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Coffee shop?

Old 5th Jun 2017, 21:35
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Coffee shop?

I was talking to a lad from the Royal Irish Regiment at the weekend and he tells me that for the junior ranks, there is no place to drink on camp and that the bar has been turned into a coffee shop. Only the corporals, SNCOs and Officers have bars.

I was most surprised. Is that the norm these days?
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 22:15
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Most camp "NAAFIs" (not run by NAAFI but the phrase persists) have a Costa franchise and a bar for all ranks use. Normally co located with the junior ranks cookhouse in the large camps I've been on.

Haven't seen a proper all ranks bar since leaving Germany in 2010.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 07:13
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I know you are talking bar and not café, but where a camp has a café available to all ranks it is well used. I am thinking Lady Lampson's at Akrotiri, Café Uno? at Air Command and Wittering used to have a Malcom club.

NAAFI hated these encroachments as they perceived it affected their profits and never recognised that they never provided a similar service. These coffee shops provided a neutral all-ranks 'civilian' meeting place.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 08:25
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Yatesbury had a Malcom Club, and along with Lindholme, had a YMCA.

The YMCA's of course were strictly no booze.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 09:56
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Thinking back to the early 60's R.A.F.Gutersloh had the Malcolm Club, The N.A.AF.I, (near the shop), The Salvation Army, and the Gasthof Zum Flughafen (just outside the gates). Spoiled for choice really.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 11:26
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Shawbury has a Costa coffee shop which is also the Junior Ranks bar, well used by all ranks.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 12:45
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Worth noting that in Tidworth, the Salvation Army Red Shield cafe was forced to close through pressure applied by Sodexo via the contract they have to be sole provider of food on camp. The same is happening in Larkhill with "Katie's Kitchen".
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 15:30
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TIO, and THAT is the bone of contention. I think the same pressure was applied to coffee bars etc elsewhere.

At Coningsby the NAAFI van went tango uniform and NAAFI stopped providing the service. An enterprising local bought a small white van, stocked up at the butchers outside camp and then did the rounds with a suitable markup. She made a profit.

The difference is NAAFI was trying to use the familiar WW2 style mobile canteen that probably cost squillions to run.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 16:38
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PN (#8),

...She made a profit...

Quite right, too (but hope SATCO had briefed her thoroughly on "The Correct Method of Crossing a Runway in Use" ! (you'll recall my tale of the Strubby NAAFI girl and her devatasting punch-line "Do I have to know all this for £3 a week ?")

Geilenkirchen had an excellent all ranks "Malcolm Club" in '60-'62. Relations were cemented when our DAPM Flt Lt married the Manageress. The shop sold me an excellent "Baldamatic" (E.German) 35mm, with coupled rangefinder and exposure meter, still works fine.

In the late '50s the Malcolm Club ran an Officers' Club in Cadogan Gardens (off Sloane Square). Did D/B/B in a (shared) room for 18/6. Much cheaper than RAF Club membership for a country mouse who only came up to the "Smoke" when he absolutely had to.

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Old 6th Jun 2017, 18:15
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Not a great surprise I'm sure, but the (alcohol) drinking culture on stations is as good as a thing of the past for anyone who joined up in the last ten years. Coffee yes, hence the Costa franchises that are a licence to print money but on most stations everyone will either fly, drive, or run too often for anything other than a very once in a while drink with someone they work with. For the younger JRs in the more manual trades, then a slab from the Tescos delivery van to the gate seems to be the preferred choice these days. Anyway, no station I've ever been to did a good line in thick and chewy stout.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 18:29
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Benson has a sandwich van, turns up beeping furiously every lunchtime. Popular at the flying club, no idea if he does good trade at the squadrons.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 18:37
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Aldergrove had the "Plastic Pub" in the 80s. That was all ranks. There was also a NAAFI.

NEO
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 18:57
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
I was talking to a lad from the Royal Irish Regiment at the weekend and he tells me that for the junior ranks, there is no place to drink on camp and that the bar has been turned into a coffee shop. Only the corporals, SNCOs and Officers have bars.

I was most surprised. Is that the norm these days?
It's no real issue. Most juniors are more interested in Op MASSIVE nowadays. Boozing does not help you look ripped. If ISS were savvy, they'd be opening juice bars and selling protein shakes.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 10:33
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Malcolm Club

Tengah early 60's had a wonderful Malcolm Club, being built when I got there and it was the first time I realised that scaffolding did not have to be tubes of solid steel when watching the chinese ladies clambering all over it.

And as for vans, we used to make a bee line for the one that sold jock pies at Leuchars when up there on a Dragonfly, Was that Malcolm Club as well ?

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Last edited by cliver029; 7th Jun 2017 at 10:35. Reason: too many vans
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 11:00
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Yes, memories of the Malcom Club at Tengah, too ... or more specifically the lady Manager in the late 60s.

Sadly, after a few dates, it became obvious to us both that her working schedule [late into the evening] and mine [ATC shift-worker] made this 'too difficult'. I still have a photo of her, as part of a group of us down in Bugis Street. Nice lass: I wonder who finally trapped her?
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 11:20
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Benson has a sandwich van, turns up beeping furiously every lunchtime.
The arrival of a similar van outside the squadron at Marham in the 70's was always announced in the crew room as "squirrel shit pie lady's here!"

(actually, the pies were quite good).

MPN11 I went out with the Malcolm Club lady at Seletar for a while around the same time. I was only 20 and she was a lot older so thinking about it now she was Mrs Robinson to my Benjamin.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 11:27
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I'm fairly certain that the first 'Airmen's Club' was brought into being in Khormaksar in the mid 50s. It was mooted, fund-raised, and organised by an Admin F/Sgt, Jack Winterflood and the result of his efforts was (initially) an absolute marvel - particularly in the, then, awful Aden conditions. I say initially because, as usual, NAAFI fought it every inch of the way and, as usual, the top brass gave in to them. When I left, in '58, Naafi had managed to reduce it to their standard level of 5* awfulness!!
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 13:04
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PN

NAAFI hated these encroachments as they perceived it affected their profits and never recognised that they never provided a similar service. These coffee shops provided a neutral all-ranks 'civilian' meeting place.[/QUOTE]

I'm not surprised that the NAAFI was always losing money, early 60's, in the other ranks bar at Lyneham, as the shutters came down after the Saturday lunch session one of the girls was bribed (allegedly)to leave a glass on the other side and so on.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 14:45
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Real Coffee Shop.

Anybody remember AG's (Abdul Garnie's ) at RAF Murharaq in the 60's.
A rival to NAAFI and Malcolm club.
Many a sausage role and tea consumed before starting shift at COMSAR.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 15:51
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
The arrival of a similar van outside the squadron at Marham in the 70's was always announced in the crew room as "squirrel shit pie lady's here!"

(actually, the pies were quite good).

MPN11 I went out with the Malcolm Club lady at Seletar for a while around the same time. I was only 20 and she was a lot older so thinking about it now she was Mrs Robinson to my Benjamin.
TTN God Bless the Mrs Robinsons who helped turn us fumbling neophytes into something a little more competent and desirable in the romantic stakes.
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