South West Region

The Torch flies across Dorset, Wiltshire and overseas!

from contributions by Flight Lieutenant Roger Starling, Wing Media Communications Officer, and Flight Lieutenant Leighton Jenkins, 7 Overseas Jersey Squadron.   The Torch arrived at Bournemouth Aviation Museum for the ceremonial hand-over from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing. The Deputy Mayor of Christchurch was present for a parade of cadets from local squadrons and four Royal Air Force Association branches which are keen supporters of the Air Cadets also sent representatives. dw14470ajn30aug16 The Torch and a contingent of Dorset cadets visited the Dorset Police helicopter, climbed to the top Christchurch Priory where an anniversary tree was planted on our 50th anniversary in 1991, visited Bournemouth Beach and was “flown” along the pier zipwire in the presence of the Mayor & Mayoresss of Bournemouth and, finally, was taken to the headquarters of two original Air Defence Cadet Corps squadrons, 149 Poole and 130 Bournemouth. dw21729rogers23aug16 dw31769prioryalanb23aug16   On Bournemouth's pier to beach zipwire .....   Escorted by Sgt Ella Taylor (18) from Christchurch Squadron, the Torch was flown in a Tutor of no 2 Air Experience Flight to the Wing Headquarters at MoD Boscombe Down where it was received by the Station Commander. dw54500a dw63013alanb23aug16 dw71930ianbishop25aug16       Next day, 75 cadets and staff assembled for a sunrise parade at Stonehenge, probably the most famous and instantly recognisable location in the United Kingdom, where English Heritage kindly arranged special access to the Stones and a dramatic sunrise, making it a very special occasion. dw8a1812rogers24aug16           "Well, the Torch came to No. 7 Overseas Jersey Squadron, part of Dorset Wiltshire Wing.  "What a day!" dw9723leighton01sep16 Arriving in style, courtesy of Flybe, the Torch was greeted at arrivals by the squadron band and whisked down to St .Brelade's Bay to take part in a flotilla of small boats, joined by cadets from Victoria College CCF and annual camp visitors from 2467 Nailsea and other squadrons in Bristol Gloucestershire Wing. The Torch then travelled to Les Minquiers, an offshore reef and the most southerly point in the British Isles, cadets and staff enjoying a high speed thrill riding in "Wet Wheels" catamaran that normally gives disabled young people an experience of the sea. dw91a75thleightonj24aug16"Returning to Corbiere Lighthouse and abseiling, we saw a pod of dolphins." The day finished with a barbecue, volleyball and a group photograph with the 75th Anniversary logo raked into the sand by Andy Coutanche, a local artist. "Many thanks to all, especially Flybe, Dina Cook and Andy Le Seelleur from Wet Wheels, to Andy Coutanche and Jersey Sandman, to Lt (SCC)  Andre Bonjour from TS Jersey and the fantastic chefs of Nailsea Squadron!" Wing Commander Vanessa Toth, Officer Commanding Dorset Wiltshire Wing said: “We were delighted to host the Torch because we have connections from the early experiments with balloons and the dawn of heavier-than-air machines and the pioneers of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.” Fittingly, the Torch visited the former RAF Upavon (now Trenchard Lines) and the recently restored Trenchard museum before being handed to representatives of Bristol Gloucestershire Air Cadets at Hullavington. ENDS Information 'Upavon Airfield was originally created for pilots of the military and naval wings of the newly formed Royal Flying Corps (RFC), and became home to the army Central Flying School (CFS). Captain Godfrey M Paine, RN, became the first commandant, with Major Hugh Trenchard being his assistant. Trenchard later became the Chief of Air Staff, and subsequently became known as the "father of the Royal Air Force".' Source: The early Air Cadet squadrons re-formed in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch in 1941 were originally squadrons of the Air Defence Cadet Corps in 1939 and can trace their origin back to 1928 and the Bournemouth Young Airmen’s League, the first air cadet organisation to be formed in Britain.
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