Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Chief489, Jan 17, 2011.
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Does anyone have any views on the SFA in Shrivenham? Any to avoid or definitely go for?
Basically you've got the choice: new and more expensive or old and cheap. The new ones are well insulated, Barratt style houses with paper thin walls (which I understand you can almost fall through) and the old ones are not well insulated but have brick walls throughout complete with magnolia woodchip wallpaper. The old ones are slightly larger (as far as I remember) but many are two smaller houses knocked into one, so the layout is a bit strange inside. All of the foreign officers are put up in the new houses so if you go into one of them you will almost certainly end up with multinational neighbours.
Bottom line; if you've got kids who like to write on the walls with crayons or have any other destructive tendencies lurking in your family, then I'd recommend one of the old ones (they really don't care about them!)
There is also a small quartering area with smaller houses which tend to be occupied by those couples without children.
I of course assume that you are a Major going on ICSC(L).
Again, assuming you are attending ICSC(L).
Make sure you get a quarter that your wife is happy with as you won't see much of her anyway! Particularly true for the first term...... despite the bullshit that you are spun...... which goes something like 'this is where you get your quality of life back, see your family, etc'.
Thanks for the info so far; I am indeed off to ICSC(L).
Is there an estate plan with the street names? I presume I'll need it for the application the same as other postings?
Anyone fancy updating the Shrivenham SFA & Shrivenham pages on Patchpedia?
The old style are typically 2x 2 bed room MQ knocked into 1 house. Strange layouts but spacious, in OK condition. They will cost (as a grade 3) about £160pm.
The new ones are mostly grade 1, small bedrooms, walls you can physically flex and will cost £320pm+. You tend to find the international students are all in these.
Strangely they are having trouble getting the Brit students to take up the new houses.
I went old and didn't regret it for a second. I ended up paying significantly less for my 4 bed detached than the single Majs were for their room in the Mess! You pay a bit more for heating compared to the new ones but well worth it. You also get a decent sized garden compared to the postage stamp on the new quarters. If you have children, go old!!
The knocked through houses do have a really strange lay out and you couldn't guarantee to get large furniture into them. I've seen fridge/freezers having to be put in the hall or dining room in some. The quarters in Bower Green are a lot better if you're going to go old. The new houses aren't as bad as you think, they are smaller but they're laid out well and you gain space because of it. The walls are paper thin but you can't hear the neighbours. The idea that you can literally fall through the internal walls is true though!
There are older houses in Shrivenham which, all but one, are Captains quarters and more Captains quarters in Faringdon if you want to get out of the Defence Academy bubble.
If you want a map of the patch you can find it on the DA website (if you have access) but if you stick the DA into Google Maps it's pretty obvious which properties are quarters.
I couldn't complain about 51 Bower Green on the patch in the late 70's. Chiefly because I was 5 years old at the time and all around was fields... And a rather useful disused airfield. Having been to a dinner party recently in the new build SFA I can echo the general sentiment that they are small, flimsy, and hot. In this latter regard they are ideal for the floppies.
Really? Things have changed since 5A. Or maybe it was just me...
I'd recommend Days Ground, Shrivenham, if it's still available. Small but cheap, and walking distnace from Shrivenham village pubs/shops etc...
What size (ie how many bedrooms) is a married Maj with no kids likely to get - 2 or 3?
I think Major's quarters (Type 4) are generally 4-bed. Type 5 (Capt/Lt) are 3, presumably Type 3 are 5? Days Ground are Type 5, and Grade 4 iirc, so not expensive...
I think every course is almost a pilot now as the content changes significantly for each course!
Old style SFA in Wellington Square are 2x 1 bed terrace knocked together. You end up with 3 normal bedrooms (1 of which was a bathroom and toilet in a previous existence) and a weird little room where the second staircase used to be. Good value as they are Capt SFA, and Army Fuel and light so only Gas to pay for from civi company!
Faringdon Rd is similar, would not recommend Hill Road as they have a really quirky layout.
Bower Green is more 'Traditional' old style SFA.
Days Ground is all older SFA.
I would definitely go old, especially for only 8 months!
To escape from Shriv, I would recommend Faringdon. All detached houses, 3 bed, massive gardens, large lounges, garages next to house and discreetly tucked away in a civi estate; civvies on road v friendly and accepting of military. Next to the leisure centre and only about a 20 minute cycle ride from Shriv.
Downsides: 10 houses, can't walk to p1ss ups and at the mercy of MHS/ DE Ops Housing under investment.
I would recommend to all. Speak to Welfare Office re address.
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