Black Tot Day celebration in Weymouth and Portland
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Derek Hope, Divisional Secretary of SSAFA Weymouth and Portland talks about the history of Black Tot Day and how the local branch and Armed Forces community celebrated it’s history while raising money for SSAFA;
‘A 315-year-old tradition came to a sad end on 31 July 1970 when the daily rum ration issued to Royal Navy personnel was abolished. To commemorate this day in the history of the Royal Navy, on Saturday 30 July 2016, a group of wizened, ancient mariners gathered together at the Corner House Inn on the Isle of Portland to cry into their beards. Landlord Jeff Chitty and Stoker Andy Porter were there to oversee proceedings and to administer some tots of rum, following which a charity auction of Maritime Memorabilia took place.
Apart from commemorating the loss of the rum ration, the whole object of the exercise was to raise money for local charities. This year, SSAFA Weymouth and Portland Division were the nominated charity and were present throughout the proceedings. The generosity of those attending the event was phenomenal. The auction raised a total of £ 1000 and there was a further £201.26 in the SSAFA collecting tins.
The total of £1201.26 was is absolutely outstanding and this money will be used by the local division of SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity to support their work with local veterans.’
Following the event, a cheque for £1000 was presented to Derek Hope for the division. Derek thanked the customers the Corner House Inn and members of the Tot Club and said: “This huge donation will make a tremendous difference to SSAFA in their work supporting local Veterans from all services. The generosity of all those involved is exceptional.”