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Selection of photos from the Portsmouth Reunion
Final Guest List

PRELIMINARY DETAILS
BI REUNION PORTSMOUTH 1 - 3 OCTOBER 2004

It's some years since a reunion was held in the south of England - in Fareham in 1998 to be exact - so a return visit seems timely. Having considered several towns along the coast, we decided on Portsmouth for 2004, with which I'm sure many of you will be familiar. The waterfront is delightful and a major attraction is the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. The town centre, seafront, Gunwharf Quays and Port Solent Marina are also nearby.

More importantly, we found a suitable hotel in the Marriott, where the main events are to be held. It is situated just off junction 12 of the M27. The Marriott has excellent facilities, a good sized function room seating up to 240, and an attractive bar and lounge area which is likely to be very popular as a social centre throughout the weekend. There is free parking for 220 cars.

The events we organised over the weekend in Bristol in 2002 all proved to be popular and people seemed to appreciate the extra time available to spend with friends. I've enclosed the guest list which we thought would be of interest to those of you who have never attended a reunion or who couldn't get to Bristol. We're organising similar events in 2004, namely a boat trip round Portsmouth harbour on Saturday, followed by the reunion dinner at the hotel in the evening. On Sunday there will be the traditional BI curry lunch without which any reunion would not be complete. We also hope to arrange a Friday evening informal 'Ice Breaker' and, by tapping into local knowledge, we have found The Mermaid in Port Solent. If you're interested in the boat trip and ice breaker please indicate numbers in the appropriate boxes on the attached booking form. We'll confirm all the arrangements in the final letter in June.

The hotel has reserved 40 rooms on Friday and 80 on Saturday evening at negotiated rates of 80.00 for double and 70.00 for single occupancy for BI guests. Reservations can now be made with the hotel. We would suggest you book in good time, and be sure to quote "BI Reunion" to get the these rates.

There is alternative accommodation to be had right next door to the Marriott, at the Travel Inn. When we called in earlier this year the room rate was 45.00. Tel: 08701 977213.

As in 2002 it has been decided to charge for all the events on a strictly net cost basis and levy a small fixed non-refundable booking fee of 5.00 per head to cover the expenses of postage, telephones and stationary etc. In this way the reunion's finances are completely transparent and this method should minimise the possibility of anyone being out of pocket.

As numbers rise with successive reunions it can be a problem finding a suitable hotel in an area that is likely to appeal to visitors. The hotel in Bristol was ideal in many ways and although the Portsmouth Marriott is not comparable in size we liked its friendly atmosphere. The Portsmouth reunion is likely to be very popular with so many people living within easy reach but dinner numbers must be limited to 240. Therefore I would encourage you to book in good time to avoid disappointment. If you are intending to join us please complete the BI Reunion Booking Form (whether or not you intend to stay at the Marriott!) and return it to me with your deposit of 25.00 (which includes the booking fee) per person as soon as possible. Please make cheques payable to "BI Reunion" - anything else causes problems. The final date for payment of the balances will be 30 July 2004, after which I cannot guarantee to be able to make any refunds because the hotel requires payment in advance. I will send out a final reminder in June.

Many of you may not yet be aware of the existence of a website devoted to all things BI. There's a discussion group for former BI staff which, with over 300 members, is flourishing. This online forum is a permanent extension of the regular reunions held around the world, details of which appear on the Events pages. Discussion is lively and covers many topics dear to the hearts of BI people, including ships, friends and old shipmates, reminiscences, food and the like. It's a great way for a far-flung group like the BI crowd to stay in touch. The website is run by John Prescott and he would be delighted to hear from you. To find out more visit www.biship.com.

To keep our postage costs down in future (and irrespective of whether or not you want to book for 2004) if you have an email facility will you please send an email to mail@johnmspence.co.uk with the words "BI email address" as the subject. We will then use that address to keep in touch with you in future.

Portsmouth reunion events
Downloadable booking form

 

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