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From a civilian comes this story:
Details have been deleted for confidentiality.
The Army used to operate surplus auctions. These were taken over by a civilian company, considering the waste of man power it is not hard to see why. The events mentioned occured in 1988-89. I think your website visitors will find this story unbelieveable?
When you drove through the gate onto military land to "view" what was on sale you were on the "open" section of the base. Further on was the restricted section where you had to stop at a boom gate and provide your reason to enter the restricted area. There was one of these in the straight ahead direction and another immediately to the right. There was a car park just before this latter boom gate with one or 2 cars in it and a cardboard sign saying "carpark closed", but for no obvious reason.
Off to the left some distance on, there was another car park. You got to this by following the road to the left, by turning left then right then left again into the car park.
At each change of direction there was a piece of cardboard attached to 2 x "star droppers" (steel picket posts), it measured 4' x 5' and had a black arrow painted on it. But what will really crack you up is that there were 2 soldiers guarding each piece of cardboard, they were wearing fatigues, but no kit and unarmed. Now, were the army fearfull that all these civilians were going to park on the lawns, or in the middle of the road, or steal the cardboard perhaps?
On stopping to ask one pair of soldiers an unrelated question it turned out they knew nothing. They didn't know why they were there, they had been given no instructions at all and expected to be there till days end, etc. So we parked in the clearly sign posted car park and asked an NCO what now? He told us to wait for the bus that would transport us to the auction building, which would pick up from where he was standing. So at least one person knew something.
Whilst in the auction building there were several mid-ranking officers walking around who were left in no doubt as to the ridiculousness of the signs and their guards.
The next time, no signs and no guards and the civilians were competent enough to be allowed to park in the carpark closest to the RHS boom gate!
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