This page was updated on 26 August.

Folllowing the successful event last year and encouragement from some of those who attended, we will be holding a similar event this year at the Grand Café.

The Grand Café is situated at South Western House where many hundreds of Merchant Navy Officers were examined for their Board of Trade Certificates during the last century. Originally the South Western Hotel, it is now an upmarket development of flats and apartments. The Grand Café occupies what was the ballroom on the ground floor.

The function will be a black tie dinner for between 150 and 180 guests, billed as ‘The Admiral of the Port’s Trafalgar Dinner’ and the Admiral, aka the Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews, will be in attendance, together with the Mayoress, Mrs Amanda Barnes.

The event is open not just to Club members but to the maritime community and those with an interest in nautical affairs.

The Toast to The Immortal Memory of Nelson will be given by Commodore Bob Sanguinetti RN who was until recently the CEO and Captain of the Port of Gibraltar and has now taken up the post of CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.

The Reception will be held in the beautifully refurbished lobby of South Western House at 1900 and Prosecco, soft drinks and hard-tack will be served.

Sea Cadets from the Southampton unit will be in attendance at the entrance and during the evening you will be invited to support the Southampton Sea Cadets and a Prize Draw to that end will take place after the meal, the prize being a modern signalling and communications device.

There will also be some shanty men to lead you in some traditional shanties and songs.

The ticket price is £50 which has been set to reflect the viability of the event at the lower end of expected attendance, 150. Should we attract a full house, 180, any surplus will be directed to the Captain’s charities.

Tables will be rounds of 10, with a couple of 12s. You do not have to raise such a party of course, but we will be pleased if you do so. We will endeavour to satisfy your seating requests.


Tomato and Red Pepper Soup, Roast Beef and Lemon Posset.

You will be able to pre-order table wines and drinks direct with Grand Café: 02380 339303 and advise them of any special dietary requirements. The vegetarian option is Nut Roast.  A wine list is posted here.

We do hope you can join us for this function and support a worthwhile cause. Tickets are available only through our office: 02380 226155 We will require the first and last names of all in your party, as you would wish to see them on the place cards. No pre or post nominals please, there just isn’t room on the cards. Also any special dietary requirements so we can cross-check with Grand Café.

There is very limited parking at Grand Café but the College Street car park is very close and current evening charges are £2, from 1800 – 2400. On-street parking is also £2.

This page will be updated as and when necessary.



This page was updated on 25th October 2017

The Club, in conjunction with the Southampton Royal Navy Officers’ Association, SRNOA, organised a Dinner, held in the Mike Channon Suite at St. Mary’s Stadium, on Friday 20th October.

The black-tie Dinner, titled the ‘Mayor of Southampton and Admiral of the Port’s Trafalgar Dinner’, was in aid of the Southampton Sea Cadets Expansion plan, the Mayor having chosen the SSC as one of his charities for his year. We are pleased to report that the event was considered to be a great success by those who attended and enjoyed it.

With anticipated numbers hovering around 200 we had moved to the larger Mike Channon Suite but last minute changes resulted in a total of 189. We were by no means lost in the larger room and goodness knows how Halo, the caterers, manage to squeeze 500 of us in for the Sea Pie Supper., but they do.

The Mayor, Clr Les Harris, and Mrs Harris, who is also a Southampton Councillor, arrived at 1845 and were met by Club Captain Robin Plumley MBE and Captain Andrew Moll, Chairman of Trustees of the Southampton Sea Cadets.

One of the Mayor’s Cadets took charge of The Silver Oar of Admiralty, the Mayor’s badge of jurisdiction as Admiral of the Port, and carried it to the display table which had been positioned in the function suite.

At 1925, one of the Cadets piped “All Hands to Dinner” which drew appreciative applause and the Mayor, the Captains and the Top Table guests were received by the company, the Mayor’s Cadet carrying the Oar of Admiralty and proceeding ahead of him.

Top Table guests included Vice Admiral Alan Massey, KCB, CBE, who is also a Trustee of the Marine Society & Sea Cadets, Rear Admiral John Lang DL, President of the Winchester Sea Cadets, Captain Gavin Pritchard OBE, Chairman of the Gosport Sea Cadets unit, and Cdr David Belfield, Chairman of the Southampton Royal Naval Officers’ Association.

Also present as our guests, and hosted by Staff Captain Flemming Pedersen, were Col Bill Stevens OBE and Maj Julian Walker TD, both Trustees of the Connaught Trust which had just donated £10,000 towards the Southampton Sea Cadets Appeal.

Captain Plumley welcomed the company and gave the obligatory safety announcement, detailing the abandon ship procedures and where the lifeboats could be found. He then introduced the Mayor who gave a short address explaining why he had chosen the SSC as one of his charities for his year.

Captain Moll then made his appeal on behalf of the SSC Expansion Plan and outlined the proposed method for collecting the donations and conducting the prize draw. In a forthright RN way he summed it up for the hard of understanding as ENVELOPE….PLACE CARD….MONEY. (Or was it the other way round?)

He then led the Nelson Grace and the ‘victuals’ were served, the company enjoying an excellent meal and exemplary service.

During the main course Sea Cadets collected the envelopes, containing the donations and the place cards, and these were taken to the counting house set up in another room.

At the end of the meal Captain Plumley gave The Second Grace and invited Cdr Belfield, SRNOA, to give The Loyal Toast.

After the interval the Club Captain introduced the Speaker, Captain Gavin Pritchard OBE, whose speech, on elements of his own RN experiences, was on occasion hilarious but at the same time moving and thought-provoking. Having summed up and summoned up that Nelson spirit, he ended with the toast to The Immortal Memory which was taken, in the tradition, in silence.

Captain Plumley then conducted the Prize Draw, announcing that it had raised a total of £1920 and one of the previously collected place cards was drawn from the raffle drum by Mrs Harris. The prize, a modern signalling and communications device, in the shape of an iPad Mini, had been provided jointly by the Cachalots and the SSC. It was won by a lady on Clive Robinson’s table, fittingly perhaps since Clive was the first to support us when the event was proposed.

The evening ended with some nautical entertainment in the form of a sing-a-long, in which we were led by ‘The Salty Sea Dogs’, a seven strong community group of shanty singers under the direction of Pauline McWilliams, Community Song Leader at the Natural Voice Practitioners Network. They sang acappella, entering the room singing John Kanakanaka and then led rousing renditions of Drunken Sailor; Haul Away, Joe; Blow the Man Down before finishing with Heart of Oak and Rule Britannia.

Our thanks go to our Distinguished Guests, the Southampton Sea Cadets, the SRNOA, Cachalot Members and their guests and not least to the Salty Sea Dogs, for making the evening so enjoyable and helping to raise that £1920 towards what those present understand to be such a good cause.

You can read the Southampton Sea Cadets Expansion Appeal letter here