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East Anglia

HIVES are information centres for Forces personnel and their families. To find out about relocation, local unit and civilian facilities, places of interest, schools, housing, healthcare facilities, employment and training opportunities in your location follow the link to the regional HIVE blog or download the area overview from the right-hand panel.

Colchester HIVE

Serving Colchester.

The Colchester Families HIVE is situated in the Community Centre Fallowfield Road, located within the Service Families Accommodation (SFA) area. Also in the Community Centre are Army Welfare Service (AWS), Army Families Federation (AFF), youth club, St Nicholas pre-school/nursery and the Musket Club. The youth club is open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and offers various sessions for children aged from 5 years and over. The Musket Club is open lunchtimes, evenings and weekends for service members and their families. Food is available and they run various themed nights throughout the month including bingo.

The Londis shop provides a ‘food to go’ service and a seating area where they provide hot and cold food for most of the day, as well as a cash point, video/DVD hire and baby changing facilities. Next door to the Londis is BFBS Radio where you are welcome to pop in and make a request or even nominate someone for free cake Friday.

Colchester Garrison has recently been redeveloped and now has one central camp called Merville Barracks. Merville Barracks houses the headquarters for 16 Air Assault Brigade, 18 Army Education Centre, the WRVS centre and the living accommodation for unaccompanied or single service personnel.

Situated in the welfare hub of Merville Barracks next to the WRVS centre is a second HIVE office for service personnel. The office is open from 12am to 2pm Monday to Friday. The garrison is situated on the south side of Colchester, 1.5 miles from the town centre. There is a very good bus service to and from town with various stops within the service families estate.

Colchester HIVE
Community Centre
Fallowfield Road

Please see Colchester HIVE blog (link below) for contact details, opening hours and local information.

Wattisham HIVE

Serving Wattisham, Hadleigh and Thorington.

Wattisham Flying Station lies in a very beautiful part of rural Suffolk. It is approximately five miles from the town of Needham Market and eight miles from Stowmarket, both of which can cater for everyday needs. There are swimming pools, leisure centres, cinemas, theatres and many more amenities just a car journey away. 

Wattisham Station amenities include a gymnasium with multi-gym and cardio-vascular equipment, a swimming pool, squash courts, tennis courts, library, education centre, golf club, gliding club, angling club, clay pigeon shooting club and sub-aqua club.

Hadleigh Outreach Service is open on Wednesdays: call 01473 828995

2 Valley Road
Wattisham Airfield
Suffolk IP7 7RE

Email: wattishamhive@armymail.mod.uk
Phone and fax: 01449 728 263

Please see Wattisham HIVE blog for opening hours and information on local facilities

Wimbish HIVE

Serving Wimbish.

Wimbish is a small rural village in North Essex and is home to 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) and 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD). The offices of the unit welfare officer, community development worker, defence estates, the Army Learning Centre and the HIVE are all situated around the ‘Village Square’. Here you can also find the Busybees’ childcare centre, the community hall, the Spar and post office where there are coffee and snack facilities.
There are excellent sport facilities provided. These include the gym, which has a basketball, badminton and 2 squash courts. There is also a climbing wall and assault course within camp and everyone has access to the airfield where you can run, walk your dogs, cycle, and also play football and rugby on two well maintained pitches. The community has access to a mobile library and there is a barber shop within the barracks.

Both service personnel (all ranks) and their families use the junior ranks club called the Red Wing. The officers’ and sgt and WOs’ Mess provide the usual facilities. Normal PRI service is available through individual squadrons. Army cadets is available on Carver Barracks. The village hall is a venue for the youth club and various other children’s activities and clubs.

7 Rowney Avenue
Nr Saffron Walden
Essex CB10 2YB

Please see Wimbish HIVE blog (link below) for contact details, opening hours and local information.

Woodbridge HIVE

Serving Woodbridge, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Sutton Heath Estate for SFAs, Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Woodbridge is an attractive riverside town on the banks of the river Deben. The town was once a port, noted for its shipbuilding and sail-making industries.

Woodbridge is not far from the A12, which then leads on to the A14, which will take you to the M11, A1(M), M1 and M6 and all points north. For those wanting to travel South the A14 takes you towards the M25.

Unit facilities: The base has been redeveloped with new junior ranks accommodation, junior ranks mess, WOs’ and Sgts’ accommodation/Mess and officers’ accommodation/Mess facilities.

Also available are a gym/sports hall, outdoor football pitch, rugby pitch, astro turf pitch, medical centre, training wing and is the home of RHQ, 12 HQ Squadron RE, 9 Parachute Sqadron RE, 51 Parachute Squadron RE, 61 Field Squadron (EOD) (part of 33 Engineer Regiment based in Wimbish) and 23 Eng Regt REME Wksp.

The Barnsdale Community Centre houses the following offices:

  • Unit Welfare Officer and SNCO Unit Welfare Officer
  • Woodbridge HIVE Information Centre
  • Station Staff Officer
  • Station Staff Officer’s Chief Clerk
  • Community Development Worker

The community centre also houses a coffee lounge and various children’s activities.

Barnsdale Community
Easton Road
Sutton Heath Estate,
Suffolk IP12 3TD

Please see Woodbridge HIVE blog (link below) for contact details, opening hours and local information.