Sunday, 6 November 2011

99th collects for the British Legion Poppy Appeal at the Westfield Centre in Derby on Saturday, 5th November, 2011

The 99th was asked to support the British Legion at its annual collection for the Poppy Appeal at the Westfield Centre on the 5th November.  We have collected for them before and this is always a good troop but this years was even better.
We had to be there for 09:00am in order to be ready by 10:00am. We left base with the Craigster who had stayed with us on the Friday night at about 07:30am and were a little bit early but were soon joined by Paul, Darran, Paul and Ken.  
The Security Staff at the Centre were expecting us and took us to a conference room in the management suite which was to be our base for the day.  They were very, very helpful and vigilant and at times they were like having extra crew... they were really very good!
We were placed with the representatives/veterans from the Legion in a different spot from previous locations and it turned out to be better.  We were at the top of the escalators as people came up to the food court and had lots of passing trade!  In fact so much, that they had to move us just around the corner and away from the escalators as we were causing a blockage!
We were very busy and very popular and the collections pots were very heavy.  The Legion will be counting the monies though so as yet, I don't have the amount that we collected but will add it when I can. It was also very, very hot... again.
managed to persuade a few little ones who were initially frightened of us that we weren't that bad really and, with the encouragement of their parents and me, got them to have their photo taken with me/us... I love that part!

We called it a day at 4:00pm but could probably have stayed longer as we were still busy but we were tired and hot.  We called in TGI Friday's on the way back to get changed and they let me and Craig pose on a Harley Davidson that they had on show in the bar area... a first for me and in my Biker Scout :-)  
A great troop for a brilliant cause and good fun.  As usual we stopped off for a much needed drink and we returned in our civvies to TJI Fridays where I had a non alcoholic cocktail   ... a November Seabreeze... very nice and refreshing.  The staff were brill and had all posed around the Harley with me still on it!!
A huge thanks to Craig, Ken, Jim, Paul and Paul and Darran and to the staff at the Westfield Centre, especially the Security Staff and of course, to my contact at the Legion.. Christine.  A really good troop!!!