Tempting though it may seem, this really isn’t intended to be a step by step lesson in how to pack a cannon with gunpowder and set it off with a lighted splint. Far from it. In fact I was inspired to write this blog after having photographed the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Grand Party at Osborne House in July, during which a cannon was used to announce the commencement of the meal. The Grand Party was one of the last social events marking the conclusion of the Squadron’s Bicentenary International Regatta. If I mention that they’d also held a week long regatta for RYS members as well as organising an entire Fleet Review and Beat Retreat which attracted international royalty, it may come as no surprise to hear that this was a quite superb demonstration of organisational skill. Of course the prize giving and display by the Red Devils came the day after the Grand Party, but that’s another story.