It used to be the case that we had to ask the Trafford Centre management for permission for the 99th to go to the centre and collect but on this occasion, the Trafford Centre asked us along to help them out with their Star Wars week for school half term.
They asked us to be there on the Saturday and the Sunday but I couldn't do both days so just did the Saturday. Originally, we were asked to be in costume at 11:00am but then they asked us to be in costume by 09:30 as the Trafford Centre press and PR people wanted to take some professional photos of us around the centre before it got too busy with shoppers.
Ian came down from Newcastle for this event and he arrived at base on Friday afternoon. I had actually been out on a ten mile walk up and down Kinder Scout as part of my sister's [Hazel] special birthday celebrations and had got very wet as the weather had not been very nice at all. So, on Friday night I was suitably tired.
Saturday morning was a fairly early start as we had to be out of base by about 07:30 and then it was straight into applying my make up for Memah for me. It took about an hour to get on!
We were then taken around the centre and had professional shots taken on the central stair case, queuing at ATMs, sat at the champagne bar, ordering food at Cafe Rouge and on travelling on the escalators before having a half hour break at 10:30 and going out for the public at 11:00.
When we did go out at 11:00 we had a crowd of people waiting for us including lots of children in their Star Wars costumes and we were very busy. The Trafford Centre management told us that they wanted us to do half hour on, then half hour off, and I have to say it worked really well. We got lots of breaks from the heat and when we did go out we were in demand. .. Its a system that we may need to use again at other events where appropriate.
The odd thing about the day was that we weren't allowed to collect for charity but at least that meant we did not have to sit down and count loads of coins when we got back! It was strange though not to have a collection pot in hand!
And just in case you're wondering as the Craigster hasn't had a mention yet in this blog.... Craig made his way to the Trafford Centre by bus as we didn't have room for anyone else in the car with Ian being with us and fortunately for Craig, there is a bus service from Manchester to the Trafford Centre. We were also joined by Paul and Rhys, who very kindly brought Darran with them and also by David, Jim and Ken. It was also Craig's first outing in his X wing costume doing his Luke Skywalker impression!
After the troop it was a quick turn around to take all my blue make up off and get ready for a night out for Hazel's birthday at Piccolino's in Manchester and the the Mark Addy pub by the river Irwell. Needless to say as I'm sat here writing this blog on Sunday morning, I'm feeling ever so slight worse for wear from the many GnTs I had and my legs are so stiff from the walk on Friday and all the standing around on Saturday that I can hardly bend them!
A huge thanks to David, Craig, Ian, Darran, Paul, Rhys, Ken and Jim.
If I get copies of the professional photos I will add these at a later date. :-) x