Harewood Barracks mid 80's to early 90. Straight out camp gates and into Bosna restaurant.
My last posting before I left the Army was HQ REME Trg Center and REME Officers school, the writing for Arborfield was on the wall even then and that was 84.Where I started out was Arborfield. At the time (1979) there was a vibrancy about the place, Poperinghe was being dismantled , The old Beaulieu spiders were all but deserted and in their place was a new Rowcroft Barracks which was top class for the day. They were even building some new married quarters and a new apprentice college.
Last week I was in Bracknell, at a dog show of all things. I finished there at about 1 pm so says to Mrs Owl lets go a few miles up the road and have a look at the place where my Army career began. What a total change for the worse. Half of the buildings are boarded up, none of the fencing has had any attention for what looks like decades in fact it looks like the local chav residents have been breaking it up to use as firewood. The signs are all out of date, there are bollards in the middle of the roads, the grass hasn't been cut for years, the bins look as if they only get emptied once a month as there is rubbish everywhere and there is a site portacabin that doubles up as a guardroom.
To the REME Corps RSM or if different the Arborfield Garrison RSM I can only say please get your ufcking act together and stop portraying the Corps "Home" as an absolute shiitehole because that is the only impression it leaves to the passer by. By contrast, go down the road to Finchampstead and look at Gibralter Barracks, under the current stewardship of the Royal Engineers. That place has an air of vibrancy, the front of house buildings are well kept and in good order, there are Soldiers in uniform on the gate exuding some pride in themselves. The fencing and trees surrounding the camp is in good condition and there is clean proud signeage fit for purpose. Is it any wonder that the RLC and other Corps in the Army look down their noses at the REME when the standards of their home base are so non existent.
I expect incoming, but I only left 20 years ago as a WO so who am I to know "different".
I remember there was some talk of this because of the prime building land but it died again in the early 90s recession. Options hadn't been decided on yet, neither had the LSR. I hadn't been back to Arborfield since mid 1994 where it still outclassed Bordon (not that it was hard to do) but to see it today it just looks quite disgusting. It never was a great place to be posted to even on temporary courses but I would have thought that someone would have made an effort. Still I suppose all those REME officers appointments created in the early 90s along with the RSMs are too busy running pointless REME Bns since then.My last posting before I left the Army was HQ REME Trg Center and REME Officers school, the writing for Arborfield was on the wall even then and that was 84.