Mick Dennison column

Mick Dennison.
Mick Dennison.
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An issue close to my heart cropped up this week which has led to a slight war of words between the organisers of the Vintage Festival over the weekend of September 6/7 and the Royal British Legion.

A request was made in July for a pitch for a small gazebo as part of the Saturday events, as we have always had for what we used to call the Heritage Weekend.

Our request was ‘lost’ in the ether of email heaven before we applied again.

We received a reply, eventually, explaining that the Vintage Festival committee only allocate charity stalls which provide an experience for the event.

They will put our information on a database and get in touch with us regarding future events.

Now, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t the Royal British Legion been an ever present part of our lives since the 1920’s?

I’m sure that would have straddled a ‘vintage’ period somewhere along the line.

That and the fact the Battle of Britain Memorial aircraft are flying past to draw visitors to the event should have guaranteed our small branch a presence on the ground.

We did eventually get correspondence from Wayne Hemingway who was really good about things and he asked us to try to come up with a ‘Vintage’ theme for the event.

As a branch staffed entirely by volunteers we don’t have the resources to find old military uniforms and dress up.

We do though help to raise money for ex-servicemen from all eras who are still alive but struggling with health and social problems. We also raise money for their families and widows, helping them to maybe get a break: through respite for example.

Our branch has always had a presence on the promenade during the Heritage Festival and Wayne has been kind enough to hint at giving us a pitch. We now ask for a bit of help from military heritage groups and our members to provide that ‘vintage’ theme although it does feel like we are being asked to bid for a contract.