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3 Tons To Blandford

A Memory of Blandford Camp

I was 8 years old when I arrived in Blandford. It was lunchtime on a Sunday a week before the Somerset and Dorset Railway closed on the 6th March 1966.
My dad was in the Royal Signals and he was being posted to the 30th Signal Regiment which was stationed at Blandford Camp. My dad and I and a friend of my parents travelled down on the Sunday morning in an Army Bedford 3 tonner with all our belongings from Windsor where my dad had been stationed at Comberemere Barracks where he was attached to the Blues and Royals.
Though it was only about 90 miles from Windsor to Blandford this was in the days before the M3 and Bedford 3 tonners do not have very good suspension!
We had some lunch in a cafe next door to the 3 Choughs pub just along from the Crown Hotel. We then made our way up to the camp where my parents had been allocated a married quarter which was in Valley Road. Our house was the last one at the end of the row and backed onto a wheat field which backed onto the old airfield.
At the back of Blandford Camp in 1966 was still some of the remains of Tarrant Rushton airfield where a lot of the gliders took off heading for the D-Day landings.
We eventually settled into our new home and I went to the camps own primary school and made many new friends. I remember at the weekends watching the motor racing around the camp perimiter road and there was always at least one crash every week. Sometimes, as a treat, my dad would take me to the sergeants' mess for Sunday lunch and I can remember trying my first curry and it was very hot and I had to drink nearly a whole jug of water to cool down!
Eventually, the following year (1967), my parents decided to buy their first ever house which was in St Leonard's Avenue in Blandford and when we had moved from the camp into the town, this opened up a whole new world of adventures for me over the next 18 years that I lived in Blandford Forum.

A memory shared by Raymond Parlett , on Apr 4th, 2010.

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