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Issue 320 – ATC celebrates its 70th anniversary

AIR cadets from Frome joined their peers from across Somerset in a celebration parade through Frome and service to mark the 70th anniversary of the Air Training Corps (ATC), on Sunday 6th February.

Sqn. Ldr. John Parsons commanded the parade which was led by the wing’s marching band and a flight of all the attending squadron’s banners.
The cadets marched from the Cadet Centre in Keyford to Christ Church, where a special Service of Commemoration was held. As the parade passed the Memorial Theatre, a salute was given to the Queen’s representative, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Elizabeth Gass, Wing Commander Brian Wills-Pope, Officer Commanding Devon and Somerset Wing ATC, Air Vice-Marshal Sir John Severne KCVO OBE AFC DC, the Mayor of Frome, cllr Helen Sprawson-White and the Mayor of Wells, cllr Tony Robbins. The Union Jack, RAF ensign, ATC ensign and Royal Air Force Association ensign were flown outside the theatre in celebration and recognition of the unique bond between the organisations.
During the Service of Commemoration, the Reverend Neil Maxted, was licensed as the padre to 1031 (Frome) Squadron ATC by the Wing Chaplain, the Reverend Ken Brown. Prayers of intercession and thanksgiving, written by the cadets themselves, were read during the service by cadets from each squadron attending.
After the service, the cadets and staff enjoyed a social event which included a skittles competition between teams from each squadron. After a close run battle, 2277 (Castle Cary) Squadron won the competition and were presented with a special 70th anniversary trophy by the Sector Commander, Sqn. Ldr. John Heath.
Sqn. Ldr. Heath said, “It was fantastic to see the number of cadets attending the parade to celebrate the anniversary of their organisation. Not only did cadets from across Somerset attend, but cadets in the Wing Marching Band are from squadrons within the whole of the Devon & Somerset Wing and some had travelled from as far away as Totnes to take part”.
“In addition to the hard work put in by all the staff who spent months planning and preparing for the event, I would also like to thank the local organisations who supported the event – Apricot (who supplied the special skittles trophy), the British Legion and Compugraphic (who helped with the road signs), the Frome Carnival Club (who marshalled the event), the Conservative Club (who hosted the after-event party), and PDJ Disco (who provided entertainment for the cadets),” he added.

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