Field Gun Competition at Windsor Tattoo - the Telegraph

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, May 5, 2009.

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  1. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Christ. Another journalist gets it wrong. What a shocker.

    And this 'intensive care' crap. Were it true, the gun would be over, tomorrow. Our B gun ran over our number six twelve years ago (I was number 5) and he survived (although he didn't run in the Plate final)

    Some legends kinda grow with the years, don't they?

  2. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    I think what stix jimbo was getting is that this is run in the "Brickwood's format", not the actual Brickwood's competition which is, as you say held at Collingwood open day. It's almost certainly the same crews taking part though.
  3. Two teams (HMNB Portsmouth and Sultan) are taking part in the Windsor tattoo and they will be run in Brickwoods format. The same two teams will also be competing at the annual Field Gun day at Collingwood, which is now known as 'Collingwood Open Day' since Flaghip got hold of it.

    Levers, the guy who was run over in 2007 was in intensive care after being run over by the gun on the run home. He was the 'extraction' number in Collingwood's crew that year. He was very lucky as well as it missed his head by inches. Just for the 'record' like and no need for any legend growing on that one.
  4. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Fair shout. Number Five wasn't paying attention much then? I bet I can guess which bit of the drill it happened on as well. Some squads dice with death leaving the five and six inboard on the second button-up, which means that seven and eight are seriously short-stepping away to the second wheel change. It only takes a foot tap and people are down and under. We lost our six on the way out from the second wheel change. He was too slow getting into position and seven came in too quick, catching his boot. He went down, under the left wheel and (stupidly) limped back across the line giving us a 1:47 where we would have had a 1:25 with three for leaving 'kit' on the track.

  5. How can you have a field gun day?
    I think I remember watching the last field gun run a few years a go was it not stopped because it was to manpower intensive and cost too much.
    Are they trying to say now that the Brickewoods is the same thing?
    do they think it will draw the crowds like the old runs did? 1907 to 1999 year in
    The Brickwoods teams will all say its just the same

    I don’t want to jump on the anti Brickwoods band wagon but its not the same, yes you can still get injured but its on the flat
    also how does it represent what was done by the gun crews in getting their guns from HMS Terrible and HMS Powerful into position at Lady smith in 1899, do we tell the crowd to imagine the terrain,
    cant wait for the show maybe the army will win it again
  6. Thank you for the clarification, Tiddly!!
  7. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    The Collingwood day has morphed from being a great day of gun runs, bar and big eats for matelots and their loved ones, into a 'community' thing where the 'sponsors' (i.e. those who contribute mext to nowt to the running of the three months before the event) make a fat killing from the hoards of gyppos, pikeys and other sich vileness who bring their salmonella trucks and fairground rides to the event. Consequently, local families, families of the gun runners and ordinary matelots (who used to get in for free) are charged an extortionate amount to vy for a space next to the barriers. Half the people who come in don't watch the gun runs, believe it or not. It's a bit sad and indicative of 'the way ahead', much like Sultan Show and Sultan Fireworks have suddenly gone all commercial (read: pikey)

    I'd wind it in about the Command vs Brickwoods argument. A few years ago a documentary featured an eminent Blue Team Trainer (one whose sea time roster was, lets say, 'augmented' by his peers whilst he ran the track) who went public about his ire for Brickwoods. He failed to recognise that in their down seasons, Command FG people kept their hands on the kit by doing Brickwoods when they could, or at least would turn up at the trackside to sneer at the lowly car park field gunners, doing their sport in their own spare time. The year after the ducumentary - the same year that the RT was no more - most Brickwoods teams were stuffed with ex-Command runners, A and B teams one and all. So much for it being rubbish. If it was so, you'd imagine any self-discerning CFG monster would steer well clear of Brickwoods. But they didn't, and I see even today, some teams have the odd familiar face from years gone by with their hands on the kit.

  8. Well said Levers, very well said indeed.

    Just for the record code137, Brickwoods has been going since 1907 and the competition in that year was run at RN Barracks Portsmouth and won by the Royal Marines Light Infantry. It has been run at Collingwood since 1974.

    Brickwoods never has or never will be compared to Command Field Gun, so please do not confuse the two. As Levers correctly stated, many Command gun runners would often take part in the Brickwoods competition as they were not allowed to run for a Command Crew two years on the spin and so 'kept their hands in'. Today, many ex Command Field Gunners can be seen in the Brickwoods crews including the above mentioned trainers son!

    Its all we have, so why not enjoy it before they bin it also.
  9. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Exactly. Similar kit, similar ethic but a totally different animal. I don't think there has been or will be a Brickwoods Field Gunner who doesn't acknowledge the sheer dedication it took to be a Command Runner and the amount of teamwork and spirit it eschewed. There was always respect, much of it one-way, mind. Brickwoods itself is a tough venture and the feeling of that gun axle crossing that line ahead of you adversaries is second to none. I will always say that the toughest sport on the planet will always be Command FG, followed by Brickwoods. Civvies just don't get it, because they have never partaken, never felt that buzz when your 'bang' is first at the first action and when your second wheel change goes like it runs on rails and the gun gets catapulted down toward the second action zone.

  10. My sea dad on my first ship was the pompey field gun captain "nasty" Neil Jones. He was a huge bloke and a good man. We had a fair few field gunners on my first ship with the likes of big Henry Ford and a big black PO(R) who went by the name of Jacko. I belive there was another 2 or 3 onboard at the same time
  11. I know big Neil and he was the guy who nearly died during a Command run back in the 90's after falling into the chasm and on his head. Cracking guy, but not one to be messed with either along with the likes of Ray Ewins and others. ;-)
  12. Yeah he had to be revived there. I believe that was towards the end of the 90's run's something like 98 or 99 iirc. He looked after us baby OM's down the mess. There was only 3 of us in the Dabbers mess. He often gave the senior AB's a good wake up call when he came back from a run ashore lol
  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

  14. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

  15. Thought, having seen this come subject to the fore, that I'd watch my vids of the 1978 FG competition training in Pompey, and the run at Earls Court, the one that we didn't win ... :(
    We even had to man the road into Lee to welcome the FAA team back.

    Quite moving seeing the run (listening to Ian Wooldridge narrating) and hearing the crowd in the centre cheering them on.
    Might have to indulge a bit more nostalgia, and watch the very last run (1999) on the other vid.

  16. for eveyone :wink: :wink:
  17. As a member of HMS Sultans Field Gun Crew this year and having been lucky enough to compete at Windsor I thought I would add to this thread.

    As somebody who was not even in the Navy back in the days of Command Field Gun I can only say how much I enjoy running Brickwoods and what a great sport it is in its own right. I and every other contemporary field gunner fully realise that it is not the same as Command Field Gun and we don't put ourselves in the same catagory as the command legends of old. In fact now when watching a command run on video I have even more respect for the command field gunners as I now understand just how heavy the kit is!

    I can assure you that the trainers and field gun officers this year were very keen for the publicity which shot up around the Windsor avent to be honest and for it not to be shown as a return of the Royal Navy Field Gun Competition. Unfortunately the Press and the Windsor organisers did, inadvertantly I am sure, mislead people slightly by implying that it was the First field gun race since the royal tournament and showing the video of the last field gun run. Obviously not true.

    However, all I can say is that the 29000 visitors to windsor seemed to be extremely impressed with tthe display we put on. It was clearly the highlight of the show and had the entire arena up on there feet cheering and shouting at the crews. Sadly my team were defeated every night by an impressive Pompy crew, the crew that went on to win the main event at Collingwood also. I was extremely proud to take part in the Tattoo and to run with a field gun in front of the Queen.

    We all know Windsor is not the Royal Tournament, however it was a great event in its own right, it raised the profile of our service and it got field guns back into the public eye at a mainstream public event. That has to be a good thing and I really hope that the best teams from this years Brickwood event get the chance to go to Windsor next year.

    I think it is a shame that so many older sailors and ex sailors feel the need to bad mouth such events when so many other people enjoy them so much.
  18. Nicely put Ticker. I know a couple of guys who ran in the Pompey crew, both thoroughly enjoyed the Windsor Tattoo and the field gun week/weekend at Collingwood.

    Despite the piss taking that took place onboard about field gunners, at the end of the day it shows a good bit of commitment to do this in your own time. Plus the public enjoyed watching it.

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