The monthly newsletter from your branch Chair-person
“With a wry smile and a knowing sense of humour, Mervyn Underwood was one of the first true Potterne folk I met when I moved to the village fifty years ago. He was warmly welcoming and forever genuinely interested in what was happening on the farm, sometimes asking if it were, "Alright to come down?" Mervyn and Janice loved to see the farm animals, so our answer was always, "Of course it is." In more recent years, as he knew I was on the Parish Council, he would begin a conversation with, "Ere, I want a word with you," that led to an excuse if one was needed, for Andy Huntley and I to pop round to Highlands for a cup of tea and a chat. Mervyn and Janice were staunch members of the Potterne Legion Branch, and I honestly benefited enormously from Mervyn's mentoring and positive encouragement. Mervyn Underwood - a true Potterne great, passed from us in January to join his beloved Janice and will be missed by us all.
Storm Brendan, with its high winds and lashing rain, put a few off attending the January Branch meeting, so now we need to persuade Branch Vice-Chairman, Jerry Willmott, to give his 'Christmas in Korea 1951' talk again to a wider audience. It was so special, so movingly real that those who missed it, missed a talk backed up by evidence that held us spellbound about that 'forgotten war’.
Time to polish those shoes again as we head to the Wiltshire Royal British Legion County Conference, this year held in Warminster. Our own Branch President, John Mann, in his capacity as County Vice-Chair, is one of the main organisers, so that should make the February meeting interesting. Having said that, JM would be the first to confess it is difficult to make the County Conference interesting. Of course, we have the ordinary meeting business to attend to, but I would like some of the Branches to give a presentation on how they see themselves and the Legion in the future, including some of their aspirations, placing more emphasis on decision making in the RBL on the Branch membership.
George Day will pop into the RBL Branch February meeting, he is going to show us the Potterne RBL 1995 fifty year VE Day commemoration video. Hopefully, that should give some inspiration on how to fit in with other village organisations for the seventy-fifth VE Day commemoration celebrations in May. Anyone who would like to see George's Video at the 10th of February RBL meeting will be welcome in the Social Club lounge at 8pm.
Finally, don't forget your Panto tickets! This year's Potterne Panto is "Jack and the Beanstalk" and will be performed over the Feb School half term. Watch out for Simple Simon as he may take his revenge on the audience for being Potterne typecast - Oh yes he will, Oh no he won’t, Oh no …. never mind!
Any conversation you would like to have regarding any aspect of the Royal British Legion in this area, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Stay safe, stay warm. See you soon!
John Chandler, Potterne RBL Branch Chair.
01380 725643 or JoChndlr@aol.com