The War and Peace Show 2007
This year at the War and Peace show the Garrison had a larger involvement than in previous years as we had been asked to fire a 25 Gun salute to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Event. Rex Ward the organiser agreed to help with the transport the 4 guns by supplying us with a low loader and covering the powder and PL insurance.
The salute was fired on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10.00hrs but as normal with any 4 gun events the hard work is before and after and for this event our thanks have to go to Gary Mason and Dave Nesbit for doing the lion share of the work in loading the Low Loader on Wednesday and staying late on the Sunday to do the reverse run which did not go as well as could be expected. Gary was also the main organiser on behalf of the group and has formed a deep personnel friendship with Rex in the process! I for my sins arrived on the Thursday night to help with the site but found that most or the work had been done by guys joined by Don and James, Paul Mason, Andy Davies and Fred Butcher but I was there.
We all finished up in the beer tent for a few drinks on the Thursday night and after a few, I took an early night at about 23.59hrs. I was up early as were we all and Gary started making up the charges for the display. Jonathon had been popping back and fourth since Wednesday and had arrived early with the powder that morning. Graham Wallin arrived with his gun set in plenty of time for the first display. Although all the equipment was there we where very thin on the ground but with help from John and a few individuals we managed to get just enough guys together to man the guns.
The Rain had already been falling for a few days so the ground was starting to cut up pretty badly and we struggled to get the guns on to the platforms with the gun tractors but with John’s 7 Armoured 15cwt with out four wheel drive it was next to imposable so Andy had to rescue him with his very smart tractor now covered in mud (more on that later). Once in action the rain started again but we managed to fire all our rounds off with out a misfire although there was one slight incident when the LBM Mech on F Sub fell off on the last round but Dermot who had joined us from the Irish Army was on the ball and noticed before opening the breach and dropping the breach into the mud. We managed to come out of action and even managed to get back to our area with no further miss haps.
Our job over I then gave a quick brief on a future foreign trip while some maintenance was carried out on F Sub before, all maintenance completed we all went shopping. The rain retuned just as we started so we took shelter in the beer tent, weather didn’t improve so we dodged from trade stand to trade stand between showers. The ground was really starting to get cut up badly and it was like walking through a see of mud the whole site looked like Glastonbury with amour.
On the Saturday we had a little shock as Andy Davies won best Canadian Vehicle in show much to his delight and everyone else’s groans. What was more suppressing was that it was covered in mud from the two days driving around which just goes to show that its not always the shine trucks that win. It was also a good day for the group as the Garrison also had two runners up awards for best Artillery Display and best Display voted on by the Guests, so well done everyone, yes and you Andy. The evening was a lot dryer and I had a good look around the displays and was generally very impress with the re-enactment displays and WW2 vehicles that where on display.
The Saturday and Sunday where re-runs of the Friday but with the ground in the arena getting ever harder to drive on every day. On the last day we took in a contingent from the Irish Military Vehicle Owners group which they seemed to enjoy. I had to get away early on the Sunday due to family commitments but I had for the first time enjoyed the War and Peace show. I know that Dave and Gray had put a lot of effort into it and had a testing time on the Sunday night trying to get the Guns back but all in all thumbs up. For group members if you are interested in a more detailed appraisal of the event I have posted some personnel comments on the News Page in the members area.