Living Dangerously

This week continues not to be quite what we'd planned. Annie and I (Chris) were hoping to visit the uninhabited village of Imber which is in the army training grounds on Salisbury Plain. Unfortunately last night Annie was called by work to help establish the root cause of an IT issue. This morning it quickly became clear she was likely to be occupied for some time. Anticipating that the middle of Salisbury Plain might not have much phone or data coverage, she stayed home whilst I went to investigate this intriguing location.

Imber was a small village community until 1943 when the entire population was evicted at short notice to make way for American troops. It was used to prepare for their part in resisting the German invasion of Europe. Initially intended to be a temporary situation, the site remains under the control of the Ministry of Defence despite several attempts by former residents to return. Non-military access is limited to a few open days a year.

It is a fascinating place, some original buildings remain (including the nicely restored St Giles church) but many have gone and been replaced by simply constructed "houses" designed for preparing soldiers for urban combat situations. Beyond the village I drove on across the plains and found various abandoned tanks and other military equipment. There were lots of signs to deter you leaving the roadway due to potential risk of live ammunition so I followed the guidance and used a longer lens than usual. I'm not sure all the residents could read the notices though!!

More details about the village here and the church here.

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