Blackpool Air Cadets celebrate 75 years

February 16, 2016
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Friday 5th February 2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the formation of the premier youth organisation for air-minded teenagers, the Air Training Corps (ATC). Known more simply as the Air Cadets, it also incorporates the Royal Air Force element of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in schools.ATC Sun 2016 (159 of 195)

To mark the occasion, Cumbria and Lancashire Wing ATC held a mass parade of 800 uniformed cadets and staff along the seafront in Blackpool, followed by a civil reception in the famous Winter Gardens theatre.

The Wing comprises 33 Squadrons which cover the huge geographic area from Carlisle in the North of Cumbria to Wigan in the South of Lancashire.

After a short service where several cadets gave readings at the Sacred Heart Church, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire the Lord Shuttleworth KCVO and Wg Cdr Steve Molloy, Commanding Officer of the Wing, laid wreaths to honour those cadets who have given the highest service both as cadets and later in our Armed Forces.

ATC Sun 2016 (191 of 195)Wg Cdr Molloy then led the parade which stretched for over quarter of a mile along the sea front from the cenotaph towards the iconic Blackpool Tower where earlier in the day a giant ATC ensign had been flying. Although windy, the crowds turned out to cheer the cadets along the route to the town centre where a mass salute took place before the dismissal.

The salute was taken by Lord and Lady Shuttleworth, the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool Cllrs Peter Callow and Maxine Callow JP, The High Sheriff of Lancashire Mrs Amanda Parker JP, and Mr Peter Maynard MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Lord Shuttleworth and the other guests then met with cadets before giving an inspiring speech in the Winter Gardens.

This is going to be a special year for the Air Cadets as many Squadrons within the Wing also celebrate their own 75th anniversary of formation.

For more information about Cumbria and Lancashire Wing Air Cadets and how you can get involved as a cadet or an Adult Volunteer, visit http://www.aircadetsnorth.org/squadrons-cl-wing.html