A little over a year ago Rt Hon John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons agreed to let me turn Speaker’s Green in the shadow of Big Ben into a demonstration mine-field and invite Parliamentarians to come along and try their hand with some mine-detection equipment.
Speaker’s Green is not open to the public and therefore not part of Parliament where one can hold events – It was a real privilege.
I had originally planned to run the event on 5th November last year, but this proved impractical
April 4th was the International Day of Mine Awareness so for the Thursday and Friday 3-4th April I got together Action on Armed Violence, Find a Better way, G4S Ordnance Management and MAG, and got UNMAS over from New York to talk to the politicians while G4S did an outstanding job of demonstrating the mine-clearance techniques.
The event was sponsored by Matthew Offord MP for Hendon and among the parliamentary visitors some old friends, such as Hilary Benn and Alf Dubs dropped by and spent quite some time with us
It was particular good to have Giles Duley with us too.
Stress was at mega levels – I had to get the whole event completely organised by the week before, because from Sunday to Wednesday I was in Geneva for the annual meeting of mine-action directors and United Nations ddvisors. Unlike my last trip I was in a decent hotel overlooking the lake – and just down the road was this garage: