Such kindness over the years

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To the citizens of Scarborough:

I am writing on behalf of my committee and the members of the 8th Destroyer Squadron Association to thank you for your kindness and support which you have shown us down the years we have been coming to Scarborough.

For 22 years, the crews of the 18 destroyers of our squadron have travelled from the four corners of the United Kingdom to attend their annual reunion in Scarborough.

During these years the citizens of Scarborough have given us a warm welcome and over all these years the ‘mine’ hosts of the hotels and guest houses have become personal friends. When, four years ago, the Scarborough police and health and safety reared their ‘ugly heads’, the Scarborough public came to our rescue when our parade was threatened. The Coastguard provided us with escorts as demanded by the police and continued to do so.

An anonymous donor covered the £3m public liability insurance that was also demanded.

This was in case a veteran fell over and injured a member of the public.

But that was not all, greed and profit reared its ugly head and service went out of the window along with good will as far as the management of the Spa Complex were concerned. Whilst the junior staff were ever helpful, this cannot be said of the management in recent years. Three years ago a per capita per head of members attending was imposed and was not mentioned or contained in the agreement reached five years previously. Last year we were informed that from 2013 a levy of £1000 would be made an increase of over 300 per cent. Enough was enough and after consultation with members it was regretfully decided that we would have to up anchor and leave Scarborough even though it had become something of a second home to us over those 22 years.

So, on Sunday September 13 we held our last memorial service in St Martin-on-the-Hill and then the Sea Cadets of Scarborough joined us in our last march past where the salute was taken by your mayor accompanied by our president commodore sutermeister and myself. The Sea Cadet Band of Harrogate Sea Cadets led the parade.

So, the next day we packed our bags, lashed up our hammocks and set sail for a new port.

It was, sadly, au revoir Scarborough and not see you all again next year.

So a resounding thank you citizens of Scarborough for your kindness and friendship during these last 22 years.

Peter Lee-Hale

Chairman

8th Destroyer Squadron Association

Mulberry Lodge

Rowde

Devizes

Wiltshire