There was an unusual air of excitement and anticipation amongst a group of visitors to north-east Fife last week.
This party of 22 was an advance reconnaissance group of wives, partners and children of the soldiers who will be taking up residence in the area later this year.
The group was in the Kingdom on a fact-finding mission – seeing everything from shops to schools, scenery to Scottish dancing. The youngsters in the party even got to expereince their new schools, spending a day in the classroom making friends with the young people they will be going to school with after their arrival in July. And they were delighted with what they saw.
For some families it was a real venture into the unknown – some of them have never lived in the UK before, while others have lived in Germany for more than 20 years at the Fallingbostel base.
They were all excited to be coming to Scotland. For many, it means they will be closer to their families, and they looked forward to being able to jump on a train to get straight to see their relatives.
Samantha Lamb, who has spent 19 years in Germany, said the move didn’t “feel real yet” and was enthusiastic about the area. “It’s amazing,” she said, “ the place is beautiful and I think we are quite lucky to be moving here.”
Lou Branney was in the party with her 13-year-old daughter, Helena, who had enjoyed a day making new friends at Madras College and is excited about coming back to the UK after three years in Germany.
Lou was excited too: “There so much on offer here – so much for all the family,” she said. She expressed the thanks of all the group to the Fifers who had welcomed them, and said they would be reporting back to their friends in Fallingbostel – and putting minds at ease.
“There is a lot of anxiety about the move amongst the families but, after this week, when we go back we will be able to relieve those worries,” she said.