Worshipful Company of Cordwainers

Fusiliers Challenge 2015

Posted by: JHM Date: 13 Mar 2015

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)

David Shaw, captain of the winning team, recovered just long enough to give us the inside view.
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. . .
Everyone enjoyed themselves, not least the spectators. Chris King has provided his own view of the event.
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.