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Romford’s 6F Air Training Corps Squadron celebrates its 80th year

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 May 2018

Cadets marched in front of parents and dignitaries with the squadron's banner. Picture: JON KING

Cadets marched in front of parents and dignitaries with the squadron's banner. Picture: JON KING

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One of the country’s oldest Air Training Corps has celebrated its 80th anniversary in true airforce style.

The mayor of Havering Linda Van de Hende inspects Air Training Corps cadets from 6F (Romford) Squadron in  a ceremony in celebration of its 80th anniversary. Picture: JON KINGThe mayor of Havering Linda Van de Hende inspects Air Training Corps cadets from 6F (Romford) Squadron in a ceremony in celebration of its 80th anniversary. Picture: JON KING

Guests including mayor of Havering Cllr Linda Van de Hende and Romford MP Andrew Rosindell joined cadets from 6F (Romford) Squadron at the group’s London Road base yesterday (April 10).

The cadets dressed in uniform including caps, white gloves and gleaming shoes kicked off their presentation evening by marching with the squadron banner in front of about 100 dignitaries and proud parents on the parade square.

Wing commander Colin Gale – the officer in command of London Wing – paid tribute to the squadron, saying: “You guys should be proud of yourselves. You are a fantastic credit to society. It’s a privilege to be here.”

He went on to say 6F was one of the oldest Air Training Corps (ATC) squadrons in the country and the second oldest in London.

And pointing at fellow air force members in the front row, he raised laughter from the audience when he cheekily added: “6F is almost as old as one or two of my colleagues.”

Cadets also received awards including the Bruce Blackett prize, given in memory of a former squadron member who died training as an RAF pilot.

Following the formalities, mayor Van de Hende, who inspected the cadets and handed out the awards, said: “This is an incredble squadron and a lovely place to come to.”

Mr Rosindell, whose father was in the RAF, said he felt proud to celebrate the squadron, which before it was turned into the ATC was set up as an Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) squadron on October 7, 1938. The ADCC’s purpose was to prepare young men for the RAF. At its height Romford had three squadrons with 600 cadets. There are now more than 70.

“The cadets of 6F Squadron are a fine example of young people showing pride in their service and in their country.”

After seeing eight new recruits pledge allegiance to queen and country, he added: “It’s a great example for all young people to follow.”

The ATC offers youngsters aged 12 to 20 activities including aviation training, target shooting and gliding. For details email oc.6@aircadets.org

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