged to meet on Wednesday 13th February at 11:30 for coffee followed by a light lunch. After a lively discussion it was decided to meet bi-monthly and therefore provisional booking has been made for 2nd Wednesday in April, June, August, October, December 2019.
The group also discussed a couple of trips. We all agreed about a day to Don and Ann Knight Japanese garden in late Spring. Two additional potential trips discussed was to Llantrisant – Royal Mint where we can have an opportunity to sit on a ‘million’ pounds. Moreover, an historic trip to ‘Big Pit’ the South Wales heritage coal mining site.
We discussed the arrival of concord at the last meeting and Sylvie brought along a great picture of the drivers’ in 1966. We had some difficulty remembering many so we could do with some help. So, any friend, relative recognize anyone from SMBP NEWPORT terminal
Back row: Eric Roberts, Sid Street, ???, Brian Ford, ???, Les Norris, Dougie Chappell, Graham Corke,???, Trevor Griffiths, Phil Rutter, ???
Front row kneel: Reg Wall, ???, Hadyn Hamid, Reg Pipe, Tommy Moyle, ???
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
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South Wales Branch Meeting – Wednesday 3 October 2018 from Vic Perry We met once again at Sketty Hall, Swansea for the fourth time this year pleased that four more members joined us, Don with his wife Ann Knight. Don was initially recruited as driver at Haydock terminal but later became a ‘trainer’, a career he perused after leaving Shell. John Evan who travelled to Swansea from Aberaeron, he was a Retail representative in South Wales. We were also very pleased to see Eira Woodward widow of Ron Woodward who was a driver out of Swansea.
Viv Perry asked everyone for any contributions to the 44 Club magazine especially as a feature is being considered on the Terminal network. Alan shared a photograph of Cardiff terminal fueling Concord back in the late 1970’s. He recalled that it was John Fulford, a SMBP driver who did the refuel. He had only just had his broken down vehicle replaced with the tanker in the photograph. It was from the 1930s. The terminal staff wondered who was the eldest, John or the vehicle!
Hot News– Don and Ann Knight have invited us all to their home to see their garden. Don has created a Japanese sanctuary. We shall be making arrangements for next year. I am in discussion with SPA (Shell Pensions Association) and BPA South Wales membership to extend the invitation. Be in touch early in the New Year. Have a look at the photographs taken on the day of a successful lunch by clicking here . The next meeting will be at Sketty Hall on Thursday 13 December 2018 for Christmas lunch with coffee (or drinks) at 11:30am and followed by lunch at 12:30am. Invites for pre-ordering meals will be out soon. Information request- I have been thinking and having a chat with a number of you on the potential of having an additional meeting in the East of our patch. I have suggested somewhere like the ‘Grove Golf Club’ as a venue Porthcawl; just off the motorway so easy access with plenty of car parking. Food is pretty good and not too expensive. So far, one member has confirmed whom I sincerely thank – is anyone else interested? If the distance to Swansea is too far, I am happy to proceed and arrange for those living around Cardiff or even Newport. I would really appreciate you dropping me a line. You can contact me on the form below. Otherwise give me a call if more convenient. I know there a lot of Operations, terminal administration/ drivers and mechanics, sales representatives/area managers from Domestic, Consumer and Retail including National Benzyl and even Regional Office such as Birmingham and Bristol. Some of you may have worked in Shell Mex House in Finance, I know as I was the PLR for South Wales 2006/ 2012 so I am likely to have already met you. Whether you’re the direct ex-employee or maybe a member through your partner we would love you to come along. So, if distance to Swansea is the issue lets make a meeting somewhere a little closer!
Another sunny meeting on 25th July at Sketty Hall. As you can see from the photograph all were in fine form! From the left: Yvonne Davies, Clive and Flo Hillman, Graham and Sylvia Cork, Viv and Chris Perry, Rowena and David Saunders and Alan Davies. Those present enjoyed a good chat over a summer's drink in the garden followed by a light lunch. The conversation flowed especially when Alan shared some of his work experiences!
The 44 Club South Wales Branch meet bi-monthly, this will mean that the "Drivers" group meet one month and the South Wales group meet the next month, except in the summer when drivers have a break. It is hoped that as many as possible will attend both meetings – partners also very welcome. Alan and Graham joined the ‘Drivers’ group on 25th June at Skewen Rugby Club.
The next meeting will be at Sketty Hall once again on Wednesday 3rd October at 11:30 for coffee (or drinks) and lunch at 12:30. Christmas Lunch will be on Thursday 13th December 2018. Venues for future meeting are being investigated and there was also talk of a potential bus trip - possibly to Brecon or Tenby. If there is a good response the cost could be £10 or less per person. A separate note will be circulated in due course,
Viv is going to produce a News Letter "South Wales Branch Chatterbox". Initially this will be circulated by post but will also be available online. The purpose is to encourage membership and keep everyone informed of Branch activity on a regular basis.
On a bright sunny May Day (Wednesday 23rd May) the revitalised South Wales Branch met at Sketty Hall, Swansea to enjoy convivial chat and reminisce work times. It was great to see Yvonne and Alan Davies who travelled in from Ammonford. They are on the left followed by David and Rowena Sanders, Graham and Sylvia Cork, Flo and Clive Hillman, Chris and Viv Perry.
We would like to welcome more members in the South Wales area – including Shell and BP. We know many of our fellow BP drivers who attend the Drivers ‘get-together' bi-monthly (the last meeting was on Monday 30 April 2018, the next one is Monday 25 June at Skewen Rugby Club) do not get the 44 Club Magazine so could I ask for everyone in the South Wales area to spread the word of our next gathering.
The next reunion of the South Wales branch will be on Wednesday 25 July at Sketty Hall, Swansea. Anyone wanting information please contact Viv Perry using the contact form below.
Wednesday 21 March 2018, the vernal equinox and the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, saw the inaugural meeting of the revitalised 44 Club South Wales Branch.Held at the Sketty Hall, Sketty, Swansea, with the sun shining , eight members enjoyed a good meal and catch up.