Recent donations include £500 from a particularly generous but untraceable benefactor and £215 from the collection box in Gunwharf Quays.
The Project has also received £325 as a result of the latest 11th MCM Squadron reunion in Hull. Every year since 1982 the City of Kingston Upon Hull holds a Festival of the Sea weekend to commemorate the contribution the city made to the Falklands conflict. This is recognised as those ships that were taken up from trade (STUFT) for the conflict that included the North Sea ferry MV Norland that survived AAF bombing while landing 2 Para at the San Carlos beachhead and then returned later to land elements of 5 Infantry Brigade having collected them via the 5 RN manned Hull minesweeping trawlers Cordella, Pict, Northella, Junella and Farnella in South Georgia from QE2. The trawlers then operated around both East and West Falkland supporting SF operations as well as a 'guinea pig’ exploration for influence mines in a designated NGS area. Following the surrender of Argentine forces, the trawlers swept the routes into Port Stanley and then cleared the declared moored minefields. The ocean going tugs Yorkshireman, Irishman and Salvageman operated between South Georgia and the Falkland Islands in the Tug, Repair and Loitering Area.
The weekend is well supported by the good people of Hull who make welcome many former servicemen who took part in the conflict. The South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA), is well represented as are those formerly of 2 Para, the 11th MCM (Trawler) Squadron and merchant seamen who manned the tugs and the Norland. The guests of honour this year included the Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire the Hon. Dame Susan Cunliffe-Lister, Admiral Lord West of Spithead, former Commanding Officer HMS ARDENT and Lady West, Major General Julian Thompson, former Commander 3 Commando Brigade and Commodore Michael Clapp, formerly COMAW/Commander Amphibious Task Group Falklands. Lunches were held, a Church service fllled Hull Minster followed by a parade and receptions at various hostelries.
To help the weekend flow smoothly the Yorkshire Brewhouse brewed a significant quantity of ‘5 Trawlers Amber Ale’. Profit from the sale of 80 bottles plus a contribution from a raffle held by former 11 MCM Squadron members totalled £252 that has since been donated to the Vernon Monument Project.
Next year’s gathering will be held on the weekend of 25/26 April 20 and apparently hotel accommodation is already scarce.
Sales of books via the website's shop are also reaping a useful return.
Thank you one and all.