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  • Major chatter

    British Army Sgt Maj Glenn Haughton (left) talks with US Army Sgt Maj Dan DaileyBritish Army Sgt Maj Glenn Haughton talks to his American counterpart, Sgt Maj Dan Dailey, the US Army’s top enlisted soldier, at the Army Sergeant Majors conference, on September 7 at the Royal Military Academy School Sandhurst.

    Sgt Maj Glenn Haughton was the first soldier to fill the new post in September 2015, which was created to ensure the British Army’s most senior staff understand what life is like for soldiers serving in the British Army.

    He will serve as the Army sergeant major for three years.

  • California calling

    The 26 Regiment RA rugby team tour flew from Germany to California ready for three tough games against teams based in Northern California, for Ex Mansergh Eagle.

    26 Regt RA put in a strong performance but were nonetheless denied victory
    Due to the regiment’s training year commitments, several key players were missing, and several players had to travel down during the lull between Exercise PS2 & 3 from Batus Canada. However, this gave others the opportunity for more game time, notably a couple of young players who have never before represented the regiment.

    With little time to prepare before the first game against the Sacramento Lions, training was conducted every morning up to and including game day, with players then having the rest of the day to recover and explore the local area.

  • Get your skates on

    BFBS breakfast presenter Chris Keen will be skating to the finish line on Saturday, all in aid of the BFBS Big Salute.

    Chris has been training hard to prepare for the roller marathon and hopes to raise over £1,000
    Hoping to raise as much money as possible, Chris has joined forces with his brother Rob Keen to take on the 26 miles, 385 yards as they compete in the Berlin Roller Marathon on September 24.

    It is all for a good cause as the BFBS Big Salute raises money for five forces charities; Blesma The Limbess Veterans, Combat Stress, FAB – Families Activity Breaks, Blind Veterans UK and Veterans Aid.  

  • Boy sends card to grandad in heaven... and receives reply

    Phil’s letter to his grandad resulted in a message from heavenA five-year-old boy couldn’t get over the death of his grandfather, so he attached a card to a helium balloon and let it fly into the sky. His parents were surprised to find a parcel in the post shortly afterwards.

    In the letter written by his mum Manuela, Phil asked his Opa how he was and told him that he hoped everyone in heaven was being nice to him.

    “He was always talking about his grandfather and couldn’t get over his death,” Manuela said.

    The family had expected that to be the last of it, but then a package arrived in the post addressed to Phil. When he opened it, he found a letter and a teddy bear.

  • Bundeswehr troops to join NATO mission

    Germany plans to send up to 650 troops to join a new NATO mission to counter human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea and combat arms smuggling by the Islamic State militant group, Der Spiegel reported.

    The ruling coalition aims to present a plan to parliament for approval shortly, the magazine said. It would call for the German involvement in NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian to last until December 2017.

    The deployment is part of a broader shift by Germany to expand its military role in Europe and NATO. 

    Der Spiegel said that Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told parliamentary leaders in a letter that “terrorist organisations can act unimpeded” because of the lack of government controls along the Mediterranean coast. This presented “significant threats to our security”.

    German ships are also participating in a EU military mission called Sophia to try to combat the smuggling of weapons and people off the Libyan coast.

  • Far-right clashes in eastern town

    Bautzen town officials have tightened rules for refugees following several outbreaks of violence last weekViolence broke out last week between refugees and members of the far-right scene in Bautzen, Saxony. Now local officials have imposed restrictions on the young refugees living there.

    Four young men who participated in the fight on September 14 were taken to other refugee facilities, so that they would no longer have an influence over others, Bautzen officials said.

    Officials also tightened rules in general for the approximately 30 unaccompanied minors living in Bautzen, imposing an alcohol ban and a 7pm curfew.

    The fight broke out after around 80 people from the far-right scene gathered in a town square in the evening and were met by a group of 20 young male refugees.

    Police chief Uwe Kilz said the violence was sparked by the young refugees when they started throwing bottles and pieces of wood at the far right group.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 22, 2016

    Pirate politician found dead

    Berlin – One of the most prominent figures in Germany’s Pirate Party has been found dead in his apartment, one day after he lost his seat in Berlin’s regional parliament to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

    Police found the body of Gerwald Claus-Brunner and that of another man in the politician’s Berlin apartment on Monday night (September 19). While an investigation into the deaths is ongoing and details of the other man’s identity have not been released, officers said evidence suggests the men committed suicide.

    In a statement, the Pirate Party said it had been aware that Claus-Brunner had been suffering from an unspecified sickness.

    Claus-Brunner had been elected to the Berlin parliament in 2011 when the party won 8.9 per cent of the vote and 15 seats.

    His party, which stands for freedom of the Internet and privacy rights, failed to win seats in Sunday’s election, securing less than two per cent of the vote.

  • Chilling and grilling with QRH

    The welfare office barbecue was well attended by QRH families who all enjoyed the time to chat and sit down to a delicious lunch provided by the regiment’s chefsOn September 11, the Queen’s Royal Hussars unit welfare office hosted a families barbecue at Happy Hussars on Athlone Barracks, Sennelager.  

    With the QRH Battlegroup currently deployed on Prairie Storm 3 it was and ideal opportunity for wives and children to get together and also give mums a day off from cooking lunch.

    There was endless fun for the children on the bouncy castlesSome 60 parents and children attended the event and those who did had a great day.

    Fortunately the weather was kind and everyone was able to make the most of the UWO bouncy castles and the toddlers could make full use of the indoor play area.

    As always the chefs provided excellent food and there was plenty for those who wanted seconds. Special thanks go to Cpl Pun for his hard work in preparing and serving the food.

    The day was a huge success and the welfare office team looks forward to seeing everyone again soon.

  • Meningitis and septicaemia jab

    School leavers, particularly those going to university or college this month, are being strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease after figures released on September 19 showed less than a fifth of young people have received the vaccine so far this year.

  • Piercing product infection warning

    Public Health England (PHE) is warning people who have recently had body piercings about an unsafe cleansing spray provided by piercing studios across the country for aftercare use, which may cause severe infection.

    The product, linked to cases of serious infection, has been provided by piercing studios in many parts of the country. It is a 100ml bottled aftercare saline spray and is manufactured by Lion Care Products Ltd.

  • Oktoberfest opens in München

    The Oktoberfest got underway on Saturday as city Mayor Dieter Reiter ceremoniously tapped the first beer keg at noon to open the world’s largest folk and beer festival. “Ozapft is!” the mayor exclaimed, which loosely translates  as ‘It’s tapped!’On the first weekend of the Oktoberfest only half a million people turned up for the beer fest. But there was a more banal reason than security fears to blame.

    In the weeks leading up to this year’s event, which was tapped into life on Saturday by city mayor, Dieter Reiter, several hotels had reported a 10 to 15 per cent drop in bookings on last year.

    After München was stunned by a shooting spree in July, which left 10 people dead and dozens injured, fears over public safety were believed to be the main deterrent to people flocking in their millions to the Bavarian capital to sink some brews.

  • More than 160,000 join German trade deal protest

    Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of seven cities across Germany protesting against transatlantic trade dealsMore than 160,000 demonstrators thronged seven major cities across Germany on Saturday (September 17) in protest over a massive transatlantic trade deal, dealing a new blow to the disputed accord.

    In Berlin, as in München, there was a sea of banners demanding “democracy instead of TTIP” and “share, don’t divide” as people flocked to join the rallies, carrying placards and banners representing dozens of anti-globalisation groups, NGOs, political parties and unions, AFP correspondents said.

  • Merkel party routed in Berlin polls as right-wing AfD gains

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party suffered a historic loss in Berlin state elections on Sunday while the right-wing populist AfD gained fresh support, riding a wave of popular anger over her open-door refugee policy.

    The anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party won a 14.1 per cent share, according to public broadcasters’ projections, in the capital which has long prided itself on being a diverse and multicultural city.

    The strong AfD result, thanks to support especially in the vast tower block districts in Berlin’s former communist east, meant it has now won opposition seats in 10 of Germany’s 16 states, a year ahead of national elections.

  • Blackmailer targets schools with poisoned marzipan

    Police in Kiel have arrested a 38-year-old man suspected of placing poisoned marzipan in a schoolyard as part of an attempt to extort a supermarket chain, the Kieler Nachrichten newspaper reports.

    With fear widespread in the city after a series of threats, parents were most likely dreading the start of a new school week. But at 4am on Monday a special police unit stormed an apartment in the centre of the city and arrested a suspect. 

    Police were confident they had apprehended the right person but stressed that they had not yet closed the investigation.

  • ASD Parent Support Group

    ASD Support Group

  • PRI Shop to open in Bielefeld

    PRI Shop

  • QRH fund-raising for the SSAFA Big Brew

    Pictured from left:  Joanne Payne-Faulkner, Michelle Crumley, Neil Rudd, Sarah Meenan and Karen ComiskeyThe unit welfare officer of the Queen’s Royal Hussars Capt Neil Rudd and a number of QRH wives have decided to boost this year’s QRH SSAFA Big Brew efforts by running the Gütersloh Half Marathon.  

    Karen Comiskey, Sarah Meenan, Michelle Crumley and Joanne Payne-Faulkner will all join Neil on Sunday, November 6 to run 21km around the streets of Gütersloh.

    In his role as the QRH UWO Neil has seen at first hand the great work SSAFA do for soldiers and their families and decided that he should do something to repay them. Having just completed other marathon events another one seemed like a sensible thing to do.

  • QRH charity valeting service

    QRH Coffee Mornings Ca rWashThroughout the month of September on Friday mornings, from 9am to noon, the Queen’s Royal Hussars welfare team are offering a valeting service.  

    With the majority of the regiment currently deployed it is a chance to let someone else do one of the chores which is normally left to husbands to do at the weekends; mums have more than enough to keep them busy while their husbands are away.

  • Cinelink in October

    Cinelink in October

  • Autumn event at Bielefeld Library

    Autumn event

  • RBL Fun Run - October 21

    RBL Fun Run

  • Calling all families in Westfalen Garrison!

    AFF Germany Roadshow – September 28, 10.30am-1pm

    AFF RoadshowThe Army Families Federation (AFF) is hosting a roadshow in Paderborn next Wednesday, September 28 and as many families as possible are encouraged to attend this informative event.

    Pop along to Tigers’ Den, Barker Barracks, from 10.30am to 1pm for the chance to meet Sara Baade, AFF’s Chief Executive, AFF’s Housing and Foreign & Commonwealth Specialists and other AFF staff working to support families in your area.

  • Soldiering On – Nominations

    Soldiering On

  • IOSH – October 17-20


  • Easel does it

    Finishing touches – gifted artist Andy Jenkins, drawdown manager HQ BFG ES Branch, finds painting a very rewarding pastimeBielefeld resident Andy Jenkins kept his vast artistic talents hidden during his Army career, but nowadays he’s happy to share his passion for painting with the BFG community. 

    The former Senior NCO spends at least seven hours a week creating vivid landscapes from his imagination that perfectly capture the beauty of nature. 

    Andy “paints from the heart” and has a natural gift for conveying an emotion to the viewer.

    “I’ve been an artist all my life. I sold my first oil painting aged 10. It was of a clown,” says Andy, who served in the RLC for 22 years and now works for HQ BFG ES Branch as a drawdown manager.

  • What a year!

    Pupils attending King’s Vocational Hub were trilled to receive a combined total of 102 vocational qualifications, together with 41 GCSE maths, English and Functional Skills qualificationsSince PSPS was rebranded and restructured as King’s Vocational Hub (KVH) and became an integral part of King’s School in September 2015, it has enjoyed phenomenal success in such a short period of time.  

    When it first opened its doors this time last year, 51 students enrolled on numerous vocational courses ranging from engineering, customer services, hairdressing, fitness instruction, warehousing and storage, and business administration, to STLS and employability.

    In January 2016, KVH opened its doors for the first time in the newly renovated building previously used for King’s School boarders.  

  • A rally fantastic result

    A team supported by Briggs Defence has helped to raise £120,000 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, after successfully taking part in a 3,000-mile charity drive across Europe.

    Briggs charity drive teams help drive up the funds for SSAFA
    The specialist defence division of engineering services, asset management and equipment supply company, Briggs Equipment, was a key sponsor of the biennial charity event, Rally for Heroes.

  • Meet the forces’ super-humans

    A group of military athletes have made the long journey to Rio to represent their nation once again, only this time in a very different environment.

    Joe placed an impressive sixth in Rio
    Working alongside Help for Heroes, each athlete has discovered the power of sport to change their life during their road to recovery.

    In the last week, three of the eight military athletes in Rio have already claimed medals for Great Britain, which currently sits second in the medals table to the USA.

  • Former British residence goes under the hammer

    HouseThis enchanting villa standing on 922 square metres of land in Herford could be yours – if the price is right.

    Built in 1940 and in possession of the British Forces from 1945 to 2015, the house is situated in Lüderitzstrasse, considered to be a desirable area of the town.

    Federal authority BIMA is putting the property up for sale and will be taking offers from the public. It will go the the highest bidder.

    According to newspaper reports, the house – which has 195 square metres of space – will need some serious renovation before it can be occupied.

  • Schäuble sees scope for tax cuts after 2017 vote

    Germany has scope to cut taxes by around €15 billion after the federal election next September despite increased spending on migrants, finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on September 5.

    Campaigning is under way for next year’s vote and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), of which Schäuble is a member, face a tough challenge after their open-door refugee policy alienated some traditional supporters.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 15, 2016

    Libyan chemical arms delivered

    MÜNSTER – Libya’s last chemical weapons stocks have been delivered to Münster to be prepared for destruction, a global watchdog said last week.

    The destruction of around 500 tonnes of toxic chemical products by GEKA, Germany’s state-owned company for disposing of chemical weapons, will be the last phase of the operation to rid Libya of its stockpile.

    The removal of the dangerous weapons precursors eases fears that extremists like Daesh could gain access to the weapons in Libya, which has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.

  • Half-term fun with AWS in Bielefeld and Gütersloh

    The Army Welfare Service have some great activities lined up for the October half-term holiday. Sign up soon as bookings are on a first come, first served basis.

    Family trip to Legoland Discovery Centre – Monday, October 24

    The Legoland Discovery Centre has Lego attractions and rides to keep fans occupied for hours. Add a visit to CentrO (Europe’s biggest indoor mall), where there are numerous shopping and dining opportunities, and you have a day out to suit the whole family. Special cost to attend: €6 per person (no charge for under 2s).

    Day out in Willingen – Tuesday, October 25

    This is always a popular day out for young people. The trip begins with indoor climbing where participants learn to work in teams and support each other in scaling the walls in the climbing centre. After a packed lunch it’s off to the swimming pool where you can soothe your weary muscles. Special cost to attend: €20 per person aged eight and over. (Under 8s welcome but must be accompanied by a parent.)

    Halloween Horrorfest – Saturday, October 29 

    It’s that time of year again – time to scare the living daylights out of the teenagers with a trip to Movie Park in Bottrop. It’s a long day but arriving back home at midnight is what Halloween is all about. Special cost to attend: €29 per person. School Years 8+.

    How to sign up

    Please call Debbie or Emma to find out where and when you can book any of these events. Information regarding bookings is available from the HIVE, and on unit welfare websites and BFGnet. It will also be advertised on BFBS. 

    Limited places available so book asap!

    Consent forms and further details available from Debbie (Gütersloh) on 01738 873024 or Emma (Bielefeld) on 01722 123198.

  • 26 RA’s Big Weekend Bash

    The parade and presentation of LS&GCM marked the start of 26 Regt RA's Big Bash Weekend26th Regiment Royal Artillery (26 Regt RA) came together for the Big Bash Weekend over Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24.

    The weekend kicked off with a parade on Saturday morning. Major General Skeates returned to Gütersloh as the Inspecting Officer and to present Long Service and Good Conduct medals to soldiers on parade.

    The parade was well attended by families and by former members of the regiment keen to show support for those still serving.

  • Schloss Neuhaus celebrates 1,000 years

    This weekend, September 17/18, Schloss Neuhaus will be celebrating their 1,000th year!

    On Saturday, bands will be performing throughout the night, starting at 7pm.

    Sunday starts with the official opening by the Mayor, followed by a day of entertainment including marching bands and drum corps.

    Come and celebrate with friends and families, and enjoy the atmosphere and events!

  • What's on in the Gütersloh area – 2016

    September 17 – Flea market, 8am – 3pm at the Heidewaldstadion, Brunnenstr 71, Gütersloh.

    September 17/18 – Jürmker Herbstmarkt (autumn festival), Bielefeld–Jöllenbeck.

    September 18 – Football: DSC Arminia Bielefeld v Hannover 96, Schüco-Arena, 1pm. Tickets: €31/€ 18/€ 15.

    September 30–October 2 – Bückeburg Oktoberfest– Friday, September 30 at the Festplatz, Hans-Neschen-Strasse/Kreuzbreite.

    October 13 – Scottish Music Parade at the Gerry Weber Event Centre. Tickets: 05201 8180 or go to:

    October 21 – Bielefeld Oktoberfest, from 6pm at the Seidensticker Halle. Now in its 19th year, the Oktoberfest promises an authentic beer tent atmosphere with genuine Bavarian brass band music and the latest hits. Here is your chance to get your dirndls and lederhosen on and enjoy fun, Bavarian delicacies and a litre of beer.

  • DM recall in salmonella scare

    DM stores and organic product manufacturers Alnatura are recalling sesame products after a sample of the product called ‘dm Bio Sesam’ tested positive for salmonella.

    Only products from Uganda were affected; this information is given on the side of the packaging.

    The list of products that should be returned is as follows:

    ‘DM Bio Sesam 500g’, batches L6601080, L5601142, L5603020, L5603021, L5603030, L5603050 and L5603051

    ‘Alnatura Sesam 500 Gramm’ expiry date: March 3, 2017

    “Alnatura Sesam ungeschält 250 Gramm” expiry date: October 30, 2016

    “Alnatura Saatenmischung (250 Gramm)”, expiry date: December 14, 2016.

    Customers who have purchased any of these products whould return them to any DM store where they will receive a refund.

  • 2 million children living in poverty

    Despite steady growth in the economy and record low unemployment figures, child poverty is on the rise in Germany.

    But the number of minors whose families are supported by welfare varies dramatically from state to state, the Bertelsmann Foundation report on child poverty published on Monday revealed.

  • Know what you’re buying!

    8 tips for buying medicines and medical devices online safely

    1. Look for the distance-selling logo

    All online retailers of medicine operating legally must display it. This is the most reliable way of ensuring you are buying products from a registered and approved online seller of medicines. 

    For more information, you can search the MHRA website to check if a website can legally sell medicines online.

  • Vauxhall product safety recall

    (Reference 16-C-050) for Vauxhall Zafira B Vehicles

    The issue

    Vauxhall are now implementing the second product safety recall for Vauxhall Zafira B vehicles with manual air conditioning or without air conditioning.

    Even if you have already had your vehicle recalled to a Vauxhall/Opel retailer to have rectification work completed (Reference 15-C-097) you will need to complete the second recall under this reference: 16-C-050. 

    This customer advice supersedes all communication and advice you have received to date.

    They are introducing the second recall to improve the robustness of the system. This will complete the introduction of a wax fuse resistor and will improve the robustness of the system.

    Owners will need to complete both recall actions.

  • What's on in the Gütersloh area – 2016

    September 17 – Flea market, 8am – 3pm at the Heidewaldstadion, Brunnenstr 71, Gütersloh.

    September 17/18 – Jürmker Herbstmarkt (autumn festival), Bielefeld–Jöllenbeck.

    September 18 – Football: DSC Arminia Bielefeld v Hannover 96, Schüco-Arena, 1pm. Tickets: €31/€ 18/€ 15.

    September 30–October 2 – Bückeburg Oktoberfest– Friday, September 30 at the Festplatz, Hans-Neschen-Strasse/Kreuzbreite.

    October 13 – Scottish Music Parade at the Gerry Weber Event Centre. Tickets: 05201 8180 or go to:

    October 21 – Bielefeld Oktoberfest, from 6pm at the Seidensticker Halle. Now in its 19th year, the Oktoberfest promises an authentic beer tent atmosphere with genuine Bavarian brass band music and the latest hits. Here is your chance to get your dirndls and lederhosen on and enjoy fun, Bavarian delicacies and a litre of beer.

  • RBL Bingo at Mansergh

    RBL Bingo

  • Read a Classic

    Read a Classic

  • Krafty Kids – Autumn Programme

    Krafty Kids – Autumn Programme

  • Welcome to Michaelis Week

    September 26 – October 4

    Gütersloh town centre

    Daily from 2pm

    Michaelis Week

  • FC Paderborn United recruiting

    FC Paderborn are looking for youngsters aged 12–15 years who want to play competitive football in the local German league for the 2016-2017 season.

    Call the club on on 05254 982 2338 or email: 

  • LVLO closure for staff training

    The Paderborn Local Vehicle Licensing Office (LVLO) will be closed on three days during the next three months as follows for staff training:

    September 23

    October 28

    November 25

  • Vacancy: Sixth Sense Sports Editor


  • Targeting teambuilding

    The Bielefeld Welfare and Community Support Teams enjoyed a day of teambuilding and training at Church House at Lubbecke on August 29.

    After coffee on arrival, everyone set about learning the art of archery – this included several lost arrows ending in the field next door.

    Having had much laughter and fun, all participants enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the chefs at Church House – the reputation of the food at Church House is second to none.

  • King’s School top results

    Sixth form pupils at King’s school were thrilled to receive their exam results on August 18Another great year at King’s School in Gütersloh has been recognised by the excellent standard of results received by pupils on August 18 for A Level & Level 3 BTEC.  

    Alex Foreman, Headteacher, said: “We are so pleased with the commitment, effort and success of our students and delighted this has been reflected in the stunning results our students have achieved. 

    “This year, the hard work of the students and the dedication of the teachers has resulted in record breaking A Level results at King’s and I am so proud of everyone.”

  • Seas the day

    The British Kiel Yacht Club (BKYC) held the final ever Splieth Regatta during the last weekend in  August, as the club will be closing its doors.  

    The British Kiel Yacht Club make the most of their time left by staging the final Splieth RegattaThe regatta was first held in the Autumn of 1945, when the newly formed BKYC held the first post-war regatta in Kiel; this not only helped restart the internationally recognised Kieler Woche, but also became an annual event for the club.  

  • Oktoberfest

    OF 2On the dot of 12 noon on September 17, München’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, will tap the first barrel thus declaring the ‘Wiesn’, as the München people call it, officially open. The festivities continue until October 3.

    What’s the history behind the Oktoberfest? It all started with a horse race which the national guard staged for the people on August 17, 1810 to mark the wedding of the Ludwig Crown Prince of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 

    The race was such a success that it was staged again the following year on the Theresienwiese – the meadow named in honour of the princess. 

  • Bielefeld Butterflies Day Nursery

    Bielefeld Butterflies Day Nursery

  • Contracting, Purchasing and Finance

    Current methods of procuring goods and services in the MOD will change over the next six months with the introduction of Contracting, Purchasing and Finance (CP&F):

    Five things you need to know about CP&F: 

    1. What does CP&F stand for?

    CP&F stands for Contracting, Purchasing & Finance. 

    2. What is Contracting, Purchasing & Finance?

    CP&F is a ‘single, online, end to end procurement system for all MOD procurement activity’. This means that all purchases by the MoD will be made using a single online computer system called CP&F.

    This system will be used from the point the requirement to purchase ‘something’ is identified all the way through to that ‘something’ being delivered and paid for.   

  • State election: Merkel under pressure

    The Chancellor said on Monday that she and the government must reflect on “how we can now win back trust and move forward”Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under renewed pressure over her liberal refugee policy after the anti-migrant populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) defeated her party in her home state.

    The AfD clinched 21 per cent in its first bid for seats in the regional parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Sunday.

    Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) got just 19 per cent in its worst ever score in the northeastern state, while the Social Democrats maintained top place with around 30 per cent.

    AfD’s lead candidate Leif-Erik Holm called it a “proud result for a young party” as the populists secured seats on the opposition benches of the ninth out of 16 regional parliaments.

  • Too poor to retire

    Almost 1million pensioners still working

    More and more senior citizens are ‘mini-jobbing’ in Germany to supplement their pensionsAccording to the latest figures from the employment ministry, the number of retirees still in employment has increased by 22 per cent since 2010 to 943,000. Ten years ago this was less than 700,000.

    A particularly large increase has been reported among pensioners aged 75 and over. By the end of 2015, just under 176,000 seniors in this age group were working in a so-called ‘mini-job’ – or part-time jobs paying €450 a month. This is a sharp increase and amounts to more than twice as many as in 2005.

    Left party politician Matthias Birkwald said the increase in mini-jobbing pensioners shows that more and more retirees are supplementing their retirement benefits.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 8, 2016

    Recall of 630,000 vehicles starts

    FLENSBURG – The government has announced the start of a voluntary recall of 630,000 vehicles to fix emissions irregularities uncovered in the wake of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal.

    The federal transport authority Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) said in a statement it would begin with refits for 10,500 Porsche Macan 4x4s.

    An enquiry in April found that the diesel-powered Macans were among a number of car brands that deactivate exhaust treatment features below a certain outside temperature and therefore does not meet European emissions standards for pollutants.

    Across Europe, the VW group – which owns 12 brands ranging from lower-end Skoda and Seat to luxury Audi and Bentley – plans to recall around 8.5 million vehicles over the emissions cheating scandal.

  • Changes to FFR, LOA and COLA – September 2016

    All BFG personnel are advised that from September 1, 2016, the Forces Fixed Rate (FFR) is €1.18 per £.

    The FFR changes when commercial exchange rates move against sterling either +/-5 per cent on average over four weeks or +/-3 per cent sustained over 13 weeks.

    Changes to FFR are calculated on the second Monday of each month for publication on the first day of the following month along with the associated LOA rates. 

  • Sun and fun at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic

    The children were well entertained with lots of activities including listening to the story about when the tiger came to teaDelighted children gathered in the August sunshine to enjoy the latest Home-Start Bielefeld event.

    Clutching their favourite teddy bear, children enjoyed the picnic held at Lake House on Catterick Barracks.

    There were lots of games too and all the running around meant everyone was ready for a delicious picnicDuring the morning, children played games, read a story, blew bubbles and had a teddy bear hunt in the garden.  There were two age groups – under five and over five – and the thrilled winner from each group won a prize.

    One tot tucks in to a tasty treatAfter all the fun and games, the children had worked up an appetite and tucked into their picnics with enthusiasm.  

    Home-Start Bielefeld Secretary, Theresa Lam, said: “It was very kind of the staff at Lake House to give us permission to use the garden. It was a lovely sunny day at Lake House.

    Time for a break and for some the highlight of the morning – a picnic in the sunshine“Both the parents and children enjoyed the event very much.”

    For more information pop into Home-Start Bielefeld or call 0521 9254 3121.

  • Paderborn Equestrian Challenge 2016

    Thursday, September 8 – Sunday, September 11 at the Schützenhof, Schutzenplatz 1,  33102 Paderborn

    The Equestrian Challenge is a show-jumping tournament that takes place in Paderborn and is for all the family to enjo. Go along and watch one of the last tournaments of the season.

    Visit the website for more information and ticket

  • Mansergh Barracks Medical Centre – Important Notice

    Please note there will be no telephone communications to Mansergh Barracks Medical Centre from 8am on Wednesday, September 7 until 5pm on Friday, September 9.

    This is due to on-going telephone work at Mansergh Barracks.

    If you are a Gütersloh patient and need to contact the medical centre during normal working hours, please call Bielefeld Medical Centre on 0521 9254 3131.

    If assistance is required outside normal working hours and over the weekend please also call Bielefeld Medical Centre on 0521 9254 3131 and your call will be redirected to the Telephone Assessment Service (TAS).

    Normal service will resume at 8am on Monday, September 12.

    In the event of an emergency, please dial 112.

    Apologies for this issue and any inconvenience that this may cause.

  • Performance by the Band of the Irish Guards

    Performance by the Band of the Irish Guards at the Sparrenburg castle

  • Free concert, Bielefeld

    The Free Symphony Orchestra (FSO) will be performing works by Handel, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and other composers at a

    FREE concert on Sunday, September 11, at 6pm

    The concert is at the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle, Grosser Saal, Lampingstr 16, 33615 Bielefeld.

  • ‘Confused’ mum sparks airport evacuation

    Terminal 1 of Frankfurt airport was evacuated on August 31 due to a security alert caused by a transit passengerA mother travelling with her two children sparked a partial evacuation of Germany’s busiest airport and ensuing flight complications on August 31, apparently because she misunderstood security procedures.

    Frankfurt airport was partially evacuated for several hours last Wednesday when officials realised that someone had managed to slip past the security checks. 

    About 100 flights were cancelled due to the security alert and others were delayed.

  • €58 million investment in Turkish airbase

    The multimillion investment in Incirlik airbase will be used to build an airfield for Tornado aircraft, a mobile command post and accommodation for the BundeswehrTensions have been high between Germany and Turkey after Ankara has repeatedly blocked German politicians from visiting soldiers at a Turkish airbase. But Berlin still plans to invest some €58 million in that base, according to Spiegel.

    According to information obtained by Spiegel Online and published on Tuesday, the Defence Ministry has released a budget totalling €58 million to go towards German forces stationed at the Turkish Incirlik airbase, which is used to launch missions against terror group Daesh.

    Some €26 million of the investment in the airbase will go towards building a private airfield for the German Tornado reconnaissance jets stationed at the base, as well as accommodation for the soldiers.

    Another €30 million will go towards a modern, mobile command post for the soldiers.

  • Travel to UK via French channel ports

    There has been a spate of attacks on civilian cars as they approach the Tunnel and Calais port during hours of darkness. 

    People, thought to be illegal migrants, are either lying down in the road or placing tree limbs in the road to slow traffic; they then attack vehicles with metal bars or stones causing significant damage.

    It is believed that the intention is to attract a police response, taking them away from other duties, which then enables others to get into heavy goods vehicles.

  • Advice for boarding school and university students

    Congratulations and well done to those of you who have recently received your exam results. 

    Below is a short list of things that first time boarding school and university students may wish to think about before leaving BFG. This is aimed specifically at entitled dependant children under 25 years of age. 

  • Krafty Kids in September

     Krafty Kids will be holding lots more fun events this month. They include:

    Autumn Collage Pictures – September 13

    Canvas Painting Day – September 20

    Wooden Spoons Puppets – September 27

    Go along to Block 26C, Catterick Barracks or tel: 0521 9254 3121 for more information.

  • Booth for rent – Paderborn community hub

    Space for rentEmpty booth for rent in Paderborn

    A space is available for hire in the Paderborn community hub. Closing date: September 30.

    If interested, call Maureen Lea on 05254 9822016 for details.

  • Paderborn Military Wives Choir – Newbie Night

    MWC Paderborn Newbie Night on September 19

  • Paderborn Ladies Netball – September

    Paderborn Ladies Netball meets on Tuesdays

  • A look back at the beautiful game

    On September 26, the German Football Museum in Dortmund will give a presentation in English about the beautiful game with guest Andy Walsh from Manchester United.

    Modern game vs football culture
    The event starts at 8pm and entry is €7. This event forms part of the museum's exhibition around English football and the fans to mark the 50th Anniversary of England winning the World Cup. The exhibition runs until January 15, 2017. 

    For further information on the German Football Museum please call into your local HIVE.


  • A load of bull!

    Joint celebrations as the winners – Bazi and Michael Pfatrisch – receive the Münsing Ox Race trophyOnly the most important sporting events happen every four years: the World Cup, the Olympics and... the Münsing Ox Race!

    Jockeys lined up on Sunday, August 29, for the start of the sixth Münsing Ox Race – bull-running, but Bavarian style.

    Unlike in Spain, where many villages hold bull runs in the summer, the competitors in the small southern  farming town were riding the bulls. And this being Bavaria, they were clad in Lederhosen and wore felt hats.

  • Mothers to come clean on ‘milkmen’s kids’

    Justice minister, Heiko Maas, said mothers could only keep a biological father’s identity secret when there were serious reasonsGermany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

    The measure, dubbed the ‘milkmen’s kids law’ in the media, is to pass the cabinet as early as Wednesday (August 31) before heading to parliament.

    It would apply to cases in which men who believe they are not the real fathers seek financial compensation in court.

    “We need to offer more legal protection for ‘false’ fathers to seek recourse,” Maas said.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 1, 2016

    Death of former president Scheel

    BERLIN – Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for Germany’s rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party’s spokesman said on August 24.

    Scheel, who led the Free Democrats (FDP), served as foreign minister in Willy Brandt’s centre-left coalition from 1969 to 1974, a period during which he spearheaded key agreements with the Eastern bloc.

    President Joachim Gauck paid tribute to Scheel, who he said “made a lasting contribution to understanding and reconciliation on our continent.”

    Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described Scheel as “one of the pioneers of Germany’s Ostpolitik [Eastern policy]”.

    “The treaties negotiated by Walter Scheel, including with the Soviet Union and Poland as well as other Eastern bloc agreements, were historic landmarks of the policy of detente that led to German reunification and ended the division of Europe,” he said in a statement.

    Scheel served as chancellor for nine days in 1974 after Brandt’s resignation following a spying scandal. He was elected as president later that year, a post which he held until 1979.

  • Baby Clinic move

    Paderborn Station Baby Clinic has moved to the Children’s Service Centre Sennelager Medical Centre on Normandy Barracks. Meetings every Thursday, 9.30am–11am. Tel: 05254 982 4807.

  • Let the music free your body

    Sylvia Lane is currently teaching Zumba in Bielefeld – and everyone is encouraged to take part.

    The sessions are in Catterick Barracks gym on Monday and Thursday evening from 5.30pm–6.30pm and in Rochdale Barracks gym on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime from 12.30pm–1pm.  

    Sylvia says: “It is only 30 minutes because many people do not get any longer for their lunch break. However, it is 30 minutes away from your desk and workplace, and it is fun-packed.” 

    She adds: ‘There is no requirement to be musical or coordinated, you just need to know that you will have a good time and get some exercise at the same time.”

    You can find Sylvia on Facebook under Bielefeld Fitness, or  call her at 0162 4466420.

  • All aboard the Tierpark Express

    Children, parents and community support and welfare team members in Bielefeld ready for a fun day outFamily members from the Bielefeld military community joined the unit welfare office and their team on a unique train journey to the Tierpark in Bielefeld. 

    An excited group of adults and children congregated on Catterick Barracks ready for a fun day out.

    Intrigued bystanders watched as the train first drove around camp before leaving for the Tierpark.

    LCpl Mark Slinger did a fantastic job of manning the meeting point where families could pick up their packed lunches and hampers. He even provided the families with refreshments and sweets for the children.

    After a tour round Catterick Barracks, the train leaves for the TierparkOn arrival at the park everyone had plenty of time to explore the area and see the whole range of animals on display – from mice and otters to brown bears and wild cats.

    Maddy Stephenson said: “Thank you for an amazing trip. We saw some beautiful birds and travelling in the train was fun and made the day an adventure.”

    The day was enjoyed by all involved and is an excellent showcase for the hard work the Community Support team put in for the families based in Bielefeld.

  • FREE screening: Pete’s Dragon

    To celebrate the opening of the new Mansergh Hall Cinema, SSVC Forces Cinemas are holding a free screening of Pete’s Dragon at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 10.

    Jennifer Holdford, Cinema Operations Manager, said: “Following the closure of Princess Royal Barracks we relocated the Royal Theatre Cinema to Mansergh Hall – we’re thrilled that the existing team will be running the new facility. 

    “The Service community in Gütersloh will continue to enjoy the latest film releases as the new cinema is equipped with the 3D projection and sound equipment that was removed from the Royal Theatre.”

    There will also be a free raffle on the day to win some exclusive Pete’s Dragon movie merchandise. Free entry for all to the film will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    For details about future screenings at the new Mansergh Hall Cinema and other SSVC Forces Cinemas visit: or connect via social media: @SSVCCinemas and

  • Buoy, what a send-off

    After 71 years British Forces say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to the city of Kiel and the state of Schleswig-Holstein

    Major Adrian Pery, Commandant of Kiel Training Centre, left, salutes as the Union Flag is lowered at the sunset ceremonyFormer Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, participated as British Forces said farewell in style to the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the city of Kiel.  

    Local German dignitaries also attended a sunset ceremony for the presentation of the federal Fahnenband (honour ribbon) – one of the federal government’s highest military honours – to the Kiel Training Centre.

    Lord Richards, the Admiral of the British Kiel Yacht Club, and Brigadier Ian Bell, the Commander of British Forces Germany, were invited to the Rathaus for a civic
    reception hosted by Dr Ulf Kämpfer, the Oberbürgermeister of the city of Kiel.

    They then headed to the government of Schleswig-Holstein to meet Torsten Albig, the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein.

  • Gütersloh Military Wives Choir rehearsals

    Gütersloh Military Wives Choir