Sunday, November 30, 2014


I was intrigued by the reports that the A1 near Catterick in North Yorkshire had been closed in both directions following reports of an `explosion` in the area.  Police conducted searches across the area where the noise was reported but found no obvious signs of an explosion.  No-one was injured and any links to terrorism have been ruled out.

Police said that the road was closed for so long leading to mass frustration and traffic congestion for motorists but the measure had been taken `for public safety.`  A police spokesman confirmed that they were `not prepared to take any chances with people`s safety and had to carry out a very thorough and extensive investigation.  A number of possibilities have been looked into but we may never find what the source of the explosion was.`   Now, on the Ministry of Defence website, Catterick Garrison is described as `the army`s largest training establishment,` with 20,000 acres of training land.  So maybe it`s not surprising that the odd explosion is to be heard drifting across the A1 from the training activities on the nearby moors. 

It reminds me of a pilgrimage made a long time ago when I and two other former national service mates made the journey to Catterick Garrison to recapture the scenes of our conscripted basic training over 50 years ago.

Armed with our army discharge papers - just in case, you see - we parked the car and stood outside the heavily guarded fence of Bourlon Barracks, where we had endured our first few weeks of military discipline.   It was an attempt to exorcise those memories, I suppose, but there was something deeply satisfying about being able to observe it from the outside looking in.   Sure enough, as we stood there, trainees were being marched up and down the barrack square, armoured fighting vehicles were parked and, not unnaturally, the whole scene was one of complete military presence.

Whereupon, a very rigid army figure arrived, pointed to the scene behind the fence and in all seriousness asked us, "Do you realise this is a military encampment?"   Well, I never! 

1 comment:

Ray Turner said...

I missed that one Snopper. Perhaps it was another sonic boom...?