September 14th 2015

Dronfield ATC Squadron set for new headquarters

Cadets and adult volunteers from 1890 (Dronfield) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) are set to move into their new headquarters later this month. Read more to find out what members of the Squadron think of the new headquarters.

Flying Officeer Simon Bridge, Dronfield Squadron ATC

Flying Officer Simon Bridge

I joined Dronfield squadron as a Cadet in March 1990 A friend who was already a Cadet suggested I give the ATC a try and I’m still here 25 years later. In 1997 I was a Cadet Warrant Officer and took a two year break to complete my degree in Business and Personnel Management at Sheffield Hallam University, where I’ve subsequently taken a second degree in Quantity Surveying.

As a Cadet I attended various annual camps, passed all the cadet exams becoming a Staff Cadet, as well as completing the Basic and Intermediate Gliding Training Courses.

After my first stint at University I returned as a Civilian Instructor in 1999 and also became a G1 Gliding Instructor at 644 Volunteer Gliding School. I was commissioned in 2002 and currently, as well as being Second in Command at the squadron; I look after all the flying, gliding and various cadet camps. I’m a qualified Fieldcraft / Exercise Controller and previously completed training as an Assault Course Controller and Weapons Handling Tester.

When I’m not involved with the Air Cadets, I work in Leeds as Cost Control Manager ensuring construction projects come in to specification and budget.

The new headquarters will give us so much more space to carry out Cadet activities locally as well as providing the latest in technology to help the Cadets with the academic side of their training. From a public perception the building gives all the signs of us being a professional, well run organisation offering the best that a youth organisation can offer.


Cadet Flight Sergeant Ellie May Clark

Cadet Flight Sergeant Ellie-May Clark

I joined the Air Cadets at 331 (Chesterfield) Squadron in July 2010 and transferred to Dronfield in 2012. My older brother was already and Air Cadet and kept telling me about all the different activities on offer, so I thought I would give it a try. I’m currently a Cadet Flight Sergeant and Senior Cadet. I’ve attended numerous camps, but particularly enjoyed the Drill and Ceremonial Camp which I’ve done twice and plan to go again in 2016 for the 75th Anniversary Parade. I hope to stay with the Cadets until I’m 20 and then join the RAF as a Field Medic.

I’m over the moon about our new headquarters. I believe it will help in retaining our existing Cadets as well as attracting new ones. The building itself will improve the public perception of the organisation and will generate new training opportunities with these excellent facilities.



Civillian Instructor David ColeCivilian Instructor David Cole

I joined Dronfield squadron in 2000 and became a Cadet Warrant Officer at the age of 18. I became a Civilian Instructor in 2008, and within the squadron I am the Training Officer, Shooting Officer, A qualified Skill at Arms Instructor and Range Conducting Officer. I also act as the Shotgun Safety Officer for Trent Wing.

Outside of the Corps I am the Works Engineer, where I’m responsible for planned maintenance, servicing and liaison with the major industry suppliers. I have an HND in Electrotechnical Technology from Loughborough.

From my point of view, the new headquarters will provide us with improved weapons storage as well as an indoor rifle range. The extra space and facilities will enable us to provide better training and enable our Cadets to go to bigger and better things.



Cadet James MayCadet James May

I joined 1890 (Dronfield) Squadron in November 2014 after trying a number of other youth organisations. The Air Cadets is totally different to any other I have experienced. I’ve taken the opportunity to get involved in as much as I possibly can and haven’t looked back since joining.

The new building looks wonderful and my friends and I can’t wait to get in and use all the new equipment and training equipment that it has to offer. The travelling to Coal Aston and Chesterfield over the last 10 months has been a challenge at times, but we are all now raring to go in our new headquarters.