Choosing my first location to be based as a 16-year-old army medic was a no brainer! I mean a girl from the north, I could only choose Fulwood Barracks at Preston. Young and as keen as ever it was the place to be based.Advertisement
Most barracks in the UK are in the middle of nowhere, and at least a twenty quid taxi ride into town. With a booming nightlife and a northern chippy on most streets, Fulwood was a soldier’s dream.
I was in 5 Medical Regiment at the time and I always remember the Thursday Student Nights being the thing to look forward to each week. The whole regiment would meet at The Sumners for cheap Jaegar Bombs, before heading off to Lava to make our heads sore just in time for our regimental fitness the next day on the field.
Soldiers constantly came to and from Fulwood, and I was lucky enough to spend five years there. With a decent gym, a huge field, and of course a dreaded drill square, you couldn’t moan. I can’t say my fondest memories of that place was the incessant drill but I can say there are hundreds of memories otherwise which will probably stay with me for life.
Read more: Fulwood Barracks from the beginning, a short history
Christmas was a good time. A strong drink wakes you from your officer, followed by a hilarious food fight, and then to top it off a good old knees up. Charity events, exercises, athletics and block parties were all a regular occurrence within the barracks and something I definitely missed.
I was also lucky to meet the Queen and Prince Charles whilst being based there. I wouldn’t say we had a major conversation but a salute was good enough for me.
I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and once I’d completed the long arduous tour there was only a couple of things I was in need of… a good bath and a nice glass of Chardonnay.
I remember the coach entering through the gates on our return and everyone stood with flags and banners awaiting our arrival and I quickly felt relieved and glad to be back.
My room there was nice. I’d been there a while so I had an en suite and a big double bed. I had Sky TV and even a pet hamster who made several trips down my corridor in his motorbike.
You forget home comforts and how much you appreciate them, I had missed Fulwood Barracks, after all It was a place I grew up in, laughed in, cried in, met my husband in as well as meeting some life long friends.
When I heard the news that it was going to be mothballed I couldn’t believe it. I shared the story and the link to sign the petition with everyone in my phonebook. We need our armed forces more than ever and I feel removing sites like this will only have a negative effect.
I hope for me, and all other servicemen and women who had the pleasure of working there this decision gets reviewed as it was for me and many others… home.
Lindsey, 26, served at the Barracks from 2007 to 2012. She remains living in Fulwood.