Cadets from across Northumbria ACF converged on Amble today for a full dress rehearsal of the County's Cadet 150 celebrations.
The Army Cadet Force was founded in 1860, when the threat of invasion by the French was heightened and the British Army was spread thinly across the Empire. Step forward 150 years and we've come a long way since Octavia Hill started the first Army Cadet units in deprived areas of London.
Back then the fortunate few boys who made it into the ACF struggled along with primative equipment on a shoestring budget.
Today's ACF has almost 50,000 cadets and 10,000 adults, based in local Detachments from Lands End to John O' Groats. It uses some of the most modern equipment the British Army has to offer, including our own brand new weapon system.
Each of Northumbria ACF's four Companies staged a different activity at today's event, which ran alongside Amble Town Council's St George's Day celebrations.
Cadets from X Company gave a demonstration of PT; cadets from Y Company took a historical look at cadet dress and equipment through the ages; cadets from Z Company gave a demonstration of foot, rifle and banner drill.
Northumbria ACF also had recruiting, Duke of Edinburgh's Award and first aid stands for members of the public to view.
Unfortunately our own cadets, from W Company, were unable to stage their segment because the climbing walls they planned to use have been recalled for a safety inspection.
Cadets from Amble Detachment were on hand to ensure the smooth running of the local event - some of them were even seen to participate in the country dancing sessions on the Town Square!
Overall it was a pretty good day, which has given us a good idea of where we need to concentrate in the run up to the big Cadet 150 event in Newcastle in June.
Annual Camp, the highlight of the cadet year, begins on Saturday 14 August and we return home on Monday 23 August 2010. It's not that far away!
If you want to go to Annual Camp this year you will need to inform your Detachment Commander by Friday 21st May.
The cost of Annual Camp has been confirmed at £50 this year. The reason the price is slightly higher than usual is to cover the Adventurous Training package, which will include rafting and canoeing at an external venue.
Any cadet going to camp is to pay a non-refundable £10 deposit when they submit their name to their Detachment Commander by 21st May.
On top of that cadets will require some spending money for the ten days of camp. We recommend no more than £50, which can be paid into the Camp Bank for safe keeping (speak to your DC). There is a cash machine on camp that the cadets can use.
W Company is delighted to announce that two of our cadets have successfully completed the Senior Cadet Instructors Cadre at Stainton Camp, near Barnard Castle.
Cadet Corporals Craig Holman and Greg Hogarth have just returned from the demanding week-long residential course, which is run under the watchful eyes of the Regular Army NCOs of 11 Cadet Training Team. Craig impressed the Team so much that he was awarded the prestigious title of best cadet.
New instructors Craig and Greg, of Belford and Berwick Detachments respectively, will given extra responsibility for training junior cadets. Their qualification will allow them the opportunity to instruct up to APC 2-Star level, making a real difference to the smooth running of their Detachments. It also qualifies them for consideration for promotion.
Former TA warrant officer, SMI Lynne Bannister, W Company's new CQMS, also attended Stainton and completed the week-long Adult Initial Training Cadre.
W Company congratulates them all on their continued hard work and dedication.