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.
UP AND COMING VISITS
contact Neil Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org
VISITS SUMMER 2017
Torchlit Roman Baths (6th August 2017, £15.50)
A special evening visit to the Roman baths at (obviously) Bath, one of the major Roman sites in Britain. For this special tour, the baths will be lit only by torchlight and staffed by costumed interpreters for a rather different visit.
Dover Castle (13th Aug 2017, free to EH members, £15 otherwise)
Dover is one of the most extensive most extensive English Heritage sites, including the medieval Great Tower (with the interior recreated as it would have been then), the WW2 command centre and underground hospital and the Great War Admiralty fire control centre. Our visit includes watching costumed re-enactors loading and firing a WW1 3-inch anti-aircraft gun.
Bletchley Park (27 August 2017, £15)
A tour of the wartime code breaking centre and the associated museum. We will try to arrange a car share from Swindon, if enough people are interested
Stone Circle Access – Stonehenge Stone Circle Access (Early Morning) (17th September 2017, £25)
This is the annual special stone circle access trip that allows a limited number of people inside the rope barriers around the monument, and into the circle itself. We get an hour inside the circle for photography etc, and there will be a short, optional talk pointing out some features not normally visible from outside the circle. Note that as this trip has to happen before the site opens to the public, it is a very early start, and you will need to be at the site by 0630.
Vulcan Bomber Experience (23 September 2017, £25)
A chance to get on board one of the most iconic British cold war aircraft. We get a walk around a preserved and operational aircraft with the ground crew, who will talk us through how to arm, fuel and maintain the aircraft. We will then see the aircraft being powered up from ground power, so we can see control surfaces move, open the bomb bay doors etc. Finally, we get into the cockpit for a talk from former air crew about flying the aircraft operationally.
Vickers Machine Gun Collection (15 October, £5)
A definite must for anyone with an interest in the Great War, this gives us an afternoon of hands-on access to a very extensive collection of…well, pretty much everything to do with these iconic weapons.
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.
PAST ORDNANCE SOCIETY VISITS
The relevant Newsletter which contains a description of these visits can be found in the Subject Index under ‘Society Meetings and Visit Reports’
|BAE Systems, Barrow-in-Furness||2001|
|Birmingham Gun-Barrel Proof House||2007|
|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 Nelson, Portsmouth||2003|
|Helicopter Museum, Weston Super Mare||2017|
|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|
|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|