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l Royal Navy Command, Leadership and Management training at Talybont-on-Usk

...OR HAPPY Birthday, to those not

familiar with the Welsh language. The birthday being celebrated was that of the Royal Navy’s Outdoor Leadership Training Centre (OLTC) at Talybont- on-Usk.

And Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Admiral Steel unveiled a

David Steel, as Chief of Naval Personnel and Training, was invited to mark the occasion. Vice

Penblwydd hapus

commemorative plaque at the facility, in the Brecon Beacons, and also unveiled a memorial bench, acknowledging the OLTC’s former role in the local transport network.

An outstation of the Royal Naval

l Royal Navy trainees attempt to transport a stretcher across a river at the Outdoor Leadership Training Centre at Talybont-on-Usk

Leadership Academy, the OLTC trains more than 1,600 personnel annually. The centre’s primary role is the delivery

of the Able Rates Leadership Course (ARLC) for Phase 2 Trainees (students) – a foundation leadership course for all trades within the Royal Navy. This course uses Adventurous Training

(AT) as a means to deliver Command, Leadership and Management with the aim to develop individuals, enabling them to function as an effective team member/ party in a front-line unit. Whilst at OLTC students live in tented accommodation in all weathers and survive the week on ration packs, overseen by a team of 11 naval leadership instructors, two civilian staff and a keen volunteer. The building that is now the Naval Outdoor Leadership Training Centre was formerly the Stationmaster’s Cottage at Pant-y-Rhiw station on the old Brecon and Merthyr Railway. This section of the railway was built in 1863 and the platform at Pant-y-Rhiw opened in 1909. After the local valley was flooded

l Members of the Talybont community join Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel at the bench created by naval volunteer Colin Huntley (seated left). Also seated is the High Sheriff of Powys, Lady Sue Large.

l Then and now – the old Brecon and Merthyr station at Pant-y-Rhiw, and the same location now (right, pictured by Gary Davies, who works at the OLTC)

and Talybont Reservoir filled in 1938, the platform served few people, and on December 31 1962 the railway closed to passengers. On

November 30 1962 HMS

Collingwood bought the Stationmaster’s Cottage at Pant-y-Rhiw to serve as a naval training centre – the establishment was represented by Commanding Officer Capt H H Hughes and Executive Officer Cdr P L K Needham. Fast-forward 50 years, almost to the day, and members of the Talybont community who are still proud of their affiliation to the Centre and the Royal Navy attended the two unveiling ceremonies. These included Lady Sue Large, the High Sheriff of Powys, the vice chairman of the local council, the licencees of the White Hart Inn, Usk Hotel and Belvedere Hotel, a representative of the Forestry

Commission – as well as Paddy the owner of the local burger wagon. The memorial bench was handmade by keen historian Colin Huntley, from railway artefacts he found locally. Colin – an ex-regular – is a naval

volunteer, and an invaluable member of the staff who has been working at the OLTC for the past 15 years. Leadership Training Officer WO1 Paul Willetts said it was a great pleasure to invite the Second Sea Lord and members of the local community to the ceremonies.

Pictures: LA(Phot) Guy Pool and LA(Phot) Nicky Wilson

l Vice Admiral David Steel unveils a commemorative plaque at Talybont, watched by RN staff and members of the local community

36 FEBRUARY 2013 :

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