Rollestone Camp

Discussion in 'ACF' started by massivegeoff, Jan 19, 2010.

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  1. apparently this is where we are going for annual camp this year. (although this is the 3rd option i have heard in the last week or so since we were told we had otterburn taken away from us so who knows what will happen tomorrow!)

    last time i went there it was manky as hell...i remember they had put it forward as a potential POW camp just prior to Gulf War 1, but the UN had said it was unfit for purpose. so instead of putting iraqis in they put in the artillery!

    please tell me it has at least had a lick of paint since 1994, or i may decide to be unavailable for the fortnight!
  2. RiflemanTom

    RiflemanTom Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Blimey, Rollestone Camp, that's a name from the past. Originally a WW1 prisoner of war camp. I Did my JNCO cadre there in about 96, middle of winter and we all froze our tits off. Place was a bloody hole then. Thought it would have been levelled by now!!
  3. I spent 8 months at Rollestone Camp in 1988 when it was turned into HMP Rollestone housing 360 cat C civi prisoners!!
  4. Rollestone got a refurb a few years ago - since the turn of the century though.

    The cookhouse hasn't changed, that's still a dump. And the showers... well... to say the least last time I went there for a week, we chipped in and got a B&B in the local area for the night every night, so that we could drive there and get a shower, then drive back to camp. Cost about £20 each for the week, was totally worth it as the showers there are gopping. The floors are permanently a blacky brown colour, and most of the sinks fail to eject water which is see-through. I didn't touch the water supply all week, filled my bottle up from Evian from the local shop. It was that bad.

    So, the refurb? The bedrooms are improved. You now have a whole 50% chance of getting a locker as opposed to the old 20% chance, the floors are moppable and you don't have to pick the mud off with a knife, And they have pretty decent heating, modern windows and half decent insulation. So if you get a cold camp, that might be seen an upside.

    You will notice the accomodation has it's own fence around it, keeping it seperate from the camp facilities. Why? Because when it wasn't being used as a military camp, it was used as a part time low security prison.

    Only upsides are it is RIGHT on the training area, you don't need to bus onto it as it's over the road, and if you're into golf you can play pitch n putt all week long as it has it's own course.

    Sorry though, I can't really think of any positives to being there.... none at all. My last memory of Rollestone was a bleep test in CBRN suit with webbing / daysack / weapon / helmet so my opinion may lean a little more towards the negative side... but the place was definitely pretty rough.
  5. Spanish_Dave

    Spanish_Dave LE Good Egg (charities)

    I am very suprised nobody has mentioned the Bustard yet, what a watering hole :soldier:
  6. Did some of our training for Granby at Rollestone, it really prepared us for the desert I can tell you!
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. I was there in 1967 still had Nisson hut, hell on earth,even worse the Wrenny Letney
  8. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    Fcuk me that place was a dump. Thought it was condemned years back.
  9. I done some pre Bosnia training at Rolleston. I think it was so that any thing we got in Bosnia would seem like paradise.
    If you do go please do the world a favour and burn the place to the ground. (Thats if the little darlings don't beat you to it.)
  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Wasn't that where the Iraqi detainees were held, just before/during GW1/Granby?

    This stolen shamelessly from the Internets:
    "A tented camp-site was established close to Rollestone Bake Farm and east of the Salisbury-Bustard road in 1904 . With the outbreak of the Great War, four hutted camps, part of the thirty-four forming Larkhill Garrison, were erected,with building starting in mid-October 1914. An Army Service Corps supply depot was also established.
    Norman Tennant of the Royal Field Artillery noted in" A Saturday Night Soldier's War" that "the area was a vast sea of mud and wooden hutments and it was here that I engendered a lasting hate for the inimical menace of army camps". Others were equally unimpressed with Rollestone.
    In 1916 Rollestone was taken over by Australian training battalions. In 1917 an Australian from the camp was the first soldier locally to be accused of assaulting the police; he received two sentences of six and three months' hard labour, to run concurrently. Later that year another Australian was killed when being trained to use a Lewis Gun; one shell in its magazine of dummy ammunition was live.

    On the other side of the Bustard road the Royal Flying Corps established Number 1 Balloon School, which continued after the war as the School of Balloon Training and was mainly concerned with training observers.

    In early 1919 members of Queen Mary's Auxiliary Army Corps were based at Rollestone. The four army camps were demolished shortly afer the war ended

    In other words, it's as close as you'll find to the home of the Women's Auxillary Balloon Corps :)
  11. Of course there was also Rolston Camp near Hornsea, another shithole which now seems to be disappearing into the North Sea.
  12. I used to go shooting at Rolston ( near Hornsea )
  13. Also used to harbour the Argie POWs brought back here for a while before the important one or two got moved to The Keep at Rousillon Bks, Chichester I believe.

    Spent a couple of very enjoyable nights in the Bustard in the early 80s, a fine bar serving wench if memory serves. Bit on the plump side but up for some man fun.
  14. Horrid place. Went there at easter time last year for 5-ish days.
    Crap showers
    Crap rooms (20 man)
    Crap NAAFI (non existent)
    Horrific toilets

    You'll be lucky if you haven't killed yourself by the end of your stay.

    The graffiti in the toilets are a laugh to read though, if you can stand being in there long enough with a draft coming under the door and onto your arse, and if you can stand the stench.

    Have a vivid memory of a great game of toilet tennis there.

  15. RiflemanTom

    RiflemanTom Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    forgot all about the Bustard. A little bit of paradise after being in that bloody camp being beasted for 12 weeks. Is it still there then?