The 99th has a tradition of collecting for charity at the Trafford Centre, Manchester in December and this year was no different. With the support of our good friends the Mint Imperials we collected for Dreamflight. www.dreamflight.org.
We had to be at the Trafford Centre for 8:30 so left base at about 07:40am to pick up the Craigster from his mum's and then went straight to the venue arriving just before Ian and Nigel who had driven down that morning from Newcastle to troop as Darth Rethan and the Emperor! Fortunately, we had had a bit of snow the night before but nothing worse!
I had intended to do Memah for this event but I started with a cold on the Thursday before and with my nose running like it was there was no way I could paint my face blue and have stayed blue for long!!
I took my officer's uniform and scout armour with me and decided that I would see how I felt when actually at the venue before deciding what costume to wear. As it turned out, I was able to wear the scout armour all day only occasionally coughing and spluttering inside my helmet... not nice!! Yes... that's me in the Christmas hat!
We were in our usual spot by the band stand in the food court/orient area of the centre from about 10:00am until 4:00pm and it was a long, hot day! and we were based in the presentation theater in the management suite. We were fairly busy most of the time and the collection pots were heavy! We were joined not only by the Mint Imperials but also by some of my friends and colleagues from Dreamflight who came along to support us and help persuade people to donate... A huge thanks to Nigel, Jo, Kev, Heather, Maia and Jean and also to Connor and his mum and sister....Connor went on the trip with the Dolphin group in 2009.
As usual with the December Trafford Centre troop we went out for a meal after the event. This year there was only me, Jim, Craig and Ian. Ian had arranged to stay at Craig's flat in Manchester for the night so after a quick break and shower to freshen up we met up back at the Trafford Centre at about 7:00pm and hit the Kro bar for a swift one before perusing all the many varied restaurants there and deciding on a meal at the TGI Fridays! and very nice it was too and very filling!!! The staff at TGIs are very entertaining and energetic and part way through the night one of the waiters slid down the bannister very smoothly and calmly!! The others missed it though and I don't think they quite believed me thinking I'd had to much liquid refreshment and he didn't do it again!
Saturday night/Sunday morning was not a good one for me as I seemed to spend most of the night suffering from my cold... every time I lay down I'd start coughing....but Sunday morning it was up, full English breakfast and then back to the Trafford Centre for Christmas shopping! Not an entirely successful day as I wasn't able to get hold of a couple of items that I wanted so I may now have to resort to Ebay for them and hope they arrive in time for Christmas Day.
We got back to base at about 3:15 pm but not before bumping into Maia again in the Trafford Centre ladies toilets.... then it was a quick tea and settle down to count the monies and I'm very pleased to report that we collected £673.61!!
A huge thank you to Craig, Jim, Steve, Heidi, Ken, David, Nigel, Ian, Paul, Rhys, Stacey, Richard, Phil, Andy and my fellow Dreamflighters for helping us to have such a successful day! An extra special mention to Rhys for his debut as a Jawa.... awesome work including at one point Craig, dressed in his Sandtrooper armour chasing him around the band stand with Nigel in tow trying to catch it on video as well, with Nigel having to tell him to run slower...http://youtu.be/DBDXceOa4a8