Monday, 24 February 2014

50th Birthday Party in Marlow.

The 99th Garrison and the MK Garrison was asked to attend a birthday party for Chris Hughes [Chris Hughes Brand Events Limited] at Wycombe Air Park, Booker, Marlow in Buckinghamshire on Saturday, 22nd February, 2014.
On duty with the host
I have to confess I did not know a great deal about this event before I got there other than the location and that it was a 50th birthday party where we would be providing "security" at a mock airport departure lounge.  It was obviously an evening do but we needed to be there fairly early in order to get a feel for the location and be instructed on our role etc for the evening. I therefore arrived at the venue for about 4:30pm and wow!!!
Ready for action - security/scanning detail
I was joined at this event by Robin from the MKG [who popped his trooping cherry as this was his first troop], John from the MKG, Andy and Jeff who is a member of both the MKG and the 99th. We were meant to be joined by Julia and Mark from the MKG too but sadly their car broke down on the motorway on their way to the event and could not be repaired on location.  They were missed... would have been good to see them as I haven't seen them since last February!  How time flies!!
The mid-life crisis crew! They enjoyed their work!!
The party was in a hangar at the air field.  To get into the party who had to go through a police riot van which was parked right outside the door into the hangar.  Once inside it was all red carpet to the cloakroom area and then you were taken through a mock corridor typical of what you see to departure lounges at airports.  A group of teenage girls were hired for "fans" who's role it was to scream [as fans do] partway through this corridor.  Lookalikes were also hired [Johnny Depp and Kate Middleton].  They also had pretend paparazzi. 
With Johnny Depp!
At the end of the corridor guests then saw the mock security area which was where we were based.  There were four security lanes and the guests were ushered to their most appropriate lane by the birthday boy Chris and one of his friends dressed as New York police officers.  The lanes were for suspected vegetarians, VIPs, those in mid-life crises and retired 1970's TV presenters... the latter one being roped off and not used!  We were given the VIP lane to police and had a good time with various guests making sure that they "moved along".. Robin put his skills as a football steward to good use and was suitably stern and officious with the guests.  We also got them to place their handbags etc into the red plastic trays before they went through the pretend scanner where Lord Vader was sat and instructed to look suitably bored as the items went through the scanner.  Those in mid-life crisis were searched by some sexy pretend police officers with not a great deal on!
Anyway, back to the party, once the guests had gone through security they remained in an area which had been set up for a champagne reception and were entertained by a band called Ruby Lux and by speeches from the birthday boy and his family and friends and all announcements and introductions were made by Alan Dedicote!
The pathway to the rest of the hangar/event
Little did the guests know that the area that they were stood in, which by now was very full, was only a very small area of the party.  After all the guests had arrived and the speeches were over,a pair of very large Narnia like doors opened to a wooded path which then took guests through to the rest of the party area. 
Lod Vader on duty at the scanner

This additional area was set out like a festival with Yurts set out for a chill area, a bearded lady, and other festival like attractions.  There was also stage area for more live acts, Dodgems, Ice cream trolleys, and various hot food vendors in their attractive vehicles - typical of the kind that you see at festivals.  There was also a bar and lots of comfy seating.  All of the drink and food was provided by the host!.  
Some of the guests who went through this lane really did get into the role play!
The live acts were very, very good and included Johnny Borrell from Razorlight playing an acoustic session, The Illegal Eagles and Rockaoke.  
Once our security duties were over we were able to dekit and enjoy the party too!  Sadly Jeff [and his wife Meg] and John had to leave early but the rest of us stayed and enjoyed the fun and also got something to eat and drink as by this time we were starving. We also got to see Chris Evans, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richmond Hammond, Tiff Needell, Jason Plato, Eddie Jordan and Jody Sheckter take part in a race on the Dodgems!  It was like being at an episode of Top Gear!  We also got to have a go on the Dodgems too later on... I can't tell you the last time I did that or, indeed, if I ever have....good fun with every one in good spirits!
You may think not but I have had to replace my zip on my scout undersuit!
No usual post troop photo for this one I'm afraid as I completely forgot!  Huge thanks though to Gabby for inviting us along and to Chris Hughes.  Huge thanks to Jeff, Meg, Robin, Andy and John. A most unusual and high profile event! Also thanks to the Bearded Lady for letting us use her Yurt!! :-)