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TenderDo any of you remember the Fleet Tender liberty boats that took us ashore in Plymouth, the Clyde, Rosyth and from the trots in Portsmouth?. Very distinctive in profile and heavy with a thumping big engine and a lovely warm galley where the crew sometimes let you linger on really cold night trips. There are, I think two remaining in service and based at Falmouth, but the others have all be sold or disposed of. Of those sold, there is one based in Bristol and she was one of 4 commissioned and flew the White Ensign. The remainder were manned by the Port Auxiliary Service (PAS), some of us can remember that!, which then became the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) and now contracted out to Serco. The vessel in Bristol is the MV Pride of Bristol, once HMS Messina based at Royal Marines Poole. She is run by the Pride of Bristol Trust (facebook or a rather dated www.prideofbristoltrust.org), a charitable Trust whose aims are to provide a seagoing experience to all members of the community in and around Bristol. The vessel is certified under the MCA, so subject to survey etc and also requires certification for key members of the crew.

Read more: Remember These?

Published on Sunday, 17 March 2019 11:22

calendarAvailable to download, the RFA Association print it yourself calendar for 2019, it is free and feel free to pass it on to your friends.

Download it here :-

icon 2019 RFAA Calendar (1.85 MB 2018-11-28 13:05:25)







Published on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 13:08


Sitrep 1, Funeral Arrangements.

It is with so much sadness I report that Senior Radio Officer John F Harper RFA(Retd) and member 0037 Crossed the Bar on Friday 27th July 2018 aged 89 . I have no more details at the moment but have been in contact with his step-daughter Joanna who will keep me informed and I will sitrep this page when appropriate. (My thanks also to Michael (Rupert) Hannen for the heads up)

John's funeral will take place at at 1.15pm on Wednesday 8th August at Porchester Crematorium, North Chapel (HERE for their website and HERE for a map), Colleagues and old shipmates will be most welcome to attend and will be invited back by the family for refreshments afterwards.

Family flowers only but donations in lieu and if desired should be made to the RFA Association. The collection will be co-ordinated by the Funeral Directors (see below)

The arrangements for the funeral and cremation are being made by Freemantles of Titchfield (HERE for their website and HERE for a map)

 harperOn behalf of the RFA Association I offer our sincere condolences to DiDi, his widow, son Mark and step children Chris, Richard and Joanna.

If you have any remembrances of John please email it to me at captain.pat@rfa-association.org.uk and I will post them on this page. I am also looking for photographs of Johnl  for this piece and the RFA Association Gallery and Archive, If you have one please email it to me.

Tributes and Remembrances:-

Stuart Pearce Chairman of the Solent Branch writes:-

Very sad to hear of the passing of John Harper.  First sailed with John on the Fort Sandusky circa 1963. We were together for nearly a year long trips in those days, joining in UK then to the Far East around the Cape.  Were in Mombasa for Kenya Independence, then the empty out of RNAD at Mombasa. Our cabins were next to each other so group morning coffee meetings were the norm, with the occasional tot in the coffee to kill the taste of the water!!!  We remained good friends as we lived not far apart.  He was regular attender at RFAA social gatherings until the curse of dementia took over.  I have very fond memories of John as a friend and colleague RIP John.  Picture driving in Malaya John, me, and Robbie Robinson AFS.  note the lovely Ford Consul.
Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2018 11:24

The RFA Reunion 2019 will be held at the Radison Blu Hotel Durham on 11th May 2019 and I would suggest that you book your room in the Radison Blu soon as I am told they are filling up. I booked today (23 Oct) and I was quoted £145 for a double occupancy room for 1 night and £9 parking for 24 Hours.

The Radison Blu Durham.

Have as shufti HERE for their website with all their contact details and also details about the rooms other facilities etc and HERE for a map which does show the location of the Radison Blu and other hotels close by.

Durham Taxis have fare calculator (have a shufti HERE) and according to this the fare from Durham Railway station to the Radison Blu should be about £3.60 (don't quote me)

As more details become available regarding the Reunion and of course the AGM I will post it to this page.



Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2018 15:45


The 56th Annual RFA Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Waterlooville Golf Club, at Cowplain, nr Portsmouth, PO8 8AP, on Thursday 05th July 2018. This year we have Cammell Laird Shipyard as the main sponsor with ever generous support from Portland Port Ltd, Seaking International, MLS Overseas IPS, A&P Group, P&S Automation and Trimline Ltd, and other sponsors who have donated prizes. With their help, the total cost for the day will be Forty Five Pounds; green fees will again be subsidised, a breakfast bap, coffee, dinner and prizes provided will be inclusive in the price. You will also be able to bid by sealed envelope for two tickets to a black tie dinner at Skinners Hall to be held by the Worshipful Company of Fuellers on Tuesday 16th October. Proceeds will go to our nominated registered charity (RC 1083950).

Read more: The 56th Annual RFA Golf Tournament

Published on Saturday, 26 May 2018 10:23