AGM of Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre at Lowestoft

AGM Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre 2011

From left: Guest speaker Colonel Moss, Lady Fellowes, Lord Kitchener,
Chairman: John Greenacre, Lord Fellowes, Trustee: Michael Sims

Wearing one of my other hats I recently attended the Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre for their Annual General Meeting. The LKMHC is a prime building facing the sea in the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft which provides serviced holiday accommodation to ex-members of the merchant and armed services. It first openend its doors in 1919 as a memorial to the national war hero the first Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, who had died with his staff when HMS Hampshire was sunk by a mine off the Orkney Islands in 1916.

The Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre, Lowestoft

The Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre, Lowestoft

This year, after much planning, we were delighted to welcome back our patron, the present Lord Kitchener, who had not been able to visit us for some years after a stroke. By planning well in advance his niece and her husband, the Lord and Lady Fellowes of West Stafford, were able to drive him from his home in West Sussex. Lord Fellowes is better known as Julian Fellowes (the actor and writer, Gosford Park, Downton Abbey, etc.) and his wife Lady Emma, and we managed to fit the AGM into their busy schedule so that they could bring Lady Emma’s uncle.

Lady Emma and Alice Greenacre

Lady Emma and Alice Greenacre

The AGM was attended by some 90+ friends and supporters of the Centre in a somewhat less formal meeting than of recent years. We heard a brief summary of the last financial year from the new chairman of the management committe, Dr. John Greenacre, an interesting account of his work by Colonel Neale Moss, Commander Aviation 16 Air Assault Brigade, and a short address by Lord Kitchener. Lady Emma was presented with a posy by the chairman’s daughter, Alice Greenacre.

The meeting was very well attended and as well as the top-table guests our distinguished visitors included Major-General John Sutherell, Peter Aldous MP, the Chairman of Waveney District Council, the Mayor of Lowestoft and many more. All the armed services were represented as were many ex-service associations. Aftewards we enjoyed an excellent buffet prepared and served by the Centre staff and our VIP guests took the opportunity to talk to our many other guests at the Centre that evening.

The stamina of Lord Kitchener, now in his nineties, was amazing and he circulated and spoke to many people during the buffet. This was Lord and Lady Fellowes of West Stafford first visit to us and they really showed in interest in what we were doing at the Centre. Lady Emma was given a short tour of some of the rooms and I even managed to get my first editions of ‘Snobs’ and ‘Past Imperfect’ signed by Lord Fellowes (in his persona as Julian Fellows).

The stalwart service of the Centre manager Steven Schofield, his wife and Centre housekeeper, Lorraine, and their staff was publicly acknowledged. The Centre, which is open from April until th end of October is able to offer bed, breakfast and an evening meal to 20 guests at a time in 10 en-suite twin-bedded rooms, at a rate which is kept below the minimum income level by grants from service charities.

The management committee and trustees are all unpaid, a fact to which tribute was paid by Lord Kitchener, who has experience of management fees being charged in other charitable enterprises. The trustees and management were very grateful to all those who made the evening go so well, not least the police at Lowestoft who were able, by their presence, to ease the arrival of guests in a single-carriageway road. It is hoped that the visit of our noble, gallant and distinguished guests can be repeated next year.

The Kitchener family

From the left:
The Baron Fellowes of West Stafford (Julian Fellowes),
The Lady Fellowes of West Stafford (Lady Emma)
and The Earl Kitchener of Khartoum

Further details about the Centre and the service offered can be found at:
This entry was posted in Ld. Kitchener Mem. Holiday Centre, Lowestoft & District and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *