june 2008
No venue available 5 days before the event
What a fantastic weekend! One of the best! And to think, it nearly didn’t take place. The whole June convention was threatened by a “misunderstanding” with the Winter Gardens people and for this, the June Convention of the GFS we had no venue and we didn’t find out this startling fact until 5 days before the weekend was to take place. In that short space of time we had found a new venue, notified over 900 UK based members of the change by post and launched what turned out to be one of the best GFS weekends in years! Even though the sun shone throughout the weekend, the members stayed faithful to the convention and the Welbreck Suite within the Savoy Hotel was packed for most of the Saturday and Sunday of the June 2008 convention. Some great entertainers certainly made the weekend complete and gave everyone happy memories to take home with them After all the problems we had faced in getting the weekend underway, there was some concern that owing to the fuel crisis we might be playing to a empty room but the members traveled from far and wide and it was one of the best turnouts in recent memory. Our resident band with the addition of Martin Selman who supported Tony Thornton on bass stuck to their task even though the room was very hot (no air conditioning) but Chris Weightman, Tony Thornton, Dale Norman and Martin S did a superb job. Memorable moments included a fantastic performance from Andy Eastwood who took time out from his nation-wide tour of “We’ll Meet Again” to be with us just for Saturday afternoon. Martin Harrison did a great job as Saturday evening MC as well entertaining as only he can with a couple of Formby favourites. Frances Terry received great applause for her performance and costume change, the seagull was a winner!

Riverdance still on beach

Still laying on the beach but shrinking by the day as the scrapping team continue to work on the removal. The scrapping of Riverdance was carried out by Hancock's, with initial work to remove the remaining fuel, oil and cargo from the vessel. Hancock's took control of the site on 14 April 2008. Contractors inspected the Moondance, her sister ship, to get an idea of the general construction of the vessel. Dismantling plans included some night working, to the dismay of some local residents. Work commenced in the week beginning 29 April 2008, with an estimated completion date of "the end of June". By early May the work was underway, with the removal of handrails and the funnel to enable easier access to the interior. The initial phase of the demolition was expected to take four or five weeks.  2008 with the wreck reduced to the level of the beach by 10 October 2008.