Newsletter, Dec 2010


Shipmates and Ladies

I’m sorry that this is late in the year but our reunion in Durham has been cancelled. It would appear that Durham does not want us. I have had some assistance from the RNA in Darlington and Durham and unfortunately there were no suitable hotels which could accommodate our reunion. The University offered some student accommodation and we had also been offered a castle but this was lacking basic toilet facilities on the same floor and this was not suitable.

Having spoken to Robert I have introduced Plan B. I have now booked a hotel in Birmingham. In August I received a telephone call from Smethwick Heritage Centre. It transpires that during the war the people of Smethwick raised over one million pounds in just one week to help build the Hermione. For such a small town this was an amazing feat.

This information came to light after the ships crest was found in the cellar of an old town house.

Chris Sutton a member of the Heritage Trust did some research and that’s where we came in. After this revelation Peter Robinson, Eddie Phillips and myself went to Smethwick to find out more and to establish a bond.I presented them with a photo of the ship which they didn’t have and also a model of the ship and they were overjoyed. So as for Plan B the hotel I am looking at is close to the city centre so we can pay a visit and we can see what some volunteers have really achieved. For those with a sweet tooth a trip to Cadbury’s world will be arranged should you wish to go. The hotel is small and it is holding 35 rooms for us so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Please advise them you are staying for The Hermione Association Reunion. The hotel is called The Plough and Harrow Hotel. The telephone number is 0121 454 4111 and the email address is

So apologies for the late cancellation of Durham but I think we will have a good weekend in Birmingham.

Sad Loss

I am also sorry to bring the news to you that Captain Tom Ram has passed away. I received a call from Robert in September and he advised he would be unable to attend his funeral. I agreed to go and advised I would see who else locally would be available. Having tried a dozen shipmates over a 24 hour period I was only able to reach Barry Calver who was available to attend the funeral to
represent the association. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to attend myself. A huge thank you to Barry on behalf of the association.

For those who didn’t know Tom Ram he was the first skipper of Hermione but he never managed the full commission due to family problems and he had to return home due to family issues. That’s when Mike Howitt took command. I learnt from Robert that Tom had suffered for years from Parkinson’s Disease and this is why he was unable to attend our reunions. Rest in peace Tom.

Reunion Lichfield 2010

For those who didn’t attend the reunion at Lichfield you missed a good weekend in relation to company and the weather! We had a great day at The National Servicemen Memorial, golf buggies were provided to assist in travelling around the site to ensure the visit was enjoyed. The hotel was friendly but there was a little snag over late bookings so there was no room left in the inn. It’s a good job it wasn’t Christmas!

The hotel owner could not do enough for us so at dinner on Saturday night we presented him with a photo of the ship. I will provide further details of the reunion which we intend to have in Malta 2012 next year. However, I can advise that Heroes return will not fund the trip as this will have expired. I have an alternative avenue to try and further details will be provided next year.

Steve presenting the photo

HMS Hermione Plaque

Members at the National Servicemen Memorial 2010

Contact details

For those of us on the internet you will see that things are starting to move with regards to our new website and with this it should stay in date. Next year I want to have all the email addresses for those who have one as I want to try and reduce the cost of the newsletter and postage. Please if you have an email address either advise me by email or send me or Trevor Penfold a note through the post.

Website News

Please also be advised that Mark Borland is now taking care of the website so should you wish to add anything please contact him directly.Also Lucy Courtney is doing the newsletters from now on so thank you Lucy this is a big help and allows me to do other things. It would be beneficial to send all newsletters by email. However, for those who do not have access to email you can check the website or continue to receive a copy via the post. Please advise on which method you would like to receive it by. Well that’s about it for now so please keep in touch via the website or telephone should you need any information. On behalf of the Domestic Engineer and myself I would like to wish you and your’s a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hope to see you all soon!

Yours Aye,
Steve Brotherton

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