504 (West Nottingham) Squadron – Dining In Night “Oscars Style”
You would have been excused if you thought you were attending a movie awards ceremony instead of the Dining In Night of an Air Cadet Squadron – as staff, Cadets and guests suitably attired in mess dress, DJ’s, & ball gowns walked the red carpet as they arrived for the annual Dining In Night & Presentation Evening of 504 (West Nottingham) Squadron at the Village Hotel in Chilwell, Nottingham on Saturday 22nd March 2014.
The usual traditions of this type of event were adapted and modernised slightly, in order to maximise the experience and enjoyment of the 107 guests attending. Officer Commanding 504 Squadron, Flt Lt Jodi Hudson, made his key-note “state of the Squadron” address at the very start of proceedings, followed by the Loyal Toast proposed by Cdt Cpl Connah Foster. Guests then enjoyed a fantastic three-course meal before taking a few minutes break in readiness for the start of the awards presentations.
Annually, the Cadets of 504 Squadron compete for the various awards and trophies presented at the Dining In Night. Presentations are made to Cadets in recognition of their skills, aptitude and commitment to the Unit and the wider Air Training Corps. The presentations were made by many of the invited guests at the event, each accompanied by visual animation to reveal the nominees and winners – designed and produced by the MCO at 504 Squadron, CI James Dodds.
Sports Award – Presented by Flight Lieutenant Lynda Waplington-Richards RAF VR(T) (Wing Sports Officer)
Winner: Cdt Jonathan Bartle
Drill & Deportment Award – Presented by Warrant Officer(ATC) Dan Haywood (Wing Warrant Officer)
Winner: Cdt Cpl Connah Foster
Best Recruit – Presented by Captain Sam Scott (Army Intelligence Corps)
Winner: Cdt Josh Richardson
Inter-Flight Competition – Presented by Mrs Kathy Dickinson
Winner: Harrier Flight, commanded by Cdt Sgt Beth Stair
Endeavour Shield – Presented by Mrs Liz Yorke (504 Squadron Chairman)
Winner: Cadet Michael Monaghan
Best NCO – Presented by Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson OBE RAF VR(T) (OC South & East Midlands Wing)
Winner: Cdt Cpl Connah Foster
Best Cadet – Presented by Councillor Ian Malcolm (The Sheriff of Nottingham)
Winner: Cdt Jessica Oakes
Squadron Commanders Special Commendation – Presented by Flight Lieutenant Jodi Hudson (OC 504 Squadron)
Winner: Cdt FS Kane Dunker
After the presentation of the awards and trophies, Flt Lt Jodi Hudson went on to make several Cadet promotions. Five Cadets were promoted to the rank of Cadet Corporal and one NCO to Cadet Sergeant.
Cdt to Cdt Cpl
Cdt Cpl to Cdt Sgt
Making an unplanned appearance on the stage during the Cadet promotions, OC South & East Midlands Wing, Wg Cdr Nigel Dickinson OBE made a surprise presentation to OC 504 Squadron, awarding his Cadet Forces Medal in recognition of 12 years service to the Air Training Corps. The final presentations came in the form of bouquets of flowers which were given to several of the guests as a thank you for their support of 504 Squadron.
After the awards, the prize draw was made and guests enjoyed a disco in to the small hours of Sunday morning. The night was a great success for 504 Squadron and achieved its ambition of being a fitting reward to the Cadets of the Unit for all of their efforts in driving the Squadron forward over the past 12 months,
Speaking after the event, Flt Lt Jodi Hudson – OC 504 Squadron said: “We took a real risk in changing the well established format of this type of event, but our efforts and hard work certainly proved to be worthwhile as it was clear that everyone attending had an amazing time and went home with some lasting memories. I am extremely proud of what the Unit has achieved and it was a real pleasure to share our special night with so many friends and colleagues from around the wing.”