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Learning and growing

CHILDREN from the Helitots day nursery at Culdrose have enjoyed a trip to the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek as part of their under-the- sea project. The youngsters took the chance to explore rock pools, talk about the seals and watch them feeding.

They even met the sanctuary’s

newest attraction, a colony of Humboldt penguins, a breed which hails from South America. After a quick snack and a look round the other animals it was time to head home, courtesy of a bus provided by First Rate Taxis of Porthleven. Nursery manager Janice

Thirlaway-Price said: “We really appreciate the support we receive from local businesses, as without their help we wouldn’t be able to offer our children as many of these learning adventures as we would like.” Meanwhile, a group of children in Scotland have been taken a big step along their educational path. 14 ‘Busy Bees’ at the Clyde

Nursery at Faslane have celebrated their ‘graduation’. Dressed in gowns and mortar

boards, the children were joined by their carers, relatives and friends to mark their big day, along with the Captain of HMS Neptune, Capt Michael Tarr.

The class of 2010 entertained their parents – many of whom work at the nearby Naval Base – with a selection of songs as they bid the nursery a fond farewell in anticipation of their move to primary school in the autumn.

Team tidies Trust land

A TEAM of 18 personnel from Culdrose air station have helped spruce up an area of National Trust land in Cornwall. The Penrose Estate and

surrounding land, including paths and woods around Looe Pool, were given to the National Trust in 1975. Now the Culdrose team has helped clear undergrowth at the popular beauty spot, a close neighbour of the Naval air station. Tangled embankments were thinned out along paths around the pool and Degibna areas. Project organiser CPO Lee

Glover said: “As a local Helston resident I walk the areas of Degibna and Penrose on a regular basis with my children, and we are so fortunate to have such areas of natural beauty here on our doorstep.

“I am sure I speak for everyone

involved in tackling this work that we have had an enjoyable and productive couple of days.”

Theatre visit

THE CAPTAIN and members of the ship’s company of USS Winston S Churchill took up an invitation to an evening at the theatre in Portsmouth. The sailors from the American

destroyer, led by Cdr Juan Orozco USN, attended a Help for Heroes concert at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, where they were presented with a framed poem by theatre PR director Mike Williams.

The Kings has a copy of the 1946 Sir Oswald Birley picture of Churchill, which hangs in the Dress Circle bar to commemorate a visit by the politician to watch his daughter Sarah perform.

AROUND 2,000 youngsters from Plymouth took part in a fun-filled programme of events which could save lives and reduce accidents. The third Plymouth Junior Life Skills event was hosted by the Navy at the Bull Point sports training facilities, with agencies such as the fire and rescue

● Lts Jason Steele and Rachel Lees encourage 11-year-old Jade and Ryan (ten) along the assault course

Child challenge

TACKLING a mini assault course was among the challenges set for the children of a Torpoint school by a group of 15 trainee Logistics Officers at HMS Raleigh. The afternoon of Navy-style activities was designed to give Year 6 pupils at Carbeile Junior School a taste of RN training.

Safety fi rst at Bull Point

services, police, RNLI and trading standards joining in. Demonstrations and activities help the ten and 11-year-olds appreciate issues such as smoking, anti-social behaviour, fire hazards, tombstoning (jumping into shallow water) and the discovery of unexploded ordnance.

Other highlights included the chance for children to take part in exercises to develop communication and team-work skills, and they also had the chance to talk to the trainee officers about their careers and the role of the Navy. Head teacher Penny Geach

said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed the activities and put a lot of effort into the challenges, which supported our ethos of respect and responsibility. “They were also interested to

learn more about the Royal Navy. “It was a great afternoon.” Each class on the eight-month Initial Logistics Officer course is required to organise a charity of community event in their final week.

Actors and crews win accolades

winner for their performance of Breath of Spring by Peter Coke, the team from the Rock also won best actress (Isabelle Valenzuela as Alice Lady Miller). Competing against the Trafalgar

● Two offi cer cadets stand on the Mistress Stone to take in the view on St Kilda Pictures: Lt Colin Darkins and Bill Thomson

Turf times working on isolated project

OFFICERS at Britannia Royal Navy College are encouraged to undertake outreach projects

within the local community. And occasionally that outreach

has a very long reach indeed, way beyond the local community – way beyond most communities, in fact.

So it was that a group of staff

and cadets from Dartmouth used part of their leave to head for St Kilda to lend a hand to the National Trust of Scotland. St Kilda is an isolated archipelago some 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides which was inhabited for more than two millennia until the last handful of inhabitants were voluntarily evacuated in 1930.

The island group is now a

World Heritage Site, managed by the National Trust for Scotland, which preserves the buildings and guides visitors who brave the wild sea crossing from Harris. Many people have left their

imprint on the island, from Bronze Age travellers and Norsemen to 18th century villagers.

But the main focus of the visit by the cadets was to help with conservation work on ancient buildings and to prepare for the tourist season.

Much of their effort was expended on repairing the turf roofs of cleits, rough-built stone storehouses, and the ‘black houses’ of the village. Undertaking such work is seen as

an invaluable way of encouraging teamwork amongst cadets and helping them to recognise the value of positive relations with the wider community. This particular trip was organised by Lt Colin Darkins, who said: “The conservation we undertook lent much to the perpetual maintenance and gave us all a real sense of contribution – the feeling of doing an honest day’s ‘graft’ on the land was something

that was far removed from all our daily routines.”

Throughout their stay the team

worked hard but also enjoyed the opportunity to explore the area and soak up an appreciation of the history and life of its previous inhabitants – including how islanders lived by taking seabirds – including puffins, fulmars and gannets – and their eggs from the high cliffs of the islands. Traditionally, young men of the islands would demonstrate their ‘cragsmanship’ and balance by standing on one foot on the edge of the Mistress Stone, precariously perched about 400ft above the sea. The young ladies of St Kilda

were supposed to be impressed... While the team were on the island it was mentioned that the school bell, used to summon pupils to the (somewhat


schooling provided before the evacuation, needed a rope. Bill Thomson, a lecturer at the college and assisting the team, made up a couple which have been sent to the island. Bill made two of the natural hemp pulls to cover contingencies like weather and hungry or inquisitive visitors.

group were the Admiral’s Players (HMS Excellent) with Write About What You Know by Paul Gisby, HMS Collingwood with Amphibious Spangulatus by Paul Doust and HMS Sultan with Habeus Corpus by Alan Bennett. The best actor award went to Richard Sanderson (Admiral’s Players) as did best director – Roger Mitchell. Rear Admiral Charles Montgomery, president of the RN Theatre Association, presented the annual President’s Award to Chris Blatch-Gainey for his outstanding support for both the Collingwood group and the RNTA as a whole as a director and workshop coordinator. Other awards presented included: best actor:

Ferris (Admiral’s Players); best supporting actress: Eleri Surrey as Nanette Parry (Trafalgar); best

John Webb as Stanley male

Owen-Jones as Rex Cunningham (Collingwood); best


newcomer: Ed female

newcomer: Noelle Hothe as Elizabeth Hatfield (Trafalgar); the Doug Craig award for best


John Morgan as PC Carpenter (Collingwood); best technical achievement: Sultan; best stage set: Steve Frewer, Gareth Rees, Ralph Dinnick, Colin Salt and Janice Steedman (Sultan); best lighting: Gareth Rees (Sultan); best sound: Ian Goble (Admiral’s Players); best costume: Eileen Thornton, Jean Penney, Margaret Seed and Sharon Cunningham (Trafalgar); best make up, hair and wigs: Rosanna Wills and Moira Bissett (Trafalgar). If you would like to tread the boards or join a stage crew, contact David Grindel on 93832 5324,

Top air cadet opts to fly Navy

A LONDON cadet has picked up a top award for his


to the Air Training Corps. Now Cadet WO Gilberto Algar-

Faria is looking forward to a flying career – with the Fleet Air Arm. Gilberto, a member of 48 Flight (Hampstead) Squadron ATC, was presented with the Duke of Westminster Award Edexcel Prize for his “infectious enthusiasm, his maturity and leadership.” Currently studying for a degree

in International Relations at the University of Leeds, he aims to be commissioned to begin officer training at Dartmouth before taking on flying duties in the RN.

Senior rates thwart assault

TWO senior rates from HMS Ambush have been commended by a judge in Barrow-in-Furness for saving a pub doorman from a vicious attack. CPO Steven Bell and Coxswain Steve Thorpe (pictured

left, picture courtesy North West Evening Mail) were on a night out when they saw three men assaulting a bouncer. The pair put themselves between the attackers and the victim. Judge Paul Batty awarded the men a Certificate of Commendation, saying: “They could have just stood back and watched the assault take place. But they didn’t. “In the highest tradition of the Services they intervened, so much so they prevented further assault on the bouncer and they waited at the scene and they were able to assist the police in pointing out the attackers.” The modest heroes were given a cheque for £250 each. Coxswain Thorpe said: “It is our duty as citizens to stop an assault, not just as military men. It is very kind of the judge to give us this award.”

GIBRALTARIAN thespians took the main honours at the annual RN Drama Festival awards, hosted by the WO & SR Mess at HMS Collingwood. The Trafalgar Theatre Group caught the eye of adjudicator Doug Craig, a retired naval officer and member of the Guild of Dramatic Adjudicators. Along with best show and overall


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