If you had been present at 1F’s Squadron HQ recently you could have been mistaken for believing you had just stepped through a time pothole and had gone back 50 years. The conversations centered about AEF flying in Vampire’s, Meteor’s and Varsity’s. You could be forgiven if you thought you had entered a time warp. However one glance at some of the “cadets” present would have revealed that some of them, were not your average cadets as the average age of some of the visitors was just a little the wrong side of 60.
As you may well have guessed 1F recently hosted an evening for ex members of the squadron to pop along and see how the Air Training Corps is ran today. The evening went of to a great start when the ex cadets were given a guided tour around the squadron facilities. This was followed by a demonstration of the skills and prowess of the 1F band. Next followed a lecture of the handling skill required to fire the “New” ATC rifle, the 22. This was a new weapon to the veterans as the last rifle that they fired was the Lee Enfield 303.
After this both the old and new cadets looked through the squadrons historic document collection and reminisced on times gone by. The buzz of the conversations at times settled on a summer camp held at RAF Kinloss, but as you may have guessed, not a recent camp. No one held in 1960, 50 years ago! The veteran’s next get together is a trip back to RAF Kinloss later on this year.
The veterans meet up about 3 or 4 times a year and arrange various functions ranging for visits to RAF camps, gliding and flying weekends, to just a chat over a meal and drink. This recent visit was arranged during a chance meeting between one of the veterans and 1F’s Commanding Officer Flt Lt Aimee Hurst, whilst the cadets were carrying out a recent bag packing session.
After the final parade was completed the veterans all stated they had really enjoyed the evening and how good it was to see that the high standards of dress and discipline were still being maintained by the squadron.
Cadets Old and New look through 1F’s Historic documents whilst reminiscing.
Plt Off D Shuttleworth RAF VR(T)