We recently joined forces with our close friends and partners at Community Veterans Support in Govan to take 20 veterans (and a cute doggo) on a brilliant trip down to the National Arboretum and Bletchley Park. The aim was to foster camaraderie and provide a holiday for some veterans who have had various obstacles to overcome and who may not otherwise have been able to have a holiday.
Day 1 of our joint tour involved a stop at the ‘Devil’s Porridge’ Museum in Eastriggs near Gretna for a tour and lunch. During WW1 this was the biggest cordite/ordnance producing factory in the world with a workforce of over 30,000. We then travelled onto the Holiday Inn Express in Lichfield for an overnight stay.
Day 2 was a visit to The National Memorial Arboretum. It was an absolutely stunning day and we paid our respects as a group and individuals. There were many, many moments to pause and reflect and we laid a wreath in honour of our fallen comrades.
Day 3 was another amazing day and very humbling. We visited Bletchley Park which was the home of British code and cipher breaking during WW2. The many people who worked there (mostly WRNS) intercepted enemy transmissions and the intel recovered possibly saved thousands of lives especially during D Day operations. It was a brilliant, informative and unforgettable visit.
Day 4 involved a stop at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life at Carlisle Castle. We had a lovely afternoon tea there and a tour of the museum. Then we headed home and went our separate ways.
The ‘experiment’ of taking two sets of veterans on an ‘exped’ together was something of an unknown quantity but it worked. We had a superb few days and the lads got on really well together.