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Imber & Copehill Down Villages

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Knife 04
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Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Knife 04 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:19 pm

Heard the Imber Village was open to the public last weekend so decided to visit as only open to the public for a very limited time during the year.

Imber is an uninhabited village on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. The entire civilian population were given 47 days notice and evicted in 1943 to provide an exercise area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe during the Second World War. After the war, villagers were not allowed to return to their homes.

After the war the village was used extensively for training, particularly preparing soldiers for their duties in the urban environments of Northern Ireland. Several empty house-like buildings were constructed during the 1970s to aid training, and it is these, along with the church, Bell Inn and Imber Court which were 'open' to see as training continues to some degree at Imber.

Interestingly the chuch continues to hold services on a very small number of days during the year, including Christmas

ImageWarning Sign - Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageNags Head Cottages - Formerly Nags Head Pub, Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageUrban Warfare Training Area - Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageSt Giles Church, Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageImber Court - Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageSimulated Belfast Council Houses - Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageThe Bell Pub - Imber Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

After visiting the village a quick trip onto Salisbury Plain - tank hulks littered all over the place as targets
ImageTank Hulk - near Imber Village, Salisbury Plain by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageTank Hulks - near Imber Village, Salisbury Plain by Darren Currie, on Flickr

From there over to Copehill Down Village. Access here is restricted - found it by driving down a track off of one of the tank crossings on Salisbury Plain about 2 miles off the road. Easy to walk around and have a look (if anybody goes watch for the Red Flags flying). Even managed to find a Lynx and an old locomotive there

Copehill Down was built in the late 1980s to simulate an East German village for FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas) Training. In recent years the facility has been expanded to include a shanty town made up of cargo containers stacked and laid out in rows of tightly packed streets, to provide an additional training area that more closely resembles the Army's operational theatres in Iraq & Afghanistan. Copehill Down has now taken over alot of the training from Imber

ImageCopehill Down 'FIBUA' Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageShanty Town & Police Station, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageSimulated East German Village, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageFOB Pegish West, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageNew Church Tower, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageSangar, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageOld Lynx Helicopter, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageOld locomotive, Copehill Down Village by Darren Currie, on Flickr

Hope you found of some interest - worth a look if you are in the area

Cheers

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

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PeteHemsley
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by PeteHemsley » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:18 am

Very interesting mate. We have 2 huge training set ups at Otterburn camp to the north of Newcastle. It's always worth a look around when the red flags are down!

Thanks for sharing

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deerhunter
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by deerhunter » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:06 pm

Brilliant post Darren, unfortunately cant get there now, daughter due to go in hosp any day so trip been cancelled.
Canon 5D Mk4 plus long lenses, and lots of hope!

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edgely66
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by edgely66 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:47 pm

wow, looks well worth a visit and interesting. Great pictures and many thanks for posting. :D

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TeeJay
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by TeeJay » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:25 pm

Very interesting post Darren, good pictures, especially with a bit of information and history contained in it. :thumbs:
Trev

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Knife 04
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Knife 04 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:38 pm

Cheers for the responses guys - much appreciated. Hope you found of interest

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

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PaulN
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by PaulN » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:02 am

Hi Darren

Nice set , interesting era , got to feel sorry for the residents , who were promised they could return afterwards only to be told they couldnt , thought they were helping the "war effort" ...!! Look forward to a GC report ??

Cheers

Paul

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Frank the Dog
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Frank the Dog » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:47 am

Fascinating post, really interesting. Good to see some decent photos with an useful narrative.

Thanks for sharing these Darren.
Paddle faster................. I hear banjos !

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Knife 04
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Knife 04 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:20 pm

Thanks for the additional comments Paul & Phil
PaulN wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:02 am
Look forward to a GC report ??

Cheers

Paul
Now there's a thought Paul! Might try and coble something together in the next couple of weeks after this coming weekend

Cheers

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

AndrewBarclay
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by AndrewBarclay » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm

Nice set of images Darren, I use to be a frequent visitor to the Plain stayed with friends at West Lavington. I use to park up by
Juliette and watch the armour trundling by. How is the Great Bustard doing?, has it adjusted to the plain. Frank.

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ChrisCwmbran
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by ChrisCwmbran » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:48 pm

Great shots Darren! Thanks for sharing them!

Did you take you know who there with you? :)

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Knife 04
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Knife 04 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:24 am

Thanks for the additional responses guys
AndrewBarclay wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm
Nice set of images Darren, I use to be a frequent visitor to the Plain stayed with friends at West Lavington. I use to park up by
Juliette and watch the armour trundling by. How is the Great Bustard doing?, has it adjusted to the plain. Frank.
Frank - Not familiar with 'Juilette' I am afraid so not sure where you watched the armour from. Did not get to see any Bustards when we were there - probably scared away by the tanks etc but apparently doing well.

Interestingly stopped in West Lavington on the way back for a bite to eat in the Churchill Arms in the village - can thoroughly recommend it - the food was great as was the service
ChrisCwmbran wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:48 pm
Great shots Darren! Thanks for sharing them!

Did you take you know who there with you? :)
Mate - No! A family day out only although I did receive a text asking to be picked up from Truro station and taken there but he did not want to go into the village and only look from outside (shades of RIAT) :lol: :lol:

Hope all is good

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

rh226
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by rh226 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:31 pm

Knife 04 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:24 am
Interestingly stopped in West Lavington on the way back for a bite to eat in the Churchill Arms in the village - can thoroughly recommend it - the food was great as was the service
Seconded - have eaten there quite a few times and not been disappointed.:thumb:
Cheers, Bob

AndrewBarclay
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by AndrewBarclay » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:09 pm

Knife 04 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:24 am
Thanks for the additional responses guys
AndrewBarclay wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm
Nice set of images Darren, I use to be a frequent visitor to the Plain stayed with friends at West Lavington. I use to park up by
Juliette and watch the armour trundling by. How is the Great Bustard doing?, has it adjusted to the plain. Frank.
Frank - Not familiar with 'Juilette' I am afraid so not sure where you watched the armour from. Did not get to see any Bustards when we were there - probably scared away by the tanks etc but apparently doing well.

Interestingly stopped in West Lavington on the way back for a bite to eat in the Churchill Arms in the village - can thoroughly recommend it - the food was great as was the service
ChrisCwmbran wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:48 pm
Great shots Darren! Thanks for sharing them!

Did you take you know who there with you? :)
Mate - No! A family day out only although I did receive a text asking to be picked up from Truro station and taken there but he did not want to go into the village and only look from outside (shades of RIAT) :lol: :lol:

Hope all is good

Darren
Hi Darren https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=julie ... 66&bih=631 Frank.

AndrewBarclay
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by AndrewBarclay » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:24 pm

AndrewBarclay wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:09 pm
Knife 04 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:24 am
Thanks for the additional responses guys
AndrewBarclay wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm
Nice set of images Darren, I use to be a frequent visitor to the Plain stayed with friends at West Lavington. I use to park up by
Juliette and watch the armour trundling by. How is the Great Bustard doing?, has it adjusted to the plain. Frank.
Frank - Not familiar with 'Juilette' I am afraid so not sure where you watched the armour from. Did not get to see any Bustards when we were there - probably scared away by the tanks etc but apparently doing well.

Interestingly stopped in West Lavington on the way back for a bite to eat in the Churchill Arms in the village - can thoroughly recommend it - the food was great as was the service
ChrisCwmbran wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:48 pm
Great shots Darren! Thanks for sharing them!

Did you take you know who there with you? :)
Mate - No! A family day out only although I did receive a text asking to be picked up from Truro station and taken there but he did not want to go into the village and only look from outside (shades of RIAT) :lol: :lol:

Hope all is good

Darren
Hi Darren https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=julie ... 66&bih=631
Juliette is the one with the three armoured vehs and landrover it is was a public road and when in use a soldier would
direct the civvy trafiic to stop.

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Knife 04
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Re: Imber & Copehill Down Villages

Post by Knife 04 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:55 pm

AndrewBarclay wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:09 pm
Knife 04 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:24 am
Thanks for the additional responses guys
AndrewBarclay wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:42 pm
Nice set of images Darren, I use to be a frequent visitor to the Plain stayed with friends at West Lavington. I use to park up by
Juliette and watch the armour trundling by. How is the Great Bustard doing?, has it adjusted to the plain. Frank.
Frank - Not familiar with 'Juilette' I am afraid so not sure where you watched the armour from. Did not get to see any Bustards when we were there - probably scared away by the tanks etc but apparently doing well.

Interestingly stopped in West Lavington on the way back for a bite to eat in the Churchill Arms in the village - can thoroughly recommend it - the food was great as was the service
ChrisCwmbran wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:48 pm
Great shots Darren! Thanks for sharing them!

Did you take you know who there with you? :)
Mate - No! A family day out only although I did receive a text asking to be picked up from Truro station and taken there but he did not want to go into the village and only look from outside (shades of RIAT) :lol: :lol:

Hope all is good

Darren
Hi Darren https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=julie ... 66&bih=631 Frank.
Thanks Frank - I know exactly where you are now - on the right when coming out of Tilshead village! At that cross roads (Jiliette) I took the left turn at the tank crossing and followed the track to Copehill Down (as you turn left you can see it on the horizon). Would advise probably a 4x4 for it but it is 'doable' in a car (company car made it OK :O :O )

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

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