100b Lego Store May 4th Celebration – 5th May 2018

Buchannan Galleries, Glasgow 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
While Saturday was naturally a busier day at the store, a protest meeting in George Square and overhead line fault stopping trains reaching Glasgow Central doubtless resulted in the keeping the crowds slightly down.

This didn’t have a huge impact on me personally as I was down to spot for this second day but it led to some quiet spells for the guys in costume, which anyone who has trooped will know, only encourages them to make their own entertainment (obviously my own behaviour the previous day such as the swapping shoppers potential purchases for a set featuring Jawas or bartering ownership of significant others for boxes of Lego is considered being in character and not mischief) although outside of these periods we had some exemplary Kylo Ren-style abrupt marching up to passers-by which really must make his neck hurt after a couple of hours. Still irritated he missed the opportunity to challenge the woman standing with the shopping centre floor plan in her hand to “hand over the map” though…

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99 Lucienne’s Birthday Party – 17th December 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Stewarton Sports Centre, Stewarton 11:00 – 13:00

Mission Report
The UKG rarely accept the invitations we get to attend birthdays parties (children’s or adults) except in very special cases and personally, much like weddings, I’m very wary that people expect us to attend as entertainment for the guests and give events like these a wide berth the majority of the time.  This specific event though…  Well, writing a field report seems slightly weird so I’ll let the sign-up text speak for itself…

Lucienne Garman isn’t like any other 5 year old. On the previous two Christmases, she hasn’t asked for any gifts from her parents, but she wanted money paid to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity Appeal. And she has asked for the same again this year.
Lucienne is also a big Star Wars fan, and her parents would love of some of the UK Garrison could pop into her party to say Hello.
Normally we wouldn’t consider such a request, as it is not something we usually attend, but the staff have discussed this request, and we all feel that Lucienne certainly deserves a special surprise for her 6th birthday.
You can see her just giving pages at these links:

Lucienne was also at the Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party this year dressed as Darth Vader (but in a dress), and she was a huge hit with everyone there.

I would struggle to recall having met a nicer family and for them to take the time to write bespoke thank-you cards and present the three of us who attended with gifts as an expression of their gratitude was entirely unwarranted.

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93 Smyths Toys Star Wars Event – 27th May 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Smyths Toys, Kilmarnock 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
I had high hopes that this fairly local event would be a good one, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  While they had been visited by brand mascots in the past, the store had obviously never entertained the likes of ourselves leading to both parties having to reach a less than ideal middle ground.  While using the delivery area as changing facilities probably wasn’t the worst accommodation we’d ever had, a similar lack of any refreshments or provision for breaks and the requirement to stay till 16:00 regardless of weather conditions or how busy the day actually was would possibly have seen us walk away from other events.

With no area in-store set aside for our purposes our lone trooper was position outside the entrance to the shop.  A local event DJ had a PA system set up for added entertainment and while his bantering to draw punters in was much appreciated on what would otherwise have been a slow day for passing trade thanks to the inclement weather, the non-stop blaring of music made it a head wincing couple of hours for me.  Indeed the troop was such slow going I was convinced time was running about a third of its normal speed by late afternoon so sure was I that his announcement that there was roughly 40 minutes left had come a minimum of 15 minutes after my phone had shown the time as 15:20.

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92 Star Wars Wedding, Dundonald Castle – 6th May 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Dundonald, Kilmarnock 13:00 – 14:30

Lazily cribbed from The Daily Record article by James Moncur
‘Do you take this Han?’ Ayrshire couple tie the knot in geektastic Star Wars ceremony

Gillian and Glenn Borland got hitched alongside two stormtroopers and even walked down the aisle to the Imperial March.

Mission Report
The force is strong with a Scots couple who have been married in a Star Wars themed wedding.

Gillian and Glenn Borland got hitched alongside two stormtroopers while the film’s theme tune filled a castle’s chapel.
The bride walked down the aisle to Darth Vader’s Imperial March but sadly the Sith lord couldn’t make the ceremony as he was opening a toy shop.
The Star Wars-mad couple have been together for 16 years. Their seven-year-old son is called Luke Skywalker.
And in keeping with the theme, Glenn, 51, and the men in the wedding party replaced their sgian dubhs with mini lightsabers.

Gillian, 40, wanted to get married on Star Wars Day – May the 4th – but had to settle for two days later, May the Sith. She said yesterday: “It was a fantastic day which everyone really enjoyed.”
“I organised the stormtroopers as a surprise for Glenn and Luke but couldn’t get Darth Vader as he was helping out at a toy shop somewhere else.”

The service at Dundonald Castle in Ayrshire was completed when Gillian’s barn owl Ghost flew the length of the room and delivered the rings in front of 60 guests.

Gillian is boss of a bird of prey business called Hoots Owls and Wedding Wings.

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89 May the Toys be with you – 18th March 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 11:00 – 13:00

Mission Report
It’s odd how sometimes the best events take place in facilities most unsuited for trooping.  Case in point, the Paisley Museum, something of a warren of display halls, stairs and multiple levels as befits a building of its age designed and built before the word “accessibility” entered our lexicon.

On arrival, slipping and sliding up a treacherously wet and slimy ramp we were given a brief tour of the Star Wars toy exhibit before our host literally led us up the garden path (and multiple sets of steps) towards the Coates Observatory staff room proposed as our changing area.  The space was somewhat small and would probably have required splitting the attendees, but our time in the building did offer the opportunity to view the newly restored orrery being unveiled to the public and (for those able to deal with the height) a chance to see the 19th century telescopes the building houses.

Following this diversion we returned to museum itself, ultimately settling on an admin office for our uses and after a brief emotional moment, we set about the business of the day.

The first task was to navigate the afore mentioned wet ramp with the less stair-capable troopers for the press photos of the opening of the exhibit at the front of the building.  Professional photographers are clearly invulnerable judging by the way the one in attendance bounced across the main road, crouching admits oncoming traffic for the sake of framing his ideal shot of the costume competition winner declaring the event open.  A fair crowd had already assembled at the front of the building for this and our presence attracted additional passers-by camera phones held aloft.

Once this duty was discharged we returned to the main atrium via my rampy-nemesis for a few additional official photos, before the public were admitted stopping for their own picture opportunities before making their way to the exhibit.
While the costumers separated into two groups after half an hour or so, my group and I remained in the same area for the duration as the building in general was very hot and the open side door allowed something of a no-doubt welcome cooling chill to permeate the reception area.

The short event was brought to a close with final visit to the front of the building, this time negotiating the main stairs to allow a film crew to capture some promotional material before our return to the changing area to allow everyone to de-kit.

Our presence had been very popular, in conjunction with the exhibit itself, bringing an estimated ten times the usual weekend visitor numbers through the door and we were looked after very well by the staff.  If only all our event refreshments were catered by an outside company!

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