Over the past few weeks I have been in communication with the NMA Events Coordinator Claire Pickess regards the marquee hire for the 23rd June 2018. Claire contacted us to say the marquee had been double booked for Saturday 23rd June next year and it was no longer available. (The Parachute Regiment had booked it first in July this year to cater for 400 to 500 members). Claire has sincerely apologised for this mistake and has offered 3 options.

Copy of Claire’s email is below.

Hi Phil,

I can confirm pricing as follows for the options stated below:


Room Hire (Inc. VAT)


2 sections of the marquee in-situ on Sunday 24th June.



Founders’ Room plus a wet weather cover marquee covering the terrace immediately outside the Founders’ Room.



A marquee structure for up to 150 guests to be located in the grounds of the Arboretum (location to be agreed)


One other thing to consider is that ancillary space on Saturday 23rd will be limited, i.e. for band changing etc. due to the event already booked. We would also need to ensure that your timings for catering differ to the other event so that we could ensure the best possible service for your guests. We will however do our best to make this work for you if options 2 or 3 above are your preferred choice.

I will await your decision but in the meantime please do give me a call or arrange to pop in if you would like to discuss.

Kind regards


On Tuesday 7th November I went over to the NMA to view option 2; unfortunately some tables would be outside (under a canopy/marquee) and some tables would be inside the Founders Room…..Also the cost?

Claire Pickess again apologised and said they were trying to meet our needs but would prefer for us to have the dedication service and RAFP 100 on another day, hence their option 1.

Lastly, in my meeting with Claire I questioned the possibility of our event being held on the Friday 22nd June, she confirmed the marquee would be available and I negotiated a discount of 200 bringing the cost down to 1000. This being option 4. Yesterday I made one last phone call to Claire regards any further discount; I received an email last Friday morning with an offer of 50% off the cost of the marquee hire. (A saving of 600) The consensus with the Association Officers, Memorial Committee members and the PM’s WO Franklyn Green was to have the event on Friday 22nd June.

On Friday 10th November I booked the NMA for Friday 22nd June 2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I know this is not ideal as we have always had the dedication service on the 23rd June regardless of the day. However, I feel if we were to have the event on the same day as the Parachute Regiment the NMA may well be overwhelmed which could risk the success of our Dedication Service and RAFP 100 celebrations.

Yours in fellowship

EMB Secretary

Philip E Fitchett