Northampton and Rushden Sea Cadet Update
The Sea Cadets from Northampton and Rushden have been busy over the few last weeks demonstrating their skills as part of the Royal Navy’s annual efficiency assessment of Northampton and Wellingborough Sea Cadet Unit.
Pulses were racing, and boots were shinning as the ships company made sure the unit was ship shaped and Bristol fashion. This was for our annual efficiency review. This year the unit was visited by a serving Royal Marine Officer. Major Stuart Taylor RM visited the unit to officially present the units new Royal Marines Cadet Detachment with their letter of recognition by the Captain of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets.
The Sea Cadets from Wellingborough, Rushden and Northampton converged at the county unit headquarters in Northampton to demonstrate their skills in ceremonial, waterborne and shore based training. The evening started with an inspection of the cadets on a cramped main deck where the Chairman of the County Council and the Mayors of Northampton, Rushden and Wellingborough joined Major Taylor in talking to the cadets about their activities.
After this ceremonial demonstration the guests and parents toured displays on Boatwork, Seamanship, Royal Marines Cadets and Communications at which the cadets explained the activities that they had conducted during the preceding year.
The inspection evening ended with the Deputy Mayor of Northampton presenting 16 year old Petty Officer Cadet Lara Jolley with the annual Mayors Cadet Award. This is awarded annually to the top Sea Cadet in Northampton. Lara is a keen dinghy sailor who regularly teaches sailing to her younger peers both at the unit and at the local boating station and was selected because of the example she sets to the others at the Sea Cadet Unit. Lara along with 6 other senior cadets in the unit are in the process of finalising their submissions for the Btec National Diploma in Public Services which is equivalent to 4 GCSE qualifications. Lara along with other cadets are pleased that being a member of the Sea Cadets has helped in her studies and she has gained nationally recognised qualifications. The Commanding Officer, Chris Read said “being a sea cadet not only teaching valuable live skills to our young people in a practical and fun environment; but also we provide nationally recognised qualifications that will help many cadets with future employment opportunities”.
During the monthly divisions evening for March the unit was visited by Lieutenant Commander Scott Kay Royal Navy to inspect the cadets in their best uniforms. Cadet Jade “Dot” Rickard was picked out by Lt Cdr Kay as being the smartest overall cadets which was an impressive achievement for the twelve year old as this was her first numbers ones parade since being promoted from a Junior Sea Cadet earlier last month.
Also during the month the cadets competed in the annual regional 5 a Side football contest held at RAF Cranwell. The girls team from Northampton and Rushden achieved a runner up placing only being beaten in an exciting final by Mildenhall Sea Cadet Unit. Whlist this was happening the Junior Sea Cadets spent a day visiting the code breaking centre in Bletchley park. The cadets got to use the famous enigma machine to decipher their own codes and toured the museum and were particularly impressed with the Harrier Jump Jet on the site!
This highlight of the month was that 23 cadets and supporting adults were invited aboard the Royal Navy’s Flag Ship HMS Ark Royal. The cadets spent the day aboard the fleet carrier which pays off at the end of the month. Cadets were able to tour the entire ship from the Bridge to the lower decks and see what life on board is all about. After the tour the cadets were given a free visit to Nelsons flagship HMS Victory. The Cadets were excited to visit the carrier and very much enjoyed the visit. This will probably be the last visit to the ship whilst in active service and this was a good reward for the months efforts, and the cadets enjoyed testing the Captains seat on the Bridge!
The unit is now looking forward to the arrival of the lighter nights and milder weather which will start the season afloat, at the end of the month the unit will parade through the town to mark the 67th anniversary of the sinking of the towns affiliated ship HMS Laforey. The parade will start at 10.30am at the Guildhall on Sunday 27th March 2011.
The Sea Cadets are recruiting now for adult volunteers and cadets to join and anyone interested in becoming part of the team should contact the unit. Northampton and Wellingborough Sea Cadets are a registered charity which aims to help young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years to responsible adulthood using a naval theme. Northampton Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets meet on Tuesday and Friday evening from 7pm to 9.15pm at their headquarters in Nunn Mills Road, Northampton. Rushden Diamond Division Sea Cadets meet Tuesday and Friday nights at the Cadet Forces Building, Victoria Road, Rushden. Further information on Northampton and Wellingborough Sea Cadets can be found by visiting www.northamptonseacadets.org, or www.rushdenseacadets.org.uk.