On Friday 23 July 2010 the third annual Warrant Officer and SNCO dining in night was held in the WO and Sergeants Mess at Royal Air Force Cottesmore. Presiding over the event was the Wing Warrant Officer, WO Rob Phillips. Guests for the evening were OC Wing, Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson, Squadron Leader John Hill, Squadron Leader Mark Richards and WO Paddy Caffrey, who is the Squadron Warrant Officer of 504 SQN RAuxAF. The top table also consisted of WO Martin Bates, WO Alan Wiggs and WO Gary Tinsley.
In all, 28 WO, SNCO and Civilian Instructors attended the event, including guests. Despite the event being small, it was warm and intimate despite its formalities.
The event, which was organised exclusively by WO Wiggs, began with pre dinner drinks in the ante-room, before those assembled gathered in the dining room, which was wonderfully laid with the mess silverware and crystal glinting in the candle light.
The meal for the evening was prepared by the RAF chef, who could certainly give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money! The menu was selected by WO Wiggs and WO Phillips and consisted of Smoked Chicken and Mango salad, Slow Roast Lamb Shank with a Red Current Jus served with Colcannon Potato, Seasonal Vegetables and an excellent dessert of Vanilla panacotta with Hedge row Compote. Fantastic! All of this was washed down with New World red and white wines, liqueur and Cockburn Port, Coffee and mints.
Excellent table service was provided by RAF stewards who ensured every need was catered for through out the evening.
WO Wiggs, WO Bates & WO Phillips
During his speech, WO Phillips informed the guests that currently the Wing strength was 83 WO and SNCO personnel and went on to describe the extensive activities that the SNCO team was involved in from Sports Council to Cadet and Adult training teams. He also went on to congratulate those members, which had been part of the 22 Group Commendation mentioned in HM Birthday Honors’ List for
On behalf of the wing, WO Phillips also went on to thank who he described as the “unsung heroes”, the service helpers and Civilian Instructors who also contribute greatly to the development of the young adults in our charge. Presentations were made during the speech to WO Wiggs for his hard work and determination in making the night a success and a pack of crayons were awarded to F/S Haywood of 209 Sqn!
On behalf of the Wing, Wing Commander Dickinson presented a cheque for 700 pounds to a delighted WO Caffrey, which will go towards ensuring the 504 SQN Memorial Garden is completed and maintained, no matter what lays ahead for RAF Cottesmore. The cheque is the result of squadron’s within the Wing contributing towards the cause, and will ensure that the tight bonds between South and East Midlands Wing and 504 RAuxAF Squadron are re-enforced.
Without doubt, the social evening was a great success, and a fitting celebration of what the SNCO team contribute.
By WO Rob Phillips
S&E Midlands Wing Warrant Officer