Saturday, 30 July 2011

Event kindly written by the Craigster as I missed this event and went on a girlie night out instead! Thanks Craig! x

Hey Guys just doing a guest blog as Sue wasn’t here for this event.

The 99th was invited to go to the That's Entertainment in Crystal Peaks shopping centre for a nice weekend troop.  Started off as a Friday stop over at Jim and Sue's with the usual tea on Friday ready for a early morning on Saturday.

Set off with just me and  jim in the car on the way to the troop whilst Sue kept catching some sleep.  We set off in the morning on the way to crystal peaks with map on board and google directions, as we didn’t have the sat nav in car.  This proved troublesome for us as we attempted to navigate the tiny b roads and country lanes to get the Sheffield.

Took a fair few wrong turns here and there but we got a nice scenic route of the old farms and hills on the way, the diversiosn probably didn’t help as i could read the map to save my life lol, but we got there in the end.

When arriving there we where greated by the rest of troops getting ready and chilling above the shop in the chaging rooms in thats Entertainment that looked like the warehouse off Indiana Jones and the raiders of the lost ark except with DVD’s and games.  Whilst getting changed managed to show off a bit of work i was doing on the website and get feedback on how the design was going so it was easy to understand.
But after a bit off faffing and chatting we all made our way down stairs and ready to step out in to the shop and the shopping centre, we had a nice parade of Vader, two  stormies, me as sandie, 1 black hole trooper followed by a tie pilot and twilek.
Stepping out in to the shop we were greeted by a great presentation of cheers and ohhh’s, which set the standard for the day as people "ooohhhed" and "agghhed" as we trooped in the shop and outside.

Was a really nice troop with alot of intrigued kiddies at the sight of vader and the troops, managed to get down in the hood by giving out “respect” with the kids;).

With the shop packed and the shopping centre very busy it got very warm very quick and before ya knew it ya lenses would steam up and so would you, luckelly the back door was open upstairs in the changing rooms and it was raining so it was very easy to cool down.
We all managed to get our selves a fan club in the form off Shanie and the rest of the staff of That's entertainment.

Big thanks to Jeff , Darren stocks, Craig E, Nigel , Marie, Jim and Michaela & Kayleigh.

Collection for Dreamflight at East Midlands Airport - Sat 30th July 2011

As the Charity Liaison Officer of the 99th Garrison and a non medical escort of the Dolphin Group of Dreamflight [see] I managed to get permission to collect for Dreamflight at the East Midlands Airport.

Being an event at airport, security was tight and I had to submit photos of the costumes and especially the weapons in advance to see if we could be accepted by the airport police/security.  Fortunately, we got the all clear for the costumes and the weapons!  This included correcting them on their assumption that our armour was "fancy dress"!!  They soon realised that this was not the case!
The airport staff told me that their busiest slot was between 05:00am and 08:00am so if we wanted to maximize our collection we would need to be there ready to collect for 5:00am.  It takes about an hour for us to get ready and get dressed so that meant being at the airport for 04:00am, which meant getting up at 02:00am and leaving base at 02:30.

So, Friday night was an early night!  I was in bed for 21:00 hrs and slept quite well until just after midnight and then I was awake!  

The drive to the airport was very quiet as all other sensible people were still tucked up in bed but we had a pleasant journey and  I felt reasonably awake.... this feeling wasn't to last long though!  The Craigster had stayed with us on the Friday night and despite him not being able to sleep even he managed to stay awake for the journey!
On arrival at the airport, we met up with Jeff, who had very kindly agreed to step in as our Lord Vader for this event at the last minute and had driven from Peterborough.  We also met up with Simon who had driven from Wrexham and had picked up Darran from near Derby en route. 

We were then shown the board room which was to be our base for the day and got ready.  As we were short on troopers/crew I crewed for the event in my officer's uniform but we we had Lord Vader and four stormtoopers.  

The airport was busy with people jetting off on their jollies between 05:00 and 08:00 and lots of people wanted their photos with us but after that the airport was fairly quiet with just a steady stream of travellers and staff wanting their photos with us.  Because it was quiet and we were getting very tired we called it a day about 10:15am and in that time we managed to collect £188.41 and five euros!  So, not bad but not brilliant!  Given the effort we had gone to to get there so early I was hoping for more.  But I'm hoping that now that the airport management know us and how we work I may be able to get permission to collect at Manchester Airport which is owned by the same company and is a much bigger and busier airport where hopefully we could collect a lot more.  Fingers crossed!
We de-kitted and then went to a nearby services and had a break and a drink before setting off to base again... feeling very tired at this point but managing to stay awake which was just as well, seeing as how I was driving.  We got back to base just before 2:00pm and went to bed and slept for a couple of hours!
A Huge thanks to Simon, Jeff, Craig, Jim and Darran! 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Collection for Dreamflight at That's Entertainment's First Birthday - Huddersfield - Sat 23 July 2011

The 99th was asked to support three branches of That's Entertainment on celebrating their first birthdays..... Sheffield, Huddersfield and Manchester and today, 23rd July was the turn of their branch in Huddersfield.

The journey wasn't too bad and fortunately the weather had picked up from last week which had been quite dull and cold and we had a very picturesque journey of about an hour from base with the Craigster already with us to Huddersfield through some lovely little villages such as Holme and Digley not far from where they used to film Last of the Summer Wine.

We were well looked after by Chris and his staff at their branch and tea/coffee and choc chip cookies were provided for us on arrival and we were shortly joined by Craig Elliott and Nigel who had traveled down from the North East for the event.  

We trooped from about 10:45 until 3:00pm with lunch provided by Chris from Subway and we were also allowed to collect for Dreamflight and managed to collect £105.34 from the good people of Huddersfield... thank you!!  Although, one lady appeared to be completely oblivious to our presence, including Ken being sat next to her on a bench!

Nigel and Craig E had to leave early for their longer journey home and left about 2:30pm but me, Jim, Craig and Ken went for a well earned cuppa after the event in a local cafe.  Then, on the journey back the weather was so nice and the scenery so stunning that we stopped at a couple of spots to take some picces but they just don't do it justice!  Must go back round that area for a walk or two some time!

Thanks to Jim, Craig, the Craigster, Nigel and Ken and to Chris and his staff at That's Entertainment.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

St Dunstan's Summer Fayre, Moston, Manchester - 10th July 2011

The 99th was asked to attend St Dunstan's Summer Fayre on Sunday 10th July, 2011.  Not too bad a journey this one, being a round trip of only 52 miles.  The Craigster had been staying with us for the weekend after the event at Pride Park on Friday night so not even a need for a diversion to Stockport!!

The weather was quite nice when we set off and after an 11:30 start, it stayed dry until about 1:00pm and then it rained... again!

We were given the staff room to get changed in and on arrival dropped our bags off in there.  I was then asked to let someone into the building who asked me if I knew who owned the black C3 outside as they might want to come and look at it....  Turned out he was the DJ for the event and he had just hit my car!!!!  I know its only a minor thing in the grand scheme of things but to say I am irritated by it is an under statement...  I'm fed up of things hitting my car... last year was a falling branch and now another car.... at least this time, I know who to claim off and the damage is not as bad as when it was hit by a falling branch but the bumper has been pushed inwards and is scratched and the head lamp is also damaged and may require a new unit.

Anyway, this did put a dampener on the day's event for me but, there was me, Jim and Craig and Simon had joined us from Wrexham so we did what we do best and posed for photos, frightening small children and some adults and I got to see more firemen!!!.  I crewed for the event in my officer's uniform and one of them kindly took a group photo for us in front of the engine.  

We trooped for about an hour and a half before we got rained off and called it a day... 

Thanks to Craig and Jim and especially Simon for travelling all the way from Wrexham.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Child Victims of Crime, Pride Park, 8th July 2011

The 99th was asked by a colleague of mine at work to help out at a dinner at Pride Park, Derby the home of The Rams to raise funds for a charity called Child Victims of Crime.  The event turned out to be a gentlemen only evening and was organised by the Sandiacre Cricket Club. 

There was only me, Jim and Craig at this event so I didn't get to take many photos but this was one of the strangest events I have done to date.  We were asked to make our appearance after the rather merry guests had had their soup and collect £2 donations that they had made to play bingo.  Its fair to say that some of the guests didn't really know what they were paying for as they had already had one or three drinks and/or weren't listening to their host and were slightly bemused that their monies were being taken off them by Stormtroopers!

Anyway, we then went back into our little guests room and were then asked to come back and collect more money after the main course... this time £5 a piece for the raffle.  Guests were asked to write their name on the £5 notes and these then formed the raffle tickets!

This took us until about 9:00pm and then we got changed [I had the unfortunate experience of a couple of the drunken male guests walking into the ladies whilst I was getting changed!!!] and the Craigster took some photos of me and Jim that he wants to play around with on Photoshop before we departed and got back to base about 10:45pm.

Although a strange night we managed to collect £1300 on one night so not bad going really!!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Morecambe Festival Market Family Fun Day 3rd July 2011

The 99th was asked to attend the Morecambe Festival Family Fun Day by the Mandalorian Mercs with all monies raised going to the Make a Wish Foundation.
It was just me and the Craigster at this one from the 99th as no one was available and Jim has a bad back at the moment so I Ieft home at bout 07:00hrs on Sunday and picked Craig up en route, arriving at the Market Hall at about 09:05.  We could not find anyone from the Mandalorians as it turned out that we were the first to arrive but eventually found one of the market stall holders who looked after us finely, paying for parking and for lunch!!
The others arrived at about 09:45 and we were also joined by the Galactic Knights, so in total there was two from the 99th, two from Galactic Knights and two from the Mandalorians so a real joint troop and it was good that we all got to work together for a change.
A backdrop had been set up for photos which were taken and printed there and then for a £1 ... a real bargain.  We were kept busy all day, working in groups with some at the backdrop and some getting some fresh air outside although that had to be in the shade as the weather was truly glorious!!
It was a really good family fun day out by the seaside with live music, face painting, people on stilts, balloons, candy floss, ice cream, Punch and Judy, local dance groups, and not one but two fire engines... including a massive fire ladder!!! 

By 3:30 things were starting to quieten down and with the long drive home, me and Craig decided to de-kit.  However, having gone all the way to Morecambe for the first time in years, I decided that we had to go for a walk along the promenade and  have our photo taken with Eric Morcambe's statue and once that deed was done, we... being two members of the 99th Garrison had to have a 99 each with flake and raspberry ripple... lovely!!!
A huge thanks to Craig, and to Alison, Phil, Chris, Karen and hubby and son Dominic for being excellent crew [and thinking that me and Craig were an item [instead of me being his mum which is what a lot of people think ... lol]]