Where is Gütersloh?
is in the North East Corner of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) half way
between Dortmund and Hannover near the city of Bielefeld. It sits
on the main motorway (A2) and rail link between the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation in the West
and Hannover, Hamburg and Berlin in the North and East.
Some local history
History of Gütersloh
Gütersloh was first recorded in a document of
the Bishop of Osnabrück in 1184, but local settlement predates
that time considerably, an archaeological dig in the
Pavenstadt area in 1951 unearthed a cup which has been dated as
being 3,700 years old. Gütersloh
remained a small heathland village until it began to develop with
the industrial revolution and the coming of the railways in the
mid 19th Century.
Bahnhof Str (now
Eickhoff Str) in 1908
Stadt (town) has a population of 94,000 and is the administrative
centre of Gütersloh Kreis (district) with a population of 330,000. It
is in the OWL (OstWestfalen-Lippe)
region of the NRW (NordRhein-Westfalen)
state. Germany being, of course, a Federal Republic. All of which gives
you 5 (five!) levels of elected government and administration.
Gütersloh is home to several big companies which
are now household names around the world, Miele and Bertelsmann probably
being the 2 biggest. Also see my TWE page!
Click on picture for
latest view of Berliner Platz, in the town centre.
Out and About
Inside the town
Walking round the town you cant help but notice
that it is a affluent town, the paved central shopping area, the
library, the park with its botanical gardens, etc.
The botanical gardens
The British Military in Gütersloh
The Units occupied by the
British Military in Gütersloh date back to 1933 when, following
Hitlers assumption of the German Chancellorship, plans were made for
2 military installations in Gütersloh. A Luftwaffe signals unit in what
is now Mansergh Barracks (Verler Strasse) and a Luftwaffe airfield in
what is now the Princess Royal Barracks (Marienfelder Strasse).
The airfield opened in April 1937, initially being home to 3 squadrons
of JU 86's.
Following capture by American army
units on 6 April 1945, the Gütersloh bases were handed over to the
British in June 1945. Verler
Strasse became RAF Sundern, then Headquarters of RAF 2 Group, and
Marienfelder Strasse became RAF Gütersloh.
A RAF Mosquito,
the first RAF fighters to be based at RAF Gütersloh in Nov 1945
As the Iron Curtain descended over Europe and NATO formed up its
side of the Cold War in the 50s,
most RAF units moved to new bases East of the Rhine, near the
Dutch border, RAF Gütersloh became the only RAF airfield west of the
Rhine, HQ 2 Group moved to
Rheindahlen, also purpose built, near the Dutch Border, RAF Sundern
becoming Mansergh Barracks.
A RAF Harrier, the
last type of fast jet to be based at RAF Gütersloh
Chinooks were the last RAF aircraft to leave RAF
Gütersloh, before the airfield was handed over to Army control.
Gütersloh remained until 1993, when following the end of the Cold War
and re-unification of Germany, the British Forces began to withdraw
about ¾ of their personnel from Germany. However, under its new name of Princess Royal Barracks it
remains an airfield, being home to British Army helicopters.
British Army Lynx helicopters
similar to those based at Gütersloh with 1 Regt AAC.
Regt AAC have a families website here
Life in Gütersloh
- Life in Gütersloh (GT is the local designation on car number plates) can be very nice,
despite being British and only speaking a small amount of German. If you are polite
and make an effort to respect local customs and habits then you'll get along just fine,
and you'll be laughing about any misunderstandings that crop up!
- The British military community in Gütersloh is well catered for and relationships are
generally very good. Several friends of mine are British folk who chose to settle in
GT after a spell here in the forces.
- There are also several Army Churches in Gütersloh
- The British military community in Germany (Known as BFG - British Forces
Germany) have their own web site and
their own weekly newspaper, Sixth
- Entertainment wise, there are many friendly pubs and restaurants and several of the
cinemas show films in English from time to time. The links on the
left, are a few of my "big nights out"!
- BFBS broadcasts
in English a single TV channel for the British forces community, they take a
mixture of programs from the main UK TV channels. They also produce two 24
hour radio stations, BFBS
1 (similar in style and content to BBC radio 1) and BFBS
2 (content a mixture of BBC radio 2,4 and 5).
- You can now listen
to BFBS 1 live on your PC (needs Windows
- A quick look at the options on German terrestrial/cable TV can be got from
- I've added a TV
in English page that details the dual language shows on German TV each
- Radio Gütersloh is the local
German radio station.
Translations and stuff
- Add a alta vista Babel
to your browser for quick German/English translations.
- Another useful language site, with .wav files for key words and phrases is
- And add a Universal Currency
Converter as well!
- Or use the link at the bottom of the
Travel, getting around Germany
- RAC euro route
finder, for planning trips to the UK etc.
- Falk German
route planner, in German, but better maps.
- Deutche Bahn train times, in
English, covers all of Europe and is easier to use for the UK than the
- There is another info site that is available in English
as well as German. there is a map on
this site, I live near the top
right hand corner of the map.
- The , my favourite pub/kneipe
(again! - well my friend John designed the
- My other favourite night out/venue is the Weberei, another pub/restaurant/music
venue in Gütersloh.
- Tips is a
Bielefeld based listings magazine and covers the Gütersloh and Bielefeld
area, listing most of what's going on!
- BIG nights out in recent months were Hard Pop
Days in Bremen and Crossing all Over in
Alternative Allstars, a local band.
Also see my Euro Wx page.
This page was last updated on 10/05/02
Any comments, requests, questions, opinions,
abuse, etc. Please feel free to mail me!