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‘It’s like being at the Ritz’: Troops helping with mass testing leave cheeky reviews for Liverpool digs

Written by on 18 November 2020

Soldiers who have been drafted into Liverpool to help deliver the city’s mass coronavirus testing scheme appear to have taken the chance to leave some interesting reviews of their accommodation.

Many of the the troops are staying in the much-loved holiday camp Pontins in Southport, just to north of the city, while they set about testing residents in the region.

As seasoned travellers, those in the armed forces are used to roughing it around the world – but that did not stop them poking fun at their latest digs on Tripadvisor.

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‘Pontins was like checking into the Ritz,’ says one user. Pic: Tripadvisor
'Some idiot parked his jeep across a parking bay'. Pic: Tripadvisor
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‘Some idiot parked his jeep across a parking bay’. Pic: Tripadvisor

“This isn’t a shade on Camp Bastion”, one five-star review starts, adding: “This place is first class. For a man who doesn’t like hot food, this is the place to be.

“There is no digging in, no stag, there is no way the [chief of general staff] would get lost round here, as it’s a palace for the mighty, towering above the town of Southport.”

A less generous two-star reviewer writes: “There is… a choice to be made between hot water or cooking, both amenities simultaneously are not an option.

“Any plans of cooking a romantic meal for my mucker while he takes a hot bubble bath are out of the window.”

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One soldier was excited by the level of independence afforded to them, writing: “After years of living in squalor in my barracks, Pontins was like checking into the Ritz.

“Staying here has afforded some luxuries, such as the ability to cook for myself, as a man in my late twenties with my own house, it is something I am not trusted to do within military accommodation.”

'A palace for the mighty'. Pic: Tripadvisor
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‘A palace for the mighty’. Pic: Tripadvisor
'We had landed in a high class resort'. Pic: Tripadvisor
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‘We had landed in a high class resort’. Pic: Tripadvisor

Sky News understands that the reviews were posted by soldiers who were having a bit of fun.

A Ministry of Defence source said: “British soldiers are renowned for having a good sense of humour. If they weren’t having a laugh we’d be worried!”

Sky News has contacted Pontins for comment.

Troops will remain stationed there as mass COVID-19 testing is ongoing in the Liverpool City Region, as part of the government’s effort to bring the pandemic under control in the UK’s worst-hit areas.