Friday, 8 November 2013

99th Garrison collects for the Walking With Giants Foundation - Thursday, 7th November, 2013

The 99th Garrison has attended the Christmas lights switch on at the Trafford Centre in Manchester for a number of years now and this is becoming one of our regular annual events. When we do so we always support the Walking With Giants Foundation.  This is a charity for children who suffer from Primoridal Dwarfism.  For more information see  We are also supported by our good friends at the Mint Imperials. This year's troop was extra special though as it was in memory of Matthew Litchfield - a little boy who was supported by the WWG and who sadly recently had passed away.
I'm leaning on a lampost on the corner of the street waiting for a certain little lady to go by...
This year was also a bit different though as we had arranged to visit John Lewis at lunch time who are also based in the Trafford Centre to discuss a collection we are doing there for Dreamflight on Sunday, 24th November, 2013.  They also asked for some of us to be in costume so having checked with the centre management whether this was ok, we duly visited John Lewis for coffee/tea in their staff canteen dressed in soft costumes only ie. no armour or helmets etc were allowed at this stage.  Having discussed what would happen and where on the 24th, we then left John Lewis for something to eat in the Trafford Centre food hall in the Orient.
The event was also a bit different due to the number of troopers involved, although all did not come for the lunch time visit to John Lewis, by the time that the troop was in full swing we had the following troopers/crew...... I had to do a register for this, so as not to forget anyone!   Joanne, Jason K, Vickie, Sandra, Wayne, Sarah, Andy W, Dave A, Mark, Jason F, Ric, Dave P, Chris E, Chris S, Craig, Jim, Neil, Tony, Alan, Paul, Pat, John, Stacey, Richard, Jenna, Ken, Andy W and Pete.
Sith Lady Callieach
Having had some lunch we then had a couple of hours to kill in the centre's staff training centre before we were due to troop at about 4:00pm.  Its amazin how quick time goes when troopers get together and have some catching up to do.... chatter, chatter, chatter!
Rebel thinks he can hide from us??!!
We then trooped from about 4:00pm until about 8:00pm.  The Trafford Centre got gradually busier and busier as people arrived for the celebrities that had been booked for the evening... apart from ourselves of course!  The other celebs included Brian McFadden, The Hoosiers, The Overtones and stars from Strictly Come Dancing.
We were also joined by Sue and John Connerty from WWG and their volunteers and new bear mascot as well.... who is as yet, unnamed.  Suggestions are being sought! :-)
Hugging WWG new bear mascot
We were kept fairly busy posing for photographs etc and were even filmed and interviewed at one point about the Garrison and the work that we do for various charities.  We also had restaurant managers asking us to pose in their restaurants with their menus etc... in return for a donation to WWG of course!
Boba Fett on TGI's Harley outside their restaurant with apetrooper causing trouble!
We also had a special appearance by Apetrooper towards the end of the troop who everyone seemed to enjoy and John Connerty thought was "brilliant"
It was safe to say that by the time that we finished trooping we were all very, very tired.  This was my first troop at the Trafford Centre since my operations on my feet and even though I wore Mara Jade, which meant I had flat boots on with no heels, and inserted gel inserts my feet were absolutely killing me! 

A huge thank you to all the troopers and crew listed above, for some of whom this was their first troop.  Also to Sue and John from WWG and the Alison Reid at the Trafford Centre and all their security staff for keeping an eye on us.  We raised £381.97 on the night.... well done all!!! :-)