I spent the morning wandering around the Riverside Promenade trail here in Chester (the leaflet from tourist information is free, or you can download one, from the link above). The highlights of the walk for me, were the Water tower, the Grosvenor Bridge and the Suspension Bridge (sometimes annoyingly called the Holyoaks bridge, as its featured in the opening titles. That program went downhill, once Becka left).
After spending 2 hours exploring I debated having a Pie and Pint at the excellent Boat house pub (previous winner of the credit crunch lunch award here at js.com).
Instead, I decided to content myself with my trusty packed lunch and bottle of water, and instead, use the money to rent a rowing boat. Okay, your not exactly navigating the channel, but the feeling of freedom and exhilaration of “piloting” your own boat, are remarkable.
Ive lived in Chester now, for 8 years and the Chester regimental museum is somewhere Ive never gotten around to seeing. At only £3, it was an opportunity not to be missed.
I couldn’t believe how many interesting artifacts and displays were there. The picture above, shows a replica of a WW2 fighting trench. In the middle of the picture (a bit hard to see) is an authentic periscope, used to look “over the top” without getting shot.
There was a great deal mentioned about the Cheshire regiments involvement in Bosnia, and elsewhere, an account of the 2 VC’s awarded to the regiment.
One that I found interesting, was where a private in the regiment, had jumped out of the Allied trenches, and jumped back into the enemy trench having noticed that their machine gunner was dead. From here he was able to traverse the gun down the length of the enemy trench, take the position, and 42 prisoners with no loss of life on either side.
Some of the displays showed barracks and some of the activities performed by the regiment, throughout the world (it was pointed out, that even outside of wartime, soldiers will routinely be sent to places like Borneo and Norway for advanced training. Above an imaginary scene of a soldier in the Borneo jungle). Having spent time there myself, I can tell you its authentic.
One other aspect of the museum, was its honesty and sense of humour. A display showing all the different ranks of soldiers and what they do, mentioned the Colour Sergent major, who is responsible for quarter-mastering and supplying the regiment. It was stated, that when he isn’t there, he is referred to by everyone as “the colour bloke”.
The museum was run by former soldiers of the regiment. As I entered, they told me the rules about photography, gave recommendations for things I might find interesting (they were extremely helpful) and politely, asked me to show respect at all times.
He said with humility that brave people (some of them his friends) had died in uniform. It was a humbling experience.