Just around the corner from Old Street tube station lies the main parade ground of the Honourable Artillery Company – and this evening (8th May) will be their annual military display which has a tendency to scare the heck out of local residents who don’t know about these things.

It is an annual event, but I presume housing turnover in the Hoxton and Shoreditch media land is fairly rapid as people always seem surprised by it each year. Especially last year!

A Rapier 2000

The event is however open to the public – completely free of charge, and always worth a visit, especially to see inside the historic Armoury House and its new museum. Map link

A series of historic enactments are typically followed by some rather more aggressive displays of modern military firepower – the gunshots and explosions that so worried the locals last year.

Set piece displays will include:

  • Guns and horses display by the Kings Troop, RHA
  • A display by 17th Century Pikemen & Musketeers of the HAC
  • A display by the HAC Band and Corps of Drums
  • A display by the Light Cavalry HAC

There will also be a parachute drop into the main grounds – weather permitting. This was the event that went slightly wrong last year as it was too windy, and the test parachutist landed on the road outside, in front of a double-decker bus.

A parachute drop probably also means the Chinook will be in the grounds, and usually that you can have a look inside. There should also a selection of other weapons, and some tanks/armoured vehicles to have a look at climb inside if you ask nicely.

Gunfire at the HAC in the City of London

The grounds open at 5:30pm with the main events starting (if I recall correctly) from 6:30pm.

There is a pay bar and free army BBQ.

Officially, this is an event to show off the Territorial Army, but the sales pitch is quite relaxed and it is a very good evening out.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m a great fan of your write-ups about our open evenings Ian – hope you enjoyed last night! I noticed from one of your previous articles that you had an interest in polo and that you used to watch regularly at Guards. Just wanted to let you know that the HAC Polo team is making steady progress and it would be great to get you along to our main polo event on the 8th September this year at Ham Polo Club – “the IG Index HAC 105 Polo Invitational”. You can find out more on the HAC Polo website: http://www.hacpolo.co.uk

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