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Hornchurch and Upminster Sea Cadets cancels Armed Forces Open Day as floor collapses

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 June 2019

Hornchurch Sea Cadet unit with London area officer commander James Nesbitt. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Hornchurch Sea Cadet unit with London area officer commander James Nesbitt. Picture: Sandra Rowse

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A sea cadet group is "disappointed" as it has been forced to cancel its Armed Forces open day after the club house's floor collapsed.

The Hornchurch and Upminster Sea Cadets, the only unit in Havering, at The Paddock, Wood Lane, Elm Park, will no longer be holding its open day which was planned for Sunday, June 30, to coincide with Armed Forces Day after it was found that the floor was "unsafe".

Officer in charge, Tom Luddington said: "Whilst we are disappointed to have to cancel our open day, the cadets recognise the importance of ensuring that we have a safe building so that we can meet regularly.

"The unit spends a number of nights at the Royal Docks rowing in practice for the area and national competitions having just won the District competition.

"This will relieve some of the pressure off."

The group, following a minor repair, identified that there was dry rot and that the joists holding up their floor had crumbled away.

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The Paddock has been in Wood Lane since the 1950s, acting as the Sea Cadets' regular meeting place.

But unfortunately, the floor damage not only means that the open day has to be cancelled, but their regular meetings may be put on hold if the building is declared unsafe, overall.

The unit is also urgently trying to raise around £15,000, which would be enough money to replace its minibuses before London's new low emission zone renders its current ones obsolete.

Supporter and lead fundraiser Sandra Rowse said: "Given the repairs and the fact that the cost of them had yet to be identified, the current fundraising project for the minibuses would be at risk.

"As if the building can't be opened, then there would be no unit."

The Hornchurch Sea Cadets are at Romford Shopping Hall raising funds for their unit on June 29 following the Armed Forces Day parade.

If you can help, email hornchruchseacadetsfundraising@outlook.com or if you are interested in joining the sea cadets, email hornchurchseacadets@hotmail.com

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