Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I was defeated, you won the war - Waterloo visit 1

I'm the one on the right.  With the impressive hat.

As Waterloo fever grips at least one of the inmates of Megablitz Towers, I took the logical step last month of visiting the actual battlefield.  This was done as a day trip from London in the excellent company of Jack and Bertrand - the latter having made all of the travel arrangements.  My part consisted of driving to the capital the previous evening and enjoying as best I could the evening rush hour.

At 0355* we set off from London and drove to Dover where with very little waiting we were shoved onto the next available ferry.  After a float about we were soon trundling through France and then Belgium with your humble correspondent at the helm of Bertrand's suitably Gallic conveyance.

On arrival at Waterloo, being hardened military history enthusiasts, we at first ignored the battle and had some lunch.  Or it might have been breakfast.  Who knows?

Then it was on the the sparkly new visitor centre.  Now I'm not generally a fan of such centres but this one is a delight.  Built underground - presumably at vast expense - it doesn't mess up the view and contains much which the visitor may ogle.
Seen from atop the notorious Lion Mound, the round building houses the Panorama, while the rectangular hole in the ground and the 'trench' between it and the road marks the location of the visitor centre.
 Among the exhibits is one of Dr. Guillotine's finest.  The 'story' starts with the Revolution and helps put the battle in it's historical context.
 Clearly a man with a lot to say for himself.  He'll want watching.
 My appalling photos fail to do them justice, but you'll have to take my word for it that the uniform collection was pretty impressive.  I'll not insult your knowledge - or reveal my lack thereof - by captioning these photos.

Coming next - the field of battle itself!

* apparently the time 3.55 occurs twice each day.  I refer here to 3.55am


Peter Douglas said...

Thanks for the Abba ear worm Tim, I'll be sure to repay in kind someday.

Music choices aside, it looks like it was a grand day out and great photos.
Cheers, PD

Martin Sheppard said...

Very much enjoyed your posting. I think though my chums in the British Army would say that 0355 (as first written) only occurs once a day, as does 1555. 3:55 can, of course, occur twice a day (or I suppose more times as you changed time zones in travelling to the Continent)😀

Paul Foster said...

Nice one.

Chris Kemp said...

Looking at the French Generals' magnificent hats, the phrase "The army with the simplest uniform wins", springs to mind.

Regards, Chris.

p.s The wheels arrived safely in the post - many thanks Tim.

Brian Carrick said...

Is that a gun in Napoleon's hand, or was he just pleased to see you?

Al said...

cool post Tim

Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
Just think of it as a bit of old-world culture for you chaps in the colonies.

Tim Gow said...

Martin Sheppard
Having started so early time soon lost all meaning.

Tim Gow said...

Paul Foster
I've only just caught up on the sleep - a month later.

Tim Gow said...

Chris Kemp
That might explain a lot about our own sorry victory record...

Tim Gow said...

Brian Carrick
I confess that the Emperor didn't look all that delighted when we hove into view.

Tim Gow said...

Just one of the sacrifices I have made for my readers.