With English Heritage at Kelmarsh Hall

Another successful event at Kelmarsh Hall for English Heritage was attended by 25 members of The Garrison and affiliated groups.

The advance party for this event left Tilbury Fort on Thursday morning, having loaded the equipment needed for the weekend. This included tents, field kitchen and the marquee. Jonathan supervised loading one complete 25pdr gun set and one static 25pdr on the hired low loader. Meanwhile Don, James, Fred and myself loaded all the other equipment. By 0930 we were on the road heading for Kelmarsh Hall. A brief stop for breakfast saw us arriving just before lunch time. As soon the low loader and vans were unloaded we commenced building our display. The field kitchen was put up first, and Fred started to work his magic. Then the 160lb tents went up. As the evening was approaching we decided to call it a day and head into the fleshpot of Market Harborough!

Next morning Keith arrived with his Austin piggy backing on a lorry, complete with the searchlight operations room display. Now that a few more people had turned up we started to erect the marquee. Luckily it went up smoothly and didn't fall on Keith's head, as it had done last year. Our display was starting to come together, and by dinner time all was set for the Saturday.

The weather dawned fine and bright on the Saturday, and with Fred, Mike and Julia's fine breakfast inside us. (By now Fred was being assisted by Mike and Julia, who also worked very hard in the field kitchen all weekend.) A parade was held at which I received my silver trophy from Beltring, First Prize for my Canadian Chevrolet FAT. (All covered in Mud)

The arena display gun crew now got ready. Darren who was promoted to No1 on the gun readied himself and the crew for the first of 2 displays. I watched the second display with Graham on the Sunday and was very impressed.

Ian and Beryl with Andy and Kate put on a great first aid display of which I was to receive first had experience when I received treatment when I was so rudely wounded in the heat of the battle.

Dinner on the Saturday was a first for the group as Don had fixed up a period oven heated by one of the Soya cookers. Nobody was quite sure how the Shepard's pie would turn out, but bang on time Fred, Mike and Julia produced a wonderful meal. In the marquee Keith and Rachel along with help from the HMS group put on their very polished Searchlight Operations room display. This was briefly interrupted when the Turkish Ambassador dropped in for a visit. Normal routine soon returned, and everyone got ready for an enjoyable evening socialising.

A great weekend, not marred by the weather this year. Thanks to everyone for their hard work in making this such a good event. Hope next years event is even better.

Andy Davis.

P.S. did anyone notice the smaller version of Keith walking about, or was it in my imagination. Michael, a chip of the OLD block!!!
Photos Curtsey of Mike Snelling