WW2 National commemeration week St James Park

If your in London drop into the living musuem in St James Park.

lots of WW2 enactors and kit backed up by some boys and gurls from todays armed forces, well worth a couple of hours of your time.


Visited this with a colleague yesterday - after a couple of beers to celebrate Olympic result.

MoD site is pretty crap on location/approach. This is gate opposite St James's Palace, some queueing - loads of OAPs so no seats/benches set out for them. In through the gate for a quick fumble from some homo gateperson, swan through a gaggle of sponsors/backers tents, then another queue for entry - zig-zag type around barriers. OAPs tripping over bases of barriers as they're on a rough grass surface so some bits are up at tripping angle. Big area with seats and tables, ah they're not for OAPs but for sponsors/backers/homo searchers - and are all empty, but behind hihgh fence.

The programme has a bit about the Army/RAF and "The Royal Navy Service". Is this right - I've never heard of that one. Most of the living museum are standing around watching, rather than getting the chat going.

Glider Pilot Reg Ass 'tent' well populated - lots of badges on maroon. And so the the ENSA stage - on arrival some walt taking kids through arms drill. He was OK though, then some old boy came out and took his jacket off and showed him how to do it. Err,.... not very well though, but I don't think they'd given him a real weapon so the balance would have been a bit off.

ENSA - fcuking dreadful. They had a poncy spiv type doing the compere bit, a mincing slap-head joining him in song, along with some trollop putting on a cockney accent (badly - natch). Also a pianist who was good (hammed up some classical stuff as though to wind up the compere).

Every song they did was awful, the blokes weren't singing the same rhythm, the girl was trying to slip in comic interjections but failed miserably - throwing them out. They missed cues from the pianist (who was too fast throughout) and they had to read the words for every song and for every bad joke (timing of which was also naff). To crown it all "Miss Gladys O'Hara" had no decent timbre to her voice AND was singing flat. When she got to the end of one of her numbers Chas & I looked at each other in anticipation of the high note finish. No, shadn't the range either so aimed off for another more comfortable note, and missed by a country mile. Half the crowd were singing along with her, the rest simply winced.

At various points there were cries from the crowd of "draft dodgers", "They really were awful weren't they", "couldn't they find someone who could sing?", and "They'd be better off getting some bods from the services. Mind you, they're so cr@p they're probably RAF".

This last, although fairly sotto voce, was picked up by a part of the crowd which started laughing. This would have been a surprise to the performers, as no-one had laughed at their jokes. Enough of ENSA.

A short while after there was a uniformed flunky (hmm, dapper ADC type methinks) and a press scrum for Prince Andrew. Plain cloth and surrounded by muslim(?) kids, and one heavily bearded chap. Andy seemed to be asking whether all the kids were his, but really wasn't interested in the answer. However, he couldn't get away as the swarm of 6-8 year olds were all over him.

W was tempted to enquire of him whether the ENSA performance had driven him out too, but inspector knacker has no sense of humour at times like these.

So, by all means go, but I've seen better and as a 'national effort' it's poor.

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