Firepower

#1
Having not been to the museum for 10 years and receiving the occasional brief from the RA CoC, thought I would request an update from the ARRSE Gunner community.

I have seen that they do a fine range of branded tat!

GBTD
 
#2
GBTD

It's still going strong, not as many visitors as we would like, but it is getting there, there are a styrong band of volunteers helping to run it now, and even a family history team!

I'm down there this afternoon for Coffee and Mince Pies with general Barrons!!
 
#3
The trouble with Firepower!, like the Rotunda before it, is it is in East London. Now there are all kinds of valid historical reasons for that but nevertheless, it is a bitch to get to it unless you live in erm...East London or at a pinch northern Kent! Having said that, the numbers didn't add up back in the late eighties for a purpose built out-of-town location. Moreover it is a really good example of a)a museum and b) a military museum. Finally, it is ours. Possibly the best museum in the British Army, standfast obviously the National Army museum and possibly Bovvy.
 
#4
We should consider sueing the pwc consultants that did the visitor predictions.

In retrospect it would have been better sited in Wiltshire somewhere near the RSA.

- Close to other tourist attractions
- Within earshot of ythe impact area.
- It could have offered a real unique facility as fund raising - the chance to fire a gun using real rounds. Loads of tourists turn up to see tanks do their stuff at RAC mobility days. RSA would be the only place to see guns being fired.

However it is where it is. It is the only gunner musuem. It has lots of kit, and a big shed of stuff not yet displayed. The curator is a real expert on gunner medals and the archive contains lots of excellent material. Its only 20 mins by train from London Bridge and a 5 min walk from Woolwich Arsenal station.

.
 
#5
If anyone is considering visiting Firepower at a weekend, then please PM me, I'd be happy to give you a walk around.
 
#6
i believe we may be arranging a group visit (30 ish) within the next 6 months! what kind of notice should we be giving prior to the visit?
 
#7
A couple of weeks should be sufficient for the museum, but the earlier you can let them know the better. As I said, if it's a weekend, I'd be happy to come and help you look around.
 
#9
i believe we may be arranging a group visit (30 ish) within the next 6 months! what kind of notice should we be giving prior to the visit?
atmycommand

Spoke to the Ops Manager at Firepower last night, two weeks notice is normally sufficient, but if you are looking for a full guided tour, she recommends contacting them at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure a guide is available on the day.

Phil
 
#10
Does the DLR stop there yet? In fact has any of the much vaunted Arsenal renovation actually happened? I was last there 2-3 yrs ago and it (the area) still looked as ropey as when I opened the museum as a YO (I was that important...) 10 years ago - i.e. that's why it's a 5 minute walk - more like fast run, with body armour through Mogadishu, like the Marines at the end of Black Hawk Down. As for the immediate surroundings, it was supposed to be all restaurants, apartment blocks, a cinema and other pulls - this regeneration would pull the visitors in. My last visit - a complicated drive through what looked like a derelict industrial estate.
 
#11
Django

The site is coming along, there is now a very nice pub on site and the Firepower cafe does excellent food, the surrounding infrastructire is coming together although it is still somewhat of a building site (but not as bad as it was). Yes, the DLR does go to Woolwich now, stops alongside the Woolwich Arsenal Stn and it's only a short walk from there.

The Museum has its own car park now, ask at the counter for access.

Phil
 
#12
The serving regiment is currently collating "Gunners Today" material to enable the museum to provide exhibits from 1982 upto the present day under direction of MG, ACGS, DRA and CRA 3 (UK) Div. Plan is to have exhibition opened by early summer. Regiments are also being asked to raise funds for the exhibition.

UQFEGD

PP
 
#13
Does the DLR stop there yet? In fact has any of the much vaunted Arsenal renovation actually happened? I was last there 2-3 yrs ago and it (the area) still looked as ropey as when I opened the museum as a YO (I was that important...) 10 years ago - i.e. that's why it's a 5 minute walk - more like fast run, with body armour through Mogadishu, like the Marines at the end of Black Hawk Down. As for the immediate surroundings, it was supposed to be all restaurants, apartment blocks, a cinema and other pulls - this regeneration would pull the visitors in. My last visit - a complicated drive through what looked like a derelict industrial estate.
DLR is how I got there a few months ago, starting from West London (tube to Bank), a very easy trip. It's not a million miles from the M25 if that's you wagon type, and its almost on the South Circular if that's how you get your jollies. Its always been easy by normal train from Waterloo.

A brief wander in Woolwich in daylight (which is when Firepower is open) failed to reveal any hostile natives, the council does seem to be trying to tart the place up a bit (work on the market area), and the Arsenal area is now tending to upmarket. It'll never be the Champs Elysee but its Ok and improving.
 
#14
DLR is how I got there a few months ago, starting from West London (tube to Bank), a very easy trip. It's not a million miles from the M25 if that's you wagon type, and its almost on the South Circular if that's how you get your jollies. Its always been easy by normal train from Waterloo.

A brief wander in Woolwich in daylight (which is when Firepower is open) failed to reveal any hostile natives, the council does seem to be trying to tart the place up a bit (work on the market area), and the Arsenal area is now tending to upmarket. It'll never be the Champs Elysee but its Ok and improving.
Petardier

I agree, not only are the council tarting the area up, despite the stories, Woolwich has some of the politest people in London resident there, that isn't to say they are all nce, but they aren't baying for your blood as some people would have you think.

Also, the museum are in line with the Gunners today them looking for people with operational experience 1945 to almost today to take part in an oral history project. Anyone interested in taking party, please PM me.

Phil
 
#15
The serving regiment is currently collating "Gunners Today" material to enable the museum to provide exhibits from 1982 upto the present day under direction of MG, ACGS, DRA and CRA 3 (UK) Div. Plan is to have exhibition opened by early summer. .Regiments are also being asked to raise funds for the exhibition

UQFEGD

PP
please tell me you're kidding.......
 
#16
Nope. In fact, every regiment has been directed to raise ivo £7k as a 'contribution' towards Firefarce. Some have already indicated that they'll just take it from PRI - others are now frantically trying to organise charity events and everything else on top of Op ENTIRETY stuff.

I can't imagine that regiments will have a long list of other, more important, things to spend £7k on - but there you go.
Haha... deja vu I've still got wads of feckin regimental raffle tickets from the first time around!
 
#17
Nope. In fact, every regiment has been directed to raise ivo £7k as a 'contribution' towards Firefarce. Some have already indicated that they'll just take it from PRI - others are now frantically trying to organise charity events and everything else on top of Op ENTIRETY stuff.

I can't imagine that regiments will have a long list of other, more important, things to spend £7k on - but there you go.
Does anyone know if Firepower actually makes enough to survive on its own?

On a wider note this does, for me raise an interesting point, how important is it to the Gunners? If it is failing to keep itself afloat should we prop it up? Should we pay for enhancements (15x7k=105k, 112k if Kings Troop is knocking out a few saddles/horse shoes to contribute)? What do we as a community get back from it?

I’ll put myself in the firing line with my view, but come on share yours!

If it is (I don’t know the answer to this) failing to keep itself sufficiently funded then it is clearly not delivering what the community, public want from it and should be left to stand or fall on its own, if it is sustaining itself why the 105/112K hand out? To me this is all a bit like some of the great white elephants in DE&S, it’s someone really importants pet project and will be made to work! I am not saying it is not important to retain history, but it needs to be cost effective and IMHO tapping from Regts every time someone gets a good idea is just plain wrong.

I am more than aware there will be some with far more knowledge/experience than me on the matter, so genuinely stand by to have my viewpoint corrected, in fact I might feel a bit better if it was.
 
#18
I was of the opinion that they (whoever that might be, but let's say Regtl col in past or the like) made it clear that Regiments would not be used to prop up Firepower, as to a man, everyone resented the contribution of Days' pay to it in the past to get it open in the first place. I would imagine that "charity" events to raise cash for Firepower held by regiments would fall a firm 2nd to events being run to raise money for H4H, ABF etc (who no-one could argue are more deserving causes). I would be pretty shocked to hear that Regiments were being asked to contribute in this way, as £7k from their kitty is a not insubstantial amount and could well impact on much more worthy causes.

I must caveat my previous, slightly flippant, remarks about Woolwich with the fact that I last walked through the town itself (from the Barracks) 10 odd years ago, at all times of the day and felt decidedly uncomfortable. BUT, we did have to do it in SD...since then I have driven to FP - the museum itself I like, it's just a shame that the thieving consultants who said putting it there was an ace idea given the impending rejuvination/renovation projects, have been proved to have been slightly overstating that impact, hence FP stumbles on (I imagine) barely covering its costs (if it does at all).
 
#19
The current fundraising is for the "Gunners Today" exhibit only and has been ring fenced so that it does not go into the Firepower coffers. In all fairness it is to fund an exhibition which shows what the ARRSE generation of Gunners have done and will provide a lasting archive that preserves evidence of our efforts and sacrifice. That is a necessary and laudible aim.

Unfortunately to do this in any half-decent way will cost money. There has been a donation of £25k to get the ball rolling but the final bill will be in the region of £250-£300k. The aim is to have the exhibition in a semi-portable format so that it can be moved around the country (this placated some of the die hard "The museum is in the wrong place " lobby) but I am not sure this is a very viable prospect. I am not sure a bunch of maps, FRAGOs badges and minor artifacts will have much of a draw if not co-located with some big items of hardware.

IMHO each regular Bty should be able to raise £1k pretty easily just by sitting on a rowing machine outside Asda, or something similar. The remainder could be raised by an auction or dinner or something similar at regtl level. The aim is to raise the bulk of funding by June next year, after which regts can switch back to other fund raising initiatives.

Money raised will go into the RACF/RAI pot, so as far as I am concerned we are raising money for forces charities. The members of the board can decide wherther that money goes to buy wheelchairs, subsidise adventure training and sports or secure our recent history.

UQFEGD

PP
 
#20
PP, having been engaged with a few fundraising ventures in the past I would question your claims.

£1k from sitting outside Asda? Notwithstanding the generosity of the British (or German) public, I doubt they would be as inclined to dig in their pockets to raise money for a museum display, no matter how relevant to the soldiers raising the money. You would then almost run into the problem that you are hoping the public get confused by the sight of serving soldiers and donate without knowing what they are donating too...and the remainder from a dinner and auction? Again, having run quite a few dinners, I don't really know how each Regiment could make a £3k+ profit from a dinner, unless every one of them got a REALLY high profile after dinner speaker and a bunch of free stuff of suitable value to auction (which companies would throw a free car to a regiment to raise money for the museum? or more precisely a new display in the museum?).

I don't mean to sound pessimistic (well maybe a little bit), but this seems to be a big (insurmountable?) ask of regiments in the current climate and for what? A display showing Iraq and Afghanistan from a Gunner perspective?

On top of that, I take you back to the mandate that Regiments wouldn't be asked to prop up the museum with contributions from serving soldiers. It is symantics that it is for one display, not going into the museum coffers itself and that it would be hoping for charitable donations not a day's pay.
 
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