…And I would walk 500 more. As The Proclaimers once said. Now, whilst I haven’t walked a thousand miles in the last week, I have driven to two Lard events in the North of England at Wor Lard in Durham last weekend and at a rather more impromptu Sharp Practice day in Grange-Over-Sands this Sunday just gone. Well over a thousand miles clocked up in Lardmobile 3, but two most enjoyable events packed with Lard and jolly nice people.
Wor Lard in Durham has been on the calendar for the past few years (I think it’s four years now, time flies!) and this year fans of Lard in the North East congregated in the headquarters of Durham Wargames club in the old Yeomanry barracks with a range of games. I ran Sharp Practice in the Peninsular in the morning, a game enhanced by the surprise arrival of a very violent monk who apparently had Tourettes and certainly was not happy about the 95th Rifles breaking his pottery. How we laughed. Anyway, I followed that with a brief into to Tank Commander (the rules formerly known as What a Tanker) at lunchtime. Then in the afternoon I had a chance to play a superb retreat from Moscow game with Sharp Practice run by the lads from Harrogate. I had long been inspired by this game since I first saw it at Partizan back in the summer and it had clocked up a whole raft of awards on the show circuit with its superb terrain and magnificently painted figures. My thanks to them for putting on a smashing game which was both inspiring and generated much fun.
Other games on display in the smorgasbord of Lard were a 40mm Chain of Command Espana game, I Ain’t Been Shot Mum in Normandy, Dux Britanniarum and an inspiring Homeric Greek version of Dux run by “The Colonel” Dave Parker against the backdrop of a splendid model of Troy. As always, the lads in Durham were superb hosts, with a great day of gaming followed by a tip top curry and a few beverages.
Here’s a few snaps of the day.
This Sunday we had been due to attend a Sharp Practice day in Nottingham hosted by the team at Wargames Illustrated magazine. Unfortunately the invite was withdrawn late in the day and the chaps who had booked to attend were somewhat disappointed. They got in touch and asked if I would attend if they stepped in at the last minute and organised something at their local club up at Grange-Over-Sands in the beautiful English Lakes. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and a dozen or so of us met up in a former cinema for a whole day of Sharp Practice. AWI, Napoleonics and ACW were on offer with games in both 28mm and 15mm and it was certainly a jolly event. Standing out in my memory are the heroic but ultimately futile charge of the Hessian Grenadiers, the poor lady watching her house burn to the ground and appealing for help, but to no avail, and the ACW blue on blue (or was it grey on grey) fire incident as the officers failed to stop their regiment blasting away into the blue.
A few snaps of that day are below.
My thanks to Rob, Stuart and all of the chaps from the Lancaster Wargames club for their heroic efforts to rescue the day and for all who attended, including Dave who apparently enjoyed Durham so much he decided to come to Grange as well.
As always, the best aspect of the Lardy games days is the good humour and camaraderie which they engender and both of these events were proof of this. Thanks to everyone involved for making a thousand miles of driving seem insignificant in comparison with the fun we all had.
William Wallace once said (in a film) “Every man dies, not every man really lives” and what is certain is that you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten deep fried haggis in the Rainbow Restaurant in Musselburgh. Clarkie enjoyed it so much last year that this June he’s heading north again for a second helping. To