We have had quite a lot of interest already and we are exploring the option of a BBQ or Curry on the Saturday night. The gist of the weekend is just have a get together, a few beers and a bit of banter. If anybody wants to bring along a musical instrument and entertain us that's fine. I know some people have old military vehicles, it might be nice to see them.
Price guide as folows
These prices are some example costs
Good evening everyone,
I'll start tonight with two bits of news, the British Legion in Neley has closed and is up for sale, there is a memorial plaque or tablet in there that I haven't been able to see as it is boarded up, I was able to get hold of a representative of the company selling it and inform him of its presence and if possible save it, well unless its already been moved.
The other is the D Day memorial in Royal Victoria Park has been vandalised by people using stone to carve there names into the slates, I am not an expert but there appeared to be damage to the slate due to this. A local Parish councillor who I have just been talking to has just gone to the police station to report it as neither of us could get through on 101.
Other than those bitsnot a lot has been happening. Tomorrow I aim to get Netley Military cemetery done and out of the way, that will be Hampshire nearly done, oh, and I found another gold postbox in Hamble-Le-Rice :)
Well I lost three days to the weather over the weekend and then made up for it yesterday! I need to say thank you to Andy and Allen Wedge for their help with getting Haslar Royal Navy cemetery completed, I never want a day like yesterday ever again! It was horrendously hard work and I paid for it in spadefulls last night... It was a help having Andy's small class 2 scooter to use, I hate to think what sort of state I would be in without it. As Andy mentioned in a post last night on Facebook, we met a lovely family from the Cayman Islands who were very generous, they had come to see a Royal Naval relatives grave.
Talking about the Caribbean, I found the grave of J Sparrow yesterday, a sailor, Joseph not Jack Gaspar has resulted in 3871 images, this is going to take a long time to go through, I still have St Anne's cemetery and Netley to do, once they are finished I can head to Tramper, I need new tyres on the trailer then it's Somerset until Christmas.
A short, sharp update tonight as a tad tired after a long day, a uncomfortable night with the legs and being disturbed by an unexpected animal...
I was woken in the early hours by the cat biscuits being munched, lots of cats in the area so tapped the door of the trailer, stopped for a minute then carried on, this went for an unknown amount of time before I had enough and reached out to remove the temptation, put my hand underneath the trailer and pulled the tub only to have my hands prickled! A hedgehog was sitting in the tub munching on the biscuits! I left him there :)
Just been visited again by one finishing off the cat food :D
Tomorrow I, well we start Haslar Military cemetery, three to four days at least I suspect...
A late update tonight, I've been crunching War Grave data and looking into sorting out the publishing of the book I was contracted to write, a bit of a minefield by the look of it, I will look again when I'm feeling a bit fresher.
Last night the music from Boomtown Festival finished at midnight and I went to bed, I was continually awoken by groups of people heading being noisy, I guessing here, back to Glastonbury.
A bit of a blast from the past tonight, one of the boys from the regiment put some photos online from when we were in training, happy, at times painful memories :)
Tomorrow a short hop to Warsah and stopping with Andy Wedge and family, also some of the hardest work to do in Hampshire, Netley and Haslar cemeteries, I think there are 2,500 to 3,000 graves to photograph...
Not much to report after the last couple of days, same old routine. I was given a new Hungry Horse mascot last night whilst at the Royal Anchor in Liphook, this one has done a couple of tours of Iraq or Afghanistan, not sure, it was late and I'd been treated to a few beers by the locals!
I'll try and get it attached to the trailer tomorrow. Tomorrow is to be a day off, a while since I've had one.
I forgot to mention that I have had a reply from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about the wrong Army Service Corps problem.
"We have been aware of the error regarding the title of the Corps for a great many years, and the correction will be made when all relevant headstones are replaced. As you will appreciate, this might not be for some considerable time, but will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, when the engraving on each headstone necessitates its replacement."
I will adapt my system to show that when I visited it it was wrong and hopefully in the future it will be corrected.
Well I will start with the truth, I'm shattered. The Tesco Store in Petersfield is being refitted after it closes at 2200hrs and it felt like every half hour after I went to bed the contractors came out for a smoke break and mess obout on the cashiers chairs, it was probably a lot longer interval but that is what it felt like.
Needless to say it made for a very long day, I had two very expensive crumpets for breakfast in the Petersfield before pottering up the road to Bordon, I did however go via Greatham and the church had a little cafe, had a cuppa and a "comfort break" before heading to Blackmoor where I found an absolutley wonderful War Memorial, it was a cloister with tablets built in to it, just as special was finding a VC again, this one a Soldier and a teacher, I wonder if the children knew how lucky they were...
After getting the photographs at Blackmoor I headed for Tesco with the intention of dropping the trailer off and getting Bordon's Memorials and Graves done out of the way, I turned up and hunted for a plug socket - none outside, damn, stuffed up! I went and checked with staff, nope, the only one was in the lobby and was not a viable option. Time to have a look for another option, there was a Greene King pub in Liphook, a quick apologetic email to Simon at Greene King and he was on the phone, no answer, time to mildly panic. I headed to the Royal Anchor anyway and the Duty Manager allowed me to stop, there should still be an email somewhere out there to the pub ;)
Yesterday by contrast was an easier if frustrating day at times, I went to one school that was recoring as having a WW1 book or roll of honour and a tablet for WW2, they knew nothing about them or where they were! Back into Petersfield for a newspaper interview and pictures before I headed to Horndean and photograph the graves and memorials there. I headed out of town following a wonderful cycle track, well wonderful until it disappeared into a fence! No warning or anything that it wasn't completed, me being me and having an absolutley wonderful machine looked at the map, go back a bit and follow a track through the beeach woods and over the hill to the parking areas for the Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
All done I headed back along the route I took yesterday through the beech woods, it really is a wonderful run.
Tomorrow I head into Bordon get that out of the way and I'll get a couple of villages done to the north. Once this area is done I'll head back to the caravan site at Winchester to get some washing done before heading to the Fareham/Gosport area, that will be pretty much Hampshire done :)
Well last nights stressfull evening was not needed to say the least! I have an idea who let Missy off the lead but no proof, "he" put one of the cats toys in a brandy glass and fastened the lead to it, he obviously thought it would be funny, it was far from funny, Missy like a lot of animals has no road sense, she thinks cars are for sniffing not avoiding, she also wears a harness that if she gets caught on a branch she can't not escape it like they can a collar. I was luckily told that she headed to the hedge and not the road. After me thrashing around on the otherside she popped out and was picked up by Polly the manager who clipped back on the lead. I took them both back in the pub and to be honest I was ready to batter seven shades of **** out of someone...
Anyway, earlier on I was told there would be a Spitfire going past so I set the camera up and waited and waited and took a photo of a Black-headed Gull trying to catch its lunch.
The Spitfire eventually flew over and I managed to get a snap of it.
Today was a nice jaunt across east Hampshire through some lovely beech woods, I managed to get some bits and bobs done on the way. Tomorrow morning I have an interview with the local paper and can then head out to cover the local villages.
I'm afraid this update will be mainly visual with a lot of photos from yesterdays start of SSAFA's Rally for Heroes at HMS Victory. It was nice to catch up with Jim Morrison who has been looking after me for the last five years when it comes to all things SSAFA :)
A very important part of yesterday was the fact that Rally for Heroes participants have already raised £118,000 pounds for SSAFA before they even set off! For me HMS Victory was hard work, a lot of steep steps to try and negotiate, negotiate them I did though with some help. For me it was a wonderful day with one of the charities I help who in turn has helped me do something different and have a good time whilst doing it. It is a "Petrol Heads" day with Aston Martins (my dream car), Lamborghini's, Porsche's, Jaguar's, Ariel Atom's, BMW's literally all sorts! Doubtless I've spelt some of these wrong :)
There is an ITV Meridian clip all about here http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-08-05/rally-for-heroes-sets-off-from-portsmouth/
I also took a video as the "convoy" left, https://vimeo.com/177819673
Lt Boyce and L\Cpl Scanlon, 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards
The name of everyone lost in Afghanistan on the car
I couldn't find Lt Boyce on the car, he will be there though...
HMS St Albans coming home
On getting back to The Farmhouse InnLodge where we were staying the "Petrol Head" experience continued, there was a wedding at the Hotel and the Groom was delivered in a DeLorean DMC-12.
Today was an almost boring day in comparison, I headed off this morning and did some graves and memorials on the way to the Royal Oak at Langstone, Havant was an interesting stop at the Parish Church where there was a fete on and quite a few ex-forces were in and around, a bit of a natter, a bacon bagguette and I was on my way again, getting to Langstone from Havant was a bit of a nightmare, the traffic was flowwing slower than me, no idea why, once I cleared the roundabout I could use the pavement and was soon at the Royal Oak.
I dropped the trailer, sorted the cats and headed out to get Hayling Island done out of the way, I was surprised to find a small plaque in the Parish church in Welsh, no idea what it said which is a shame. I then plodded down to Hayling Island RNLI Station on the off chance someone was there, they were, there was shout on! I still didn't get a new flag and nearly lost it on the way back to brambles in the hedge...
RNLI Hayling Island returning home
Good afternoon everyone,
Well its been a couple of long days but Portsmouth is about done,as usual a lot of locked churches and the Jewish graveyard, this I'm not surprised by have heard about vandalism in them in the past. I think Portsmouth's Kingston Cemetery is the largest I've done so far by a long way, I did eleven plus miles around it, fortunately the graves are mostly "toe to toe" so i had a good pathway up and down each row, I think I would have been there for days otherwise!
Tomorrow I head down to HMS Victory and the start of Rally for heroes, not sure what to expect with this, never been to one before...
I will start by apologising, I'm pushing myself both physically and mentally more than normal.
Yesterday was a good dry start, it started to go down hill just after midday, mores the pity, I had hoped to get a lot done on my way to Portsmouth, I think I can also say that Google maps isn't always right, I will use it to give me an iea on how far it is to my destination and then work out how much power I need and wether I will need to get a charge. Yesterdays suggested route was twenty-five and a little bit miles according to their system, I had a slight detour of one and a half miles becuase it wanted me to go down a rough footpath so twenty seven tops, thirty three miles later I landed at the pub, oh and two puntures later! I beleive the expression is humbug! Or is that at Christmas...
Today I was up in time fore breakfast at the Farmhouse before heading into Portsmouth, as it had been wet all night I wasn't optermistic about getting the cemeteries done although logic kicked in, a rare occaision! I though I can do indoor memorials, do you know I think I should be good at maths or wisdom, well something like that after my nicknames sake Izaak Newton, something went wrong somewhere...
Anyway, I headed out, found my first church, a Roman Catholic one, nothing marked on my map but found a Sky filming a bit for "Don't tell the Bride" and three new memorials, a good start, it soon went down hill, the heavens opened and I was drenched! I plodded on and got a lot done in short space of time, slightly disapointed with the NatWest Bank in Portsmouth town centre, they have a memorial but only staff are allowed to view it (secure area), do I email the HQ expressing my disappointment?
Right, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, not happy with me sending multiple emails about incorrect headstones, I sent a small image with each one to show the problem and they have a email size restriction. They have asked me to put all into a sigle email, they haven't specified whether they want images yet though. They have also aknowledged there is a problem with some headstones that have the wrong Regiment or Service, this dates back a long way, they will be replacing them and correcting them when the stone reach the end of their life. Two things, I think once they are flagged as being wrong they should be corrected, I can only think of it like this, my first Regiment was the QOH, now the QRIH, when I pop my clogs it would be similar to putting I served with the QRIH, the Regiment is a big family, things change when they merge, friends are lost new ones are made but its not the same, I think it might be a military thing...
The second is, I think I will change my systen so I can mark something wrong with a headstone and send it to them periodically, a safer option possibly.
I've just been told the rest of the week is to be wet, I hope not, I have a couple of big cemeteries to do :(
Before I forget, the publisher that contracted me to do the book and I haven't heard anything from is to be sent a letter terminating the contract, suggestions would be welcome on a new publisher...
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