Air Cadets from West Bridgford have been presented with the Marshall Trophy for being, jointly, the most improved Royal Air Force Air Cadet (RAFAC) Squadron in the United Kingdom.
So tight was the competition for this prestigious Trophy that it was deemed a dead heat between 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron and 88 (Battle) Squadron from Sussex Wing.
The West Bridgford cadets will hold the Trophy for six months and it was presented to the squadron by Christopher Walkinshaw a Non-Executive Director within the Marshalls of Cambridge organisation.
Showcasing the squadron, the evening started with the cadets being inspected by the Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty in the grounds of the squadron’s neighbour, Instinct laboratory, who also generously opened their doors to allow the guests to witness the squadron’s Ensemble in their final rehearsal before an upcoming competition.
Back at the Combined Cadet Centre further demonstrations of cadet work were displayed which the guest, including Honary Air Commodore and Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Veronica Pickering, and the squadron’s President and one time head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshall Sir Andrew Pulford GCB CBE ADC. Subjects as diverse as flying a drone within a confined space, navigation, radio communications and building a ring out of “Pringles” kept the guests entertained.
The evening culminated in the trophy presentation by Mr Walkinshaw to two of the squadron’s cadets, Max Abell and Kate Lawrance. Such an occasion would not be complete without a cake which was ceremoniously cut by Air Commodore McCafferty and cadets Ben Maddock and Morgan Charles-Jones.
Cadet Warrant Officer Rebekah Oldknow summed up the squadron’s feeling “When we heard that the Squadron had jointly won the Marshall Trophy it was an utterly amazing achievement. We have had the opportunity to celebrate this incredible journey with a presentation night held at the squadron. After a very busy evening showcasing to a crowd of VIPs a vast range of activities that we offer to cadets, I felt nothing but pride for the achievements that every single adult volunteer and cadet had attained by working together. When officially presented with the prestigious trophy, I know it only instilled a greater drive and motivation in everyone to truly reach for the stars and strive to be the best that we can possibly be. Having been at the squadron throughout it’s changes and adventures, I know this is only the beginning and the presentation night was a great example of just that”
Officer Commanding 209 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Jade Waring said; “ I am so proud of my cadets and the amazing staff who have all pulled together over the past years to improve and enhance the squadron’s standing both in the local community and the wider RAFAC. Last year we were nominated for this award and reached the last six and felt proud then but this year, to be joint recipients, exceeds all our expectations”.
The Marshall Trophy
Sir Arthur Marshall was born in Cambridge, England and was educated at the Perse School in Cambridge and at Tonbridge School in Kent, completing his education at Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1922, where he earned a degree in engineering.
He learned to fly in 1928, and shortly thereafter created an airstrip near his family”s Cambridge home, which by 1929 had turned into a full-fledged airfield. Six years later, Marshall and his father, David, bought the land where the present Cambridge Airport now stands and started Marshall Aerospace.
To commemorate Sir Arthur’s lifelong interest in aviation, the Marshall family donated a trophy to the Air Training Corps to be presented to “The Most Improved Squadron in the ATC over a Protracted Period of Time.”