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Discuss Oxfordshire in London-ish (HIC 4 - High Wycombe0 on Rear Party; Hi, looking for background info on a few bases in Oxfordshire as by hubby rejoining to MPGS and as its long term we want to pick the right place for us to live. Ive had ...
  
  1. #1
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    Oxfordshire

    Hi, looking for background info on a few bases in Oxfordshire as by hubby rejoining to MPGS and as its long term we want to pick the right place for us to live. Ive had a look on PatchPedia but its not that same as horses mouth and doesnt always answer all questions though its a fab idea!
    We are considering RAF Benson, RAF Brize Norton and RAF Shrivenham or Didcot, Abingdon or Bicester army bases. He has to choose 3 preferred options.
    If anyone has pros & cons for each place and info on facilities, surrounding area and what the actual MQ's are like I'd really appreciate it. My son is 10 so anything on clubs, expecially football would also be great.
    Thanks girls

  2. #2
    Senior Member Special_Tree's Avatar
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    Bicester my husband speaks highly of. He lived there on two seperate occasions during his pad brat years. Bear in mind this was a good few years ago now though. My next door neighbour moved there a few weeks ago though and it would seem not a lot has changed but i will ask her what she thinks of the place now she's actually there and feed back some info to you.

    I had another friend who came here from Abingdon. She worshipped the place. Said there was a good enough mix of army and civvie to make it escape either world if she wanted to. She spoke highly of the schools and the shopping.

    Can;t give you any personal or exact info but i figured a starting point is better than nothing?
    "Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion"

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    Senior Member Josephine's Avatar
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    Bichester and abingdon are lovely places to live, esp if you have kids (i'm coming from a non-mil living POV though)
    Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?

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    Thanks, def a good place to start. I think they are relatively close to each other are they not?
    Im a bit worried about being an MPGS wife (Im not gonna claim to be army as they endure much more than I and deserve my respect) living amongst RAF wives, do you think fitting in depends on the person? We'd be moving from North of Scotland so it will be ahige change on may different levels. Im not particularly outgoing butI like a good chinwag over a cuppa/glass of wine, someone to confide in and a laugh. Im hoping I wont be excluded because im not RAF. Hubby gets on with anyone - annoyingly lol

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    Senior Member Special_Tree's Avatar
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    My mates hubby was MPGS living on a mainly Navy estate in Portsmouth. I'm not going to lie she did say there was a definite snobbery around but you get that in anything. Be it officers vs junior ranks, army vs navy and here we even go so far as to judge each other by the colour of the uniform they wear at times *insert rolly eye smiley here*

    I think how dragged into it all you get depends on how much you let yourself. For me I am what I am. I am married to a soldier but i am not part of the army and don't validate myself by him in any way. People accept me for who I am as a person not who my husband is or what he does. If they can't do that I'm not interested in them anyway. So i guess in a waffly way what I am saying is yes it will depend a lot of how you view yourself and your attitude as much as it will on anyone elses.
    Last edited by Special_Tree; 16-11-2011 at 16:36. Reason: cos i can't spell!
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    "Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion"

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    Senior Member Josephine's Avatar
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    They are about 20miles apart, give or take. Shame you couldn't be closer to henley upon-thames, i mean civvy living wise, it's a fab place to live, esp with kids.


    I don't have experience with patches but i would say that aslong as you don't get dragged into the partner politics, you should be fine. Never understood why spouses felt they were serving/wearing their OH's uniform
    Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?

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    You'll probably find that the RAF and RAF wives are less "service/capbadge concious" than the chippy RLC inhabitants of Abingdon and Bicester. As far as standards of MQs go, once again the RAF seem to look after their people a lot better, regarding things such as Gym facilities, swimming pools, bloody bowling alleys, bars, messes etc.

    I'm Regular Army serving at an RAF unit, and constantly amazed by how different the culture is about how they look after their troops and families.

    If I were joining the MPGS tomorrow, and the options were your listed, I would be picking Benson (great place to be, lovely countryside) or Shrivenham (it's a university with people being educated there, so unlikely to have idiot lockerheads burning pigs on the BBQ throughout the summer). My third would be Brize, but only because I had a nasty experience with a Chicken Jalfrezi in Cartoon-town.

    Benson>Shriv>Brize

    edit: Oh and the MPGS and their families fit in great at the RAF camp I am on, good solid dependable members of the Mess and I have never seen them spoken of disparagingly - which was not the case at my previous Army unit.
    Last edited by Reality Check Man; 16-11-2011 at 16:46.

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    Senior Member Josephine's Avatar
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    Benson is fab, esp with the A4310 being about a 10 mile stretch to henley (can you tell i like henley)
    Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?

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    I'd avoid Abingdon if I were you. The camp is pretty bleak and from what I've heard (no direct experience) the housing isn't brilliant.

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    Member Reality Check Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzam View Post
    I'd avoid Abingdon if I were you. The camp is pretty bleak and from what I've heard (no direct experience) the housing isn't brilliant.
    Abingdon is populated by some of the scummiest backsliding wretches that the British Army has the misfortune to employ. This obviously cascades down to the standards of the MQs and environs. If you enjoy seeing your neighbours wearing natures eye make-up and dog shit on the streets, you should choose Abingdon.

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    Umm thats a no to Abingdon then! lol
    Any thoughts on RAF Cosford? Id enquired about it in a different post as it's in Shropshire and not Oxfordshire.
    Having looked on the HIVE sites already I had gained the impression RAF base/families seemed better provided for though I dont know why - seems a bit unfair . Always appreciate good honest answers though, cant beat advice from someone whos actually been there! More valuable than a 'list' of facilities I reckon

    P.S Bowling alleys?!
    Last edited by kessy77; 16-11-2011 at 17:49.

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    Senior Member spanner's Avatar
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    Yeah for some reason all the RAF bases I've been to have had a bowling alley.

    Benson is in a lovely part of the uk. I don't live on patch and never have as me and Mr S aren't married. So can't give you much info on that. My experience so far of RAF OHs has been welcoming. To be honest they'll be glad your hubby's doing guard so their OHs aren't.
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    Senior Member Mrs_M's Avatar
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    I'm ex-RAF. Served at Benson, and loved every minute. Also served at Brize- shit hole if you ask me. MQ's are crap, the area isn't all that great either.
    Visited Shrivenham, and I would say that that is up there. Also visited Cosford on a number of occasions. Its a phase 2 training unit, so lots of young uns causing trouble!!! But its a nice camp.
    And yes, most RAF camps have bowling alleys, its great!! In fact, why the hell did I marry a soldier?!
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    Senior Member Josephine's Avatar
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    I've not served at benson but i've been there on many occasions and the area is fantastic, esp being on the verge of the A4130, you've got all the back roads leading to some fab little villages (i shall plug henley until the cows come home ). Not keen on the henley regatta but that's more to do with living in the area and the toffs that come in but for an outsider, it's a brilliant time. The fringe festival is pretty good too. Henley has some lovely farm/french/italian markets on, certain times of the week. There are some lovely restaurants there, a few good pubs and late night bars. The summer is fabulous toom big greens on the thames, great place for kids.

    So if I was to vote, I'd say a big yes to benson
    Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?

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    Thanks folks, this is all really useful and valuable. Think we have narrowed choices down to Cosford, Benson and Shrivenham
    Are there good choices of activities for kids, on and off base? I have 10 year old boy, loves football, motorsport, swimming...

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    Senior Member Josephine's Avatar
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    benson is in the outback, i know there is a motorcorss somewhere hidden in that area, i'll ask a frien who lives out that way. There are a few clubs in henley, footie and summer clubs, also, they have rowing clubs for kids there.
    Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?

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    coming from north of scotland I dont mind being in outback as its prob a damn site easier to access stuff than here! biggest bonus for us will be being closer to family as we hardly get down to England at present.
    Do the camps tend to offer clubs etc for the kids? Unfortunately my 10 year old has laready had a ocuple of house & school moves. The mroe he can get involved in the better as I always feel it helps them fit in quicker.

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    Phonecall recieved today of offer for hubby to RAF Benson. He can start towards end of Jan. So chuffed and excited!!

    Do we wait til he has all paperwork and hes down there before we can apply for a house or could we all move together, say the weekend before he starts?
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    Senior Member Special_Tree's Avatar
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    If he's got his assignment order (which i think is what you're calling his offer?) then he can apply for your quarter straight away. Takes 15 working days to receive an offer for a quarter so it would be cutting it a bit fine for a move together at the end of Jan but as has been proved on my 'on the move' thread it's not impossible.
    Josephine likes this.
    "Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion"

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    Senior Member Feisty one's Avatar
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    I can't answer about the camps, as although I drive past the RAF Benson camp turning on a regular basis, it's only to get to or from work in Henley.... but History | Benson United FC.

    I'm local(ish) so if you have problems, shout I may be able to direct you but no guarantee's!
    Shit happens.... and in the forces, shit happens faster!

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