The Ordnance Society

Ordnance & Artillery of All Periods


If you would like to be informed automatically of ALL FUTURE Ordnance Society visits, then please click on the “Follow the Ordnance Society” button under “FOLLOW THE ORDNANCE SOCIETY BY E-MAIL” in the right-hand column.  This ensures that all “NEWS” items will be e-mailed to you as soon as they appear on the web-site and these will include brief notes about future visits as well as all the other “NEWS” items.

Our new Visits Secretary, Neil Grant also organises visits for Friends of the Tank Museum and other groups, so the number and variation of trips has increased considerably. The numbers for a visit will often have a maximum, so please ensure that you use the automatic notification method outlined above in order to apply in good time.

Please note that Ordnance Society reserves the right to refuse any visit applications, particularly where access to or within the visit site are restricted.



contact Neil Grant at





British Museum Exhibition – The Scythians (12 November 2017, £16.50)

The British museum’s big exhibition this winter is about the Scythians, horse nomads from ancient Siberia.  The ticket-only exhibition features material from the recently discovered frozen tombs on the steppes, on loan from the Hermitage museum.  Transport to London is obviously not included


Kew Bridge Steam Museum (26th November 2017, £12.50)

The museum holds a large collection of static steam engines, including the huge 90in bore engine that pumped Victorian London’s water, all housed in the original Victorian-Italianate engine house.  The visit is on a day when we can see some of their engines actually in steam.  Transport to London is obviously not included


Fort Nelson VIP tour (3rd December, £25 each)

Fort Nelson holds the artillery collection of the Royal Armouries, from gunpowder artillery to guided missiles.  This VIP trip gets us access to the museum, a special “behind the scenes” tour, hot lunch in the café and one lucky person in the group (picked by lot) gets to fire a 25pdr field gun while the rest of us watch.


Weird London – London’s oddest museums & the Magic Circle (15th January 2018, £40)

This combines a guided tour of the Magic Circle’s Euston headquarters and museum with visits to the Hunterian Museum of medical history and curiosities and to Sir John Soane’s museum, which is frankly too odd to be easily described.  Transport to London is obviously not included


Archery Experience (March 10th 2018 £35)

A half day archery experience, learning how to shoot a basic sporting bow.  A variety of draw weights are available, and tuition is provided.  The afternoon finishes up with a chance to try shooting a wide variety of other bows (modern compound hunting bow, Mongolian horse bow etc etc) to see how they compare.


As well as the visits on set dates, there are also a number of trips that need a minimum number of people – if you are interested in any of the trips below, and if we get enough people, we will organise them on a date that suits those interested. 


Escape Room Game (TBA, £40)

A small team of players are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and challenges in order to work out how to escape, before a strict time limit expires.


Axe Throwing Challenge (TBA, £40)

90 minutes learning to throw Tomahawks and butterfly axes, preferably at targets rather than each other.


Tank Driving Day (TBA, £250)

Pretty much what it says on the tin – you get to drive three different military vehicles plus a range of other “military themed” activities to keep you occupied when it’s not your turn to drive.  (Exactly what depends on choice of several packages)


Hands-on Falconry (TBA, £45)

A half-day session with a falconry school at a historic property in Northamptonshire.  We will receive a talk about falconry, then fly three different birds (which ones will vary from day to day), which will actually fly to your hand.  Definitely one to take the camera for!  Note that this activity is weather dependent – basically, the birds don’t fly in heavy rain.  Due to the very small group size, in order to allow each person a decent amount of time with each bird, we will find out who is interested and then arrange a time to suit those people


Stone carving Day (TBA, £160)

A day’s taster course in stone carving with a professional sculptor, including tools and materials.  Note that this is focused on techniques for sculpture, rather than monumental masonry or carving letters etc.  There are only a very limited number of places available on this, as there is a very high student / teacher ratio, allowing fast progress.  We will therefore find out who is interested, and arrange the date to suit those people.



Note that some of these events are organised jointly with other groups (eg the Friends of the Tank museum etc) and that places on some of them are extremely limited.

Future events will probably include getting “behind the scenes” at the Tank Museum, a tour of the artillery and armour collections at RCMS Shrivenham and to the new RA / REME museum that will replace both Firepower! at Woolwich and the REME museums at Arborfield and Borden.  A lecture entitled  “Manufacture / metallurgy and the development of Gun Barrel’s” will be given sometime in October 2017, probably in the Sheffield area.


There are a number of organisations which run tours with historical military interests and the following company has some interesting European visits in its itinerary:


 A list of past Ordnance Society visits is at the bottom of this page.

O.S. Visit to DEODS April 2008

O.S. Visit to DEODS April 2008

O.S. at DEODS April 2008

O.S. at DEODS April 2008 – with Grand-Slam

Ordnance Soc visit3

Close Inspection of a 105mm HOW – Warminster


The relevant Newsletter which contains a description of these visits can be found in the Subject Index under ‘Society Meetings and Visit Reports’

A.W.E. Aldermaston 2015
BAE Systems, Barrow-in-Furness 2001
Birmingham Gun-Barrel Proof House 2007
Boscombe Down 2002
Bovington and Holton Heath 1996
(I) Calais, Todt Battery & V3 Site 1998
(II) Calais, V2 Sites 2000
Day In Essex (Coalhouse Fort and Tilbury Fort) 2002
Dover & Dover Turret 1994
Eskmeals and Kirkcudbright 1997
Fort Amherst & R.E.M.E. Museum, Chatham 2009
Fort Halstead 1992
Fort Nelson, Portsmouth 2003
Helicopter Museum, Weston Super Mare 2017
Kineton, B.O.D. 1993
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum 2016
Mary Rose, Behind the Scenes, Portsmouth 2015
Naval Ordnance Museum, Priddy’s Hard (now ‘EXPLOSION‘) 1991
Ordnance Disposal School & Museum, Chattenden 1990
P & EE, Lavington 1994
P & EE, Pendine 1994
Pattern Room, Nottingham 1991
(I) P.E.E. Shoeburyness 1990
(II) P.E.E. Shoeburyness 1992
Portsmouth Dockyard 1995
Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst 2016
(I) Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham 1991
(II) Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham 1992
(III) Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham 1996
Rotunda, Museum of Artillery 1989
Thames Forts boat trip 1998
Waltham Abbey, Royal Gunpowder Mills 1999
Warminster and Larkhill 1992
Warminster Small Arms School Corps Weapons Collection 2008
Western Rifle Shooting 2017
Whale Island, Portsmouth 2003
Whitechapel Bell Foundry 2017
Woolwich Experience, Arsenal, Rotunda, RA Barracks, RA Academy 1999

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