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“Apart from a good breakfast, once a month, it’s good opportunity to meet other ex-servicemen”

Orkney Armed Forces’ and Veterans’ Breakfast Club – 27th May 2023

A gathering of mostly men but one or two women round a T shaped table layout enjoying a huge breakfast
Members of the Orkney Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club enjoying the food at the Stromness Hotel during their monthly get together. Image credit: Adrian Hughes

May’s gathering of ex-servicemen and women, for their monthly breakfast, took place over the weekend at the Stromness Hotel, where Head Chef, Vanessa cooked them a veritable feast to mark the occasion; so much more than the usual, “Full Scottish”.

The Orkney Armed Forces’ and Veterans’ Breakfast Club are a group of Veterans of all three services who come together on the last Saturday of each month, at various locations around Orkney, just to meet, eat and enjoy other’s company.

One regular attendee is RAF veteran, Phil Taylor. He’s been a breakfaster for five or six years, along with his Orcadian wife, Heather. Family members are also welcomed. Looking for somewhere, “More peaceful to live”, he came from Manchester to Orkney about about thirty years ago and these days he’s a Harbours Electrician for Orkney Islands Council, based at Scapa. Amongst other things, he can be found keeping the buoys operational, but during his time in the Air Force he found himself as far away as the Falkland Islands:

“I joined the RAF in 1983 as a Ground Electrician and basically, I worked on anything electrical that didn’t fly”.

Phil was also part of a team that set up RAF MOLESWORTH in Cambridgeshire, when it became a US Air Force cruise missile base in the early 1980s. This was very controversial at the time and, along with Greenham Common, was the focus for a lot of intense protest, which a young Phil witnessed at close quarters.

Nearly 40 years later, Phil and Heather are stalwarts of the breakfast club, seldom missing from the line-up:

Main picture is of Phil Taylor as he and other veterans help themselves to breakfast at the Stromness Hotel
RAF Veteran Phil Taylor getting his breakfast at the Stromness Hotel Image credit Adrian Hughes

“Apart from a good breakfast, once a month, it’s good opportunity to meet other ex-servicemen; an excuse to get people out, doing something on a Saturday morning and get people talking, which I think is important”

Saturday’s breakfast at the Stromness Hotel was enjoyed by all the Veterans, their founding member, Simon Brodie, describing it as, “Awesome”.

“As well as Chef Vanessa, we’d like to thank manager Christine for the brilliant service and name check her team, Ian and Ebenezer, who looked after us so well. We don’t usually go out of our way to plug the places we eat at, but these guys really deserve it. They went the extra mile for us, so we’ll definitely be going back”

If you are an ex-serviceman or woman, or a member of their immediate family, you’re welcome to join “The Orkney Armed Forces’ and Veterans’ Breakfast Club” each month.

Current members of the armed forces, Regulars and Reserves are also most welcome, along with those who serve, or have served, any other country. There’s no admin fees or paperwork; the only thing you pay for is your Breakfast, which runs from 0930 – 1100 (ish). More details are available on the group’s Facebook page or you can call or email Simon on: 07909 640884. orkneyveransbreakfastclub@outlook.com.

The date of the next breakfast is Saturday 24th June. Unusually, the location is yet to be confirmed, but keep an eye on their Facebook page where it will be announced, soon. Wherever it happens, please come along and say hello; you’re sure to be welcomed.

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