Kids report for duty at Royal Marines museum

KHAKI Cadet Billie Madden, left, helps Ethan Rhodes, nine, centre, and his brother Harvey, three, try on uniform. Picture: Steve Reid (122604-808)
KHAKI Cadet Billie Madden, left, helps Ethan Rhodes, nine, centre, and his brother Harvey, three, try on uniform. Picture: Steve Reid (122604-808)

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YOUNGSTERS put on their best war fighting face as they got a taste of life in the Royal Marines.

The service’s museum on the seafront in Eastney gave kids the chance to take part in a ‘live operation’ as one of a number of fun, physical events planned every weekday during the school summer holidays.

After dressing up in camouflage gear, the new recruits went for a briefing session before acting out a mission for the corps.

Two teams each had a box of essential communications kit to hide in the museum.

They had to guard their device while searching for the opposing side’s box in order to capture it and bring it back to their base.

The game, played at 2pm every Tuesday during the holidays, is run by the museum’s learning and access officer Andrew Whincup.

He said: ‘It’s a bit different from what you can do at other museums. It’s a lot of fun and it focuses on the physical and mental side of being in the Royal Marines.

‘It’s about showing young people that museums don’t have to be stuffy old places.’

Mr Whincup, who has worked at the museum for six years, added: ‘This is just one of the things we are doing down here this summer.

‘We’ve got 54 hours of sessions over the holidays.

‘It’s very tiring work but it’s great.’

Diana Martin, 60, and her husband Roger, 68, had brought their grandchildren Ethan, nine, Callum, five, and Harvey, three, for a day out.

‘It’s great for the kids to get hands-on. These things are right up their street,’ said Diana, who lives in Totton.

She added: ‘Ethan is interested in war and history and he’s been learning about it at school. He loves all this.’


· Visit Portsmouth City Museum to meet Crazy M the Clown, who offers ‘brilliantly silly fun’ from noon to 2pm. Entry to the event is free. For more information, call (023) 9282 7261.

· Join in with the traditional seaside entertainment at HMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Visitors can dress up and promenade along the pier, put on a Punch and Judy show and make a souvenir to take home. Youngsters can also get to grips with Victorian style toys and board games. Entrance is free with a valid dockyard ticket and children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (023) 9283 9766.

· Make the most of the Olympics – and the weather – by watching the Games on the big screen in Guildhall Square. There will be fun sports showcases and taster sessions taking place throughout the day.

· Celebrate Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday by visiting his birthplace at 1 Mile End Terrace. Entrance is free with a Portsmouth Library Card.

· Have a mooch around the market in West Street, Portchester. Stalls offer everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to household goods and clothing. Trading is between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

· Go to the Three Churches Summer Fete at Hayling Park & Community Centre, Station Road, Hayling Island. There are more than 40 stalls, games, dance displays, and a children’s entertainer.

The fete is from noon to 4.15pm. Admission is £1 per adult, 50p a child and £2.50 for a family. Free parking. For more information, call (023) 9246 3595.