Timed to coincide with the #EFLWeekofAction the Community Sports Trust this morning held its first ever Armed Forces and Veterans Club meeting in Foxy's Restaurant here at Brunton Park.
The concept of a club specifically to cater for serving and former members of the Armed Forces has been on the CST agenda for a number of years, and John Halpin spoke about his pride at having finally got it up and running.
"It's something we've talked about for a good while, but different factors, beyond our control, have stopped it from going ahead," he explained.
"We've stuck at it and we're absoutely delighted that we've got ourselves to the point that it's now up and running, with our first meeting a really successful one.
"It was unbelievable how relaxed it was, and it was fascinating to see how quickly everybody settled into the swing of the event. Some of the stories being told were quite simply fascinating.
"Having now had this first get-together we can see that it's going to be a valuable addition to the work the Community Sports Trust does and we're looking forward to many more meetings to come."
"The important thing we wanted to get across was that we're an addition to the excellent services, organisations and groups that already exist in Cumbria for serving and former service folk," club media officer Andy Hall said.
"It was really refreshing to have people from some of those organisations come along to lend us their support.
"There were members of the British Legion, the Museum of Military Life's Lunch Club, Step Together and other veterans clubs, and we also had a member of the Duke of Lancs community team from Preston who joined us.
"That's a great example as far as I'm concerned as to how the military community naturally comes together.
"This morning's event was really informal, it was a great opportunity to share stories and experiences many of us had forgotten, and the intention is that all of our meetings will be the same going forward.
"I have to thank everybody who came, including the staff from caterers John Watt who looked after us so well."
The CST Veterans Club will meet once a month.
If you're interested in popping along for a brew and a chat about all things military, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you to the email list and Whatsapp Group.
You can find the CST Veterans Club facebook page HERE.