Meet The Former Squaddie Who Now Runs A Coffee Company

Darren, the owner and founder of hugely popular Tactical Coffee joined the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1989 and after his basic training in Woolwich was posted to 17 Corunna Battery 26 Regiment RA in Gutersloh, Germany.

Darren served as part of a Tactical Observation Team that directed artillery fire. He also served as a Ferret driver, 432 driver, Warrior driver, Signaller and as the assistant to the Forward Observation Officer. 

During his time with 26 Regiment, he deployed on three tours of Northern Ireland, two tours of Bosnia and a tour of Kosovo as well as countless exercises in BATUS, Poland, Germany and the UK.

It was on his tour of Kosovo in 1999/2000 that Darren had his first introduction to real coffee, while on duty in the Multi-National Division Headquarters (on Millennium Eve).

Darren was offered a cup of coffee from a cafetière and, like many of us have, he developed a love for real coffee.

In 2001 Darren was selected to be the Photographer for the Royal Artillery and the Gunner Magazine.

Photography was a hobby since school. Darren returned to Woolwich as part of Headquarters Royal Artillery and travelled to the Falklands, Brunei, Dubai, Gibraltar, Norway.

In 2007 Darren was posted to the Royal School of Artillery in Larkhill to work as part of Media Services Team, the civilian lead team of photographers, Videographers and Graphic Designers. 

As the only military employed member of the team, by his own admission, Darren didn’t fit in well.

On deployment to Larkhill Darren soon spotted a gap in the Military Clothing and Accessories market. 

There were no shops in the area that supplied equipment to troops on exercise on Salisbury Plain, Phase Two Recruits based at the Royal School of Artillery and stationed troops within the Larkhill, Bulford and Tidworth Garrison.

Darren and his wife Joanne soon opened a succession of shops in Larkhill, Bulford and Westdown Camp. It was during this time that Darren also established BombG T-Shirts, printing his own military humoured t-shirts and hoodies.

BombG T-Shirts was very successful but caused a lot of controversy with some of the designs being banned from sale within the shops that were located on military-owned property and even they got Darren and his family a few death threats.

The success of the shops and the online T-Shirt business soon meant that Darren could leave the Army after 19 years service.

In 2008 Darren sold his three shops and online business, and with the proceeds of the sale, Darren and Joanne signed a tenancy agreement on a pub in Upavon, Wiltshire. 

But after just over a year the business venture failed, mostly due to the lack of support from the brewery with who they took on the tenancy and the fact that in Darren’s opinion he was on the wrong side of the bar.

In 2010 Darren joined the Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) part of the Adjutant Generals Corps (AGC). 

After leaving the Army for the second time in his life, he started a career in the Private Security Industry. He had several jobs including, Security Escort, Door Supervisor, Operations Manager, Instructor, Penetration Tester and even the dizzy heights of Close Protection. 

In 2015 Darren and his family moved away from Wiltshire back to the West Midlands where Darren had joined the Army 26 years earlier. 

Not happy with the average pace of life, he wanted to start another business and try to make it as successful as his chain of shops and online T-Shirt sales.

Darren took his love of coffee and tried to encompass this into a business and began to learn all he could by reading and watching videos. 

In late 2015 Darren took a course with the Winchester Coffee School and learnt the basics of making the perfect cup of coffee with the insight to opening a coffee shop, this idea soon turned into a mobile coffee van. 

It didn’t take long before he realised that both options were out of his financial reach, so he began to think of other ideas for a business that could incorporate his love of coffee and entrepreneurialism.

In 2017 Darren stumbled upon an online business selling bags of coffee to the military community in America (Black Rifle Coffee) and began to do his own research into the possibility of starting a UK version but found that he had been beaten to the post by a Company formed by a couple of serving Royal Marines.

Not letting this deter him, he carried on with his research and found that every time he looked another UK online coffee company would pop up.

Darren said:

“We spoke with several coffee roasters and attended a few Coffee Expos and conventions across the UK before we found the perfect roasting partner. 

“The company we founded is also run by a veteran who employs veterans which matches our company eth; we didn’t want to white label their own coffee and pass it off as our own, we wanted coffee blends that were unique to us. 

“We took our first three ideas for our blends (Alpha, Bravo and Charlie) and the roasters agreed to do them exclusively for us”.

In January 2018 Darren decided it was time to jump on the bandwagon and launched Tactical Coffee. 

Since its first sale in January 2018, several other coffee companies have emerged and disappeared, but Tactical Coffee has gone from strength to strength. 

Darren puts this down to his genuine passion for great coffee.

Darren and his oppos

Since Tactical coffee began, they have taken on three members of part-time staff:

Steve; a former Combat Medic and now an instructor for the HART teams across the UK and Make Ready Assistant Manager for the NHS and also the owner of SimFX Casualty Simulation can be found working alongside Darren at events (Steve is usually the one with a beer in his hand).

Paul, also a former Gunner and self-confessed caffeine addict can be found making Fresh Hand Brewed Coffee at events and Veterans Breakfast Club.

Joanne, long-suffering wife, the ‘long-haired General’, Chief of Domestic Staff and Darren’s rock. She also provides an ear for Darren’s rants, raves and stupid ideas.

See for more information.

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‘Nose Only Mask’ Spotted For The First Time

We have all become used to seeing our fellow humans wearing their face coverings now. What once seemed ‘odd’ is now a commonplace sight as the vast majority of people are helping to slow the spread of the virus by wearing a face covering

But one of our followers has spotted what can only be described as a ‘nose covering’ (because it appears only to cover the nose) being worn by someone who they came into contact with last week. 

I guess the ‘nose covering’ is great if you are only going to breath in-and-out through your nose. But when you speak (or cough) then what sort of protection, if any, do you get whilst wearing one of these!? 

Let us know what you think in the comments below! 

‘Weren’t You The Ones Who Just Bought All The Sodding Beans? You selfish gits!’ – The Stockpiler Song!

At first I was afraid, I was petrified, 

There was no loo roll down at Aldi, and I nearly cried. 

Oh, I spent so many nights just thinking how you did me wrong, 

I used to wipe, and now I’m forced to just drip dry!

No anti-bac

No bloody soap

and if you think you’re buying pasta well, you’ve got no bloody hope!

I would have bought that box of eggs; I would have rationed out my bread,

If I’d have known for just one second, everyone would lose their head!

Go on now go, walk out the door!

All you bloody stockpilers, 

You are not welcome any more! 

Weren’t you the ones who just bought all the sodding beans? 

You selfish gits!

I hope you spill them down your jeans!

Oh no not I, I won’t panic buy!

Oh as long as I have alcohol, I know I’ll stay alive,

Though I can’t buy my usual cheese,

This will not bring me to my knees

And I’ll survive, I will survive, hey, hey!

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart,

There was just apples and one carrot in my shopping cart,

And I spent hours walking around just feeling sorry for myself,

The empty store, with boxes strewn across the floor

And you’ll see me, somebody who, 

Cannot buy anything she came for, and it’s all down to fecking you.

And frickin Reg from down the road is such a selfish blimmin git.

Because he stockpiled all the loo roll so nobody else can have a s@*t!

Go on now go, walk out the door!

All you bloody stockpilers, 

You are not welcome any more! 

Weren’t you ones who just bought all the sodding cakes

Can’t you make a crumble,

Do you people not know how to bake?

Oh no not I, I won’t panic buy!

Oh as long as I have alcohol, I know I’ll stay alive,

Though I can’t buy my usual cheese

This will not bring me to my knees

And I’ll survive, I will survive !!

House Of Lords Approves Bill That Prevents UK From Importing Meat From Countries With Lower Welfare Standards

Thanks to campaigning from well-known animal charities such as the RSPCA, tens of thousands of people ended up signing a petition intended to stop lower animal welfare imports from entering the UK. 

And now the House of Lords has voted to add a new section into the Agriculture Bill which says that the UK Government must not sign trade agreements which undermine our strict animal welfare standards by allowing lower welfare products into the UK. 

Animal welfare charities are now hoping that when the Bill is passed back to the House of Commons that MPs will now keep the section. 

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said:

‘Despite the Government repeatedly saying that this is their position too, they’ll ask MPs to vote against this. We must keep the Bill as it stands”. 

Most of the news coverage relating to the Bill has focused on the imports of heavily chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef cattle. 

Various campaign groups have said that there is not enough evidence to prove that ingesting meats which have been washed with chlorine and which have been injected with artificial hormones does not adversely affect the human body. 

And now the RSPCA has pointed out that what is also of significant concern, is the farming systems which these animals are raised and slaughtered in. 

Countries such as the US have far lower standards than the UK and have lower welfare systems that are actually banned in the UK. 

These include barren battery cages for hens and sow stalls for pigs which severely compromise animal welfare standards. 

A spokesperson for the RSPCA added:

“It’s vital that the UK government safeguards our animal welfare standards in future trade deals, we cannot risk lower welfare, cheaper-to-produce products entering the UK market.

“This could mean a race to the bottom for animal welfare and undercutting farmers in the UK at a time when we should be striving for properly funded, higher animal welfare practices which go beyond legal requirements.

“And, it’s not just about the USA, many other countries we’ll be negotiating with will have lower standards than the UK too”.

Man Sculpts ‘F**k You’ On Dogs Back To Convince People To Social Distance

Encouraging people to keep two metres away from you can be hard work. After all, you are probably not going to keep saying to randoms that they have infiltrated your two-metre bubble. Otherwise, you would probably end up in some sort of argument at least 50 times a day. 

This is one of the reasons why wearing a face covering is so important. A face covering can give you some defence against the virus, and some protection is undoubtedly better than no defence at all, right? 

And then when you combine the fact that you are wearing your face covering with the fact that you are continually using hand sanitiser gel then, hopefully, your chances of getting the virus will be reduced. 

But what if people still invade your personal space? How can you get across your message in an effective passive-aggressive way that leaves the person who is invading your personal space in little doubt as to how you feel? 

This dog owner clearly wants people to stay away.

Well, one dog owner has put a no-nonsense message on their dogs back, which leaves people in little doubt as to what they should be doing when the dog owner (and his dog) are around. 

The words ‘f**k u’ should convey to the general public that this person really does not want anyone near him. But you will probably need some great barbering skills and a decent set of clippers in order to replicate this public service announcement.

Civilian Gets ‘Airborne’ Tattoo, And His Wife Now Reckons He’s ‘Basically Airborne’ And That She Is A ‘Military Wife’

There are a few qualities which you need before you embark upon a career in the military. It would help if you were brave as well as be willing to work as part of a team. You also need to be fit and be willing to take commands from your superiors. 

I talk from experience as I had the privilege and honour of serving in the military from the tender age of 16 to 21. I enjoyed my time spent in the armed forces and would highly recommend a career in the military to anyone who is thinking of joining up. 

But, of course, there are the individuals out there who like the idea of serving in the armed forces but, for whatever reason, decide not to take the leap of faith by signing on the dotted line. 

But one guy who loved the idea of joining the forces, but never actually did, decided to get an ‘airborne’ tattoo on his neck. It is weird when a civilian gets a regimental tattoo despite having never served. Some people in the veteran community call it ‘stolen valour’. 

It is usual for civilians to grab some military memorabilia to show their support for and of the armed forces, but getting a regimental tattoo – despite having never served – is just odd. 

And it is even weirder when your wife tells you to get the tattoo and then creates a post on social media telling the world that, just because you have the tattoo and you like the idea of serving, then you are just as good as someone who serves and that she is now a ‘military wife’.

In the post, the confused spouse said:

‘Well, my hubby and I are engaged but not married, but basically, I am an army wife. He hasn’t enlisted but has been thinking about joining the military. 

‘He loves airborne, so I suggested that he get a tattoo of it on his neck. I know he never went to the school, but he’s basically airborne in his heart. 

‘So proud of my hubby for getting an airborne tattoo based off my suggestion! He Doesn’t need to enlist! It’s how he feels’. 

The bit that gets me is the: ‘he doesn’t need to enlist! It’s how he feels!’. 

No! It isn’t! If he wants to get the airborne tattoo and thus give everyone the impression that he has served, then he needs to get off his arse and sign up! 

You can’t just get a tattoo of a regimental badge and then claim that, just because you like the idea of serving and just because you have now got the tattoo, then you are as good as anyone who has gone through the process! 

What is the world coming to!? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

‘Dozens’ More Afghan Interpreters Who Risked Their Lives Supporting British Troops Begin New Lives In The UK

Dozens more Afghan interpreters who risked theirs and their families lives as they supported British Armed Forces on the frontline in Helmand Province will be able to move to the UK as part of an expanded relocation scheme announced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Afghan civilians did a vital job as interpreters for British forces on the frontline in Helmand from May 2006 – December 2014, often serving alongside soldiers in perilous situations.

They were often the ‘eyes and ears’ of British forces, and their linguistic and cultural expertise enabled the UK to work hand-in-hand with its Afghan partners and local communities while protecting British troops.

The Ex-Gratia Scheme was initially set up in June 2013 to recognise the Government’s ‘huge debt of gratitude’ for their service. 

Under the scheme, interpreters could choose to either relocate to the UK, receive five years of training and a monthly stipend or receive the equivalent of 18 months’ salary.

Through the scheme, 445 former staff and their families have chosen to relocate to the UK, meaning a total of 1,319 Afghan interpreters and their families have already been supported as they create new lives in the UK.

The new changes will significantly expand the eligibility criteria for former interpreters to apply for the relocation offer. 

Until now, former employees must have been made redundant on or after 01 May 2006 with 12 months or more service ‘outside the wire’ on the frontline.

The announcement made earlier this week will allow an additional cohort of interpreters – those who resigned on or after 01 May 2006 after serving a minimum of 18 months on the frontline – to apply for relocation.

Their spouses and children will also benefit from the expanded scheme.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

‘Courageous Afghans worked side by side with our Armed Forces to defeat terrorism, risking their own lives in the pursuit of peace.

‘In recognition of their dedication, today, we are fulfilling our promise and have expanded the relocation scheme so that more brave Afghans and their families can come and build a new life in the UK.”

The Defence Secretary and Home Secretary visited Stanford Training Area in Norfolk this week to observe Afghan nationals training British troops before their Op TORAL deployment, which sees British troops train and mentor Afghan forces and provide force protection for NATO advisors with the Kabul Security Force.

Afghan nationals routinely support the training that troops undertake to provide an element of realism – performing the roles of interpreters, leading politicians and members of the public.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Our efforts in Afghanistan simply could not have been possible without the help of brave interpreters who risked their lives to work alongside our personnel throughout the conflict.

“They did not leave us behind then, and we will not leave them behind now. It is crucial there is a fair system in place to support those who want to relocate to the UK, and that is why we are going even further to make sure more individuals have the opportunity to apply for relocation.

“The Home Office and Defence will always work together to address policy issues and promote British values”.

The changes to the scheme will be made through secondary legislation in October and be implemented shortly afterwards.

Police In Australia Issue Ticket To Driver Who Had A Goat On His Lap

As you drive around, I am sure you have got used to seeing your fellow drivers meander through the streets with some odd things in their car. If they cannot fit it on the inside of their car, then you can be rest assured that they will try and strap it to their roof. 

Anything from mattresses to huge cupboards can often be spotted hap-hazardously being strapped to a car as the driver barely manages to keep control of their vehicle because their view becomes obscured by whatever it is they are trying to transport. Massive TV’s are also a favourite when it comes to trying to fit massive objects into small vehicles.

But when officers in Western Australia saw a driver with a goat on his lap, then I bet even they had a double-take at the sight that beheld them. I guess that putting the goat on your lap is still better (for the goat) than strapping the animal to the roof of the car, but you would have thought that the driver would have come up with a better way of transporting the animal. 

A post shared on the Western Australia Police Force Facebook page shared an image of the ticket that had been dished out to the driver. Along with the picture was the caption ‘you’ve goat to be kidding…’ The details of the offence were: ‘Drive motor vehicle with goat on lap’. 

Image credit: Facebook

The ticket cost the driver a cool $100 AUS, which is an expensive way to transport your goat to wherever it is that goats needs to be transported to. 

One follower pointed out: ‘I see people driving with dogs on their laps all the time. Hope they get fined too. So stupid and unsafe. Worse than being on your phone’. 

Thankfully, there is a solution (to transporting dogs in the car), and it can be found in the form of a dog harness made especially for your vehicle. You can buy them on Amazon from around 12.99 (we aren’t sure if they can be used to transport goats…)

How To Stop Your Glasses Steaming Up With A Face Mask On

The main issue I have with wearing my mask is that I am always having to battle with the fact that my glasses are continually fogging up, meaning that I literally cannot see where I am going or what I am doing. 

I am relatively lucky in that I only have to wear my glasses when it is dark, so that means that don’t have to wear them when I am down the shops stocking up on toilet paper and other essential items such as a new wardrobe for autumn.

But for many people who wear glasses, then the battle is real when it comes to the endless misty view which comes with having to wear glasses whilst at the same time also having to wear your mask. 

So we have scanned the internet and have come up with the following three tips which should help to prevent your glasses from fogging up every time you have to put your face mask on. 

Tip #1 – The Tuck Method

For this to work, you have to make sure that your glasses are not behind your face mask, i.e. you have to ensure that you push the top of the mask around your nose and then you place your glasses on the outside of your mask. 

Tip #2 – The Tissue Method 

Tape some tissue inside the top of the mask in order to catch the moisture. The tissue will then capture the condensation that is generated when you breathe out – especially when the outside temperature is cold. For this method to work, it is best to roll up the tissue and then fix it to the inside of the top of your mask. Make sure that the tissue covers the width of the face mask. 

Tip #3 – The Soap Method

For this to work, then you will need to wash your glasses in warm soapy water. This will leave a thin anti-mist layer on the lenses. This layer will be enough to stop your glasses from fogging up whilst wearing your face mask, for as long as the thin layer of soap remains on the lens. 

Tip #4 – Buy Some Anti-Mist Spray

I am used to having to use anti-mist spray on the visor on my motorbike helmet, and I have found, from experience, that this works just as well on my glasses too. You can buy some decent anti-mist spray on Amazon

So there we have it! Our top four tips on how to stop your glasses from fogging up whilst you are wearing your face mask. Try these methods out and let us know how you get on by leaving a comment in the comments section below. 

Bizarre Crowdfunding Campaign Raises USD 90k For A ‘F**k COVID-19’ Commemorative Coin

An online crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly USD 90k for a ‘F__k COVID-19’ commemorative coin with the aim of using the money to bring the silver coin into production. 

According to the page behind the campaign, the front of the coin will have a picture of a person wearing a gas mask on it accompanied with the words: ‘f**k COVID-19’ and ‘Coronavirus’. 

On the rear of the coin will be a picture of some toilet paper, a syringe and a thermometer as well as a face mask. Accompanying the images on the back of the coin will be the words: ‘I survived Coronavirus 2020’. 

The original goal for the amount of money to be raised for the campaign was $5,000. However, 1,618 people pledged $89,736 towards the coin with most of the donations being received within 24 hours of the campaign being launched.

The project was launched by a group calling itself: ‘zero f**ks given’ who have since closed the funding round. 

On their crowdfunding page, a spokesperson for the group said: 

‘A commemorative coin to celebrate surviving this stupid f**kin’ pandemic & these crazy f**kin’ times! F**K COVID-19! (Large 39mm, 1oz.)’.

However, the people behind this bizarre campaign are not the first to launch a so-called ‘commemorative coin’. 

A so-called ‘commemorative coin’ that you can get on

You can also currently buy a ‘CORONAVIRUS Covid 19 Panda Silver Coin’ on Amazon which will set you back £131.95.

And, as you would expect, there are various other ‘novelty’ items which you can buy on Amazon which range from ‘funny’ t-shirts to novelty masks. 

Some of the bizarre things we found being sold on Amazon. Check them out by clicking HERE

CLICK HERE to check out some of the weird and wacky things we found on Amazon.

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