84 Glasgow Science Centre, Halloween Party 2016 – 28th October 2016

Troop Icons BAT 2015Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Noisy as hell and twice as hot, is my overriding memory of our fourth outing to the GSC Halloween Party and unfortunately with our numbers turning up to the event dwindling year on year, it’s not going to be a surprise when one of the other local costume groups muscle us out of it altogether given the unofficial photo stand opportunity set up by a rogue TK that was present.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been meaning to Batman at this event every year since we started, but it’s always been one of the few calendar occasions when Ghostbusting has been appropriate. Having finally achieved the milestone of getting the entirety of the GB Écosse contingent together last year (and of course that movie ruining it as a costume for me for the foreseeable) though it seemed that the Bat’s time had finally come…

…or it least it would have if only I hadn’t entirely forgotten the state of repair of my capes and discovered that the sole of one of the Nike Air boots had exploded while the costume was in storage, covering the majority of parts in powered yellowy-foam debris about three days beforehand.
Fortunately after some frantic cleaning, polishing and running repairs to patch up a cape to wearable standard I was ready to go and -wouldn’t you know it- the place was crawling with mini-Ghostbusters all night!

While just the three of us and Claire Mackie from the Rebel Legion were hardly going to make it onto the TV again this year, but once again this year she did the work of four costumers, interacting with the public and showing a patience and courtesy to some of the… lets say… overly-enthusiastic… kids. And adults.

One child who was enthusiastic in good way, was a tiny little girl, dressed as Batgirl. I first encountered her at the start of the evening when we were positioned near the entrance, both to greet the punters as the arrived and I suspect in a futile attempt to cool down. With the lack of fear or self-consciousness that comes naturally at that age, she quickly approached to say hello and tell “Batman” about her costume. After chatting for several minutes, she waved goodbye and started to wander away, looking back every so often to check I was still there or watching and waving back to her. Throughout the rest of the night regardless of whether we were marching back to the changing facilities, or going upstairs on the escalator (proof right there that science is real, and heat rises; somehow it contrived to be even hotter on the first floor. Luckily we didn’t dare try going to the second, lest I literally melt into a puddle) or awkwardly positioned next to one of the interactive displays whenever she’d wander by she’d stop and have the same conversation with me before waving goodbye and resuming her business, once again looking back in my direction to check I was still waving. At the end of the night, having resumed our position near the doors for people on the way out she passed me one final time and reprised this routine again. I’m not sure she didn’t think it was a different Batman every time or that maybe I looked lonely stood slightly apart from the Star Wars costumes as I was, but I appreciate her taking the time to stop on each occasion…

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78 Glasgow Science Centre, Halloween Party 2015 – 30th October 2015

Troop Icons GB 2015Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Once again it was a pleasure to attend what’s now apparently being branded as Fright Night at the GSC for the third year in a row despite yet another reduction in the number of attendees (although this was deliberate due to ongoing renovation work limiting them to 2,500 ticket sales) and costumers again, but fortunately the Rebel Legion were able to bump that second figure up slightly or it would have been a poor turn out.

As with last year we were mostly contained at the entrance area and the top of the escalators on the first floor although our newly expanded trio of Ghostbusters managed a bit of a brief wander around the place as the evening went on.
Unlike last year however I experienced no hardware disasters having given the pack a bit of an overhaul in the twelve months since.  Well…  I say “twelve months” but most of that was not doing anything then rushing to complete it the week before as usual…

Also in attendance once again with their camera were the crew of The Riverside Show.

As one of the few open face costumers I have to admit to not being enamoured of being told that unlike last year, we weren’t to just wander in the back of shot but that they were looking for an on-air interview.  Fortunately Claire Mackie of the Rebel Legion stepped up to the challenge but at one point in the video you can see me visibly panic that having introduced the Ghostbusters the interviewer was now going to address us directly!
Having learned her lesson last year about avoiding being in the camera shot Julie made sure to stand behind it this time.  Unfortunately she failed to notice that we were all stood in front of a wall made of mirrored panels making her reflection quite visible as the camera pans and so chalks up yet another TV credit.

As is fast becoming tradition the skeleton band were playing on the big screen outside the building.  Unfortunately any opportunity to get the team of paranormal investigators over to eliminate them was scuppered by the same screen looping the latest Star Wars trailer (which at least 66% of the GBs in attendance are choosing to studiously avoid) all night.

I hope the event returns again next year with a greater turnout of costumers, indeed at some point I’d like to actually attend it as a member of the public. The only lesson to be learned I think is that we need to arrive earlier to ensure the staff haven’t eaten all the food by the time we go for dinner!

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72 Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party – 31st October 2014 PART TWO!


Having been invited back to the GSC, to take part in their Halloween party, we discovered that the STV magazine program The Riverside Show would be broadcasting a segment live from the facility during our Troop.

Although they were only interviewing the event organiser and not ourselves we were asked to wander about in the background of the shot while it was taking place…

Obviously with it being transmitted live it wasn’t possible for those of us present to see our appearance.
Luckily however Rill and Led* have mostly been using their loyal Viper Probe Droid as a fancy Digital Video Recorder lately so they don’t miss any episodes of Coach Trip. Led being Led can’t program the Series Link so rather than see Liam and Georgy get a three-day immunity from the daily vote, he mistakenly recorded us instead…

*Yes, that is still a thing, even though it’s been nearly four years since the last episode.

72 Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party – 31st October 2014

Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:30

Mission Report
It was a delight to return to the Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party again for a second year, one of the few occasions that presents the opportunity, and that it’s thematically appropriate, to done the Ghostbusters get up.

From the off though the night was a bit of a personal disaster for me.  Despite giving the pack a once over and much-needed dust the night before on arrival I discovered that the neutron wand had broken in two, possibly during transport.  While I was able to perform a (rather unsubtle) duct tape repair on that I wasn’t in a position to do anything to resolve the stuttering from the pack speaker when the sounds were running.  Not a massive inconvenience as the noise inside pretty much drowns it out anyway, but my fellow paranormal investigator and eliminator did let out a chuckle when I was forced to make proton stream noise with my mouth while we wrangled some animated skeletons outside.  Hopefully this just needs a change of battery and isn’t damaged wiring because I don’t think I own a costume now that isn’t in need of some kind of repair at this stage!

The event seemed quieter to me that the previous year, certainly in Trooper attendance if not actually that of the public but even so we were hardly able to cover half the ground we’d done the year before, mostly being confined to the entrance and at the top of the escalators on the first floor.  The public seemed pleased to see us though and it was nice to run into a mini Ghostbuster and two somewhat more mature examples.  Possibly as an unfortunate sign of Hollywood things to come they were all female.

By an odd coincidence at one point as we walked our way from the changing area I found myself musing on how the proceedings could be improved by having a Halloween Horror Nights-style experience with Scareactors lurching out of the dark corners at the public.
Little did I realise until the night was over that exactly this type of things was happening a zombie infested area that we never wandered into!

It’s already been suggested by the organisers that we’ll be invited back next year and I hear tell that the GSC is considering running a similar thing for adults in future so I’m glad the event is proving as popular with the public as it is with the costumers…

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70 The Unexpected Artist Gallery, Promotional Event – 30th August 2014

St. Enoch Shopping Centre, Glasgow 10:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
It may have taken a couple of false starts, but finally everyone managed to get their ducks in a row for this long mooted event (although ironically “short notice” being one of the reasons for the previous failure to launch) and despite my aversion to early starts Barry was ready to glide out of the door of the shopping centre about 11:00.  I was a bit wary of the idea of touring such a public space, especially with only one spotter, but fortunately at that time in the morning St. Enoch’s was still relatively quite.  This allowed the press photographer and PR people to get the photos they wanted without too much hassle and meant we were back safely ensconced in the Unexpected Artist gallery space before the place got too busy.

Following a break for lunch, we ventured out again.  This time the crowds were much more substantial and the presence of a Dalek was creating a bottle neck on one side of the north wing of shops.  With security showing some concern we moved to the more open area below Hamleys, across from the food court and it was like Pied Piper with a trail of folk following in the monochrome menaces’ wake.
Although both Julie and I were slightly reticent about these “tours” it did bring a bunch of extra visitors back to the gallery unit each time we returned so from that point of view I guess it was a success.

Thus far we’d remained on the same floor as the gallery, but buoyed with confidence for our final trip out we dared the lifts to get down for a spin around the ground floor.  This created some opportunities for shock reactions as the lift doors opened on the unwary and a stand raising money for children’s cancer awareness received a little boost in bucket donations when we situated ourselves next to them for a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately the resulting newspaper article in the Sunday Sun failed to actually mention the Unexpected Artists gallery in it’s text, instead rather vaguely implying our presence was to promote the new series of Doctor Who, but as the reporter on the day was too scared to approach the Dalek it’s not surprising the facts got muddied.
Sunday Sun 31/08/14

Loving a good pun, the only slight disappointment for me was that the event didn’t take place at the shopping centre at Braehead.  That way the headline could have been a more appropriate “INTU The Dalek”…

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