Coldstream Guards Association
Middlesbrough and District
Reunion Events

St. George's Dinner 2013

Our annual St. George's Dinner held on the 20th of April was a very special event, it was enhanced by the first visit to the Branch by the incumbent
Colonel Of the Regiment Lt. General JJS Bucknall KCB CBE, accompanied by the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Brigadier Bibby CBE.
The third member of their party was Mr. Adam Sinclair the MD of Mulberry Hall York and sponsor of the 'Coldstream Cup'.
This annual race ran on the York course is the highlight of our Regimental calendar, gathering together Coldstreamers from far and wide to enjoy the
company of their comrades in the brilliant setting of York racecourse, for this support we are greatly indebted to Adam Sinclair.
From the Regiment we had WO2 Coy.Lee Westerman, it is always a pleasure to have Lee in attendance, a Boro Boy who is now CSM No.1 Coy.
and a good loyal friend to the Branch. Accompanying Lee was another local boy Sgt. Mulgrew...Also attending Major Smith ( retired) Coldstreamer.
One of our guest speakers was Major Mark Simpson from the Royal Engineers, in the same company Sapper Craig Simpson RE.
son of another staunch branch member Paul Simpson former Royal Marine, another regular guest was Cpl. Jamie Rose RAF.
Thanks must go to Tony Berniston for his brilliant table 'Warfare' display, it gets bigger every year,
who would need a Chairman when you have a 50 cal on the Table

  Warfare Display from Tony Berniston Collection.  

To celebrate our evening we were also joined by John Hamore and Dave Jelly, Hon. Sec. and Chairman of Leicester Branch plus John Mark Hon. Sec.
of Ashington Branch plus representatives from numerous organizations, including our friend John Welch, former Sgt. in the Coldstream Guards and
Chairman of the British Legion at his home in the Cotswolds. John is a great friend of the Branch and was with us to entertain our company
with his own brand of 'After Dinner' speeches.
This was to be his final performance before retiring. We were honoured, for John's reputation is world wide and has appeared before
many the Crowned Heads of the Middle East, as well as orator for a plethora of international Companies.

LtoR Mannie Cook. The President and John Welsh
John Amore and Mannie Cook

With all our guests in place our Hon. Sec. Manny Cook pronounced 'Grace' before seating the company down to our traditional
'Beef' Dinner, as alway's exceptional. The Marton Country Club has been our 'home' for many years and during those years we have held many events
with outstanding results, we are indebted to the setting's and standard of catering which are 'Second to None'

Our President Major Mark Chetwynd Talbot read a congratulation message from Her Majesty and proposed the Loyal Toast.
He then intruoduced the General and all the other senior Guests, he never fails to mention the junior visitors and those from other Regiments,
which makes them feel welcome and 'At Home,'

Tony  Berniston & T.M Robertson  
The famous John Welch
John Welch and John Mark

After coffee the Chairman John Ferguson introducted Major Mark Simpson RE who gave a fascinating account of his experiences with the 'Bomb Squad' and the development of the operators skills in Afghanistan, so explicit in his experience of his operative's 'just doing the job'.
He finished by proposing the Toast, the company stood and gave a rousing 'England and St. George.

The Chairman then called upon General Bucknall to give his summary of the current standing of the Regiment and the future plans.
The General gave a detailed account of operations to date and what the Regiment might expect in the future,
dispite the uncertaity of the outlook, the Regiment was in good heart and looking forward to the future.

  Peter Ord
John Amour, Dave Jelly and  Steven Ward, former Drum Major  

The Chairman then called upon our great friend 'John Welsh' to ertertain us wit his final performance, he did so with humor and laughter and showed us why he had been voted in the 'Top Ten of After Dinner Speakers' he finished his final, asking the members to raise their glasses and toast..
'The Regiment and the Association'
He sat down to a 'Standing Ovation.' for a true outstanding Coldstreamer.
The brilliant evening concluded with a well deserved Certificate of Merit presented to Frank Gilchrist
and 'Crystal' presentations to General Bucknall, Major Simpson and Mr John Welsh.

  Mannnie & Ronnie with Major Simpson and  Sapper Criag Simpson
L to R. General Bucknall, Mr President , Bigadier Bibby  

The evening finished with our traditional raffle and The General visiting every member around the table, to introduce himself and have a chat.
That was really appreciated by all present, we then retired to the Bar till the 'wee' hours.

We wish to express our thanks to all concerned, but especially to our Hon. Sec,. Mannie Cook, who dispite being rather poorly,
refused to rest, produced all the menus, table placings and all the other jobs only he could do.
Mr Secretary...Mr Mannie Cook.. Thank You... We are indepted

If there is any photo's taken om the evening and you wish to see them displayed on this page. please send them to

2012 Dinner Dance

This year was rather special in the Middlesbrough Branch, not only did we reach our 80th Birthday in 2011, but we have now reached our 60th Anniversary
for our mixed Regimental Dinners. It took a good number of years to reward our ladies for their help and support to their Coldstream husbands and partners.
We have kept much the same format over the years for our Dinner Dance, mainly an excellent Dinner, a plethora of dancing to suit all ages and a donated raffle.
On Saturday we sat eighty eight members, friends and families down to a splendid Dinner.
Amongst our guests we were delighted to have Mr. Ken Pearson with his partner. Ken served in the 2nd Bt. in the early sixties and at this present time is once again the Mayor of Eglington, Doncaster. He has held this post in the past and has been re-appointed by popular vote.
We also welcomed Manny Mercer and his wife Patrica from York, one of our regular attendees.

The meal was a Vegetable soup starter, followed by an excellent Roast Beef main course, a bumptious Chocolate Gateux, followed by
Cheese and Biscuits, .finishing with Coffee and Mints.
The Chairman John Ferguson requested that our attending Vice President Malcolm Finkill to welcome the Guests.
Taking his place at the Stage he welcomed all the guests old and new and explained that they were attending the 60th Dinner Dance and they had the gratitude of all the members for their tremendous support over many years.
He then requested that they be upstanding to toast the health of our Colonel in-Chief
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

The numerous donated raffle prizes were then drawn with much interjection and a final thank you for our Chairman Fergusson and Hon Sec Mannie Cook.
And so it was on with the music.

With grateful thanks to all our Members and Guests
who supported our annual Dinner Dance 2012

St. Georges Dinner 2011

Gentlemen. My apologies for this late report, I must have enjoyed it that much I forgot to write my usual report.
It was the day we celebrated our 80th Anniversary and as usual a lot went into the preparation of concert room at the
Marton Hotel & Country Club.

While our Chairman John Ferguson, myself and the committee set to organising the seating arrangements,
branch member Tony Bernistone was in the middle of the tables setting up one of his brilliant military centre's,
a unique display of military equipment.
Unfortunately the armoured car was too big.
Yes! he has one of those too.

Everything in place the room looked a real treat with the blue/red/blue napkins adding the finishing touch.
It was to be a special night for us because our Regimental guest was Brigadier GK Bibby MBE CBE the man
who was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards when fifteen members of the Middlesbrough Branch
journeyed to Northern Ireland to visit the battalion, and where we had a great time.
V/P Mac Finkill marched our guests into the music of 'Milanollo'
With everyone at their place I was called upon by Chairman John Ferguson to say grace

Once again we were waited upon with timing and precision by the catering staff of the hotel under the watchful eye of Rita the duty manageress,
I'm sure at sometime she has served in the armed forces.
With the meal over and the sweet dishes cleared it was time for the first of the speeches as our President Major Chetwynd-Talbot took the floor,
to read Her Majesty's letter and give the Loyal toast.
While on his feet he continued and welcomed our guests along with Brigadier Bibby MBE CBE we had CQMS Lee Westerman.
Former WO1 RSM Tony Fox, former Drill Sergeant Dec Donaghy and WOI RSM Jon Hutchinson of the RMP TA.
A Sergeant and Corporal from 16 Tank Transporter Squadron a young Sapper from the Royal Engineers.

He concluded by introducing a gentleman who has become a great friend of the branch former 3rd Battalion Sergeant, John Welch.
After a short break, it was the turn of Tony Fox who had been called upon at the last moment to propose England and St George.
The response given by Brigadier Bibby MBE CBE who remarked that it was lovely to be among old friends of the Middlesbrough branch and relating to our visit to Northern Ireland before updating us on Regimental matters.

Finally to the world famous 'After Dinner' Speaker, Mr John Welch, who was to propose The Regiment and the Association.
He keeps telling me he is now retired but keeps bouncing back,
I can tell you gentlemen, if ever you want a successful conclusion to your dinner then you need John Welch, he was absolutely brilliant.
I was looking around the room while he was speaking and everyone was in stitches with laughter, including Brigadier Bibby.
What a climax to an excellent evening as John finally proposed The Regiment and the Association.
The Presentations were made by our President; Major Mark Chetwynd Talbot firstly to Brigadier Bibby of a framed Household Division Emblazon, next came John Welch who received a painting of himself of himself. Then to Tony Fox who received a brass Coldstream Star.
Malcolm Winspear received a Certificate of Merit and finally the Sergeant and Corporal from 16 Tanks presented the President with a Regimental Shield from their Squadron.

Mannie Cook

Coldstream Cup York Races

Time certainly flies when you're the secretary of a busy branch of the Association, here I was again preparing for the gathering of the Association members at the Knavesmire, better known as York Racecourse.
A coach full of members, wives and guests left the Marton Hotel and Country Club on an overcast Saturday hoping for a good days racing.
On arriving at the course I met up with the members of the recruiting team who would be helping me to keep the Sportsman's Bar exclusively for the members of the Association and those with guest tickets.
We were guided to the Melrose stand, where the two Guardsmen, Banfield and Fry changed into home service dress and quickly made Two Sentriestheir way to stand outside the Sportsman's bar.Recruiting Team
The Regimental Flag and my Branch Standard flew from the flag poles outside the bar.
The room was filling up quickly throughout the day, and many known faces were appearing,
the Secretaries of Liverpool, Sunderland and York, big Tony Ormiston, Alan Mason and Ernie Sawdon respectively.
It was good to see RQMS Dave Roffey making the effort from the battalion once again, and I met up with the two recruiting Sergeants Bacus and Bramble.
Later in the day they would lead the winning horse of the association Cup into the winners enclosure.
We had a visit from a former jockey and now course tipster to give us the rundown on what to and not back in each race, I will give him his due he did tip an 8/1 winner.
Captain Billy Matthews paid an early visit to the room to ensure things were running smoothly.
We also had visits from the Officer Commanding the Household Division, Major General William Cubitt CBE who would be presenting the |Coldstream association Cup to the winning owner.
Brigadier R J S Wardle OBE DL and also the Middlesbrough Branch President, Major M P Chetwynd Talbot werer also in attendence.. Throughout the day the Regimental Band who where sited in a band stand near the main entrance played various tunes.
So the day went on with old comrades meeting up and telling stories of yesteryear at one time you couldn't swing a cat round it was 'Manny' Mercer & 'Mac'Finkillshoulder to shoulder stuff.
The time came for our race as the horses entered the parade ring, with two withdrawals it left a field of eighteenTony Ormiston with Recruitors runners.
I was stood by with the two recruiting sergeants who were busy posing for photographs with anybody who asked.
The race was off on time and I escorted the two Sergeants to a spot where they would meet with the winning horse.
The race over and the winning horse No1 Tepmokea was smartly led to the winning unsaddling point by the two sergeants who then flanked the rostrum for the presentation.
Four Coldstream trumpeters entered the enclosure and sounded a fanfare and Major General Cubitt presented the Coldstream Association Recruitors taking up EscortsCup to the representative of the winning owners 'Keep Racing'.
It now it was time for the Regimental Band to enter the arena and play us out with some resounding music and toFanfare for the Winner close the years racing at York.
The Coldstream Guards Sweepstakes Result:
1st Tepmokea.... 2nd Pertemps Network...3rd Kathleen Francis.. 4th Lesling Taylor.

With my thanks to the Recruiting team for their smart turnout and co-operation.
After I took charge of collecting the Flag/Standard and rail side banner from the secretaries office,
I made my way back to the coach, tired but not broke and pleased that another race day had been successful.
Presentation of the Coldstream Cup
Mannie Cook Your Racing Reporter


Chatsworth 2010

A party of members and wives from the Middlesbrough Branch left the Matron Hotel & Country Club early morning on our way to Chatsworth and the Association Day and it looked like being a warm day.
We stopped at a half way point so that our driver Dave could have his breakfast, and the party a cup of tea or coffee.
On our arrival at Chatsworth, we were slightly early so we sat in the sun until the hour of ten when the garden gates opened and then we joined the queue to gain entry and we headed straight for the grounds and took over tables and chairs near the marquees.
Members of the party had brought picnics but one member had brought bottles of Magners cider and it went down a treat (Well Done Colin).
I t was lovely to see so many old faces and friends, Manny Mercer and his lovely wife Pat from York, John Hamore, Dave Jelly Peter Coughlan from Leicester branch, Phil Hutchins from Essex branch to mention a few.
I also found a Branch serving member of No 7 Company and a Boro lad, L/Cpl Playforth.
I had only been talking to his uncle a good friend of mine a few weeks ago when he mention his nephew was serving in No 7 Company, Coldstream Guards. (It's certainly a small world).
The Colonel of the Regiment, Major General J J C Bucknall CBE paid a visit as did the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel Brigadier J J S Bourne-May.
The sun got hotter and hotter and the drinks were going down faster and faster.
We also had a fly past when a Dakota DC 3 flew overhead, people had their cameras ready but hit didn't return.
The Regimental band performed their first parade on the drive, and then they took their places under the marquee and played music conducted by the Drum Major whom I met when I arranged the first homecoming parade at Middlesbrough Football Club.
After a break they then played music conducted by the Director of Music Lieutenant Colonel G O Jones MBE.
They then retired to return full home service order and gave a marching display on the lawns to close the day.
We said our farewells and made our way to the entrance were we were met by our coach, and I must thank our driver Dave of CMC coaches for safe journeys both there and back.
Mannie Cook (Sun Burnt) Hon Secretary


Roll the cursor over the Image for Text

Saturday morning of the 11th October 2008 and I travelled to our headquarters in the Marton Hotel and Country Club to help prepare the Ballroom for our Annual Dinner Dance.
Our Chairman, John Ferguson had been up with the lark and with the help of the hotel staff had worked hard to transform the room,
all I had to do was place our now famous menu cards on the tables. I must admit the room looked a real treat with the blue. red. blue table napkins in place. 19.00hrs saw our members and their guests, arriving at the venue One hundred and Eight in total.
19.30hrs and with everyone in their place, chairman John Ferguson called upon myself to say Grace, this done we sat down to out traditional four course mea,l served brilliantly by the waitresses under the watchful eye of duty manager Rita.
The ballroom pre.dinnerOnce the coffee had been served, Chairman John Ferguson asked the company to stand, and he proposed the
Loyal Toast to Her Majesty The Queen, Colonel-in-Chief of our Regiment.
He then called upon Vice President Malcolm Finkill to say a few words of thanks, with the staff of the hotel lined up he thanked them for their wonderful service and co-operation.
He also thanked our members and guest for their attendance for without their support we would not survive. Chairman, John Ferguson, with wife Joan, son Vernon, Dau. Collette and Dau. Glenda celerbrating her 50th Birthday
In our company this evening we had our new Recruiting Sergeant, L/Sgt Marcus Bumby and his lovely wife,
also from over the water
Mick Lewis and his wife Myrna who had travelled from Northern Ireland and from Liverpool Pat Cassells and his wife Mary.
The daughter of our Chairman, Glenda and two of her friends were celebrating their birthdays, I think the balloons had 50, I might have been mistaken, but they were certainly enjoying themselves.
One of our members Tony Burnistone is a resident DJ at the hotel and he had an assistant to play dance music for the rest of the evening and I can tell you our Recruiting Sergeant Marcus can strut his stuff.
Our raffle table was a mass of prizes, most of which was donated by our members, Chairman John Ferguson and Vice Chairman Norman Wise assist by his wife Ann sold the raffle tickets, with the drum full both John and I did the draw, which seemed to go on forever
Our new Recruitor Sgt. Marcus Bumby with his lovely WifeBut hold on!, what now!; we are about to be entertained by a rock band from Scotland, none other than the Bay City Rollers.
Well! in actual fact, it was Tony Burnstone and four of his friends dressed up and miming to the music and they actually got an encore.
With the night rapidly coming to close, last orders were called, twelve of the clock struck, darn it my carriage had turned into a pumpkin again, my taxi had arrived. Tony Burnistone with his Team 'Rocking the night away'
But as I was about to leave Vice President Norman Wise stood and taking the mike remarked that he hoped everyone had enjoyed them selves and to put their hands together for two men who work hard to ensure that we had a successful night, namely John Ferguson and myself.

I acknowledged Norman's thanks I can tell you it was a tired Secretary who set off for home, but I know that some of the revellers were still going strong. So we have almost come to the end of another successful year, just one more function to arrange and that is out annual Christmas lunch, I wonder if Santa will appear again, why not come along and find out.
Mannie Cook Hon Secretary

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