Welcome to new North West Area Officer Sea Cadets

June 28, 2018

It is with pleasure that we welcome the new North West Area Officer Sea Cadets, Commander Charlie Bagot Jewitt, to the region. Charlie brings both Naval and Charity Sector knowledge to the post.  After a 22 year regular career in the Royal Navy, he spent six and a half years as Chief Executive of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire which is home to the Armed Forces Memorial, dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen in October 2007. The site is now a year-round centre of national Remembrance and significant visitor attraction, visited by 300 000 people each year. 

During his naval career, Charlie was the Commander in charge of Naval operational logistics based at the Northwood Headquarters.  He also travelled the world in a variety of roles including serving at sea in the Adriatic during early part of the Balkans conflicts and in the Persian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq tanker war.  One of his most unusual deployments was as the Logistics Officer in HMS Monmouth along the length of the West African coast and he also spent nearly a year in the Far East as Flag Lieutenant to the Admiral in HMS Invincible. A tour with the Royal Australian Navy based in Sydney, New South Wales, was a particular highlight.

To mark his transition from the Eastern Area to the North West, Charlie decided to walk from one area to the other, raising funds for the Sea Cadet through sponsorship. On his arrival in the North West he told us about the experience:

“Do you know what numb toes feel like?  Not good I can tell you.  However, they were a small price to pay two weeks of superb weather walking across the spine of the country from Scarborough to Barrow in Furness.  But why from Scarborough to Barrow?  Well, my Sea Cadet Corps responsibilities have transferred from the East of England where Scarborough Unit is the top performing unit nationally to the North West where Barrow in Furness is the runner-up and 2016 winner.  Having tried to run both areas together for eight months it was also an opportunity to raise some money for the Sea Cadets (I made about £900 – thank you to my sponsors) and to put a very short career break in between formal appointments.

“I started out at lunchtime on Sunday 6 May, the first gloriously sunny day of the year.  The cadets were out boating but I got a great send off and an instruction to walk along the Scarborough Sea Front around the castle to North Bay to the ‘Sea Cut’, a dramatic little river which cuts through a small gorge to the north end of the beach.  Mistake one, I took the wrong side and found myself walking along a very precarious ledge in the middle of town.  However, when I emerged I was stopped by the Frampton family from Filey Sea Cadets who were on their way to Whitby and an inevitable photo opportunity.  I then picked up the Tabular Hills Walk following the river and then up a steep slope along the top of Troutsdale, Dalby Forest, to a late arrival at Levington and supper with friends.

“Bank Holiday Monday was a roaster and took me over the Yorkshire Moors Railway, Stape, Rosedale and up Blakey Ridge.  My feet were not good at this point and needed some assistance from the medical support kit kindly given to me by the Rotherham Sea Cadet unit.  However, I had made the Lion Inn, clearly serving the largest food portions in Yorkshire.  This set me up for on one the longest and most spectacular days along the north ridge of the North Yorkshire Moors looking out to Middlesbrough – down and up, up and down, until I finished somewhat bedraggled, after the only rain of the entire journey, at the Osmotherley Youth Hostel.  ‘Sorry, school party in, only pizza and chips available’.  ‘Perfect,’ I thought.  Two quieter days walking through the Vale of Mowbray brought me to lovely Richmond, a B&B overlooking the river falls and a search for some thicker socks.

“Then up lovely Swaledale, a bleak and windy traverse through the old lead mines to Keld where my wife joined me to cross the bogs near Nine Standards Rigg from Yorkshire to Cumbria, and between my two areas of responsibility.  We went wrong at one point and were redirected by the ‘Dales Shepherdess’ of TV fame who was driving an all-terrain vehicle at high speed with a couple of kids holding on for dear life.  We didn’t realise we had met with a celebrity until much later in the day.  A night at Kirkby Stephen, with laundrette (what luxury), was followed by a long but lovely walk to Shap in the shadow of the Howgill fells.  The soft springy turf was a delight for the feet and lunch was taken at a hut where the daughters of the farmhouse had laid on tea and brownies to make money for their pony fund.  Then came the monster day, a gentle start along the Lowther valley to Hawswater, along the reservoir and a 2500 feet climb of Kidsty Pike in the heat of a hot day.  What a view on tops though.  The whole of Lakeland ahead and a long steady descent past some steep drops to Patterdale by evening.  Thereafter it was via St Sunday Crags with phenomenal views of Helvellyn Striding Edge to Grasmere, through the Langdale Pikes to Elterwater (best hostel en route), via Tarn Howes to Coniston Coppermines and then two more days of walking to meet up with Petty Officer Cadet Logan O’Brian, the senior cadet for the North West Area, and his team from Barrow in Furness for the final leg of the journey.  It was a great welcome and Barbeque at Barrow together with a chance to drive one of their powerboats around the basin.  What is more, my toes were still attached even if they took a couple of weeks to fully recover.  A perfect way to finish.”