We've got a great Mess, recently repainted throughout, and lovely period parquet flooring etc. I know what you mean - the chaps (and chapesses) down the road live in some sort of Travel Inn arrangement - ghastly!
Oh, and the wearing of dresses and silly costumes by men is very much tolerated.
MW - as in Wallop? Not to your taste why? Was that the AAC mess done up by a certain "wife-of" and her inspiration of colour? They got rid of the TV room (communal area - bit like a university common room, but hey, it was open to all) and replaced it with a Gentlemens Club. All very well, but no-one's allowed to go in there. Hmph. Well, that's what I was told, anyway.
Get yourself round to Minley Manor for an example of an Officers' Mess at the top end of the spectrum. Not only is it very tastefully decorated and located in superb surroundings, it is also frequented by some damned fine Sapper Officers to boot.
They also have a cracking little pergoda out in the garden, specially built to allow for some high quality horizontal jogging without upsetting the other members/guests .
If you fancy, I will book a couple of rooms/a room (delete as applicable) next time I am back in blighty.
32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment, Set in the original Lord Kitchner decor, lots of original paintings. Great atmosphere and most importantly a fealing of wow, some great things have happened in here. Look at the COs suite (open to all) to see hundreds of original plans that are nearly a century old, in original hand writing. The whole place is inspiring. Only down point is the entrance, more like the entrance to a kitchen porters door than is deserved of such a great place
Was down at Omah(?) Mess last weekend in Aldershite. Late 60's flat-pack building with a mess bar to die for. pink fabric light shades, narrow varnished strip panelling and lovely green and red sofas!! On the other hand feel free to drop into the ULOTC mess and see the Army's latest attempt at an orifice cadets officers' mess
2 Signal Regiment, Imphal Barracks,York. Brilliant bar, very friendly mess and within walking distance of down town York!!! Good bunch of mixed singlies who are always up for a party! Top night out!!
This mess is hard to beat and rates 10/10 on the "2004 British Army Officers' Mess Guide Book" I managed to get one of these guide books from a mate who works in MOD but I don't know how widely they are distributed?
It is classified as Restricted as it lists all the messes, contact tel nos, average spare accommodation, cost per night duty rate or casual.
Really good guide and very well produced.
Sorry, just noticed this.....FYI public money should not be (and is not?) spent on messes, that is why every member of that Mess pays things like Subs, Ents, Maintenance etc. That is where costs for things like improvements and functions are taken from - money that has been acrued by the members of the Mess themselves
If you are talking about heating, lighting etc then yes this will be public money but bear in mind that most Messes will also be the living accommodation of those single members (who will be paying accommodation and food charges).
Well I must admit I really like the Wallop bar and so do most of the other guys. It's only 1 or 2 seniors who go on about it being embarassing to take other officers into and so on but we've got other rooms for that. Which is what the TV room got turned into (although there's now another smaller one at the other end of the mess)
The good thing is though - It's a hole!
You can trash the place
It's stacked with memorabilia
Plus it's got a grill so you can hang upide down and down pints
And it also has character which a lot of mess bars just don't really. I can see why it may not be to everyones taste. Buts it's undoubtedly better than all the lifeless, boring RAF joints like Cranners and Shawbury anyway.