Once a Marine always a Marine

Hello and welcome to my blog.
My name is Chris and I took over the running of the Wolverhampton Branch of the RMA a few years back as it was on a free fall into obscurity. I wanted the branch to succeed for a range of reasons all of which I think are the right ones.

Who wants to join the Wolverhampton Branch of the Royal Marines Association? I continually asked myself. The answer was painfully obvious; no one.

It was always a one foot in the past club with no plan for the future. After much talking, reading and experimenting I had a plan to shake things up and rebooted into a newer format.

The RMA was always a unique club for all people connected to the Royal Marines in any way but it needed modernising in the way it looked, what it did and how it recruited new members.

Like all associations, you get out of it what you put in and as much as the few members enjoyed the experience it did not have the diversity to meet the need for which it is set up.

At Wolverhampton we are developing a one stop shop style of branch which caters for anyone eligible to join. The one stop shop approach is to enable the branch to deliver everything from social and welfare activities to fundraising, outdoor, health and sports, links with Cadets and the serving Corps all done with fun and humour. We have literally brought the Commando ethos into the branch.

We decided that only meeting once a month was not enough contact so a virtual branch on facebook was put in place to maintain communication between members and raise our visibility.

More later, but please get in touch with me anytime and I will give you details of membership, or look on our website or the royalmarinesassociation.co.uk website.

Monday, 22 December 2014

A new start

I've taken the decision to carry on with this blog which I had abandoned in 2010, it was at the time I had lost hope of this branch ever surviving, and the reason I'm doing it is that by giving my accounts of what's happening it may help either myself or others when reviewing this.

December the 19th 2014 was the last mess meeting of the branch year, it was a big success as at last we had attracted 4 new members in 2 months.  I count everything to do with the RMA in months as that is the time between mess meets.  One guy got in touch via linkedin, two from an event raising funds for the RMA at a supermarket and 1 from a chance encounter at the Remembrance Parade in Wolverhampton.  Although I said it was a success it all seemed purely by chance, and I am thinking already whether luck will stay with me.

One other surprising thing that has made me a little subdued is how do I hang on to these people.  Recruit and retain is top priority for the branch but I have no committee to carry the load and I'm feeling the weight of responsibility.  Wish me luck as the next mess gathering is the 16th January.  Will they turn up, I hope so.  Fail to plan, plan to fail,

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Fund Raising

I've now done two events to raise funds for the RMA and also get people to notice us with a view to joining.  It was a lot of effort for little return especially the Wolverhampton Show, I think most charities there had a moan and quite right too. 

The council organisers need to understand that fundraising for the community needs, helps tremendously, please don't abandon us to an area far removed from the public.  I'm sure the money raised by the business stalls helped some way to filling the much impoverished council coffers but give us a chance next year and integrate us a bit more.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Exe Estuary Run

Had a great weekend last week, the weather was hot and great for camping which we hadn't done for a couple of years.  Met up with some guys from the Stourbridge Branch RMA and did the first fundraising run with them along the new path from Exmouth railway station to the Commando Training Centre.  Most had a guided tour of the camp after but I had to run back because the car was on a limited time ticket.

We are still collecting cash from sponsors and all money will go to helping our wounded.

During the weekend I tracked down and met an old oppo and needless to say the beer flowed as much as the catching up.  It's amazing how much the memory fades but the stories flooded back.  So all in all, great weather a great run and smashing to meet up with Scouse again even though he has lost his accent and gain some sort of janner/scouse speak.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Facebook | Christopher Townsend

Facebook Christopher Townsend
Facebook Royal Marines Association City of Wolverhampton Branch
Facebook Royal Marines Association Midlands Region
Facebook Help our Wounded

Friday, 30 April 2010

Finding old mates

I know I have had some strange looks about introducing social networking to the members but I am really pleased that two old mates from our RM days have contacted me via our website.  the last time I saw them was 32 years ago, and it was fantastic to chat with them.  Both will be at the Reunion, CTCRM and that event should be attended by every former Royal.

Chris Townsend





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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Royal Marines sacked over wellie beating

A Captain and Sergeant of marines were sacked after hitting a captured Afghan who may have been part of a team planting an IED. Strangley enough when turned over to the Afghan Police the alledged bomber disappeared.

Is anyone as confused and incenced as me?

Two exceptional soldiers are now on the scrapheap with very fragile futures, is this right?

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Do you want know where your nearest RMA Branch is?

If you want to know more about the RMA take a look at www.royalmarinesassociation.co.uk all the regions, branches and contact details are there.

If you want to look at our website it is www.rmawton.org.uk