98 Museums at Night : The museum awakens – 27th October 2017

Troop Icons Ghostbuster 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 19:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Somewhere in Paisley there’s possibly a foreign student from the local university who was at a loose end on Friday night and her and her friend decided to immerse themselves in the culture of the area by attending the Halloween-themed late night opening of the nearby museum. Not only is she perhaps still vainly looking in the wrong part of the building for the wooden object associated with the Titanic to complete the scavenger hunt from that night, but she’s of the firm belief that the museum hires a paranormal investigator once a year to ensure that the artefacts on display don’t react to the build-up of psychic energy caused by visitors. This level of deception is something I should feel bad about. But I don’t.

Instead I feel really good about this event. I have to admit, even leaving aside the couple of hours I had mixed this up with the alcohol fuelled student event at the town hall the same night, I wasn’t expecting much from this troop. It hadn’t been heavily promoted on our boards to encourage anyone to sign up, the organisers weren’t expecting much of a crowd and I was wary that those who did turn up would be local mehoos just in out the cold. Indeed the first two teens I encountered fell exactly into this category, nearly prompting me to about turn and head back to the changing area to de-kit. Fortunately walking in the opposite direction brought me into the main exhibit hall was stowed to the rafters with families who had actually made an effort to embrace the spirit of the event by making costumes and taking part in the activities on offer.

While the TK drew the initial crowd (mostly thanks to the showboating way he slowly descended in the wheelchair lift while I took the stairs) I was left to wander round the display cases and framed paintings scanning them with my PKE meter, which 12 hours later when I could finally recall what the abbreviation stood for I was kicking myself, poking at the headless and armless torsos dressed in vintage clothing to ensure they were indeed solid and not Focussed, Full torso class III apparitions and receiving occasional encouragement that “[I] should check the paintings, it’s always the paintings” and reports of sightings at the opposite end of the museum, the opposite direction of which I always most assuredly made a beeline for.

I much preferred this event to the equivalent at the Science Centre as the museum lacked the constant blaring music of the former allowing much more scope for interaction with the public that simply standing still for a photo. The younger boys of one extended family, spent a substantial amount of time telling me quite seriously of the ghost they had seen recently and asking how to deal with it while their sister, older by two or three years, saw right through my façade and confidentially whispered in my ear that they were big fans of Ghostbusters.

If there were to be downsides, well… it felt kind of off for the staff to nominate myself and the Stormtrooper to be the ones to pick the costume competition winners, I’m kind of glad this didn’t crop up till the very end as there could only be seven winners and there were A LOT of kids who were going to be disappointed.

It’s a rare troop that I would say was too short by half, but this definitely was. Unfortunately the museum will shortly close for the best part of four years so the opportunity to repeat it isn’t going to come along again anytime soon.

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97 Glasgow Science Centre, Science Lates – 1st Sep 2017

Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 22:30

Mission Report
This was something of a strange event when compared to the annual Halloween party in the same venue; nowhere near as quite as the weekday Cool Science event from 2012, but about the same level of interest in our presence from the attending public.
Positioned as we were at the entrance when people began arriving, pretty much anyone who wanted a photo with us got it within the first 30 minutes, meaning that we were left to our own devices to wander about for the rest of the night. While it allowed the opportunity for plenty of creative photos, it did rather ensure that the event dragged on.

Although the event was scheduled to run to 22:30, before the last hour our participation had completely died off and I was grateful we called it an early night.

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96 Glasgow Film & Comic Con Promo Event – 30th July 2017

Location
soar at intu Braehead, Glasgow 13:30 – 14:15

Mission Report
What a massive waste of time this event was!

I’m not sure why they’d organise to have us walk in a specific formation only to rearrange the deployment as soon as we start, then suggest we go back to the original plan minutes later.

Between the lighting in the venue not being conductive to having any form of reduced vision, the fact that the majority of people in the area were below chest height, either by dint of being young kids or adults sat down, the uneven loose surface littered with semi-obscured obstacles by way of buckets, spades and balls buried in the sand it was a generally unpleasant experience all in.

It seems a colossal waste of energy from everyone involved to ask us along to a promotional photo-shoot then give us no direction on where to stand to ensure that we’re actually in the field of view of the camera lens, but should have come as no surprise given the lack of organisational skills Showmasters display up here on an annual basis.

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95 CHAS Cheque Handover, Robin House Visit – 14th June 2017

Location
Robin House, Alexandria 14:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
With one of the patients recently having had passed away and the family preparing to leave for the funeral, the resultant air of melancholy over Robin House meant that this ended up being a short, quiet, event with a few photos before we de-kitted.

I’ll just refer you back to the closing paragraph here, as to why for this cause the effort is still worthwhile…

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94 The Erskine Motorbike Meet 2017 – 28th May 2017

Location
Erskine Home, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
After the tiring tedium of the previous day I was all for pulling out of this event right up until the point we left the house.  Knowing full well I was unlikely attend as the Jawa I’d signed up as having had no time to wire the replacement sound board, my apparent options were to attend as Batman (scuppered by not wanting to be the only non-Star Wars costumer there) or a Biker Scout an outfit, damage to it aside, I’ve very much had my fill of these past few years – plus, y’know, it’s getting so there are loads of them now…
Almost exactly four years to the day of my last outing in it though, enough time had passed that I had entirely forgotten the unpleasantness of wearing my Stealth Trooper for any length of time and so it ended up being the costume loaded into the car.

Slight inclines aside, having attended this venue previously I knew it to be both relatively flat and confined enough that only the most catastrophic costume failure would curtail my trooping and fortunately the specified number of spotters had been reached for the sign-up that meant anyone having to go back to the changing area wouldn’t be dragging the whole troop in tow as well.

Although the sun beat down for the duration I was comfortable enough albeit after standing still in any one place for too long it meant a few seconds of adjustment for the armour to fall back into a configuration which allowed non-John Wayne movement to prevent trapping fleshy it’s between hard plastic edges!
My usual ROM fx, mic and speaker were still packed away with the TB kit but the spare seemed to have been set up ideally for my purposes and during the periods we were bombarded for photo opportunities I had very few issues vocalizing and being understood leading to the amusing exchange with two patient punters who’d seen youngsters jump ahead of them into frame at each opportunity for several minutes when I advised them just to push the kids out of the way as they didn’t have to be nice to them as we weren’t at Disney…

Overall an enjoyable all too rare outing for the UKGs first Stealth Trooper, although from what I observed the Jawa was having a lot more fun the whole time.  I really should get my finger out…

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