The Ordnance Society

Ordnance & Artillery of All Periods

Visits

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.


VISITS IN 2019

It is ESSENTIAL to book for any of these visits by contacting Neil Grant at : –

neilgrant2@yahoo.co.uk

 

The new, full and super visits programme for the rest of 2019 is now available, and here it is:-

 

ORDNANCE SOCIETY VISITS 2019

 

The list of our visits and activities for the year are below; more may be added during the year.   Note that spaces on some of the events are limited, so if you are interested in attending any of these events, please contact the visits coordinator Neil Grant on neilgrant2@yahoo.co.uk

 

There are also some events at the bottom of the page which we will organise only if sufficient people are interested. We will then arrange a date that suits those people.

 

 

Army Small Arms School (13 March 2019, suggested donation)

A guided tour around the army’s own gun collection, which contains examples of pretty much every weapon the army has issued, tested or captured since the 1870s. Even better, it’s a working collection, not a museum, so there unless something goes wrong, there will also be a handling session with some of the weapons.

 

Vickers Machine Gun Collection (24 March 2019, £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. The visit will include a talk and handling, and may (no promises) include setting up a Vickers and demonstrating it using blank ammunition

 

Escape Room Swindon (6 April 2019, £20)

Can your team use their analytical and deductive skills to escape from the locked room before the time limit elapses and the air runs out? Note that there are multiple escape room set ups at the site, so you can do both the April and September dates if you want.

 

The Silk Merchant’s house, Marlborough (13 April, £7.50)

A guided tour of the restored 1653 house and garden of Thomas Bayly, Silk Merchant. We’d suggest rounding this off with a cream tea in the picturesque high street, but that’s up to you

 

Western-style Carbine shooting (28 April, £30)

A chance to shoot full bore western style lever action carbines at an indoor range in Birmingham. The session starts on .22 semi-automatics to teach the basics, before switching to the full bore (.357 & .44) carbines.   Ammunition is included; you will get around 40-50 shots, with a variety of weapons.

 

Stonehenge Stone Circle Special Access (sunset) (5 May 2019, £15)

This is one of two 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 this trip will be after the monument closes to the public, and will finish more or less at sunset. There is a similar trip just after sunrise in September

 

Battle Archery (18 May, £35)

This is effectively the archery equivalent of paintball – after a short practise session, teams of players are equipped with fencing masks and safety tipped arrows to take part in tactical skirmishes where they shoot, dodge and reload while moving from cover to cover, attempting to eliminate the other team

 

Defence Academy Shrivenham (4 June 2019, suggested donation)

This includes guided tours of the artillery hall and the armoured vehicle hall at the defence academy, which contain excellent representative collections of British and foreign equipment

 

Axe & Knife Throwing Workshop (29 June, £35)

A half-day session learning to throw tomahawks, axes and throwing knives, located near Bath. No previous experience is necessary, and the session will be tailored to the people attending, so if you want to concentrate on axes or whatever

 

VIP Spitfire & Hurricane Experience (17 July 2019, £70)

A private guided walk around of restored WW2 Hurricane and Spitfire fighters, guided by the team who restored them, plus actually getting to sit in the cockpit of the spitfire and being talked through how to fly it. Located in Kent

 

Armourgeddon tank museum (21 July, £6)

A visit to a small collection of WW2 and cold war vehicles, some of which will be running during our visit. Located in the Midlands.

 

Crofton Beam Engines (28 July 2019, £8)

A visit to the Victorian static steam engines near Marlborough, which pumped water for the Kennet & Avon canal on a day when the engines are in steam

 

Fort Nelson (4 August, Parking charge only)

Fort Nelson is one of the Victorian forts built to protect the vital Portsmouth dockyards from the landward side, and now holds the artillery collections of the Royal Armouries – everything from medieval cannon to railway guns. This session includes a guided tour of the fort and the collection, including firing demonstration of several artillery pieces.

 

Raglan Castle (11 Aug, £7 POD)

A chance to visit one of the most impressive ruined medieval castles in South Wales, just across the border

 

Vintage Bus to Imber Restricted Village (17 August 2019, pay on day)

In 1943, the village of Imber (near Warminster) was requisitioned for military training. The civilian population was never able to return after the war, and the village continued to be used for urban combat training. As it is in the middle of a restricted military area, it is not normally accessible except for one day a year, when a special service runs trips out to it in vintage red routemaster double decker buses.

 

Escape Room Swindon (7 September 2019, £20)

Can your team use their analytical and deductive skills to escape from the locked room before the time limit elapses and the air runs out? Note that there are multiple escape room set ups at the site, so you can do both the April and September dates if you want.

 

Vulcan Bomber Experience (14 September 2019, £20)

A chance to get on board one of the most iconic British cold war aircraft. We get a walk around the 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.

 

Avebury, Silbury & West Kennet (22 September 2019, Free)

A guided tour of these related Neolithic monuments in Wiltshire. Note that this visit will involve a certain amount of walking

 

Stonehenge Stone Circle Special Access (Early Morning) (29 September 2019, £15)

This is one of two 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 this trip will be before the monument opens to the public, so it is a very early start and you will need to be at the site by 0630. There is a similar trip in the evening in may, for those who don’t want to get up so ridiculously early.

 

Tank Driving Day (6 October 2019 £175)

Pretty much what it says on the tin – you get to drive four different military vehicles -a Chieftain tank, Abbott self-propelled gun, Stormer load carrier and FV432 APC. Near Winchester, no prior experience necessary

 

OS / Nautical Archaeology Society Conference (16/17 November, cost TBA)

A joint conference by the Ordnance Society and the Nautical Archaeology Society, with two days of papers on the theme of “Wooden Walls & Stone Bastions”

THE FOLLOWING VISITS/EVENTS ARE STILL BEING PLANNED/FIRMED UP

DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON THE WEB-SITE ABD FACEBOOK

Tudor Baking (TBA, £35)

Learn to make Tudor bread and cakes and bake them in a wood-fired oven in a historic property at the Chiltern Open Air Museum. The course lasts half a day, and you get the other half day free to tour the rest of the museum

 

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

 

“Artistic” Blacksmithing Day (TBA, £140)

This is a basic blacksmithing course with no prior experience required, run near Marlborough. As part of the course, you will make a metal ornament of your own design, hence the “artistic” label, to distinguish it from farriery or bladesmithing type blacksmith work. As the work is fairly small scale, no particular physical strength is required.

 

Polo Taster Day (TBA, £120)

This starts with an explanation of the rules and learning to hit a polo ball correctly on a wooden horse, before mounting up and learning to apply the knowledge on horseback. Note that the venue for this is likely to be in the Midlands, but may change. Being able to ride is a requirement for this session.

 

Horse Archery Day (TBA, £185)

This session is Hertfordshire. It starts with a short ground session teaching the specialist horse archery draw before mounting up and learning to apply the knowledge on horseback. Being able to ride is helpful but NOT a requirement for this session – at beginner level the targets are in a straight line, and the horses are well trained to run straight.

 

Zombie Boot Camp (TBA, £99)

As part of a small group of survivors, armed with simulated modern weapons, you have to fight hordes of zombies in a 32,000 square foot purpose-built gaming area including streets, bunkers and tunnel complexes, some of them filled with disorienting lights and smoke.   Then you get made up as a zombie, and get to try and eat the brains of the next group of poor fools….. Note that this is located in the west Midlands, and is a relatively physical day

 

Visit to the French tank Museum, Saumur (TBA, circa £500)

This will probably be a long weekend trip – travel down one day, two full days at the museum with an English-speaking guide and travel back on the last day. The price will include travel, hotels, admission and guide. We’re still in the planning process on this, and much will depend on how many people want to go, but it is likely to be toward the year end.

 

———————————————————

 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

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’

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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