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Report - RAF(H) Wegberg - Germany - July 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Saul, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Saul

    Saul Basterd
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    Royal Air Force Hospital Wegberg was built in 1953 by No 5357 Airfield Construction Wing RAF, in just 111 days. The hospital was built to serve the British military units stationed around that area and the future JHQ Rheindahlen. The hospital ceased to function as a General Hospital and RAF Hospital on the 1st of April 1996 when it was transferred to United Kingdom Support Command as part of the new "British Forces Germany" which replaced the British Army Of the Rhine (BAOR) and Royal Air Force Germany (RAFG) following the end of the Cold War and the "Options for Change" defence review. The hospital did however remain operational to provide psychiatric and community services as well as being the Headquaters of British Forces Germany Health Service until it's full closure and hand over to the German authorities in September 2010.

    Today the site is relatively intact, if not stripped of almost all hospital paraphernalia. The areas that are accessible are those that the Polizei or GSG9 have blown and blasted their way into. It is just starting to develop that derelict hospital smell.

    I visited solo as part of my little exploring/lead checking/mooching trip. This place had been on my radar before it fully closed for quite sometime so it was nice to finally get to check it out. I missed the operating theatre, I don't really know how unless it is in an area where the Polizei/GSG9 haven't been. I also can't find a map of the hospital detailing where things are, so if anybody has one and feels like sharing, please do! Hopefully I will be able to head back here in about 2 months to spend a bit more time searching.

    More information here.

    Video of handover to the German Authorities.


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    Accomodation.

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    Hydrotherapy.

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    Children's Ward.

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  2. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Love it. Brought back a few memories of living at RAF Munster. :thumb
     
  3. pauln

    pauln too old to be reckless
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    Nice report. Something a bit different.

    I could do with some of that block flooring !
     
  4. Derelict-UK

    Derelict-UK 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks for the upload, good to see some British camps instead of Russian ones coming out of Germany!
     
  5. Saul

    Saul Basterd
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    Cheers! There should be more becoming "available" in the future.
     
  6. Derelict-UK

    Derelict-UK 28DL Full Member
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    Cool, I stayed in a couple (one is now housing near the Berlin Olympic Stadium) back in the early 90's when I was a kid. The other was somewhere more central and I have a distinct memory of it having an American diner. I also remember getting a massive micro-machines playset from their toy shop! Times were good back then lol.

    The second one did have a memorial garden a short walk from it, it would be good to see any memorials as well as the insides of places too.
     
  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Really like this, what's with the prison cell door in pic 16 dya reckon?
     
  8. Vixxie

    Vixxie 28DL Regular User
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    Awesome!
     
  9. Saul

    Saul Basterd
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    I do remember you putting some pictures up of the "Country Wall" and Berlin Wall and some other bits years ago, they were great!


    I think it was probably just a store for something.
     
  10. Deecee

    Deecee 28DL Full Member
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    My sister was born there in 76, while i was at Kent School ( Also on the forums) great report
     
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  11. CROYDONGEORGE

    CROYDONGEORGE 28DL Member
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    GREAT PHOTOSbut so sad to see how this wonderful hospital has decayed. So VERY sad. I was posted here about 9 months after it opened, circa Jan 1954. Couldn't believe my luck when I first arrived and found my quarters. Pristine condition; thoroughly clean and sparkling; great location. I was a mere admin/clerk/typist erk and worked upstairs in the medical records area. My boss was W/O Robinson, who was a fanatic sports chap, official RAF tennis coach. and fit as a flea. Food was good too! Probably the best in the whole of the RAF. Thanks so much for uploading all these photographs; would have loved to have strolled around with you but then again I'd have probably felt so miserable to see how this once great place had been ruined. OK, nothing lasts forever but it's such a shame that I'll never again smell the coffee from the cafeteria as I made my way for the morning cuppa there. Cheers.
     
  12. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Great to hear stories from people like you George, I'm sure Saul will be satisfied that his pictures matter to somebody for whom the place has some meaning as this is partially why we document these buildings :thumb
     
  13. CROYDONGEORGE

    CROYDONGEORGE 28DL Member
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    Thanks Raw. In 1985-ish I took a trip to Harwich, got on a boat to the Hook of Holland to replicate my journeys to and from Wegberg and Bruggen of some thirty years previously. Didn't have a passport but used one of those photo-cards that let you enter France, Holland etc., without the full passport. Bought a railway ticket at the Hook right through to Wegberg, no bother. However, when the train reached the border crossing at Venlo the police came through the train asking for passports. I showed my photo-card: "Vee need your PASSPORT! This card is no good" and with that I was marched off the train by two armed police and taken to an office on the Venlo rail station. I was told that the photo-card only covered ONE border crossing and I was told to return to UK. I explained that I just wanted a nostalgic visit to my old RAF station and I was asked if I could pay for a 24-hour 'visa'. Paid a few Deutsch marks and was issued with a green form with German stamps decorating it and was told to produce this on my return journey. Nobody bothered to board the train when I travelled back so I kept the 'Visa' and it's still one of my treasured bits of ephemera.

    I had a wander around MunchenGladbach before getting the little train to Wegberg, enjoying a huge Bratwurst sausage in a roll bought from one of the kiosks in the town centre. So D E L I C I O U S that I can taste it now!

    Arrived at the little rail station at Wegberg and had a beer in the station café. Wunderbar! Got a local taxi to the hospital, getting out of the taxi at the gates so that I could relish the stroll through to the main entrance. To say this was a marvellous walk through the grounds would be an under-statement.

    Reported to the Adjutant who welcomed me as though I was a long-lost brother or something. Such a great chap, who gave me permission to visit any part of the place, except the WAAF'S quarters, (spoilsport). The first place I headed for was the superb little cafeteria where I bought a gorgeous black coffee and a sticky bun. I'd never had a better coffee, and never shall.

    I must sound like a real old FART, rambling on about this RAF Hospital Wegberg, but it has a place in my heart that will never depart. Great place, wonderful people, deep memories of great fondness.

    Cheers, George Harfleet
     
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  14. Saul

    Saul Basterd
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    Thank you very much for the stories, George! It's always great to hear from people who were involved with the places we document.
     
  15. Walrus75

    Walrus75 28DL Full Member
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    Brought back some good memories... and some bad, especially one concerning one of the consulting rooms, a doctor with a large syringe and huge needle, and my left knee... twice!! :eek: It was meant to be 3 times but miraculously my knee felt much, much better after the 2nd jab :)
     
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