After months and months of sunshine the September Open Weekend arrived accompanied by weather warnings for the South East of torrential rain and driving winds! Oh the joy of hosting events in England. Despite this the intrepid and hardy WHPS volunteers set to and made sure everyone was aware via our social media platforms that we were open for business regardless.
The weather on Saturday was better than Sunday and over the two days we welcomed about 250 visitors on Saturday and barely 130 on Sunday although that didnt seem to diminish the appetite for cakes and pastries, savouries and hot and cold drinks. We were once again very generously supprted by an army of amateur bakers working long hours to provide us with an astounding array of delicious food for those people making use of the casemate cafe.
We were well supported by reenactors, local scouts and the Lydden Bell who provided catering all day Saturday. Unfortunately the caterers couldnt set up Sunday as it was too windy although they did still deliver hot food for our volunteer marshalls. The Scouts lost their tent on the sports field and we had to close parking down and then we had to retreat into the sally port for ticket sales to save our gazebo from taking off. It all sounds quite apocalyptic but really despite the weather it was a good event. We tried something new with a skirmish on the Saturday between the English & the French with a continuing storyline through to Sunday and the visiting WW2 germans created a very cosy barrack room in the refloored gun rooms at the sally port with a working fire to keep them warm.
The thing with the Drop Redoubt & Grand Shaft is that there is still plenty to see inside whatever the weather is doing and we had many positive comments about the improvements we have made over the years. Finally a big thank you to all that made the event possible. It always requires a significant effort to put on a safe event that enables visitors to remain in touch with the essence of what is the Western Heights and the volunteeers we had on site, the reenactment groups and the people who supported us pre, during and post the event deserve a round of applause.
We will be back next year for another round of events at the Drop Redoubt, Grand Shaft and North Entrance so keep visiting our calendar page for details.