Monday, 11 March 2013

The 99th Garrison attends the Spaceport Centre in the Wirral - Saturday, 9th March, 2013.
The 99th Garrison has attended events at the Spaceport Centre in the Wirral a few times now and this time we were asked to attend over the weekend of the 9th and 10th with our good friends The Mint Imperials for the centre's Star Wars themed weekend.  
I was only able to do the 9th March on this occasion as I had already arranged to meet my mum on Sunday as it was Mother's Day and also my step dad's 65th birthday.  So, it was a very early 04:30am alarm call on Saturday morning and I dragged myself out of bed about fifteen minutes later!  Fortunately, for me, Dave had agreed to do the driving for this troop so I was picked up about 6;00am and we arrived at the venue at 08:00am!
This was a well attended event and there must have been about 30 costumers there in total on the Saturday.  I'll try and list them all later but I do apologise in advance if I have missed anyone off.  It was also great to see some new members of the 99th who I had not met before and their families!
The Centre was due to open to the public at 10:00am and they had already sold about 1,000 tickets in advance and it was extremely busy!  It got so busy that they had to close the doors for some of the time and not let anymore guests in until some had left the building. Over the course of the weekend the centre had 3,000 visitors... an average day is just 100 visitors!
There were also celebrities at the event, including Derek Lyons, John Chapman, Kathy Munroe and Lord Vader himself... David Prowse and of course, the troopers were keen to get their piccies taken with them!
I did Memah Roothes at this event and was very busy........ at times it was like being on the red carpet at a film premier with cameras flashing away all over the show - only the majority of the audience was children... who called me various names like "The Blue Lady" and the Blue Princess"  and they were extremely polite and well; behaved as well... I didn't have any trouble at all with any of them.

For anyone who doesn't know the Spaceport Centre has a Wallace and Gromit themed upper level for the children... and great for photo opportunities as well!
It was also great to see one of my Dreamflight boys and his brothers and sisters as well at this event.  I was meant to take a picture for him with me, it was one that we had drawn of him where we were on that trip to Florida  last year I but completely forgot... sorry!! You will get it one day... I promise!
There was one little boy who came with his mum who had recently gone blind.  He had seen all of the Star Wars films before he lost his sight and wanted to touch the characters to feel their costumes whilst his mum talked him through what he was touching...amazing!
We also did our now famous young Star Wars fan workshops which involved dressing the smallest child there in an adult's set of chest armour and helmet... the latter the wrong way around of course!, Stormtroopers dancing [Gangam Style - of course] and kissing and lots of wonderful questions from audience.
We were also joined by Paul Alexender - a member of the 99th who also sculpts and makes props, etc.  He brought some clay with him and by the end of Saturday had transformed it into Salicious Crumb.  It was a privilege to watch Salicious evolve from the clay and wires... a very talented man indeed and a huge credit to the Garrison!
Sandwiches were provided by the event organisers and after lunch I managed to stay out trooping for a while but I eventually had to go for a rest and chill and didn't last much longer after that... My feet were killing me and I was absolutely shattered!
I de-kitted and then went out as crew for a while but the centre was starting to empty so there wasn't that much to do.  We then waited and chatted for a while as we always do after a troop but then we all went off the a local pub for a drink and a bite to eat.  There was a bit of a competition between Mel and Dave about who could eat the most and surprisingly Mel beat Dave - or rather Dave was beaten by Scampi... perhaps we should now call him Scampi-trooper?!!
Whilst at the pub, to my surprise, we were joined Ian, Robbie and James who are three of our members from up in the North East.  They had already done an event during the day up in  Newcastle and had travelled down to Liverpool to do the rest of the Spaceport centre event on the Sunday... dedication or what?!

After a meal and two glasses of red wine, I was well and truly TIRED and glad to get home at about 11:00pm!
Now... here I go with my list... A huge thanks to Paul, Rhys, Darran, Jim, Paul T, Mel, James, Dave, Paul A, Ian, Chris, Dave, Andy, Mark and family, Ken, Vicky, Wayne, Gary, Glen, Claire, Colin and Eric and Stacey, Richard, Phill and Neil and the rest of the Mint Imperials.