Anyone serve in Suffolk/Lenadoon/Woodbourne 1969-1996?

#1
Hi guys, I'm new to arrse (never too old I hear) and am history gathering. I'm originally from the Suffolk estate (orange Suffolk as per the tribal maps) and first off, want to thank all the ex servicemen who put themselves at risk of loss of life and limb in helping to secure the area I grew up in. The dedication and professionalism rubbed off and inspired me and I joined the British Army (3 RIR). Left 1999. I'd really appreciate stories, any war pics of the estate (identity withheld and can be pixelated). Happy to answer any private message queries too. God bless
 
#3
Good lad! 93- last guys to do anything pre ceasefire up here. There was a mk16 strike on the Suffolk road around that time too. Ive some cracking video footage of the first actions there in 1971/72 and 1988...maybe some 93/94. Private message me and I'll sort you out with my FB if you want a copy. Thanks for your service on behalf of all the residents!
 
#4
Woodburne in 1986, Op Widgeon. Great tour. As I understand it, the RUC/SF station is long gone.

Or maybe not, having a quick look at google maps. Its near as dammit 30 years to the week that we came back, so memory is a bit faded, but the place looks very much the same. Changed a LOT - the car park at the rear was where we built the "Widgeons" providing protection against Mk10 mortars, and the r/h side (or bottom r/h end), near the B102, was where we built "sapper lodge" (our accommodation). Have some piccies somewhere
 
#5
Woodburn1.jpg

This is looking "north" towards Woodburn Crescent - on googlemaps, there is a white van just just about where the firehose was...

Sapper Lodge.jpg


View from the other direction, bottom of steps just visible in the first picture. This now appears to be a small building. God, I looked young then. Heck, I *was* young then!

speedy.jpg


iirc, the operator and crane were outside the base, and there was squad from 45 Cdo providing cover. They were well used to this; deploying every time we kicked a football over the cover from view... sometimes not accidentally ;)
 
#6
Woodburne in 1986, Op Widgeon. Great tour. As I understand it, the RUC/SF station is long gone.

Or maybe not, having a quick look at google maps. Its near as dammit 30 years to the week that we came back, so memory is a bit faded, but the place looks very much the same. Changed a LOT - the car park at the rear was where we built the "Widgeons" providing protection against Mk10 mortars, and the r/h side (or bottom r/h end), near the B102, was where we built "sapper lodge" (our accommodation). Have some piccies somewhere
 
#7
Excuse me if I balls up my response! Yeah, all still there, manned by a mixture of civvy security/MOD guys probably. Still functions as full time PSNI. The residents of the estate (front of Woodbourne) are having an anniversary celebration type thing next year. There is a plan to project historical pics and video onto a block of flats in Tildarg avenue. Ive some great stuff and footage to add. In short, the people of Suffolk are very grateful for the service of the various regiments who helped us live a relatively normal existence. Given it's a tiny little protestant area in the republican/nationalist expanse of west Belfast, its testimony to the success of security force efforts in the locale. I was one of the wee scroats asking 'gimmie a look through your gun Mr.?' So...it paid off guys, you were kind to the kids, swapping pruck for your cap badges and scrim scarves etc. Probably one or two dozen from the area joined various regiments, following your example. Ive some good period video if someone has a closed FB group and wants it shared or are a little more I.T. savvy and can make a suggestion. Ive Lenadoon avenue gun battles in 72', some 80's and 90's stuff of various local patrols enjoying the hospitality
 
#8
Took over from 45 Cdo in late '86 with 3 Royal Anglian - C Coy were in FWR and we provided a platoon on weekly rotation into Woodbourne. I led a fair few patrols around there and had a memorable confrontation with some scrotes by the shopfronts north of the RUC station. I also remember Stewartstown Avenue as a good (and often used) RPG shoot! 45 Cdo had a memorable contact in Orange Suffolk that, after a rapid follow up, resulted in one KIA for PIRA. We had a professional video made which featured Woodbourne a lot - I think it's on Youtube.
 
#9
Here it is:


All the Fours!!
 
#10
Woodbourne was where I had my first (and very brief) encounter with "Them" scary buggers they were too!
 
#11
Took over from 45 Cdo in late '86 with 3 Royal Anglian - C Coy were in FWR and we provided a platoon on weekly rotation into Woodbourne. I led a fair few patrols around there and had a memorable confrontation with some scrotes by the shopfronts north of the RUC station. I also remember Stewartstown Avenue as a good (and often used) RPG shoot! 45 Cdo had a memorable contact in Orange Suffolk that, after a rapid follow up, resulted in one KIA for PIRA. We had a professional video made which featured Woodbourne a lot - I think it's on Youtube.
45 had to rotate Y-Coy out for Z Coy, such was the shock of working with a section of Engineers.

Initially based down in Kilkeel, Troopie asked for a section of volunteers to act as advance party; "enough work to keep a section going for 6 weeks". We arrived, we cleared the work in <5 days. So, to keep us "busy" we got up about 7, paraded for 'PT' (football... iirc it was 8 laps to the BFT so we didnt bother), work break before mid-day scoff, siesta then tea (interrupted by an afternoon work break). And a few tinnies in the evening.

After a week, the booties put a sign up on the cookhouse
"This is a Royal Marines Galley
No dirty works dress
No Sports Kit"

The following day, replaced with a Corps sign, and
"This is a Royal Engineers Mess
No Matelots
No cabbage patch dolls"

Some animosity, but they seemed to have a real dislike of the attached medic from Commachio. No idea why. Great bloke, he used to spend his time in the gym, wrist curling outlandishly large weights. Too knackering to watch, so we'd go back to playing footie.

Whilst playing, the booties would be deploying somewhere in spanking new 110's, calling out "para para in the sky...". We'd promptly kick the ball over the side of the cover from view, then ask "can you get our ball back, mister". Which resulted in the QRF deploying. Not a bad bunch of lads, and even friendlier when they learnt we were not on a dry tour.

The 'remains' of the RM KIA, as I recall, were deposited in the car park, on the passenger seat.

I've still got the tour magazines, in .pdf format. Professionally printed, they was (seriously!, not copied on a handcranked duplicator).

So Bubbles, we was in Woodburne together then, albeit briefly...!
 
#12
Yep, have that one!!! Fantastic, remember the RAR guys in, last guys in carrying the L1A1 or deffo one of the last...great to hear what was happening other side of the blast wall.
 

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