Monday, 15 November 2010
Early on Sunday morning a small team of cadets led by Warrant Officer David Wood and including two trumpeters, Cadet Sergeant Tom Smith and Cadet Corporal Rhys Leighton, walked the short distance from 1224 Sqn HQ to Ilkley Cemetery to visit some War Graves dating from the Second World War. Here the cadets played the Last Post and held their own 2 minutes silence.
Following this the cadets then travelled to Addingham for their first parade of the day including a full church service at St. Peters Church in which the trumpeters again played the Last Post in the church before the band formed up and led the parade from the church to the Addingham War Memorial playing some of the bands most well known songs including '1224', the Squadrons own march which was dedicated to Flt Lt David Stead, a former 1224 cadet who was killed when the Hercules he was piloting was shot down over Iraq in 2005.
Following the Addingham parade the cadets went to the British Legion club for some well earned food courtesy of WO Pratt.
Ilkley. The band formed up in Ilkley Car Park and let the way up Brook Street followed by the remaining cadets who aren't in the band.
The parade then went along The Grove before arriving at the Cenotaph.
There followed a service attended by a number of dignitaries including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Mr Roger Whitaker - a guest at 1224s annual presentation evening in February.
During the service the music for the hymns was provided by the musicians of the Squadrons band.
The parade was the last for Cadet Warrant Officer Ben Bridge who will leave the Corps at the end of November after 5 years of dedicated service to the Squadron.
You can see footage from the Ilkley parade on the Squadrons YouTube channel -
Saturday, 13 November 2010
All seven crew members were killed in the crash - six of which were from the Royal Canadian Air Force. The youngest being 19 and the eldest 27.
The cadets held their own remembrance ceremony led by Warrant Officer David Wood with Cadet Sergeant Tom Smith laying a wreath and Cadet Corporal Rhys Leighton playing Last Post.
All cadets from the the Squadron were involved in the Poppy Appeal collection held in Ilkley and collected over £2,000 for the National Appeal.
For more information on the Halifax Crash see:
Monday, 1 November 2010
In my time as a cadet at 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron I have already done so many things that I would never have even thought about doing if I hadn't joined the Corps such as being able to fly solo before I could drive and completing the Nijmegen marches just to name a couple but the next thing on my list to do was to attend an overseas camp.
During 2010 I was told that I had gotten a place on a camp at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Akrotiri is one of two British Sovereign Base areas on Cyprus and is one of the last remaining full size RAF stations outside of the UK.
And so in late October I took the long Journey down to Heathrow Airport with other cadets from the North (the camp was actually a joint North Region and South West Region one with cadets coming from as far away as Newcastle to Carlisle and from Bristol to Plymouth).
We then flew with Cyprus Airways on a 4 hour flight to Larnaca airport before taking another long coach journey to RAF Akrotiri.
The accommodation was fairly basic but I couldn't really complain and the showers were some of the best I've ever been in on a camp.
During the first day we had the camp photograph taken in front of the Westland Whirlwind gate guard followed a by a number of briefings about health and safety. Following this we travelled to the pool at the base and did our Basic Air Cadet swimming tests. Following lunch we spent most of the rest of the afternoon at the beach.
The day after we went to the Force Development Centre which although sounding like some sort of Jedi training place was actually the location of some leadership exercises, some of which I had experienced before in the UK but also some of which were new to me.
The following day we travelled to Ayia Napa to the highly rated WaterWorld Waterpark where we spent most of the day in the sunshine!
The next day was spent on a boat on a cruise out of Paphos up the West coast of Cyprus and back. The cruise took us past many features of the Cypriot coast including Kionas Island and the shipwreck of the Demetrious II. After returning to the base we travelled to a local karaoke bar where my renditions of Queens 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and Sterophonics 'Have a Nice Day' seemed to go down rather well!
Monday was spent training on the L98A2 (which I later passed my Weapons Handling Test on) and visiting 84 Squadron, the only flying unit still based at Akrotiri. They fly Griffins (a modern version of the famous UH-1/Huey helicopter) in a number of roles including Search and Rescue, Firefighting and Troop Transport.
The evening was spent at the Akrotiri Kart Racing Club which was a lot of fun!
On Tuesday we travelled to the Troodos Mountain Range and went on a hike round the mountain which although hot and infested with flying insects presented some fantastic panoramic views of Cyprus!
During the free time that evening we actually managed to acquire an acoustic guitar which entertained us for a lot of the free time during the week. I was actually surprised at how many musically talented people were on the camp!
The following day we travelled to Nicosia to see the United Nations buffer zone that divides the Turkish North of Cyprus from the Greek South following the 1974 invasion by Turkish Forces.
We visited a number of locations within the Buffer Zone itself including the British War Cemetery, the abandoned Nicosia airport and the UN garrison.
Since I was over 18 I was actually allowed to travel across the border to the Turkish part of Nicosia which was an interesting experience to say the least!
Later that day we went to a youth club in the base called the Tardis at Akrotiri where we helped paint it.
On the Thursday we travelled to the DCCT range at Episkopi Garrison where we fired the L85A2. Since I scored 20/20 on the range I was amongst the first to be able to fire the .50 Cal Heavy Machine Gun on the DCCT range which was a lot of fun!
After returning to Akrotiri we visited the EOD (bomb disposal) unit where they showed us the robots they use to deal with IEDs as well as letting us try on the bomb disposal suits and run around in the baking sun chasing the robot!
Luckily we were allowed to cool off later when we visited 417 Maritime Troop and their Landing Crafts. We all took turns in steering the ship as well as being given a tour of the different areas of the vessel including the engine room and the accommodation.
When we returned to shore we took part in an exercise involving us trying to seal up holes in a mock section of a ship’s hull with wedges and bungs whist being blasted with fire hoses!
The day was rounded off with another trip to the karaoke bar!
The day after we went to the bases 25m range to live fire the L98A2 which was a first for me but I did well and scored the best grouping for the day!
Later on in the day the Camp Commandant (Sqn Ldr Wadsworth, RMCO for North Region) made his inspections of the rooms with the marks going towards the inter-flight competition.
The day was concluded with the end of camp BBQ.
On the Saturday it was time to leave RAF Akrotiri, I'd met so many people on the camp it was a shame that we all had to go our separate ways after only 10 days but I'm sure that I'll stay in contact with a lot of them!
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
This left cadets wondering what was going on and eventually on the final parade they found out.
During the parade WO Wood was awarded a Clasp to his Cadet Forces Medal for his long and dedicated uniformed service to the Squadron and the Corps over the past 18 years.
The real surprise to the night though was the announcement that Flt Lt John Hitchen, after 22 years of service with the Squadron was to step down as Commanding Officer of 1224 and take up the post of Sector Commander for Sector 5 of Central & East Yorkshire Wing.
Following the announcement Wing Commander Wiggins said that he was glad to have someone with the experience of Flt Lt Hitchen taking up the post.
This of course meant that there was a vacancy at the top at 1224 which will be filled by Pilot Officer Sue Leighton.
The Squadron will be sad to see Flt Lt Hitchen leave but hope that he'll be able to come down and visit us now and again!
Monday, 23 August 2010
As the opening act of a show that also consisted of a Vera Lynn Tribute Act as well as the critically acclaimed Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band there was a degree of pressure on the cadets to perform well and they certainly did!
The 45-minute set was divided into two sections, the first of which was the marching section of the band who played a number of well known marching pieces including Aces High, Highland Cathedral, the RAF Marchpast, When The Saints go Marching In and Dambusters as well as the Squadron's own 1224 March composed by the late Brian Lingley.
The second half of the set contained some of the bands ensemble pieces such as One Step Beyond by Madness, Mamma Mia, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, The Pink Panther, Fly Me To The Moon, Shine and With A Little Help From My Friends.
The performance was enjoyed by all cadets and the second set ended with the aerobatic display team The Blades performing a display for the crowd, much to the delight of the cadets!
Following the performance Sqn Ldr J Ayre (Deputy OC Central & East Yorkshire Wing) came up to the cadets and thanked us personally for putting on the show.
The cadets stayed for a while to watch part of the colliery band's set (which was superb!) but eventually decided that it was time to head back to Ilkley, with the necessary stop at McDonalds on the way.
See more pictures in our gallery.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Hag Dyke is not accessible by road and the path leading from Kettlewell to Hag Dyke is a steep 2.5K hill climb. The first task was carrying all our gear to Hag Dyke and this clearly set out to us all that this was going to be a physically challenging week. Throughout the week we learnt key survival skills, including the filtration and sterilisation of water, building observation points and how to make an emergency shelters. We were given good training on navigating skills. A day was dedicated to putting this into practice when we climbed Great Whernside and visited a World War Two crash site of a Vickers Wellington aircraft. We also climbed Buckden Pike and Tor Mere Top.
The course was physically and mentally demanding and demonstrated the importance of teamwork. I would recommend this course to cadets who want a challenge and have the opportunity to learn key skills. Just make sure you are physically and mentally fit before hand as this makes it so much easier.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
After waiting for the crest to be embroidered to a decent standard they were finally given out in early July 2010.
Adorned with the new 1224 crest designed by Cadet Flight Sergeant Dan Connor. It features the famous Cow and Calf rocks as well as a C-130 Hercules flying overhead.
The Hercules is in remembrance of Flt. Lt. David Stead, a former 1224 cadet from Burley-in-Wharfedale who was killed when the aircraft he was piloting was shot down by enemy fire over Iraq in 2005.
Cadets, volunteers and their massed bands came to London from across the UK to march from Horse Guards Parade down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
The Prince of Wales took the salute at the Royal Review and the cadets then attended an exclusive garden party with members of the Royal Family to mark the occasion.
A flypast by the famous Red Arrows accompanied the parade and, uniquely, a selection of cadets travelled in the aircraft with the pilots as part of the celebrations.
Lead snare drummer in the Air Cadet Band was Cadet Warrant Ben Bridge from 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn. Corporal Jamie Partovi (Snare) and Corporal Rhys Leighton (First cornet) were also in the band. The band played to exceptionally high standard and led over 500 Air Cadets from all over the country.
The cadets played later in the week at the Imperial War Museum for the 'Flying Legends Air Show'. At the same time, the band from 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn were playing at the Addingham Gala. Parading in the band were new cadets, Jack Croft, Edward Saunders, Jorgen Moore & Oren Chew. The highlight of the day for all the cadets, was playing Highland Cathedral with the Accrington Pipe Band. Warrant Officer David Wood said 'This was a fantastic unrehearsed presentation by the joint bands and they all enjoyed the experience.
If you would like to see highlights from the Cadet 150 Parade, search Youtube for 'Cadet 150 Royal Review'
Saturday, 26 June 2010
The Cadets took to the skies with their instructors (many who are ex-RAF pilots including some who have flown in the Red Arrows previously) above the Yorkshire airbase for around 30 minutes each in the single-engined aerobatic aircraft.
During the flights the cadets were allowed to take control and some even did some aerobatics including loops and rolls.
The same Grob Tutors are those that RAF pilots first learn to fly in during their training before being streamed onto either fast jets, multi-engined aircraft or helicopters.
At the end of the day all of the Cadets said that they had enjoyed their flights.
Flying is just one of the activities offered by the Air Cadets, for more information visit the Air Cadets website @ http://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/.
Alternatively, if you want to find more about 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron either visit our website (www.ilkley-atc.co.uk) or come down to one of our parade nights which are held on Mondays and Thursdays from 1945-2130.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
After successes during 2009 in Band and First Aid at both Regional and Corps levels, the Squadron were feeling reasonably confident as they entered these competitions again at Wing level this year.
The First Aid team, consisting of Flt Sgt Cunningham, Sgt Austin and Cpls Connor and Leighton, came out on top and went through to compete at Regional Training Day.
The Solo Drummer team, CWO Bridge and Cpl Partovi, came first as well, also going on to compete at Regional Training Day.
At Region Training Day, 1224 went on to win both the First Aid competition and the band ensemble category (having come 5th and 2nd in the Corps last year respectively).
There was also success for Cpl Partovi who finished 2nd in the solo drummer competition at Region and Cpl Leighton who finished 2nd in the solo bugle competition. Both will also go to the National Air Cadets Marching Band Championships along with the ensemble band later this year.
These are just some of the activities that Wharfedale Squadron participate in. Wharfedale squadron is recruiting at present. Girls and boys aged 13 or over interested in finding out about the activities on offer, should call in at the Cadet Centre, Ashlands Road, Ilkley at 7pm on Monday or Thursday.
Monday, 7 June 2010
Preparations were well underway during the days before the inspection to make sure that the Squadron was spotless!
The Senior NCOs organised a formal parade for the Wing Commander, giving him a chance to inspect the cadets individually, and speak to some of the Junior NCOs and new cadets.
Following the inspection during the parade various promotions were made.
To Corporal, Cadet Rhys Leighton
To Sergeant, Cpl Tom Smith and Cpl Georj Cooke
To Flight Sergeant, Sgt Sam White
These most definitely came as a welcome surprise to each of them, but were thoroughly deserved for their hard work and the effort that each of them have put in over recent months.
The following parade night, one cadet who wasn't down on Monday was also promoted
To Corporal, Cadet Greg Haynes
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
The cadets helped the other voluteers at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway by handing out certificates to the children visiting the railway as well as manning the gift stalls.
1224 have a long history of helping out at the railway and can often be found at the special Thomas weekends and even helping out Father Christmas as the railways Santa Specials throughout December.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
In the morning the cadets joined representatives from RAFA branches all around the country for a parade, in which Air Marshall Phillip Sturley - a former guest at 1224's annual dinner, took the salute. The parade was followed by a service of remembrance by the war memorial.
Following the parade the cadets travelled to the Winter Gardens for the conference where the Squadron collected, for the fifth year running, both the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for the most money collected per capita and the Sir Robert Saundby Trophy for collecting the highest net Wings Appeal amount.
The day was enjoyed by all cadets and we hope to be able to win again next year!
The day consisted of various events including volleyball, drill, media, aircraft modelling, aircraft recognition, the snare drum competition & first aid and 1224 managed to enter every single event.
The cadets performed very well throughout the day and had the silverware to show it at the end of the day when the first aid and the snare drum teams won their competitions.
The first aid team consisted of Flt Sgt Cunningham, Sgt Austin, Cpl Connor and Cdt Leighton who had previously won the competition at Wing and Region and had gone on to place 5th at Corps (national) level.
The snare drum duo consisted of CWO Bridge and Cpl Partovi who beat off fierce opposition from Hull and previous winners from Yeadon. The duo will go on to represent the Squadron and Wing at Region.
1224 also placed well in the other events including the drill competition and the aircraft recognition competition (where the team led by Sgt White placed 4th).
After the competitions had finished it was time for the final marchpast and which was reviewed by Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Ian Stewart - his last Wing Review before being re-posted to NATO!
During the final marchpast, the 1224 marching band led one of the flights and played favourites including Aces High, Highland Cathedral and the 1224 March.
Overall it was a great day enjoyed by all.