Sunday, 1 July 2012

Days Out in Devon: Armed Forces Day National Event

We missed out on the Olympic torch relay when it passed through Devon a few weeks ago but maybe we've made up for it now courtesy of the Blind Veteran's Association!  Thanks to those currently serving in the forces, the cadets who may follow in their footsteps and all those veterans who came before,  Louis and I had a brilliant day in Plymouth yesterday.   For this famous, historic military port played host on an untypically sunny summer's day to the National Armed Forces Event on the Hoe.

Our early arrival coincided with that of the impressively noisy, loop the looping Avro Vulcan.  In an attempt to replicate some of the thrill of flying a fighter aircraft ourselves we had a go in a simulator where we experienced a bouncy reenactment of a Red Arrow's display flight.   Lou got his hands on some weaponry and was guided blindfold around a 'mine field' by some enthusiastic army cadets.

There was so much to watch, see and do.  Overhead aircraft weren't the only thing that challenged the auditory sense.   The 21 gun salute from the HMS Argyll on a sail past  in the Sound did exactly what it said on the tin. There was a plethora of musical acts  including some contemporary stuff and those 'Military Wives' who sang their little hearts out forming a soundtrack to our day.  Now I didn't think that I was a fan of military bands and I have to say that their music won't be something that I'll be tapping my feet to at home.  However being close to the Devon Army Cadet Band as they played and experiencing the beat of their drums resonating through my body cavity  made me appreciate why these corps were set up and remain a feature of the Armed Forces today.

What's this rather impressive pile of booty that Louis collected during the day? It includes seven wristbands, two air fresheners,  two sticky creatures a model aeroplane, four balloon, a tube of Pringles, two cardboard hats, a colouring book and crayons, five flags, lots of leaflets and stickers.......the list goes on and on.  All were mainly free or purchased for a few pence through a donation for the  donor charities.   I can't say that this pile of stuff is helpful in getting a 'Reduce Reuse Recycle' message across but all those souvenirs made a brilliant day out for a nine year old even more enjoyable!

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