Thirty Brethren, wives and friends of the Somerset Installed Commanders Lodge led by their Worshipful Commander Bryan Foster boarded the Motor Vessel Balmoral at Clevedon Pier on a sun soaked Sunday in August at the start of an unusual voyage to Avonmouth and then up the River Avon and eventually into the Inner Dock (Alongside the SS Great Britain) of the regenerated Bristol Dock project.

After passing under the Clifton Suspension Bridge the vessel entered the Lock separating the Docks from the River. When Balmoral was safely tied up the traffic on the Cumberland basin swing bridge was halted and the bridge was swung through 90 degrees to permit Balmoral to enter the Inner Dock where she was turned around with the help of a small tug to make her way back to Clevedon. On her return voyage MV Balmoral was a spectacular site for Sunday strollers who gathered to see her pass by together with a multitude of car horns when she sailed alongside the road.

A magical day was had by all, click on the Pier to see Barrie Baker's photos of the day out.

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We are indebted to Ian Strickland for providing this photo of Barrie (the photo) Baker and John (on yer bike) Lendon, taken as the Balmoral cruised up the Avon Gorge. They are obviously deep in conversation about the meaning of life or something equally important, "wonder what we are having for lunch" perhaps?
The Commanders Lodge meet twice a year at Wedmore and is open to all Past Installed Commanders although any Royal Ark Mariner is welcome to attend our meeting. At our last Installation meeting RWBro David James the Provincial Grand Master of Monmouth gave a short talk in his customary manner and at our September meeting Brother the Reverend Steven Hawkins who is the vicar of St Martin’s Church in the Diocese of Bristol, gave a short talk entitled ‘Ark at ‘e Noah’ Chosen from Adge Cutler’s famous song ‘Ark at ‘e Jacko’
A talk centred on Noah -who he was and what, as Royal Ark Mariners, we can learn from him. If any Brother requires further Information about the Installed Commanders Lodge please email the Scribe Barrie Baker
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