The Final Pineapple!!

Just handed in my id card after 32 years.
I went to get a rec pass for Drake gym and swimming pool and was told it would cost £55 per year.
As I've paid into the sports lottery and the voluntary sport subscription since the dawn of time I was a bit put out by the cost but the real pisser was finding out that a MoD civil servant only has to pay £50!!
The moral of this tale:
When you paid into the sports lottery and VSS, it was for you while you were in service. Was there a clause to say that you could continue to use the facilities once you had left the service without further payment. I don't think so. £55 per year to use the facilities at Darke is a drop in the ocean. Try joining a civvy gym and see how much they charge on a monthly basis. You'll be lucky to get away with about £40 per month.
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Well actually there's a bigger point.
It's about how the UK treats it's forces in general.
Talk is cheap, when it comes to actually providing something tangible then its not so forthcoming.
That could explain why the manpower situation is in such a dire condition - can't keep people in, in a recession!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Personally, I don't think your complaint is well founded at all. As already stated, £55 a year for what are very good facilities and nowhere near as busy as most civvy gyms is not bad at all. What I think is worse (though still not unacceptable) is serving members having to pay for family passes.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Nobody makes serving members do the lottery or VSS, but the benefits of it are there for all, even the veterans who choose to pay for leisure passes after leaving will get to use better equipment because of VSS and sports lottery funding. I may be jumping to conclusions here, but are you one of those who has served their time, never used his AT leave or played much sport and has now seen it as a chance missed, so is having a good drip about having to pay to catch up on your entitlement now you've left?
I think there is a bit of substance to the OP's comment. £55 is nothing I admit. Lose more money running for the bus. Oh no, wait, I don't use buses, but you get my point.

I don't think as vets we are given two hoots about. I get this is a bigger subject than gym passes, but all we get is a tie pin for xxx years loyal service. The Yanks (here we go I again I here you say) do seem to look after their vets. ie reduced costs at many outlets and free this and that. Surely we can offer free gym membership? Not many over 40's keep their fizz up and not all veterans live near naval establishments, so it will fill the gyms too much.

Drake does seem cheap though. Temeraire is £120. Unless your good mates with the boss.....
Its a shame that we cant treat our veterens like the septics do. You are issued a veterens ID card and it entitles you to use the facilities on base as if you were still serving. Including the PX so they can get cheaper food etc.
Not sure I'd want to go into Drake just to visit the Spar, but you get my drift ;-)
The Sports Lottery and VSS aren't the ONLY ways that the sports equipment in service gyms is purchased. MoD does pay for most of it so why shouldn't all of its employees benefit? These things (RN/RM SL VSS) also go into helping to pay for AT etc. (which MoD civil servants aren't entitled to). This has nothing at all to do with the way the forces are treated, that bus goes on a different route.

If these passes were free then those serving members, who still pay into the SL/VSS wouldn't be able to get into their gyms because they'd be full of ex servicemen freeloading - how fair would that be? Would you compain about that if you were still serving? - probably.
Black is white again! I just said not every retiree lives near a military establishment. Not every retiree keeps their fizz up.

Temeraire is empty at the time of day I go i.e around 1000. Not just quiet,empty. Why not have a dedicated time for the vets to use the gym? Say an hour in the morning and an hour after 2000?

Whilst you are the company man through and through, you will be leaving one day and you may see it through different eyes.

PS this isn't me thinking I'm right. It's only my opinion.
Is the 55 quid for insurance though rather than a dis-incentive for ex service personnel to use the facilities? If that were the case surely the prices would be more than £4.60 a month? :p
Is the 55 quid for insurance though rather than a dis-incentive for ex service personnel to use the facilities? If that were the case surely the prices would be more than £4.60 a month? :p

If that is the case and a point well raised then fair play. I may have steered the subject onto a larger debate for that I apologise.


War Hero
One thing I've found is that those who don't envisage being in the same situation as others, seldom empathise.

I personally do feel it unfair that there is a dual tarif and don't feel income is particularly relevant. I wonder if the charge is just insurance?

When one considers the concessions afforded US 'veterans' it does seem a bit unjust, but as others have stated, less than £6 a month ain't too bad, really.


War Hero
"It's the bit about civil servants getting it cheaper that pisses me off."

Oh do man up - in your 32 years you've been paid in the region of 30-50% more than the civil servants you work with. For the last three years you've had some form of pay rise in the salary spine, while the civil servants have had nothing. Your pension remains non contributory while civil service contributory have risen significantly in the same time.

Stop bleating about the nasty CS getting something cheaper than you - you've had a whole career of getting more than them.
I dont understand the drip here at all an employee of the company pays £50.
An ex employee has to pay £55. Whats the issue?
As has been said a civi gym will be costing you £40 a month.


Lantern Swinger
I steer well clear of place for the physical type of things. Too many ale house to visit before they all disappear.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I think Jimbo makes another goood point into numbers using a gym too. Sultan gym is always toppers no matter what time of day. Add in a few more veterans and you wouldn't be able to get a work out done in there. However, (and this is another argument) that is largely clogged up by those ******* railtrack civvies who go in there in groups of 3 and 4 and clutter the weights area up no end. Now, should they be in there? IMO no, not employed by MOD, just being trained by us. If they want a gym join a civvy one.
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