Sunday, 19 February 2012

99th Garrison invited back to the Trafford Centre - Sat 18th Feb 2012

It used to be the case that we had to ask the Trafford Centre management for permission for the 99th to go to the centre and collect but on this occasion, the Trafford Centre asked us along to help them out with their Star Wars week for school half term.  

They asked us to be there on the Saturday and the Sunday but I couldn't do both days so just did the Saturday.  Originally, we were asked to be in costume at 11:00am but then they asked us to be in costume by 09:30 as the Trafford Centre press and PR people wanted to take some professional photos of us around the centre before it got too busy with shoppers.
Ian came down from Newcastle for this event and he arrived at base on Friday afternoon.  I had actually been out on a ten mile walk up and down Kinder Scout as part of my sister's [Hazel] special birthday celebrations and had got very wet as the weather had not been very nice at all.  So, on Friday night I was suitably tired.    

Saturday morning was a fairly early start as we had to be out of base by about 07:30 and then it was straight into applying my make up for Memah for me.  It took about an hour to get on!

We were then taken around the centre and had professional shots taken on the central stair case, queuing at ATMs, sat at the champagne bar, ordering food at Cafe Rouge and on travelling on the escalators before having a half hour break at 10:30 and going out for the public at 11:00.

When we did go out at 11:00 we had a crowd of people waiting for us including lots of children in their Star Wars costumes and we were very busy.  The Trafford Centre management told us that they wanted us to do half hour on, then half hour off, and I have to say it worked really well.  We got lots of breaks from the heat and when we did go out we were in demand.  .. Its a system that we may need to use again at other events where appropriate.

The odd thing about the day was that we weren't allowed to collect for charity but at least that meant we did not have to sit down and count loads of coins when we got back!  It was strange though not to have a collection pot in hand!

And just in case you're wondering as the Craigster hasn't had a mention yet in this blog.... Craig made his way to the Trafford Centre by bus as we didn't have room for anyone else in the car with Ian being with us and fortunately for Craig, there is a bus service from Manchester to the Trafford Centre.  We were also joined by Paul and Rhys, who very kindly brought Darran with them and also by David, Jim and Ken.  It was also Craig's first outing in his X wing costume doing his Luke Skywalker impression!
After the troop it was a quick turn around to take all my blue make up off and get ready for a night out for Hazel's birthday at Piccolino's in Manchester and the the Mark Addy pub by the river Irwell. Needless to say as I'm sat here writing this blog on Sunday morning, I'm feeling ever so slight worse for wear from the many GnTs I had and my legs are so stiff from the walk on Friday and all the standing around on Saturday that I can hardly bend them!

 A huge thanks to David, Craig, Ian, Darran, Paul, Rhys, Ken and Jim.
If I get copies of the professional photos I will add these at a later date. :-) x

Monday, 13 February 2012

99th Attends the launch of The Phantom Menace in 3D at the aptly named Empire Cinema, Wigan - Sunday 12th February, 2012

The 99th was asked to help the empire..... The Empire Cinema in Wigan.. to launch The Phantom Menace in 3D and kindly allowed us to collect for Dreamflight as well.
We needed to be in costume by 1:00pm so left base at about 11:00am.. picking the Craigster up on the way.  We were at the cinema for two screenings until 5:00pm but were allowed to stay after that to see the film ourselves if we wished as well... for free.  Unfortunately, none of us were able to but we were given free passes instead with no date to use them by!
This was the second troop of 2012 for me and also the second troop this year where we met a new member.  Today it was Grant.  Great to meet him as a fellow Scout/Tree Dodger but not to stand next to, if, like me, you're a little on the short side.... he is very tall!! and made me feel tiny in comparison!!!! :-)
We had a good day and were well received by the punters and the staff alike.  Lots of children turned up with their Star Wars T shirts on ... and lots of keen Dads as well!  That's the thing about Star Wars.... it gets all generations in the end!
A nice second troop at which we raised £72.80 on the day for Dreamflight. see

Saturday, 11 February 2012

99th attends Kev's 40th birthday bash for Dreamflight - Fri 10th February, 2012

This was the first event of 2012 for me.  I know Kevin from my Dreamflight trips and he is a massive Star Wars Fan.  He asked the 99th to attend his 40th Birthday do in Farnworth to help him celebrate and also collect for Dreamflight.  For those of you who don't know about Dreamflight check out and watch the 3 minute introductory video.
The do was an evening event and the weather forecast had not been brilliant so last minute on Thursday night/Friday morning I decided to take a days leave as that would cut down on my travelling considerably.  
I left base at about 3:30 and got to Swinton where I was picking up a new member of the 99th - Ian - for his first troop with us... as crew.  Having picked Ian up we arrived at the venue at about 5:15 and eventually found somewhere to park!  Jim arrived with the Craigster shortly after.
We were given the artists changing room at the back of the stage in the club's function room to get changed in.  Suitable lifesize cardboard cutouts of C3PO and Lord Vader were on the stage and Kev had a Boba Fett birthday cake!
Guests started to arrive just after seven but not before Ian showed us the Stromtrooper Armour that he had bought so that he could be given some hints/tips on strapping and how to put it together for clearance.  He should be trooping in armour very soon!  Ian then de-kitted and was excellent crew for the night.
We were positioned at the top of a flight of stairs where the guests entered the function room and we were able to hide and suddenly appear as they reached the top and we had what has to be the loudest and most real scream from someone when they first saw us that I think I have ever heard when I've been trooping.  Once she got over her shock she loved us.  
Guests had been told that they could dress up if they wanted to and one lady came as an Ewok.  It was a very good costume and she really did love us!  She said it was a dream come true for her and had loads of photos taken with us.
We had a good night and de kitted about 8:30 and stayed for some buffet [including some Star Wars choclate cup cakes!] and what turned out to the the highlight of the evening when Kev came into the room with his mate dressed in wrestlers' outfits. You had to see Kev's outfit to believe it but it didn't leave much to the imagination!  His mate had a Morph suit on that looked like a dinner suit/Tuxedo.  They then proceeded to play wrestle for a while before leading a conga around the room!!!  Way to go Kev!!!
A very nice troop for the first one of the year.... thanks to Kev and his guests we collected a total of £185.82 for Dreamflight.... thank you very much!!!
A huge thanks to Ian [excellent crew!] Jim and Craig and to Kev and Nicola for inviting us along.