Squadron Leader Ian Marshall, Officer Commanding 126 (City of Derby) Squadron, celebrated 30 years in the ATC this weekend at the Squadron’s annual Dining In night.
Sqn Ldr Marshall was joined by his staff and civilian committee team plus friends from 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn, 492 (Solihull) Sqn and 1300 (Sutton) Sqn. The guest of honour for this important and memorable evening was the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Shaun Marshall. He was joined by his wife Mrs Lisa Marshall.
The Dining In night took place at the squadron headquarters. The squadron canteen was transformed into a splendid function room, decorated with the RAF colours of red, white and blue. Many of the trophies that the squadron has won in the last 12 months were on display. Led by the Maitre D’ CWO Elodie Marsh, a team of cadets were on hand to welcome the guests and serve pre-dinner drinks. The guests were then treated to a 5-course dinner, prepared by AWO Eileen Smith and her catering support flight. The culinary delights began with a starter of scallop served on a bed of roasted red pepper with a pesto sauce. This was followed by beef cooked in a red wine sauce, served with roast potatoes and pea puree. A range of delicious desserts was then followed by a cheese course then coffee and mints.
The cadets were congratulated on their professional manner in serving the guests. For many of the cadets it was their first experience of waiting on. Cadet Jodie Tucker said, “I have never worked so hard, but I have really enjoyed the evening.”
During the after dinner speeches, Sqn Ldr Marshall was presented with a book on the history of Lancaster Bombers. The book was signed by all members of the squadron staff and committee. Sqn Ldr Marshall said, “I cannot believe I have been a member of staff with the ATC for 30 years. I have truly loved every minute. I hope to enjoy many more years in the best youth organisation this country has to offer.”
Sqn Ldr Marshall went on to present his friend and long serving colleague Flt Lt Alyn Thompson with a bottle of whiskey. This was in recognition of the 25 years service that Flt Lt Thompson has given to the ATC as Officer Commanding at 1211 Sqn.
At the end of the evening, the staff and guests reminisced and chatted about achievements over the last 12 months. At the same time in the kitchen, the cadets set about washing 50 sets of plates, dishes, cutlery and glasses.
Sqn Ldr Marshall said, “I have had a fantastic evening. I was honoured that I was able to celebrate my 30th anniversary with so many good friends.”