It was a glorious spring day in Blackheath and more than 45 Cordwainers arrived on 7 March to pit their wits, strength and co-ordination skills against a challenging set of war games devised by C Company of the Fusiliers Regiment.
The Cordwainers put on a valiant show, everyone putting their best feet forward (not always in time) and raising a remarkable £19,000 for the Fusilier Benevolent Fund. The winning teams are listed below, along with the individual awards for those who distinguished themselves.
1st – Sole diers & Shoe-ters
2nd – Sole Survivors
3rd – Well heeled
Robocop – Tristan (Bootleggers)
Shotgun shooter – The Master
Big guns/assault course – Ryan Carn (Bootleggers)
Doris of the day – Sally (Wags)
Best shot – Sian Williams (Well-heeled)
Best endeavour – Emma (Sole Survivors)
I arrived at Blackheath not really understanding what was about to happen. In the middle of a very tranquil Blackheath Common was C Company and a variety of challenges designed to give everyone a taste of what life is like as a Fusilier. We stripped and re-assembled weapons, fired rifles and even took part in a parade square drill – though this was more like Blackadder than Trooping the Colour.The overriding feeling during the day was one of camaraderie – both within the teams but also across the teams and with the spectators and the Fusiliers too. This was the best thing about the day – an opportunity to meet new people within the Cordwainers, as well as a chance to deepen existing friendships. Moving everyone around every half an hour helped with this.To all who are reading this and wondering whether to take part another time, I would encourage you to do so. The age range and fitness of those who took part spanned the range of the Company, and it was a tribute to the Events committee that there so many people joined in.Now where shall I put that boot trophy. . .
We had some lovely competitors who attacked their tasks with commendable good humour, as well as enviable determination. There was a funny group of supporters who moved with discretion from discipline to discipline (often via the drinks stall!) and always encouraging the competitors and their teams with a ribald comment or two. Finally, we had a group of dedicated Fusiliers who dreamed up the challenges, prepared the props, tents, BBQs etc , as well as giving up their day to supervise and control the competitors, the supporters (and their children) and the facilities. They did a fantastic job and ensured that everything ran like clockwork.Thanks to Charlie Skinner for the photos which provide a flavour of the day, and to Caroline Squire and Eleanor Stillwell and others on the Events Committee for working so hard to make it all a success.