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,
Its been a long hard week but I managed to get Aldershot done, I had expected it to take two weeks. I've neglected the updates due to getting all the memorials renamed as quickly as possible, the Imperial War Museum have started using a cloud system which means they can get my images as soon as I can upload them, it also means I havent got to send a lot of DVD's to them at the end of each year.
Today was a funny day, I've been feeling anxious and on edge all day, I think it may have been triggered by a joke I saw on Facebook which a) I didn't find funny and b) not knowing it was a joke thought it was aimed at me when in fact when you clicked on the profile link at the end it showed your own profile. Whatever it was it has made a long forty mile day seem even longer...
I'm having a day off tomorrow, well we all say that but we all end doing jobs instead of sitting with our feet up. I need to get some washing done and had hoped for a shower but there dont appear to be any disabled facilities on the caravan site...
A bit of a milestone reached tonight, I've managed to get 2000+ memorials online! At the moment the memorials take priority over the graves at the moment, purely because the graves are a personal goal and the memorial data is in the "national interest" as it were with everything going into the War Memorial Register at the Imperial War Museum (IWM). Out of curiosity I've just had a look at the data for the memorials on the hard drive:
All of this is being sent to the IWM.
Military grave data:
Looking at it like that its colossal! With the memorial images I will take multiple images of the memorial and its data, so something like the Navel Memorial to the Missing in Plymouth has around 110 images because of all the tablets with the names on, theoretically I should display each name on a plate with the relevant name as it is a grave marker, or so I'm told, that would be 22,000+ images from one site! A heck of a lot of work...
The grave data is a bit easier, its rare I have a multiple image, the only times are if the headstone has been replaced with a CWGC one and the old one is still legible.
I started today in the Aldershot Civilian Cemetery as it was overcast, it certainly didn't feel any cooler! An interesting find was a ginger and white cat that loved a fuss, in fact it shouted at me and bounded over for a fuss, of course I had to oblige and give it a tickle. Once finished there I nipped over to a near by church that had been locked earlier in the week and was invited in for a cuppa, not going to turn that down either! Memorials photographed I headed for the Military cemetery, I have 800+ WW1 and WW2 graves listed in here, there are a lot more than that! there are also some sections that I cannot physically do due to my disability, they are just to steep and I'll end up doing myself an injury or worse! I managed to get a small section of what are called Non Combat deaths done before the sun put in an appearance and it became to hot to continue, even with factor 50 on my face looks like beetroot!
It was nice this evening to catch up with Elaine and Barry King, we haven't seen each other since Devizes last year when I stayed at the Three Magpies, thanks for the cuppa, the Genius (Guinness) and the catfood :)
Tomorrow will be a play it by the weather day, if cloudy I'll head back to the Military Cemetery and get as much done as I physically can. Friday I'm in the Royal Garrison Church to photograph the hundreds of memorials...
As I mentioned on Facebook this morning "it was another horrible humid night", the cats spent much of it outside as it was cooler on the floor.
The las two days have been good ones, the weather even if it is hot! And the amount I have got done, I had expected Aldershot to take two weeks, between all the memorials and graves, I'm revising it to about a week as long as I can have a couple of overcast days to get the cemeteries done.
A bit of a strange happening today, not directly at me, but about me, a chap turned up at lunchtime in a Help for Heroes t-shirt, in itself it can mean nothing. He came to the trailer, I was inside working on what I had photographed, grunted, and disappeared, I thought nothing of it until I went in store to get a cold and much needed drink, as I left I heard a couple of bits, he was having a go at Tesco saying I was not an official collector, that's all I heard.
This next bit is for the the gentleman concerned if he bother to read it though you may find it interesting.
I have Letters of Authority from each of the charities, I have lncence to collect from each council in Hampshire except Eat Hampshire, this will be applied for when I know I will be in their duristriction. Help for Heroes phoned the store this afternoon to confirm I am a fund raiser for the charity. Tesco are happy with me being here and have also seen my LoA's.Sir, next time try speaking to the person instead of having ago at the third parties.
I had wanted to add other bits but they would have been rude and insulting and not me! I can say he embarrased me.
Anyway, hopefully all resolved, I'm looking forward to colder weather, well a couple of degrees colder only, I think the cats would agree with me ;)
Hello, good evening and welcome,
Its been a couple of uncomfortable days and nights with the heat and humidity, I don't think it is the heat that has made Smudge ill, whatever it is he's picking up again and has eaten and drunk some water today. I also spent the last couple of days getting the laptop how I like it and the correct software on it so that I can crack on. By Thursday night I had pretty much caught up on the backlog of graves with just over a thousand renamed in the couple of days prior, I'm uploading thes as I write this. The statistics at the moment stand at:
Not the most exciting of information but important to me.
I have also won a small battle with a council, I mention the Commonwealth War Grave Commision Living Memory project every so often, well I visited a cemetery in Hythe and couldn't get in as the gate was chained and padlocked, I emailed the council asking why this was the case, I also explained about the project and that I was disabled and couldn't just climb over. Apparently travellers have been using it as a shortcut, I'm guessing they still were as there was a path in the grass, however the council have emailed me back and they will be putting in a wicket gate to allow access on foot, thank you New Forrest District Council, by the way, there are two World War One graves in the cemetery.
I didn't manage a shower yester day and anybody coming near me will need a respirator, the sports centre in Basingstoke doesn't allow just showers and the shower/chnging room wasn't available until 1300hrs! NOt quite a wasted morning as I was able to get another church photographed. The second spot for a possible shower was closed and only open Monday to Friday, I'll give it a try in the morning before I head to Aldershot...
I need start by saying a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you who helped me out today, I feel humbled by your support, you have even made me cry a few times because of your generosity. For those who do not use Facebook or Twitter (those of you who do, sorry for repeating this), I woke in the early hours in darkness, there is always a small LED on in the trailer, this shows I have power and that the scooter is charging. As I was plugged in in the pub it was either a case of a power cut, a trip had thrown (I checked mine) or I had been unplugged, it was the latter, when I stirred at 0800hrs this morning the cable and the plug was lying in the middle of the car park and the scooter, phone and tablet were not fully charged! A bad start to say the least...
I packed up worked out how far I could safely get, I had enough to get back to Hook and a little bit left over. I packed up, just like every morning that I move with the trailer, go through the checks, yes everything stowed, cats in, move off, stop check I have everything from underneath (cats toys) the trailer. I headed off, the track and road were rough in places so I was careful, not careful enough, I hit a sharp drop/pothole as I left the Cricketers but everything seemed fine and I carried on. As I crossed the main A road on the way to Fleet there was the usual sound of Missy in the litter tray, then there was a clunk, normally the sound of her tipping it, I stopped and opened up to check, litter tray fine laptop cradle empty! Panic! Searched trailer, nothing, PANIC!
I doubled back and all sorts of scenarios going through my mind, has it been pinched? Did I leave it in the pub? All of this whilst wishing the scooter would do 80mph instead of 8mph! To be honest I suspected what had happened, and as I reached the entrance track to the Cricketers it was lying at the edge of the road, battery separated and a big dusty tyre print on what was the underneath. I picked it up, the screen was mangled and thw battery wouldn't go back in.
Most of you know I suffer from stress and depression and something like this happening made me feel sick, annoyed (with myself) and panicky, technology for us all is a big part of our everyday lives, for me a laptop is a workhorse, processing photos, programming the website to display them, sending the images to the Imperial War Museum, planning where I have go using electronic maps etc. It is also the best way for me to write things like this, I could use the tablet or phone but typing something this long would take too long with my big fat fingers! The laptop is also my entertainment system whether to play a game or watch a TV program/DVD, those again I would struggle to do on another device.
Without technology, whether it be the laptop, DSLR camera, tablet (displys my map as I travel) or GPS (used to record the precise location of a memorial and where I have been) I would struggle to continue with the trip and the fundraising, I can't just bimble about having a jolly...
I have struggled to keep up with messages coming in from different people in groups I belong to on Facebook, I will try and like/answer everyone. Again A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL, also thank you Neil "Chuck" Berryman for setting up the fund, I wouldn't have done it...
Before I forget, I've had some people offer me their laptops, thank you as well, everything is gratefully and humbly appreciated.
crying again, sorry.
A short update tonight as with the weather I've not been far, the run today was a dodge the showers one, they are torrential at times! I was looked after last night by a few of the locals in the Old White Hart in Hook, had a damn good laugh as well!
I parked up at the edge of some common land and will be plugged into the pub later on. A nice surprise was to be given a box of dumpy beers just, thank you Peanut and Gough, I'll try and make them last...
Good morning everyone,
Its a miserable mizzly morning so I'm going nowhere at the moment, well that's a bit of a lie, I've just been to the local church to see if I can photograph the memorials as it has been locked since I got here, the churchwarden was not at all happy about my asking if I could photograph them (between the services) on a Sunday and told me to make an appointment with the office, which office he was reffering too i have no idea...
Anyway, it was a long hard run on Friday from Winchester to Hook, thirty-five miles calling in at quite a few churches on the way, I did find one church that was totally unrecorded, not as uncommon as you might think, as with the Hook church, they might have been locked all the time because of the threat of theft and vandalism, with cctv etc they can be left open with a bit of protection. I also fond a Spitfire crash site, well a small memorial very close to where it crashed, I think only my second one.
Yesterday was a frustrating day trying to get around Basingstoke, one way system, paths that took you the wrong way (they wern't marked on the map) and a party in the Memorial Park meant I only got a fraction of what I wanted done!
I'm still feeling rather proud and honoured to have found one of Nic Jolly's little Poppy men, I didn't know what it was at first, I posted a picture online and was quickly told that there are 141 of them dotted about the UK and Europe to commemorate the 141 days of the Somme. My only worry is someone will take them and put them on ebay...
You can find out more here http://www.castlegalleries.com/141days
It would appear that my tweets have stopped appearing on my Around Britain Facebook page, I've no idea and will have to investigate.
The last couple of days have been a physically hard slog in and around Winchester, I had 97 recorded memorials in the Cathedral alone! I do now have a letter from the Imperial War Museum that explains what I do and has started to save me a bit of money on entrance fees. It has also opened doors to areas that you wouldn't normally be allowed, in one museum this morning and was looking for two memorials that were on the system, I came away with ten plus and what I think are very special, Battlefield Markers or Crosses, these are the markers used when someone fell in battle and it marked the spot.
Captain T R O Winwood RFA
The one I was shown and photographed this morning was from a Gurkha that was killed on the Falkland Islands, my first one from that conflict.
As some of you saw on my personal Facebook page I found a few graves that had been vandalised in Winchester West Hill cemetery, I know time ad decay catches up with everything and they will fall and crumble but it takes a lot of effort to tip the large square block they are mounted in as well! I don't know if any of the graves contained War Dead I could see the writing...
Tomorrow is a day of running around the local villages and covering the ground before moving on to the Basingstoke area on Friday for a few days.
Good afternoon everyone,
The lady that urinated on the War Memorial on Friday night in Grays, Essex has been charged with Outraging Public Decency. The BBC has run a story today online about mediaeval tortures, Perhaps we can bring some back into use like the stocks and use them for people like this! Purely my opinion and not those of Smudge and Missy...
Friday was a long day with the Boffins at Tramper, a bit of catching up and some experimental mudguards fitted. I was late back at the Red Rover to meet the Wedge's, Andy had picked up a new sleeping bag for me as mine had started to split down a seam.
Yesterday was a long forty miles, it started fine but started to cloud over just after lunchtime, as I hit Romsey the heavens open like someone had turned a tap on, I ended up a tad moist to say the least! Two highlights yesterday, a stoat crossed the road in front of me, it must be a year since I last saw one and a Red Kite floated alongside me as a field was being cut, loved seeing them both.
Todays run was a pleasant trip up the Test Valley, Yellowhammers singing and lots of cyclists dropping pennies in the buckets. I stopped at The Boot for a cuppa and was given a lot of cake to take with me, thank you. As normal people were amazed at how calm the cats were yet again.
I'm in Stockbridge for a couple of nights before I hit Whinchester Tesco for a few nights, it should be Aldershot after that.
A long day after another night tossing and turning. I was up early as a result and headed out to Help for Heroes, I needed to collect a new bucket after one has disintegrated with the effects of the sun and use! I also picked up some new leaflets after the deluge they got last Tuesday night, everything had fused into one. I also managed to get a shower, much needed it was indeed. I did manage to get some breakfast in Downton, each day I'm feeling a lot stronger again. Its not been a good year health wise and I hope it gets better soon.
I then headed to Tramper to collect a replacement jacket, thank you Liscombe, and some leaflets from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about the Living Memory Project. Talking of which, it can't have escaped your attention that tomorrow is the centenary of the Somme, more than one million men are thought to have been injured, died or missing by the end of it, the bloodiest battle in the history of man I believe...
I head back to Tramper again tomorrow, they are designing some mudguards for my scooter, I'm looking forward to this as my feeble efforts aren't very good, the downside is having to listen to THE MUSIC (A-Team) whilst they do it, if you believe that you will believe anything ;)
I have to do a long run on Saturday around the Romsey area and that is pretty much the New Forest side of Hampshire completed, I then head for Stockbridge, not sure where after that, I suspect the Basingstoke and Aldershot areas.
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