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Raleigh trainees help banish winter blues

l Darren Clark

Picture: Paul Bruno – using the Nikon camera Darren helped return to him

Camera returned to owner

THE Fleet Air Arm Museum has played its part in reuniting a fan of the museum with his missing camera. Paul Bruno stepped out of a London taxi cab following a visit to the Yeovilton attraction – but left his £450 Nikon camera and zoom lens in the cab.

Taxi Drivers contacted but,

The police and London Association were fearing that

a member of the public would have found it and considered it “their lucky day”, there was little confidence that the camera would be handed in. Mr Bruno had visited the

Somerset museum using a Gift Aid entry receipt, which entitled him to enter free of charge having previously visited the Museum in May last year. The Gift Aid receipt listed the contact details of the museum, together with the date of purchase and Mr Bruno’s signature – and Mr Bruno had placed the receipt in his camera case for safekeeping. All would have been lost had it not been for the honesty and tenacity of taxi driver Darren Clark, who found the receipt. He contacted the Fleet Air Arm Museum and asked if their records could identify the address of the person named on the receipt. They could, and the equipment

was returned to Mr Bruno. “Some say we live in a ‘finders

keepers’ society but events like this restore your faith in humanity,” said Mr Bruno. “I am so very grateful to Darren Clarke and the Fleet Air Arm Museum for reuniting me with my much-treasured camera.”

Sowing and cleaning

FLEDGLING sailors from HMS Raleigh’s Corporate Squadron joined forces with volunteers from Torpoint to plant saplings and clean up their corner of Cornwall. The party of 11 sailors undergoing specialist training abandoned their

afternoon to spend some time at Thanckes Park. There they worked alongside the

studies for an

Friends of Thanckes Park planting more than 100 trees supplied free of charge by the Woodland Trust as part of its ‘More Trees, More Good’ campaign – and these were amongst the first in the country to be planted under the initiative. A litter pick was also carried

banish winter in Cornwall. The group took part in the annual Black Prince Flower Boat celebrations, heading an eclectic parade of dancers, children,

sailors carried on their shoulders a model sailing ship, the Black Prince, which is decorated with flowers. The eight trainees were Kierian Hammond, Michael

James Brady, James Taylor, James Low, Lewis Steele, Rob Latham and Jack Bradburn. The ceremony dates back to the 19th century, and although it died out around 50 years ago it was revived in 1986.

Led by Lt Mickey Flitcroft, the

TRAINEE sailors from HMS Raleigh have once more helped

through the villages of Millbrook, Kingsand and Cawsand, on the Rame Peninsula in south-east Cornwall.

and town criers musicians,

l One of the Mayfield School pupils emerges from a hatch on board HMS Torbay

Picture: LA(Phot) Martin Carney Abbott,

Torbay hosts pupils

WEST Country submariners hosted children from a Torbay school for a visit

Once the ship has been carried through the streets it is taken down onto the beach at Cawsand and launched into the sea, supposedly taking the last of the ravages of winter with it. The model itself is housed throughout the rest of the year at Raleigh. Chef Michael Abbott said: “I really felt proud to be taking part and to be representing the Royal Navy.

to a nuclear

submarine. The youngsters of Mayfield School were taken round HMS Torbay by the submariners, and met the commanding officer. On leaving the submarine they had lunch in the officers’ mess in Devonport Naval Base. Mayfield School, which caters

for youngsters with severe and profound learning difficulties, already had a thriving relationship with Torbay and her crew, which was further strengthened by the visit.

“The celebrations seemed to me to be a nice thing to do with everyone out having fun. “There were some very interesting characters in fancy dress and the dancing was good. “It was nice to be part of a longstanding local tradition.” The Black Prince Flower Boat procession is jointly organised by the RNLI, with proceeds from the event, which include street collections, helping to fund the organisation’s work.

l Trainees from HMS Raleigh join the May Day celebrations in Cornwall

Turf times for 702’s air engineers

ROYAL Navy air engineers at Yeovilton have helped a local school prepare new planting areas and grounds. The WAFUs of 702 Naval Air Squadron

undertook landscaping and painting duties at Milford Infant School to allow children to plant as part of a practical lesson. The engineers (pictured left) built two raised beds, painted a new wooden storage shed and laid turf on the surrounding areas, leaving the patch ready for the children to move onto.

The leader of the group, LAET Jason

Butler, said: “My team and I really enjoyed the experience. “It was great to be involved with a project

that will help the little ones learn new skills.” 702 Naval Air Squadron is the training squadron for the Lynx helicopter. Members of the squadron are continuously

involved in projects in the local community to help out where they can, reinforcing the strong relationships between the air station and surrounding towns and villages.

out as the sailors’ contribution to the first Clean Cornwall Week of 2011. But that was still not enough – they also helped out at the Tamara Daycare Centre by preparing the outside decking area ready for the residents to use in the summer. WO Garry Drew, Corporate Squadron Warrant Officer, said: “All the trainees had a wonderful afternoon and enjoyed making a contribution to the local community. “With

programme, their spare time is very limited so to be able to help out in this way and use their team-working skills was very rewarding.”

a busy training Vegetable patch transformed

TRAINEE submariners from HMS Raleigh have been helping a local school transform an old vegetable patch.

The team of three, under training at the Royal Navy

Submarine School, spent the day at Fourlanesend Community Primary School near Cawsand, where they cleared overgrown plants and re-laid the vegetable patch into three raised and one level bed. Head Teacher Rebecca Harris said: “We are very

grateful to the team from HMS Raleigh for their hard work which accelerated the preparation of our allotment/vegetable patch. “The partnership with Raleigh is much appreciated by the school as a valuable community enterprise. “Pupils are looking forward to planting their

favourite vegetables and hope to invite the submariners back to taste the produce.” During the day the trainees also helped out by

moving a number of large items and play equipment. Training Officer Lt Mickey Flitcroft said: “Working

at the school allowed the trainees to use their team- working skills outside of their normal environment. “They set their own objectives for completing the task using the limited resources available to them. “ This is the sort of thing they could find themselves doing on a much larger scale as their careers progress during a disaster relief operation abroad or aid to the population during a civil emergency in the UK. “The guys worked very hard all day and enjoyed mixing with the pupils. “The team also enjoyed their school dinner – the first they had had for a couple of years.”

l From left: submariners Damien Moss, Colin Patrick and Ben Marsh, with pupils Jude Floyd and Jorja Flitcroft

Picture: Dave Sherfield

Cdr Nick Wheeler, the boat’s Commanding Officer, said: “All the sailors in HMS Torbay were pleased to have our special guests from Mayfield School on board. “It gives us another perspective

on what we do, and reminds us why we do the job, because of the often unexpected questions they ask. “It is a very rewarding ongoing

relationship we have with the school.

“After a previous visit they produced a picture which we have in pride of place on the wall in the wardroom on board.

“They take back ideas for

further study in the classroom and never forget their visit. “We did our best to make it a

trip to remember – the school is a special charity for us; we raise money for them and also visit their classrooms and help them out.” Mayfield School teacher Hayley McCaffrey said: “The children are all excited about the sea and coming to a submarine was a dream come true for one lad after he saw a photograph of one. “It is lovely to take them out of the classroom and support our work topic about the coastline. “The best way to learn about

anything is to have a hands-on experience, and that is what we have here. “We are really lucky to have this rare chance to come on board a real-life submarine, experiencing it and seeing where the sailors live and work and hearing from them first-hand about their work. “Talking to the sailors also

improves their interpersonal skills.’’

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