On Monday 11th March 2013, we had the great pleasure and honour of a visit from Nottinghamshire’s Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace, accompanied by his wife, Lady Peace.
Their hope was to see the cadets, not as they so often do, on parade, in a formal setting, but rather to observe and talk to cadets as they were going about their normal squadron duties.
To this end, a very informal itinerary, (of sorts) was planned to allow them to see a typical night at Newton. With lots of time for chatting to the cadets, getting to know what sort of things they got up to as a cadet, how they felt about being a member of a volunteer organisation like the ATC, and what other sort of things they did in their spare time.
Showing them around was Newton’s OiC, Fg Off Helen Day RAF VR (T) and Sqn Ldr Pass RAF VR (T), a previous commander at Newton, and now the Sqn WSO.
The entire staff, and most of the Civilian Committee, also had the pleasure of meeting the Lord Lieutenant and his wife, with a brief chat, (longer for some – Mr Turner – than others…). He was most interested in how former Fleet Air Arm engineer Mr Phillipson (our Adjutant), and Royal Navy sailor Mr Rothwell (a long standing Civ Com member) came to be involved with the Air Cadets.
The Lord Lieutenant and his wife certainly seemed to enjoy the evening, and seemed very impressed with the quality of our cadets, and the excellent facilities here at Newton. Towards the close of visit, at final parade, the Lord Lieutenant agreed to hand out various awards.
They would be most welcome to return and visit us at any time…
Here is how one of our cadets (Cpl Connor Levers, 1936’s Cadet MCO) saw the visit:-
Today Newton Squadron had the honour of having the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire visit the Squadron. The night started with all the cadets of Newton finding out what activities they would be doing from the flight boards in the parade hall. The night’s activities ranged from: first aid with the cadet NCOs, to shooting with CI Turner in the Squadron’s range, to project work on the RAF Newton memorial room with CI Sherwin, and meal planning for our DofE expeditions with CI Redwood.
Once first parade was over the cadets went to their delegated activities and began working. The Squadron’s banner party was also practising for their routine for the Banner Party Competition.
The moment was tense as Newton’s OiC and Sqn Ldr Pass waited for the Lord Lieutenant to arrive. Suddenly his car pulled up, the officers and Banner Party sprung into position. The officers greeted the Lord Lieutenant and his wife and began the tour of the Squadron, and the Banner Party got into position for practise in the car park.
The Lord Lieutenant looked at all of the activities being ran that night and spoke to multiple cadets, including myself. He also watched the Banner Party perform their routine, even though it was literally a blizzard outside.
On final parade, the Lord Lieutenant spoke about how impressed he was at the impression the Squadron had given him and his wife of the ATC and the hospitality which was shown by the staff of 1936 (Newton) Squadron. The night ended with the Lord Lieutenant presenting a few awards to the cadets present.
By CI Sean Swales
1936 (Newton) Squadron