A visit to FirepowerPosted: December 3, 2013
After a superb cooked breakfast of sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and baked beans (plus some croissants!) prepared by my wife, my friend and I paid a visit to Firepower: The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich, London. It took us less than ten minutes to drive there from our house, and after parking in the nearby car park, we walked onto the Woolwich Arsenal site via the Warren Lane entrance. Our walk took us past the original Royal Military Academy and the local History Centre. We stopped off at the latter for a look around as it houses a very interesting display about the development of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.
We then made our way to the museum, passing a recently installed ‘gate guardian’ (a 2S3 Akatsiya) on the way.
As we had been to the museum before, but had only managed to visit the ground floor, we made our way to the upper floor …
… which is dedicated to telling the development of artillery and the history of the Royal Artillery up to and including the First World War.
We were also lucky enough to be able to visit the Cold War exhibit, which is housed in Building 42, opposite the main part of the museum. This is opened by request, and we spent a very interesting time in there accompanied by one of the volunteers and a visitor from Brazil. One of the largest exhibits is the prototype ‘Green Mace’ 5-inch automatic anti-aircraft gun system, which is as large as a London double-decker bus and had a rate-of-fire of 96 rounds per minute!
After a snack lunch in the museum’s excellent café we made our way back to the car park via the main entrance to the Royal Arsenal site. Out side the old Brass Foundry building we saw a Saxony Demi Cannon that was cast in Dresden in 1733. It is mounted on a replica carriage … and looks very impressive.
By then it was just after 2.00pm and I had to drive my friend to North Greenwich underground station so that he could make his way across London to Paddington in order to catch his train back to Bristol. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and we hope to visit another museum (possible Chatham Historic Dockyard or the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham) the next time he is able to stay with us.