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.
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
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "BI email address" as
the subject. We will then use that address to keep in touch with you