What we do 

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Arms & Explosives Detection Dog Pippa is pictured with her handler Private Stephanie Wiles in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray.

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Above and below: Detection dog Pippa meets some new friends at the activities morning in St Mary's Church.

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Above and below: Pippa in action in St Mary's Church on Saturday.

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*For more pictures of Pippa in St Mary's Church on Saturday click here.

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Lace-making in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday.

Pippa steals the show!

A two-year-old English Springer Spaniel named Pippa proved the star of the show at the latest activities morning in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday (November 17th).

The Arms & Explosives Detection Dog, based at the Defence Animal Training Regiment in Asfordby Road, came along to the morning with her handler, Private Stephanie Wiles and Corporal James Hewitt... and proved a big hit with both children and adults alike.

And Pippa, who passed her training the day before, didn't disappoint when it came to detecting the scent of a tiny TNT sample in a small caninster. She picked up the scent each time she tried with her handler... and then also did it with volunteers who led her round.

"We want her to stop, sit and stare at the TNT," said Corporal Hewitt, and Pippa duly obliged.

The theme of the morning, which was well supported, was "Remember When..."

There were lots of activities as usual with something for all ages including quizzes, jokes, giant games and riddles, art for children and adults, chance to make memory boxes, Christmas garlands, calendars and Christmas crackers, a Santa train collecting wishes to be put on the Saturday activities morning tree at this year's Christmas Tree Festival, chance to decorate crosses of Remembrance, face-painting and tattoos, poppy cakes, war-time memorabilia, a sewing area and chance to learn lace-making.

There was chance to read the day's newspapers and to sit and chat with others over a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious selection of cakes. The morning finished with a short act of worship.

A special thanks to Pippa, Private Wiles and Corporal Hewitt for taking the time to visit us and for all their help on the day. Also many thanks to everyone who helped in any way to make the morning such a big success and to everyone who came along and supported the event.

*There will be no activities morning in December due to the Christmas Tree Festival, which runs from November 30th until December  4th. The next activities morning will be held on January 12, 2019.

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There was a delicious array of cakes on display in St Mary's Church on Saturday.

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Above and below: There were plenty of craft activities to keep everyone amused on Saturday.

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And lots and lots of delicious cakes...

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Making Christmas garlands proved a big success in St Mary's Church on Saturday.

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Writing wishes to Santa also proved popular.


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As did decorating crosses of Remembrance, above and below...

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It takes tattoo! Tom Styles and Lisa Taylor had festive fun on Saturday.

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Above and below: The church was bustling on Saturday for the latest activities morning.

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Art proved as popular as ever under the watchful eye of Terry Ide.

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Above and below: Wartime memories in St Mary's Church on Saturday.

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Tony Rous finds time to read the day's newspapers and relax with a nice cup of coffee.


Phil Balding, 17/11/2018

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