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Crackers for summer fete


Cracker crazy – from left: WO1 Ben McGauley, WO2 Michael Bysh and WO1 Lee Gidalla
Cracker crazy – from left: WO1 Ben McGauley, WO2 Michael Bysh and WO1 Lee Gidalla

Cracker crazy – from left: WO1 Ben McGauley, WO2 Michael Bysh and WO1 Lee Gidalla
SSAFA Summer Fete preparations are now in full swing and to help promote the event, SSAFA have launched the Cracker Eating Challenge.

The first of the heats took place last week and over the next few weeks the SSAFA team will be touring the camps in BFG, challenging people to take part in a bid to advertise the fete.

The team will be challenging soldiers to compete to eat the most crackers in the quickest time. The winner from each camp will be put forward to the final, where they will have a chance to win an experience day in a Jaguar or Land Rover, kindly donated by Grant and Green.

The challenge kicked off at Tigers Den, Barker Barracks where over 100 people turned up to take part. Dave Roberts from BFBS attended to spur the competitors on.

The opening event took an exciting turn, as LCpl Cox of 1 PWRR completed the challenge by eating three crackers in 41 seconds. Organisers of the event have since discovered this may have broken a Guiness World Record for the fastest consumption of three cream crackers.

SSAFA Paderborn committee member, Rachel Ormiston, said: "We have contacted the Guiness Book of Records. If we do have a record breaker, then we shall try our best to get him verified."

The fun and games are to advertise the upcoming SSAFA Summer Fete, which is due to take place on Saturday, June 4.

The day promises to be a fun-filled day out for all the family, in thanks for supporting the charity over the year.

Entertainment on offer includes a parachute display, children's entertainment, craft stalls, birds of prey show, Go-Karts, Dog obedience classes, Tug 'o' war and bouncy castles.

There will be an abundance of food stalls available and a Pimms and Beer tent for refreshments. A SSAFA Vintage Tea Tent will be there on the day, and if anyone would like to bake cakes for this event, these would be gratefully received.

In the evening, revellers can enjoy the booked entertainment, which kicks off with The Military Wives Choir from across Belgium and Germany and preceeded by 29 Fingers. The festivities will be finished off with an impressive round of fireworks. Camilla said: "If it is raining then just bring your wellies and dance the night away."

Wristbands for the event are currently available, for a small donation, from VLO, One-Stop shops and Welfare Offices.

These are required to enter the event and everyone is encouraged to pick one up prior to the event.

The number inside your band will be entered into the free prize draw.

If you fancy your chances at competing for the Cream Cracker Challenge, then come along on one of these dates at 2.15pm:

  • May 5: QRH Athlone Barracks
  • May 6: Bielefeld Station
  • May 10: Normandy Barracks
  • May 11: Dempsey Barracks

SSAFA helps many Service personnel and their families through all sorts of difficult circumstances and relies on the generosity of the public to provide that support.

Camilla said: "In 2013 the wife of one of our company commanders had a life-threatening horse riding accident. The family had two young children and needed financial help to enable childcare so that her husband could continue to work. I am proud to say that SSAFA was able to provide that support.

"She has since made an astounding recovery and is just one of the many people helped by SSAFA every year.

"I am endeavouring to get every family out of their house and join in what is to be a really great day and something that has not been done since the Rhine Army Summer Show. We are so grateful to our supporters and the SSAFA Summer Fete is our way of thanking everyone."

If you are interested in baking cakes for the tea tent, please contact the Welfare Office for details.

For more information on the SSAFA Summer Fete, visit