Corporal Madeleine Mackay, an Air Cadet from 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Squadron Air Training Corps, has had the RAF experience of a lifetime.
She was selected to go on the rafa YOUTH Cyprus Award trip to RAF Akrotiri.
rafa YOUTH is the RAF Association’s exciting online youth membership scheme for young flying enthusiasts. Membership is open to those aged 13 to 17 who are Air Cadets, Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets, Air Scouts, Air Explorer Scouts or RAF Combined Cadet Force members.
The week-long expedition to Cyprus included a variety of activities such as visiting the dog section, going to local attractions and spending the afternoon watching the RAF Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows and meeting the team’s engineers.
Speaking before her trip, Madeleine said: “When I found out that I had been given a place to go to Cyprus I was overjoyed. I never expected to receive this, it was fantastic surprise. I am very excited about the trip and all the different things I will be able to do there. I’m really looking forward to the good weather, but I also hope to make new friends, and make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”
Cadets nominated for the award will have shown outstanding commitment and effort to aspire to the aims of rafa YOUTH, often overcoming difficult or challenging circumstances.
Madeleine was put forward for the Cadet Award by her squadron because of her fundraising efforts, having completed a sponsored parachute jump earlier this year.
Cadets and staff from 2425 (Nottingham Airport) and 1936 (Newton) Squadrons attended the Keyworth WW1 centenary event and rededication of the parish memorial gates.
Also in attendance were Sqn Ldr Pass, Deputy Wing Commander South and East Midlands Wing, members of the local Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion, members of the retired Gurkha’s Association, Army Cadet Force, Parish and Borough Councillors. VIPs in attendance included Jean Jarosz the current Mayor of the French town, which Keyworth is twinned with, Feignies and The Venerable Air Vice Marshal Robin Turner Deputy Lord Lieutenant and Sir John Peace Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.
After the rededication of the memorial gates the parade performed a march past and salute to the Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace who then inspected the various contingents of the parade. Many of the dignitaries present thanked the cadets in person for their participation in the event as did members of the local community.
Cadet Cpl Harby, banner barer for 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn said “it was an honour to parade in front of some many officials and to be joined by so many veterans from the Royal British Legion and Gurkha’s”.
The parade finished with a generous helping of sandwiches and tea supplied by the parish council which the cadets did their best to consume.
On Wednesday 18 June 14, two sisters from 2425 Sqn, Cdt Cpl Madeleine Mackay and Cdt Hannah Mackay were among some 40 other cadets from around the UK that were selected from the Royal Air Force Aircadets National Marching Band attended a performance at 10 Downing Street.
Hannah and Madeleine reported that;
"We travelled to Wellington Barracks where we had a practice session and followed by lunch, once we got to 10 Downing street we went through to the gardens where we did the performance. We were allowed to use the official number 10 toilets but only after they had been checked by the security service personnel. The Prime Minister took time to speak to us all after the performance which made the experience feel really special"
The musical performance was brilliant, the cadets were smart and professional throughout and the whole day exceeded all expectations.
Principle Director of Music, Wing Commander Gill Singleton RAFVR(T): "This has got to be one of the best jobs that the band has done, to play in the gardens of No 10. The immense amount of good it has done the organisation is immeasurable, as always the cadets performed at the top of their game".
A busy day with our Squadron involved in both Tollerton and Bunny Remembrance Sunday Services. Click the image to view the photos.
Congratulations to Flt Sgt Woodier and James 'Hoppo' Hopson on the birth of Joshua James. As you can see Joshua already has the beret and 'greens'. The T-shirt was presented by OC Flt Lt Frost and is emblazened with the words "Very Junior Cadet". His name is already down to become a Junior Cadet with 2425 Squadron ... only 12 years to wait! See more photographs of this visit and presentation of gifts at our Flickr photo site.
We have had a very busy time recently supporting both the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) collecting in West Bridgford and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collecting in Ruddington.
We also led the Remembrance Sunday parade in the morning at Tollerton, the village where we are based. Then in the evening we attended a second service at Bunny church. This is all part of the Air Cadets’ commitment to community service. Cadet McKay played the Last Post which added an air of poignancy to each service.
We were asked to help the organisers at the Spooky Sprint that took place in the dark, over Halloween at the Water Sports Centre Holme Pierrepont. It was in aid of a very worthwhile cause, the Parkinsons UK charity. Cadets and staff helped at the start and finish line handing out goodie bags.
Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue
We had an exciting visit from members and search dogs from the Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue organisation. They are highly skilled and dedicated volunteers working alongside the Nottinghamshire Police to search for, locate and rescue missing and vulnerable people in the community. Their work is described as carrying out lowland searches as opposed to hill and mountain rescue. Their volunteers come from all walks of life, including teachers, fire service personnel, ex-military, etc. Anyone can join them so if you are looking to volunteer for something worthwhile please contact them via their website http://www.nottinghamshire-sar.org.uk/. Full training is provided.
Cadet Corporal Thomas Leatherland of 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn Royal Air Force Air Cadets recently represented England in the poomsae section of the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships in Edinburgh, where he succeeded in winning 2 silver and 1 gold medal. Thomas, a 4th Dan black belt has been training for 10 years at his local Taekwondo club in Nottingham and selection for the GB squad has led him to compete internationally in Finland, Austria and Germany. In 2013 he was selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Spain.
Membership of the Air Cadets has helped Thomas in numerous ways. The regular sports and outdoor activities within the training programme have helped Thomas continue to develop a high level of fitness which is vital to maintain the ability to compete at this high level. The general focus on self-reliance and self-discipline is something that has helped develop Thomas' mental strength to focus on his training and maintaining his performance levels.
Thomas reported that 'It feels great to achieve these medals and I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent England. I feel being in the Air Cadets has helped me develop the self-discipline and focus I needed personally to achieve this. All my mates on the Squadron have helped me too by encouraging me when the going got tough in the competitions.'
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Exped
The D of E team completed their expedition recently at Charnwood Forest. The route they planned took two days around Bradgate Park, including Beacon Hill, Swiftland Woods and Woodhouse Eaves. They stayed at the Scout camp The Oaks in Charnwood. They subsequently gave an excellent presentation and question and answer session to staff and cadets at our Squadron HQ.
Swimmers Second in The Wing
The South and East Midlands Wing is a grouping of 29 Air Cadet Squadrons that are based all over the East Midlands area and slightly beyond. From time to time Wing competitions are held involving all of these Squadrons. Amongst the many activities we do is Swimming. We are proud that our Squadron came 2nd out of the 29 Squadrons in the recent competition, including 8 first places and a second place in the finals. Well done to all that took part.
Plumtree Battle of Britain Parade
As in previous years we were pleased to be invited to the annual Battle of Britain memorial service in Plumtree. We paraded from the Griffin car park up the hill to St Mary The Virgin church and received an ovation from the congregation. See photos and videos linked from our website www.2425atc.org.uk.
Our most popular camp of the year is taking place in November at Gradbach in Staffordshire. We have exclusive use of the large farmhouse at the Scout Camp and the busy weekend includes hill walking, navigation exercises, fun activities and this year we have added archery to the list.
Despite driving wind, snow and temperatures of -20 degrees Cadet Harris reached the summit of Kilimanjaro with his father. See original story here http://www.2425atc.org.uk/cadets-blog/164-cadet-to-climb-kilimanjaro
Four of our cadets competed at the Central & East Region swimming competition on Sunday 12th October 2014. The Junior Girls came overall 2nd in their age category & Junior Boys came 3rd in their category. These being made up of our cadets. South & East Midlands Wing came 2nd in the overall competition. A big well done to all. An exciting, emotional and momentous day!
In early January five Cadets attended RAF Cranwell with the aim of learning how to safely fly a Vigilant powered glider using simulators. VGS Instructors began by teaching how to fly, making balanced, coordinated turns and the use of power and attitude to alter and maintain desired speeds and height. The Cadets quickly realised this was going to be a tough day. As they mastered the simultaneous use of stick to control pitch and roll, rudder pedals to control yaw and throttle for power, the instructors took them further. Pre-flight checks, lookouts, use of air brakes, stalling, taking off, flying circuits and landing. The day culminated in an assessment of the Cadet whilst they flew an entire circuit from take-off to safe landing. All five successfully brought their aircraft home and passed the course, receiving certificates and for the two best in each group the award of the coveted 'Bernie' trophy. See a 'landing video' on our Facebook page (address below).
South and East Midlands Wing ran its popular Wing Radio course at RAFWittering. Story coming soon.
Cdt Flt Sgt Maddie Mackay
Following a written application and interview Cdt Flt Sgt Maddie Mackay of 2425 Squadron has been awarded a place on the Ralph Reid-Buckle Flying Scholarship.
Cdt Flt Sgt Mackay stated that" it feels a real honour to be awarded this opportunity, the interview was hard but a really valuable experience because it felt like I really had to know my stuff and present myself well, a bit like a tough job interview. I am looking forward to starting the scholarship in the summer, I really enjoyed the last time I went gliding and learning to go solo is going to be really exciting."
The award is presented in memory of Wing Commander Ralph Reid-Buckle MBE by a board of trustees made up of retired officers from the Air Cadet organisation. It consists of a Bursary available to all eligible cadets in South & East Midlands Wing and Trent Wing and provides £500 worth of Gliding Instruction at a Civilian Gliding Club. Those with the right aptitude get the opportunity to attain their solo gliding wings!
2425 (Nottingham Airport) Squadron help out at the Parkinson's UK : Spooky Sprint 2014 at The National Water Sports Centre, Holme Pierrepont by Flt Sgt Street
People within our local community partook in this fun and 'spooky' fundraising event to raise much needed money for Parkinson's Disease. The squadron were asked to help out on the finish line to hand out medals, goodie bags and much needed water to all participants.
The event started with a 'family fun run' where all the children dressed up in their fancy dress costumes to celebrate Halloween and ran a short distance. They all received their much deserved 'spooky goodie bags' which consisted of sweets & a medal.
There was then a 5km & 10km run for the adults. The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone cheering and laughing. Music playing in the background "from Thriller to Flash Gordon". An amazing and exciting event for all the family. This really helped motivate the runners as by this timer it was all getting dark!
All runners were issued a Spooky Sprint t-shirt and head torch, which everyone had to wear.. The sound of the air horn went and all runners disappeared into the darkness. In no time at all the runners came running around the lake, all that could be seen was a sea of lights, a truly magical view.
By another blink of an eye, people were finishing the run. The crowd was in awe and clapping all the participants as they completed this truly amazing well organised event.
From time-to-time we receive contact from ex-cadets who find our Website or Facebook site. Here is a recent email we received from ex-cadet David Davies who became a space Physicist and who may be flying down to see us this year!
Dave Davies ex-cadet
I was so pleased to see your website!
I was one of the original flight of cadets who moved into the old hangar at Tollerton in, I think 1964. I moved down to Harpenden in 1968 and became a sergeant in 220 Sqn (detatched flight from St Albans. Cats Eyes Cunningham was one of our patrons there). My friend and I (Dougie Daft) lived in Keyworth and used to walk to the airfield every cadet night, quite happily.
I remember at Tollerton, flying in a Dragon Rapide as a reward after an airshow where we had helped with the parking, very proudly in our uniforms. There was lots of chipmunk flying at RAF Newton on camp, and locally as well. We used to go to RAF Cottesmore for that I think. Best memories were of gliding in Kirkby Cadets and occasionally Sedburghs at RAF Spittlegate. I went solo there when I was 16 in 1968. We were only allowed to fly circuits off the winch, no such thing as thermalling! We also used to fly diesel and glow-plug models on the airfield. And I remember the shoulder pain of having fired 50 rounds in an afternoon with the old Lee Enfield 303’s. Got my RAF marksman badge tho’! on 25 and 200 yds ranges.
Later on I did a lot of gliding in Holland and a bit at Dunstable and in Perth in WA. Got a PPL in WA and am still current! After many years off. I am flying a lot again, and came across Tollerton again because I was thinking of flying down from Aberdeen later on this year.
Unfortunately I never joined the RAF, which was my great ambition at the time, I’m afraid girls and the sixties stopped me. But I became a Space Physicist and worked on the Ariel 3 and 4 space programmes, before deserting to become a geophysicist. That has taken me round the world a few times since those halcyon days at Tollerton!
Anything I can do to help, anything, let me know.
Thank you to Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue for taking the time to visit us tonight. The team comprise volunteers from all walks of life who give up their spare time to help the Police carry out lowland searches. Find out more at their website by clicking the image above. See photos from the event here.