Noah's ARC

The Club of the 14th/20th King's Hussars
National Old & Ancient Hawk's
Annual Reunion Club
Noah's ARC Header

 

Conception

This was something I wanted to do for a very long time as I felt I wouldn't be comfortable with anyone standing behind me holding Flags which had been done in the past. But I wanted it to be a surprise at the reunion and I decided to keep it very quiet to the exception initially of two people, then three and then I told the committee of my plans in April, it seemed to go down very well.

So I went looking for recommendations and I was using Google well into the very dark hours for days. But after many phone calls and chats on the phone with many promises I went with a company called Northern Flags (http://www.northernflags.com) as recommended by a good friend, the company is based in Leeds.

The design and making

The lady I did all the talking to was called Amy Wilson and the promises were wonderful. A double sided flag with a Hawk designed from several images which I provided over a period of time some on request for the finer details.

Well as soon as I said ‘yes please’ it started to go wrong. I was advised that the flag would take up to 14 working days to complete and it was on my door step in four days, that was a warning sign that something was going to be wrong!

Arrival

I was getting ready to go out and do some work when there was a knock at the door, a little surprising as neither of us were expecting anything, I thought it could be some sales person. But to my surprise it was the postman who handed me this little, but heavy plastic bag. I thought well it's not the flag as it would be early (this was day 4 of the predicted 14) and it wouldn't be sent out in this type of bag. So wrong, I opened the bag and this bright yellow material was staring at me, it actually looked stunning.

I laid it out on the carpet to admire it and to be honest I was initially on cloud nine as it just looked outstanding, so vibrant and so big. But then I started to take a closer look at the Hawk and the flag in general with the help of Peter Farrell using FaceTime. The Flag actually looked like an insult to us all, rushed with very little attention to detail or care. The Pictures tell the story:

This is How I saw it at first - I was so pleased at first look - but then....

 

I started to look closer and the disgust started to emerge ...

I went in great detail explaining the layout of the Hawk, the way it faces, yet they just placed it facing the wrong way when you flipped the flag over...

The crown looks like it is small and the head goes over it..

The Orb is not circular, it looked squashed in parts..

This for me was the worst and most insulting, No Orb or Sceptre, totally out of shape, no crown, tail is out of shape and over to the left and no eye or tongue - 100% wrong ...

No detail to the feathers on the right wings, the material is all gathered around the crown and other areas - it just had to be rejected and returned

The chosen Hawk for the Flag came from a Hawk I saw framed within a table on our visit to
The King's Royal Hussars Sergeant's Mess


Panic

Probably stupid of me, but the Flag being marched in as it was was my main goal, I became fixated with this plan and for me it had to happen or I would have failed. I started to panic, I was phoning around when I think it was me that came across Flag Pole Express on the internet (I looked at so many I forget who found what) (www.flagpoleexpress.co.uk). Again so many promises and more let down, but they managed to get the Flag to us, less the Hawk.

Embroidered and awaiting the other sections

The plan was that Flag Pole Express make the flag whilst Rachel makes the Hawk, on completion they return the flag so a tailor Rachel uses would then attach the Hawk to the flag. Once completed we return the two sections of the Flag to Flag Pole Express who would then finish it off, easy right?

The Hawk painstakingly sew on by Rachel Jolly-Walker

Well it was going OK at first, the flag was returned to Rachel who had in turn finished the painstaking task of producing and sewing the Hawk together. The two main bits were ready, off to the tailor she went with the flag in hand, handed it to the tailor who then said she was not prepared to do something with that much work, Ahhhhhh all this time and all of a sudden she pulled out.

Rachel spoke to Flagpole Express who said they'd do it, just attach the hawk to the Flag with a pin and return it to us.

Let down 'again'

We had about 4 weeks to go before the reunion and Rachel did as requested by Flag Pole Express and a week after it was posted we heard nothing? Rachel got on to the phone and asked how long it would be, they had not even started, the flag was still in a bag in a bundle as they were now saying they couldn't do the attaching.

Wonder Woman

Rachel was furious, she asked that they return it immediately, it got back to her about a week after it was requested, they had to be reminded. Rachel was worried she was going to let me down and painstakingly sewed the Hawks to each side herself, by hand. It took over 9 hours for each Hawk to be attached, her fingers were in tatters and she was in pain for days, I can do no more that to keep thanking her she really is an amazing lady.


The finished product less the frills 7ft x 3.5ft and all I imagined.

Once done she again returned it to Flag Pole Express who joined the two pieces together and attached the frills, done. The Flag was returned to my address and to this day Rachel has still not seen the finished article other than on the odd photograph I sent her or others posted on Facebook.

Reunion and the reveal

I am really bad at keeping things I am excited about secret, I showed the Flag to Jim Thomas and Bob Harrison on the Friday night Saturday morning respectively, the feedback was promising I could calm down. I then showed Dusty Fogg the Flag for the first time. He had seen pictures and I had FaceTimed him, but it was important that he physically saw the Flag before he marched it in as I didn't want him to say he hated it, again more good feedback, we were a go.

Michael Dusty Fogg marching the flag in for first time.

At about 18.45 the flag was supposed to marched in with Royal Sussex being played from a CD but I could not find the CD anywhere, I grabbed the lads from the regimental band and they said they'd just play it. They did the Fanfare and as soon as everyone started entering the hall the band all scrambled for their instruments, no practice nothing, again outstanding - Thank you to every single bandsman involved, I am truly grateful.



The Chairman (Paul Baker) in front of the new Flag

Dusty was brilliant, he said he was honoured to be asked to be the bearer and he looked great marching it into the hall where everyone was standing and clapping it in as requested by the chairman to Royal Sussex - thank you Dusty!



The Vice Chairman (Peter Farrell) and James Scott in
front of the New Noah's ARC Flag

The feedback about the Flag was amazing, one of the Hawks even cried he had so much pride, it made it all for me worthwhile, but then I was just the one having it made not the person doing all the hard work in making it.

I have said it before and I will say it again and again - Thank you Rachel Jolly-Walker you are simply amazing. Not only was she doing 'my' flag she was doing the Guidon, the Raffle and Tombola prizes, the shop and other projects that were not related to Noah's ARC, she is a truly amazing lady. Her dedication to Noah's ARC is beyond doubt - Thank you.

If you have any comments about the Flag please post them in the forum (CLICK HERE)