Although only called Camp Cromwell from 2000, this wargaming group has been in continuous operation with some of the same personnel since 1972 when I set up a wargames room in the basement of my first house at Mt Stuart. It's changed venues a few times since, but all those who were there particularly remember the time in the 70's at the second venue at Cambridge Rd, Bellerive with "those were the days" nostalgia. And a big part of what made those days so special was Rhoda. Recently divorced, with a Scot's love of a drink and a party, being the only female in a roomful of younger men was her idea of heaven. But she was also a teacher with an interest in history and one of those rare women who took an interest in wargames. Her two lovely little daughters never minded spending the night tucked up in the spare room at Uncle Jimmy's while mummy played (up) downstairs. And when Rhoda was about, wargames night was party time, and she was the life of the party.
All the blokes in the pics are still part of the Camp Cromwell scene, even if some only via email and occasional visits. After all these years we all still fondly remember Rhoda and the good times we had when she was around. She was one of a kind - they broke the mould after they made her. But nothing lasts forever, work took her up north, then ill health cramped her style. She's been fighting a battle against MS for over 30 years and spent the last several years wheelchair bound in a nursing home. Though the MS got her in the end, she has donated her body to MS research. Typical Rhoda - the stubborn little bint wouldn't let mere death stop her fighting the thing that killed her.
Her memorial service is on Friday 4th May at 3.30pm at Millingtons Cornelion Bay.