Eighty two members and guests attended the 2013 reunion and AGM held in Plymouth from 10-12 May. Accommodation was in the Copthorne Hotel which provided excellent food and service.
The programme was developed with the help and local knowledge of John Russell and started on Friday afternoon with a boat tour of Plymouth Sound and the Dockyards along the estuary of the river Tamar.
Over 60 members and guests boarded the Plymouth Princess and Commander Andy Coles, the Executive Officer of HM Naval Base in Plymouth, joined the group and provided knowledgeable insights about the warships in dock and some of the difficulties of manoeuvring a large submarine in the narrow confines of the Tamar. The weather was typically grey and cold but rain held off until the return trip from under the new Tamar Bridge. After a drinks reception in the evening the hotel provided an excellent dinner after which Ian Martin, for many years a plant curator at the Eden Project, gave an introduction to the origins of the Project and its development.
On Saturday some 60 members and guests visited the Eden Project, about an hour’s journey to the west of Plymouth. The Eden Project is built in an old china clay quarry, where two huge biomes house wonderful collections of rainforest and Mediterranean plants, surrounded by stunning natural gardens and a modern education centre. Ian Martin welcomed the group and provided expert knowledge and a wealth of detail about the plant life as members found their way around the huge displays.
On return to the hotel, members and guests gathered for drinks and another excellent dinner. Commodore Graeme Little, Commanding Officer of HM Naval Base, and Mrs Little were guests and after dinner Commodore Little spoke of some of the strategic concerns and the challenges faced by Britain’s modern Royal Navy. His address was appreciated by all as it dealt with issues that are not familiar to many, if any, World Bank alumni.
The reunion ended on Sunday with the AGM followed by lunch.