Gun firings keep the youngsters entertained during school break

Benjamin Charlton (eight) from Portsmouth and his sister Holly-Ann Charlton (six), take a look at a mural made by school children during the half term break at The Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-2)
Benjamin Charlton (eight) from Portsmouth and his sister Holly-Ann Charlton (six), take a look at a mural made by school children during the half term break at The Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-2)
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Children have been spending their half-term learning about an old Victorian fort.

The Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson near Fareham offers activities for families all year round.

22/02/15  RS''Laila Otton (five), from Havant gets a very close look at a field gun during a trip to The Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. [07921713629]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-2) PPP-150222-170959003

22/02/15 RS''Laila Otton (five), from Havant gets a very close look at a field gun during a trip to The Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. [07921713629]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-2) PPP-150222-170959003

Children had the opportunity to watch a uniformed gun crew of one of the weapons from the Royal Armouries’ national collection.

Uniformed gunners from the Portsdown Artillery Volunteers fired a 16-pounder, Rifle-Muzzle Loading Gun in the parade ground of the 19th century fort.

Built in 1873, the 16-pounder field gun has an impressive range of almost 4,000 metres and weighs in at 1.27 tons.

Nigel Hosier is the operations manager at Fort Nelson. He said: ‘It’s a bit of fun. Children enjoy anything that goes bang.

22/02/15  RS''Volunteers fire the 16 pound gun at Fort Nelson for the first time this year.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-3) PPP-150222-171019003

22/02/15 RS''Volunteers fire the 16 pound gun at Fort Nelson for the first time this year.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150327-3) PPP-150222-171019003

‘The setting of the fort is rather special. This gun in particular would have been used at the fort.

‘There aren’t many places around the country that do that.’

Nigel said it was a successful half-term for the fort.

‘We were lucky because the weather was good,’ he said.

‘In February half-term people are desperate to get out.

‘Even on the cold days we had people with picnics sitting outside.

‘We are finding our family market is getting bigger and bigger.

‘It’s a free museum so people don’t have to spend a penny if they don’t want to.

‘People can come along and have a guided tour and a traditional museum visit. But if they just want to explore the museum, they can. People like the flexibility.’