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Royal Naval Writers Association

Formed in 1887 - The Oldest Military Association

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Royal Naval Writers’ Association

The World’s Oldest Military Association – Est. 1887

Annual General Meeting – Minutes 17:30 Friday 14th October 2022

Royal Naval Writers’ Association (RNWA)

Annual General Meeting – Minutes

17:30 Friday 14th October 2022

Held in The Library UJC London


Colin   Hughes (CH) – President

Pat Prior BEM QVRM (PP) – Vice-President & Treasurer

Les Heyhoe BCAv (LH) – Secretary & Membership

Tony Mason (TM) – Committee Member

David Spicer (DS) – Committee Member

Jim Donaldson (JD) – Committee Member 

Lyn Gannon (LG) – Committee Member                                               

Phil Allen MBE (PA) – Member

Albert Light (AL) – Member

Mary Light (ML) – Member

Jed Stone OBE (JS) – Member

Valerie   Blackwell (VB) – Member

David Ramsey (DR) – Member  

Committee Member Apologies

Tony Webber (TW)

Mike Moncur (MM)    

Member Apologies:

David Hill (DH)

Nancy Hill (NH)

David Kelly (DK)

Steve Hamblin (SH)

‘Dusty’ Miller (DM) Bill Whaley (BW)

  1. Minutes

The minutes of the AGM Friday 8th October 2021 were proposed by LG and seconded by TM and were taken as read with no further or additional comments by those present.

  1. Treasurer’s Report      

PP advised as at close of business Thursday 13th October 2022 of the current financial situation:-   £6,5364*    –   Note: £1,506.50 ‘ring fenced’ for National Arboretum & £65.00 for Memorial Bench – see item 5. * Also included in this sum is £2,145.00 received for the 2022 Reunion Dinner and the net expenditure of the cost of the dinner to be made to the UJC which is anticipated to be approximately £2,500.00.     

  1. Membership

Membership as of 13th October 2022 comprises of:-

. 3 Honorary Members

. 29 Life Members

. 218 Members

250  Total Membership

LH reminded everyone to ‘recruit’ new members. 

  1. Elections

All those in attendance were unanimous in the re-election for a further year of the existing committee in the capacity as RNWA President (CH), Vice-President & Treasurer PP), Secretary & Membership (LH) and the following Committee members of TM, DS, JD, LG, TW & MM.

PA on behalf of the member attendees and all the membership, gave a ‘vote of thanks’ to the RNWA Committee for their past year’s efforts and dedication which was very much appreciated.

  1. National Arboretum & Benches

A summarization was provided by CH stating that ‘The RNWA must bear the full design costs and insurance with a minimum £1,000 application fee. Negotiations for the installation and maintenance would be a one-off payment in addition to the application fee and would range from £3,500 – £50,000. Thus, in view of the above, the Committee have decided because of the cost it is a non-starter and sought final agreement and approval from those attending. Carried unanimously, on the understanding that all those that have donated and contributed would be offered the return of their donation – action PP. However, if donors were to say retain the RNWA was to retain their donation, it would remain ‘ringfenced’ for a future project or special funded expenditure, to be agreed and approved by the Committee – see CH’s full explanation attached.    

CH stated that he was now in receipt of the “Southsea Costal Update” a Portsmouth City Council  monthly synopsis of the progress of rejuvenation work taking place between Southsea Castle and Clarence Pier. Thus, he would keep an eye when the work would affect both the RNWA Centenary Bench and the Brian Emmence Memorial Bench. At present, progress will not be until 2024 at the earliest. However, the contractor and the City Council have noted that the Association has an interest in the two benches and knows who to contact in future.

  1. Crossed The Bar

CH would during his ‘Reply Speech’ mention those members that had ‘Crossed the Bar’ since the last AGM. All had previously been mentioned and minuted at prior Committee & Members scheduled meetings whereby a minutes silence was held prior to the meeting in their memory.   

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 17:55 and LH thanked everyone for their attendance, input, and support.

Next AGM at 17:30 (room to be advised nearer the time) Friday 13th October 2023, at The QUEENS HOTEL, Clarence Parade, Osborne Road, Southsea, Hants., PO5 3LJ – Postscript NEW VENUE!      

Next RNWA schedule Committee & Members meeting: Thursday 17th November 2022 at 19:30 via Google Teams


Les Heyhoe BCAv 

RNWA Secretary & Membership

H: 023 9235 7181 / M: 07494 150563


24th October 2022

RNWA – AGM Minutes 141022

Full Explanation – Appendix to the AGM Minutes at UJC held 14/10/2022

Now to the long-drawn-out negotiations with National Memorial Arboretum staff in our attempt to have a Writer’s Memorial installed at the Arboretum.  Back in 2016 I asked what types of memorials were available for our limited funds and was informed that a plaque and tree would fit the bill at a cost of circa £1200. I was also informed that there was no more land available at that time, but more land was expected to become available soon and I asked that the Association be informed when this happened. I kept in touch with the administrator and was informed in 2018 that more land had become available, but the NMA Administration had decided not to continue with the tree and plaque option, strange it is an Arboretum after all.  They were considering alternatives and would inform me when their deliberation reached fruition. Again I had to continually chase the administrator and eventually in Jan 20 I received a long detailed email from one of the staff on what was allowed and the procedure for getting a memorial installed.  The following criteria must be satisfied for a memorial to be erected on the site it must:

  1. Commemorate those who died in the service of their Country
  2. Those who served or suffered in the service of their country
  3. Must be sponsored by a national organisation
  4. It must enhance the Arboretum from a visitor perspective.

All proposals need to be approved by the Landscape and Memorials Advisory Committee which sits once a quarter. The Committee require a completed application pack of scale drawings together with details of materials to be used including any signage/text.  The supporting organisation must bear the full design, build costs and insurance as it retains ownership of the Memorial and there is a £1000 application fee. The NMA charge for the installation and maintenance which must be negotiated beforehand this is normally a one-off payment of anything from £3,500 to £50,000 depending on the maintenance requirement and insurance value.

Thus, in the view of the Committee because of the cost it is a non-starter and seek agreement from the floor. If agreed the donors will be offered their money back.

Colin Hughes

RNWA President

NMA Full Explanation


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