Air Cadet Activities
345 (City of Lancaster) Squadron
The squadron was continuing to spend on new and replacement sports equipment but the finances remained healthy. Cadets had visited Germany, Gibraltar and Cyprus, but no further visits to Cyprus would be made for the foreseeable future as RAF Akrotiri was now an operational station. Maintenance of the exterior of the squadron HQ was a problem because of health and safety restrictions. Nationally cadet membership was down by 15%, with officers in short supply and squadrons being run by NCOs. At the same time administration was increasing. The squadron would be visiting Nijmegen to lay a poppy wreath at the annual commemoration of the battle. Cadets would be supporting the Poppy Appeal in Booths and would be laying wreaths at Lancaster Town Hall and Westfield Memorial Village. Air experience was becoming difficult due to flights only being available mid-week when cadets were at school and officers were working. However a lot of courses were being run during the winter, including first aid and DoE.
The cadets are all in good spirits and have been out selling poppies in Morecambe town centre and also at the football ground. They are looking forward to representing 455 at the Remembrance Sunday Parade & Service and also at the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday. They have also been asked to help with other projects after the good response to the clean-up in Heysham and have done a joint hand bike with Team Legless up and down Morecambe Promenade to raise money for charity; this was from Four Lanes End to the Battery and back; they were trying to do 455 miles in 24 hours and they had a very good go at this (they achieved 319 miles) and the cadets enjoyed the process – see the Team Legless Facebook page for more details and pictures https://www.facebook.com/LeglessChallenges . The cadets have also been asked to attend two carol services. Wheelchair rugby is on this week for the cadets to have a go and to hopefully get a team together to go against staff and the committee.
1127 (Kendal) Squadron
Kendal Cadet presented with Northern Area Young Person of the Year Award
Earlier this year the Branch Committee nominated Cadet Sergeant Elizabeth Newton from 1127 (Kendal) Squadron for the 2015 RAFA Northern Area Young Person of the Year award. She has an impressive array of academic qualifications, leisure activities (including driving a tractor!) and personal achievements with the ACO, and we were delighted, but not surprised, when she was selected as the winner. The Branch Chairman and Secretary were recently invited to the Squadron Presentation Evening in order to present the award.
The Presentation Evening was held at Kirbie Kendal School where the Squadron has been meeting for the last three months following the dreadful floods that hit Cumbria last December. Their HQ was under four feet of water and they also lost their new minibus which had done only 700 miles in nine months. Ironically, Kirbie Kendal School was where the Squadron was first formed in 1941, at that time with 200 cadets!
The evening began with the presentation of various achievement badges and promotion stripes. Our Chairman then presented the Young Person award to the newly promoted Flight Sergeant Newton with these words:
Our Committee fully endorsed Flight Sergeant Newton's nomination as the Royal Air Forces Association's Northern Area 'Young Person of the Year'. We are delighted that our opinion was endorsed with the presentation of this award to Flight Sergeant Elizabeth Newton today.
I will not embarrass Flight Sergeant Newton by revealing details of her achievements which led to this award, but I will say that what she has done, her activities and leadership are rather humbling.
This award is a fitting tribute to an outstanding young person and also signifies that the Kendal Squadron is capable of reaching the highest of standards. Flight Sergeant Newton has set the pace and standard that will be expected from those following her in future years. I therefore predict that many more cadets from Kendal Squadron will gain this award in the future.
It has always been my view that such achievements are never obtained in a vacuum or in isolation. In congratulating Flight Sergeant Newton, I offer my sincere congratulations to her Officer Commanding, Flying Officer Corry, Kendal Squadron staff, Squadron Cadet NCO team, fellow cadets, and above all her family for their contribution in big and small ways in supporting her activities and achievements.
Finally, a huge thank you is due to all Kendal Squadron parents for without their support and encouragement, Kendal Squadron would not be one of the best in the Wing and maybe one day it will achieve countrywide recognition. Now that is an aim worth pursuing, but that lies in the future: a future which is yours to work for.
After a short break for refreshments, we were treated to another of Flight Sergeant Newton's talents, commanding the “Red Barrows” Display Team. Watch the video by pasting www.dailymotion.com/video/x4140mj
Letter in Westmoreland Gazette
February 21 marked the 75th anniversary of the formation of 1127 (Kendal) Squadron Air Training Corps.
I am a founder member, having enrolled as a 16-year-old cadet in 1941 in Kendal Town Hall and very proud the squadron is still going strong after all these years.
This is due to a succession of commanding officers, senior staff and instructors, supported by a civilian committee. These people have voluntarily given their time to train the cadets to a high standard and are a credit to Kendal.
In recent years I have been invited with my friend Arnold Crossley, who is also a founder member and ex-chairman of the ATC civilian committee, to the squadron's annual dinner and awards night. Both of us served in The Royal Air Force during World War Two, Arnold as a pilot and myself, a wireless operator.
We have been impressed with the smart turn-out, skills and enthusiasm of the cadets (boys and girls), now under the leadership of the officer in charge F/O Tim Corry, who has succeeded F/Lt Simon Walton.
Congratulations to 1127 (Kendal) Squadron ATC on their 75th anniversary and long may they continue their proud tradition.
Member of our Branch