My View, Ben Parkinson - Black ties move up north

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Well it’s many thanks to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

My leg is done and dusted. I was in and out in five days, and although I can’t walk for six weeks it’s a great relief to be recovering at home.

A few days before I went into hospital we held our first ever northern black tie ball for Pilgrimbandits at the Mount Pleasant hotel. And what a night it was.

Before this all our ‘black ties’ had been ‘down south’, by that I mean Birmingham or below!

It was time to show the southerners how we do things up here.

It was an amazing night with nearly 200 people present, and most were local people from South Yorkshire.

Every single thing that went to make the night special had been donated free of charge.

Apple Blossom Events decorated the room and the tables, local businesses had donated the raffle and auction prizes, and Heads Will Roll played for us.

They are a brilliant band made up of local head teachers and they had every single person up on the dance floor.

Including me.

At the events in the south, the head of the charity makes a speech.

We all take bets on how short it will be - eight seconds is the record.

Here in the chosen country we did things a lot better.

I have to say that because the first was by my mum, and the second was by General Sir John Learmont, who is an ambassador for Pilgrimbandits.

Not only was he the Quartermaster General in his day and a total legend, but also the father of my old Commanding Officer.

I was so proud that he came to our ball.

We also had Rusty Firmin, a former member of the SAS who was actually part of the Iranian Embassy Siege team, not one of the 8,000 who now pretend to have been there.

Well it was a truly fantastic night and again thanks to the brilliant support we have locally for injured lads we raised over £8,000.

The meal was fantastic and the company easy even better.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their help and for proving to the foreigners from the south that Doncaster people know how to party.

One thing I will say. If ever you go to Mount Pleasant and they are serving Cheese Soufflé, sit next to someone on a diet because they are delicious and you will get to eat two. It worked for me.

* Ben Parkinson, wounded Doncaster war hero.