Top Table Lunches

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by SJRM_RN, Aug 3, 2013.

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  1. Having very recently attended the Top Table Lunch of a good mate of mine, who is just about to leave the RM, I got to thinking, do RN Senior Rates do the same (I must admit I have never heard of it).

    It seems a shame if they don't as it is a good way to 'go out in style' and have a brilliant afternoon with mates and comrades both serving and civilian.

    So, anyone been to a Royal Navy Top Table Lunch (or even had one themselves)?

    EDIT TO ADD: It is also customary for RM SNCOs, who have completed their time, to be issued with a 'Red Cards' which means they become a life member of the Sgt's Mess and gets them into RM camps so that they can attend the mess - is there anything similar in the RN?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2013
  2. Sadly no. Having hung around with royal engineers they do the same. Shame really.
  3. Yes RNH Gib SR's Mess used to hold Top Table Lunches for leavers, I was honoured as a non medic to be invited to a few. A very nice way of saying goodbye to friends and watching them slowly slide under the table.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  4. I had a few invitations to the Captains table but it wasn't for lunch.

    Never heard of them in the Pusser but I do know Royal does them with style.
  5. Never in the RN but often in Crab messes.
    At Aberporth 29JSTU Sea Skua Trials flight were royally treated en-mass and dined out by the mess.
    A great habit for a service which is not old enough to have traditions:compress:
  6. Yes...went to a couple Raleigh. S/rs mess committee would often hold a tt lunch.
  7. Yes, have attended more than one.
  8. Had one for my leaving do, even Polto attended ;) and attended a couple as a civvy guest. It's not standard in the pusser unlike the other services.
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  9. In 2002 Nelson WO and SR's mess used to do a termly leavers top table dinner that eligible paid up mess members could attend if they wanted to. I went to the one I qualified for and thoroughly enjoyed it and was presented with an engraved glass. Not quite the same as your own individual top table, but a nice touch Got my money's worth out of mess subs for that draft to CFM (FMG)
    One of the other leavers was a CPOCK who was a POCK on HMS Bristol when I joined it as a 17yr old JOEM in '79 !!
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  10. Went to a few at VL, it depends on the leaver, most people I know would rather have a good run ashore.
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  11. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Not in my experience, as Jack always drips about shoreside messes and mess subs. Drake mess doesn't get anywhere near the use it should get from uniformed personnel.
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  12. It is a shame for those that like such things don't get the send off that they desire and no doubt deserve, and I do think that more should be done to provide similar for RN as RM.

    Ceremony and stuff isn't for me though. I left from Raleigh after 22 in '99 having rarely used the God-awful mess and had no intention of even a pint in there on my last day. I remember strolling into the Trot half an hour after walking out of the gate and the barmaid commenting that 'today was obviously the day' due to the big grin on my face.

    Forward some four years on completion of recall FTRS (SM2/FYROM/bloody Chicksands) and having come to the end of six months notice to leave from Chicksands (hated the place with a passion) some very well-meaning two-and-a-half (can't actually remember who he was - just a nice chap) wouldn't stop banging on about me having a proper send off - a curry in Bedford seemed to be his favourite idea. He wouldn't take 'no' for an answer but the whole idea of well-meaning but patronising bullshit depressed me so much I thinned-out the night before on the quiet. Rude I know, and I still feel a bit bad about it, but I had no option.
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  13. In answer to the question, yes, pusser does do Top Table Lunches for personnel leaving the RN, although not all messes do it, I know NELSON does. I have been to quite a few of them in the past. As for "RED CARDS" the only thing I can think of in regards to Pusser is..... If you are made an "Honoury lifetime Member" of a mess you can visit anytime for drinkies, or, become an Associate Member of said mess (although the latter does require an annual subscription) apart from that, never heard of a "card" to enable you to get in and out anytime you want. (with the exception of a valid RNID Card)
  14. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    But then again, why would you want to? Once you've left just let it go. Meet up for irregular Association events or a DTSs with a few old oppos by all means, but even though I live a few miles away from Nelson, I can think of no compelling reason to want to go back to the Mess there.
  15. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Yes, I've been to a couple at Excellent. Not quite the same format as Royals - done those too. By comparison the WR affairs aren't as good IMHO.
  16. Odd that, you would have thought Royal would have called it a 'Green Card'.
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  17. Letting go is fine and most of us have done that, though there are no compelling reasons to return to the mess once one has left the service, returning to the mess can give one a nice feeling of deja vu. As an old fart returning to a mess takes years off me, it would be nice if ex matelots enjoyed the same perks as the USN of lifetime use of service establishments.
    I wouldn't use the facility very often but it would be nice to have the opportunity.
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  18. Had a TTL at Haslar when I left and got an engraved Tankard.
  19. When I left Cottesmore (RAF not HMS) I had a piss up in Stamford, the blokes on the squadron had a whip round and bought me a squadron print, a model of a historic flight swordfish and an engraved hip flask.

    However the mess took as part of the mess fees a small amount towards your leaving gift, I never got one when I left, prob down to me calling my boss (also mess pres) a crab cnut on a night out before I left!! Well he was, hated matelots. Really pissed him off when I never invited/ told him about my valedictory certificate presentation, when everybody else in the workshop knew. While he was away in afghan I planted spring flowering bulbs in the shape of an anchor outside his office window.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
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  20. Ace.................

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