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More Westphalian Winters

Posted in 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, Band, BAOR, Osnabruck 76-84? by 노강호 on February 6, 2012

I recently found these photos lurking in the bottom of an old BFPO box. They were taken in Osnabrück, Imphal Barracks, either in 1979, in the winter before Dave Smith and I went to Kneller Hall, or in 1981/82, after we returned. I’m making this guess as Andy Coombes is in a  similar winter photo (Westphalian Winters) and had left the band by the time we returned from KH.

Charlie Harris posing in the snow

Mick Pickering and Phil Watson

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©努江虎 – 노강호 2012  Creative Commons Licence.
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Westphalian Winters

Posted in Osnabruck 76-84?, Uncategorized by 노강호 on July 22, 2011

a great photo capturing Phil Watson and Andy Coombs at a significant moment

I have special memories of winters in Osnabrück. I think these photos must have been taken around 1978 because Dave Smith and I went to Kneller Hall in 1979 and Andy Coombs had transferred to another band by the time we returned.

Osnabrück winters were severe with heavy snow appearing usually at about the same time we were playing in the Hallemünsterland show, which was every December. The snow hung around for months and I clearly remember chunks of compacted snow, the remnants of that which had been swept to the side of pavements, loitering into early April.

Then, there were odd occasions when the finest drizzle fell onto the freezing ground and everything was glazed in a fine sheet of black ice. I only remember this kind of weather twice over a 10 year period but it was memorable because for several hours everything was suspended; all traffic stopped and the pavements were so treacherous that even walking  a short distance was dangerous.

There were a numbers of photos taken at the same time as the two I have added here, the others included Knocker Patterson, Bones and Mick Pickering.

Both photos are intensely familiar to such a point I can almost feel the nip of a Wesphalian winter and smell dinner as its aroma drifts from the nearby cookhouse. In the photo above, to the left of Phil Watson’s head, are the birch trees around which I practiced taekwondo over 7 years.

Bob Hallett and John Adye on the edge of the Regimental Square

Silver Birch trees were so prolific in northern Germany, they covered Imphal Barracks and I remember an enormous, somewhat desolate forest of silver birch surrounding Bergen-Belsen. In autumn and spring, Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, which grow in a symbiotic relationship with silver birch, would spring up around them. In spring, the Catkins, laden with pollen, were a great source of irritation for Mick Henderson and on a blowy afternoon, I recall watching the trees around the Regimental Square swing and sway in the wind agitating a cloud of yellow pollen.

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© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.