The 99th Garrison made its annual visit to Derian House in Chorley to support their summer Gala for the Children's Hospice. The weather forecast included showers so it was with some expectation of a cold and wet day that we made the trip to Chorley, picking the Craigster up en route.
The journey took the usual one and half hours [most troops for us take that long to get to] and on arrival we were shown to one of the rooms in the brand new part of the hospice that was to be our changing room for the day. Very impressive but quite thought provoking as well.
The weather held out for the event all day and we did not see any real rain at all and it was quite pleasant most of the time. We had had some troopers drop out of the event the night before and morning of the event so me and Craig took it in turn to crew in our officers' uniforms with Craig crewing in the morning and me after lunch.
Even though we had been to Derian House Summer Gala before, this visit, to me, was the one where we were the most popular! The organisers initially asked us to stand by the entrance to the event field, by the road outside in order to attract passing traffic and we were bibbed and waved at by nearly all the passing vehicles including police and wedding cars. Then, when we entered the main event field we were bombarded with people wanting their photos with us and the day went very quickly. At times, it was impossible to move from one spot!
I even received a visit from the little girl at Burnley FC who had been very happy to be picked up by me and have her photo taken with me when I was Memah and all blue but was too frightened of me as a perfectly normal officer to have her photo taken with me.... which is a bit of a worry but the officers from the local fire brigade who attended the event with their engine were quite keen to discuss my uniform and handcuffs with me! lol!!! and Craig got to sit in the driving seat!
We also had a visit from Jim and Craig's Fan Club ... Hannah and Amelia... they have been coming to the Gala for the past three years just to see them. They bring them little presents each time. This year was a little R2D2 unit and 2 Snicker bars!
When the time came to get changed and go home, we discovered that the route that we had used to get to our changing room had had various doors locked and at times I thought that I was going to have to call for help for us to get out but Disney Bouncy found the way!
Thanks to Jim, Craig, Ken and Simon for attending this event. We may only have been 5 but we were the fabulous 5!!!