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

Location
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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100a Lego Store May 4th Celebration – 4th May 2018

Location
Buchannan Galleries, Glasgow 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
(Real late with these, partially because I haven’t actually trooped four days in a row before during my 10 years of service and ended up exhausted as a result, but then I wanted to do something special for my 100th troop*…)

I haven’t trooped in my Jawa for a while, long enough at least for me to forget how hot as hell it is to wear, and having recently finally gotten round to soldering my new sound board though I thought the Lego Store would be a good environs to take it for a spin.

Not being a public holiday the Friday turned out to be slightly quieter than the rest of the weekend, much to the detriment of the staff as this left plenty of scope while their backs were turned to remove the items they were restocking the shelves with and place them back in in the container they’d just been taken out of. I should probably feel bad about, that given how well Andrew and his staff look after us at these events. But I don’t.

*this is not my hundredth troop. Sometime in the past decade the UKG changed the way they counted events and it turns out my hundredth troop was last year, either this one or this one, depending if you count the mysterious extra event which didn’t happen between February and April 2013…

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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:
www.justgiving.com/Lucienne
www.justgiving.com/Lucienne2016
www.justgiving.com/Lucienne2017

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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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.