44 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011
Drummers make their public debut
TEWKESBURY unit’s first Pickle Night went like clockwork, thanks to the detailed planning and preparation carried out by Petty Officers (SCC) Mark Hobbs and Sandra McGhee, helped by the Parents and Friends Committee, to buy, prepare food.
and cook the tables. Staff pitched in to serve the
LC Harry Griffiths presided at the top table with VIP guests Lt Cdr (SCC) Jason Kinghorn RNR, unit CO, and chairman Mervyn Woodward on his right and left respectively. The ‘port’ for the occasion – a blackcurrant mix – was poured and passed according to traditional Royal Navy protocol and barely a drop was spilled. Traditional ‘fines’ were dished out after the meal by OC Keri Macrow to several diners spotted displaying inappropriate
manners – they had to perform a charade, song or dance (or all three) or gargle a song. For many of the ship’s company
it was their first experience of RN table etiquette, and the effort was widely appreciated.
Just one point to note by staff for next time – those proficient in the role of Cook Steward said they had served and removed from the wrong side... 2010 was a memorable year for the unit, not least because of the formation of their own Corps of Drums, which began practising once a week a year ago under the leadership of Sqn Ldr (ATC) Rod Gurney. The group made its debut with the Evesham ATC band at the Armed Forces Day parade in June – and made such a good impression on the town’s Mayor that they received their first official booking for the Mayoral Civic Parade.
performed for the unit at the traditional Trafalgar Night dinner, their synchronised drumming and ‘Chopsticks’ drawing hearty applause from the 80 guests and VIPs at Gupshill Manor. Another recent high-profile
event for the unit was the Remembrance Sunday parade, for which TS Otter provided a Guard of 12, with four cadets in position around the Memorial Cross.
THE Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire,
Kinghorn, has visited Stonehaven unit to inspect the ship’s company and present awards to cadets and staff.
Michael Smith was promoted to POC after attending an advancement board at HMS Caledonia and passing the Cadet Drill Instructor qualification, while probationary Civilian Instructors Cara Parker and Chris Horn received BTEC Diplomas in Public Services (Distinction Award). LC Michael Blacklaw accepted the 2010 Burgee Award on behalf of the unit – the 28th year in a row Stonehaven has achieved the highest level of efficiency.
The six-strong group also table
Unit visits namesake warship
THE strong links between HMS St Albans and TS St Albans, the city’s unit, were further strengthened when the frigate visited London. Following a joint fundraising
● St Albans cadets with the ship’s badge given to them by their namesake warship
event in Hertfordshire when the ship’s company and cadets raised over £3,500 for Help For Heroes, volunteers from the ship again travelled up to St Albans to help paint the unit. Later in the evening 20 cadets and staff were the guests of the warship in the Docklands. The sailors on the frigate put
on a range of demonstrations, including firefighting. The cadets were also presented with a ship’s crest to go in pride of place on the unit’s newly-painted bulkheads. Unit training officer PO (SCC)
Ted Hill, said: “We have great links with the ship and are always welcomed on board. “We do a lot of training at Sea Cadets and have some serious fun, but it’s a real eye-opener for everyone to see how the experts do it for real.”
AS FAR as headquarters buildings go, the Willesden and St Marylebone unit is in
Plea for staff from the Tin Tabernacle
structures as the congregation became established,
a pretty select group. TS Bicester is situated in an old church in Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, in London, a building dating back to 1863. Over the 70 years or so that the cadets have been there, they have managed to give the inside of the building a nautical feel – in fact, there are uncanny resemblances to parts of a ship. And that conversion was made
easier by the fact that the church itself – St James’s Episcopal Chapel – was originally constructed of metal.
TS Bicester is based at one of Britain’s few surviving
tabernacles’ or iron churches – buildings made of corrugated iron and designed to be quickly and cheaply erected as a home for a new congregation or as extra space for an expanding church. Many were available in kit
form, and most have long-since gone; some were replaced by more permanent brick or stone
deteriorated and had to be replaced as rust took its toll, while some were simply flattened to make way for other land use. St James’s took on a nautical
feel as TS Bicester established itself, but now the building is in need of major renovation, and the unit is working with local groups to raise funds to preserve and upgrade the building, making it an asset for the wider community as well as a working base for the cadets.
The unit has been operating from temporary headquarters in St Johns Wood for a period, but as it looks to the future, the management committee has issued a plea for volunteers to help train cadets, and anyone keen to help steer the Tin Tabernacle out of choppy waters. For those interested in joining the staff, helping cadets gain as much as possible from their time in the Corps, previous military experience is not necessary but would obviously be helpful.
Great race, great result
CADETS from Walton-on-the- Naze unit entered two teams in the Great River Race, rowing 21 gruelling miles from London Docklands to Richmond, Surrey. More than 300 teams took part in this annual event, with some competitors travelling from far afield as Holland and Germany to join in the fun.
The race also gave the cadets from TS Illustrious the first opportunity to try out the replacement for the ageing ASC. The new lightweight Trinity 500 proved as good as they had hoped, allowing them to shave an hour off the normal time for the older craft. The Royal Marine Cadets completing the race in 4h 18m with the Sea Cadets close behind in 4h 28m. This year the cadets also decided to row for charity, and have raised
a total of £2,064.50 for SSAFA Forces Help, who are celebrating 125 years of service and support to the Armed Forces and those who used to serve. CO S/Lt (SCC) Gary Dodd
RNR said it was amazing what young people could do when they put their minds to it – and it also completed the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award as well. For this year the senior
cadets will be forming a cadet fundraising committee and will sponsor a particular charity for the forthcoming year.
● Lesley Brown and Ellis Kent, both from Walton-on-the-Naze unit TS Illustrious, pictured at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London – just two of the many cadets who took part in or helped out at the event Picture: Les Scriver (RBL)
WANTED – an enthusiastic leader for a thriving London Sea Cadet unit.
Walton unit, Phil Hunter, is stepping down in March after four years because of ill health, and the unit now needs a volunteer, male or female, with Royal Navy experience to lead the team. The role includes overseeing
The CO of Sunbury
training and administration within the unit, ensuring proper discipline amongst staff and cadets and ensuring the safety of cadets, staff and visitors, to oversee ship’s routines, and the effective running of the unit.
● Cardiff unit had a star-studded VIP list for their Trafalgar Night mess dinner, held at the city’s United Services mess. Sitting down with the 42 cadets and 12 staff at the dinner, hosted by CO CPO (SCC) Michael Dixon, were the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Cdr Peter Beck (pictured above handing over the 2010 Effi ciency Pennant to the unit), his Deputy, Cdr John Curteis, former Lord Lieutenant Capt Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards – who spoke on the surrender of the French and Spanish at the battle – and Capt Peter James, who fl ew in from the United States to join the celebrations
TS Black Swan held its first parade on March 17 1943 and has been an active unit ever since. Today it boasts a strong ship’s company, section.
including a junior
The unit is situated on the banks of the River Thames, just below Walton Bridge, Surrey, in Penny Lane – and cadets at Black Swan believe it is the best site of all units in the District. Being right by the river,
● Sunbury and Walton unit cadets on the River Thames during a fundraising event
cadets at Sunbury and Walton are able to spend the majority of their time honing their skills in rowing, sailing, canoeing and power boating, moving over to knowledge-based activities through the winter months, including the unit’s specialisation in drill. Black Swan has an assortment of boats including three Admiralty
Sailing Craft and two new Trinity 500s for
pulling, a Cheverton
Champ, Viking and Dory for power boating, two Toppers for sailing and a selection of canoes. Potential recruits for the top job should contact unit chairwoman Gail Cramp on 01932 889244 (evenings), mobile: 07922 191781 or gail.cr
and Black Swan seeks new leader
● The inside of the Tin Tabernacle, Willesden and St Marylebone unit’s headquarters in Kilburn, London
There are also places available on the unit’s management team, working on all aspects of running a busy unit. Any assistance in this area would
be gratefully received, and the unit is just as keen to hear from anyone who could help further
the conservation and restoration project by providing skills and expertise. Contact
, see the website http://units.ms-sc.org/
willesden/default, or call Chris Price on 02027 624 8340.
the unit at wills_
● Capt Steve Murdoch during the inspection of Plymouth College CCF contingent cadets
Colleges join forces
THE top man at HMS Raleigh has carried out the biennial inspection of Plymouth College’s CCF contingent. Capt Steve Murdoch, CO at the
Cornish training establishment, formally inspected the cadets, split into RN, Army and RAF sections. He took the salute,
also watched as the students demonstrated their skills, including the firing of weapons on the range and a communications command task in the school grounds. Plymouth College has recently entered into a pioneering initiative with Stoke Damerel Community College in Plymouth, in which Stoke Damerel students join Plymouth College’s CCF to form one contingent.
Capt Murdoch said: “The aim of the CCF is to provide an opportunity for young people to develop a sense of responsibility and the qualities of self-reliance, resourcefulness,
perseverance and a sense of service to the community, while in a disciplined environment. “It is hoped that these personal
attributes will remain of value to the cadets throughout their lives and will be relevant in whatever career they pursue.
“Plymouth College and Stoke Damerel Community College should be commended for their joint initiative. “The cadets were well turned out and the programme of training on offer is a credit to both schools.”
Air cadet dives in
THE last Sea Cadet diving course of the year has been run at the cadets’ dedicated diving centre at TS Neptune in Liverpool. Cadets joined the ship one autumn Sunday, and there followed five days of hard work, including three days of diving in the open, during a week that was very cold. Because
of temperatures, the students
some theory and got some pool time in, which allowed them to warm up.
The big difference between this
course and the other courses run at Neptune since 2001 is that it was tri-Service. The first ATC cadet to take
part, from 90 (Speke) Squadron ATC, proved she had fins as well as wings and passed – appropriately enough – with flying colours.
Training call CADETS and teaching staff
from Royal Grammar School Guildford CCF visited HMS Collingwood to see the training on offer. Cadets
tried out the Close
Range Weapon Simulator, and were briefed on the mine warfare and communications sections, where they had their second practical session. They
then went on to see
how to manoeuvre warships and helicopters.
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