Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The 99th Garrison collects for Dreamflight at the Printworks in Manchester.

Through the good work of Alan, one of our members, the 99th was allowed to collect at the Printworks, Withy Grove in Manchester on Saturday 1st February, 2014.  We collected for Dreamflight which regular followers of my blog should know all about by now but if not, then shame on you!  You need to read all about this fantastic children's charity at www.dreamflight.org
Being one of the first to get there - a photo with the Printworks' very own Minion was compulsory! :-)
We were due to arrive at the venue for 09:00am to be in armour for 10:00am but as the venue was really quiet in the morning we did not go out until about 10:45am and by then it was still really quiet.  Even so, this meant my alarm going off at 05:30 hours and leaving home at 06:30 hours in order to make sure that I got there on time.  I tried a different tactic this time though and drove up to Sheffield where I parked up and met Apetrooper Dave who gave me a lift.  This was actually about the same length of time as driving into Manchester from home and a much more straightforward journey. A route I may use into Manchester even when travelling on my own from now on.
As well as regular troopers and usual suspects [Chris, Dave P, Dave OP, Sharon, Pete, Chris S, Wayne, Jay, Joanne, Vicky, Darran, Emma, Pat, John, Jason, Gary, Alan and Craig] we had four new troopers at this event .. popping their trooping cherry!!  A warm welcome therefore goes out to Damen, Paul, Steve and Caroline.
The Printworks' new security staff making sure that no pesky Rebels get in!
We trooped in the thoroughfare of the Printworks and just outside the main entrance as well but it was very, very cold and we were in somewhat of a wind tunnel.  We had to take regular breaks to retreat back to our room in the management suite in order to warm up. I was glad that I had decided to leave a long sleeve T shirt and my woolly tights on underneath my under suit, but even with that extra layer on it was freezing.  The only trooper who didn't feel the cold was Jason in his lovely red, thick and warm Royal Guard costume.
Some naked shoulder bells on this photo in need of some 99th decals!
We had a break for lunch and then went back out into the cold to find that Craig had been able to join us after a morning at work.  He was somewhat jealous of us as he does not like not being in armour but kept himself busy taking photos of troopers for promotional material and talking to Carl from the Printworks in his capacity as Media and Publicity officer for the 99th.
We also found that the venue had got a little busier and that a few people had had a few sherbets and were in high spirits.  This isn't always a good mix with troopers' armour bearing in mind how easy they can be to damage and how expensive they are to repair or replace and a few of us decided not to go back out after our mid afternoon break. However, four of us did go back out and stuck together in one spot with about six crew and by this point, it had gone a bit quieter again.  We stayed out until about 3:45pm before calling it a day and deciding that we really did need to get out of the cold for good!
Taking a break and warming back up on the comfy sofas of the Printworks' Management Suite.
We raised £259.18 on the day for Dreamflight. Not bad for what was a relatively a quiet venue for most of the day in the freezing cold!
A huge thanks to everyone who trooped and crewed, especially to our new troopers who we hope to brand with 99th decals as soon as possible. Thanks also go to Carl from the Printworks for agreeing to us going in and letting us us one of the Printworks' conference rooms.
As usual we posed for a post troop photo but unfortunately some members had already left so there are a few missing from this troop's group shot.  Thankfully, I have a register now of those who do attend.  This is to help me in writing my blog and making sure I don't miss anyone out, something I used to use the post troop photo for!