NEWS

OCTOBER 10TH 2019

West Bridgford Air Cadets win National Trophy

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Air Commodore McCafferty and Cadets Ben Maddock and Morgan Charles-Jones cutting the cake.

Air Cadets from West Bridgford have been presented with the prestigious Marshall Trophy for being, jointly, the most improved Royal Air Force Air Cadet (RAFAC) Squadron in the United Kingdom.

The evening started with the cadets from 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron being inspected by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty in the grounds of the Squadron’s neighbour, Instinct Laboratory, who also generously opened their doors to allow the guests to witness the squadron’s Ensemble in their final rehearsal before an upcoming competition.

Further demonstrations took place at the Combined Cadet Centre, to guests including Honorary Air Commodore and Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Veronica Pickering, and the Squadron’s President and one time head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshall Sir Andrew Pulford GCB CBE ADC. Subjects as diverse as flying a drone within a confined space, navigation, radio communications and building a ring out of ‘Pringles’ kept the guests entertained.

Mr Walkinshaw with Max Abell and Kate Lawrance

Mr Walkinshaw with Max Abell and Kate Lawrance

The evening culminated in the trophy presentation by Mr Walkinshaw to two of the Squadron’s cadets, Max Abell and Kate Lawrance. Such an occasion would not be complete without a cake, which was ceremoniously cut by Air Commodore McCafferty and Cadets Ben Maddock and Morgan Charles-Jones.

Cadet Warrant Officer Rebekah Oldknow summed up the squadron’s feeling, “When we heard that the Squadron had jointly won the Marshall Trophy it was an utterly amazing achievement.  After a very busy evening showcasing to a crowd of VIPs a vast range of activities that we offer to cadets, I felt nothing but pride for the achievements that every single adult volunteer and cadet had attained by working together. When officially presented with the prestigious trophy, I know it only instilled a greater drive and motivation in everyone to truly reach for the stars and strive to be the best that we can possibly be. Having been at the squadron throughout its changes and adventures, I know this is only the beginning and the presentation night was a great example of just that.”

Officer Commanding 209 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Jade Waring said, “I am so proud of my Cadets and the amazing staff who have all pulled together over the past years to improve and enhance the squadron’s standing, both in the local community and the wider RAFAC.   Last year we were nominated for this award and reached the last six and felt proud then but this year, to be joint recipients exceeds all our expectations.”

So tight was the competition for most improved squadron, that it was deemed a dead heat between 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron and 88 (Battle) Squadron from Sussex Wing.

The West Bridgford cadets will hold the Trophy for six months and then hand it over to 88  Squadron. It was presented to the Squadron by Christopher Walkinshaw, a Non-Executive Director within the Marshall of Cambridge organisation.  The Marshall trophy was donated by the family of Sir Arthur Marshall of Cambridge, who started Marshall Aerospace, to commemorate his lifelong interest in aviation.  The trophy is awarded to ‘The most improved Squadron in the ATC over a protracted period of time.’

"After a very busy evening showcasing to a crowd of VIPs a vast range of activities that we offer to cadets, I felt nothing but pride for the achievements that every single adult volunteer and cadet had attained by working together."