Friday, 31 May 2013

I've been away again ... but now I am back!

We have just returned from our latest cruise ... and I am very pleased to be back home.

My wife had spotted that this cruise to Norway had been heavily discounted, and so we booked it at very short notice. As a result we have just spent seven days aboard MV Azura, one of P&O's largest ships ... during the half-term holidays! The ship was almost full (it has a maximum capacity of 3,100 passengers) and there were more than enough children about to make us realise why the cruise had been reduced in price.

That said, the places we visited were very interesting, and I will be writing a special blog entry about it in due course.

So why am I so pleased to be home? Because last night I began to exhibit the symptoms of a stomach bug that had been doing the rounds aboard ship (luckily NOT the Norovirus), and by this morning I had a massive headache, aching joints, alternatively felt very cold or hot, and had a very, very dodgy stomach. I just about managed to drive the 126 miles home from Southampton, but when I got home and had unloaded the car, I drank lots of water and went to bed to sleep for five hours. I am feeling a bit better now, and hope that I will have recovered by tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

ROCO Minitanks: old catalogue

After my recent blog entries about ROCO Minitanks, Andy Callan - who was also one of the founding members of Wargame Developments - sent me a copy of an old catalogue. It must date from before 1971 because the prices are all in pounds, shillings, and pence (or £.s.d. as they currency used to be referred to!) ... and boy, do I wish they were still so cheap! (To give some idea of the modern equivalent of the prices quoted, 2/6d is now 12.5p or just under $0.20.)















Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Another second-hand game purchased on eBay

I was so impressed with the potential uses of the playing pieces that came with my recently purchased WAR! AGE OF IMPERIALISM, that I bought a copy of Eagle Games' THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR boxed wargame via eBay.


The box contains a large three-part playing board that is a map that covers the main theatres of the American Civil War, ...


... rules (with three levels of complexity from Basic to Advanced), dice, and a large number of plastic 20mm-scale figures, moulded in four colours. (There are two grey, two dark blue, one light blue, and one red sprues in the box, each sprue having 20 infantry, 10 cavalry, 5 cannon [each made from three parts], 5 leaders, and 2 standard bearers.) There are also three sprues of horses (2 brown and 1 black), with each sprue having 24 horses.

One thing that the box does not contain is the Tactical Battle Board, ...


... but the rules make it clear that this is not required, and that one can be made from a large piece of card. (It can be bought from Eagle Games as a 'spare part' or 'component'. I would like to buy one, but the cost of $3.00 is outweighed by the cost of postage and packing [$43.00!] ... which I think is quite out of all proportion to the price of the item.)

I can already see potential uses for both the playing board, the battle board, and the figures ... and I have a feeling that I will begin to explore them over the forthcoming months.

Monday, 27 May 2013

More information about eighteenth century naval artillery

Nigel Drury very kindly sent me photocopies of several pages from a book about eighteenth century naval artillery, and I think that the information contained therein will be of interest to some of my regular blog readers.
The several denominations by which English guns in either service are identified with their respective calibers, are not applicable to foreign guns; every nation possessing, besides a scale of calibers, or natures, a standard of weights and measures, peculiar to itself. Until, therefore, the calibers, or pounders, of several sea-service guns in use by different powers at war, can be reduced into English weight, it will be in vain to attempt any comparison between them. For instance, the gun with which the French arm the first decks of their line-of-battle ships, above a 64, is by them denominated a 36-pounder, for the plain reason, that the shot suitable to its cylinder, and which shot measures in diameter 6.239 French inches and decimal parts, weighs 36 French pounds. But the same shot measures 6.648 English inches and decimal parts, and weighs very little less than 39 English pounds [See endnote]. The following table, which has been drawn up with great care, is submitted as the only statement of the kind in print.

Nothing can demonstrate the utility of such a table, more clearly, than the material difference observable between some of the calibers: The Danish 36-pound shot, for instance, weighs nearly two pounds more than the Russian 42; yet, nominally, the latter is the heavier by one seventh. As it is for the gross, or broadside, and not the individual calibers, that our calculations are chiefly wanted, that the integral proportion which comes nearest to the difference expressed in the table, will answer the purpose. Thus:

[Endnote: In one or two instances, the French first-class first-rates have mounted 48-pounders; but according to an ordonnance of the French king, dated 1786, the following were established as the guns and complements of the different classes of ships; to which is now added, to serve for reference hereafter, the broadside force or weight of metal.]

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames Issue 362

Today I received my first subscription issue of the re-launched MINIATURE WARGAMES WITH BATTLEGAMES magazine.


The articles included in this issue are:
  • Briefing (i.e. the editorial) by Henry Hyde
  • Forward observer by Neil Shuck
  • Fields of value: The continuing tales of a wargames widow by Diane Sutherland
  • The Great Armada: Part 2: a landing in the north by Jim Webster
  • Whose history? answered: First we should ask "Whose accuracy?" by William Haggart
  • Swamp pursuit: a race to safety against enemies and nature by Arthur Harman
  • Send three and four pence by Conrad Kinch
  • 1644: An email and tabletop campaign by Paul Johnston
  • Camerone 1863: The last stand of the Legion by Jim Webster
  • Command challenge: Save Lady Jane from McSiggins! by Henry Hyde
  • Painting perfect pikemen by Tamsin Piper
  • Salute 2013: One wargamer's grand day out by Dillon Browne
  • Recce
  • The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal report by Henry Hyde
This looks like being another great issue ... and I can hardly wait to set aside enough time to read it at my leisure!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Help for Heroes

In the wake of yesterday's murderous attack in Woolwich on the as-yet-unnamed young soldier, ones feels that one wants to do something ... but what?

Nigel Drury (a long-time friend and fellow member of Wargame Developments) has made an excellent suggestion ... and that is to give our support to HELP FOR HEROES. The murdered soldier was wearing one of the charity's sweatshirts when he was killed, and it seems an appropriate response.


If you want to find out more about HELP FOR HEROES, click here.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Incident in Woolwich

I just saw a news broadcast about what appears to have been a Islamist terrorist attack in Woolwich. I live less than a mile from the location of the alleged attack, and the news report indicates that a soldier has been killed by two men, who were then shot by armed police.

This is not the first time the Woolwich has been subject to a terrorist attack. A public house only a few metres from where this alleged attack took place was bombed by the IRA in 1974.

My condolences and sympathy go out to the family of the dead man.

COW2013

It is just over six weeks until COW2013 (the annual Conference of Wargamers that is organised by Wargame Developments) will be taking place at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire. Bookings are a little down on last year, but there may be a few more over the next few weeks.

I understand from Tim Gow (my co-organiser) that the programme is coming together quite nicely, and that new sessions have been added since the last update that was published in THE NUGGET. My session, which will be entitled OPERATION VIJAY, is progressing nicely. I now have a reasonably detailed large map of Goa, and Tim Gow is going to provide suitable 1:300th-scale vehicles and figures from his extensive Megablitz collection. I am currently drafting the briefings for both the Indian and Portuguese sides, and with luck they should be ready in a week or so. Once that is done, the session will be ready to go.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

I've been Tangoed ... three times in one day!

It has been brought to my notice that three of my recent blog entries have been 'Tangoed' (i.e. selected by Tango01 [AKA Dr Raùl Alberto de la Cruz of Argentina AKA Armand] for a mention on THE MINIATURES PAGE).

I am not sure if I should be honoured or flattered to have been picked ... but it may well account for a recent upsurge in visitor numbers to this blog. Let's hope that any new visitors become regular readers.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Preparing for COW

COW (the annual Conference of Wargamers that is organised by Wargame Developments) will be taking place in early July, and I have just begun to plan a possible session to put on.

For the first time I will be trying to stage a planning/map-based wargame, and it will be based on Operation Vijay. This was the military operation staged by the Indian Armed Forces in 1961 that led to the liberation/conquest of Goa and its incorporation into India. (I use the terms 'liberation' and 'conquest' because the opposing sides – India and Portugal – saw it in those respective terms.)


In 1961 the Indian Army was still very 'British' in style and equipment, and many of the senior officers had served in the British Indian Army before Independence. The same was also true of both the Indian Navy (which operated a mixture of new and second-hand warships acquired from the UK) and the Indian Air Force (which operated Hawker Hunters, English Electric Canberras, and Folland Gnats). The game will therefore give players the opportunity to plan an operation using equipment and tactics with which they may well be reasonably familiar.

The map-based wargame will then see the players (the Indian Armed Forces) put their plan into operation against the umpire-controlled Portuguese ... although I might try to find someone who would be willing to take on the role of the Portuguese Governor of Goa, and who could plan their defence of the colony.

All that I need now is a large-scale map of Goa ... and that is proving to be a bit more difficult to get hold of than I had expected!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The calibres and lengths of eighteenth century English cannons

I recently came across the following information in one of the books I bought whilst in the Caribbean, and I thought might be of interest to some of my regular blog readers.

Field Artillery Iron Cannon
  • 3-pounder: 3 foot 3 inches
  • 6-pounder: 4 foot 1 inch
  • 9-pounder: 4 foot 8 inches
  • 12-pounder: 5 foot 1 inch
  • 18-pounder: 5 foot 10 inches
  • 24-pounder: 6 foot 5 inches
Ship Guns (Bronze)
  • 3-pounder: 3 foot 6 inches
  • 6-pounder: 4 foot 4 inches
  • 9-pounder: 5 foot
  • 12-pounder: 5 foot 6 inches
  • 18-pounder: 6 foot 4 inches
  • 24-pounder: 7 foot
  • 32-pounder: 7 foot 6 inches
  • 36-pounder: 7 foot 10 inches
  • 42-pounder: 8 foot 4 inches
  • 48-pounder: 8 foot 6 inches
Ship Guns (Iron)
  • 3-pounder: 3 foot 6 inches
  • 6-pounder: 4 foot 4 inches
  • 9-pounder: 5 foot
  • 12-pounder: 5 foot 6 inches
  • 18-pounder: 6 foot 4 inches
  • 24-pounder: 7 foot
  • 32-pounder: 7 foot 6 inches
  • 42-pounder: 8 foot 4 inches
  • 48-pounder: 8 foot 6 inches
Siege Artillery (Bronze)
  • 12-pounder: 6 foot 7 inches
  • 18-pounder: 7 foot 6 inches
  • 24-pounder: 8 foot 4 inches
  • 32-pounder: 9 foot 2 inches
  • 36-pounder: 9 foot 6 inches
  • 42-pounder: 10 foot
  • 48-pounder: 10 foot 6 inches
Garrison Artillery (Iron)
  • 3-pounder: 4 foot 2 inches
  • 6-pounbder: 5 foot 3 inches
  • 9-pounder: 6 foot
  • 12-pounder: 6 foot 7 inches
  • 18-pounder: 7 foot 6 inches
  • 24-pounder: 8 foot 4 inches
  • 32-pounder: 9 foot 2 inches
  • 42-pounder: 10 foot

The diameter of English and French Iron Shot

I found this information about the weight and diameter of English and French iron shot in one of the books that I bought in the Caribbean, and thought that it might be of interest to some of my regular blog readers.

English and French iron shot of the same weight were of different diameters. For each weight of shot listed, the English diameter is shown first and the French is shown second (i.e. English/French).
  • 1 pound: 1.92 inches/2.01 inches
  • 2 pounds: 2.42 inches/2.53 inches
  • 3 pounds: 2.77 inches/2.90 inches
  • 4 pounds: 3.05 inches/3.19 inches
  • 5 pounds: 3.28 inches/3.44 inches
  • 6 pounds: 3.49 inches/3.66 inches
  • 7 pounds: 3.67 inches/3.85 inches
  • 8 pounds: 3.84 inches/4.02 inches
  • 9 pounds: 4.00 inches/4.18 inches
  • 10 pounds: 4.14 inches/4.33 inches
  • 11 pounds: 4.27 inches/4.47 inches
  • 12 pounds: 4.40 inches/4.60 inches
  • 13 pounds: 4.52 inches/4.73 inches
  • 14 pounds: 4.63 inches/4.85 inches
  • 15 pounds: 4.78 inches/4.96 inches
  • 16 pounds: 4.84 inches/5.07 inches
  • 17 pounds: 4.94 inches/5.17 inches
  • 18 pounds: 5.04 inches/5.27 inches
  • 19 pounds: 5.13 inches/5.37 inches
  • 20 pounds: 5.22 inches/5.46 inches
  • 21 pounds: 5.30 inches/5.55 inches
  • 22 pounds: 5.38 inches/5.64 inches
  • 23 pounds: 5.40 inches/5.72 inches
  • 24 pounds: 5.54 inches/5.80 inches
  • 25 pounds: 5.63 inches/5.88 inches
  • 26 pounds: 5.69 inches/5.96 inches
  • 27 pounds: 5.76 inches/6.04 inches
  • 28 pounds: 5.83 inches/6.11 inches
  • 29 pounds: 5.90 inches/6.18 inches
  • 30 pounds: 5.97 inches/6.25 inches
  • 31 pounds: 6.04 inches/6.32 inches
  • 32 pounds: 6.10 inches/6.39 inches
  • 33 pounds: 6.16 inches/6.45 inches
  • 34 pounds: 6.23 inches/6.52 inches
  • 35 pounds: 6.29 inches/6.58 inches
  • 36 pounds: 6.35 inches/6.64 inches
  • 37 pounds: 6.40 inches/6.70 inches
  • 38 pounds: 6.46 inches/6.76 inches
  • 39 pounds: 6.52 inches/6.82 inches
  • 40 pounds: 6.57 inches/6.88 inches
  • 41 pounds: 6.63 inches/6.94 inches
  • 42 pounds: 6.68 inches/6.99 inches
  • 43 pounds: 6.73 inches/7.05 inches
  • 44 pounds: 6.78 inches/7.10 inches
  • 45 pounds: 6.84 inches/7.16 inches
  • 46 pounds: 6.89 inches/7.24 inches
  • 47 pounds: 6.94 inches/7.26 inches
  • 48 pounds: 6.98 inches/7.31 inches
  • 49 pounds: 7.03 inches/7.36 inches
  • 50 pounds: 7.08 inches/7.42 inches
Note: The most common cannon shot used by the English are shown in BOLD.

Les Miserables: the DVD

The DVD of the musical film version of LES MISERABLES was released on 13th May (last Monday) and I managed to watch it on Friday night.


Having read the novel, I already knew the story ... and this proved both a help and a hindrance. Because I had read the novel I understood why Fantine had left her daughter Cosette in the 'care' of the Thénardiers (which is not properly explained in the film) and that Gavroche was the Thénardiers' son (which is not stated at any point in the film). The time spent by Jean Valjean and Cosette in the Convent (where Valjean poses as the brother of the gardener in order that Cosette receives an education and both are hidden from any hunt mounted by Javert) is almost totally missing from the film, and the subplot that involves Marius's father (Colonel Georges Pontmercy, an officer in Napoleon's army, who was wounded at Waterloo and who believes - erroneously - that Thénardier saved his life) is totally absent.

I enjoyed all the performances, and in particular thought that Russell Crowe was a very convincing Javert and that Hugh Jackman conveyed Valjean's 'conversion' from a hardened convict into an honest and upright man very well. Many of the exterior shots featured the former Royal Naval College, Greenwich (somewhere I know quite well), and it made quite a convincing substitute for 1830s Paris. The battle scenes were rather theatrical, but the effects of short-range musketry were realistically recreated.

I enjoyed this DVD, and will probably watch it again in the not too distant future.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Books from the Caribbean

During my recent cruise around the Caribbean I managed to buy several interesting books, including:

FORTS by Desmond V Nicholson (Published by the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda in 1994), ...


... ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA ENGLISH HARBOUR: THE FIRST 2,000 YEARS by Desmond V Nicholson (Published by the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda in 2002), and ...


... A CONCISE & ILLUSTRATED MILITARY HISTORY OF BARBADOS 1627 – 2007 by Major Michael Hartland (published by Miller Publishing Company in 2010 [ISBN 978 976 8215 20 8]).


FORTS is a monograph about the numerous fortifications built to defend Antigua and Barbuda, and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA ENGLISH HARBOUR: THE FIRST 2,000 YEARS is a collection of chronological items that describe the development of English Harbour from times pre-Columbian times until the present day. A CONCISE & ILLUSTRATED MILITARY HISTORY OF BARBADOS 1627 – 2007 is exactly as its title describes, and provides a unique military history of Barbados and its inhabitants. It contains some wonderful photographs, and is written in an very engaging and entertaining style that ensures that what might have been a rather 'dry' subject certainly is not.

Friday, 17 May 2013

War! Age of Imperialism

Over the past few years I had seen several references to a game entitled WAR! AGE OF IMPERIALISM (which was sold by Eagle Games from 2001 onwards), and recently I decided that it sounded like the sort of board game I would enjoy using ... especially as it seemed to come with lots of 'bits' that might have other uses!

As a result I have been looking for a second-hand copy to buy, and after a couple of fruitless attempts, I finally managed to acquire a copy via eBay ... and very please I am too!


The box is much larger than many of the other board games that I own ... and once it is opened it is easy to see why; it is packed full of stuff. Besides three large game boards that cover a map of Europe and the East (North and South American are covered in one of the game's supplements) and a book of rules (there are three sets, ranging from simple to complex), there are a large number of playing pieces in a variety of different colours.


Each colour's playing pieces include:
  • 40 Infantry
  • 12 Cavalry
  • 8 Explorer
  • 8 Engineers
  • 10 Mounted Officers
  • 10 Cannons
  • 12 Ships
The other playing pieces are all light grey, and include:
  • Forts
  • Cities
  • Factories
  • Ports
  • Schools
  • Locomotives
  • Zulus (to represent Natives)
  • 'Arab' Riders (who look more like Boer Commandos than Arabs, and who also represent Natives)
The playing pieces alone were worth the £9.99 that I paid for the game, and I can already see wargaming uses for them!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

An A to Z of Ruritania

I have read Anthony Hope’s PRISONER OF ZENDA and RUPERT OF HENZAU several times, and as a result I have built-up an A to Z of the places and characters mentioned in the books.

I thought that these might be of interest to some of my regular blog readers, so here they are.

Places
  • Elphberg, Royal House of: Ruling family of Ruritania
  • Hentzau: Estate and title held by Rupert, Count of Hentzau
  • Strelsau: Capital city of Ruritania
  • Tarlenheim, Chateau of: Five miles from Zenda
  • Zenda, Castle of: Fifty miles from Strelsau and ten miles from the border.
  • Zenda, Forest of
  • Zenda, Hunting Lodge
People
  • Bauer: Swiss supporter of Rupert, Count of Hentzau
  • Bersonin: Mercenary in the service of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • De Gautet: Mercenary in the service of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • Detchard: Mercenary in the service of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • Elphberg, Flavia, Princess (later Queen) of Ruritania
  • Elphberg, Rudolf, King of Ruritania
  • Helsing, Baron: Chancellor of Ruritania
  • Helsing, Baroness: Wife of Baron Helsing
  • Helsing, Miss: Daughter of Baron Helsing
  • Hentzau, Rupert, Count of
  • Herbert: Huntsman and brother of Simon
  • Holf, Johan: Duke Michael of Zenda’s gamekeeper
  • Holf, Max: Supporter of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • Holf, Mistress: Mother of Johan Holf and housekeeper at Duke Michael of Zenda's hunting-lodge in Zenda. Three years after the death of Duke Michael of Zenda, she was running a food shop and lodging house at 19 Königstraße, Strelsau.
  • Holf, Rosa: Sister of Johan Holf
  • James: Servant of Rudolf Rassendyll
  • Joseph: Servant at the Zenda Hunting Lodge
  • Krafstein: Supporter of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • Lauengram: Supporter of Duke Michael of Zenda
  • Luzau-Rischenheim, Count of: Cousin of Rupert of Henzau
  • Rassendyll, Rudolf: Distant cousin of Rudolf (Elphberg), King of Ruritania
  • Sapt, Colonel: Later Constable of Zenda
  • Simon: King’s Huntsman and brother of Herbert
  • Strakencz, Marshal: Commander of the Ruritanian Army
  • Strelsau, Cardinal/Archbishop of: Archbishop of Strelsau and the senior Roman Catholic prelate in Ruritania
  • Strelsau, Michael, Duke of: (Black Michael)
  • Von Bernenstein: Guards officer
  • Von Strofzin, Anton: Cousin of Helga, Countess von Tarlenheim
  • Von Tarlenheim, Fritz, Count of
  • Von Tarlenheim, Helga, Countess of
  • Von Tarlenheim, Stanislas, Count of: Owner of Chateau of Tarlenheim

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

I have been to … the National Armoury Museum, Barbados.

The National Armoury Museum is situated in the former Powder Store underneath St Anne’s Fort in the Historic Garrison Area of Barbados.


The Museum is reputed to have the largest collection of English iron cannon in the world … and some of them are featured below.

18pdr Carronade, cast in 1788 by the Carron Iron Company, Falkirk, Scotland


8-inch howitzer, designed by General Millar and cast by Sturgis in 1827


12pdr cannon or Demi-culverin, cast in 1660


32pdr cannon or Demi-cannon, cast in 1693 by Thomas Western
It is almost unique in having a Tudor Rose and Crown Cypher




3pdr cannon or Minion, cast in the late seventeenth century


32pdr Carronade, cast by the Carron Iron Company, Falkirk, Scotland


3pdr cannon or Minion, cast in the late seventeenth century


18pdr Bloomfield-type cannon, cast in 1805 by Walker and Company
It has a George III Royal Cypher


18pdr cannon or Culverin, cast in Finspong, Sweden during the late seventeenth century


4dr cannon cast in 1775 by George Matthews
It has a George III Royal Cypher

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Nugget 261

I collected the latest edition of THE NUGGET (N261) from the printer this afternoon and it should be posted out to members of Wargame Developments by Thursday.


I have also uploaded the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT to the Wargame Developments website, and they are now available for members of Wargame Developments to read online or to download and print.

I have been to … the Historic Garrison, Barbados

The Historic Garrison Area of Barbados is a unique site that was recognised as such by UNESCO in 2011, when it was added to the World Heritage List. The site encompasses the existing headquarters of the Barbados Defence Force, the world-famous Savannah Race Course, and part of the coastline of Carlisle Bay.

During our visit we went to:
  • Bush Hill House – This is the house where George Washington stayed when he visited Barbados with his brother in 1751.
  • Charles Fort – The first permanent fortification built on Barbados.
  • St Anne’s Fort – This now forms part of the Officer’s Mess for the Barbados Defence Force.
  • The Drill Hall – This was originally a soldiers’ barracks that housed gunners of the Royal Artillery. It was built abutting St Anne’s Fort.
  • The Power Store – This was built underneath St Anne’s Fort, and now houses the National Armoury Museum.
Bush Hill House
Bush Hill House was a private residence that George and Lawrence Washington rented during their six-week long stay in Barbados in 1751. It was then only one storey high, but it was extended after it had been bought by the British Army and used first as the ‘Resident Engineer’s Quarters’ (1789) and later as the ‘Bush Hill Commanding Officers Quarters’.

The building was restored to its 1805 appearance after it was incorporated into the Historic Garrison Area heritage attraction in 2007. At that time it was renamed ‘George Washington House’.


George Washington’s bedroom




Lawrence Washington’s bedroom


The dining room


One of the original ceiling beams


Some of the furniture








The kitchen


Charles Fort
Charles Fort was built in 1650, and was originally constructed from wood and earth. It was designed to be low lying, and it had a commanding position on Carlisle Bay. It helped to defeat the Dutch invasion in 1655, when Admiral De Ruyter attempted to land troops on Barbados. In the early eighteenth century the original wooden fort was replaced by one built from the local coral stone, and it remained a military post until 1950, when all the fortifications on Barbados were declared obsolete. The fort’s guns were all dumped in the sea, and some of them remain there.


The fort now forms part of the Hilton Hotel complex, and some years ago it was ‘remodelled’ so that guests at the hotel could use it. As a result almost none of its original features – other than its shape – remain. It does, however, provide and excellent viewpoint from which to see Carlisle Bay.


St Anne’s Fort
St Anne’s Fort was built from local coral stone 1707, and it is hexagonal in shape. In its centre is a watchtower …


… and its walls are lined with artillery.






The Drill Hall
The Drill Hall was built from local coral stone in 1790, and was originally used as a barracks for soldiers. It was build abutting one of the exterior walls of St Anne’s Fort, and was remodelled in the 1820s when it became the Armoury and then the Garrison Headquarters (1881). Since 1979 the building has housed the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Messes of the Barbados Defence Force as well as being the location of numerous state functions.

The imposing entrance has two staircases that lead up to the main door …


... and between the staircases a Rifled Muzzle Loading cannon has been mounted.


One room in the Drill Hall commemorates the West Indian and Barbados Regiments. Besides the colours of the former Barbados Regiment …




… there are numerous pictures that tell the story of the two regiments.


















There is also a case containing 54mm-scale figures that represent the Band of the West India Regiment in their famous Zouave uniforms.


The Powder Store
The Power Store or Magazine was constructed underneath St Anne’s Fort from 1801 onwards. It now serves as the location for the National Armoury Museum, which is reputed to have the largest collection of English iron cannon in the world.

The Store is entered via a pair of doors in the wall of St Anne’s Fort …


… and once inside one sees the extent of the Museum’s collection. I hope to write a more detailed blog entry about the collection in the very near future.