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  • Major chatter

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

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

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

  • California calling

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

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

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

  • Get your skates on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bundeswehr troops to join NATO mission

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

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

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

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

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

  • Far-right clashes in eastern town

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

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

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

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

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

  • Germany News in Brief - September 22, 2016

    Pirate politician found dead

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

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

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

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

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

  • Chilling and grilling with QRH

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Meningitis and septicaemia jab

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

  • Piercing product infection warning

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

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

  • Oktoberfest opens in München

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

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

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

  • More than 160,000 join German trade deal protest

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Blackmailer targets schools with poisoned marzipan

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

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

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

  • ASD Parent Support Group

    ASD Support Group

  • PRI Shop to open in Bielefeld

    PRI Shop

  • QRH fund-raising for the SSAFA Big Brew

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

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

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

  • QRH charity valeting service

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

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

  • Cinelink in October

    Cinelink in October

  • Autumn event at Bielefeld Library

    Autumn event

  • RBL Fun Run - October 21

    RBL Fun Run

  • Calling all families in Westfalen Garrison!

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

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

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

  • Soldiering On – Nominations

    Soldiering On

  • IOSH – October 17-20

    IOSH

  • Easel does it

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

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

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

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

  • What a year!

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

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

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

  • A rally fantastic result

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

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

  • Meet the forces’ super-humans

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

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

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

  • Former British residence goes under the hammer

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

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

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

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

  • Schäuble sees scope for tax cuts after 2017 vote

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

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

  • Germany News in Brief - September 15, 2016

    Libyan chemical arms delivered

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

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

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

  • Half-term fun with AWS in Bielefeld and Gütersloh

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

    Family trip to Legoland Discovery Centre – Monday, October 24

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

    Day out in Willingen – Tuesday, October 25

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

    Halloween Horrorfest – Saturday, October 29 

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

    How to sign up

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

    Limited places available so book asap!

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

  • 26 RA’s Big Weekend Bash

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

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

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

  • Schloss Neuhaus celebrates 1,000 years

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

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

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

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

  • What's on in the Gütersloh area – 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • DM recall in salmonella scare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 2 million children living in poverty

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

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

  • Know what you’re buying!

    8 tips for buying medicines and medical devices online safely

    1. Look for the distance-selling logo

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

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

  • Vauxhall product safety recall

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

    The issue

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

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

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

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

    Owners will need to complete both recall actions.

  • What's on in the Gütersloh area – 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • RBL Bingo at Mansergh

    RBL Bingo

  • Read a Classic

    Read a Classic

  • Krafty Kids – Autumn Programme

    Krafty Kids – Autumn Programme

  • Welcome to Michaelis Week

    September 26 – October 4

    Gütersloh town centre

    Daily from 2pm

    Michaelis Week

  • FC Paderborn United recruiting

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

    Call the club on on 05254 982 2338 or email: paderbornunited@gmail.com 

  • LVLO closure for staff training

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

    September 23

    October 28

    November 25

  • Vacancy: Sixth Sense Sports Editor

    SportsEditorVacancy

  • Targeting teambuilding

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

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

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

  • King’s School top results

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

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

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

  • Seas the day

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

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

  • Oktoberfest

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

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

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

  • Bielefeld Butterflies Day Nursery

    Bielefeld Butterflies Day Nursery

  • Contracting, Purchasing and Finance

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

    Five things you need to know about CP&F: 

    1. What does CP&F stand for?

    CP&F stands for Contracting, Purchasing & Finance. 

    2. What is Contracting, Purchasing & Finance?

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

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

  • State election: Merkel under pressure

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

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

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

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

  • Too poor to retire

    Almost 1million pensioners still working

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

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

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

  • Germany News in Brief - September 8, 2016

    Recall of 630,000 vehicles starts

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

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

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

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

  • Changes to FFR, LOA and COLA – September 2016

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

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

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

  • Sun and fun at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Paderborn Equestrian Challenge 2016

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

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

    Visit the website for more information and ticket prices:www.schuetzenhof.de

  • Mansergh Barracks Medical Centre – Important Notice

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

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

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

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

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

    In the event of an emergency, please dial 112.

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

  • Performance by the Band of the Irish Guards

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

  • Free concert, Bielefeld

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

    FREE concert on Sunday, September 11, at 6pm

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

  • ‘Confused’ mum sparks airport evacuation

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

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

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

  • €58 million investment in Turkish airbase

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

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

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

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

  • Travel to UK via French channel ports

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

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

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

  • Advice for boarding school and university students

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

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

  • Krafty Kids in September

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

    Autumn Collage Pictures – September 13

    Canvas Painting Day – September 20

    Wooden Spoons Puppets – September 27

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

  • Booth for rent – Paderborn community hub

    Space for rentEmpty booth for rent in Paderborn

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

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

  • Paderborn Military Wives Choir – Newbie Night

    MWC Paderborn Newbie Night on September 19

  • Paderborn Ladies Netball – September

    Paderborn Ladies Netball meets on Tuesdays

  • A look back at the beautiful game

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

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

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

     

  • A load of bull!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Germany News in Brief - September 1, 2016

    Death of former president Scheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Baby Clinic move

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

  • Let the music free your body

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

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

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

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

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

  • All aboard the Tierpark Express

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • FREE screening: Pete’s Dragon

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

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

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

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

    For details about future screenings at the new Mansergh Hall Cinema and other SSVC Forces Cinemas visit: www.forcescinemas.com or connect via social media: @SSVCCinemas and www.facebook.com/SSVCForcesCinemas

  • Buoy, what a send-off

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

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

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

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

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

  • Gütersloh Military Wives Choir rehearsals

    Gütersloh Military Wives Choir

  • Contaminated water at Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh - Update

    October 1 – The water test carried out on the fresh water supply at Princess Royal Barracks over the last few days has shown no change to the bacteria levels.

    Further tests are being carried out but the results are not expected to be known until October 7 at the earliest.

    September 28 – HQ BFG notified that following water sampling at Princess Royal Barracks (PRB) in Gütersloh, a higher than usual level of bacteria has been found in tap water. 

    This affects water supplies at PRB, the Families’ NAAFI and the top patch, Zeppelin and Parseval Strasse.

    Precautionary measures should continue to be taken until further notice by boiling all drinking water in the affected areas for at least five minutes before it is used for human consumption or for the preparation of food and beverages – or by using purchased bottled water.

    Boiling the water will kill all germs so it can be used safely. 

    Daily hygiene (showering, laundry, toileting) can be carried out safely although care should be taken to avoid swallowing water.

    If you have any of the following symptoms - diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and stomach pains – you are advised to seek medical advice.

    Infants, young children, pregnant women, seniors and people with lowered immune systems are most at risk.

  • Increase in Kindergeld

    All members of BFG who are receiving or have applied for German Kindergeld should be aware of the increases to the rates of payment that have recently been announced. 

    The first increase of €4 per child per month will be paid from 1 September 1 but will be backdated to January 1, 2015. 

    Back payments for the period January 1 to August 31 will be paid as a lump sum in October. 

    The second increase of €2 per month will be made effective and paid from January 1, 2016.

    For ease, the current and revised rates (prior to deductions made for UK child benefit received)  are shown below:

    For 1st and 2nd child: €184 pm (current rate); €188 pm (from January 1, 2015); €190 pm (from January 1, 2016)

    For the 3rd child: €190 pm (current rate); €194 pm (from January 1, 2015); €196 pm (from January 1, 2016)

    For the 4th child: €215 pm (current rate); €219 pm (from January 1, 2015); €221 pm (from January 1, 2016)

    These increases will take effect automatically, so you do not need to take any action. For those who received Kindergeld earlier this year but are no longer entitled to receive it, the outstanding payment will be sent to the bank account known as the Familienkasse.

  • Lottery millionaire

    A man from Bavaria couldn’t believe his luck last week when the lottery draw for the September 23 edition of the country’s most-watched TV programme was made.

    Not only did he pick the correct six numbers – he also had the extra number which meant he walked away with a staggering €33,236,872.50.

    The jackpot had to be cleared after 12 draws in which no-one won the top prize.

    And the winning numbers? 10, 14, 18, 24, 33, 44 with the Super number: 9.

  • VW recall information expected this week

    Volkswagen is poised to tell 11 million motorists in the next few days that it needs to recall their vehicles as the carmaker prepares its response to the emissions scandal that has rocked the company.

    Matthias Müller, the new chief executive of VW, told a meeting of the company’s top 1,000 managers on Monday that a comprehensive plan has been drawn up to ensure vehicles fitted with a defeat device meet emissions standards.

    This plan will be submitted to regulators, and customers will be contacted in the coming days about having their vehicles refitted.

  • Civilian wasted police time

    A UKBC pleaded guilty to wasting police time after leaving a message on the answer machine at the Hohne Officers' Mess declaring he was “about to blow up a potential IED”.

    DIO worker Thomas Stewart Grant admitted he used “a bad choice of words” but claimed he was trying to protect the public from a suspicious car parked near Hohne camp.

    A Service Civilian Court in Sennelager heard that the voicemail left at about 4.30am on June 15 last year, followed the defendant’s complaints to the military police about an apparently abandoned vehicle in his street behind Glyn Hughes Barracks.

  • Faithfully yours

    win Marianne Faithful tickets with Sixth SenseMarianne Faithfull will celebrate her 50th anniversary in music with a world tour that will last over a year.

    The tour opens on October 11 in Stuttgart, and, so far, runs to February with all dates announced to date in Europe. She will be appearing in Bielefeld on October 21, at 8pm, in the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle.

    Faithfull’s music career started in 1964 with her cover of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Andrew Loog Oldham’s As Tears Go By reaching number 9 in the UK chart.

  • Don't Suffer in Silence

    A NEW helpline dedicated to supporting victims of revenge porn has taken over 1,800 calls in just six months.

    The calls, which relate to over 280 individual cases, have been made since February when the Government launched the helpline to help tackle the problem of people sharing intimate images online as a way of seeking revenge or ridiculing individuals.

    The service, which is run by South West Grid for Learning, provides callers with information on legal help available and their right to have the images removed from websites.

  • Ruck on

    The Army kick offHundreds filled the A J Bell Stadium in Salford for the second round of the Inter-Services Rugby League competition.

    The first match of the afternoon took place on the Community Pitch, where the Army and RAF’s academy sides faced each other. Alongside the main stadium complex, the match drew a good crowd to watch the Army Academy open their account in this year’s Inter-Services Series against the RAF Academy.

    The RAF Academy came to the match after a good performance against the RN Academy last week but showing several changes to their squad after losing several players to the senior squad, backing up for players injured in the first round. The Army academy however were fresh and looking to make a big impression on the series; this they did in no uncertain terms, running in 11 tries in the game, and with William Holmes putting over eight conversions, they overcame a valiant RAF academy side who never gave up throughout.

  • Cycle of Army life

    The team of Signallers on their way out of Hammersmith Barracks in HerfordSoldiers from 1 Signal Regiment cycling team bade farewell to Germany and their former home in Hammersmith Barracks, Herford, last Friday (August 28) before embarking on a journey back to Beacon Barracks in Stafford.

    The team are endeavouring to cover the 703km in just eight days with the challenge and route designed to give the cycle team the opportunity to undertake some long-distance road training.

    They will pass through Saffron Waldron, Bletchley and Nuneaton, where signal squadrons are based, before arriving in Stafford on Friday, September 4.

  • Berlin museum brings spies in from the cold

    Spychute Parachute with carrier pigeon - c Spy Museum BerlinGermany’s very first museum of spying opened in Berlin on September 19 in a tribute to the history of the ‘Capital City of Espionage’.

    The building that stands in the former Death Strip on the eastern side of the Berlin Wall houses relics from the long Cold War duel of encryption, assassination and eavesdropping across the Iron Curtain.

    Visitors will have access to a trove of never-before-seen information and over 1,000 artefacts ranging from ancient Babylonian cipher techniques to parachutes used to supply agents behind enemy lines with carrier pigeons during the First World War.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 24, 2015

    200 soldiers’ skeletons found

    FRANKFURT – The skeletons of 200 Napoleonic soldiers have been found during building work in Frankfurt, officials said on September 17.

    Olaf Cunitz, head of town planning for the city, said: “We think they are soldiers from the Great Army in 1813”, who were on the way back from Napoleon’s Russian campaign. 

  • Families’ favourite

    5 RIFLES providing and improving to the end 

    Families of 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) gathered for the official opening of their recently improved welfare centre facilities on September 10, which includes a mural painted by one of the wives from the battalion. 

    Although the welfare team at 5 RIFLES already provided a great environment for the wives to meet, the recent changes have made the centre more inviting and with their new soft play area, the welfare team will be able to offer services beyond the coffee mornings.

  • What's on the Paderborn area – September 2015

    Find out what's on in your local area in this week's Sixth Sense
    three-page feature on September 24
    PF1

    PF2PF3

  • Lensman of action

    Photographer Chris Atkins has been ‘at it’ in BFG for more than 30 years.

    The Paderborn-based former soldier has been snapping away at Army bases across Germany and further afield since 1984.

    Ready to shoot: Chris Atkins, who’s been photographing BFG events for 30-plus yearsChris has recently moved his shop based in Barker Barracks to a new location within the 1PWRR Battalion Headquarters building.

    “We’re still in Block 13 but with a new entrance next to the artificial turf pitch,” says Chris, whose wife Anna helps with the picture framing side of their business.

    Chris Atkins Photography covers all events, from mess functions to royal visits, and from operational tours to award presentations.

    Chris’ specialty is group shots involving dozens of soldiers.

    “I’ve got the biggest staging around to do it,” he says. “No job is too big or too small. We’re even happy to do portraits and passport shots in the shop, where we offer a full framing service.”

    And is he considering hanging up his camera anytime soon now that he’s reached retirement age?

    Chris says: “No way. I love what I do and will do this job until I’m 90.”

    Shop opening times are Mon-Tue, 9am – 4.30pm; and Fri, 9am – 1pm. Tel: 05251 8780140 and mobile 0172 5212756. Or email: chris.atkins@gmx.net

  • Fantastic offer from 2 Fd Coy

    Tyre swap2 Field Company REME based in Rochdale Barracks, Bielefeld, is running a winter wheel changing programme. They are offering to swap your summer wheels for winter wheels.

    In addition, the mechanics will give your car a quick basic check and if there are any issues highlight these to you. This will include a cursory once-over of lights, brake pads, oils and other levels and wiper blades.

  • No neglect will go unchecked

    Suspected abuse of a child should be reported immediately

    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.

    What is harm?

    Harm is ill-treatment or child abuse. Here are some examples:

  • Bee rustlers cause a buzz

    Swarm of bee thefts angers apiarists

    Lower Saxony has become a hive of criminal activity this year as thefts of bee colonies have caused quite the buzz among bee-keepers and law enforcement alike.

    Whether they are stolen bee colonies, sealed up entrances to hives or destroyed honeycombs, harmony among Lower Saxony’s beekeepers has been disturbed, reports the Hamburger Abendblatt.

  • Paper plane sailing

    When an engineer in Düsseldorf began making paper planes to order, he realised he couldn’t do it all by hand.

    Luckily, he found a novel solution to the problem – at the push of a button, the Automatix 6 1.0 folds, builds and shoots out paper planes.

    It’s a revolution in the world of paper plane construction. But for inventor Dieter Krone, it all started out as a simple hobby.

  • Merkel and Hollande plan ‘historic’ joint speech

    Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois HollandeChancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will jointly address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 7, the first such event by leaders of the two countries since 1989.

    “This is a historic visit for historically difficult times. The EU is facing immense challenges and requires strong commitment by its leaders,” EU Parliament chief Martin Schulz said in a statement announcing the visit.

    “It is an important signal that such commitment will be made in front of Europe’s democratically elected representatives,” added Schulz, who invited the two leaders to make the joint address.

    Merkel and Hollande, the leaders of the EU’s two biggest economies, have played a driving role in a series of challenges that have gripped the 28-nation bloc, ranging from the migrant crisis to the Greek debt saga and the conflict in Ukraine.

    The then West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterand made a previous joint address to the European Parliament 26 years ago, the European Parliament said.

  • Elite force destroys offices in chainsaw tantrum

    A Spezialeinsatzkommando unit in Köln is to be disbandedElite police officers reacted to an announcement on Tuesday that their unit was being dissolved due to accusations of bullying by attacking their own offices with a chainsaw.

    On September 15, Köln police chief Wolfgang Albers announced that the Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) unit which had been accused of bullying new recruits was to be disbanded.

    Four of the officers in the SWAT team would never be allowed to serve in an SEK unit again, while five were banned from serving in the SEK in Köln, the police chief announced.

  • Oktoberfest: 1m litres of beer vanish in 2 days

    Revellers at Munich Oktoberfest are believed to have polished off around one million litres of beer in the festival’s opening weekend.

    Despite some showers on Saturday night, around one million people – the first of up to six million expected between Saturday and October 4 – are believed to have visited the Oktoberfest grounds at Munich’s centrally-located Theresienwiese.

    The entrances to the big beer tents were crowded with queues and some were temporarily closed to new customers, all eager to purchase litre mugs (Maß) of beer at over €10 apiece.

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

    BFG Poppy Appeal Fun Run

    The Royal British Legion Paderborn Branch are staging the 21st anniversary BFG Poppy Appeal Fun Run on October 16.

    The Legion spends £1.6 million on welfare every week on some 40,000 Service and ex-Service personnel. You can help sustain this service by running all over BFG at 2.30pm on Friday, October 16 – there are trophies to be won.

    If you wish to organise a run in your own unit or school area and require sponsorship forms or more information contact Jim Griffiths, The Royal British Legion, Dempsey Barracks, BFPO 16. Tel: 05254 4208 or email: griffithsjames159@gmail.com

    Kids Time in The Hunger Surgery

    1 AMR’s The Hunger Surgery will be open for Kids Time on October 1/2. Come along for a morning of cupcake decorating, play in the soft play area and a lovely Kids Meal – all for €3 per child

    Hot and cold meals are available as is a wide variety of sweet delights. There are also high chairs and free Wi-Fi. All families arewelcome. Normal opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am – 2pm.

    B#sharps in concert

    Popular covers band the B#Sharps will be live at the Auld Triangle, Kasseler Mauer 11, in Paderborn on Saturday, October 3.

    The long established band will be playing party music through the decades. PECs and PMCs, come and check us out for your forthcoming Christmas balls.

    The B#Sharps will also be playing in the Honky Tonk pub festival on October 17 in the Mad Hatter pub, Ükern 28, Paderborn.

    Contact Ella Wilson on 01522 4860580 or email: thehungersurgery@gmail.com

    Hairdresser vacancies

    There are two established hairdressing businesses available to anyone who wishes to own and run their own business – at Barbers, QRH Athlone Barracks (available now) and Hairdressers, Paderborn community hub, Sennelager (available from November).

    For details contact Mrs Sharon Langridge on 05254 9822068 or email: WestfalenGar-HQ-G4-EL-Clerk@mod.uk

    Oktoberfest in Altenbeken

    Oktoberfest celebrations run until Sunday, October 4 at the Buker Alm, An der B64, 33184 Altenbeken. Includes beer keg tapping and 100 litres of free beer, live music and, from 10pm, DJ Andy Andreas Noffz.

    For more information visit: www.buker-alm.de

    Free First aid training

    St John Ambulance BFG is offering a certified four-week Essential First Aid course. The course starts on Thursday, October 8, from 6.30–8.30pm, at the Bad Lippspringe community centre, Detmolder Strasse.

    To book call 01735 103404 or email: mike.thomason@sja.org.uk

    Tombola prizes urgently needed

    Prizes are needed for the SSAFA Big Tombola to be held on October 3 at the Paderborn Community Hub in Sennelager.

    Please drop off your donation to the One Stop Shop, VLO, Normandy Welfare Centre, welfare offices or the HIVE.

  • Bonfire Night Poster Competition

    Bonfire Competition

  • 35 Engr Regt Coffee Morning – September 30

    Coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

  • Balancing act: work life

    Relate and Marriage Care encourage employees to prioritise personal relationships in National Work-Life Week, September 21-25

    WL1Relationship charities and Relate BFG are encouraging people to remember the importance of their personal relationships as well as their career during this year’s National Work-Life Week*. 

    This follows recent research from Relate, Marriage Care and Relationships Scotland which found that over a quarter (28 per cent) of workers aged under 35 believe the ideal employee is available 24 hours a day compared to 22 per cent of over 60s.** 

    The research also found that 22 per cent of those in work said they work more hours than they want to and this damages their health.

  • Say no to CO

    Illustration by Sephora Ford, age 11 from Sheffield High Junior  schoolTo help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning claiming more victims, 24/7 Home Rescue is supporting Gas Safety Week from September 14-20 to spread awareness of the importance of gas safety.

  • Row 2 Recovery Unites

    Following intense weeks of competition, the final Row2Recovery team of four has been selected to take part in this year's Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as the world's toughest rowing race.

    This year’s Row2Recovery selection marks the first time a full team of amputees has taken part in the race.

    The team will be led by serving Light Dragoon LCpl Cayle Royce, MBE. Cayle, 29, from Devon underwent a double amputation and lost the fingers on his left hand following an IED blast in Helmand, Afghanistan while serving in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in 2012.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 17, 2015

    Welfare can be denied, court rules

    LUXEMBOURG – The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Germany can deny basic welfare payments to European migrants – even if they’ve previously had a job in the country.

    The court ruled that member states of the EU can refuse to provide social security payments that are not based on contributions to people living in the country whose residency is based only on their desire to find work, reports Spiegel.

    The court said that to withhold the benefits was not in contravention of the basic right of EU citizens to equality of treatment.

  • Heart of the community

    Lt Col Mike Connolly CO 1AMR officially opens the Glyn Hughes Welfare Centre in Dempsey BarracksOn September 1, families and friends of 1 Armoured Medical Regiment (1AMR) gathered for the grand opening of the Glyn Hughes Welfare Centre, on Dempsey Barracks in Sennelager.

    With the majority of the regiment having relocated from Hohne to Paderborn over the summer, the Commanding Officer of 1AMR, Lt Col Mike Connolly, began the formalities by welcoming everyone.

    He said: “It is a real privilege to be opening this centre. It is named after Brig Hugh Llewellyn Glyn Hughes, who was the first Allied medical officer to enter the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, on April 15, 1945.

  • Hallowe'en half-term at the library

    Hallowe'en at the library

  • North Yorkshire County Council are shortlisted for an award for their work with Service children

    The MoD’s Director of Children and Young People, Mike Cooper, has congratulated North Yorkshire County Council for being nominated as finalists in The Children & Young People Now Awards 2015.

    The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. The awards ceremony is on November 26 in London.

    Now in their 10th year, these awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who strive day in, day out, to improve the lives of others.

    They offer an opportunity to raise the profile of projects and initiatives to funders and the general public.

  • Bundeswehr troops on standby

    Some 4,000 Bundeswehr troops were put on standby to help with incoming refugees last weekend.

    Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said the soldiers would help in emergency cases and that more could be called upon in future.

    Von der Leyen said on September 11 that the troops would be ready to help out with the unprecedented influx of refugees, if necessary.

  • Online booking for resort deckchairs

    The days of German tourists waking before dawn to secure a poolside spot with a towel could soon be replaced with latest innovation from the North Sea beach resort of Sankt Peter Ording.

    Anyone who has ever headed for the pool on holiday only to find all the sun loungers already reserved with towels may not be best pleased to hear news of the Germans’ latest innovation – they’ve come up with a way to reserve beach chairs as well, without even leaving the comfort of their hotel beds.

    If you’re planning a holiday in the resort, you can reserve yourself exclusive use of a beach chair for the week at the same time as you book your hotel and hire car.

    The beach resort of Sankt Peter Ording has introduced Internet booking for its beach and deckchairs

  • Lenin ‘head’ unearthed

    Workers remove the head of a statue of the late Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin which had been buried in a forest in the east of Berlin 24 years agoThe giant head of a statue of Russian revolutionary Lenin has been unearthed, 24 years after it was buried in a German forest.

    Workers dug up the granite structure from woodland outside Berlin, following a campaign by historians.

    The head was once part of a 19m monument to the communist leader, which towered over the east of the city. It was dismantled in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the pieces were buried in a secluded forest.

    Lenin’s 3.5 tonne head will be transported from the forest to the Spandau Citadelle museum to be included in an exhibition about German monuments.

  • Berlin underground map printed in Arabic, with refugee’s help

    Plan of the Berlin public transport networkAfter German newspapers published Arabic-language guides for refugees, Berlin’s public transport network has done the same for its rail map – with the help of a Syrian asylum-seeker.

    The leaflet published by Berlin’s public transport operator BVG includes names of the capital’s main underground stations and essential information on the public transport system in Arabic.

    “All translations were done by Ebrahim Kadour – himself a refugee from Syria who arrived in Berlin a few weeks ago – together with Rafael Sanchez from the ‘Moabit helps!’ initiative,” said BVG, referring to a volunteer group centred on the Berlin district of Moabit.

    “Both worked voluntarily on it over a whole weekend,” it added in a statement.

  • Dominica Disaster Relief Charity Fund-raising

    3 Armoured Close Battalion REME have organised a fund-raising event to help raise money for those who have been affected by Tropical Storm Erika that struck the Caribbean island of Dominica on Thursday, August 27.
    The aim of the event is to run/row/cycle – the distance of 6,664km from Paderborn to Dominica.
    It will take place on Monday, 21 and Tuesday, 22 September in Barker Barracks gymnasium (8am–5pm) and continue on Friday, 25 and Saturday, 26 September in the Paderborn Community Hub, Sennelager (8am–7pm).
    Anyone interested in taking part in the event should contact Pte Edwards at the earliest convenience via email: Patti-Merne.Edwards107@mod.uk" or tel: 05251 101755.
    Everyone is encouraged to come along and support this worthwhile event, and help raise money for the Tropical Storm Erika Recovery & Reconstruction Fund.
    All donations will be appreciated.
  • Mass homeopathic drug trip

    Police in Handeloh, north Germany, are investigating why dozens of homeopaths had to be taken to hospital at the weekend after suffering under what appeared to be the effects of a hallucinogenic drug.

    Emergency services were called to a conference centre in the town, where the homeopaths attending a seminar had begun to act in a rather odd way. Witnesses said they were rolling on the grass in front of the centre, talking gibberish and complaining of pains in their stomachs.

    Authorities are working on the assumption that the group took the party drug 2CE, also known as Aquarust and banned in Germany since 2014. But they appear to have taken it in an extremely high dose.

    All 29 homeopaths have since recovered.

  • Berlin seeks to punish states that refuse quotas

    Germany said on Tuesday it approves of using EU aid funds to pressure member states into accepting binding quotas to relocate 120,000 refugees, after several eastern countries refused the migrant distribution proposal.

    Thomas de Maizière wants pressure exerted on EU member states to accept refugees“The negotiations situation is such that nothing happens to countries which refuse. We need to talk about ways of exerting pressure. These are often countries that receive a lot of structural funds from the European Union,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told television network ZDF.

    European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker “has suggested that we should look at whether these countries should get less structural funds, which I agree with,” he added.

  • Ex Hectors Angels

    35 Engr Regt Wives Exercise

  • Military Wives Choir Paderborn – Newbies Night

    Newbies Night

  • Chosen Tots

    Chosen Tots

  • Competition time...

    Dental competition - entries in by October 2, 2015

  • Station churches: Sunday worship

    As the drawdown of British Forces Germany continues, the number of churches in which our community can enjoy worship are also being reduced.

    In order for the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department to provide continuity and an appropriate level of service across the garrison, but with fewer personnel to deliver, there is a need to modify church timings.

    With effect from October 18, the five churches across BFG offering Sunday worship will be:

    Our Lady of Lourdes, Normandy Barracks, Paderborn: RC Mass at 11am.

    St Peter’s, Barker Barracks, Paderborn: Sunday Worship at 11am.

    St Maximillian Kolbe, Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld: Sunday Worship at 9am and RC Mass at 5pm.

    St Barbara’s, Mansergh Barracks, Gütersloh: RC Mass at 9am and Sunday Worship at 11am.

    St Christopher’s, Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager: Sunday Worship at 9am.

  • Be safe, be smart, be seen

    Look outMany accidents happen to cyclists and pedestrians because vehicle drivers cannot see them until it is too late to stop.

    This problem is worse at night and in poor weather conditions. Make sure you wear the right clothing so you can be seen.

  • A marathon read

    Take part in the Bible Marathon in gymnasium at the Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh from September 18-20 to commemorate the 235th Anniversary of the Naval Military and  Air Force Bible SocietyA Bible Marathon is being held in the gymnasium at the Princess Royal Barracks in Gütersloh from September 18-20.

    Servicemen and women  as well as civilians are invited to take part in the event by reading from the New Testament for 15 minutes at a time. 

    The whole of the New Testament will be read from Matthew to Revelation during the two-day period.

  • Storming Sappers

    The Royal Engineers are the 2015 Lawson Cup Champions after a thrilling 26-22 win over the Gunners at Odsal Stadium, home of the Bradford Bulls.

    The Sappers celebrateThe Sappers had a tough road getting to the final when confronted with the 2014 winners the RLC, in the semi-finals. However, the Sappers, undeterred, made an astonishing comeback from 0-12 down to eventually beat the RLC 19-16.

    Fellow finalists, the Gunners, had a more comfortable match in their semi-final, defeating the REME, 24-30.

  • Wear the Trousers!

    Olly Murs is up porting this year's Jeans for Genes Day which takes place on September 18FOLKS, get ready to leave your uniforms and suits in the closet and don a pair of your trusty blue jeans to raise cash for charity.

    Jeans for Genes Day raises money for Genetic Disorders UK and aims to change the world for children who are affected.

    The annual fund-raising event this year takes place on Friday, September 18, and BFG residents are being asked to wear their jeans for the day and make a donation.

    Individually, genetic disorders are rare but together they affect one in 25 children born in the UK – that’s more than 30,000 babies each year.

  • Airport set to be Germany’s biggest refugee centre

    Tempelhof airportPlans to turn the iconic Tempelhof airport in Berlin  – now an abandoned listed building – into Germany’s biggest refugee centre have been agreed.

    As Germany is poised to accept as many as 800,000 refugees this year, city authorities confirmed that they will turn the airport into a giant home for asylum seekers.

    Once described by architect Sir Norman Foster as the ‘mother of all airports,’ the site could be converted into homes for up to 4,000 people.

  • 20,000 refugees arrive on one weekend

    In München, Frankfurt and other cities, the welcome for thousands of refugees who had made a perilous trip across land and sea and finally set foot in Germany over the weekend was overwhelmingThousands of exhausted refugees received a hero’s welcome on Sunday as they streamed into Germany and other European nations, but Austria warned the emergency measures are only “temporary” as the EU struggles to establish a united response to the crisis.

    As crowds of well-wishers turned out at railway stations across Germany to greet the new arrivals, the UN’s refugee chief said the crisis could be “manageable” if European countries all pulled their weight and agreed on a common approach.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 10, 2015

    Teen fined for sharing ex’s sexts

    BERLIN – A court in Berlin has ordered a teenager to pay €500 in damages to his 13-year-old ex-girlfriend after sharing intimate pictures of her over WhatsApp, the girl’s lawyer has revealed.

    The pair attend the same high school and were in a relationship at the beginning of last year during which time the boy – also 13 – asked his girlfriend to send him intimate photographs on a regular basis. 

    The 13-year-old complied but rather than keeping these images to himself, the teen shared them with his friends via free messaging app WhatsApp.

    The boy was fully aware of the potential consequences of his actions, the court ruled – and the spreading of the photographs caused the girl considerable humiliation and embarrassment.

  • Haig’s rags-to-riches runaway success

    One of the stars of the show was Jessica Buttress as CinderellaAt the end of the summer term children of Key Stage 2 at Haig School in Gütersloh wowed audiences with an entertaining performance of the children’s musical Cinderella & Rockerfella.

  • Driving the change

    Brig Ian Mortimer, Brigade Commander, presents Tim Holt with a Commendation for his selfless dedication and outstanding performance in support of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade communityPassionate golfer Tim Holt, who is the civil clerk for Sennelager-based 74 Section SIB RMP, has received a CO’s commendation for his tireless contribution to the Paderborn golfing community.

    Brigade Commander 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, Brig Ian Mortimer, presented the framed certificate to Tim who, in particular, has dedicated much of his free time to furthering junior golf.

    The citation for the Brigade Commander’s Commendation told how Tim has been both the coordinator and facilitator for the AWS Juniors Golf Society at the British Army Golf Club Sennelager for the past three years.

  • New senior soldier for the Hussars

     Handover of the blackthorn: WO1 Darren Grinsell, left, takes over the post of The Queen’s Royal Hussars’ RSM from WO1 Rudd who is promoted to QRH welfare officerThe Queen’s Royal Hussars has a new Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) with WO1 Darren Grinsell taking over the RSM’s blackthorn stick from WO1 Rudd, who himself has also been promoted to be the Regiment’s new welfare officer.

    On his appointment in Sennelager, Darren remarked: “It is a great privilege; the role of the RSM is key to a regiment’s life and success.

  • Oktoberfest 2015

    1On your Maß, get set... for the world’s biggest folk festival – Oktoberfest 2015

    It’s time to dust off your Lederhosen and press your dirndl ready for a trip to the world’s biggest beer festival which opens in München on September 19

    The München Oktoberfest justly lays claim to being the world’s largest folk festival and attracts around six million visitors a year, who between them consume almost seven million litres of beer and munch their way through thousands of grilled sausages, chickens, giant pretzels and oxen.

    2The festival, which spans just over two weeks, is held annually in a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre. In addition to eating, drinking and dancing, visitors can enjoy colourful parades and a variety of fairground rides.

  • Protect your baby, protect yourself

    New whooping cough figures prompt call for pregnant women to get immunised

    Public Health England (PHE) is calling for pregnant women to take up the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine in order to protect themselves and their babies from this serious disease. New figures confirm that whooping cough cases remains at raised levels in England.

    New data published on September 3 shows that for the year to March 2015, whooping cough vaccine coverage in pregnant women averaged 56.4 per cent in England.

    Recently published data on incidence shows that confirmed cases of whooping cough in babies under three months of age remain low, indicating that the vaccination programme is protecting young babies from birth.

  • Germany’s first mosque excavated

    Excavation of the mosque site outside BerlinArchaeologists from Berlin’s Free University have excavated the remains of Germany’s oldest mosque on the outskirts of Berlin.

    Dr Reinhard Bernbeck, who led the excavation, said the mosque, built in July 1915 and torn down 10 years later, was designed to serve as a place of prayer for around 4,000 Muslim prisoners of war captured on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during the First World War.

    “But the mosque was not there for reasons of good treatment of the soldiers,” Bernbeck continued. It was meant as a place to indoctrinate them into jihad so that they would return to the front to fight against their former colonial masters.”

    Imams were sent specially from Germany’s allies in the Ottoman Empire with the task of converting the prisoners to jihad, the professor said. But the project appears to have been a failure.

    “Many of the men were sent to fight with the Ottomans, but they were so poorly treated that they ended up deserting,” said Bernbeck.

    In the 1930s, the site continued to have a connection to the military. First it was used by the Nazis as a tank base and then by the Soviets as a garrison.

    Now the area, 40km south of Berlin, is to be be used to house refugees and homes made out of shipping containers will be set up there.

    “It is ironic because when the mosque stood, it was used to turn people into jihadists, and now the people who will live there are fleeing from jihad,” said Bernbeck.

  • Retiree finds parked car after 3-week search

    Björn Brandvold and Gertrud KreuterBjörn Brandvold, a Norwegian retiree, was making the long drive from Andorra back to Oslo when he decided to stop in Hannover, Germany, to withdraw some money at a bank. 

    After walking to two different banks to make the withdrawal, Brandvold realised that he didn’t know where he’d left his car, a blue Mercedes.

    Due to the unfamiliar surroundings, he couldn’t find it. In fact he couldn’t find it for an incredible three weeks.

  • Hotline for whistleblowers

    Everyone who works in Defence, Service and civilian, has a responsibility to speak up if faced with, is suspicious of, or is being asked to take part in wrongdoing.

    Equally, MoD has a duty to provide a safe environment in which people can do this free from any threat of victimisation. Therefore a confidential Whistleblowing and Raising a Concern hotline has been introduced.

    The Confidential Hotline for raising concerns is 0800 161 3665 / 0044 1371 85 4881
    or email: confidential-hotline@mod.uk

  • Army Careers Clinic in BFG

    Army Careers Advisers from the Army’s Recruiting Group based in UK will be visiting BFG on September 14–15 to provide information and advice on Army careers to Service dependants and other British civilians considering entry as either soldier or officer. 

    The team will be visiting King’s School in Gütersloh on Tuesday, September 15.

    On Monday, September 14 the team will hold a Careers Clinic in the Catterick Barracks Officers’ Mess, Bielefeld at 3pm for those who do not attend King’s School. 

    Any Service dependant or other British civilian above school age considering entry as a soldier or officer is invited to attend.

  • Good Conduct certificates

    Individuals returning to the UK from BFG, and looking for employment or volunteer opportunities working with children or vulnerable adults may be asked by prospective employers to provide a Good Conduct Certificate for the period covering their stay in Germany.

    This is also likely to happen if you are applying for a further/higher education course or to join the Armed Forces. If there’s a possibility that you may fall into any of these categories you should read on.

  • Car Boot Sale – Bielefeld, September 13 - VENUE UPDATE

    CBSBiel

  • Lecture: Growing up German

    The British-German Society Gütersloh presents a lecture, Growing up German in Georgian England, by Philipp Jefcoate, former director of the Nijmegen University Library in the Netherlands, on September 18, at 7pm.

    All are welcome to attend the evening at the Gaststätte Türmer, Königstrasse 35, in Gütersloh. Admission is free.

  • 35 Engr Regt Partners Exercise

    35EngrPartnersEx

  • 3 CS Bn wives exercise

    3CSWivesEx3 CS Bn Better Halves are staging a wives exercise on September 19/20.

    The cost is €20 per person which includes all food, a barbecue and a T-shirt. All names to welfare as soon as possible.

  • Dependants Tandem Skydive – Update

    Dependants Tandem Skydive – NEW DATE: October 3

    The Dependants Tandem Skydive event due to be held on September 5 has had to be postponed until October 3 due to technical issues.  

    Dependants from across BFG will be partaking in a tandem skydive with the 1PWRR Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team. 

    Those who wish to take part are tasked to raise a minimum of €300 each; the funds will go to the Personnel Recovery Unit in Sennelager, and the Princess of Wales’s Benevolent Fund.

    The event will take place at the Bad Lippspringe Parachute Centre (Flugplatz 1, 33175 Bad Lippspringe) at 9am. Everyone is welcome to come along and support this worthwhile cause. After the jumps, the Tigers will take to the stage.  

    For more information, and regular updates by the team please visit the Tigers’ Twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/ TigersFFT

  • 70 Years of Peace celebrations

    70JahreFrieden

  • SSVC Services

    Feedback on SSVC Services required – your chance to have a say!

    What do you most enjoy about their services? What could be improved? What just doesn’t work?

    HQ Westfalen Garrison is keen to hear your thoughts on the four services named above, whether they are compliments or ideas for improvements.

    Please email your feedback to bfgnet@gmail.com, including ‘SSVC Feedback’ in the subject field.

    All feedback is required by Sunday, September 20.

    Any feedback received with be viewed with discretion and no names will be included when the information is collated.

  • Keeping It Wheel

    The 1 Sigs team on their way to their new home in the UKSOLDIERS from 1 Signal Regiment cycling team bade farewell to Germany and their former home in Hammersmith Barracks, Herford, last Friday (August 28) before embarking on a journey back to Beacon Barracks in Stafford.

    The team are endeavouring to cover the 703km in just eight days with the challenge and route designed to give the cycle team the opportunity to undertake some long-distance road training. They will pass through Saffron Waldron, Bletchley and Nuneaton, where signal squadrons are based, before arriving in Stafford on Friday, September 4.

  • Let’s talk about sex

    Get savvy this Sexual Health Week, September 14-20Sexual Health Week, run by the Family Planning Association (FPA) throughout England aims to keep people informed about STIs and sexual health.

    The FPA, is a sexual health charity that has been informing the general public for more than 80 years, helping people to make the right choices for them when it comes to sex and
    relationships.  

    We can all feel embarrassed when it comes to talking about sex, but the FPA aims to get people feeling more confident when it comes to discussing it. 

  • First step to quitting

    E-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco estimates new landmark reviewAn expert independent evidence review has concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.

    Key findings of the review,  published on August 19 by Public Health England (PHE),  found that: 

    The current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than smoking;

    Nearly half the population (44.8 per cent) don’t realise that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking;

  • Bielefeld SSVC store to close

    SSVC have confirmed that they will close their shop, situated in the Bielefeld NAAFI building, with effect from September 15.

    SSVC has been trying to recruit new staff since January, without success, and will be unable to man the shop after September 15.

    The business has also been making substantial losses since it opened, hence the decision to close now.

    The issue and receipt of BFBS Direct to Home (DTH) television equipment (which is a separate enterprise from the retail business, although part of SSVC) will be retained in the same premises.  

    Exact details of opening times and availability will follow but the intention is that the service will be available daily from the site of the current shop.

    There will be no change to services provided in the rest of the garrison in the immediate future.

  • Great Expedition

    Two soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles recently returned from a 100 day, 1,500-mile endurance challenge in the Arctic Circle where they trekked around Ellesmere Island off the northern Canadian coast on foot and by sea.

    The challenge required Capt Jon Armstrong and Sgt Arjun Limbu to trek, kayak and ski across 1,000 miles of treacherous terrain in the sub-zero temperatures of Ellesmere Island, all this while staying alert to the dangers of polar bears, crevasses, ice floes, strong headwinds and fast-moving icebergs which could have crushed their kayaks if they had been caught unawares.

    Temperatures drop to as low as -50ºC in the winterWhile they managed the feat in only 91 days, a section of the Nares Strait along the east coast of the island remained impassable due to packed ice along the coastline – highly unusual for this time of year.

  • Gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves

    The Nutella Lock is on sale on eBay GermanyFor many, opening the cupboard to find someone else in the family has finished the Nutella jar is the stuff of nightmares. But one man has come up with a way to help Nutella lovers protect their hoard from wandering spoons and fingers.

    Next month, fans of the hazelnut spread can look forward to further crackdowns on Nutella crime, as specially designed Nutella Locks return to eBay Germany.

    The gadget consists of an acrylic frame and padlock which, when locked, prevents the lid being twisted off.

  • Germany News in Brief - September 3, 2015

    ‘Architect of German unity’ dies

    BERLIN – Egon Bahr, an influential Cold War politician who helped stabilise relations between East and West Germany, died on August 19, aged 93.

    Bahr was remembered as a “brave”, “honest” and a “luminous figure” for his work as righthand advisor to Chancellor Willy Brandt, creating the concept of “Ostpolitik” (eastern policy) that helped quell tensions between West Germany and the communist East.

    “With great dismay and deep sorrow, we learned last night of the death of Egon Bahr,” said Vice Chancellor and Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel in a statement on Thursday.

    Gabriel praised Bahr as the “architect of German unity” and a “great intellectual thinker”.

    “With Egon Bahr, his ideas of a radically new Ostpolitik and ‘change through rapprochement’ altered the course of history and made German and European unity possible,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.

  • Krafty Kids

    Come and join in the fun – starting on September 22 – every Tuesday morning from 10am to 11.30am at Home-Start Bielefeld. Block 26C, NAAFI Catterick Barracks.

    Support for parents to help them gain new skills to be able to support their own child’s development. We aim to support children’s learning and development through play.

    Entrance is free, although a small donation is welcomed to cover the cost of equipment and materials used. Refreshments and snack available.

    Note: All children must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Thanks for thousands raised

    Members of the Gütersloh Nepal communityMembers of the Gütersloh Nepalese community gathered together for a special photocall recently to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped raise the fantastic sum of €20,304.78 for the Nepal Earthquake Relief appeal.

    In the earthquake on April 25, more than 9,000 people were killed and more than 23,000 were injured; hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and entire villages were flattened.

    It was the worst natural disaster to strike the Himalayan country since the Nepal–Bihar earthquake in 1934. The devastation was made even greater as a result of aftershocks which continued to rock the country in the days and month that followed.

  • Germany welcomes refugees

    A Syrian girl carries a balloon printed with the message ‘This is where dreams come true’ as she arrives at München main railway station on MondayAccording to German federal police some 2,500 refugees arrived in München and Rosenheim on Monday this week.

    Since then trains have been arriving almost every hour in the southern German state carrying hundreds more men, women and children looking for asylum, after the Hungarian authorities allowed refugees to board trains from Budapest to Vienna and the Bavarian cities.

    A spokesman for the München main railway station said that the atmosphere was somewhere between “calm” and “euphoric”, with many of the refugees calling “Thank you, Germany”, or “We love you, Germany,” as they arrived.

  • Run & Roll Day – September 2015

    GT-RunRoll2015

  • Prizes needed for SSAFA Big Tombola

    SSAFATombola

  • Single soldiers trip to Heide Park Resort

    Calling all single soldiers in Bielefeld Station!

    Fancy a trip to the exciting Heide Park Resort?

    Sign up now for the excursion on Saturday, October 3, departing 8.30am from the Welfare Office and returning to Catterick Barracks by 7pm.

    The cost of the trip is off-set by the station Welfare Fund, so it costs a mere €16.60 per person.

  • Bielefeld Wine Fair 2015

    Bielefeld’s old town has been transformed into a cosy open-air Wine Village where visitors can sample some of Germany’s finest wines and enjoy a range of culinary fare.

    The fest in the Alter Markt, Niedernstraße and Altstädter Kirchplatz, is open now until Sunday, September 6.

  • Welcome Dunkers!

    GT-MacMillanCoffee

  • Car Boot Sale – Bielefeld, September 13

    Car Boot Sale

  • 6 Regt RLC Forecast of Events – 2015

    Season End Barbecue – 6 Regt welfare garden, Sunday, September 20, noon–3pm. Cost: Adults €5; Children 3+ €3. Sign up by September 11.

    Ladies’ cheese and wine evening – 6 Regt Corporals’ Club, Friday, October 2, 7pm–11.59pm. Cost: €5. Sign up by September 25.

    Contact 6 Regt Welfare Office on 05241 842672 or email: families6tlr@hotmail.co.uk

  • Last Night of the Proms live event

    Following last year’s success, the German-British Association will broadcast the Last Night of the Proms live from London’s Royal Albert Hall, on September 12 in the Parkbad, Gütersloh, from 8pm.

    Tickets cost €10 per person and are on sale at the Parkbad and Gütersloh Marketing. Guests are asked to dress in ‘British colours’ or in evening dress (black tie) for the event.

    A buffet will be served and guests will be asked to contribute to this culinary delight.

    For further information contact Frank Mertens via email at: Frank.Mertens1@web.de

  • PCDL Enrolment

    51 AEC Group will be holding two course enrolment days in other locations in preparation for the new term starting on September 14.

    People can enrol in Gütersloh Education Centre and Bielefeld e-Learning Centre at any time during office hours but, for a change of scenery and for the ease of the students, we are going to be at the following places on the dates below:

    Thursday, September 3
    Gütersloh NAAFI Max,
    Princess Royal Barracks
    10am–2pm

    Thursday, September 10
    Bielefeld JB’s Restaurant
    Catterick Barracks
    11.30am–1.30pm

  • Women in computer history - exhibition in Paderborn to July 2016

    The Laboratory Instrument Computer (LINC) - one of many exhibits at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (HNF) in PaderbornOne hundred years before the invention of the computer, the daughter of a famous English poet had already written notes containing what is now regarded as the first program in computer history.

    Ada Lovelace, daughter of the renowned Lord Byron, was born in London 200 years ago on December 10, 1815.

    Her life and work are the focus of a new exhibition – ‘IT began with Ada. Women in computer history’ – which is now running until July 10, 2016 at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (HNF) in Paderborn.

  • Germany’s Riviera: An overlooked paradise

    Lake Constance sits on the Rhine, at the northern foot of the Alps, offering activities for all and stunning sceneryYvonne Neely lives in Germany with her family and started blogging in 2013.  Planes, Twins and Autobahns describes her experiences of German life...

    This year my family and I took advantage of living in Germany and went on vacation locally, deciding on Ferienpark Orsingen, near Lake Constance, known as the Bodensee in Germany. 

    The region has many wellness hotels and spa resorts, with hotels in Überlingen and Meersburg offering sauna and soothing ‘Hot Stone’ treatments.  

  • Gift of love

    Cathy and Russell Smith pictured at their wedding in 1985, which included a photo session in Gütersloh's StadtparkHopeless romantic Russell Smith has raised the bar for all married men by surprising his wife with a gift every day in August to mark their 30th wedding anniversary.

    Before he went to work, the former soldier hid a small present in the house for his Cathy to find, leaving hints for her on Facebook.

    The couple celebrated their pearl wedding anniversary at the Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess in Princess Royal Barracks, Gütersloh – the place of their wedding reception in 1985 – on August 31.

    But before then, Cathy received a daily surprise from her loving husband, who had 30 gifts lined up.