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Pay as you dine

Its no longer classed as the Junior ranks cookhouse, so pads wives and their kids can (and did in Gutersloh) eat in the restaurant now.
SNCOs and Officers normally eat in the restaurant because their Messes have very limited choice and it can take a while to get served.
Time to be served in the mess has increased under HESTIA
Under previous Soft FM contracts there were set staff quantities. The contractor were paid to have a fixed number of staff available, which meant they were stood in a line and swooping in once you had chosen and filled in the chit. That meant the MoD and taxpayer were paying for those staff to stand waiting.
Under HESTIA the service is contracted, the contract tenders were written on the basis of how many staff contractors thought they needed, at busy times they put more staff in and at quiet times they move them around to do another task. You now get a handful serving so once all have picked up a chit and gone to the kitchen the next officers wait for them to come out again and to look out for more orders.
Plate clearing then depends on what time it is, finish your meal early in the lunch hour and it’s picked up to reset the table, finish near the end of the lunch hour and it’s left until the dining room empties.

Coffee cups and glasses get left all over the mess, in the lounges, bars, gardens etc. These would have been cleared fairly quickly before, but are likely to be left in place until the evening when the bar staff are there with little to do
 
I agree that by common consensus married men seemed to like BAOR. A good lifestyle for pads.
But I can't really see how it was better for a single guy. Drinking oneself into a stupor every weekend only looks great because of a lack of alternatives, and the benefit of rose tinted hindsight.

And we also agree on the main point I was answering to the other poster. Multi rooms are shit and outdated.
Must be me, I enjoyed the cameraderie of multi rooms. I missed it when I put my third up.
 
Must be me, I enjoyed the cameraderie of multi rooms. I missed it when I put my third up.
Different people like and dislike different parts of army life.

For some the room is somewhere to sleep and to store their stuff, when not working they disappear. It’s like a hotel room.
For others it’s their home
Some make great use of communal areas, for others the communal areas are somewhere to put your bike and MFO boxes
Building design has taken into account feedback giving options in Z type layout design - for example a communal sitting room / TV room plus kitchenette & perhaps a laundry room or a combined kitchenette / communal room which may be used as the ‘social’ area.

Single or communal dormitories verge towards the single. These can still be handled in a communal way by the soldiers, either leaving doors open or using the other communal areas and you can shut the door for privacy or peace. When shared you don’t get the choice

For me occasional sharing is fine - but that’s up to two nights in a Premiere Inn as a team.
I now just through habit book any accommodation as a family room and put down as many people as possible - if it’s just me then I have comfort and space. (If photographing an event I have my camera, battery chargers and laptop all out and charging). If someone needs a bed then I would then have all the pull out & twin beds spare.
If as a team then we have all the beds and can kick the sleepy ones who are going to be late in the morning
However - living like that all of the time is a different matter
 
Different people like and dislike different parts of army life.

For some the room is somewhere to sleep and to store their stuff, when not working they disappear. It’s like a hotel room.
For others it’s their home
Some make great use of communal areas, for others the communal areas are somewhere to put your bike and MFO boxes
Building design has taken into account feedback giving options in Z type layout design - for example a communal sitting room / TV room plus kitchenette & perhaps a laundry room or a combined kitchenette / communal room which may be used as the ‘social’ area.

Single or communal dormitories verge towards the single. These can still be handled in a communal way by the soldiers, either leaving doors open or using the other communal areas and you can shut the door for privacy or peace. When shared you don’t get the choice

For me occasional sharing is fine - but that’s up to two nights in a Premiere Inn as a team.
I now just through habit book any accommodation as a family room and put down as many people as possible - if it’s just me then I have comfort and space. (If photographing an event I have my camera, battery chargers and laptop all out and charging). If someone needs a bed then I would then have all the pull out & twin beds spare.
If as a team then we have all the beds and can kick the sleepy ones who are going to be late in the morning
However - living like that all of the time is a different matter
50 years ago most squaddies had very few possessions, having a TV was a novelty, just about everything fitted into a lockable locker, the majority of socialising was generally in the bar on camp with people they worked with.
Sharing a room isnt a massive hardship when you own **** all and dont really need privacy.
Todays soldiers have flat screen TVs, internet, game console, sky connection, internet, mobile phone etc and most bars on camp are empty, single rooms are ideal.
 
50 years ago most squaddies had very few possessions, having a TV was a novelty, just about everything fitted into a lockable locker, the majority of socialising was generally in the bar on camp with people they worked with.
Sharing a room isnt a massive hardship when you own **** all and dont really need privacy.
Todays soldiers have flat screen TVs, internet, game console, sky connection, internet, mobile phone etc and most bars on camp are empty, single rooms are ideal.
Agreed but it doesn't stop people reminiscing about the all night Risk sessions, sat on the communal sofa or better still the beat up prior to going out on the piss.
 
1.75 might be **** all to you 30 years ago, it might have been to other people.
The DMR rate is 9% of of toms gross wages, to some toms thats quite a bit.

The majority did not, it would be impossible for any cookhouse, army or sodexo to make 3 decent meals a day for the majority of soldiers on the old daily rate. Even less so with all stories of the cookhouse providing additional food for bbqs/functions. The money for the food doesnt just magically appear. Try buying premium brand food for a three course meal for £2.17, of course the quality is going to suffer. People were talking about steak earlier, you would be hard pressed to find a decent steak even bulk buying for that price, never mind everything that goes with it. It worked because so many people missed meals.

They had a limited amount of food because they had a limited amount of money.

You are aware that in the 80's the daily food and accommodation charge was a contribution to the cost, not the entire cost, of the unit catering budget? As such the £1.75 did not pay for 3 meals per day for the soldier. It is what soldiers were charged for three meals per day as a contribution.

There is no real comparison between FAC (or whatever it was annotated on the payslip as) and PAYD because of this. Wish I had a payslip still to see exactly what I was paying for three good meals, plus accommodation, back then.

And no claims that the ingredients were premium brand. I image that the steak the Army bought back then was rump, if anything. That said, I rarely ate it; it was always well done.
 
I would always try and take my meals (I had payed for them). This was early 1990s. If some lazy bloke would swerve brekkie, more fool him.
What I never really understood was the variability between cookhouses. When I was in Hohne, if you were on main gate guard, the food could vary so much between cookhouses, who would feed you. Each regiment must have had about the same to feed their blokes, so the discrepancy is about looking after your troops, surely?
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
I would always try and take my meals (I had payed for them). This was early 1990s. If some lazy bloke would swerve brekkie, more fool him.
What I never really understood was the variability between cookhouses. When I was in Hohne, if you were on main gate guard, the food could vary so much between cookhouses, who would feed you. Each regiment must have had about the same to feed their blokes, so the discrepancy is about looking after your troops, surely?
Not sure how it comes about but different kitchens have different rules. The first 2 I worked in, weekends was basically the same as a week day, breakfast , lunch and dinner, yet the second 2 always managed a brunch on Saturdays, breakfast being from 07:00- 09:00, then Brunch (steaks, pork chops, bratties and the like) kicked in until 13:30, Sunday, due to being Roast day, was the same as a weekday, 3 seperate timings for 3 meals. Also this "one sausage" rule only really applied when the MC was a bit of a tosser and had a shift of 3 or more on Breakfast so they could afford to have 1 on hotplate duty. Every kitchen I worked in, even on my 2nd NI tour, breakfast was a team of one, so you stock up on bangers, bacon etc, checking every now and then and rerplenning where/if necessary whilst you cracked on with getting lunch prepped. Kitchens ran different shifts. Some ran a breakfast/early shift with around 4 blokes coming in at 05:00 and finishing at 13:00 with the late shift starting 08:00 and finishing around 17:00 with a duty chef (normally someone on extras) who came in at 10:00 and finished when his job sheet was done. Others ran a breakfast shift of one, with a late shift coming in at 08:00 with a couple detailed off to help out with lunch (still a 17:00 finish) with a duty cook coming in later who, unless he'd been a complete cock (which meant basically he was on perpetual DC with a list of jobs as long as your arm) could be finished by 19:00 and would be the breakfast chef the following day.
 
:D :D :D

You're a funny guy.

To use your example

£200 a month for food ( When deducted at source ) Equated to 3 meals a day, 365 days a year, with costs returned for periods spent on Ex, Ops or leave.

A bargain.

Are you really trying to tell me that people are now spending less than £200 a month on food, through a combination of PAYD and supplementary food supplies, if they are not eating PAYD ?

You’re completely missing the point. The argument was never that £200 a month wasn’t good value for money, it was that if you didn’t want to eat in the JRM you still had to pay for it and then pay for whatever you did end up eating.

I’ve served pre and post PAYD. In my experience the food post PAYD is dogshit, but I prefer to cook for myself so I didnt mind not having to pay for something I didn’t use often.
 

Badger223

Swinger
These can still be handled in a communal way by the soldiers, either leaving doors open or using the other communal areas and you can shut the door for privacy or peace. When shared you don’t get the choice

This is it, the social aspect depends entirely on the people and far less so on the actual structure. I've been in blocks where you never saw the blokes in your corridor, they'd lock their doors on a night and go home on a weekend, if you didn't work with them you might never even learn their name. I've had blocks where doors were default to open so you could just go slide into someones room if you wanted a chat.

Best accommodation and socialising I've had was when we got put up in an SNCO transit block after someone burned down the junior ranks accom, the rooms were all singlies that opened onto balconies, so not even a corridor to socialise in, but every morning and evening we'd be out in the deck chairs on the balcony like we were in Magaluf, hail or shine.

I've never known the joys of shared accomodation outside of training and transit accom, but it was a nightmare if one of you had your admin squared away and the rest put it off until 2330, people with their alarms hours before others, phone calls to slappers in the middle of the night, shit going missing, that's the charm of training but I can't imagine what that would be like in the field army, especially as you say nowadays we all have far more personal items (part of that is probably the bergen effect, you've got more space to yourself so you have to fill it)
 
This is it, the social aspect depends entirely on the people and far less so on the actual structure. I've been in blocks where you never saw the blokes in your corridor, they'd lock their doors on a night and go home on a weekend, if you didn't work with them you might never even learn their name. I've had blocks where doors were default to open so you could just go slide into someones room if you wanted a chat.

Best accommodation and socialising I've had was when we got put up in an SNCO transit block after someone burned down the junior ranks accom, the rooms were all singlies that opened onto balconies, so not even a corridor to socialise in, but every morning and evening we'd be out in the deck chairs on the balcony like we were in Magaluf, hail or shine.

I've never known the joys of shared accomodation outside of training and transit accom, but it was a nightmare if one of you had your admin squared away and the rest put it off until 2330, people with their alarms hours before others, phone calls to slappers in the middle of the night, shit going missing, that's the charm of training but I can't imagine what that would be like in the field army, especially as you say nowadays we all have far more personal items (part of that is probably the bergen effect, you've got more space to yourself so you have to fill it)

As an AB1 that had been in 10 years, in one of my old RM units I had to share a “flat” in the barracks (the blocks were 3 stories high, each floor had 3 flats and each flat had a kitchenette, 2 man room for a Mne, that worked shifts for some reason, that was officially a tv room, 2 single man rooms for the Cpl and LCpl of the flat and a 4 man room). I was in the 4 man room with a Mne and 2 matelot AB2s. One of these was going through a particularly nasty split up with his now ex and her denying him seeing his kid so he was pissing up every night. The lcpl was also on a self destructive streak as he was u derp investigation for death by dangerous driving and drink driving (it was the morning after) so he was drinking nightly too. Now I had a lot of sympathy for both the lads (in all other respects they were good eggs), but every Thursday they’d go out together, get smashed and about 4 / 5am get back to the grots with what ever food they had brought back from town and then proceed to throw it about the place while everyone was still sleeping, music turned up to full whack, jumping on lads to wake them up and for about 3 months basically made everyone else miserable. It came to a point where the Cpl, ended up locking them out of the flat (no one bothered taking their keys ashore) where they decided to flood the floor (we were on the top floor), strip naked and use the deck as a “slip and slide” and see if they could use the stairs as a water slide. All fun and games till we sober ones had to clean it all up while the RQMS sent them to bed as they were useless to us for work


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