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  • Haig School Summer Fair


  • Army chief calls for ‘massive’ funding boost

    The Bundeswehr (German army) Chief of Staff Bruno Kasdorf claimed last week that he faces a funding shortage of €4 billion. 

    “The financing situation today is clearly insufficient,” the army’s most senior soldier told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, complaining that the army had been under-financed since 1990.

    With an eye on continuing fighting in Ukraine and threats to other Eastern European Nato members, Kasdof said that: “Restocking our munitions is not sufficient, we are way behind on modernising our equipment; it is also imperative that we add to our munitions stocks.”

    He conceded that defence minister Ursula von der Leyen had started on the path of reform but warned that: “In the middle term it isn’t sufficient – the required investment is huge.”

  • Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink

    Fuming: Interior Minister Thomas de MaizièreThieves have stolen toilet seats, taps and loo paper holders from the new interior ministry building in Berlin, making it difficult for beaurocrats to get comfortable in their new surroundings.

    “In the days before the move, in association with the furnishing and final cleaning of the offices, in a few circumstances the usability of sanitary systems was impaired,” waffled a spokesperson for the ministry to the Berliner Zeitung on Monday.

    Or as one employee put it: “Many of the toilets are unusable.”

    Whole toilet areas in the €208 million building were stripped of their fittings, according to the Berliner Zeitung.

  • Happy Birthday!

    HH policeA man who left a rucksack containing €44,000 in Hamburg central station had it returned to him by police on Thursday – the day of his 92nd birthday.

    An employee at the station had found the rucksack last Sunday afternoon and was shocked to discover that it contained €34,000 in cash and a further €10,000 in a savings book. Police were informed and were able to confirm the ownership of the contents.

    The man from Rhineland-Palatinate arrived at the station last Wednesday – the day of his 92nd birthday – to receive what was surely a very welcome birthday surprise.

    The size of the find seems to be quite extraordinary.

    “I have been doing this job for 15 years and I have never heard of such a huge amount of money being found,” a Hamburg police press spokesperson said.

  • Bavarian Queen of the hops crowned

    The Bavarian Brewers Association have elected the Bierkönigin (beer queen) for 2015/2016, a much coveted title in Germany’s home of beer.

    The winner of the honour this year is 25 year-old Marlene Speck from Starnberg, near Munich.

    Marlene Speck’s interest in brewing beer was sparked following a trip to Canada – she has been creating her own special brews ever since“I’m incredibly pleased, and it’s unbelievable that I’m going to represent the drink that has such a special place in my heart and is so closely linked to my home,” said Speck just after her coronation in Munich last week.

    This honour may only date back to 2009, but beer and tradition are pretty much synonymous in Bavaria.

  • Police discover Hitler’s long-lost bronze horses

    The horses were discovered in a warehouse in Bad DürkheimPolice have recovered two life-sized bronze sculptures of horses worth millions that once stood outside Adolf Hitler’s chancellery but which vanished in the year the Berlin Wall fell. 

    Police said they had found the long-lost masterpieces, commissioned by the Third Reich on May 20, in a warehouse in Bad Dürkheim after staging 10 raids in five states targeting eight suspected members, aged 64 to 79, of a ring of illegal art dealers.

    The artworks included the monumental horse sculptures and granite reliefs by sculptors Josef Thorak and Arno Breker, police said.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 28, 2015

    Police tighten southern borders

    MUNICH – German authorities have reintroduced border controls two weeks before the leaders of the G7 economies gather in Elmau, southern Bavaria.

    Munich federal police chief Hubert Steiger told reporters that the southern border between Freilassing and Lindau would be under the heaviest controls.

    Under normal circumstances, there are no border checks on people moving between countries that are party to the Schengen Agreement, but the rules of the pact allow states to declare temporary exceptions to the rule.

    Police hope to prevent a repeat of anti-capitalist demonstrations in Frankfurt in March which drew large numbers of violent protesters from outside Germany, especially Italy.

  • Paderborn Station’s fantastic fund-raisers

    The Paderborn Station community has raised over €5,500 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust to help the earthquake stricken people of Nepal

    On Saturday, April 25, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. It severely shook the lives of over eight million people and has left many homeless.

    Nepal’s major cities, including its capital city Kathmandu, have been badly damaged and rural areas near the epicentre have been completely cut off by avalanches.

    Already more than 6,000 people have been confirmed dead and the figure is likely to continue to rise significantly.

    The military community has once again shown compassion and generosity as various events have taken place across Paderborn Station to raise much needed money to help the people of Nepal.

  • New PRI Shop

    This month work started on the further development of the Paderborn Community Centre in Otto-Hahn Strasse, Sennelager. 

    After several months of planning we are now in a position to confirm that a new PRI shop will take up some of the space currently occupied by NAAFI and will offer a range of fragrances, stationery and gifting products.

    The PRI shop will enhance the current facility at Otto-Hahn Strasse which already includes the NAAFI Families shop, SSVC, the HIVE, central bank, post office and library.

    Occupying the centre of the building, opposite the Coffee Forum, the PRI shop will be an integral part of the Community Centre going forward.

  • Visit by Holt's Military Banking


    Dedicated banking for Serving personnel and families

    Base Admin OfficePrincess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh 

    Tuesday, June 16, 9.30am – 3pm 

    New current accounts with cheque books

    Savings accounts – ISAs 

    Mortgages – special arrangements

    General admin queries – PINs, cards etc 

    Personal confidential financial advice

    Everyone welcome

    Holt’s Military Banking, 31-37 Victoria Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 7NR. Tel: 0044 1252 893962. 

    Authorised by the Prudential Regulation and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

  • Drink Driving – Be Aware!


    Beware the morning after! You could be over the legal limit many hours after your last drink.

    There is no excuse for drink driving – alcohol affects everybody’s driving for the worse.

    If you are planning to drink alcohol, plan how to get home without driving.

    For more information contact Crime Reduction SNCO 110 Pro Coy 1 RMP
    Tel: 05254 982 2467 or Sennelager Mil (79) 2467.

  • King's School The Arts Evening


  • RUGC Paderborn

    Do you love rugby?

    Want to make new friends?

    Want to play and learn/train your rugby skills?

    Then come along the the Rugby Union Garrison Club (RUGC) Paderborn.

    Season training starts on May 28. Thereafter sessions will be held every Monday (6pm–9pm), Wednesday (6pm–9pm), Thursday (7pm–9pm).

    Location: Senne 1, 33175 Bad Lipspringe.

    For more information call Zak Bredin on 01525 3473251 or email:

  • Barkers Bingo


  • 51 AEC Language and Vocational Courses

    Gütersloh Army Education Centre (51 AEC) has languages courses coming up in June and July for Gütersloh and Bielefeld Stations, as well as some vocational courses leading to qualifications.


    For more information and to sign up contact 51 AEC Group, Block 45, Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh. Tel: Mil 94783 3413 or 05241 843413. Email:

  • FA Cup Final at the Victory Club


  • The missional monk speaks at SASRA conference in BFG

    Over the second weekend of May, 66 individuals from BFG travelled to Lübbeke to attend the first of two SASRA (The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association) conferences this year.

    The group listened to guest speaker the Revd Carl GidneyThe guest speaker from Cardiff, the Revd Carl Gidney led the weekend.   Carl had recently returned from speaking tours of Sri Lanka and India.

  • 1 Regt RLC Reign

    With a goal in the final minute of the game, 1 Regiment RLC overcame 35 Engineers to become this year’s BA(G) Major Units champions.

    After competing throughout the season in the Major Units League the final came down to Gütersloh-based 1 Regt RLC and Paderborn based 35 Engr Regt. From the start, both sides wasted no time in pushing for the first goal.

    1 Regt RLC celebrate their 2-1 victory35 Engr Regt had the first real opportunity of the game but were not able to convert it into a goal. 1 Regt RLC were quick to turn the flow of play around and were soon on the counter-attack, but fell short as the ball was slotted wide.

  • Glad rags and handbags

    Friends – old and new – enjoyed an evening of beauty treatments and the chance to win great raffle prizesOn Monday, May 4, the Headquarters Squadron Bar at QDG was transformed into a place for relaxation for the Ladies Pamper Night. 

    The idea for the night came during a wives’ meeting back in February from Jo Symonds as a suggestion to bring together the QDG wives for a well-deserved treat prior to their move back to Swanton Morley. 

    A team of wives then set about recruiting local beauty therapists and stall holders to make the night possible.

  • She’s got high hopes....

    Ann Sophie gets set to take on the rest of Europe (and Australia) at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday

    Ann-Sophie will represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on SaturdayThis Saturday Germany’s Eurovision Song Contest entrant Ann Sophie will carry the expectations of the nation on her shoulders. Has she got what it takes to win one of the most (un)prestigious prizes in music?

    Ann Sophie will be flying the flag for Germany in Vienna at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with her song Black Smoke.

    On an evening of outrageous choreography, brilliantly trashy euro-pop and general silliness, there is still room for songs with meaning.

    Ann Sophie says her song deals with “a situation that many of us are familiar with: being in a long-term relationship and eventually realising that too many wishes have gone unfulfilled and you just can’t be together anymore”.

  • It's only naturl-ize

    At home in Germany, Campbell ShillinglawSporting a kilt and sporran, proud Scotsman and expat Campbell Shillinglaw picked up his certificate of German citizenship last week in Bad Driburg.

    After passing German language and general knowledge tests, and interviews with the authorities, Campbell finally got his dual nationality.

    The 61-year-old left his hometown of Cumbernauld in 1990 to move to Germany after falling in love with Petra – now his wife – during a visit to the country.

    The Scot has lived in Bad Driburg-Neuenheerse near Höxter since 2001 and says he feels right at home.

  • King’s did Rock You

    Four stars of the King’s School production of We Will Rock You, on stage and giving it their allIt came, it happened and, yes, we rocked! All thanks to the talented students of King’s School in Gütersloh who performed in the school production of King’s Will Rock You in March at Mansergh Hall on Mansergh Barracks.

    They all did the Queen songs justice; the singing, acting and dancing were outstanding. The students’ ages ranged between 11 and 18 years and each and every one performed excellently.

  • Bus and Coach Service – Survey Results

    Firstly many thanks to all who took the time to complete the Bus and Coach Transport survey – online or hard copy. Your feedback has been essential in helping us to understand how the service is meeting your needs and where we can make improvements.

    The new service was launched in September 2014 and following an initial bedding down period, the customer survey was launched in February with over 500 responses being received.

    These responses provided a variety of views and importantly reflected that overall most users were happy with the services being provided with 91 per cent of Red Bus users and 83 per cent of the ATS users being Very Satisfied or Satisfied.

    There was however room for improvement and the following action points were identified.


    Where possible improvements have already been put in place and work is continuing in other areas with further announcements planned as major changes are introduced.

    In the meantime, your use of the comments/feedback process will help us to ensure that the service continues to provide what you the customer wants.

  • Local Overseas Allowance

    HQ BFG is aware that parts of the community have voiced concerns about the recent reduction to LOA resulting from the change to the Forces Fixed Rate of exchange.

    We understand your concerns because we are also affected by the changes. That’s why we have represented through the chain of command the impact this has had on personnel in Germany. 

    The FFR influence on LOA is, however, a mathematical calculation, over which we have no influence.

    It is not Germany specific; it impacts Service personnel throughout the world. We don’t expect this calculation to change any time soon.

  • Clinical Measurements Department Relocation - Update

    The Clinical Measurements Department (Audiology & Ophthalmology) has new contact details as of May 25. They are: 

    Clinical Measurements Department

    Building 141

    Normandy Barracks

    BFPO 16

    Tel: 05254 982 4942/4943 or Mil: 79 4942/4943

  • NEW! Laughternoons Club

    The Home-Start Laughternoons Club meets every Tuesday, from 1pm to 2.30pm, at the Village Hall, Arndtstrasse in Paderborn.

    This is a parent and child group full of fun activities for up to four-year-olds.

    Come along, join in with other parents and children and enjoy a nice afternoon.

  • Rail strike ends tonight – Update

    Deutsche Bahn

    Train drivers agree to end strike at 7pm Thursday (May 21)

    German railways operator Deutsche Bahn today announced an end to a strike that had paralysed rail travel in the country, after the feuding sides agreed to mediation.

    "Thousands of customers can breathe easier: the GdL (train driver union) strike is over with immediate effect," said a Deutsche Bahn (DB) statement, adding that it and the union had agreed overnight to have a mediator appointed to settle their months-long dispute over wages, work hours and negotiating rights.

    The strike, the ninth stoppage in less than a year, began on Tuesday, initially affecting freight trains, but was extended to passenger services from 2am on Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of two thirds of long-distance passenger services.

  • Garage Sale Fund-Raiser - May 31

    GarageSaleDue to the great success of the last garage sale, a second sale will be held on May 31. Please come along and help raise funds for Cyprus Dogs.

  • Safari Crafts

    Safari Crafts

  • BFPO counter services

    The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) counters throughout NWE will be closed on the following dates:

    Monday, May 25 (German public holiday – Whitsun)

    Thursday, June 4 (German public holiday – Corpus Christi)

  • Wild West Party


  • Celebrate volunteers

    Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign which takes place on June 1-7 and celebrates the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK and BFG.

    Every year, more than 20 million people across the UK volunteer, donating more than 100 million hours to their communities every week.

    It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy.

    Volunteers’ Week focuses on saying ‘thank you’ to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and to recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK. 

    For ideas to say thank you to that special volunteer, visit the website:

  • A good way to kilt time

    Ex-soldier and Scotsman William McLeary, left, and son  Sebastian, organisers of the Bünde open-air festival, with a fantastic tartan covered VW Beetle which can be won in a raffle during the eventTwo jocks who know how to rock are staging their second open-air festival in Bünde.

    Scotsman and former British Army soldier William McLeary and his son Sebastian are the duo behind Rock the Kilt 2, a four-day event with an impressive line-up of musical acts.

    After last year’s successful inaugural festival, they are hoping to attract more than 10,000 punters to Bünde between June 3 and 6 to enjoy the best of Celtic rock music.

    “We’ll have a bigger stage, new food stalls and a lot more drink on offer,” said William, who is originally from Perth.

  • Neglect will not go unchecked

    Protecting children is your responsibility too, so what can you do about it? Most children enjoy happy childhood experiences within their own family. 

    Unfortunately, for some this is not the case. During difficult family times everyone has a responsibility to protect children from harm.

  • Battle of Plaman Mapu remembered

    Borneo campaign Service medalThe Battle of Plaman Mapu, on April 27, 1965, saw 36 members of B Company 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), on operations in Borneo, defend their company location from 400 elite Indonesian soldiers.

    50 years ago their camp on the Malay border with Indonesia was attacked in a dawn raid.

  • Sci-Fi fans will beam

    Visitor dresses up for FedCon in 2014Science fiction aficionados in BFG who attend Europe’s largest science fiction convention will have more surprises than they can shake a laser sword at.

    FedCon  – short for Federation Convention – has been held in Germany each spring since 1992, with this year’s event taking place at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf from May 21 to 24.

  • Chrome beauties

    Just some of the many cars on display at the Fifties Americana showYou’ll feel as if you’ve just landed in a corny 1960s Elvis film should you go to the retro Americana festival in Kaunitz on May 30-31.

    Organiser Markus Wiessing is a jukebox junkie who is turned on by tailfins, rockabilly and the 1950s and 1960s USA in general. 

  • Another great moment in time

    Albert Hammond’s tour comes to BielefeldSuccessful recording artists such as Whitney Houston, Art Garfunkel, Diana Ross, Ace of Base and Joe Cocker have recorded his songs.

    They have all topped the charts thanks to singer-songwriter Albert Hammond, who has changed the Bielefeld venue of his tour to KuKs-Halle, Meisenstrasse on May 20.

  • Who's going to urn the trophy?

    For the eighth year in a row Lord’s Cricket Ground will host the Inter-Services Twenty20 Tournament on Thursday, June 11, 2015.

    L to R: Neil Rayner, from Gullivers Sports Travel, sponsors; David Morgan, president of the MCC; RAF team captian Flt James Iago; LCpl Jacques Prinsloo, Army team captain; Lt Cdr Jonathan Parker, Royal Navy team captain; VAdm Peter Hudson, chairman of Combined Services Cricket Association; Mr David Murray, SSAFA presidentIt is the eighth year that Services cricket has been hosted by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s, and the sixth year running for the Inter-Services Twenty20 Tournament.

    The Inter-Services Twenty20 Tournament is a triangular competition between the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force senior XI sides and is fiercely competitive; the Army will be looking to retain their crown having won for the last two years running.

  • Bitter-sweet for Army

    In front of a record crowd of 81,116 at Twickenham, the Army defeated the Royal Navy in the 98th Army Navy match for the Babcock Trophy.

    The Army entered Twickenham under pressure. Their defeat to a resurgent Royal Air Force meant that retaining the title was beyond them, with the RAF winning the inter-services title for the first time in 21 years.

    From the outset it was clear that the Army were on their game. Led by skipper Darrell Ball, the forwards were powerful and Jack Prasad was able to pull the Navy defence out of alignment to create space for Nacamavuto, Rokoduguni and in particular Bulumakau in the outside backs.

  • Camper chaos as dealership catches fire

    Smoke from the fire at the motorhome dealership in Bielefeld-Heepen last Friday could be seen across the cityClouds of thick black smoke could be seen hovering over Bielefeld last Friday (May 8) when 40 new campervans were destroyed by a massive freak fire.

    Some 164 firefighters in 33 engines rushed to an RV dealership on the Ostring at 10am after a used camper caught fire as it was being repaired.

    However, by the time they arrived, the blaze had already spread to a row of brand-new vehicles and an adjacent workshop hall and it took eight hours to extinguish.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 14, 2015

    Germany grounds A400M airplane

    BERLIN – Germany, along with Britain and Turkey, said on Sunday it was temporarily grounding its Airbus A400M military transport plane after one crashed near Seville airport in Spain during a test flight.

    A spokesman for the German armed forces told the AFP news agency they had decided to “suspend until further notice the test flights of the German defence forces’ sole A400M”.

    “Now we are awaiting results from Airbus on why the A400M crashed near Seville. We are in constant contact with Airbus,” the spokesman added.

    The A400M is designed to transport troops and materiel, including armoured vehicles and helicopters, over great distances at high speeds.

  • How Darth Vader is getting German cyclists to wear helmets

    The new campaign is sure to grab attentionIs Darth Vader a good role model? He’s the poster boy for a new campaign aimed at getting Germans to wear their bicycle helmets. 

    Darth Vader, the heavy-breathing, ominous black-clad Sith Lord, is the most famous helmet wearer in the entire galaxy.

    Now the central character of the popular Star Wars saga is to be at the centre of a German campaign to get more people to wear a bike helmet, which is not legally compulsory in Germany.

  • Half marathon – full pain

    13,500 extreme athletes take on Strongman Run at Nürburgring

    It’s called the “mother of all obstacle runs”: a half marathon distance which packs a punch! 

    Up for the challenge: competitors in the Strongman Run held at the Nürburgring race circuit on Saturday. The 23km obstacle course includes 34 water hazards, tunnels, climbs and slides. The winner of this year’s race clocked in at 1:36:57Climbing nets, ice-cold water pools, deep mudholes, electrical shocks and steep water slides were just a few of the 17 obstacles which had to be tackled by thousands of athletes – twice – at the Nürburgring race track last Saturday.

    And tackle them they did, the 13,500 competitors in this year’s Strongman Run, one of the toughest and biggest races of its kind. 

    Apart from the personal challenge, having fun and team spirit is what makes this race such a unique event. Functional shirts and lycra shorts are often replaced by knight’s armour, Borat mankinis, viking garb, Superman costumes and many other crazy disguises.

  • BFGHS Charity Mini Brew

    CupcakeIn order to try and raise as much money as possible for the Nepalese communities affected by the disastrous earthquake that shook the country on April 25, the BFG Health Service will be holding a Mini Brew.

    Everyone in Bielefeld Station is invited to come along for some cake and a brew in exchange for a small personal donation.

    We would really like to see as many of you there as possible for this worthy cause.

    Date: Thursday, May 21, 10am – noon. 

    Location: HQ BFGHS, Lake House, in the garden (weather permitting, otherwise indoors).

    All donations to go to the Nepal earthquake appeal.

  • AWS May half-term programme – Herford

    The Army Welfare Service in Herford has organised some great activities for the half-term holiday.

    Tuesday, May 26 – Family Trip to Dortmund Thier-Galerie, €5pp.

    Wednesday, May 27 – Sports and Crafts Day Bielefeld and Gütersloh, age 8+, €5pp.

    Thursday, May 28 – Movie-Park, age 11+, €20pp.

    Friday, May 29 – Laser Quest, age 11+, €10pp.

    To book and for more information call Emma Twyford on 01722 123198.

  • Gratitude for Nepal earthquake relief

    Big appetites and big hearts: a huge turn-out at the Herford curry lunch last week means that the station’s Nepalese community has raised a fantastic €3,800 for the earthquake appealThe Herford Nepalese community would like to express their gratitude and thanks to all those who overwhelmingly supported the curry lunch held at Hammersmith Barracks and donated to the Nepal earthquake appeal on May 7. 

    Due to the generosity of those who attended, more than €3,000  was raised including the raffle draw.

  • Fun-tastic day at Haig School

    Crumbs! That takes the cake!

    Nepal Earthquake Appeal

    Tucking into the scrummy sweet treats at the Haig School cake saleHaig School in Gütersloh saw two charitable events running parallel on Friday, May 1. 

    In support of the British Red Cross and the charity work they are doing in Nepal following the earthquake disaster, a letter was sent out to parents at Haig school asking for cake donations so a cake sale could be held in the school playground during the morning breaks. 

    Having invited all parents to send their children into school with cakes for the sale, the organisers suddenly found that they literally had a lot on their plate.

  • 1 PWRR CO Spouses Brief

    The 1 PWRR Commanding Officer Spouses Brief will be held on Thursday, May 21, from 6pm to 7.30pm, in the Tigers Den, Barker Barracks.

    The following topics will be covered: A look back at the last four months and a look forward to the next six months and beyond, the COs State of the Nation (general views) and questions. Refreshments will be provided, including a curry.

    Please let the welfare clerk know if you will be attending and if you require transport. Contact Kayleigh via the Tigresses Facebook page or call 05251 101823.

  • Fund-raising in style

    Pupils proudly wore their traditional dress for Bishopspark School’s mufti day to raise funds for Nepal’s earthquake victimsBishopspark School in Paderborn had a charity event last Thursday to raise money to help the people of Nepal after the devastating earthquakes. 

    Staff and pupils joined in the event and raised over €1,500 for the appeal

  • Football cake bake

    The cake bake sale at Paderborn United Football Club was a hit with playersOnce again the children, parents and club officials of Paderborn United Football Club have responded to the needs of others.

    It was decided at short notice to hold a cake bake at training last week and the fantastic sum of €169.71 was raised for the Nepal earthquake appeal.

    Many thanks go to all those who contributed.

    Do you love football? Why not join the club?

    Training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30pm to 7pm at the sports pitches in Bad Lippspringe and the club is always looking for new talent. 

    So, if you are aged four to 49, what are you waiting for? Come along, join in, make friends and learn new skills.

  • Education courses – Gütersloh

    Spiritual Mediumship 

    May 16/17

    Two-day workshop at the Princess Royal Barracks Education Centre.

    The cost is €60 for two days or €35 for a single day.

    To book contact Joanne on 01515 888 4772.

    Intro to German

    May 19–22

    A four-day course, from 9am daily.

    The cost is €48 – free for military personnel.

    For more information contact 51 AEC on Gütersloh Mil 94873 3413 or Civil 05241 84 3413.

  • Children’s Wild West Party

    All cowboys and cowgirls aged under five are invited to the Wild West Party at Home-Start Paderborn on Friday, May 29, from 10am to noon.

    There will be lots of fun and games including panning for gold!

    Register at Home-Start by May 18 – entrance free.

  • Learn something new at 41 AEC

    The 41 AEC Group brochure for the summer term is out now.

    On offer is a rangeof courses, from PCDL, functional skills and CLM to German, sewing and photography.

    Details of dates, times, costs and contact details are in the brochure available online at:

  • Station libraries timings

    Closures and reduced hours:


    Thursday, May 14: Closed

    Friday, May 15: Closed

    Monday, May 18: 9am-12.30pm

    Tuesday–Friday, May 19–22: 9am–2pm 


    Thursday, May 14: Closed

  • Curry lunch fund-raiser - Barker Barracks - May 17

    May 17, 11am–3pm

    On Sunday, May 17, from 11am to 3pm, LCpl Hemalatta Gurung and his catering team with 3 CS Bn REME will be cooking up a fantastic curry lunch – plus a children-friendly barbecue – to raise money for the Nepal earthquake appeal. 

    Come along to the Tigers Den on Barker Barracks, Paderborn, enjoy a great lunch and other attractions which include a bouncy castle, face-painting, henna art and dancing. 

    All donations will go to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

  • 5 RIFLES Bingo

    Thursday, May 14

    7.30pm. Eyes down 8.15pm

    Warrior Club, Alanbrooke Bks

    €15 per book for 6 games – €2 of which will go into the Battalion Welfare Fund with the remainder going towards the prizes

    Plus a Raffle!

    Please contact UWO if you are interested in attending. Open to all 5 RIFLES and friends.

  • What's on in the Paderborn area - May 2015

    Father’s Day Party

    Thursday, May 14, noon – 4pm

    Schützenhof, Schützenplatz 1, Paderborn

    To celebrate German Father’s Day, the Schützenhof will be hosting a party in the beer garden – come along for a barbecue and lots of beer!

    Beer Festival

    Thursday – Sunday, May 14–17. (May 14, 11am–11pm; May 15, 5pm–11pm; May 16, 5pm–11pm; May 17, 11am–8pm).

    Schlosspark, Schloss Neuhaus, Paderborn

    With around 20 beer stands with produce from around the world, the Schloss Neuhaus Beer Festival is a lively event. There will be beer and tastings, food, live music and entertainment.

  • Your future, your choice

    GROUP PHOTOThe 24th BFG Internal Transfer Career Fair, and the final one to be held in the DCC in Herford on April 14 was yet again a successful event. 

    The day followed the normal routine for such an event, with a brief introduction from event organiser Capt (Retd) Geordie Southern. 

  • You are not alone

    Relate BFG is here to helpIf you're single, the idea of going to Relationship Counselling might seem a bit inappropriate. You’re not alone in thinking that. 

    Lots of people think that Relationship Counselling is all about couples and isn’t relevant if you don’t have a partner. Not true. 

  • The Rhine in flames

    This year’s spectacular fireworks display held along the Rhine will delight visitors of all agesThe Rhine in Flames is a fireworks spectacular that takes place along the most scenic stretches of the Rhine every year between May and September. 

    From Rüdesheim to Bonn, spectacular pyrotechnics and curtains of fire bathe the riverbanks and landmarks in a magical red glow, and a flotilla of illuminated riverboats glides beneath mesmerising patterns of light in the night sky – a romantic and unforgettable experience for the whole family.

  • Noble surprise

    Prince Maximilian zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg and Princess MarissaAn Anglo-German royal couple are throwing open the doors to their enchanting moated castle near Gütersloh and inviting members of BFG to visit their annual garden festival. 

    If you are looking for something different to do with the family this coming German bank holiday (Christi Himmelfahrt), a drive to Schloss Rheda will be a memorable experience.

  • A Happy Tail

    Tierheim volunteer Marjorie Reid with Benny, the 15-year-old shih-tzu boy she reunited with its ownerA DEVASTATED German family has finally been reunited with their dognapped pooch, all thanks to one British animal lover.

    Marjorie Reid, who works with 3 Close Support Battalion REME Civilian Workshops (3 Civ Wksp REME) in Bielefeld, is passionate about animals and for the last 10 years has been a volunteer at the Tierheim Eichenhof in Vlotho, a home for lost or stolen pets.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 7, 2015

    Lufthansa ‘scarred forever’

    HAMBURG – Shareholders of German airline Lufthansa observed a minute’s silence at the start of their annual meeting on April 29 for the 150 people who died in last month’s Germanwings crash.

    “This tragedy has changed us and the scars that it has left on our company will remain forever,” chief executive Carsten Spohr told some 2,000 shareholders at the meeting in Hamburg.

    Spohr said Lufthansa would “stand by... and support” the families and friends of the people who died.

    He vowed that Lufthansa “will continue to gradually expand our leading position in the area of flight safety, by continuing to develop our safety structures”.

    Shareholders are concerned about Lufthansa’s poor financial performance and management’s decision to waive dividend payments and about how management plans to tackle cut-throat competition in the sector, not only from the German group’s European rivals, but also from carriers from the Gulf region and budget airlines.

  • Mind the walls, please

    Unknown perpetrators bricked up the door of a Hamburg S-Bahn train last Tuesday afternoon – Deutsche Bahn estimate the damages will cost €10,000Vandals in Hamburg have decided that graffiti doesn’t quite cut it any more. A group of them apparently broke into the train depot in Barmbeck in the north-east of the city last week and bricked up the door of an S-Bahn train.

    Once they were finished, an accomplished looking wall of breeze blocks, eight rows high and glued to the door frame with expanding foam had completely blocked an entrance.

  • Look zoo it is!

    Malte Woestefeld was stunned when a zebra photobombed his shots on a trip to a zoo last monthMalte Woestefeld, was driving through Zoo Safaripark Stukenbrock when this cheeky zebra decided to stick his head through the car window.

    The 24-year-old business administration student was astonished when the friendly animal posed for a series of photographs.

    Malte explained: “There was a big herd of zebras but this one was standing alone. 

    “It looked like he was waiting for us.

    “We had had the windows closed for the entire time while driving round the safari park because they have lions and other dangerous animals there.”

    But, he said, in the next (safe) area there were zebras and antelopes and so he wound down the car window to say ‘Hi’ to the friendly-looking zebra. That’s when the selfies were taken.

    “I had a carrot in my backpack which I gave to him. 

    “The zebra was actually super cuddly and didn’t leave the window for a few minutes.”

  • CMD relocation

    Due to the closure of Herford station the Clinical Measurements Department (CMD) (Audiology & Ophthalmology) will be relocating.

    The facility will close to facilitate the move from May 18–22 inclusive. The new contact details from May 25 are:

    Clinical Measurements Department,

    Building 141,

    Normandy Barracks,

    BFPO 16.

    (The building is next to the NAAFI complex on Normandy Barracks.)

    Telephone numbers are yet to be confirmed and will be released as soon as they are available.

    For any queries concerning the CMD during the relocation contact your medical centre in the first instance.

  • Fun and Games at Heinrichsmeier Farm, Bielefeld – May 9

    Enjoy and afternoon and evening of fun and games at Hof Heinrichsmeier (farm) on Lipper Hellweg/Siebrassenhof in Bielefeld.

    Attractions: pony rides, bouncy castle, balloon competition and refreshments (drinks, coffee and cakes, Bratwurst and chips)

    Children's/Families Fest from 3pm. Evening entertainment from 7pm.Heinrichshof

  • Win, win, win with Sixth Sense...

    Tickets to be won!

    This week's issue of Sixth Sense features a four-page pull-out guide to some of the best German theme parks and zoos – and there are loads of tickets up for grabs.

    Win free entry to Phantasialand, Hansa Park, Potts Park, Fort Fun and Zoo Safaripark!

    Entries must be in by May 18.

    Pick up your free copy of Sixth Sense – out tomorrow!

  • Country braced for longest-ever rail strike

    Train drivers found themselves under fire from industry and the government on Monday after announcing their longest walkout in the history of Deutsche Bahn.

    Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the general public is finding the dispute increasingly difficult to understand, and that the week-long stoppage would “badly hurt commuters and passengers, as well as Deutsche Bahn and the German economy as a whole”.

  • Ride for quake relief

    3 CS Bn REME’s Nepal Quake Relief Fund-Raiser
    Friday, May 8, from noon, at the NAAFI Max, Sennelager

    Please support the cyclists' fund-raiser on May 8Twelve soldiers from 3 CS Bn REME will be holding a round-the-clock stationary cycling event, covering a total of 6,587 km in 24 hours – the distance from Paderborn to Kathmandu – to raise funds for the earthquake stricken people in Nepal. 

    Please call by to support the team and make your donations. It is not just money they need; they are also looking for clothes, blankets, dry foods, medicine (like water purifiers) – anything that can help the people in their time of dire need. 

    All proceeds from the event will go to the British Gurkha Nepal (BGN) fund in Kathmandu. From there it will be used to bring relief to the worst hit, remote areas of Nepal, rather than concentrating on the capital.

    BGN is made up of serving and ex Service personnel who will work on the ground to ensure that the money goes to where it is needed most.

  • Curry at Catterick

    Curry LunchNepal, a beautiful country and the home to the Gurkhas has fallen victim to nature’s fury; the worst earthquake in 81 years hit the Indo Nepal Region on Saturday.

    The scale of the disaster is enormous, as BBC News reportsed. Eight million people were affected – more than a quarter of the country’s population – the United Nations said and 1.4m are in need of food aid, as the death toll topped 4,310.

    The 7.8-magnitude quake hit Nepal on Saturday destroying buildings in Kathmandu and severely affecting rural areas across the region.

  • La Strada - Bielefeld

    Celebrate the car in Bielefeld on May 8-10

    own to Bielefeld’s Klosterplatz in May for a great classic car showVintage car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the annual La Strada event which is taking place in Bielefeld’s Altstadt on the weekend of May 8-10.

    The classic car show, now in its 17th year, is part of a celebration of the motor car, with dozens of new models on display around the city’s pedestrian areas.

    La Strada runs from 9am to 6pm on each day.

    Sample the great food on offer and enjoy the great music while walking among the gleaming visions on four wheels.

  • Into the blue

    A small but fortunate contingent from HQ 20 Armd Inf Bde travelled to St Paul's bay in Malta for a diving expedition.

    Divers were exploring St Paul’s bay in MaltaThe aim was to qualify the participants to the BSAC Ocean Diver grade as well as enhance working relationships between the staff.

    The expedition started with a number of mandatory but essential theory lessons, including the use of the basic kit required, to the signs and symptoms of decompression illness and more.

  • Beds for veterans

    Lt Col Ben Richards, the Defence Adviser British High Commission Ghana, a veteran, and FHG co-founder Derrick CobbinahAFTER eight months in transit and a few administrative hurdles to overcome, 18 beds and 23 mattresses donated by two German hospitals have finally reached their intended destination in Ghana.

    Forces Help Ghana (FHG) was set up in 2013 by two young Ghanaians serving with the British Army who quickly set about finding donations of hospital equipment to help Ghanaian war veterans.


  • 35 Engr Regt Wives Disco Party


  • Germany News in Brief - April 30, 2015

    Daimler faces corruption charges

    ATHENS – Greek prosecutors announced on Monday they are bringing charges against several Daimler managers, who they say were involved in multi-million euro bribes to Greek authorities.

    According to reports in the Greek media, the charges against the Stuttgart-based company centre on contracts for military vehicles signed between 1997 and 2000.

    The total value of the contracts is reported to be over €100 million, while the bribes were in the region of €2 million, reports the  Tagesspiegel.

    The dossiers on which prosecutors are basing the case against seven Daimler managers originate from a US investigation into the company.

    It is unclear whether the accused, whose names have not yet been disclosed, still work for the company. Daimler fired over 40 employees in the wake of the US trial.

  • Volunteers’ Reception

    Friday, June 26 · 7pm – 10pm at Epsom House, Normandy Barracks

    Are you a registered group or organisation in Paderborn Station?

    The annual Volunteers’ Reception is an opportunity to give thanks to those members of our community who work tirelessly to give something back to Paderborn Station.

    Nominations for a Brigade Commander’s Commendation must be submitted by Friday, May 29.

    For further details, please contact Jenny Mather, AWS, on 05254 9824340.

    This event is by invitation only. Invites will be sent out shortly.

    Please contact AWS should you think your group/organisation have been missed.

  • John Buchan School Fete - JUne 26


  • 26 Regt RA Families Sunday Lunch

    Sunday, May 31, 1pm

    JB’s Restaurant, Gütersloh

    The cost is only €3 per person. Book tickets by May 21 at the 26 RA Welfare Office.

    Includes children’s entertainer and bouncy castles (weather permitting).

  • John Cull 6-a-side football tournament

    RBL Bielefeld is looking for teams to take part at the John Cull 6-a-side football tournament on Saturday, June 6.

    Entry fee is €20. For further details contact Carl Pearce on 0173 7023235.


  • Marking 70 years of peace

    Austin Boothroyd and Andreas Müller are planning a production of The Peacemakers – singers and musicians are welcome to join in what promises to be a grand Anglo-German musical eventThe Peacemakers is a recently formed classical music group consisting of British and German musicians. 

    The founders, Austin Boothroyd, musical director at the Gütersloh Music Centre, and Andreas Müller, musical director of Marienfeld Abbey, have decided to create this group with the aspiration of hosting a concert later in the year to commemorate 70 years of peace. 

    The group will perform The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins. The concert will also serve as a celebration of the long lasting Anglo-German relationship since the end of the Second World War.

  • 1 in 5 Germans can’t afford a holiday

    More than 20 per cent of Germans can’t afford a week’s holiday, and 30 per cent said they were unable to cover “unexpected expenses” such as house repairs or big purchases, according to a study released on Tuesday.

    The survey, from federal statistics office Destatis which gathered the data in 2012, asked participants whether they could afford to pay for a week away from home each year, and if they felt they could handle unexpected costs – essential purchases costing €940 or more.

    It also found around eight per cent of respondents felt they could not afford to eat a meal including meat, poultry or fish at least once every two days.

  • It’s just his bag

    A man from Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock has collected around 25,000 plastic bags over almost 40 years.

    Dieter Luchs with two examples from his bag collectionDieter Luchs, 74, has some 200 bags from the former East Germany, some 60 of which are on display in Bützow in Mecklenburg.

    He is fascinated with the design of carrier bags featuring a pelican promoting Lichtenberg Zoo in “Berlin – the capital of the DDR”, as the writing says. The crude printing and primary colours remind him of the work of US artist, Roy Lichtenstein. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 29

    Speedy Internet comes to ICE

    FRANKFURT. Passengers on all German Intercity-Express (ICE) trains will have access to fast Internet connections by the end of the year, Deutsche Bahn promised on Tuesday.

    Good Internet connections will be rolled out across all high-speed ICE trains, regardless of the route being travelled, the rail company said. 

    Currently a limited number of ICE trains, serving about 3,000km of track, allow passengers to log onto a pay-as-you-go wireless hotspot.

    Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube said the rail operator will extend the service to include trains running on the entire nationwide ICE network of around 5,200km.

    DB are rolling out the Internet service with Deutsche Telekom using WiFi hotspots, which cost €4.95 for a day’s access. 

    DB said it has also equipped 120 stations with Wi-Fi and this would be extended to another 24 stations in the next few months.

  • Jake takes the lead

    Bishopspark School pupil wins competition to be the 2014 Army Rugby XII mascot

    Jake Millar from Bishopspark School was proud to lead out the Army RFU team at TwickenhamIn February a competition was held to find an Army mascot to lead out the Army RFU at Twickenham on Saturday, May 3.

    The Army Rugby Union was offering the chance for a child (aged between eight and 10) from a British Army family to act as mascot to the Army team for the clash against the Royal Navy. 

    One lucky winner of this exciting opportunity was Jake Millar, aged nine, who attends Bishopspark School in Paderborn. 

  • Paderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club

    Be a team player – Join the Paderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club

    A fun time is guaranteed for youngsters at the Pirates youth rugby clubPaderborn Pirates Youth Rugby Club is an AWS garrison youth rugby club which trains children aged four to 14 every Sunday at the Bad Lippspringe airfield sports ground from 11am to 12.30pm.

    Our qualified coaches train both girls and boys the basic and fundamental lessons of rugby which are used both on and off the field.

  • Welcome Wednesday June 2014

    Pad-Welcome Wednesday June 2014

  • E-Bluey App available


  • Pull the other one - finger wrestling championships

    Competitors at the Alps Finger Wrestling championships in Reichertshofen, southern Germany, take the unusual sport pretty seriously.

    A competitor goes flying after winning his roundOn Sunday, May 25, competitors battled for the title in this traditional rural sport. 

    Also known as Fingerhakeln, it is traditional in Bavaria and Austria and dates back to the 17th century. 

    The sport of finger wrestling involves two contestants putting their middle fingers through a leather band and trying to pull the opponent over a marked line on the table. 

    The competitors are matched in categories according to age and weight, and are then placed at a purpose-built table across from one another.

  • Sergeant shows his mettle

    Forging ahead –  Paul with his winning wine rack, which took first place at the Military Blacksmithing Competition in 2012An Army artisan from Bielefeld has been granted the Freedom of the City of London after winning the Military Blacksmithing Competition FOUR times.

    Sgt Paul Hunter, a metalsmith with 2nd Field Company (2 Fd Coy) on Rochdale Barracks, has repeatedly demonstrated his impressive skills at the annual tri-Service event, which is part of the New Forest County Show.

    His prize-winning entries include candlesticks, a door knocker and a wine rack. And the talented 46-year-old has also gained respect for his painstakingly detailed presentation pieces of Army vehicles.

    Paul has entered the New Forest County Show contest almost every year for the past 10 years and has won the Blacksmith Cup four times – the only person to do so.


  • Samba in the city

    Music, dance and a warm welcome await all at the family-friendly Carnival of Cultures in Bielefeld this weekendThis Saturday, May 30, Bielefeld will pulsate to the rhythms and beats of world music when the Carnival of Cultures takes to the streets in a colourful procession of floats, dancers, musicians and theatre groups in a celebration of traditions from all continents.

    Fantastic costumes and brilliant masks, stilt walkers, dancing sculptures, cheeky clowns, acrobats, musicians and dancers will inspire you
    to join in the party.

    The parade starts at 3pm and follows a route through town, beginning on the corner of Schlosshofstrasse/Melanchtonstrasse (by the Schüco-Arena) via the town centre (Jahnplatz) to Ravensberger Park.

    After the procession, there will be a full programme of entertainment with concerts, dance shows and performances by participating groups at the park starting at 5.30pm.

    Tickets to the park cost €5 (€1.50 for up to 12-year-olds) in advance (€7 on the day) and are on sale now at the tourist information office, im Neuen Rathaus, Niederwall 23, Bielefeld.

  • Coming soon...

    See the Paderborn What's On page for details


  • Public holiday business hours - May 29

    Due to the German public holiday on May 29, the following facilities will be closed:

    Medical centres – closed May 29.

    In medical emergencies patients should call 112. All other queries should be made via a medical centre using one of these numbers: Hohne, tel: 05051 962 2218. Sennelager, tel: 05254 982 2414. Gütersloh, tel: 05241 842536.

    One-stop banking facilities in Barker Barracks and NAAFI Max Sennelager – closed May 29/30.

    Local Vehicle Licensing Office –closed May 29.

    Libraries in Barker Barracks and the NAAFI Max Sennelager – closed May 29/30.

    Sennelager HIVE – closed until May 30.

  • I don't know – Career Transition Partnership

    Leaving the Services? Unsure what the future holds?

    CTP can help with your transition to Civvy Street

    Whether you are facing redundancy, being medically discharged or coming to the end of your contract, ask yourself the following questions:

    What sort of job do I want when I leave?

    How well do my military skills and experience relate to civilian employers?

    What can I offer civilian employers?

    How good is my CV?

    What do I know about housing and finances when I leave?

    If your answer is “I don’t know” to any of these questions, then you are not alone, but Career Transition Partnership is here to help.

  • Challenges of modern day life

    Cat WilliamsARMY wife and relationship guru Cat Williams has set up a Stay Calm and Content counselling service via telephone and Skype to help people cope with the challenges of life.

    Cat works independently as a counsellor, coach, speaker and writer and qualified as a relationship counsellor with the renowned UK charity Relate, in 2007.

    She has helped hundreds of clients who have been going through every kind of situation imaginable: stress, depression, anxiety, bereavement, abuse, separation, divorce, miscarriage and low self-confidence. 

  • Problem Shared

    We’ve all seen the ads for relationship counselling and we all think, that’ll never be me. We picture the ‘man-woman drink-fuelled marriage breakdown’ scenario and breathe a sigh of relief it’s not us. 

    Meanwhile we ignore whatever problems we’re experiencing behind closed doors and soldier on. Well Relate, the relationship people, can actually make a difference. They offer totally confidential and impartial relationship counselling to everyone in the community – regardless of rank, sexuality, gender or situation. 

  • Sky high emergency

    SSAFA midwife and trained sky jockey saves the day, and possibly a life in the process

    Dave Smith with letters from British Airways and the Armed Forces Minister at the Medical Reception Station in Dhekelia Sovereign BaseFor the 200-plus passengers on board British Airways Flight BA 663 that left Larnaca, Cyprus for London Heathrow, it seemed like just another flight.

    But for three in particular, it was going to be very different as one would soon be taken seriously ill. Among the passengers were a Russian speaker, a SSAFA (the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association) midwife and the Minister for the Armed Forces.

  • Where Dreams Are Made

    Ready for the offOn a cold Thursday morning in early May 22, Children from across BA (G) travelled to Princess Royal Barracks in Gütersloh to form the first ever British Army Youth Rugby team.

    The children had been selected from the Bielefeld Bulldogs, Gütersloh Giants, Hohne Chargers and Paderborn Pirates to face the Royal Navy Youth Rugby team at Twickenham.

    The selected children, all aged between 10 and 11 years old, had been released from their schools for this once in a lifetime opportunity, which would advance both their social and emotional skills immensely.

  • June Concert Highlights

    The open air season is in full swing and has been covered extensively in Sixth Sense. However, there are other great acts featuring in concert halls close to you. Here are a few to choose from:

    Debbie Harry from BlondieBlondie

    80’s icon Debbie Harry is back in Germany this summer with her band Blondie, playing concerts in Berlin, Hamburg and Köln. 2014 marks their 40th anniversary and in celebration of this amazing milestone the band will release a special double-disc package entitled Blondie 4(0) Ever on May 13 via NOBLE ID / ESMG.

    It will include a much anticipated new collection of songs entitled Ghosts of Download and an album entitled Deluxe Redux: Greatest Hits, featuring brand new studio recordings of the band’s biggest hits. The iconic Andy Warhol Debbie Harry portrait is the cover art for the greatest hits album.

    • Berlin, Tempodrom, June 23, ticket prices start at € 52.00.
    • Hamburg, Grosse Freiheit 36, June 24, tickets from € 60.00.
    • Köln, E-Werk Köln, June 25, ticket prices start at € 60.00.
  • The AFF's Big Survey 2014

    The AFF's Big Survey 2014How do you feel about life as an Army family? The Army Families Federation wants to know, and now is the time to tell us by taking part in the Big Survey 2014.

    Last year over 2,500 of you took part – this time we're aiming even higher!

    Are you concerned about the Big Move? Are you struggling to find a job because you are an Army spouse? Is your SFA the home from hell or home sweet home?

  • Brigade prepares for final Afghanistan tour

    Members of a fire support team display some of the equipment they will be using in Afghanistan Servicemen and women have been showcasing their work ahead of the last historic mission.

    Personnel from Paderborn-based 20th Armoured Brigade have been displaying their skills before they deploy to Afghanistan over the next month.

    On Salisbury Plain training area, personnel had an array of surveillance technology, armoured vehicles and explosive search equipment on display to demonstrate the type of work that they may do during their last operational tour in Afghanistan.

  • 3 dead in Bielefeld bloodbath

    Pensioner shoots neighbours in parking space dispute

    The police special response unit closed ranks on arrival at the scene as shots were still being fired in the block of flats on Oldentruper StrasseA pensioner in Bielefeld killed his two elderly neighbours and then shot himself on Sunday, reportedly in a row over a parking space.

    Police were called to a block of flats on Oldentruper Strasse shortly before 7am following reports that a man and woman had been killed by several shots to the head.

    A neighbour said she heard what she thought were gunshots and ran to the window. “I saw two lifeless bodies on the ground. Then a man came out of the house and continued shooting at the two people,” she said.

  • Alcoholics get beer to clean up streets

    Pick-up will follow the Dutch initiative where unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts receive beer in exchange for cleaning streetsA planned taxpayer-funded project to get unemployed alcoholics and drug addicts cleaning the streets has sparked controversy by offering beer to those who take part as part of their compensation.

    The Pick-up initiative by charity Addict Support Essen, planned to start in mid-June, offers addicts beer – along with food and medical treatment – in exchange for working three to six hours a day collecting litter from the streets. They will also get “pocket money” of €1.25 per hour.

    Pick-up will be totally voluntary and targeted at Essen’s long-term alcoholics, many of whom also have drug problems, the charity said in a statement.

  • Skeleton crew’s protest

    Silent protest: skeletons are the only guests on board the Allegra restaurant ship in DüsseldorfManagers of a floating restaurant ship in Düsseldorf, MS Allegra, have installed a skeleton crew in a protest against red tape.

    They say the bony employees will remain while they go through the tedious and time-consuming process of applying for a licence that will allow them to reopen to paying customers.

    The ship, moored in the Altstadt, had been serving food for years, but was forced to shut down when inspectors complained it still did not have a proper catering certificate.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 22

    Politicians seek e-cigarette ban

    MUNICH. Politicians have called for e-cigarettes to be banned in school playgrounds in Bavaria to discourage children and teenagers from using the flavoured substitute cigarettes.

    Young people are the target group for the e-cigarettes, said Kathrin Sonnenholzner, chairman of the Health Committee in the Bavarian Parliament. “Normal cigarettes are forbidden at schools, whereas e-cigarettes are allowed,” she said.

    A week earlier Federal Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortler called for a ban on electric shisha pipes and e-cigarettes for teenagers across Germany.

    The sale of e-hookahs and e-cigarettes to children and teenagers and their consumption cannot be prevented under the current Youth Protection Act. The SPD has insisted on an exact declaration of what the e-cigarettes’ vapour actually contains.

  • The Gift Shop


  • Hameln and Detmold Medical Centres

    Information for patients of Hameln and Detmold Medical Centres

    If you are a patient of either Hameln or Detmold medical centres, you will by now be aware that these stations and medical centres will be closing this summer due to drawdown.

    Please help us to ensure that your care runs smoothly throughout your move by taking the following steps:

    1. Remember to deregister from the medical centre before you leave, and tell us where you are posted to. This helps us to ensure that your records arrive at the correct location.
    2. Register with another practice when you arrive in your new location (whether that is BFG, UK or elsewhere) and familiarise yourself with your new practice’s opening times, emergency appointment system etc (always easier to do when you are not in a panic).
    3. If you will need repeat medication to cover your move, ask the doctor for enough medication to cover the time your move will take, and ensure your prescription is given to the dispensary at the earliest opportunity as we may have to order in extra medication.
    4. If you have complex or ongoing medical needs (such as surgery planned) let your doctor know so that appropriate follow-up care can be arranged in your new posting.

    If you have any queries about your care related to your move please contact the medical centre as soon as possible.

  • Katie’s set on Olympics

    Katie Moss proudly shows off her haul of medals won at the DSA National Games – now her sights are set on the OlympicsKatie Moss, from John Buchan School, has again swept the board at the Dwarf Sports Association National Games held in Birmingham recently.

    Katie, age 12, who has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, won six gold medals, two silver and one bronze, in swimming, shot, javelin and cycling – her best ever haul.  

  • Coming soon – June

    Tuesday, June 3, from 10am

    CTP Fair

    Hammersmith Barracks gym, Herford

    A fantastic opportunity to network and meet with both UK and European employers, recruiters and training providers across a wide range of industries.

    Friday, June 6, from 7.30pm

    Beating Retreat & Fireworks featuring the Band of the Royal Engineers

    Schloss Neuhaus castle

    Vehicle display from 7.30pm; Beating Retreat and fireworks at 9pm.

  • Bowie’s back in Berlin

    The international exhibition that spans David Bowie’s career across five decades opened its doors to the public on Tuesday at the Martin-Gropius-Museum in Berlin.

    Curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), David Bowie Is is the fastest-selling exhibition shown by the London museum. The curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, have selected more than 300 objects that explore and document the singer’s creative and musical odyssey, together with his many different artistic personas such as Ziggy Stardust.

    Among the objects on display are original costumes, instruments, music videos, fashion, handwritten lyrics and set designs.

  • Detmold Central Bank – Closures May/June

    The Central Bank in Detmold will be closed on the following dates:

    Thursday, May 29

    Friday, May 30

    Monday, June 2

    Monday, June 9

    Friday, June 13

    Monday, June 16

    Thursday, June 19

    Friday, June 20

  • Rock of Ages – June 20


  • British Citizenship applications for Foreign and Commonwealth citizens in the Armed Forces

    Her Majesty’s Government made a commitment in the Armed Forces Covenant 2011 to ensure that Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) citizens in the Armed Forces were not disadvantaged because of time served overseas.

    In continuation of that commitment, the Citizenship (Armed Forces) Act 2014 became law on May 13, 2014 to ensure that F&C citizens in the Armed Forces who wished to apply for British citizenship were not disadvantaged due to overseas service.

  • Early years fees increase

    An increase in the hourly fee for children attending the Early Years Foundation Stage, in non-school based nursery provision and school-based Extended Day Care (EDC), has been announced.

    While the MoD continues to subsidise nursery provision and school-based extended day care in Germany, fees are required to reflect the UK national average and are reviewed annually. The results of the latest review mean that an increase in fees is necessary. 

    From June 1, 2014, fees for early years care will increase by €0.40 from the current hourly rate of €4.82 (£3.98 at the Forces Fixed Rate (FFR) of 1.21) to the new rate of €5.22 (£4.31 at the FFR 1.21). The table below sets out the new fee structure.


  • 3 CS Bn REME Coffee Mornings


  • Better Halves Club Meeting – June 2


  • 3 CS Bn REME Better Halves Club Meeting – June 2


  • AWS Activities – May/June


  • Team PRU coffee morning – May 23


  • Send us your news...


  • To save or to invest - that is the question!

    by John Vine

    I have noticed recently, when reading articles about personal finance, that the words saving and investing are often used as if they are interchangeable.

    There are times when this is acceptable, with no loss of clarity, but it might be useful to properly understand the meanings of these terms, which are both so important to personal finances.

    Wikipedia tells us that savings can be defined as income not spent, or consumption that is deferred until some later time. Methods can range from keeping cash under the mattress, to putting money into a bank or pension plan.

  • Sailing club gets second wind

    Instructor trainees volunteer throughout the summer months to become fully qualified in their chosen areas: From left: Gnr Matt Lawton 3 RHA and Spr Ben Flowerdew 35 Engr Regt; right: Pte Jake Holland 1 PWRR front, and Pte Kane McKeown, 1 LSR BFG’s popular out-door recreational club, the British Möhnesee Sail Training Centre (BMSTC), has had a revamp and now boasts first class facilities for soldiers and families to enjoy.

    Club Commodore, Brig James Swift, officially re-opened the centre at a special ceremony held in April.

    He said the renovations – costing tens of thousands of euros – were a real sign of investment in facilities that improve the quality of life in BFG.

    The centre now features a new veranda, staff accommodation, upgraded guest accommodation, a new bar and kitchen area, and a new boiler system.

  • Going boldly to FedCon

    Robin Joll pictured with one of his Daleks and his  new custom made Lady Cassandra  He's got TARDISes by the dozen and Daleks by the score. If there’s one date in the calendar that Dr Who fan and collector Robin Joll looks forward to with relish, it’s the four-day science-fiction convention FedCon.

    Robin, a warehouse and transport manager for SSVC, takes his life-size replicas of Dr Who characters and paraphernalia to the Düsseldorf event to mingle with serious sci-fi fans.

    He has a TARDIS built to scale and several Dalek shells, inside which he can move around the convention floor while recreating the menacing croaky voice with an electronic device and a megaphone to give punters a thrill.

  • ELC Courses – October 2014


  • Germany News in Brief - May 15

    20m could pay less health insurance

    BERLIN. Around 20 million people in Germany could pay less health insurance from 2015 after reserves in health funds swelled to €30bn.

    The huge surpluses in health insurance funds mean one in three people can expect a cut in their health contributions from 2015. The information came to light after a question was submitted to the government by the far left party Die Linke, the Rheinische Post reported last week.

    Employees currently pay 7.3 per cent of their income in health insurance, plus an additional 0.9 per cent. This 0.9 per cent could now be scrapped.

    The figures showed that of Germany’s 133 health insurers, 67 had financial reserves totalling more than 150 per cent of their monthly outgoings.

  • Britfest donations

    The presentation of cheques totalling €15,000 to representatives of three charities at the town hall in PaderbornOn April 28, donations totalling €15,000 were presented to three charities by the Mayor of Paderborn, Heinz Paus and Commander 2Oth Armoured Brigade, Brig James Swift.

    The three charities (SSAFA Forces Help, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Panzerbrigade 21) each received a cheque for €5,000 from funds raised from Britfest 2013.

    Following the presentation, both Herr Paus and Brig Swift thanked the German and military communities of Paderborn for their support in making the festival such a special event.

  • British-German Club’s celebration of the Bard

    Michael Boyer reads Shakespeare Photo: Courtesy of DWZAn American put on his best British accent when reading passages from the works of William Shakespeare at an Anglo-German get-together in Hameln.

    Dressed in the garb of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer, poet and statesman – Pennsylvanian Michael Boyer entertained members of the British-German Club reading the Bard, who would have been 450 years old this year.

    For Michael, however, it wasn’t a great stretch as his daytime job is playing the Pied Piper of Hameln, which requires a fair bit of acting.

  • Remembering the Berlin Airlift 65 years on

     Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit poses with Berlin Airlift pilots Johnny Macia, Chuck Childs and Colin Cottle during the commemorative event at the Berlin Airlift monument in Berlin-TempelhofOn Monday, May 12, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit honoured the courage and solidarity of the Western Allies during the airlift at a ceremony held at the memorial in the Tempelhof district of the German capital.

    The end of the Soviet blockade of West Berlin on May 12, 1949 was the “promise for a better future,” Wowereit said. 

    “With the air bridge, the Western Allies made a peaceful stand against dictatorship and oppression in a dramatic situation,” Wowereit told several hundred guests, before laying a wreath in memory of the 78 victims who were killed between June 1948 and August 1949.


    The Berlin Airlift foiled Soviet plans to blockade the western half of the capital and starve it into submission.

    What the hungry population of the former Nazi centre of power called ‘raisin bombers’ – because they dropped food instead of bombs – first took off to relieve the encircled city on June 26, 1948. It marked the start of Operation Vittles, an ambitious and never-before-tried experiment to see if a surrounded city could be supplied solely from the air, after all land and water routes into West Berlin had been sealed off by order of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.

    The Allies, however, were determined to make the city’s defence as a democratic outpost in a sea of Communism the first test of the east versus west stand-off that would last for 40 years.

    During the airlift, American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African pilots flew 278,000 flights to Berlin, carrying 2.3 million tons of food, coal, medicine and other supplies.

    After 322 days, the Soviets realised they were defeated and lifted the blockade.

  • The stars come out for FedCon, May 29 - June 1

    Many visitors to FedCon came dressed up in costumes of their favourite sci-fi charactersScience-fiction aficionados in BFG will be beaming upon discovering that Europe’s largest science fiction convention is right on their doorstep.

    FedCon, short for Federation Convention, has been held in Germany each spring since 1992, with this year’s event taking place at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf from May 29 to June 1. You don’t have to be a Trekkie to appreciate the galaxy of stars who’ll be making an appearance.

    Indeed, the event may have started as a Star Trek convention, but by now every fandom is being covered – Star Wars, Stargate, Firefly, Torchwood, Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica.

  • Pensioner told to tear down home

    Distraught: Christa Liedtke in front of her home near KölnA pensioner has been ordered to demolish her own home – because the house, built at the start of the Second World War, did not have planning permission.

    Christa Liedtke, 75, decided to sell the half-timbered house near Köln three years ago, after she began to find the steep stairs too much to handle.

    She fell in love with the house in 2005 and poured thousands of euros into renovating it. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one,” she said. “In 2011 I wanted to sell it, with a heavy heart, and that’s when this all started.”

    Local authority officials told her she had to pull it down because there was no planning permission to build the house in the first place.

  • 11 nations join German military exercise

    A Finnish F18 takes off at Jagel base in Schleswig-Holstein on MondayThe skies over northern Germany will be full of military planes over the coming couple of weeks as a large international military exercise takes off, involving thousands of soldiers from Germany and 11 other countries.

    But the exercise is nothing to do with increased tensions between Europe and Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the Luftwaffe said.

    “This has been in planning for two years,” a Luftwaffe spokesman said. “For it to have anything to do with Ukraine would have required a great degree of clairvoyance.”

  • A goose mis-step

    ErikaProsecutors in Detmold have decided not to prosecute a goose called Erika who caused a cyclist to fall and injure herself.

    However, the animal’s 51-year-old owner must pay a €500 fine for negligence causing personal injury.

    Erika broke out of her pen in February and crashed into the cyclist, who broke her nose and received bruising and grazes when she fell from the electric bicycle.

    The public prosecutor praised the eight-year-old goose for remaining at the scene of the accident until police arrived. She was unhurt apart from a few ruffled feathers.

  • Crazy – and costly – crashes


    Mirancan’s Mercedes motoring mischief came to an abrupt endA toddler in Berlin crashed his father’s Mercedes on Sunday, after taking the keys, starting up the car and driving it across the road into a fruit and vegetable shop!

    Two-year-old Mirancan took the keys while his father was sleeping, and took a stool with him so he could reach the buttons on the dashboard. 

    Unlocking his father’s Mercedes with the remote control key fob was no problem, and he started up the vehicle which had been left in first gear.

  • Crime Prevention Evening


  • Op Herrick 20 information guide

    Pad-H20logoThe Herrick 20 guide is now available now from your local HIVE office.

    If your spouse or partner is deployed or about to be deployed then call in and pick up a copy.

    The guide aims to assist you by providing you with a wealth of useful information to help you while your partner is away.

  • CTP Resettlement & Transition Fair – June 2014


  • Leaving BFG and staying in Germany?

    If you are currently a member of British Forces Germany as military, UKBC or dependant you might be intending to stay in Germany after leaving the Force – this is formally known as a Transfer of Residence.

    There are processes that you must follow in order to keep any tax and duty relief that you received when buying high value goods or vehicles.

    Any item that you received an import licence for (BFG F80) requires an approved export licence (BFG F38Ü).

  • The new BFG fuel card

    We are bringing the provision of tax-free fuel into the 21st century. No longer will you have to go and prepay for coupons during working hours and in advance of when you need them.

    We are replacing the 1950s style fuel coupon with a tax-free fuel allocation card. 

    How will this affect me?

    There will be four major benefits to bringing this card in for you. 

  • Mönchengladbach Tattoo

    NATO Music Festival PosterFor the final time Mönchengladbach will become the focus of military marching music when it hosts the 28th NATO Music Festival on Saturday, May 24.

    Together with bands from the host nation, Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic and Bulgaria, the UK will be represented by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals from Blandford in Dorset.

    In the recent history of Mönchengladbach the opening of the joint headquarters 50 years ago in Rheindahlen was a significant event. The presence of thousands of soldiers and their families led to the development of good and friendly contacts with the citizens of Mönchengladbach.

  • Tasty summer menus at JB's

    Try a delicious baguette from JB'sNAAFI has launched a new lunch and dinner offer in all its JB’s restaurants across Germany.

    This is the first change since the October launch of their lunch menu and pricing initiatives last year and sees some great new dishes introduced alongside many of the popular favourites from the winter menu.

    Speaking to Sixth Sense, John Goddard, NAAFI’s head of operational support, said: “We have had great feedback from our customers since we launched our new menu and pricing initiatives in JB’s last October. Building on that success, we have completely reviewed the dinner menu and developed some great new dishes with a summer flavour.”

  • Housemaster's breach of trust

    A former housemaster who admitted sleeping with a 16-year-old boarder at the BFG secondary school where he worked seven years ago has been jailed for 36 months.

    Married dependent Jeffrey James Stubbs had regular trysts with the girl in his flat and car during a secret relationship that lasted four years.

    When it began, the defendant was aged 43, almost three times the girl’s age, a court-martial in Sennelager was told.

    And although the teenager agreed to the sex, it was “manipulated” because she had been having family issues and saw him as a father figure.

    After repeatedly denying he had been in a relationship with the complainant, Mr Stubbs admitted three counts of abusing his position of trust by sexual misconduct with a child under the age of 18 on the first day of his trial.

    Jailing Mr Stubbs, now 51, for three years on May 2, Judge Advocate Emma Peters told him he had “breached that trust in a most disgusting manner”.

  • Prisoners of War Weekend

    Guests of honour included former prisoners of war and the current Burgermeister of Bad Fallingbostel, Herr Rainer Schmuck, and Herr Andreas Ege, the District Commissioner for Oerbke, photography by Dom King, BFG Media & CommsIt was a weekend that brought history to life, uncovered more heroic stories and brought generations and communities together through the work of Kev Greenhalgh, curator of the Fallingbostel Military museum and the Rear Operations Group from 2 Close Support Battalion REME.

    The annual Prisoner of War Commemoration weekend continues to attract people from all over the country. With even more re-enactors bringing the Second World War to life, visitors were able to compare equipment and life as a soldier whether you were British, German or Polish.

  • Rockin’ 50’s

    The annual Fifties Americana Rock ‘n’ Roll car show
    up in Kaunitz, May 24-25

    Nostalgia fans don’t need a time machine to go back to the 1950s. They just need a ticket to the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz.

    The annual Americana classic car and paraphernalia show takes place on May 24-25, and Sixth Sense has tickets to give away.

    Markus Wiessing, 52, who organises the show, is a self-confessed jukebox junkie, who gets turned on by a tailfins turn and is fixated with Fifties USA. He put on the first show 22 years ago, and now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival, near Verl, is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

  • Support group for stammerers launched

    Founder of the British Army Stammerers’ Society (BASS), Cpl Emmanuel Ottih RLC

    Hohne-based soldier Cpl Emmanuel Ottih, RLC, has set up the British Army Stammerers’ Society (BASS) to create awareness about stammering and to show stutterers that they can achieve their respective dreams.

    The new support group is now available for soldiers and dependants who face the issue of stammering speech.

    “The journey of my stammer started way back,” says Cpl Ottih, who is attached to 2 Medical Regiment.

     “It really affected my life both negatively and positively. As a child, I was always shy and scared of interacting with my peers and I was often seen as a scapegoat because I could not get my words out. It continued as I entered secondary school and thereafter university, where I realised the importance of talking and socialising with people, but I tried to get on with it.”

  • Rethink your future

    BFG soldiers consider their future options at the
    22nd Internal Transfer Career Fair

    The audience are welcomed to the Internal Transfer Careers Fair in HerfordThe 22nd Internal Transfers Career Fair (ITCF) held at the Divisional Conference Centre in Herford, was one of best-attended events in recent years.

    More than 200 soldiers were present and eager to learn about their options, should they decide they want to re-trade. 

    Once more there were numerous presentations given to all attendees from a selection of cap badges. 

    There were also representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RAF and Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) trying to tempt attendees into a new career. After the presentations all attendees were invited to have a walk around the stands and gather any information they required from the vacancies that interested them.

  • Loyal service

    It was once again the time for 3 Civilian Workshop REME to present Certificates of Service to two of its loyal workforce.

    On this occasion, and as part of his departure from the post as Officer Commanding the workshop, Lt Col (Retd) Gez Hills took great pleasure in revealing the working histories of each of the five recipients in support of British Forces Germany and also in presenting the certificates.

    Recipients of certificates of Service Josef Schrewe and Franz Austenfeld pictured with Lt Col (Retd) Gez Hills, and colleagues Waldemar Reger and Markus Böning

    He thanked each one in turn and took the opportunity to thank the remaining workforce in the Paderborn detachment of the workshop for the previous and ongoing support.

    The photograph above shows the recipients Josef Schrewe (for 30 years service) and Franz Austenfeld (25 years) at the Sennelager Scheduled Maintenance and Rectification Centre.

    In the Paderborn detachment, Georg Ertel (40 years), Dimitri Schulz (12 years) and Mourad Aissaoui (also for 12 years) are pictured below.In Paderborn, Georg Ertel, Dimitri Schulz and Mourad Aissaoui received certificates, here pictured with Georg’s partner, Klaudia, and the OC, Lt Col Gez Hills

  • What’s buzzing at the HIVE - May

    Detmold and Hameln offices to close

    Jennifer Stevens, left, pictured with Carol Faulkner, Director HIVETHE HIVEs in Germany are closing in stages in line with the HQ BFG drawdown plan.

    Jennifer Stevens, Information Officer at the Detmold HIVEDetmold HIVE will close on May 16 and Hameln HIVE will close on June 13.

    Director HIVE, Carol Faulkner, said: “It is always a sad time when a HIVE closes but we will continue to provide as much support as necessary from the other HIVE offices based in Sennelager and Paderborn to ensure that the personnel remaining in these locations continue to receive a high quality service up until they leave.

    “Detmold and Hameln HIVE have served the community for many, many years. 

    Hameln HIVE Information Officers, Ladine Newsham and Nicola Green“On behalf of the chain of command I would like to personally thank the staff, Jennifer Stevens, Ladine Newsham and Nicola Green for their outstanding loyalty and service to their communities that have been provided over the years.”

  • A new look for summer

    Hair1Outlandish coiffures sweep 2014 International Hair Championships

    Fancy a new hairdo? Then take inspiration from the biggest and most bizarre styling competition – with gravity defying head pieces, rainbow streaks and some very blingy barnets!

    The three-day biannual Organisation Mondiale Coiffure (OMC) Hairworld started on Saturday in Frankfurt and saw around 1,000 participants from 50 countries and 400 international brands and companies battle out their blow dries and highlights for the prestigious title of OMC Hairworld World Cup Champion.

  • German hostages freed and home

    The four German military observers – three officers and one translator – arrived at Tegel Airport in Berlin on Saturday night and were greeted by Defence minister Ursula  von der LeyenInternational observers, including four Germans, captured in eastern Ukraine over a week ago were released last weekend.

    The seven military observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and five Ukrainian hostages captured with them were freed by pro-Russian separatists in the town of Slavyansk on Saturday.

  • Chocolate doner just a Taste Away

    Doner with a difference; instead of grilling meat, the spit keeps the chocolate coolTaste Away in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, is putting a new twist on dessert with the chocolate doner, a first for the city that invented the better known meat variety.

    Quaynh Trangle, 29, is fusing her crepe recipe with a novel mode of preparation, but here beef, onions, tomatoes and garlic sauce are replaced by chocolate shavings, whipped cream and fruit, all wrapped up in a freshly-made crepe.

    First opened in December of last year, Taste Away is now seeing a steady stream of customers who are curious about the chocolate kebab.

  • Friends reunited

    A Minden man was reunited with his cat after he lost it  – 12 years earlier.

    Veterinary surgeon Martin Heuer was a student in München when his two-year-old pet Arion vanished.

    And in spite of it being microchipped, no trace of the tomcat could be found.

    Heuer finished his studies and returned to his hometown of Minden to take over the surgery set up by his father.

    He never expected to see Arion again, until an animal shelter in München called to tell him an aggressive, old cat had been handed in and that he appeared to be
    the owner.

    The vet, who lives near Herford, didn’t hesitate and got in his car to drive to southern Germany.

    An observer of the reunion at the shelter said: “The timid feline slowly moved towards its previous owner, began sniffing his outstretched hand and then licked it affectionately. We all had tears in our eyes.”

  • Germany News in Brief - May 8, 2014

    EU plans to slash plastic bag use

    BRUSSELS. The European Parliament has passed a directive aimed at cutting the use of thin, single-use plastic bags by 80 per cent by 2019. The EU directive leaves it up to individual member states whether to ban, tax or charge for thin plastic bags, but the aim is to halve their use by 2017 and reduce their use by 80 per cent by 2019. The parliament’s proposals are aimed at thin, mostly single-use bags only. Thicker, sturdier plastic bag that shops often charge for and that can easily be reused, are not affected. Some 100 billion plastic bags are used in the EU every year, around 200 per person. Eight billion of these carrier bags end up as litter which often end up polluting Europe’s seas and killing millions of marine animals a year. The stomachs of 94 per cent of all birds in the North Sea contain pieces or traces of plastic, according to figures from the European Commission. The directive will have to be put to member states, who are likely to start negotiations after the European elections on May 25.

  • Resettlement & Transition Fair - June 3


  • Project ROC roll-out

    New electronic booking system for BFG white fleet vehicle users

    Project ROC is the white fleet (WF) vehicle contract operated by Ryder for the MoD in Germany and other European areas since April 2013.

    It is very similar to Project Phoenix which has been operating for several years in the UK.

    Project ROC includes the introduction of an electronic booking system but due to technical reasons this has been delayed until now.

    The new booking system for all WF vehicles in BFG will be rolled out across BFG, station by station, between July 8 and August 7.

  • Platform of Friendship

    IMM 2014Accept the sporting challenge
    and take part in this year’s IMM

  • Welcome Wednesday Coffee Morning – May 14

    Welcome Wednesday

  • Barry’s back at Fat Louis

    Barry MaddisonMulti-instrumentalist Barry Maddison will be performing classic rock ‘n’ roll and pop at Fat Louis in Paderborn on Saturday, May 17.

    The talented musician, who plays the best music of the 50s through to the 80s, will be leaving Germany in a few months, so this is one of the last chances to see Barry perform live.

    If you would like to hear what to expect at Fat Louis on May 17, google Soundcloud and put MADDISONGS in the search box at the top right to access free plays and downloads.

  • Coeliac Awareness Week May 12-18

    Next week (May 12–18) is coeliac awareness week, so we are trying to help spread the word about what it means to be coeliac or intolerant to gluten.

    Coeliac UK is a charity working to help improve the lives of those with coeliac disease through research, support and campaigning.

    Their mission statement is as follows:

    We want years of ill health prevented by bringing down the average waiting time of 13 years for that crucial diagnosis. We want to find the half a million people who have coeliac disease but don’t yet know it. We want to see a more robust post diagnosis care regime. We want the cost and availability of gluten-free substitute food to be reasonable. We want to make it easier to be able to go out for a meal with a gluten-free offer on every high street.

    Even if you’re not gluten intolerant the coeliac website is really worth a visit; it is full of delicious gluten-free recipes and advice. Log on to:

    We will be running events over the following week, so check out your local medical centre for more information.

  • Fuel coupon selling prices for May 2014

    THE BFG fuel coupon selling prices for May are as follows:

    Super 95 (E5) – €7.35, decreased by €0.25

    Super Plus – €8.05, decreased by €0.25

    Diesel – €7.45, decreased by €0.40

    Diesel Plus – €8.60, decreased by €0.40

  • B#s have got in covered

    POPULAR covers bandthe B#Sharps will be giving the lads and lassesof 20th Armoured Brigade a rocking send off for their last tour of Afghanistan.

    The band will be playing at Thunekrug (34 Thuner Weg, Sennelager) on Friday, May 16, starting at around 9pm.

    At the same time the musicians, led by SCE teacher Steve Jessop on guitar, hope to raise cash for the charity, Street Child of Sierra Leone, in support of a former Sennelager Forces community and band member, Annabel Oates, who is going out there to do all things philanthropic.

    So go along and rock your socks off!

  • Step back in time...

    Back to the future at the 1950s and 1960s show in KaunitzNostalgia fans don’t need a time machine to go back to the 1950s – they just need a ticket to the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz.

    The annual Americana classic car and paraphernalia show, which takes place on May 24-25, is put on by Markus Wiessing, 52, a self-confessed jukebox junkie who gets turned on by a tailfins and is fixated with Fifties USA.

    He organised the first show 22 years ago, and now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival, near Verl, is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

    This year the usual attractions will be there: countless classic cars of American, British and German makes, a stage with rockabilly and doo-whop bands, burgers and beer stands, and a 50s memorabilia market.

  • Detmold patch to close this year

    The large British presence in Detmold will end later this yearThe Detmold quarters patch and all its facilities are to close and be handed back to the German authorities by the end of 2014.

    A decision has been taken to close the Detmold estate by December 2014. This is to include: all Service Families Accommodation, health and dental facilities, Sir John Mogg School, the NAAFI shop, and all welfare facilities.

    The majority of families will move to Paderborn and Gütersloh, and a number to Bielefeld if appropriate. Opportunities may exist for personnel with secondary-aged children to opt for accommodation in Gütersloh, in order to be closer to King’s School.


  • New routes to the UK from Germany

    Flybe has announced details of six new routes operated by Stobart Air from London Southend Airport – tickets for which are now on sale.

    Flybe’s new London Southend services now include routes to Rennes and Caen-Normandie (France), Groningen (the Netherlands), Münster-Osnabrück, Köln-Bonn (Germany), and Antwerp (Belgium).

    It expects 102 weekly flights when fully operational and 200,000 passengers in year one of operations, rising to 700,000 in year three.

    Services to Rennes, Groningen and Münster Osnabrück (€34.99 one way), will start on June 5, with services to Köln-Bonn, Caen-Normandie and Antwerp starting on July 3.


  • Lucky Number 7

    Big family – Cpl Jason Bruce and his wife Katrin with baby Teagan, eight weeks; Shirley, 14; Jenna, nine; Caitlin, eight; Kayleigh, six; Riley, three; and Mia, twoThe President of Germany has become an honorary godfather to the SEVENTH child born to a British soldier and his German wife.

    When they went to register the birth of baby Teagan, Cpl Jason Bruce and his spouse Katrin were surprised to be told that they could apply to have the German head of state, Joachim Gauck, as her godparent.

    The presentation of the Ehrenpatenschaft certificate was made by Rainer Schmuck, the Bürgermeister (Mayor) of Bad Fallingbostel, who had never done it before because so few families these days have seven children.

  • Aquatic Fundays

    Get down and give waterskiing a goThanks to a generous donation from The Army Welfare Fund, the Sunday Waterski Club will start the new season on May 18 with brand new wakeboards and helmets.

    Bryan Parkinson, the club organiser, recently took delivery of the new equipment and is eagerly anticipating the warm weather to try it all out.

    Bryan said “We are very grateful for the help with purchasing our new kit. Our old boards are reaching the end of their lives and these new ones are superb replacements and will hopefully encourage a few more people to come down and give waterskiing a go.”

  • Can you take the heat?

    The sharp of things to come –  the Chili & Barbecue Festival on May 24-45 will have plenty of hot food to sampleGet ready to put your chilli where your mouth is in what has got to be the most hotly contested competition in Germany this year.

    The Chili & Barbecue Festival 2014 – part summer celebration and part trade fair – takes place for the first time in the land of Bratwurst on May 24-25.

    And the organisers are looking for some cool contestants who can handle eating some of the most fiery foods in the world, in the form of chilli peppers.

  • The man who wanted to see it all

    Heinz Stücke is greeted in Hövelhof in front of the town hall after 51 years in the saddle. Photo: Courtesy of Neue WestfälischeA man from Hövelhof went for a bicycle ride – and returned home some 51 years later.

    Heinz Stücke didn’t get lost, he simply wanted to explore the globe to enrich his life in the cheapest way possible.

    Last month, April, and after covering 650,000 km in 19,000 days and having visited 196 countries, Herr Stücke cycled into his hometown near Paderborn.

  • Drones rescue fawns

    GN-DeerA German wildlife rescue project is deploying small aerial drones to find and protect young deer hiding in tall grass from being shredded by combine harvesters cutting hay in the spring.

    The pilot project has shown great promise in spotting the young animals, about 100,000 of which fall victim in Germany every year to the large agricultural machines, said project spokesman Rolf Stockum.

    In a pilot phase, five small drones – fitted with combined digital and infrared sensors that can detect colour patterns and body heat – have been trialled in Bavaria to find the animals.

  • Sticky end for ‘Nutella gang’

    Seized: The haul of five tons of the hazlenut chocolate spread – some 2,500 jars – on show to the press last MayA group, labelled the Nutella gang after stealing 2,500 jars of the chocolate spread, have been jailed for a combined total of 15 years and six months.

    A court in Fulda, Hesse, jailed three men from Hesse and two women for theft and receiving stolen goods on Friday.

  • Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

    The rules for claiming Hartz IV (unemployment benefit) are set to get tougher from next yearThe German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy.

    Reforms include stopping Hartz IV payments to claimants who miss appointments or who don’t register at job centres.

    Support will also stop for claimants who spend money designated for their rent on other expenses.

  • Take-off to Hameln on Sunday

    A paper plane contest takes place in Hameln this Sunday, May 4 – and anyone may enter.

    The location for the inaugural Hameln Paper Plane Championships is in the Altstadt, Am Hochzeitshaus, Osterstrasse 2, 31785 Hameln; the time is noon to 4pm.

    The are three disciplines: longest flight in time, longest flight in distance, and youngest and oldest participant.

    Paper must be used to make the plane, but it may be folded, cut and glued. A paper clip may be used to trim the plane, but no elastic bands are permitted.

    The categories are juniors: to age 18, and seniors: above the age of 18.

    If you’re not into planes, you can enjoy a spot of shopping in the town centre, from 1pm to 6pm, or simply enjoy the entertainment around the historic

  • Veterinary Corps celebrations

    Military personnel, horses and working dogs on parade in Melton Mowbray

    N-RAVCMeltonMowbrayA magnificent parade of military horses, military working dogs and their handlers, including 12 who have served in Afghanistan, marched through the streets of Melton Mowbray on April 10.

    Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the parade that marked the long association the town has with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC).

    The Corps was awarded the Freedom of the Borough 37 years ago.

    This was the fifth time the RAVC has exercised its right to parade through Melton Mowbray with bayonets fixed, drums beating and Colours flying.

    The Band of the Parachute Regiment led the parade followed by 13 mounted military horses and around 120 soldiers and 24 military working dogs from both the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) and the Defence Animal Centre. The parade also featured RAVC veterans.

  • Introduction of prescription charges

    Prescription charges will be introduced across British Forces Germany on Monday, May 5. This will bring BFG into line with existing MoD policy.

    All charges and exemptions will be in accordance with NHS (England) guidelines. Prescription charges will also be introduced across the European Joint Support Unit community in due course.

    This aspect will be introduced in manageable phases, the first of which will be in respect of the communities based in Ramstein, Brunssum, SHAPE and Brussels. Current planning indicates that this will not be before June 1.

  • Cornish Dave bows out


    Having reached the tender age of 65, Dave Warburton has finally bowed out from MoD service after 49 years and 250 days.

    Dave completed 22 years in the Royal Engineers before transferring to the Long Service List, serving 15 years as an estate warden in Gütersloh.

    Dave then moved across to Defence Estates (DIO) where for the past 10 years he has been involved in Lands Disposal.

  • Spin for Life - June 14

    Spin for life

  • Gütersloh RBL Car Boot Sale

    Car Boot Sale

  • Fish & Chips Day


  • Welcome Wednesday - May 14

    Come and enjoy the next Welcome Wednesday get-together at the Welfare Room, Normandy Barracks, on May 14, 10am to midday.

    There will be a variety of stalls with lots of goodies on offer. The HIVE, Education Centre, Relate and the staff of John Buchan School will also be there offering information and answering any questions you might have. Everyone is welcome.

    More information on Facebook ‘BFG Welcome Wednesday’.

  • Community Market

    Community Market

  • Storybook Soldiers recording

    If you are a soldier about to deploy on Op Herrick 20, or are on R&R, you can book an appointment with Cpl Shaun Wildgoose at the Tigers Den, Barker Barracks, to read and record a story for your child.

    For information and to book a slot, call the Tigers Den on 05251 101270 or Mil (79) 3270.

  • Speech and language session

    A speech and language drop-in session will be held on May 21 at the John Farmer Building, Normandy Barracks, 1pm to 4pm. 

    This is open to families with children of any age that have concerns about their communication. Teachers, key workers and practitioners are also welcome to come and discuss any concerns they may have.

    You will be able to get advice and ideas to help your child from a Speech and Language Therapist. No appointment is necessary, just turn up!

    For information call Rachael Smith on 05254 982 4047.

  • B#Sharps gig for Herrick troops

    Popular covers band The B#Sharps will be playing at the Thune-Krug in Sennelager on Friday, May 16, starting at around 9pm.

    The concert will a rocking send-off for troops about to leave on Op Herrick.

    The venue is at 34 Thuner Weg, Sennelager.

  • Stars step up

    William Wordsworth School pupils with with dance instructor, Marc ReineckeWilliam Wordsworth School in Sennelager invited Marc Reinecke, dance instructor, and Joy Harris, performing arts consultant, to their Big Arts Week.

    A ballroom dance competition took place with all children from KS1 and KS2 learning two dances. In the afternoon a dance off was held with FS2 watching as the critical audience.

    Staff and children were all actively involved and the event culminated with headteacher Wilma Simpson presenting the winning dance couples with medals.

    Further competitions will be held in June at Tanzschule Krüger and at Prince Rupert School.

  • Doctor Awareness Day

    Medical staff replace stethoscopes for sniper scopes


    On a very sunny Thursday afternoon medical staff, surgeons and consultants from Barker Barracks Medical Centre, Bielefeld, Gütersloh and local German hospitals visited Y (Fire Support) Company, 1 PWRR, to receive a brief on British Army equipment and training. 

    The event saw doctors replace their stethoscopes with grenade machine guns, mortars and sniper rifles in a bid to inform decision-making when grading and assessing wounded, injured and sick soldiers. 

  • Childminders


  • Calling all Shackletonians


  • Hohne Garrison welcomes new GSM

    HandoverBergen-Hohne Garrison has welcomed its new Garrison Sergeant Major (GSM).

    On St George’s Day, Wednesday, April 23, WO1 (GSM) Doug Adesile KRH handed over the pace stick to WO1 (GSM) Jason Ellis RLC in front of the 7th Armoured Brigade and Hohne Garrison Headquarters building.

    WO1 Adesile is moving on to the appointment of RSM European Joint Support Unit, Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) while WO1 (GSM) Ellis is joining the Garrison from the post of RSM 25 Training Regiment based at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.

    On behalf of the Garrison, thank you and best of luck to WO1 Adesile and family, and welcome WO1 (GSM) Ellis and family.

  • Changes to National Immunisation Programme

    NIPNHS England, Public Health England and the Department of Health have issued direction on changes to the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) on meningitis, rotavirus, shingles and childhood flu.

    The changes described here are to improve the overall level of protection against preventable diseases.

  • Armed Forces Fun Day in June

    Armed Forces Day 2013Make a note in your diary not to miss the Garrison Support Unit Armed Forces Fun Day, to be held on Saturday, June 29, 2pm – 8pm at the NATO Officers’ Mess Garden, Normandy Barracks, Sennelager.

    Attractions include super slide, bouncy castles, trampoline, face-painting and a barbecue (pig roast).

    Tickets cost €5 (adults) and €3 (children), on sale now until June 19 in the Normandy Barracks guardroom.

  • SSAFA Short Breaks


  • The contribution of volunteering saluted

    VolunteersWeek2013Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign which takes place on June 1-7 and celebrates the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK and BFG.

    This year’s Volunteers’ Week focuses on saying Thank You to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and to recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK.


  • Pre-deployment Briefings Gütersloh - 2 LSR

    Gütersloh-based 2 LSR, as part of 7 Armoured Brigade, are deploying to Afghanistan for nine months in late August. 

    The Welfare Team will be holding Pre-Deployment Briefings and have put together a really impressive welfare package to support 2 LSR wives/families and partners. The briefings will be held on Princess Royal Barracks on the following dates:

    June 5, 10am – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

    June 12, 7.30pm – 2LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

    July 3, 10am – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.  

    July 10, 7.30pm – 2 LSR Families Deployment Brief – 2 LSR Welfare Complex.

  • Occupants Consultative Meetings


  • Bundeswehr: time to change

    “The reform of the German military is the most radical overhaul of the Bundeswehr in its history. New challenges such as international terrorism and global cooperation require a smaller, more flexible troop structure.”

    That’s the conclusion a report on a reform of the Bundeswehr has arrived at. The findings were presented by Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière last Thursday.

    Having been transformed from a conscription-based force to a professional army, the Bundeswehr is to get in shape for dealing with new forms of military threats as well as a changed demographic and financial context.

  • Gothic gathering

    ‘Dark’ festival draws 20,000 to Leipzig

    Visitors from as far afield as South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Russia and Japan celebrated four days of Gothic arts and music in Leipzig last weekendEvery Whit weekend, when the Wave Gothic Festival, a legendary annual gathering for “dark” music and arts, kicks off in Leipzig, the world is reminded that nobody does goth quite like the Germans.

    From cybergoths and steampunks to deathrockers, rivetheads and leather fetishists, some 20,000 people attended this year’s Wave Gothic Festival (Wave-Gotik-Treffen), Leipzig’s legendary annual celebration of “dark” music and arts, which came to a close on Monday night.

  • Anger over drug companies testing on ‘human guinea pigs’

    There are calls for an investigation into the drugs tests carried out on over 50,000 people in the former East GermanyRevelations that western drug companies colluded with East Germany’s communist regime to use more than 50,000 people as “human guinea pigs” in 1980s medical trials has sparked widespread outrage.

    News magazine Der Spiegel reported that a who’s who of big German, Swiss and US pharmaceutical companies made deals with the dictatorship to test medicines, sometimes without the knowledge of the patients.

    Several people were known to have died during trials, and some tests involved infants and delirious alcoholics, said the report on the agreements with the police state that collapsed in 1989.

  • Bundeswehr to start mental fitness tests

    The Bundeswehr is considering new ways to prevent soldiers suffering mental breakdowns on foreign missions, an internal report has revealed. Traumatised soldiers have also long criticised the length of time it takes to get therapy.

    Prevention, post-trauma job opportunities, and the process of getting therapy were all named as problematic areas in the report, written by battle-trauma specialists and commissioned by the German Defence Ministry. In some cases, it apparently takes years for affected soldiers to be given the help they are entitled to.

    But the report recognised that progress has at least been made in prevention. From now on, soldiers are to undergo regular psychological fitness tests, including one at their enrolment, as well as before and after tours to conflicts abroad. 

    The first screenings are set to take place by the end of the year.

  • Record €154m handout for political parties

    Germany’s political parties will receive more state money than ever before, it was reported last week. In the run-up to September’s election, the country’s parties will be fuelled by over €154million.

    The ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, socialist Linke party, and the ailing junior coalition partner the Free Democratic Party (FDP) will be getting four per cent more state funding this year, the Saarbrücker Zeitung reported. 

    Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, told the paper in an interview that the adjustment had been made to meet the parties’ “typical needs” during an election year. In 2012, they all received around €150million. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 23

    Diners ‘beat top chef to death’

    SYLT. Top Japanese chef Miki Nozawa died last week after apparently being attacked by two German men who were unhappy with their meal in his restaurant on the North Sea island of Sylt. The men, aged 36 and 50, are thought to have beaten 57-year-old Nozawa to death outside a strip club on the holiday island after leaving the restaurant refusing to pay the bill, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. He died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries, Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt, state prosecutor from Flensburg, confirmed. She added that they were yet to be tracked down by police. Nozawa was an internationally renowned chef, famed for his Italian-Japanese fusion cuisine, which he has cooked for Michael Gorbachev, Denzel Washington and Phil Collins, among others. 

  • Free Your Mind

    SJ-HeaderSummerjam is Europe’s biggest reggae festival and takes place at the beginning of July every year at a lake close to the city of Köln. What started as a low key event on the river Rhine now attracts over 25,000 reggae fans.

    The event started out at the Loreley in 1985 and once had its home at the former RAF Wildenrath in 94 and 95. It is now located at Fühlinger to the north of Köln; just a couple of hours drive from Gütersloh.

    Two stages and tents are located on an island with the camping area surrounding the lake. This year’s event takes place over the weekend July 5 to 7 and the motto is Free Your Mind.

  • Celebrate the Summer


  • OWL donation to Red Shield

    Maj Katrina Greetham receives the donation from Pete Lobley of Detmold OWL’s clubThe Salvation Army Red Shield Defence Services in Detmold were delighted to receive a donation from the town’s OWL’s club.

    The Red Shield was the chosen charity for members donations, and €300 was presented on Tuesday, May 14 to Major Katrina Greetham.

    The donation will be used in part to support the children’s club which is run by the Salvation Army, and will provide resources for the children’s activities.

  • The heat is on

    And they’re off... Robert Browning School children ran a mile for charityThe children from Robert Browning School in Sennelager, including FS1 Normandy nursery, FS2 children and years 1 to 4, recently took part in a fun run for charity. 

    The warm-up was led by Sgt (SI) Heycock of the PT School with the All Arms Course members (potential PTIs) – some in fancy dress – running with the different year groups.

  • Fanning the flames of feminist fury

    A Barbie doll goes up in smokeProtesters outnumbered fans at the opening of a life-sized Barbie house in Berlin last week where they burned a doll on a cross. Security guards swiftly ejected the protesters from the site near Alexanderplatz. The Barbie Dreamhouse in Berlin is the second such theme house after a similar one opened recently in Florida.

    For an entry price of €22, visitors can immerse themselves in the pink world of Barbie. They can check out Barbie’s walk-in wardrobes and even ‘try on’ her outfits using a digital mirror.

  • Treat yourself royally

    Prince Maximilian zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg with British wife Princess Marissa in front of their Schloss RhedaAN ANGLO-German royal couple are ‘lowering the drawbridge’ to their enchanting moated castle near Gütersloh and inviting members of the BFG community to visit their annual garden festival.

    If you are looking for something different to do with the family this coming German bank holiday – a drive to Schloss Rheda will be a memorable and noble experience.

    The four-day Frühling Im Park in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, from May 30 to June 2, is a spring show where more than 130 local exhibitors display their quality products against the backdrop of the 12th century fortress.

    The event will have daily entertainment for the whole family including a children’s progamme in the main courtyard, which is rarely open to the public.

  • NOVA system now in force

    New customs documentation for vehicles permanently returning to the United Kingdom

    Check you have completed the correct vehicle documentation if you are taking your car back to the UKDVLA introduced a new system for vehicles arriving back in the UK on April 15. The BFG Form NOVA replaces the old BFG 414 system.

    Before permanently leaving BFG, entitled personnel should have completed all the correct vehicle and customs documentation either at their local Vehicle Licensing Office (VLO) or by post.

    There is now a much tighter time frame associated with NOVA (the document is only valid for 14 days) meaning personnel must declare on the application when they are leaving BFG with the car. The BFG NOVA is then dated from that time.

  • bfgnet: Paderborn Garrison


  • NAAFI Bus Times – Change


  • Paderborn Military Wives Choir – Join us!

    Do you enjoy singing and want to be a part of something amazing? Then come and sing with the Paderborn Military Wives Choir.

    The choir meets every Thursday, from 7pm to 8.30pm at St Peter’s Church, Barker Barracks. It is open to all wives in the garrison, regardless of unit or regiment.

    Interested in booking the choir to sing at your event or function? Contact the choir at We do not charge but donations are greatly appreciated.

  • Unearthing the spud scandal

    Potato price-fixing costs consumers millions

    The potato is one of the most important foods and makes up a large part of the German diet. On average, each German consumes 70kg of potatoes annuallySeveral potato processing plants in Germany are being investigated on the suspicion of illegally fixing prices for more than a decade, costing consumers and farmers more than €100million. 

    Germany’s national competition regulator confirmed on Friday that it was investigating illegal price fixing at nine production and distribution plants.

    A further five have been issued with written notices and the home of one suspect has been searched. 

  • Home burgled every 4 minutes

    Germany is an 'El Dorado for burglars' says the German Police UnionBurglaries, in particular daytime break-ins, rose sharply last year, with robberies becoming more violent, according to new figures seen by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. 

    In the last year, there were 144,117 reported burglaries across the country, representing an increase of nine per cent on the year before. That amounts to a break-in every four minutes. 

    Daytime burglaries went up by 9.5 per cent and muggings of occupants are becoming more violent, with reports of victims being tied up, gagged and beaten, leaving many suffering from panic attacks and sleeplessness for months after the attack. 

  • Merkel’s surprise visit to Afghanistan troops

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited troops in Mazar-i-Sharif last weekChancellor Angela Merkel and Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière arrived in Afghanistan last week for a surprise visit, a German government spokesman said on Friday.

    Merkel and de Maizière went to the German forces’ headquarters in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the spokesman said, without giving details of the visit.

    It comes six days after the death of a German soldier, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

  • Nazi-themed Wagner opera pulled after walkouts

    The Rheinoper's take on Wagner's Tannhäuser proved too traumatic for audiencesA Nazi-themed production of Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser opera has been cancelled in Düsseldorf after realistic death scenes distressed audience members, the opera house said on Thursday.

    The Rheinoper said it was aware that the concept and its implementation would be “controversial”.

    But the opera house’s take on Wagner’s Tannhäuser proved to be so traumatic for some audience members that they had to be taken to hospital. Others slammed doors and booed as they stormed out of the theatre mid-performance.

  • 42 injured in lightning strike

    Ambulance crews treat injured party-goers in daleForty-two people were injured, eight seriously, when lightning struck an outdoor festival in northern Germany on Thursday. Police said many people were catapulted through the air, while others suffered burns. 

    Around 500 people were at the (German) Father’s Day bank holiday party in Dabel, Mecklenburg, when the lightning struck shortly after midday, hitting a tree and a nearby electricity junction box. 

  • Dole-ful summer for contracted teachers

    Contracted teachers are forced to survive the summer holidays on benefitsEvery summer thousands of German teachers are forced to survive on unemployment benefits because their contracts only run during term time, the Süddeutsche Zeitung  reported on Monday.

    In what teachers’ associations are describing as a “scandal”, regional authorities regularly issue contracts to teachers which only last the length of the school year, relying on state benefits to make up the shortfall during July and August. 

  • Appy shoppers at Netto

    Shoppers at discount supermarket Netto can pay by mobile phoneCustomers at discount supermarket Netto will soon be able to pay for their shopping with a mobile phone app, the company said on Friday.

    Over 4,000 branches are expected to offer the technology. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 16

    Ticket machines reject fivers

    FRANKFURT. Train passengers across Germany are battling with outdated train ticket machines which are rejecting the new €5 note issued on May 1. Around 3,500 machines are affected by a software failure which means they cannot recognise the new, more secure and more colourful notes. Instead, they simply spit them back at would-be passengers. Deutsche Bahn spokesman Andreas Fuhrmann said all the machines should be updated by the end of the month, adding that passengers who cannot buy a ticket because they only have the new note should pay their fare on the train. Anyone caught travelling on an S-Bahn without a ticket and can plausibly prove that it was because of a faulty machine not accepting their money, will only have to pay the cost of the fare, rather than the full fine. 

  • 20 Brigade’s brawn battle it out

    The Cross Fit competition saw teams from all of 20 Brigade’s units pushed to the limit of their physical endurance. Pictured: Soldiers lift cast-iron kettle bells to test their strength and flexibilitySoldiers from across Paderborn Garrison came together in Athlone Barracks to compete in 20 Armoured Brigade’s first Cross Fit Competition.

    Nearly 100 competitors in 15 teams took part in a series of physical tests on the sunny parade square of 5 RIFLES’ Barracks in the centre of Paderborn.

    All of 20 Brigade’s units entered a team and from the outset it was clear that some had done some serious training and were going to fight for the top spot.

    Cross Fit is relatively new to the Army with many of the soldiers picking it up during their tour of Afghanistan last year. It is an excellent military sport as people can do it in confined spaces like Forward Operating Bases. 

  • From guns to gowns

    Former captain Nigel Parkin, technical director of UK-based Verb FashionsA FORMER Army captain got in touch with his feminine side when he decided on an unusual career change – selling prom dresses and ball gowns.

    Nigel Parkin, who served in BFG for 15 years, simply joined the family business he had helped set up while serving in the REME.

    He is co-owner of Verb Fashions Ltd, a UK-based business that designs and sells stylish ladies evening wear, along with an
    all-frills service.

    And things are going well – the business has received three orders from Buckingham Palace alone and is planning to open its third store.

    The retired officer said: “Leaving the Army can be challenging, particularly when searching for that new career, and many draw on their training and experience from their military careers. But not quite so in my case!


  • Grandma's Pond

    OmasTeichsignThe Omas Teich (Grandma’s Pond) festival takes place between July 25 and 27 just outside the village of Grossefehn in North Eastern Germany close to the Dutch border.

    It all gets underway with the warm up party on Thursday July 25 with the live bands taking the stages on Friday and Saturday.

    The festival has taken place annually since 1998 and what started as a small party beside the pond in Mario’s grandmother’s garden, has developed into a large rock open air festival with more than 10,000 fans.

    The 3 stages present over 40 national and international bands, there is a large camping area and several specials to keep the party atmosphere at a pitch. This year the headliners include The Bloodhound Gang and Fall Out Boy.

  • Four Seasons – Call for Volunteers

    Did you come to last year’s Four Seasons Christmas Fair?

    Did you enjoy the day? Have you benefited from a Four Seasons grant?

    Would you like to see another fair held this year?

    If the answers to the above are yes, then we need your help.

  • Hospital Liaison Officer changed

    On April 1, the Hospital Liaison Officers (HLOs) were retitled Patient Support Officers (PSOs).  

    PSOs will still be based in the contracted host nation provider hospitals, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4.30pm, across BFG.

    With the exception of Rhine Garrison and Münster, where the service is Monday to Friday, at all other times a PSO is available via the Hospital Hotline 24 hours/seven days a week/365 days a year.


  • Paderborn Garrison Units Tranche 3 Redundancy Workshop


  • AEC Open Day – May 21–23


    41 AEC Group have a range of courses available to all entitled personnel ie any serving soldiers, their dependants as well as UKBCs and their dependants.


  • Hameln Military Wives Choir – live on stage

    Hameln Military Wives’ Choir will be performing as part of Hameln’s traditional Pentecost Service in the Market Square on May 19 at 10.30am.

    Padre David Middlemiss, of 28 Engr Regt, said: “It’s a huge event for the choir, and in a visually stunning location.

    "What the choir is doing is also pretty spectacular – think Sister Act and you get the idea!”

  • Back to the 1950s Americana show

    Petticoat junction - the Kaunitz 50s festival is midway between Paderborn and GüterslohHE’S a jukebox junkie, tailfins turn him on, and he’s fixated with Fifties USA.

    Little surprise, then, that Markus Wiessing set out to combine all three of his passions in an Americana classic car and paraphernalia show open to the public.

    That was 21 years ago. Now the Musikbox & Strassenkreuzer Festival in Kaunitz near Verl is an established annual event that draws hundreds of punters over a spring weekend.

    This year, the show takes place on May 25 and 26, and the usual attractions will be there: countless classic cars of American, British and German makes, a stage with rockabilly/doo-whop bands, burgers and beer stands, and a 50s memorabilia market.

  • Mental health app supports Armed Forces ‘on the go’

    The new Joining Forces App is already available for iPhone and iPad with the Android version being launched later in the yearA brand new App designed to deliver unique information and support on mental health disorders affecting the Armed Forces is now available to all Serving personnel to access wherever they are in the world.

    The App's innovative functions have been designed specifically for current Serving personnel to provide tailored information on a total of 11 mental health problems including anxiety, post traumatic stress and depression, as well as highlighting where to access help.

    The new App also features interactive videos from a lead psychiatrist on the signs and symptoms of mental health problems encouraging Serving personnel to seek advice if they feel they have any of these symptoms.

  • Museum with a future

    The Fallingbostel Military  Museum opening weekend combined the past with the present with re-enactment soldiers donning Second World War military uniforms and displays of the latest in British military equipment THREE former prisoners of war in Bad Fallingbostel made the pilgrimage to take part in the 8th Annual Memorial Service to POWs of all nations who had been held in the notorious Stalags XI-B, XI-D and 357.

    But this year their visit coincided with the opening of the new Fallingbostel Military Museum during a weekend organised by Kev Greenhalgh, museum curator and a former SNCO in 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.

    His passion for history and military memorabilia has led to the Stadt of Bad Fallingbostel recognising the museum formally by renting the Union building, a five-storey former railway silo warehouse, and recognising the formation of a ‘Verein’ or society.

  • Afghan Archers

    The new radio programme is the brainchild of Navy Lt Jo NicholsonA Royal Naval Reservist from Buckinghamshire has created a hit radio programme in Helmand province inspired by The Archers.

    Lt Jo Nicholson, 42, from Adstock, has put his farming background to good use while deployed in Afghanistan by creating Crops and the Farmer.

    The show is broadcast in Pashtun on Radio Tamadoon, and provides advice and tips for Afghan farmers.

  • Pretty in pink

    Elmpt Station were pretty in pink last month to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Care charityThe ladies of Elmpt Station were pretty in pink last month to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Care charity.

    Guests were treated to a glass of pink champagne on arrival, a finger buffet and were entertained by DJ SSgt Sarah Matthews.

    Organised by Tany Langley with assistance from Elizabeth Lawes, the Pink Party was an overwhelming success, raising a total of €2,400.

  • Moonlighting mercenaries

    Bundeswehr soldiers are working as ship security guards and in combat zones while off-dutyGerman soldiers are moonlighting illegally at private security firms while off-duty, a newspaper revealed on Monday. Working as heavily armed guards on freighters or in war-zones, some do it for the cash and others for the adrenaline kick. 

    As members of the Bundeswehr, soldiers are not allowed to work as mercenaries for private companies – yet many are doing so, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) found out. 

    Exact figures on how many of Germany’s soldiers, or former soldiers, work the private security sector are unknown. According to the FAZ’s research, the field is growing and critics are warning of a “mercenary renaissance”. 

  • Keep it in the family

    Bavaria nepotism scandal: 79 MPs named

    Barbara Stamm, president of the Bavarian state parliament, has named 79 MPs who have employed family members as their assistantsA smouldering row over politicians employing relatives in well-paid assistant roles burst into a full-blown nepotism scandal last Friday, when the head of Bavaria’s state parliament named and shamed 79 MPs.

    The scale of the scandal engulfing the Bavarian government ballooned when president of the regional parliament Barbara Stamm ignored voices of protest and published a list of guilty parties.

    The 79 members of parliament –including six of the 11 cabinet ministers – were identified by Stamm as having employed spouses, children or parents as their assistants.

    Those politicians are overwhelmingly from the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. 

    Stamm, also a CSU member, said she had defied the wishes of her colleagues to publish the names – but would not reveal how much they had been paying their relatives.

    “If anyone is against being published [on the list], and I do it any-way, then he should sue me,” she said. At the same time, she added, each case should be judged individually.  

    Those on the list are said to have taken on family members after the regional law was altered in 2000 to forbid MPs from making new contracts to employ immediate relatives. 

    However, a clause in the law meant that existing contracts would be excluded, a loophole the politicians on the list exploited.

    “Such a long transition period would never be put in place today,” said Stamm, and added that a complete ban on employing relatives would be in place by July.

    CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt defended his party’s reaction to the scandal and rejected calls from the opposition Social Democrats for the cabinet members involved to step down.

    “We’re dealing with it actively,  tightening the rules and putting a stop to it once and for all,” he said.

  • Munich medley

    Passers-by can make music in Munich at various locations, including the airportThe international Play Me, I’m Yours project arrived in Munich at the weekend, with 14 pianos being positioned around the city for passers-by to play as their hearts desire. 

    Brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram, and brought to Munich with help from the German Music for Children association, Play Me, I’m Yours kicked off last Saturday with an ad-hoc concert from Munich-based indie band The Becqerels. 

  • Germany News in Brief - May 9

    New faces on media landscape

    MUNICH. Two new faces on the media landscape were unveiled last week, with Der Spiegel news magazine appointing a new editor-in-chief and US-export Huffington Post announcing the launch of a German site. Huffington Post will be teaming up with Focus Online news magazine to launch a German-language site late this summer. The announcement caused a stir among the country’s journalists and bloggers, many of whom tweeted their concerns about the fact the Huffington Post does not pay many of its columnists and relies on a small, paid editorial team. In the print world, Der Spiegel announced its new editor-in-chief would be Wolfgang Büchner – formerly editor of German news agency DPA. Büchner, 46, will take the reins of both the print edition and the Spiegel Online website, which previously were lead by two different people.

  • BFG fuel coupon selling prices - May

    With effect from May 1, BFG fuel coupon selling prices for May 2013 will be as follows:

    Super 95 (E5) – €9.30 No change

    Super Plus – €9.95 No change

    Diesel – €9.35 Change

    Diesel Plus – €10.55 Change

    Selling points are responsible for obtaining new or confirming previous prices before commencement of business on the first day of any month. 

    No allowance will be made by the Fuel Coupon Accountant, HQ BFG, for coupons sold at incorrect prices.

    Restriction of BFG coupons on German autobahns

    Tank and Rast AG are the service providers for all German autobahn service stations.  

    Until recently all oil companies operating on German autobahns sold fuel under their own name but under overall control of Tank and Rast.

    Due to organisational changes enforced by Tank and Rast there are now 20 service stations, operated by Aral and Esso and displaying their brand name and colours, who are, or will be during 2013, no longer in a position to accept BFG coupons.

    This change of procedure is with immediate effect and until further notice.

    Negotiations are in progress to amend this unsatisfactory situation but, unfortunately, it will not be resolved in the immediate future.

    This restriction does not apply to Aral and EuroShell fuel cards used in official vehicles.

     A list of relevant service stations is detailed below.


    Should BFG motorists inadvertently refuel at these service stations and tender BFG coupons as payment they will be rejected and the normal retail pump price will have to be paid. It is hoped that Tank and Rast will provide suitable notices to this effect at the pumps.

  • Home-Start Family Day Trip

    Pad-Family Trip

  • Bike and Rock Show


  • Bargains Galore

    Car booters and bargain-hunters were out in force at the RBL sale – and helped to raise over €2,000 for the Poppy AppealSuper weather, top junk and delicious British treats made the recent car boot sale of the Royal British Legion in Paderborn the most successful in recent years.

    Punters arrived in droves to check out what 85 car booters had on display on the square in Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager, on April 28.

    “The first car boot of this year was a great success – we had the largest turnout in recent years and raised at least €2,000 for the Poppy Appeal,” said RBL Paderborn branch chairman Jim Griffiths.

  • Ringlokschuppen Bielefeld

    ringlokschuppenOriginally built adjacent to the main railway line between Bielefeld and Herford in 1905, the Ringlokschuppen was closed as a diesel locomotive shop in 1985.

    It fell into decline but was given a new lease of life in 2002 and converted into one of the most important event centres in the area.

    With its versatile stage and hall system it hosts many events from exhibitions through discos to concerts. Here are a couple of concerts coming up featuring English speaking artists to whet your appetite.

  • Case adjourned

    Emotions high at start/stop of neo-Nazi murder trial 

     A calm Beate Zschäpe in court on Monday – she is accused of involvement in multiple racially motivated murders, nail bombings and armed robberiesHundreds of black balloons filled the sky over a Munich courthouse on Monday as Germany’s biggest ever neo-Nazi murder trial got under way, with anti-racism protesters noisily demanding justice.

    But Beate Zschäpe, 38, the woman at the centre of the case, was the picture of calm, as she entered the courtroom.

    Outside, protesters waved Turkish flags and held large black-and-white photos of the 10 victims whose deaths between 2000 and 2007 were blamed on the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU), of which Zschäpe was a founding member.

  • Boy – it’s the world’s smallest film!

    View A Boy and his Atom on YouTubeA Boy and His Atom is a stop-motion animated short film released on YouTube by IBM Research and has been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest movie ever created.

    The film was created by a research team headed by German scientist Andreas Heinrich and depicts a boy playing with an atom that takes various forms.

    One minute in length, it was made by moving carbon monoxide molecules viewed through a scanning tunnelling microscope, magnifying them 100 million times. The molecules were manipulated to create images, which were then saved as individual frames to animate them.

  • BFPO notice: Damaged goods



    NTK-MailBFPO are increasingly seeing instances of damaged tablet computers/iPads due to insufficient packaging.

    Senders are using Jiffy bags and/or bubble wrap which is not adequate to protect the screens from damage within the postal system. 

    Since April 26, BFPO will not accept new claims for damaged screens where inadequate packing was used. 

    Senders should use the manufacturer’s original packaging or, as a minimum standard, a rigid cardboard box and solid polystyrene foam blocks to cushion against impact and keep the item from moving inside the box.

  • Home-Start Hameln: Half-term activities


  • Blooming Hamburg

    Thousands of visitors spent the May 1 holiday taking in the exotic plants at the international garden show on Hamburg’s Elbe island of Wilhelmsburg.

    The summer-long show showcases visions by gardeners, breeders and landscape architects under the motto ‘Around the World in 80 Gardens’. 

  • British band plays PB club

    Top cover rock band The B# Sharps will be performing at the Kulturwerkstatt in Paderborn on May 11.

    The British band, featuring SCE teacher Steve Jessop on lead guitar, will be supporting a Dutch blues band at the club on Bahnhofstrasse 64, starting at 8pm.

  • Marriage Course

    THE next Marriage Course will be from May 15–17 at All Saints Church, Fallingbostel.

    The course formula is a fantastic atmosphere, a romantic meal for two, practical talks and couple discussion times but no group work. The course is free, and runs from 9am to 3.30pm.

    To register email: or call Ruth on Mil (77) 2515. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: Strong Bonds BFG.

  • Spotlight on Asthma

    Asthma Awareness Week - May 6-10

    In the UK, one person is hospitalised every seven minutes and three people die every day as a result of asthma

    Asthma is a long term condition of the lungs which causes breathing problems and affects males and females of varying ages. There are currently over five million people living with asthma in the UK and over 700 in British Forces Germany (BFG) alone.  

    Symptoms and Triggers

    The main symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. However, not every person who has asthma will have all of these symptoms and some people may only experience them occasionally. 

  • Remembering a bubbly girl

    Bubbly girl Katlyn, who died in March of a rare brain tumor aged fourEVERY parent’s worst nightmare of losing a child became a tragic reality for a young British couple in Gütersloh.

    Loving mother Jenny Quinn, 26, was devastated when her little daughter Katlyn died of a brain tumor in March.

    The active four year old, a sweet smiling and extremely intelligent girl for her age, had been diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

    DIPG is a rare and inoperable tumor that attacks the brain stem, wrapping itself around it like a snake and fusing itself among the nerves.

    A few weeks after Katlyn’s death, Jenny got the idea to raise funds for the “five star” hospice where her daughter spent her last days.

  • SPD and Greens pledge to fight

    Committed: Party leaders Cem Özdemir, left, and Claudia Roth with Sigmar Gabriel, SPD, at the Greens’ party congress Germany’s Greens pledged to fight a joint battle with the centre-left Social Democrats against conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections five months away as it wrapped up a three-day party congress on Sunday.

    The Greens, who grew out of the 1970s peace, anti-nuclear and environmental movements, are now the country’s third biggest political force and are hoping to return to national government with the campaign slogan “Germany is renewable”.

    At their Berlin party congress the Greens, who score around 15 per cent in polls, committed to stick with the Social Democrats as alliance partners despite the weakness of that party’s would-be chancellor Peer Steinbrück.

  • Adidas loan haunts Bayern boss Hoeness

    Uli Hoeness, president of FC BayernFC Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who last week admitted tax evasion, may have taken millions in a ‘loan’ from the CEO of Adidas as a sweetener for picking an outfitting deal over rival Nike, the Süddeutsche Zeitung suggested on Thursday.

    Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus ‘loaned’ millions to his close friend Hoeness back in 2000 so that the club president could go and have a bit of fun gambling on the global stock market.

  • The ‘sex and drugs’ party

    How will voters react to the Pirate party’s revolution in the conservative south?The Bavarian Pirate Party may now become known as the sex and drugs party after adopting a range of policies on two political hot topics at their state conference in Gemünden am Main over the weekend.

    One major decision was to adopt a call for the possession of cannabis to be decriminalised in the southern state, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported. 

    “It cannot be, that every year we invite thousands of tourists to the [Oktoberfest] Wies’n, who then lie vomiting in the corner, but at the same time, remove someone’s driving licence just because he smokes a joint once in a while,” said Florian Deissenrieder, a 29-year-old Pirate candidate for the state parliament.

    Rather than punishment, the party has called for drug education in schools.

  • Gunman kills Hameln politician

    Rüdiger Butte, former head of the crime investigation office in Lower Saxony and district administrator in Hameln, was shot on FridayA gunman killed a top official in Hameln last Friday before shooting himself, police said.

    Shots were heard shortly after 10am in the city’s main administrative building, where 63-year-old Butte was later found dead along with the body of his assailant.

    The attacker, 74-year-old Hans B was facing eviction and the loss of his driving licence and had been trying for some days to get an appointment to see Butte.

  • Germany News in Brief - May 2

    Merkel rejects deposit guarantee

    BERLIN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that her government backs a proposed European banking union but rejects, for now, a plan for common deposit guarantees. Such schemes would reimburse depositors by a limited amount of their funds if a bank failed – a measure meant to boost confidence and prevent bank runs. The 17-member eurozone will establish a banking union to help countries tackle problems with troubled banks. Under the plan, the European Central Bank will supervise more than 5,000 banks from July 2014. Other proposed steps include a process for winding down banks, and a regional deposit guarantee system that effectively spreads the risk between member countries.


  • Social networking

    Information, links and documents which you may find useful to ensure you use social networking sites safely and securely.


    Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to documents and files you might publish online.

    Many people are unaware of the fact that the photos they take with their smartphones and load to the Internet have been geotagged (ie the exact location of where the photo was taken is known).

    JSyCC has produced a document with further information, accessible via


  • Pass a huge smile for a worthy cause

    Passing the smile in GüterslohA human chain will be formed on Princess Royal Barracks on Sunday, May 12, in this year’s Pass the Smile event – and everyone is welcome to take part.

    Pass the Smile is an unusual but novel idea that was born from a group of 5 to 7 year old girls from 1st Gütersloh Rainbows group.

    It started when Dale McMahon, from The Royal British Legion, Gütersloh Branch, was invited by Jilly Carrel, Rainbow Group Leader to give a talk on the significance of the Poppy and Remembrance to the Rainbows on November 2, 2011.

  • Fly-by the Rosenhof

    Once showing Hollywood blockbusters, the Rosenhof is making a name for itself as an intimate setting on the concert scene and attracting some great acts inside its walls. Here are some of the highlights over the next few weeks.

    The Levellers

    LevellersSince they released their latest work, Static on the Airwaves, the band from Brighton has been more or less permanently on tour. They finished their 2012 tour in October last year and are now back in Germany to get the audiences bouncing once again to their typical alternative rock sound.

    But they are not a new band they have been around the blocks since 1988 and released 12 albums; Zeitgeist being the most notable topping the UK charts in 1995.

    So they are back again and can be enjoyed at the Rosenhof on May 10 for not much more than €23.

  • New city tax to hit Berlin tourists from July

    Overnight stays in Berlin will cost more as of July 1Tourists heading to Berlin this summer for a budget weekend will have to save up a few extra euros.

    From July 1 visitors will have to pay a five per cent ‘city tax’ on overnight stays in all Berlin hotels, hostels, guest-houses, holiday flats and campsites.

    The tax is expected to bring in an extra €25million a year for the capital – half of which will be fed back into Berlin’s tourist industry. 

    The tax – which is already charged on stays in many German cities including Hamburg, Köln, Osnabrück, Dortmund and Trier – will only be charged when tourists state the reason for their trip as “private”.

    Those on business trips are exempt from the charge – but they will have to prove it; others must show they are in the city for professional reasons by filling in a form with details of their trip.

  • Bereaved gather

    Members from the support group laid flowers, wreaths and tributes at the Loughborough Carillon war memorialMembers of the SSAFA Support Group for Bereaved Families gathered in Loughborough over the weekend of April 27-28 to remember loved ones killed during military service.

    Families attended two days of workshops and discussions designed to help them cope with the emotions of loss and the impact of tragedy.

    On Saturday afternoon, Army Cadets lined the route to the Carillion, a war memorial housing bells in the town's park, where 170 members from the support group laid flowers, wreaths and tributes.

  • New €5 note issued from May 2

    The new €5 note will be available at all banks from May 2.

    The new €5 bank note, available from May 2

    The design of the Europa series is based on the “ages and styles” theme of the first series. However, the new notes have been visually modified in order to give them a fresh look and to accommodate a range of new and enhanced security features, which will also make it easy to differentiate between the two series.

    As in the first series, the new Europa series banknotes will show architectural styles from seven periods in Europe’s cultural history, but do not show any existing monuments or bridges.

    An independent banknote designer based in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, was selected to refresh the design of the euro banknotes.


  • Telekom plans to throttle Internet

    German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom has triggered outcry from politicians and customers after announcing it would put a data limit on flat rate Internet plans.

    From May 2, customers with flat rate Internet packages will be hit with a slower connection if they go over 75 gigabytes of data in a month, said Deutsche Telekom last week. German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler quickly voiced concern over the idea, which he said posed problems for net neutrality.


  • Change to Dependant pay processing in BFG

    The Defence Business Services (DBS) BFG Dependant pay team will be assuming the responsibility of processing pay for dependant staff in Germany who are employed by GLSU.

    On the closure of the RMC and the move of HQ BFG and orphan units to Bielefeld, the LEC pay bureau will be closed and the provision of a dependant payroll service will be moved to the UK.

    Defence Business Services Civilian Human Resources (DBS Civilian HR) is an integrated set of simplified, standardised HR services for Ministry of Defence civilian employees and their line managers.

    The DBS currently provide a payroll and HR service to some 50,000 civilians working for the MoD.

    The service will be taken on in stages over a period of time commencing from May 13 with completion by the end of July 13.

    Please note: with effect from April 25, 2013, initially only those units in Hohne Garrison with dependant employees are to send BFG 24s and any other correspondence normally sent to the LEC Pay Bureau to the DBS BFG Pay Team.

    Paderborn Garrison will follow on after pay in May has been processed.

    The payroll service will be transferred to DBS by July 31, 2013 in four stages:

    Stage 1 - May 13 - Hohne including Bad Fallingbostel

    Stage 2 - Jun 13 - Paderborn including Hameln and Sennelager

    Stage 3 - Jul 13 - Gütersloh including Bielefeld, Münster, Dülmen and Herford

    Stage 4 - Aug 13 - All other areas

    The DBS BFG Dep pay team will assume the pay bureau responsibilities in accordance with the above timetable. Regular updates will be publicised during the transition period.

    DBS BFG pay team comprises James Gray (team leader), Basia Lutwiejko, Ian Collier-Webb, Megan Price and Lauren Whale.

    Dependant employees with a specific pay related enquiry will have a central contact point in the UK in much the same way as civilians working for the MoD in the UK have.

    GLSUs in Germany will of course continue to be the focal point for employees however and be able to deal with enquiries as is currently the practice.

    Contact arrangements for the DBS BFG Dep Pay Team will be promulgated in the near future.

    The DBS BFG pay team will provide a payroll service but some responsibilities will continue to be provided by LEC Sp Svcs eg payslips will be printed and sealed centrally in Bielefeld and forwarded by LEC Sp Svcs to each GLSU for distribution to units similar to the procedure that is in place for DEL employees.

    What does this mean for GLSU/Units?

    All GLSUs will have direct contact with the DBS BFG Dep pay team to conduct normal everyday business.

    For units – instead of BFG 24 and other pay documentation being sent to the pay clerk at the LEC pay bureau, pay documentation is to be sent direct to the DBS BFG pay team.

    Important: With effect from April 25, 2013, initially only those units in Hohne Garrison with dependant employees are to send BFG 24s and any other correspondence normally sent to the LEC Pay Bureau to the DBS BFG Pay Team.

    Paderborn Garrison will follow on after pay in May has been processed.

    What does the transition mean for Dependant employees?

    As the same software and processes will be used, dependant employees should not notice any difference in the future regarding payment.

    The central contact point for specific pay related enquiries is: Defence Business Services, BFG Dependants Pay Team, Oak Building West, Level 2, Mail Point #6036, Abbey Wood North, Bristol BS34 8QW

  • Medical centre closures – May public holidays –

    BFG medical centres will be closed due to the German public holidays on May 9, 20 and 30.

    Exceptions: Hohne and Fallingbostel medical centres are open on Thursday, May 9 and Monday, May 20 for soldiers sick parade and for doctor and nurse military occupational health appointments only.

    Routine community nursing and physiotherapy services are not available on these dates.

    If you are unwell call your medical centre first as there is a telephone advisory service offering 24/7 medical advice with duty staff on hand for anyone needing urgent attention.