Monday, 14 May 2012

99th Garrison supports Dreamflight and the Lymphoma Association in one very busy weekend 12th and 13th May, 2012

Having not written a blog for quite some time now, I now find that I have two events to cover from one weekend!

Firstly, the 99th was asked to support the Pirates Group of Dreamflight at its Family Fun Day at the Royal Oak in Mellor, Stockport. For those of you who don't know.... but quite frankly how can you not know by now..... Dreamflight is a national charity that every year takes 192 seriously ill children on the holiday of a lifetime to Florida with Doctors and Nurses with them to make sure they have a fantastic time.  See

This was a fairly local troop for us and it only took half an hour to get there.  The Craigster had stayed with us the night before so we were all able to take our time in the morning and not have to rush like we normally have to.  We left base at 10:30, arriving at the pub by 11:00.  Simon came along on this troop and it was great to see him as we worked out that it had been seven months since we last trooped together.  We all got changed in the cellar and were out in armour by 12:00.

It was also great to see Maia and Adrian and the other pirates too.  The weather was intermittent sunshine and was quite cold when the sun wasn't out.  The event was fairly quiet to begin with but by about 2:30pm it was starting to get busy. We spent most of the time at the front of the pub on the street trying to lure people in and also get them to have a photo and make a donation before they went through to the fun day at the back of the pub. We had a fair degree of success!

The event had a bouncy castle, face painting, raffle, tombola, guess the number of sweets in the jar, guess the name of the HUGE rabbit and MAGGOT racing!!

We spent a few minutes in the main event field in the afternoon but by this time all those children who had been frightened by us on their way into the pub had built up their excitement  levels and courage and we became the centre of their attention, being poked, prodded and shouted at!!  It was all good fun but tiring making sure that they were always in sight and we could see what they were up to.  After about ten minutes, we beat a hastily retreat back to the front of the pub.  Children = 1.  Storntroopers = 0!!

A huge thanks to Simon for travelling from Wrexham for the event.  Look forward to seeing you again soon.

The 99th was also asked to attend an event by Mark Busby [M.B Management] at Notts Forest FC.  This was a charity football match between former professional footballers [including Teddy Sheringham] and various soap stars from Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale etc.  Here's me with Mark Crossley.

The main charity for the event was the Lymphoma Association and prior to the match the organizers had raised approximately £80,000.  There is another charity match on the 27th at Chesterfield at the B2net stadium and a concert in August as well.  

The Craigster stayed with us again on the Saturday night so on Sunday morning it was up for the usual hour and a half drive to an event, leaving base at 8:30 and getting to the venue at 10:00.  We were joined at the event by Stig and Batman from Hollywood Heroes and some of the 99th Troopers from the North East had made the 4 hour drive down too.  It was nice to see Nigel, Craig E, James and also to see Darran, Jeff, Michaela and Kayleigh and to meet Mark's family.

It was also nice to see my brother in law David, who had come along to bring us some new holsters he has been making from scratch.  They are very, very good and were well received by the troopers who were there... especially the Craigster who got one as a 21st birthday present off David and my sister Hazel.   He wore it all day when ever he could and probably still is!

We were all in armour by 11:45 and then were outside meeting the crowds as they entered the ground.  We then spent some time pitch side and then walked around the entire pitch signing autographs and posing for photos as we went and also rattling the collection pots.   It fair to say that we were very popular and when the time came for the players to come onto the pitch and for us to make our exit we were given a heart warming round of applause from the spectators.

It was then time for us to de-kit, before watching a bit of the match and then having a well earned burger and a cup of tea!  We then hung around on the off chance that we might get to meet some of the stars.. not that we actually knew a lot of them [I only recognised Teddy!] but that wasn't to be.  It was then the drive home, getting back about 7:30pm and a quick tea before the Craigster had to be taken home back to Manchester.

Thanks to Jim,  the Craigster, Nigel, Craig E, James, Jeff, Michaela, Kayleigh, Darran and to the Stig and Batman and to Mark for inviting us to attend.  Heres to the next one at Chesterfield!