Decanter - - NEWS -

I was fas­cI­nated to see the wine Leg­ends ar­ti­cle on sande­man Vin­tage Port 1945 (Novem­ber 2018). I was com­mis­sioned from the Royal Mil­i­tary academy sand­hurst in the sum­mer of 1967 and my Royal sig­nals Young Of­fi­cers’ course im­me­di­ately there­after was the first to be held at the new corps HQ in Bland­ford, dorset. the pre­vi­ous corps HQ Of­fi­cers’ Mess was at cat­t­er­ick Gar­ri­son in north York­shire. the lat­ter had cel­lars, whereas the for­mer, be­ing newly built, did not.

this turned out to be ex­cel­lent news. a large stash of vin­tage Port (1918 and 1945) had to be trans­ported by army truck from cat­t­er­ick to Bland­ford to en­sure that it would not fall into the clutches of the reg­i­ment in­her­it­ing the Mess! Its abil­ity to travel or not gave some cause for con­cern, and it also pre­sented a stor­age prob­lem on ar­rival.

It was thus de­cided that it could be sold to those who were there at the time, for the cost at which it stood the corps Mess in the books! the re­sult was that, poor as we were as sub­al­terns, three of us were able to club to­gether eas­ily to buy and share a bot­tle ev­ery three days for the three-month du­ra­tion of our so­journ. the sad­ness with hind­sight is that none of us had ei­ther the fore­sight or the means to invest in a few cases for the fu­ture. Peter J Reed, Farn­ham, Sur­rey

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