Imber Village - Pre 1980s

Just in by email is a request for anyone who remembers Imber Village back in the day....

I am an Assistant Producer working on a programme for Channel 5 on abandoned historical buildings. One of the places we are focusing on is the 'ghost' town of Imber Village and the Salisbury Plain and its history. I am trying to track down any soldiers or military personnel who might have trained at Imber Village in the '80s or earlier or later. I wonder if you could help and if it would be possible to post a call for information or start a topic through your members or site or if you know anyone who might have trained at Imber and or have memories of it.

Any leads would be much appreciated.
We are filming next week and we are very keen to find people to tell us about their experience of the site and training there.


Paola Desiderio
Assistant Producer


Kit Reviewer
Was there as a cadet in 84 or so - for the first time..


I trained there 1967. Remember very little of it except no nurses arrived.


Book Reviewer
I trained around Imber in 76-7. Recce troops in Scorpions weren't allowed to get too close. I have only a couple of vague images in my head.

Unfortunately in 77 they reopened the range around the old village subsumed by Lulworth Ranges, whose name escapes me. Wait while Google is my friend. Tyneham. Google is my friend. We were also the first squadron to use Tyneham Range for a long time. Its possible these images in my head conflate Imber and Tyneham.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Spent four years in Tidworth in the early 1970s and never did any training on Salisbury Plain. The Bn preferred to go to Stanford, Sennybridge rather than use the trg area on their back yard.
I remember talking to locals about Imber in the 70s.. the place was evacuated at the beginning of the war, and had a certain reputation for being very cut off and hence suffering somewhat from the effects of consanguinity! It was mooted that this was the real reason for not re-establishing the village..!

They said you could spot Imber folk in the local population even in the 70s..!

It would seem that this was the real reason for several isolated communities being broken up between the wars such as St Kilda and a few other island communities..

...although Barrow seems to have missed the cull!
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It had a para drop zone in the vicinity of the village ( Imber DZ) used mostly by 16 Para Bde. Heavy Drop Coy as I recall. HALO trials team used it in the very early '70's if Everleigh wasn't available. @Gungythree
We used it a few times in the late '70s but it was just a handful of buildings used for approach and house-to-house training. Nothing special.


Book Reviewer
I wonder if episode 2 I think, series 1 of Spearhead was filmed in Imber? That footage is out there. Watched it last year on a minor channel.
Advice to producers: don't dig any holes in the vicinity of the village. Compo was always intended to be stable, and its final decay product has a lengthy half-life.
Very late 60's, early 70's there were very few buildings and these I would guess were left over from when the place was taken over by the military during WW2. Mid 70's(IIRC)work had started on building the breeze block shell structures for "Northern Ireland" training. Personal bad experience was when leaving Imber in the early hours of the morning after a tactical replen my "relief" driver hit a half pallet of breeze blocks at the side of the road and flipped the Ferret onto it's side.
@HE117 mentioned it, I had a converstaion with 2 older locals in Tilshead(The Rose & Crown) and they said similar things about "consanguineous mating" within the confines of Imber.
I'm researching a story on Imber Village at the moment as it happens. I conclude from the above responses that the place is a wreck and if it hadn't been commandeered by the War Department the village would have spawned a generation of inbred cattle worriers.

Anyone got anything else to add?
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