Colour Hebden and I arrived late Friday afternoon and between us managed to set up the dining shelter with a bit of a struggle. A little later CPL Lycett arrived with the 14 man tent and between the three of us we managed to put that up as well. A little later still PTE and ATS Clewlow arrived with their white bell tent. The NAAFI was not open which was a bit of a shame but we spent a pleasant evening nevertheless catching up on news.
It rained quite heavily during the night but we stayed warm and dry with just three of us in the 14 man tent.
After a massive 'full English' in the NAAFI courtesy of the museum we were on duty by 10.00 performing our duties as gate guards and perimeter defence. By this time PTE Shellcock had arrived and we took in turns on duty with each of us being relieved every half hour. The weather gradually brightened up as the day wore on and the afternoon was particularly pleasant. Many photos were taken of us as we marched on and off our stints at the gate. Saturday evening turned damp pretty quickly and it rained very heavily all through the night. Fortunately the NAAFI was open and we took advantage of the bar, just to take shelter of course!
Sunday morning dawned cool and damp but again it gradually brightened up and the afternoon was very warm indeed. Our day was much the same as Saturday including another massive breakfast though CPL Lycett & PTE Shellcock had departed. They were replaced by PTE Sprague. Whilst we had not intended our little encampment to be a display and merely be our sleeping accommodation and rest area, our habit of not fencing ourselves off paid dividends in that it encouraged visitors to talk to us and ask questions. I spent most of Sunday afternoon giving lectures and demonstrations on the Lee Enfield No .4 MK I and the MKII STEN!
As things wound down towards the end of the afternoon some of us had the privilege of having a guided tour around the Halifax Bomber which had been taken out of its hanger and parked outside. Whilst it looks huge and imposing on the outside, there is very little space on the inside and I am now even more impressed with the achievements of the brave men of bomber command.
Whilst we were small in numbers there were just enough of us to manage and overall it was a very pleasant weekend. I think the museum were happy with our contribution to their event.
Private Dale Heaton.