1181 (Syston) Squadron Air Training Corps invited the other Leicestershire & Rutland squadrons to celebrate ATC Sunday, the event that celebrates the formation of the organisation on the 5th February 1941. It was a well attended parade, with 150 cadets, 21 uniformed staff and over 20 civilian volunteers.
The day started with a brisk walk to St Peter and St Pauls Church in Syston, where the cadets were greeted by the Squadron Chaplain Rev’d Canon David White. A fantastic service followed that allowed the cadets to re-take their cadet promise, carry out readings, finishing off the church service stood to sing both verses of the National Anthem.
Honoured guests on the day included Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire Colonel Martin OBE DL, Wing Commander Dickinson OBE RAFVR (T) and The Worshipful The Mayor of Charnwood, Councillor Diane Wise, who were on hand to take the salute as the parade returned to the Syston Squadron Headquarters in Wreake Valley Academy.
After the parade the cadets formed into a parading column ready for the proud march back through the town along Melton Road, Syston. The cadets and staff put on an impressive show of marching, keeping in time the entire way ably marshalled by Leicester Police and the civilian staff.
The weather on the day remained fortunately cool and dry which made the large task of delivering drinks, cakes and hot soup to over 200 visitors to the Squadron a much easier task! The Civilian Committee of 1181, lead by Sharon Burgin did an excellent job of supplying more cakes then even the cadets could possibly eat!
The success of the parade was due a large number of people connected with Leicester and 1181 Squadron coming together, special acknowledgements need to go to the following people:
Lynne Twigg – Charnwood Borough Council
Warrant Officer (ATC) Mark Butler – Regional Warrant Officer
Steve Hillman – Leicestershire County Council
PC Paul Chester – Leicestershire Police Planning Department
Howard Sloan – 19th Leicester (Evington) Scout Group
Steve Round – East Goscote Scout Group
Tristan, Richard and the team – Loughborough Land Rover Club
Wing Commander Dickinson OBE RAFVR (T) said “This is one of the largest ATC Sunday parades in the Wing and I am very proud of the standard and turn out of all the cadets. It is excellent to see so many young people in one place showing how proud they are to be part of the organisation.”
Flight Lieutenant Andrew Kenyon RAFVR (T) said after the parade “I was very proud to lead such a large parade on the day and was delighted to welcome so many cadets and distinguished guests to our Squadron in Syston. The success of the day was down to a combined effort of all of the staff, cadets and Civilian Committee of 1181 Squadron. Particular mention should go to Pilot Officer Daniel McGlynn RAFVR (T) who worked throughout the week leading up to the event dealing with the road-closures and the church service.”
By Flt Lt Andrew Kenyon
OC 1181 (Syston) Sqn ATC