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I'm really struggling to find positive images I can use

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Hi as stated before I'm doing some research into the British Army in N.I. for some veterans  for discussion starters in small groups.

I'd really like to find a source of positive photos, (I know tough one).

If you Google "british army Northern Ireland" you just get hundreds of pictures of gritty war, I can't imagine what it was like, but it must have been hell.

I'm after I guess anything like friendly Interaction with public, christmas booze ups, relaxed photos in camps, jokes(non political) ENDEX that sort of thing, so I can bring up conversation about some of the good friendships, caring, kindness, that sort of thing,  I don't want any personal details.

also any pop Music you reckon might trigger memories about times in Northern Ireland.

any help gratefully recieved,

cheers

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Having just posted on a different thread, I will see what I can find for this one. I was never one for taking pictures but I do have a few which may fit the bill. The timing is not great, as I am getting ready to go into hospital early tomorrow for a knee replacement, so it maybe a few days before I can dig anything out.

Best of luck with this, by the way.

Steve.

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ow, hope that goes well.

I'm just starting the sessions next week but it will continue till Febuary so theres plenty of time cheers.

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Having re-read your original request, it triggered memories of nights out with local girls and visits to Coleraine football club. There were a group of girls at the club who were very friendly and at least one marriage came of it. On an early visit they spoke of a girl they called Tootsie and when I finally met her I was expecting someone with a large chest, but she was quite average in that regard. Of course, the local pronunciation of Tootsie was a bit misleading!

Steve.

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Brilliant got the photos,

yeah anythin like that is fantastic.

I was told the other day that a "Greenfinch" needed an escort to a different area and due to security she had to change her appearance to remain safe, she aparently without any warning suprised the squaddies buy suddenly getting changed right in front of them in the back of a van!

and someone else was seving dacades later on security gates, going through the mundane chore of checking suspiciousand random cars that entered or left the base. He said that the base got complaints because one woman in particular on base with a yellow car got stopped every day, (she was never suspicious in any way).

It so happened that in the 80's red cars were very popular, black, brown, green, and blue were also common. Pink and  yellow cars (as is still the case today) are not such popular colours. So, If you're playing "car search snooker" i.e. red car, then another colour, red then another colour,  and finally pot  the colours in order.

The yellow car would understandably be very difficult to come by and important  search!

poor lady, they were only trying to get good breaks! lol

 

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I may be able to come up with more anecdotes than photos, as I only found a handful which are of use, which I will now send to you.

Steve

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Photos sent. I twice tried to attach a summary and both times the text disappeared, so I hope this will be easier. All pics taken at Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly in 1973/74. The unit was D Troop, 18/26 Sqn RCT.

The first shows a group of Drivers, with a variety of vehicles in the background.

The second shows a 39 seater coach and a pantechnicon. The pantech was mainly used locally around the married quarters. A surprising number of families accompanied the squaddies.

I will hedge my bets by sending more info in another post, as I don’t want to lose it all again. Watch this space.

Steve.

Edited by Ex-boy
Change from trooper to driver

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Back to the pics. The third shows a selection of vehicles outside the unit hangar. The very left is another 39 seater and next to it is a mobile library (again used around the married quarters). This veh appears to have been built on an Austin K9 chassis and running gear.

The fourth shows a Driver and a locally employed mechanic. I have covered his face, as he was Catholic and even after all these years I would hate to compromise him.

The last one is me, now a Corporal, posing again.

I will send this, then do some anecdotes in a while.

Steve.

Edited by Ex-boy
Change Trooper to Driver

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Back again. If you can imagine it, the pic of me was taken between our unit hangar and a huge (ex-RAF Shackleton) hangar, which was home to the Ballykelly detachment of NI Workshop REME. At this time, a large part of their work was Humber Pigs and in the outside world there was an outbreak of Swine Vesicular Disease. Of course, some wag had put up a sign, with a big spiral and the words: Swine Vehicular Disease. Always humour to be found in anything.

Being on an ex-RAF base, there were occasional aircraft landings and take-offs. I watched a Beaver take off one day and was gob-smacked at how it was in the air after using next to no runway. It almost seemed to hop up and was airborne.

Enough for now, but I will send more when they come to mind.

Steve.

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On 9/12/2019 at 10:34 AM, webkitlover said:

Hi as stated before I'm doing some research into the British Army in N.I. for some veterans  for discussion starters in small groups.

I'm after I guess anything like friendly Interaction with public, christmas booze ups, relaxed photos in camps, jokes(non political) ENDEX that sort of thing, so I can bring up conversation about some of the good friendships, caring, kindness, that sort of thing,  I don't want any personal details.

also any pop Music you reckon might trigger memories about times in Northern Ireland.

any help gratefully recieved,

cheers

Have you looked for copies of "Visor", the monthly paper of the Army in NI?  Most of the articles in there were positive and many about ordinary aspects of army life in the Province, rather than the violence with articles about music-making, charity events, regimental occasions and visits  including those from a number of page-three-girls whose pictures also graced the pages of Visor.  There were also the visits from various entertainers, individually, or as part of an organised tour (were they called CSE shows?  It was something like that:  Combined Services Entertainment, perhaps, but I can't remember exactly)  The other source would be the unit magazines which many units produced, again monthly.  As for music, well, it has to be "Yes Sir, I can boogie!"  It seemed to be playing in just about every chogi-wallah's shop I visited during the autumn of 77 and the spring of 78.

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Thankyou so much for the photos, and advice. I've used them already and they have been a great source of conversation for the veterans I'm working with.

I've found out loads myself,  The Navy were involved,  one ship was delivering vehicles for "operation motor man" 1 guy that was stationed on the ship said you could hear bullets bouncing off the hull when they were getting shot at!

Some early troops in the North of NI had their barracks on a ship. 

I think what surprised me most was that when troops first arrived in 69 ,  it was all inner city problems, there were no barracks, or set aside area to set up camps at all, so  they just cordonned off a road and slept there in on the streets, I 'd like to find photos of that, but cameras weren't as available in those days.

Aparently the city kids were a real pain, they'd trip you up and push bins behind you as you'd walk backwards on patrol.

and riding in the back of a pig (Humber) was terrible, the suspension was **** and the seating comfort was non existant so any sleeping policeman you went over would cause massive discomfort to anyone in the back.

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I remember going to Derry during my stint at Ballykelly and seeing a ship there which was being used for accommodation. That would have been in 1973.

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My previous posting struck another memory. Between Ballykelly and Derry is a place called Greysteel. During my year in the area (73/74) a gang of youths would regularly pelt any military vehicles going past, from an elevated position to the west of the road. The coaches were regular targets and one evening on of ours was hit by a number of missiles and got to Derry with smashed windows and broken headlights. As it was on a run to the airport, a replacement was sent out and I went along with spare headlights to make the first one roadworthy so I could drive it back to Ballykelly. In the meantime, the police informed us that Greysteel had been cleared and all was well. Guess what? Greysteel was still full of youths and we also got a pasting. There was an almighty thump right behind me and when we got to Derry we found a 2 foot length of scaffold pole embedded in the bodywork (luckily double skinned). A few feet higher and it would have taken my head off. Luckily, there was no other significant damage, so with the police actually clearing Greysteel, the two coaches got through there later with no problem. That was the closest I got to being injured in NI.

Edited by Ex-boy
Misspelling

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