Signalling a bright future

Ernie Howe is hoping to set up a new association for the Royal Signals.
Ernie Howe is hoping to set up a new association for the Royal Signals.
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AN association for former members of the Royal Signals hopes to get off the ground at its meeting tonight.

In August The Gazette reported how former serviceman Ernie Howe was hoping to set up a group for regular meetings and local trips after being inundated with calls for an association for Blackpool.

His first meeting last month attracted eight prospective members, with more people getting in touch afterwards to say they were interested in joining.

To be an official organisation a group needs 12 or more members, and Mr Howe, 67, is sure he’ll get more than is needed at his meeting later this month.

He said there were a lot of Signals in the area.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had an association in Blackpool,” he said.

“The engineers has one, the artilleries has one; everyone has one but us. There’s a lot of interest for something like this around here.

“After the first meeting I had quite a few phone calls from people who wanted to come to the next meeting. Others said they had wanted to come to the first meeting but were unable to because they were away, or they hadn’t realised it was on.

“They’ve told me they will be at the next meeting.”

Mr Howe, of Longton Road, Blackpool, was in the Royal Signals for 12 years, and has been volunteering at the Supporting Our Brave shop in central Blackpool for the last two-and-a-half years.

He is still in contact with a lot of veteran Signals.

He said: “When people see my blazer they ask about the Signals. They say there should be an association in Blackpool for them to attend, and I said I would do my best. Now I’m setting one up.”

He said the association would welcome all veterans for regular meetings. He hopes it would get involved in parades and services, as well as organising trips and functions.

“It’s important to have these associations,” he added.

“We just have to do it properly and set it up formally.”

The association’s next meeting will be at the Wainwright Club in Hornby Road, central Blackpool, tonight at 7.30pm.

Anyone interested in volunteering for roles within the association, such as president, chairman and standard bearer, or anyone interested in joining can call the shop on (01253) 626666 or 07852 698282.