On Monday 28 July 2014, staff and cadets from 2248 (Rutland) Squadron were invited to attend a royal visit to Oakham, by his royal highness, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall.
Part of the royal couple’s visit involved meeting volunteers and youth within the grounds of the famous Oakham Castle, where the royal party presented a ‘horseshoe’ to the town, a tradition dating back many centuries. After the formal presentation, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, met volunteers from a number organisations based in or near the town.
The weather was beautiful and the cadets from 2248 Squadron all looked very smart, as they lined up next to Army Cadet Force colleagues, in anticipation of meeting members of the Royal family. The royal couple emerged from Oakham Castle, and spoke to all of the volunteer groups, asking lots of questions of the various individuals, with 2248 Squadron personnel being no exception.
Recently promoted, Cadet Warrant Officer Beth Bloor (19) the senior cadet at 2248 Squadron said of her experience “I managed to speak with both Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. His royal highness asked me how long had I been a cadet and what where my future aspirations? They were both very lovely and made me feel quite relaxed; as this was the first time I had ever met members of the Royal family”.
Officer-In-Charge at 2248 (Rutland) Squadron, Flying Officer Paul Bowden RAFVR said “ I am extremely proud of the cadets, how smart they were and how they conducted themselves when spoken to by both Royal Highnesses. The weather was very warm and sunny, but despite this the day was very worthwhile. It is not every day that you get to meet members of the Royal family, which for me will form a lasting memory during my Air Cadet career. Not only did we have staff and cadets out to meet the Royal couple, the 2248 Squadron Lord Lieutenant’s cadet was also at the very forefront of the proceedings”.
Cadet Sergeant Billy Richards (18) has been the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland’s cadet for almost eight months, and this event proved to be very high profile. Sergeant Richards said of his experience “I got very close to the Royal couple, as the Lord Lieutenant was hosting them during their visit. My role was to take gifts presented to their Royal Highnesses and pass these to waiting staff. I also travelled as part of the Royal entourage to the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, where I spent some time in the company of his Royal Highness. It will go down as a ‘major highlight’ of my Air Cadet career, one which I will treasure forever”.
2248 (Rutland) Squadron are actively recruiting both staff and cadets from within the local area. Cadets are eligible to join from the age of 13 years to 17 years, with the option to stay with the Air Training Corps until they are 20 years old. New staff members are also welcome.
If you want to develop your own personal skills, assist with the development of our youth, have an interest in aviation or other subject then come along and meet the team for an informal chat.
We meet at the Cadet Centre at the far end of Penn Street, Oakham on Tuesday & Thursday evenings, between 7pm and 9.30pm.
The photos show His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall meeting members of 2248 (Rutland) Squadron.
By Fg Off Paul Ferguson – 2248 (Rutland) Squadron Media & Communications Officer