Army Reserve Centre in Portsmouth holds open day

Kiki and Laurence Neal with their children at the Army Reserve Centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Kiki and Laurence Neal with their children at the Army Reserve Centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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YOUNGSTERS were delighted at an Army base open day.

Families took the opportunity to visit 295 Battery, Royal Artillery at the Army Reserve Centre in Peronne Road, Hilsea.

Members of the force threw open their doors today, with a showcase of military vehicles, music, a barbecue and play area for children.

Margaret Connerford and her husband David, both 76, had come from their home in Elson Road, Gosport, to visit.

David said: ‘It’s a good idea, the artillery are fairly new here.

‘Opening it in such a way is great.

‘It’s really good, it brings the families together and the children.’

Their son Cpl Peter Connerford was also at the base, where he is stationed.

Margaret added: ‘It’s good, it’s nice to bring the families together and that’s what they’re doing.’

Families were also treated to a Chinook flypast.

Neighbour Karen Fletcher, 42, had popped round from her home in Military Road, Hilsea, with her two children, Ella, 14, and Archie, 12.

‘They came round and gave us an invite,’ she said.

‘We like it when they do the fireworks, we can see it.

‘It’s really nice to have it open. The children can see it all going on out the window normally.

‘It makes you feel like it’s not an us and them type thing, especially when it’s just a fence between us.’

Ella, who was enjoying a run on one of the inflatable games, added: ‘It’s really fun.’

Army Reserves launched the open day in a bid to boost their relations with the community in Hilsea.

Cpl Connerford said: ‘It’s a family day, it’s also inviting members of the local community into see what we are.

‘We just keep on making friends with the locals, everyone has been invited.’

There were displays from the Army Sailing Association, and a stall from SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity.

Kiki Neal, 26, had come from Bordon, with her soldier husband Laurence, 26, and son Stanley, 18 months.

‘I think people should know more about the good that they do for our country,’ Kiki said.

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