This is Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace the Principal Director of Music of the Royal Marines and Robert Robson the CE of the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Charity. I had been invited to the Mountbatten Festival of Music in the Albert Hall by the RNRM Charity. It was outstanding. . This all part of the three single service charities working to gether and it was tremendous to see the Royal Marine Bands in action. Nick Grace is enthusiastic about the Royal Marines taking part in the British Military Tournament and he told me that the band taking part is the Band of the Royal Marine Training Centre who are currently in Helmand and BMT will be their first engagement after their return. This is all very exciting.


It was a day of three consecutive meetings on the British Military Tournament which will be run again between 2nd and 4th Dec at Earls Court. We heard of the exciting plans for this year's show and pictured is Sophie who is brave enough to be Miss Tournament for a second year with some of the art work for this year. By the sounds of it the show will be even better, fewer horses but more surprises and of course Baxterbear our Tournament mascot. Next blog will be about the Marathon where we have 77 runners, great job Kirstie.


Earlier blogs covered other meetings with County Chairmen what are called RPGs otherwise known as Rocket for Particular Gunks. Well here are the County Chairmen of the East Midlands all looking rather glum who do a fantastic job and have raised about £250k so they have lots to smile about.  Most have never been blogged before!  Amongst those present was a Grenadier a Coldstreamer and a Duke. The Coldstreamer claimed I had taken his name in 1973 for dirty buttons but to day he took mine for dirty shoes! Where is my batman? I received my rocket with due grace.


Here is the Gloucestershire Fundraising Committee having just met with Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant.  We were pleased to report to her that we hade raised £52,000 in the year and which wwe celebtarted by firing a salvo from this Iraq war souvenir. The committee was a bit bigger until I announced I was going to blog them and off they went like scalded cats. Those that remained hung around because they didnt believe me.  Thank you Dame Janet for attending our meeting.


During my recconnaissance for my ride in the Borders I visited a fascinating charity called Equibuddy who develop the physical and mental attributes of people via a 'vaulting on horses' programme.  In this piccy you see a 5 or 6 year old on a horse having vauletd on to it. Dead steady she was.  My interest was to see if we could incorporate this act into the British Military Tournament in December (2nd to 4th )with the possibility of having a couple of wounded soldiers take part.  I was enormousl y impresed by what I saw and would like to include this if we can get some willing military.  I was tempted to have a go myself but thought better of although a picture of me in the dirt would be delightful for some! 
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