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

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wharfedale Remembers in 2012

There are few annual events in the Squadrons calendar that carry quite the significance and importance of Remembrance Sunday.

This year the Squadron took part in remembrance services in three towns throughout Wharfedale; in Ilkley, Addingham and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

The day started with the band attending the church service at St Peters Church in Addingham before leading the parade to the cenotaph in the centre of the town, the last post here was played by ex-1224 cadet Andy Novell and the wreath was, for the first time in his 20+ years with the Squadron laid by Warrant Officer (ATC) David Wood.

Following the Addingham parade the Squadron assembled at Abbeyfield Care Home, who had kindly offered a room for the Squadron to serve the cadets lunch in. The lunch itself was very kindly prepared by the Civilian Committee of the Squadron, complete with poppy buns! As a thank you to the care home, the band then played a few songs for the residents.

The Ilkley parade was once again led by the Squadrons band and included various local dignitaries and veterans. The parade marched from Ilkley Car Park, up Brook Street and along The Grove to the Ilkley Memorial Gardens for a service during which the last post was played by Sgt Tom Smith from 2431 (Keighley) Squadron.

The Squadrons turnout was praised by many members of the public and the OC, Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton praised the effort from both the cadets and staff and thanked everybody for their smart turnout.

All photos by CI Sam White.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Promotions at 1224

On Thursday 20th September 2012, Officer Commanding 1224 (Wharfedale), Flt Lt Sue Leighton made the following promotions.

To Corporal:

Cadet James Cooper
Cadet James Rowlands

To Sergeant

Corporal Jørgen Moore
Corporal Kjersti Moore

To Flight Sergeant

Sergeant Chris Cavaliere
Sergeant Jamie Partovi

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

Monday, 3 September 2012

Rheindahlen Camp 2012 Report

By Cpl Callum Parker

The 2012 North Region Rheindahlen camp didn’t get off to the greatest of starts for me, after trailing round Leeds for about half an hour and waiting in the bus station for what seemed like an eternity, we boarded the coach for Manchester airport. A coach journey and a half later we arrived at the airport and swiftly negotiated the numerous security clearances before boarding the plane. The flight was surprisingly short and we touched down ready for another coach journey to the base.

After the second coach journey of the day we arrived at JHQ (Joint Head-Quarters) Rheindahlen. After a short briefing outside the accommodation we were allocated rooms and told to wake up in roughly 4 hours’ time, so we did.

Thursday: We awoke early the next morning and changed into DPM’s for breakfast, and then off for the camp photograph, after that we changed into to ‘civvies’ for a trip to a local swimming pool and a short town visit. That night we went go-karting in Holland and returned for a well-deserved sleep.

Friday: Once again we woke up early and wore ‘civvies’ as today we would be visiting the German town of Cologne, During this visit we climbed the 533 steps to the top of the Cathedral and visited the ‘Olympia Museum’ before being let loose on the city. That night we returned to the base for a quiz in which prizes were awarded for: Best group name, best answer, first place and second-to-last place (which my group won!)

Saturday: As it was a weekend we were all allowed a 1 hour lie-in, once again we were in civvies for a trip to the Moehne Dam (the first dam that the ‘dam-busters’ broke). The trip consisted of two, three-hour long coach journeys (to get there and back…) and a boat ride on the reservoir. That night we watched the film ‘Dam-Busters’ in the youth club situated on the base.

Sunday: A one hour long lie-in was granted again as today we would need all the energy we could get, we were visiting an activity centre in Holland called ‘Break-out’. After a few wrong turns and the bus driver causing minor damage to the bus we arrived at the activity centre ready to do things like: climbing, archery, tunnelling/caving and a high-ropes course. The day was action packed and really fun until we returned to base and were told we had to practice for a drill competition on Tuesday.

Monday: Another early morning wake-up and DPM’s for a day at a nearby German Luftwaffe Base. Here we had a short presentation by a Flight Lieutenant from the R.A.F. and shown round the on-base museum dedicated to a World War 1 ace that taught the legendary ‘Red Baron’ to dogfight. After that we were given a tour of a Eurofighter Typhoon and the base itself. That night we spent doing drill practice for the inter-flight competition the next morning.

Tuesday: DPM’s for the last time, but also for the inter-flight drill competition… At 7:30 German-time the drill competition commenced (too early for drill!)After that we changed into civvies and went to a military museum filled with hundreds of military vehicles. On the journey home we stopped at both a Dutch military graveyard (which had 31,585 soldiers’ graves) and a British graveyard to compare the ways in which each country respects and remembers it’s fallen. After that short diversion, to lighten the mood, we stopped for ice-cream at a parlour where they make spaghetti ice-cream! That night we had a camp disco complete with karaoke and paper-plate awards.

Wednesday: It was the last day, and after packing our bags and cleaning the rooms we left our luggage in the resident ATC Squadron and went out for the day to visit a Dutch town (our last chance to buy souvenirs!). We then returned to collect our bags and headed for the airport, a quick flight home and before we knew it we were collecting our luggage at the baggage carousel and it was all over… everyone said their good-byes and I boarded the coach home along with about 20 others.

Overall the week was very enjoyable and one I will not forget. Oversees camps are amazing and a must-do during your time in cadets. As the station is set to close down, JHQ Rheindahlen camps are probably not going to be operating after this year, but I would thoroughly recommend that everyone should apply for an overseas camp as they are great fun and you will meet some amazing people.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

RYLA 2012

RYLA 2012
By Sophie Latta

Through school, I applied for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The interview panel believed that I had ‘leadership potential’ and granted me a place on the first course in the summer of 2012. In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived, I was rushed from my Rotarian’s car to a series of ‘icebreaker’ games, designed to help awardees get to know each other.

We were then informed of what we had ‘signed up to.’ The course is run by ‘Awesome Adventure,’ a team of predominantly ex-military staff. The selected outdoor activities on the course are all based on elements of problem solving, communication, organisation, delegation and teamwork. The personal development side of the course is based upon the ‘Kolb’s Learning Cycle’

The course was the busiest week I have ever experienced, so here are the highlights…

o  We learnt to work in a team, using delegation effectively 

‘Bell-boating’ – working as a team to travel along a canal in a canoe, delegating roles to manage the opening and closing of the locks.

o  We became more effective communicators

‘Murder Hunt’ – completing mini tasks, to earn money to purchase clues to solve a murder. This involved lots of organisation in the briefing and debriefing of tasks.

o  We learnt problem solving skills

…And we had a lot of fun learning all of the above!

My team (‘Dudes of Hazard’) won the competition that ran throughout the week, based on points earned in tasks.

We performed RYLA themed ‘Would I Lie To You?’ at the talent show at the end of the week,

To conclude; from my week at Hebden Bridge, I met some great people and the experiential learning style of the week has equipped me with leadership techniques and a developed range of skills that I hope to apply at Cadets, in sport and in my future career.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Olympic Torch

On Sunday 24th June 2012, the Squadrons band turned out to play as the Olympic Torch was carried through Ilkley.

The band played a number of their routine songs to the crowd as they waited for the torch to arrive before playing the traditional anthem 'On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at' as the torch was carried past.

The crowd very much enjoyed the performance and the band even got a mention on the BBC 2012 Olympics website.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Wing Training Day

On Sunday 13th May 2012 a team of cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron travelled to RAF Linton-on-Ouse to take part in the Central & East Yorkshire Wing Training Day.

During the day cadets took part in a number of competitions and events including drill, 5-a-side football, aero modelling, first aid, aircraft recognition and media.

Although we didn't win any of the events we placed second in the 5-a-side football, third in the drill compeition (an improvement from previous years), third in aircraft recognition (by two points!), third in First Aid and fourth in the media competition.

Let's hope next year will bring even better results!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Ilkley Carnival 2012

As per tradition, on May Day 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron took part in the annual Ilkley Carnival.

As with previous years the Squadron and the band marched through the centre of Ilkley in front of a crowd of thousands.

There was some change though as for the first time ever, two cadets, CWO Sam White and Cdt Beth Powell were chosen to accompany Cllr Heathcliffe Bowen, Chairman of Ilkley Parish Council as his equerries for the day. They joined the Councillor and other dignitaries for the day who included the local MP, Kris Hopkins, other local councillors, the Lord Mayor of Bradford and Tom Rennolds, a finalist in the TV show Masterchef as they presented prizes for the best carnival floats as well as joining them in the VIP tent for refreshments.

Meanwhile at the Squadron's stall at the carnival there was the usual set up of recruiting boards, the tombola and Mrs Whitakers cake stall.

Overall the cadets and staff had a great day as for once the weather decided to (just about) hold.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Inverness Pipes And Drums Camp 2012 Report

by Cdt Callum Carslaw

On Saturday 31st of March, I set off for Inverness on the train for the Pipes and Drums concentration.  After a 7 hour journey, and after being picked up from the station, I arrived at Cameron Barracks.  The camp was officially an Army cadet camp with air cadets being invited along as well and through what might have been a mistake, I was put in a room with Army cadets.  This was a little awkward throughout the week as I stood in my blues in the morning but it didn’t matter as the camp progressed. 
                When we arrived we were assessed by Pipe Majors to judge which group we would be put in for the week.  Not knowing the tunes and it being my first time placed me in Intermediate group 1 which contained around 10 to 15 pipers.
Sunday – an early start and an awkward start as I realised that even the air cadets were in greens.  After breakfast and a quick room tidy, we go to our lessons for the morning.  For the first half of the week the lessons were spent learning tunes and practicing exercises to improve fingering.  We were told quite quickly that, as the top intermediate group, we were expected to play in the massed bands at the end of the week.  This would require a lot of effort from all of us as nobody quite knew all of the given music.  In the afternoon, massed band practice was tiring and was pretty much constant playing for half an hour at a stretch.  I was very relieved at the end of the first practice as I had my reed replaced for a much harder one which meant it was much harder to blow.
Another early start on Monday – this time we were awoken to a reveille from an advanced group piper marching around the camp.  We had more lessons until lunch and massed band practice after.
For the rest of the week, until Thursday, and with the exception of Wednesday where we had the afternoon off, we spent lessons learning new music, sharing favourite tunes and practicing.  The aim of the week for most of the pupils was to gain a Pipes and Drums Qualifications Board award.  These awards are assessing maintenance of the pipes, playing technique and theory and I was awarded a Level 4 equivalent to a Scottish standard grade or a GCSE. 
On Wednesday Night we were very lucky to watch an impressive display from the instructors that had been helping out throughout the week.  It was a great inspiration to us and a great performance.
Thursday was the dress rehearsal.  We had been issued kilts, jackets and sporrans to wear and ribbons and bag covers for our pipes. However, the terrible weather (including hail and sleet) as well as the snow still on the ground from earlier in the week meant we were sitting inside longer than we were playing.  Eventually, we were sent inside into the DCCT range where the incredible noise saw them issue us all with earplugs.  We must have spent over an hour in there plus time outside practicing when the weather got better.  When the rehearsal was over, my lips were bursting and we all looked forward to an evening of relaxation.  On Thursday night, there was a talent show featuring beat boxing, dancing and music from the cadets as well.
Throughout Friday, there was a rehearsal in the morning, on pipes, and then in the afternoon we played at the parade in Dingwall which was well supported by the locals.  With a day of playing pipes, I was very tired.  We were parading on a narrow street with crowds either side so when we attempted to counter march with five ranks, there was not enough room.   For about ten seconds, no one was playing their pipes as we were all fighting and pulling our way through the shoulders of the people either side.  When the parade was over – the rest went without a hitch – we were welcomed into a hotel and offered scones, jam, crisps and un-diluted orange squash.  On Friday night was the Ceilidh – traditionally a dance but it was really just a concert.  There were performances from some of the battalions, from the advanced pipers, a solo and from two Pipe Majors and a drummer.  The Pipe majors were very good and there was a truly awesome drum solo.
Saturday was the last day and included two parades as well as another rehearsal in the morning. The first parade was the prize giving parade in the afternoon where prizes were presented by a Colonel of the Army Cadets for the most improved in each level and best overall piper and best overall drummer.   This involved playing through the whole performance again (for the second time of the day).  In the evening at seven o’ clock, we set off for Inverness Castle.   The parade went well and we all felt great to have completed the week and played in the massed bands.  We went to the town hall for drinks, food and speeches.
By the end of the week, I was tired from the constant piping and early starts but was proud to have played in the massed bands.  I am going to Edinburgh in May to play at Edinburgh Castle which I am really looking forward to and have been asked to play for the Queen at Balmoral. Unfortunately, I am on holiday so will have to wait another year to play there.  I can hardly wait for Inverness 2013.

See a video of the cadets in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEEKLJPwzMQ&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ensemble play at Prestigious Event

The Ensemble Team from 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn were invited to provide the music for the fourth Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course  Graduation Dinner held in the Officers Mess at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.  42 cadets from across all six regions graduated. After playing a variety of music throughout the evening, the Wharfedale Cadets were invited to the top table to meet the guests, these included Air Vice Marshal Mike Lloyd, Air Officer Commanding No 22 (Training) Group, Air Vice Marshal (Ret’d) Stu Butler, Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Barbara Cooper and North Region Commandant, Group Captain John Middleton.  It was a fantastic evening providing the Wharfedale cadets with an opportunity to play music to a very high standard and a setting which allowed for the feel of the music to come across.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Wharfedale Celebrate Triple Success

The annual presentation evening for Cadets and Staff at 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn was another successful evening.  The reception was held at the Kings Hall in Ilkley.  Guests were greeted by Cdt Callum Carslaw on the Bag Pipes with the newest cadets on Squadron providing the Guard of Honour arranged by Cpl Karl Verspyck.  Guests were then escorted into the Winter Gardens before taking their seats in the Kings Hall. 
Each cadet was invited onto the stage to be presented with certificates and qualifications gained throughout the last year by Wing Commander Wiggins these included; Classifications, BTEC Aviation, Young Life Savers First Aid, Intermediate Swimming, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver. Cadet Sergeant Ben Connor and Rhys Leighton were promoted to Flight Sergeant and Cadet Lisa Whitaker to Corporal. 
Following grace said by Cadet Warrant Officer Sam White, and after eating a good three course meal, the trophies were awarded by Guest of Honour Sir Colin Sampson.

For Sir Colin Sampson, former Chief Constable West Yorkshire Police, it was a change in uniform colour from the Police Service to the Royal Air Force. Together with his wife Lady Kathleen, he thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  Both Sir Colin and Lady Kathleen spent time with the staff and cadets and commented ‘how polite and smart the cadets were and how much he had enjoyed talking to them and discovering all the adventures they can take part in’. 
Cpl Callum Parker being presented with the Ian Clarke Memorial Trophy.

Sir Colin presented the awards to the following cadets;
Best new cadet: Cadet Ashleigh Smith
Best Intermediate: Corporal Callum Parker
Best Senior Cadet: Sergeant Jamie Partovi
Cadet of the Year:  Sergeant Chris Cavaliere
The Commanding Officers Cup was awarded to Cpl Jorgen Moore
Ian Clarke Memorial trophy for Community Service: Corporal Callum Parker
Attendance Trophy: Sergeant Chris Cavaliere
Royal Air Forces Association Salver:
Corporal Callum Parker
Sports Trophy: Corporal Lisa Whitaker
Bandsman of the Year: Flight Sergeant Tom Smith
White Rose Shooting Trophy: Cadet Ashleigh Smith
Best turned out NCO and Cadet: Corporal Kjersti Moore and Cadet Tom Hepworth

Following speeches, the band gave a concert standard performance combining traditional marches with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and Tunes from ‘Titanic’  Percussion now has a junior and senior section - with the junior section performing a piece from the Air Cadet National Marching Drum Corps and the Seniors reaching new heights and basing their routine on the Royal Marines Drum Corps.  They were both excellent but the senior drummers were outstanding.  Cadet Carslaw showed how well he plays the pipes with a fantastic solo and then the whole band combined to play ‘How to Train Your Dragon’.  The evening finished with ‘Ilkla Moor Baht'At and ’Abide with Me’.  Most of the concert is available on the Squadron's YouTube Channel
Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton "I am extremely proud of all the cadets.  Tonight is their night and it is a formal occasion for them to celebrate all their achievements.  It is also good to see so many families attending and supporting the cadets'.

A week later, cadets and staff underwent an Inspection by Group Captain Middleton, the Commandant of the North Region Air Training Corps. Wharfedale have been selected as the most Efficient Squadron in the Wing and are therefore representing Central and East Yorkshire in the Lees Trophy.  This is a National Competition to find the best Squadron in the Air Training Corps.

Having reviewed a formal parade of the Squadron, Group Captain Middleton made a tour of the unit where he got to see the cadets in action.  He saw cadets undergoing marching band practice, preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Expedition, First Class training for our newest cadets, First Aid Demonstration and then joined the Aircraft Recognition Team and took part in a test (of course he obtained full marks).

In recognition of their commitment to the Squadron, the Senior Cadets were invited to join the Group Captain Middleton for a buffet. The evening concluded with a presentation to Group Captain Middleton, Mrs Angela St.John, Chair of the Civilian Committee and Cllr Heathcliffe Bowen, Chairman of Ilkley Parish Council by Corporal Lisa Whittaker and Cadet Jack Croft on the adventures of Wharfedale cadets in 2011.

Also present that evening were two ex-cadets, Tomos St.John who is now an Officer Cadet at Liverpool University Air Squadron and Leading Aircraftsman Alex Chambers who has just passed out of RAF Halton and was awarded 'Best Recruit'.

Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton said "The cadets really enjoyed the visit.  Group Captain Middleton was very interactive with them and formally recognised the hard work by staff and cadets at the Squadron".  

 In the same week, Wharfedale were awarded a Gold Star for Health and Safety.  This is another significant achievement as the award scheme is only a year old and Wharfedale are first to achieve in the Central and East Yorkshire Wing. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

1224 Celebrate ATC Sunday

On a cold Sunday 5th February 2012, the cadets and staff of 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron travelled to York to take part in the annual Central & East Yorkshire Wing ATC Sunday service and parade - though due to the snow no parade actually took place.

The service took place inside York Minster and prior to this the Squadron band played outside the minster before the general public.

During the service the Squadrons Banner was paraded by Cpl Karl Verspyck. Also during the ceremony Cadet Warrant Officer Sam White spoke of the bands musical achievements at the National Band Competition.

After the service Group Captain Middleton, Regional Commandant of North Region personally thanked the band for their performance and even gave CWO White 10/10 for his speech.

Friday, 20 January 2012

RAFA Pay a Flying Visit to Wharfedale

On Monday 16th January Darrell Slater-Smith, Area Director Royal Air Force Association along with Mr Harry Dowson of the Skipton RAFA Branch visited Squadron to provide cadets with an up to date report on how RAFA supports both retired and current memebers of the Royal Air Force.  
It was great to hear that RAFA now provide all personnel serving in Afghanistan with £20's worth of extra calls per month so they could ring home. The cadets liked the story book, where staff record a story or a special message on a CD so their children can listen to them any time whilst they are away on duty.  
 Cpl Callum Parker - The highest individual collector of 2011 with Mr Dowson and Mr Slater-Smith
The next day the letter arrived to announce Cadets and Staff at 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn were  again the winners of the Sir Douglas Bader 'Wings Appeal' Trophy 2011 with a per captia average of £187.97.  The total collected £8,834.43 was the highest single amount collected by any Squadron during the year.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Cross Country Success for 1224

In early January 2012, a group of Cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron attended the annual Central and East Yorkshire Wing Inter-Squadron Cross Country competition.

Hoping to build on last years results the Squadron entered teams in the Under 15 and Under 17 boys categories as well as the Junior Women's'.

The Squadron did in fact build on last years results and won the Under 15 boys whilst placing 2nd in the Under 17 boys.

There were individual third places for Cadets Danny Stainton (U17 Boys), Nina Wingate (Jnr Women) and Alex Atraszkiewicz (U15 Boys), all of whom qualify, along with Sgt Chris Cavaliere (4th in U17 Boys), to represent the Squadron and the Wing at the inter-Wing Cross country later in the year.

Also present from 1224 were WO Wood and CWO White - the latter who being too old to compete marshalled during the day - a decision which he later regretted after wearing too few layers to deal with the cold winter morning.

The 1224 Cross Country Team 2012