What better way to spend your Bank Holiday Weekend than playing with hot, sharp, spiky, stinging, heavy and noisy things? Or walking along the sea shore, sailing a land yacht or, just possibly, driving a 155mm howitzer like a long, thin car?
Wha’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?
Thorney Island was an airfield. Aircraft were dispersed around the perimeter on hard stands. One of those stands has been fenced and forms the SOE vehicle and storage compound. Brambles, nettles and triffids are trying to get through the fence and, in many areas succeeding. We are going to fight back with shears and bfo petrol powered hedge cutters.
- Petrol powered hedge trimmer of the sort we hope to use
The gun needs an engine tune and a brave pilot or two to check out how well it drives. We might be allowed to make a few more bangs with it if we ask the Royal Artillery nicely.
One of the vehicles in the compound is a field kitchen designed to feed 120 troops 3 squares a day. So rustling up a ruby or similar for 20 or so people should be a doddle. And making the occasional brew or three won’t be difficult either. Sitting in the sun is an option, either within the compound surrounded by trees or by the beach perhaps with a cooling sea breeze. Then you can listen to the silence. Thorney is an incredibly peaceful place especially considering it is a working MoD site*
And for those of you fretting that the blackberries will be disappearing along with the brambles you will get your chance to grab them before they go or you can always try for those growing on the other 1200 acres of airfield. Nettles in abundance too for those wishing to extend their range of home made wines – all organic and pesticide free.
While the gun is being driven around the island it needs a kennel making to shelter it for the winter months. We should have the materials and tools available , just looking for some labour. If they can have a barn raisin’ in “Oklahoma!” I’m sure we can do the same. Needn’t make such a song and dance about it though. There is always the Museum of Mechanical Failures to admire on the north side of the compound (admission by appointment only), there is the splendour of Gary’s Grotto spanning the gap to the southern semicircle where you can play “guess what’s under that cover” and “how far back does this bush go before we find the fence” or relax in the club’s luxury caravan.
Those of a more adventurous nature can have a wee drive around the island, play with a land yacht or offer microlight pilots fuel in exchange for flights. Hunger can be assuaged either on application to the chef of the day (if you want to have your vocabulary forcibly increased) or by a visit to the on-base Spar mini-mart. You could even bring your own food and drink to supplement the free rations!
The day(s) will be what we make them. So let’s have your ideas and we can implement them!
*MoD site – so we need to be on good behaviour – sign in at the guardhouse with photo i.d. to hand, observe the speed limits and don’t poke in places we aren’t supposed to poke.