Over the weekend of Aug 13th-15th , 13 cadets and 5 staff were involved in our
annual pilgrimage to Arlington Court. This musical event, for which we are
responsible for the car parking, attracts hundreds of people from all walks of
life including Rastafarians, hippies, hoppies and just plain weirdoes (and, of
course, ordinary folk music lovers).|
On Friday 13th, camp was set up with the caravan, 12ft tent and ten 2-man tents for the cadets. This task went fairly smoothly and was completed by 8pm. After hot-dogs and a drink everyone walked the site to get their bearings and check out their duties for the early start in the morning.
Our camp-site and co-ordination point
Staff & Cadets in the "mess"
|After a hearty breakfast of sausage, bacon, beans and egg at 7.15am the cadets and staff were briefed on their duties and responsibilities which involved manning the main gate, various car parks and of course the base camp. The 2-way radios crackled into life at 8.15 at the start of a 13½ hour day. The weather turned out to be the usual mix of showers and sun as the crowds came in their droves.|
|At 9.30 a rusty old Ford Fiesta pulled up to the main gate and a foreign gentleman spoke to myself and Cpl Shanes about some gate passes for a band whose name we couldn't comprehend. Whilst talking to him I noticed what looked like a shotgun in the foot well of the car. Later when P/O Cole did his walk around of the site I casually mentioned this to him. Wow! I wish I hadn't now. The next thing I knew the police had arrived followed by the armed response team (who couldn't stay because they got another job). To cut a long story short the gentleman turned out to be the catering manager and after his car was searched the shotgun turned out to be a toy rifle.||
Marshalling cars in the car park
The Stage, Beer Tent, and main area
|At the end of a busy first day (about 10 o'clock) the cadets and some of the
staff went down to the main arena to partake of some light refreshments, music
and dancing. I, being well past my prime, decided to man the base tent and
prepare the supper (hot dogs again). But by 11.15 I had had enough and decided
to hit the sack.
Sunday morning broke a little too early for some of the bleary-eyed staff and cadets but after a full cooked breakfast everyone turned to the matter of packing up the camp. Arlington court is a very arduous weekend and our thanks go to the cadets and staff who worked so hard through some difficult conditions.