Welcome to the Flying Tyke, 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron's news blog. Keep checking back to keep up to date with the latest Squadron news.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Santa Specials 2011

Every weekend approaching Christmas, a team of cadets from Wharfedale have assisted Santa at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Train Santa Specials.

The cadets help keep Santa's grotto well stocked and also tidy!  They then help Santa select the correct present for the age of the visitors.  There were four trains daily so the cadets were kept busy but inbetween well supplied with sandwiches and hot drinks.

Flt Lt Sue Leighton said "We never have a shortage of volunteers for the steam trains and we have to rotate the allocation to give everyone an opportunity to attend".

Magnificent Seven Parade with ACO National Band.

Seven Air Cadets from Wharfedale joined the Air Cadet National Marching Band and took part in the Birmingham Tattoo just before Christmas. The whole weekend gave them all the experience of performing at a much higher level with formal dress rehearsals at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham.

The cadets performed on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon in front of near capacity audiences. In the finale, they joined with the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Norwegian Kings Guard Veterans Band, Band of the Yorkshire Volunteers and Band of the Liberation Army in a traditional Christmas celebration of carols.
 For Cadet Corporal Jorgen Moore the weekend was made even more special when the drummers were invited to meet the Royal Marine drummers.

See it on YouTube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO1UlpKP-fo

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Promotions at 1224

During final parade on 17th November 2011 Flt Lt Leighton made four promotions.

To Corporal: Cadets Kjersti Moore, Callum Parker and Karl Verspyck

To Sergeant: Corporal Alex Raabe

Congratulations to all four cadets on their hard earned and well deserved promotions!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Success for 1224 at the National Championships

After placing second in the Ensemble section at the National Air Cadet Band Championships in 2009, 1224 (Wharfedale) were back again to win in 2011 and they didn't disappoint!

The ensemble section of the Squadron's band - CWO Sam White (19), FS Tom Smith (17), Sgts Rhys Leighton (17), Ben Connor (18), Jamie Partovi (16) & Alex Raabe (16), Corporals Kjersti Moore (17)& Jørgen Moore (15) and Cadets Danny Stainton (15) and Daniel Chivers (13) -  along with Flt Lt Leighton and WO Wood travelled down to RAF Halton to take part in the championships for the second time and after placing second last time were out to entertain again.

The band played a medley of Pirates of the Caribbean, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines and Pencil Full of Lead (a Paolo Nutini song), complete with singing and dancing for the final song, and managed to win first place, much to the delight of the cadets and staff!

The ensemble section wasn't the only category that Wharfedale were playing in at the finals with Sergeants Jamie Partovi and Alex Raabe competing in the solo snare drum competition and Sergeant Rhys Leighton placing second in a close solo Bugler competition.

Flt Lt Sue Leighton, OC 1224 said "Warrant Officer Wood and I are very proud of them all.  They have put alot of work into the routine and on the day of the competition they were able to show how good they are and their obvious enjoyment of the event was apparent to anyone watching".

From Regional HQ, North Region - "Very many congratulations from all of us at RHQ.  We are all delighted for you – that is quite some achievement, so well done"
From Wing Commander Wiggins, OC C&E Yorks Wing - "A great performance as we have come to expect from 1224. Please pass on my congratulations to all involved and I trust their efforts and hard work was all worth it with this superb result. Well done to all at 1224."
From Sqn Ldr Ayre, Deputy OC C&E Yorks Wing "Well Done" 
From Sqn Ldr Collins, Wing ExO - "Very well done"
From Sqn Ldr Hitchen, Sector 5 Commander " Excellent - well done"
From Sqn Ldr Mennell, C&E Yorks Wing MCO "Very well done" 

From Flying Officer Pullen " Excellent news.  Pass on my congrats to the team (-:"

You can watch a video of the performance here

and you can also watch the 2009 ensemble @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlptLATKRhQ

Monday, 14 November 2011

Wharfedale in Remembrance

 The week before Remembrance Sunday a team of cadets led by Flight Sergeant Tom Smith placed wreaths at various RAF crash sites in the local area including on Ilkley Moor and Beamsley Beacon.

On Remembrance Sunday 2011, the cadets and staff of 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron were again out in force to pay their respects at Remembrance services in Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Addingham.

As with last year, the day started with a small group of cadets visiting a group of war graves in Ilkley Cemetery, during which Flight Sergeant Tom Smith played Last Post, just across from the Squadron before loading the band equipment into the minibus for the first parade in Addingham.

The ceremony began with a service in St. Peters Church before the parade, led by the Squadron's band, marched up to the memorial in the centre of Addingham. For the first time ever bagpiper Cadet Callum Carslaw played the lament whilst Sergeant Rhys Leighton played Last Post and Reveille and Cadet Ashleigh Smith laid a wreath on behalf on the Squadron.

After the parade the band travelled back to Ilkley and met up with the other members of the Squadron at Abbeyfield Care Home where the Squadron were generously allowed to use the canteen to serve food to the cadets that had been kindly prepared by some of the Cadets' parents. As tradition, there was an ample supply of home made cakes from Mrs Whittaker and Mrs Graham.  The band reformed  in the courtyard at Abbeyfield and played a number of pieces to the residents many of whom could not attend the formal parade in Ilkley. 

When the time came for the Ilkley parade, again led by the band,  the Squadron formed up in the central Ilkley car park and marched through the centre of town to the Ilkley War Memorial. The band again set a high standard playing National Marching Band pieces including Eagle Sqaudron, Army of the Nile, Aces High and of course Great Escape. At the memorial the whole band joined with Cdt Carslaw to play Highland Cathedral and then he again played the lament.  There was a short service which various veterans and dignitaries, including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Mr Roger Whitaker and the MP for Keighley and Ilkley Kris Hopkins attended.  Cadet Alex Atraszkiewicz laid our wreath here.

Both the band and the overall turnout of the Squadron were again fantastic.
This years band was the largest ever with 28 cadets plus a member of staff (Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton). Cadet Sergeant Tom Smith (trumpet) from Keighley also joined the band for the Ilkley parade.  He has been attending band practice every Friday. 

Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton said; " I am very proud of all the cadets today.  The Cadets were both a credit to themselves and the Squadron". 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Wharfedale Cadets are On Target

Three more cadets at 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron have gained marksmanship awards.

Cadets Lisa Whitaker and Ashleigh Smith gained their Wing Marksman badges whilst Cadet Callum Parker shot Region.

Congratulations to all three!

Shooting with the air rifles on the Squadrons own range is just one activities that takes place at 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron, more for information see www.ilkley-atc.co.uk

Wharfedale Cadets Help Out The Legion

On Saturday 5th November, Cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn took to the streets of Ilkley for the Royal British Legion’s 2011 Poppy Appeal.  The cadets worked in teams to provide a good presence throughout the day.  The day was very successful with Cadets collecting a total of £1774.03. 

In the evening, a team of 8 cadets together with Warrant Officer Wood assisted at the Royal British Legion Remembrance Festival at Otley and met Gurkhas from Catterick and two Chelsea Pensioners.  This is the third recent concert the cadets have attended, as they have assisted at the Royal British Legion concert at Yeadon featuring the Band of the RAF Regiment and at Skipton featuring RAF Swing Wing in support of the Royal Air Forces Association.

Throughout the last three months cadets have worked hard for the Royal Air Forces Association, which supports anyone who has served in the RAF, young or old who needs help through age, infirmity or injury.

Among amounts raised in collections were Stephen Smiths Garden Centre, Otley £ 913.83; Sainsbury’s, Otley £420.60; Morrisons, Guiseley £1313.74; Ilkley Street collection £1097.54; Otley Street collection, £1087.48 and Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway £924.66
Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton said; " I would like to thank all the cadets for taking part.  My thanks are extended to the residents, visitors and businesses in the Wharfe Valley for their continued support. 
This week, I have had the pleasure of informing the cadets that for the Royal Air Force Association Wings Appeal 2011 they have collected £8,834.43. 
The top collector was Cadet Callum Parker who in a stunning individual effort raised £910.40". 

1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron band will be leading Remembrance Parades at Addingham and Ilkley on Sunday 13th November.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

CWO Transfers

After being at 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron since joining in 2006, the longest serving cadet at 1224 Cadet Warrant Officer Fran Cunningham has permanently transferred to 2431 (Keighley) Squadron to take up the role of Squadron Adjutant.

CWO Cunningham said "I'm sad to be leaving 1224 after so long but I'm really looking forward to the new opportunities at 2431".

CWO Cunningham with WO  David Wood, Sqn Ldr John Hitchen and Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton

1224 wishes CWO Cunningham all the best and we're sure that she'll come back and visit us whenever she gets the chance!

Halloween Fun at 1224

Following the success of the event in 2010, Cadet Sergeant Chris Cavaliere was tasked again to organise the Halloween Party.  The Squadron were organised into fancy dress groups;  Witches & Wizards, Zombies, Ghosts, Heroes (the staff of course) and Villains (the SNCO's).  The evening started with the inspection undertaken by Hero Bob the Builder (Warrant Officer Wood).

Each team then went to tackle the new games for this years event; eating a doughnut hanging from a piece of string with your hands behind your back, cup stacking and pea chasing, the flour tester and of course the statutory water game. Thankfully, we don't have houses close by as there was some extreme laughing and cheering.

The Wizards

Break time was a feast on hot dogs & spooky cakes supplied by Cadets Graham, Moore and Silverwood followed by an ample supply of Haribo fangs.

After break Sgt Cavaliere with help from Cadets Verspyck and Forward hosted a Halloween themed quiz, the answers to which were suspiciously Americanised.

The Zombies

At the end of the night the results of the costume inspection came in, Top award went to Cadet Ashleigh Smith (A Zombie Smurf) with 3 runners up, Cadets Silverwood, Hepworth (Zombies) and Cdt Martin (Dumbledore from Harry Potter)

Cadets taking part in the cup-stacking game

Flt Lt Sue Leighton said; 'this was another successful event for everyone at Squadron.  A big thankyou to Sgt Cavaliere for taking on the challenge and providing a great fun evening.'

 The Robot building competition

You can see more pictures in the Squadrons gallery.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Promotion at 1224

Congratulations to cadet Jørgen Moore who has been been awarded a well earned promotion to Corporal by Flt Lt S Leighton, OC 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron.

Ilkley & District Good Neighbours Community Transport Funding

1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron is one of the main users of the Ilkley & District Good Neighbour minibuses to get cadets to and from various activities. Two of the minibuses are fully adapted for use by people with mobility problems whereas the third vehicle, an eleven-seat standard minibus, is now over 10 years old. The award would help towards replacing the standard vehicle with a fully accessible sixteen-seat minibus.

To vote for the Ilkley Minibus you'll need to quickly register (https://communityforce.natwest.com/user/register/), after you've done that you'll be sent an email to validate your email address. Once you've done that just go to the Ilkley page and vote for the "Ilkley & District Good Neighbours Community Transport" - the page link with more details is below.


Remember it won't just be the Squadron but the community as a whole that will benefit from this so just take a few seconds out of your day to do i!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Promotion at 1224

During final parade on Thursday 15th September, Tomos St.John was promoted to Sgt.

Even though he has been at university he has still managed to come back and assist the Squadron whenever he could!

Also during final parade FS Sam White was awarded his Silver DofE.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Embsay WW2 Weekend & Skipton Battle of Britain Parade

Sunday 11th September proved to be another busy day for the cadets of 1224.

In the morning a team of cadets with WO Wood attended the World War 2 weekend at Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway to collect for RAFA.

Later on in the day the Squadrons band led the parade for the Skipton Battle of Britain Parade through the streets of Skipton featuring a short wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph before a longer church service at Christ Church.

The parade itself was also attended by Air Cadets from 2431 (Keighley) and 264 (Skipton) Squadrons as well as veterans and members of the USAF from RAF Menwith Hill on what was a particularly important date for them.

The salute during the parade was taken by Air Commodore Colin Smith, Chief of Staff at RAF High Wycombe and a former guest at 1224's annual presentation evening.

The parade was the first for new Wharfedale recruits, Cadets Graham, Shaw, Chivvers and Hepworth.

 You can see more pictures from the day in the Squadrons gallery here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

RAF Coningsby Summer Camp Report

by CWO Fran Cunningham

After visiting RAF Marham in 2010 for summer camp, I knew that I really wanted to do another blues camp at an RAF Base as a cadet, before I aged out. So after weeks of begging and being overly helpful to my CO, I was selected! On July 23rd, myself and 5 other cadets from 1224 began our (long) journey to RAF Coningsby.

The Cadets from 1224 on camp at RAF Coningsby

The camp was a joint Wing one, made up of 30 cadets in total from as far North as Middlesbrough and as far south as Ilkley and Lawnswood. We met the coach at Wetherby Services, where the cadets from Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington and Richmond were already waiting for us. After another stop of at Hull (and 5 hours later) we finally arrived at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Coningsby is home to both the newest and the oldest aircraft that the RAF has to offer. From the four Eurofighter Typhoon Squadrons and the Tornado GR4 Squadron, to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, who still fly regularly. The stations mission; “To develop the future, deliver the present and commemorate the past of the Royal Air Force’s combat air power” reflects the diversity of the Base perfectly.

Day One: We arrived shortly after lunchtime on the Saturday, and were greeted by our staff members for the week who wasted no time in getting us organised into our accommodation (the fabulous standard military issue tents) and then split us into 2 groups, A and B Flight. A Flight was to be my baby for the week, and B Flight was headed up by CWO Thomas from East Cleveland Squadron. We spent a couple of hours playing inter-flight sport. A warm up followed by softball, football and human chess! B Flight was victorious in every sporting activity, gaining flight points for their efforts. After all that hard work, it was time to march the Cadets to the Mess for their well-deserved evening meal. However, with a camp schedule like ours was, there was no time to relax and we had to go straight over to the Fire Section for a visit. Although the visit was for a serious reason (Health and Safety Brief, Fire Brief and use of fire extinguishers) they still managed to show us a good time. We split into 3 groups, and took it in turns to look at the Fire Engine, sit on the top of it, play with the hoses and threaten our staff with them! However, no Fire Section visit would be complete without getting completely soaking wet. After an exceedingly long day, we headed to our Tents for a cracking nights sleep!

The Fire Section giving a demonstration

Day Two: The Warrant Officer stood in the centre of the tented accommodation at 0600, and bellowed “The Warrant Officer is lonely!!” Not the greatest alarm call I’ve ever woken up to!

20 cadets were scheduled to go flying at RAF Cranwell for the day, whilst the rest of us spent the afternoon sunbathing (weapons training) at our accommodation. For those who had not handled the L98A2 before, this was a fantastic opportunity to get some one on one training with the weapon with Flt Lt Waters, the Wing Shooting Officer. The weather could not have been better, both for the flyers and those of us who were sat out under the sun all day. When the cadets returned from Cranwell, it was time to go to the Mess for our evening meal, which was then followed by Bowling!

Day Three; another 0530 reveille and straight into Wedgewood Blues for the day. A tent inspection was scheduled for before breakfast so we were kept busy for the hour that followed to ensure that our tents were immaculate for the Warrant Officer to look at! Cadets + Wedgewood’s + Baked Beans at breakfast do not mix however, so all 30 of us (yes, even the Cadet Warrant Officers!) donned paper napkin bibs for the duration of breakfast time! After breakfast, we had a presentation from the ACLO at Coningsby, plus another safety brief from a very excitable RAF Police Officer. We were to visit 29 Squadron, home to Typhoons, for our Camp Photo and a look at the aircraft after this, which gave us all the opportunity to see them up close and to look inside the cockpit.
After a quick lunch we all headed over to RAF Waddington to use the Swimming Pool. Every cadet left having achieved a Swimming Proficiency standard.

Day Four: After another early morning tent and dress inspection, it was time for another 7 o clock breakfast! Following this, we were given a presentation by a local civilian police officer about the importance of staying safe online. With the use of film and power point presentation, he made each and every one of us aware of the dangers of using the internet, and more importantly, the dangers of online chat and chat rooms. After ending the presentation on a serious note, it was time to go have some fun! We left RAF Coningsby again, and headed to RAF Tumby, a RAF Police dog handling section. Here we were given a presentation on the different equipment used to train the dogs and then we were given a tour around the kennels. Although this was only a short visit, it was very informative, and a lot of the cadets came away from it adamant that they want to be Dog Handlers in the future!!

After our evening meal, we headed back to the Fire section again. Here, we were driven across to the opposite side of the air field, to their simulation area. Some of the cadets even got the travel in the fire engines! Here, they set fire to their plane simulator, built to represent a tornado, a typhoon and a helicopter all at once! They demonstrated the different methods of putting out the fire, and showed just how resilient all of their equipment is to the heat!

The cadets on camp in the Tornado GR4 hangar

Day Five: The day I had been waiting for! We were scheduled to visit 41 Squadron in the morning, a Tornado GR4 Reserve Squadron. We were shown around the aircraft, and then asked if we could send somebody back to camp to grab our High Vis jackets and Ear Defenders…We were being allowed out onto the Flight Line! We were taken outside by one of the technicians who showed us where to stand. We watched two of the Tornados power up, watched the Pilot and Weapons Systems Operator do all of their pre-flight checks and watched them taxi out to the runway. We stood outside for about half an hour, watching Typhoons and Tornados take off. We were all so grateful for the opportunity to get so close to them! After saying our thanks, it was time to take all the hungry cadets to the Mess for their lunch.

The afternoon to follow turned out to be my favourite afternoon of the entire week, as we visited the Air Traffic Control tower. We split into our flights and were in turn, shown around “local”, which is the Tower part of the building, and the RADAR room downstairs. The Cadets asked a lot of questions, and got to see what the job was like in some detail.

We visited the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) on the Thursday, splitting into flights once again for the visit. We were all shown around by a Tour Guide, who’s knowledge of the BBMF and the History surrounding it was vast. My tour guide was an ex pilot in the Air Force, who had flown Lightning’s and Tornado F3’s, to name just two of the fast jets he had experience in! He had also been a member of a Lancaster Crew, and his experience was fascinating to learn from.

We had an additional 10 flying slots at RAF Cranwell for the afternoon, so these lucky cadets headed straight off from the BBMF. As for the rest of us, the afternoon had more L98A2 weapons training and High Ropes in store! As the High Ropes course was opposite our accommodation, and where we were doing weapons training, we split into two groups and took it in turns to go over. The PTI who led the High Ropes session was brilliant, and led us through both high and low ropes exercises. Although we’d already spent 6 days together, this was a fantastic opportunity to get to know other Cadets on the camp, and a time for leadership skills to shine.

After finishing up all of the activities for the day, we headed over to the tennis courts for a last minute drill practice, just in time for the inter-flight drill competition that was to be marked by the Station Warrant Officer on Friday morning! After smoothing out last minute kinks, we headed back to the accommodation for a well deserved early night!

Day Six: The big event! Another early morning (surprise surprise), followed by an hour of solid uniform preparation. The staff, and the CWO’s, would not let the Cadets go to breakfast until their uniform was absolutely perfect! We donned our bibs again for Breakfast, and immediately after heading over to the Tennis Courts (our makeshift Drill Square) for the Competition. After a last minute practice and a talk from the Station Warrant Officer, the competition began! B Flight performed first immediately followed by A Flight. The atmosphere was tense as we formed back up in our Flights to hear the results from the SWO. B Flight were victorious, by a mere one point!

After an early lunch, we headed over to the range to spend a day firing the L98A2. All of the Cadets thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity on the range to practice for future Wing Range Days, and they all left feeling completely exhausted! Friday evening was spent in the Station Lounge and Coffee Bar. An opportunity for the staff to make their presentations and for us all to say our final Thank You’s and proper good byes before the camp drew to a close.

All in all, I had a brilliant week at RAF Coningsby. The staff, both RAF personnel and ATC, were fantastic, and they are all owed a huge thank you from myself and the other cadets. An exhausting week, but definitely worth the early mornings and late nights!

The 1224 cadets again. (L-R) Cpl Alex Raabe, Cdt Jack Bacon, CWO Fran Cunningham, Cdt James Cooper, Cdt Nina Wingate, Cdt Harvey Collier

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bronze DofE Report

by Cadet Callum Parker

On Friday 22nd July seven cadets from 1224 Wharfedale squadron embarked on a bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition at Newton-upon-Rawcliffe.

Five of us set off on Friday night with CI Dowling and the other two were set to arrive later on with CI Watson, we arrived at the camp site in the early evening, after setting up our tent we got started on dinner which didn’t go down too well as we had the wrong gas canisters for the stoves and half the ingredients were packed in a bag which had not yet arrived! So not a great start to the weekend!

On the Saturday morning we awoke bright and early at 6am to eat breakfast, pack away our tents and get ready for the long trek ahead of us. We departed from the campsite at around 9:20am with CI Dowling, CI Watson and two other members of staff that were on the BELA course. We set off heading north on a loop that would eventually (18km later!) bring us back to the campsite. For the first half of the route it was fairly flat terrain but during the second half it was very hilly, (which is painful when you have blisters!).

After taking a few wrong turnings and being corrected we arrived back at the campsite with blisters and aching shoulders. After putting up the tents we prepared dinner which would be noodles and frankfurters, it doesn’t sound very appetising but after a day of walking it was like an oasis in the desert. We got an early night on the Saturday as most of us were too tired to do anything but sleep!

Once again we awoke on the Sunday ready to take on today’s (slightly shorter) walk. This time we would be walking all on our own without the guidance of the staff, we reached the first checkpoint earlier than the set time and carried on walking field upon field upon field until we reached a sign that read; WARNING, M.O.D. APPROVED RIFLE RANGE IN USE SUNDAYS 09:00-17:00. So they had to stop operating as we walked down the range, we had fifteen minutes before our next checkpoint so we decided to watch the shooting for a while (We still managed to arrive early at our second checkpoint). It was between our second and third checkpoint that we walked through the wrong field and almost got lost, and for that reason we arrived at our third checkpoint a little later than expected. We ploughed on though and arrived back at the campsite half an hour late but we were still the first group back.

We left the campsite at around 4:15 and journeyed home stopping off for a well-deserved McDonalds on the way. It was an interesting expedition of which lessons were learned and one that I would certainly do again. But the moral of this story is NEVER WEAR ASSAULT BOOTS FOR D of E!!!!!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Ramstein Camp 2011 Report

by FS Sam White

After attending and really enjoying a camp to RAF Akrotiri in 2010 I decided that I would try and get on another camp overseas, in the end I narrowed it down to either applying for Ramstein AB or JHQ Rheindalen, both of which were in Germany. In the end I decided that I'd apply for Ramstein since it had the appeal of being a working USAF base. The fact that nobody from 1224 had attended a camp to Ramstein (at least not in my time as a cadet) was also a deciding factor.

The camp was another joint Region camp, this time between North Region and Scotland and Northern Ireland Region and so in late July 2011 we all set off on the long coach journey to Ramstein Air Base.

Ramstein Air Base is part of the much larger Kaiserslautern Military Community which is home to over 50,000 US military personnel and civilians making it the largest US community outside of the States themselves and the base is home to a large fleet of transport aircraft including C-130's, C-5's, C-17's C-20's and C-21's.

We arrived at Ramstein on the Saturday and spent the rest of the day getting used to our surroundings before going swimming at a local pool. The accommodation we stayed in was actually inflatable tents provided by the 435th Construction Training Squadron (CTS) and was surprisingly good with each tent having its own air conditioning and climate control.

The day after featured the first inspection by the camp WO and after breakfast we were scheduled to travel to Spangdahlem AB to the Open House day (essentially a small airshow) but due to complications with the staff getting the necessary licenses to drive on the US bases we unfortunately had to miss it and instead spent the day with our flights doing various icebreakers, drill and sports instead. After the evening meal we went to the on-base shopping mall which also had its own cinema where we saw Captain America - we were all caught out when the US National Anthem came on before the film started and the whole cinema got to their feet!

Mondays activities went more to plan. We travelled to the nearby base of Panzer Kaserene to the DCCT range where we fired a number of weapons on the military training simulator including M-4's, M249's, P-228's, shotguns and even a rocket launcher! In the afternoon we went to the NATO HQ at Ramstein for a briefing on what NATO does by an RAF Wing Commander based at Ramstein before heading to the on-base bowling alley in the evening.

On Tuesday the camp split into their 2 flights, and in the morning A Flight (my flight) went to the CTS where were were showed a number of interesting toys in the US inventory including radiation detectors. During this visit we also got to drive some of the bulldozers belonging to the CTS. After lunch we swapped activitied with B flight and went to visit a C-130 unit and got to climb around inside the aircraft though we didn't do this for too long since it was very hot that day and we were almost melting inside the C-130! After dinner we played an inter-flight game of Softball, A flight unfortunately losing...

Wednesday turned out to be a very active day. In the morning we went to the 13th Field Investigation Squadron, USAF Office of Special Investigations (essentially real life CSI) where we we showed a lot of crime-fighting equipment including weapons, armour and even fingerprint detection kits before being led outside to do some combat training with batons. After lunch we travelled to the nearby US base of Vogelweh where we did some more combat training again with the batons but this time we had to spend one and a half minutes in the 'ring' with the 'red man' - a US soldier dressed in a padded suit. The evening was spent at the mall where we stocked up on US goodies to take back home with us.

We travelled to a high ropes centre at Kandel on Thursday and spent most of the morning/early afternoon there which was a lot of fun and quite challenging at times. In the evening we had the camp BBQ where a lot of the personnel we had met during the week were invited and we spent the evening chatting to them about pretty much everything. After the BBQ we headed to our temporary drill square (a car park) for the drill competition which A flight won!

Our last full day - Friday - was spent in the city of Heidelburg where we had a wander round the shops. We decided to do a 10 euro outfut night for the nights buffet and disco and so we took our 10 euros and bough our various outfits, some of which were hiarious, others just scary.

Unfortunately the day came when we all had to head back home again so on Saturday after cleaning up tent city we began the long journey back home.

Overall it was a fantastic week and probably the best camp that I've done with the ATC, partly due to the camps staff and the activities they provided but also down to the other cadets on the camp who made it genuinely enjoyable!

Monday, 25 July 2011

National Success for Cadets

Eight cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron have been selected and joined the Air Cadet National Marching Band for a weeks camp at RAF Halton.

The cadets joined 46 cadets from all over the United Kingdom for a week of music and drill. The first performance was a dress rehearsal for a passing out parade at RAF Halton. The parade went well with the cadets then being invited to join families and friends to watch the final parade featuring the Central Band from the RAF. The cadets then moved onto the Youth Music Festival and played outside the historic College Hall at RAF Cranwell. The final weekend was at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, where the cadets gave four performances including the sunset ceremony lead by a Wharfedale Cadet, Sergeant Rhys Leighton on the cornet.

The week concluded with awards presented by the Director of Music (Marching Band), Squadron Leader Nic Sermon. Two awards went to cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn; Cadet Jorgen Moore - Best snare drummer and Cadet Sergeant Rhys Leighton- Best Cornet/trumpet. All the cadets were presented with the National Gold Music Badge.

Officer Commanding 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn, Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton said " Warrant Officer David Wood and myself had the pleasure of working with the National Marching Band Cadets this week. It was amazing to watch their performances. Each performance demonstrated the hard work they had put in all week. I am extremely proud of the Wharfedale Cadets. We now have ten cadets on Squadron with the National Gold Music Badge. Five of the cadets have learnt their instrument at Squadron".

If you are between 13 and 17 years old and would like further information then please visit www.ilkley-atc.co.uk or email adj.1224@aircadets.org

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Addingham Gala 2011

1224 have been regular attendees at the Addingham Gala for the past few years providing musical entertainment during the parade to the field whilst also running a stall on the field itself.
2011 was no exception to this and the Squadron were there stronger than ever. The band played many of their signature tunes including 1224, Aces High and Highland Cathedral. The usual Drum Major, FS Alex Chambers, was unable to make the parade so Cdt Jonathan Forward took over the role instead. Despite only having been taught a little bit Cadet Forward did a brilliant job leading the band through the streets of Addingham.

On the field the Squadron held it's usual tombola stall which raised £120. In addition to this there was also a large selection of cakes and sandwiches made by Mrs Whitaker which went down a treat and also raised £237!

Cadets also collected for RAFA during the day and raised $### selling pin badges and a name-me claim-me teddy bear.

Thankfully despite some earlier concerns about the weather the rain held off and we even had some sun before the end of the day when 8 cadets along with Flt Lt Leighton and WO Wood travelled down to RAF Halton to take part in the National Air Cadet Marching Band.

Pictures by Cdt FS Sam White, you can see more in the Squadrons Picasa gallery @ https://picasaweb.google.com/1224sqn.atc/AddinghamGala2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Fun at Ilkley Carnival for 1224

by FS Sam White

On Monday 2nd May, the Squadron turned out for the annual Ilkley Carnival.

It was an early start for those who volunteered to help set up the Squadrons stall (which as it turned out was quite a large number of cadets!) at East Holmes Playing fields in Ilkley. The cadets, through good teamwork and communication (eventually) managed to get the Squadrons tents built and set up the stall.

The tombola which has always proved to be successful was again a hit with the crowds, thanks to Mrs St John and Mrs Moore who ran it throughout the day raising £253.80!

Last year Cadet Lisa Whitaker and her mother tried something different at the carnival - face painting - which proved to be very successful with the younger crowd members and this year they tried something different again - a cake stall which managed to raise another £245.25!

Amongst other things at the stall were an infra-red target range which was provided by Sgt (ATC) Andy Porter and a number of display boards prepared by Cdt FS Sam White and Cdt Kjersti Moore.

That wasn't the end of 1224's involvement in the day though, the band of 1224 took part in the parade down from the Grove to the carnival field playing famous marches such as The Great Escape, Aces High and Mechanised Infantry. The band were joined by a number of musical guests including Sgt (ATC) David Pagdin on Tuba and Cdt Sgt Chris Pagdin on Trumpet from 23 (South Elmsall) Sqn along with Mr Ken Pickles from The Wharfedale Pipers who played bagpipes with the band on Highland Cathedral and a few other Scottish tunes. The parade was the first for Cdt Callum Carslaw on the bagpipes who joined the Squadron only a few months ago yet has gone straight into performing at events such as the carnival!

Along the route a number of cadets with WO (ATC) David Wood handed out stickers to the younger (and in some cases older) members of the crowd!

All in all everybody from the Squadron seemed to have a great time, the weather was excellent (if a little too windy) and the Squadrons stall proved to be very popular, especially when the last few tombola prizes included a bottle of Bells Whisky!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

1940's Disney Link for 1224

by Cadet Flight Sergeant Sam White

Over the past few months, and spurred on by the discovery of a hoarde of historical photographs of 1224 spanning from the 1940's onwards, I have been researching the history of 1224 (Wharfedale), or as it was once known, 1224 (Ilkley) Squadron.

A few months back I was looking up the Squadron on Google (as you do) and came across a very interesting patch for sale on an American website depicting the classic Disney character Jiminy Cricket trying to learn how to fly by reading a book but somehow the seller had managed to link it to 1224.
I contacted the owner of the website asking if he had any more information on the patch. He got back to me and said that during World War 2 Disney would design patches for various military units and that Disney would select a character and draw them in a situation that would be relevant to the units existence (in the case of 1224 Jiminy Cricket learning the principles of flight and flying from a book) that he bought it at a large American gun show around 1985.
I asked all of the staff at the Squadron but nobody seemed to know about this mysterious patch!

Fast forward a few months and during a cleanout of various filing cabinets on Sqn we managed to find something that blew us all away!

During 1989, a previous OC of 1224, Flt Lt Malcolm Bates had actually contacted Disney regarding the patch (though the initial letter from Flt Lt Bates cannot be found) and received a reply from Disney archivist David R Smith and enclosed was a copy of the reason why this patch was linked to 1224.

In 1942, during a discussion about designing a crest for 'B Flight', Brian Dean, a cadet at 1224 (Ilkley) Squadron suggested writing to Walt Disney prompted by an article in 'Illustrated' about Disney designing crests for the Air Force during the war.
The Commanding Officer agreed to the plan and Cadet Dean wrote to Walt Disney (as he was already going to write anyway to ask for his autograph!) and little over a month later he received a reply from Disney along a with the Jiminy Cricket design!

The fact that none of the current staff knew about this made the discovery even more amazing and gave a massive boost to my project of researching the history of the Squadron!

I wonder what happened to Cadet Brian Dean, or if he ever got his autograph. And how the patch came to be in California in the first place...

If anybody has any information regarding the patch please don't hesitate to get in contact with us!

The original letter can be downloaded here!

Many of the photos that were recently found have been scanned and uploaded to the Squadrons gallery at http://picasaweb.google.com/1224sqn.atc and we would be grateful if anybody who had any information about the photos (since there was no information with many of them) could get in touch!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cadets Celebrate In Style

1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron cadets have just held their annual presentation evening and celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Air Training Corps at the Kings Hall, Ilkley. Warrant Officer David Wood and his wife Jan took on the challenge of organising the event for 206 guests.

The guests included Deputy Lord Lieutenant Roger Whittaker and Mrs. Elizabeth Whittaker, Air Commodore Colin Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff at Air Command based at High Wycombe, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Peter Hill and the Lady Mayoress, Mrs. Gillian Hill and Wing Commander Steve Wiggins, Officer Commanding Central and East Yorkshire Wing and his partner Rachel. Guests from the Royal Air Force Association and the Royal British Legion joined together with cadets’ families and ex cadets to make the evening very special. Unfortunately two guests were unable to attend as that morning they had been deployed to the Middle East with the Royal Air Force.

Individual training certificates were formally presented to cadets and staff by Wing Commander Wiggins. All guests were then invited to stand and remember ex cadets who were no longer with us and Cadet Corporal Rhys Leighton played the Last Post.

Grace was then said by Cadet Flight Sergeant Fran Cunningham and everyone tucked into a lovely three course meal. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was excellent.

Individual awards were then presented to cadets by Air Commod
ore Colin Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff at Air Command.

Cadet Jørgen Moore recieveing the Best New Cadet trophy

Best new cadet: Cadet Jørgen Moore
Best Intermediate: Cadet Sean Silverwood

Best Senior Cadet: Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Cadet of the Year: Corporal Jamie Partovi. Presented by Mrs. Pauline Stead, mother of Flight Lieutenant David Stead who died in 2005
The Commanding Officers Cup was awarded to Ca
det Jack Croft for his determination to do well and always complete tasks
Ian Clarke Memorial trophy for Community Servic
e: Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Attendance Trophy: Sergeant Alex Chambers
Royal Air Forces Association Salver:
Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Sports Trophy: Corporal Ben Connor
Bandsman of the Year: Cadet Oren Chew
White Rose Shooting Trophy: Cadet James Cooper
Best turned out NCO and Cadet: Sergeant Alex Chambers a
nd Cadet Alex Raabe

Corporal Jamie Partovi being awarded the Cadet of the Year

Air Commodore Smith praised the cadets and their success in the local community. “ I was asked to promote the ‘Big Society’ by my advisors, but there is no need here in Ilkley – its happening already with these excellent young people”

Promotions were also announced for Flight Sergeants Alex Chambers and Tom Smith, Sergeants Ben Connor, Jamie Partovi, Rhys Leighton and Chris Cavaliere and Corporals Alex Raabe and James Cowley

A special presentation was made to Squadron Leader John Hitchen who after 22 years dedicated service as Commanding Officer of 1224 took up the post of Sector 5 Commander of Central & East Yorkshire Wing in September 2010. He received a long and loud standing ovation from everyone.

The standing ovation for Squadron Leader Hitchen

Following speeches, the 9 snare drummers demonstrated their difficult drum routine and stick work and then the whole band played the traditional marches. As always the second half had a different mood starting with a display Sergeant Jamie Partovi playing Maple Leaf Rag on the piano, Highland Cathedral with Mr. Ken Pickles on the bagpipes (Wharfedale Pipers), In the Mood featuring a fantastic solo by Cadet Danny Stainton and ‘Diamonds’ on the guitars led by Flight Sergeant Sam White in tribute to the late Jet Harris.

The evening concluded with Evening Hymn and Sunset played on the balcony by Sergeant Rhys Leighton.

The band performing after the awards

Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton, Officer Commanding 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn said “We have had a fantastic evening. We have a lot of young cadets who have never experienced a formal evening and having so many guests has made it very special. I would like to thank again the staff and cadets for their continued support and dedication to this squadron which continues to drive our success and provide new and exciting opportunities".

More pictures are available in our gallery and footage will be uploaded to our YouTube channel.