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South Dorset Hunt Ball

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel stationed at Bovington camp, Wareham, were involved in preparations for the South Dorset hunt ball which took place on 1 February; what duties in connection with alterations to the building, the building of staging, painting and moving and setting out furniture before and after the ball were undertaken; what meals were served to military personnel doing this extra duty; and at what cost and to whom.

Fifteen military personnel were employed on Thursday 31 January, Friday 1 February and Saturday 2 February. They were not required for other duties, all were volunteers and none were denied normal time off. There were no alterations to the building nor was staging erected.A hardboard screen was placed in a reception hall to increase the sitting-out area. A tented alley was constructed outside the building by a civilian contractor at the dance committee's expense. A soldier volunteered to decorate the hardboard screen and he received payment from the dance committee. No other painting was undertaken. The preparations and clearing involved the moving and setting out of furniture. No extra meals were served to military personnel, but they received drinks at the expense of the dance committee. It is not possible to determine the costs involved since none fell to public funds.