Operation Banner married quarters?

#1
Were there married quarters for officers or men in Northern Ireland during the Operation Banner years? How were they allocated, and who would typically make use of them? I'm writing something fictional set there in the 90s and want to make sure I get my facts right. Very grateful too on any tips on where I can get accurate info on this kind of thing. Thanks!
 
#4
I lived in Clooney base, Londonderry for two years, one the best postings in 22 years. My lads went to primary school down the road and 20 odd years later still reckon it was their best school.
 
#5
Thank v much for the replies. A couple of follow-ups: What exactly were they? Flats and houses inside a base?

Also: as a civilian, I don't understand what you mean technically by non-emergency tours. Were they used by the officers and soldiers who were on regular Operation Banner tours of four or six months or whatever it was? Or only by more permanent staff? Presumably some people had wives and children in England - why would some people choose to have family with them, and others not?
 
#6
Some units did 2 year residential tours they came with families, others were posted to 3, 8, 38Bde HQ's or HQNI or to RAF Aldergrove etc.
 
#7
There were two types of tours, roulement (usually 6 month tours without families) and regular postings of two years plus which could be accompanied, i.e. with families.
The MSQ in Clooney Base were former US Navy quarters, they had warm air central heating and cost a fcuking fortune to heat when we took them over. The US occupants didn't have to pay for their heating....we did! I had to buy two portable calor gas heaters as we couldn't afford the bills for running the gas warm air central heating.
That said, we loved the house and the people we met....and the choggie shop, natch.
 
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#8
I lived in Clooney base, Londonderry for two years, one the best postings in 22 years. My lads went to primary school down the road and 20 odd years later still reckon it was their best school.
We lived outside the wire in Nelson Drive, Londonderry, complete with paving stones in red, white and blue! The MQ was a shit hole and the year we arrived there (1985), the first winter was memorable due to numerous power cuts. I recall we were using candle power almost as much as the National Grid!
Also memorable for not once cracking out the plastic garden furniture we had brought over from Germany - inclement weather I think they called it! :smile:
Our son went to a cracking school outside Londonderry on the Limavady Road - he loved his time there, but I can't remember the name of it.
 
#9
When 3 Brigade was in Lurgan, and then Portadown during the 1970s, the officer's Quarters were at the Bocombra estate, and other ranks were at Rossmoyles, both in Craigavon. Bocombra was enclosed with a military guard and control of access provided by the Resident unit and brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron
 
#10
We lived outside the wire in Nelson Drive, Londonderry, complete with paving stones in red, white and blue! The MQ was a shit hole and the year we arrived there (1985), the first winter was memorable due to numerous power cuts. I recall we were using candle power almost as much as the National Grid!
Also memorable for not once cracking out the plastic garden furniture we had brought over from Germany - inclement weather I think they called it! :smile:
Our son went to a cracking school outside Londonderry on the Limavady Road - he loved his time there, but I can't remember the name of it.
We were in Clooney '84'86. I'll dig out the school name, our kids were probably there at the same time!
 
#11
Not directly related to your question but in the early 80's I was on a 4 month tour in Belfast and drove over to Lisburn a couple of times.

A mate of mine, a corporal, was on a two year tour in Lisburn and invited me to visit when I went there.

When I parked outside the quarter, in a natty orange Opel Ascona that we were fortunate to have instead of a manky Ford Escort, I noticed the net curtains flapping in the nearby quarters.

It turned out that my mate was on a two week course, and while his wife, who I knew well, invited me in for a cup of tea to a room complete with the usual grotty G-Plan furniture and dire carpets, I made a feeble excuse and buggered off sharpish.

She was a lovely girl and I'm sure she was relieved that I did that.

Nothing worse than a hubby coming back to rumours after being away.

As I said, sod all to do with your original question, but do try to fit an orange Opel Ascona into your book. :)
 
#12
Familys too, my late Mrs lived there for two years before heading to hong kong. 82-84. Cheshires.

Her dad got caught up in the ballykelly bombing.
 
#13
why would some people choose to have family with them, and others not?
Because of the divorce rate among those who did the tour unaccompanied? (apparently, both of Dad's predecessors in a high stress job)... this was late 1970s.

The small patch we lived in had some dragon's teeth added to the back road, and barbed-wire coils added to the paths around the edge; this meant that there was only a single road in / out, and a breeze-block shielded Portakabin at the entry as a guardhouse for use if tensions rose. Lovely place to live, though. I suspect that a quiet word was had with the head players regarding what would happen in the event that families were targeted.

Mum got a job teaching at a local school; only caused a problem when she volunteered to drive, when a bunch of colleagues needed to get to a Council building that had a pile of education resources. It wasn't until they were en-route that she discovered that said building was in the Bogside... not to mention the time we (mum, sister, me) got a flat tyre on the edge of Greysteel.
 
#14
in 1973 or 1974 the MQs in Omagh were outside the wire and a Post Office van (?) was hijacked and forced to deliver a bomb. Fortunately nobody killed or seriously wounded but I remember a WO2 being seriously pissed off because a rubber plant which he had lovingly carted round the world for several years got felled by flying glass.
 
#15
in 1973 or 1974 the MQs in Omagh were outside the wire and a Post Office van (?) was hijacked and forced to deliver a bomb. Fortunately nobody killed or seriously wounded but I remember a WO2 being seriously pissed off because a rubber plant which he had lovingly carted round the world for several years got felled by flying glass.
That was the era of the cursed Yucca plant that never seemed - how hard you tried to kill. We had one but never thought of the flying glass treatment!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#16
Regarding 6 month roulement tours and two year garrison tours. These values are indeed correct for the 90s as requested, but it may pay the OP to be aware that they were 4 month/18 month tours until sometime, I'd guess, in the 80s.

Wrt the van bomb in the Omagh patch, 15/19H took over from 1 RTR that autumn.
 
#17
I did an 18 month tour in in the early 00s.

I was told that it was married unaccompanied - so my wife was given a house on the patch at Hemswell Cliff, near Kirton in Lindsey just as the army were closing down the patch. My wife spent 18 months nigh on, on her own in that house.

When I got to NI, every other f*cker was married accompanied and given a house on the patch or over at pond park.

Someone clearly didn't like me.

On the upside, I did get MUSA - which I didn't tell my significant other about!
 
#18
We were in Clooney '84'86. I'll dig out the school name, our kids were probably there at the same time!
I think it may have been Maydown School?
 
#19
That's the fella. I had a look on google maps but couldn't see it. It looks like there is a big hospital there now, can't say I recall it being a hospital when I was there.
 
#20
Sorry, I'm an absolute pleb on Banner. How did the security work for MQ's?
 

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