Saturday, 2 May 2015

Virus alert!

IMPORTANT - if you have received an email from me with a Whatsapp video attached to it PLEASE DO NOT OPEN IT as it's a virus! I've somehow got infected and it's sent out to all my contacts so please delete immediately!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Yesterday at Salute

We had a great time at Salute playing ZZapp the ZZepp yesterday, and it was good to see all of you who stopped by to say hello and to play the game.

Sorry if we didn't get the chance to chat very much but unfortunately running a participation game with only two people is hectic work! I only had the time to take a few photos before the game started - once the show opened we were running games non-stop until about 4pm so I didn't even get much of a chance to look round the show. That had it's upside though as it meant I didn't spend much either!

Just a few photos of the Zepp, which did really well and managed to stay upright and flying throughout the whole show, and of the two German fighters (an Albatros W4 and a Hansa-Brandenberg, both seaplanes of course!).


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Salute 2015

As I may have mentioned before, we are doing a participation game at Salute this year called ZZapp the Zepp. It's (loosely) based on Lt Culley's shooting down of Zeppelin L53 over the North Sea in August 1918, the last Zeppelin to be shot down by British fighters in the War. Players will have to fly their Sopwith Camels (the old Airfix kit which is the correct Camel 2F1 - at last I've found a use for it!) down the board to reach the Zeppelin and try to shoot her down before she gets too high for them. But the Zeppelin is not alone, there are Albatros W4 and Hansa-Brandenberg seaplanes lurking to try to shoot the Camels down!

As usual with our participation games it will be fast and furious (no pun intended - the planes come from HMS Furious!) and hopefully great fun. If you are at Salute on Saturday do stop by and say hello or even have a go! You can't miss our table, a 5 foot long Zeppelin standing half a metre above the table will grab your attention!

I'll try to post some photos after Salute.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Battle of Neuve Chapelle

Today is the centenary of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the first planned British offensive of the Great War. As well as British troops the attack featured two divisions of Indian infantry in the Meerut and Lahore divisions. The battle also had the first British timetabled artillery "barrage" - also the first time this word was used by the British Army.

The battle was initially successful as troops broke through the German lines but as with so many other battles to come the breakthrough could not be maintained. By the time the cavalry came up the German lines had stabilised. The British also fired 30% of their entire stock of shells on the day of the battle, leading ultimately to the "shell shortage" scandal.

British losses were around 7,000, Indians about 4,200 and Germans around 9,000.
Let's remember all of them today.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Day trip to the Somme

Ok, firstly I am sorry for not posting for ages! Unfortunately the real world intervened again, but hopefully normal service has now been restored!

I noticed recently that a local coach company was running a series of day trips to various places on the Somme for only £36 a day - this was an opportunity that was too good to miss. The first trip was this Monday, when we went to Pozieres Ridge, the Lochnagar Crater in La Boiselle, "Ocean Villas" tea rooms for lunch, Mametz and Dantzig Alley, Fricourt German cemetery and the Somme Museum in Albert. We still had time for dinner in Amiens too so a very busy day!

The only downside was the weather, which chose that day to be foggy and damp, so the (apparently) excellent views were invisible. Still, we got to "see" quite a bit anyway!

Here are some pictures from the day:

The Tank Corps memorial at Pozieres
Lochnagar Crater.
Original trenches at "Ocean Villas"
German cemetery at Fricourt
In the Somme Museum at Albert

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Off to Crisis 2014

Sorry not to have posted for a while but "real life" has intervened! Just getting ready now for our annual trip to Antwerp for the Crisis show, which is one of the best shows around. If you've never made the trip, I can assure you it's well worth it! If you are at the show do stop by and say hello - you should know what our set looks like by now!

One of the chaps coming with us has never been to Ypres before (not sure how he managed that!) so on Sunday I'm doing an impromptu tour of the Salient for him. We won't have that long so it'll be bit of a whistle-stop tour of Tyne Cot, Passchendaele Museum in Zonnebeke, Hooge Crater and Museum (looking forward to that, not been there for a while) and Hill 62/Sanctuary Wood. Then down the Menin Road to the Gate and into Ypres. If I can I'd also like to get into Geluveld as tomorrow will be the centenary of that battle.

Should be a good day, if the weather holds! Photos as ever on return.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Mons town square

Many of you may have seen the famous photo of British soldiers in the town square at Mons before the battle. When we were in the square there was a parade to commemorate the battle, with some excellent German infantry re-enactors, together with soldiers from the (modern) Royal Horse Artillery. Here's the square today with some of the German re-enactors.