A tot of rum to toast 
a golden anniversary

Mayor and Mayoress of Dacorum Bert and Shirley Chapman photographed with Hemel Hempstead Royal Naval Association members and their guests. The branch is 50 years old.
Mayor and Mayoress of Dacorum Bert and Shirley Chapman photographed with Hemel Hempstead Royal Naval Association members and their guests. The branch is 50 years old.

Former seamen and women marked a milestone with a traditional tot of rum during a golden anniversary get- together.

The Hemel Hempsetad Royal Naval Association hosted a bash with mayor and mayoress of Dacorum Bert and Shirley Chapman and the town’s MP Mike Penning.

Members from neighbouring branches in Watford, Luton, Aylesbury, Chesham and Leighton Buzzard were also invited along for an evening of dancing and food at the British Legion base in Queensway.

Music was put on by Hemel Hempstead British Legion president Bernie Kelly and there were performances from 1960s style trio Dolly Mix and Christopher Armitt. Catering for the event was put on by the legion and a raffle helped boost the club’s coffers.

Secretary Ray Moore, who served in the Navy for 26 years from 1950 to 1976, said: “There were around 90 people there.

“We had a customary tot of rum. I think nearly everybody in the room participated in that.

“It is used for special occasions and that was definitely one of them.”

The branch was formed in February 1963, but the anniversary celebration was put off until May because of this year’s earlier cold snap.

The branch, which would warmly welcome newcomers, has 24 members and meets on the second Thursday of each month. To find out more about joining the branch contact Mr Moore on 01442 219678.