Monthly Archives: November 2012

Experience the Magic!

Longridge Activity Centre

I was very privileged to have recently been invited to visit Longridge Activity Centre in Marlow, which is set in a unique riverside location on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Longridge is a premier, year round river –side water sports and activity Centre for young people, individuals and families. Its prime function is to provide fully inclusive, affordable outdoor activities for all. It is truly a remarkable Centre!!

As well as 12 acres of beautiful water meadows it has its own island, “Taylor Island”, for the ultimate Swallows and Amazons experience. Taylor Island also gives you a sheltered backwater in which young people and families can experience the river with confidence.

See the Longridge Video.


The longridge Centre nestles in a bend on the River Thames, a little downstream from the town of Marlow, leading to a strong tradition in water sports, and has produced many excellent oarsman and women, including Sir Steven Redgrave, who is arguably the finest Olympian of all time, winning Gold medals at 5 successive Olympic Games.

Longridge was established as a canoeing, rowing and sailing centre 50 years ago by the Scout Association and, following on from this sound ethical background, the Centre is now a registered charity, dedicated to helping young people from all walks of life and abilities to develop water skills as well as leadership, self-discipline, confidence and respect.

What does it offer

The Centre has that much to offer it is so difficult to know where to start. There are Field and Environmental Studies, Activity Courses, Leadership Training, Outdoor Experiences, Summer Camps, Family Activity Days and even Corporate Programmes. There is also a Youth Club for young people to make new friends and socialise. To see the Course programmes and activities please visit.

Boating fun at Longridge


The accommodation options include 350 camping spaces, 20 bunk house beds and 9 rooms with ensuite facilities. The accommodation is complemented with flexible catering options, allowing groups to self-cater or meals can be provided from the on-site café. There is also a range of well-equipped training and conference rooms.

The karting track at Longridge


With an excellent safety record, Longridge is recognised as being a leading training centre for young people and their leaders. They are LOTC (Learning Outside The Classroom) and AALA (Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority) accredited and in addition are approved by BCU (British Canoe Union), RYA (Royal Yachting Association), British Rowing and are a 2012 pre-games training centre as well as being recognised by Buckinghamshire County Council as an outdoor activity centre and the Duke of Edinburgh Award as an Operating Authority. All our instructors are fully trained to BCU, BR, RYA and AALA standards and all staff have undergone the statutory enhanced CRB checks to confirm their suitability of work with young people.

Longridge is full of fun, learning and character, a fatastic Centre well worth a visit!!!

For more information visit

Longridge, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 1RE.
Registered Charity No. 1121239 Phone: 01628 483252 Email:


Buckinghamshire Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards

Buckinghamshire Air Training Corps Citations

Thursday 1st November 2012 saw the annual investiture of the Lord Lieutenants Cadets and the presentations of Reserve Forces Commendations for Buckinghamshire.

Each year a cadet is appointed from the Air Training Corps in order to assist the Lord Lieutenant at a variety of Royal and civic functions held throughout the county.

This year’s presentations were again held at the Oculus AVDC Chambers, Aylesbury.

The badges of office and commendation being presented by Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Bt DL.

Herts & Bucks Wing member who received a Lord Lieutenants Commendation was –

Flight Lieutenant Ray ROSSITER RAFVR(T) – OC 2532 (Milton Keynes) Sqn

The Bucks ATC Lord Lieutenants cadet representative for 2012/13 was awarded to Cadet Warrant Officer Alex FINDLOW of 871 Penn Sqn with a belated award being presented to Cadet Flight Sergeant Rebecca DAVIES of 1365 (Aylesbury) Sqn who was the nominated cadet during the busy year of 2012 at various Queens Diamond Jubilee functions.

After the Commendation Ceremony, Squadron Leader Davies said:

“It is worthy that our staff members are honoured for the large amount of work that they complete throughout the year, much of this work goes un-noticed and without any formal recognition. Without the work that they do, be it with administration, teaching, leadership, sports or expedition training, we as an organisation would not be so successful and provide the great opportunities that we do for our young cadets. The certificates of merit for staff and the badges of office for the cadets are a fitting tribute to their many years of dedicated service to the Corps”.

Flight Lieutenant Ray ROSSITER RAFVR(T)

Ray’s association with the ‘blue’ uniform has been since he joined the Air Training Corps as a cadet at the age of 13 years and 3 months in 1963, a truly amazing 49 years.

He enlisted into the Royal Air Force in 1967 and served at various units within the UK together with three overseas tours, namely Germany twice and a 12 month tour in Goose Bay Canada. He duly rose to the Senior NCO Rank of Chief Technician.

Whilst in the RAF, Ray was responsible for various projects which included team leader on the Puma fleet modification in preparation for Gulf War 1and project managed the relocation of the Electrical Training Sqn from RAF Halton to RAF Cosford. Whilst serving at RAF Halton, he filled the role of Deputy Air Cadet Liaison Officer for 4 years, during which he relocated the ATC camp accommodation to an improved block with better facilities. He continued his support for the Cadet Organisation as an RAF service helper when his daughter joined 610 Chester Sqn in 1989. He then later moved to 2409 Halton Sqn upon posting and then onto 2457 Tring Sqn.

F/L Rossiter’s commitment to the Air Cadet organisation over a great many years is truly commendable. He is a highly motivated, committed, friendly person who is eager to assist where and when he can and is willing to step up to the mark and to take on the extra responsibility as Officer Commanding. He is a great source of military information gained through his many life experiences and gives sound and solid advice when called upon

Air Training Corps group photo with Flt Lt Ray Rossiter holding his certificate.

Cadet Warrant Officer Alex FINDLOW – 871 (Penn) Sqn

CWO Findlow is currently the Best Male Cadet in Herts & Bucks Wing. The road to this significant achievement has not always been an easy one and is a real testament to his determination, effort and commitment to the aims and ideals of the Air Training Corps.

Always striving for success, CWO Findlow led the squadron to victory in two of the three major Wing competitions of 2011 and narrowly missed victory in the third. These results are a tribute to the leadership, skill and energy of CWO Findlow and he can be justifiably proud of his role.

Having been selected for prestigious Junior Leaders course in September 2011, he graduated in April 2012 with a continued desire to join the armed forces. His other achievements in shooting, paragliding, fieldcraft, drill and other areas – in addition to his excellent performance on the Junior Leaders course – all speak well of his ability to succeed in a military career.

CWO Findlow is a truly outstanding cadet and is the very embodiment of what the ATC looks for in its most senior cadet leaders. Herts & Bucks Wing is therefore proud to nominate CWO Findlow as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Buckinghamshire.

CWO Alex Findlow and FS Rebecca Davies.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Rebecca DAVIES – 1365 (Aylesbury) Sqn

Cadet FS Davies is currently the senior female cadet on 1365 (Aylesbury) Squadron and reaches the culmination of her cadet career in January 2012 when she will become an adult Civilian Instructor.

Having left the Aylesbury High School, she regularly returns to the Squadron from Bristol University where she is in her second year studying Forensic Biology.

FS Davies has attended 7 annual camps during her career both in the UK and at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus and RAF Gibraltar. She was judged as the Best Cadet at RAF Waddington in 2009 and was the Best Cadet NCO at RAF Valley in 2012 where she was rewarded with an hour flight in a Hawk T Mk1 jet.

Upon completion of her initial glider training at RAF Halton in September 2009, she was selected to continue as a flight staff cadet and gained further flying training to advanced level including 5 further solo flights. Continuing her love of flying, she was one of only four cadets selected from the Herts & Bucks Wing in July 2011 for a flying scholarship at Tayside Aviation, Dundee. There she undertook training on the Grob 119 Heron light aircraft and soloed within 10 hours on the aircraft type. She underwent further flying training and was the only cadet from the Wing to be selected for the pilot navigation scheme at Boscombe Down. In August 2012 she completed 8, navigation and cross country exercises on the Tutor aircraft and was again successful.

Cadet FS Davies is an outstanding cadet who has achieved a great deal during her long and illustrious career. She is a friendly, committed and mature young lady who was a worthy nomination and replacement as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Buckinghamshire earlier this year. She represented the Corps at the Henley Business School for the visit of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh

For more information contact

70th Anniversary

Caterham Sea Cadets

Caterham Sea Cadets received its warrant on the 19th August 1942 and after a busy summer of  fundraising, boating and training we finally got around to celebrating this 70th Anniversary on the 29th of September 2012.  TS Zephyr was opened to the public for an afternoon tea which was attended by a number of ex cadets,  ex staff and local residents.  The unit was decorated in a WWII theme with taped windows, sand bags and home-made bunting and our guests had the opportunity to sample some tea-time treats made from ration recipes.

Ships Company founded 1942


Chairmans Quote “It was lovely to see our one of our previous Commanding Officers face light up as he recognised some of his cadets who were now grown women with children of their own”

That evening a party was held for the current ships company and their families.  Fancy dress in the style of the unit décor was the order of the evening and cadets and staff rose to the occasion.  An excellent disco and lighting was provided by AC Harry Castle and everyone danced into the night.

Ships Company on it’s 70th Anniversary

Cadet LC Frost said “It was a great night, can’t wait for the next one”

Caterham Sea Cadets parade on Tuesdays and Fridays 7pm to 9.30pm, for further information please contact


Ahoy there, it’s our birthday!!

Guildford Sea Cadets

Guildford  Sea Cadets have celebrated their 70th Anniversary with a special ceremony.

The group was founded in October 1942, becoming the 164th unit to be formed in the country. There are now more than 400 units nationwide and the town’s Cadets boast a membership of around 65 cadets, which includes boys and girls aged from 10 to 18.

The unit began life at a parade at Northmead Senior Boys School, with 90 young people attending. They met at some small huts at the bottom of Lawn Road before the existing buildings in Dapdune Wharf were used in September 1962. Dame Vera Lynn was the principal guest at the opening ceremony the following year.

Last week the 70-year milestone was marked with celebrations at their current meeting place, beginning with an inspection of the Cadets, a tour of the unit and the chance for visitors to meet the youngsters and staff.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colin Whitear was awarded a rare certificate of commendation from the Captain of the Sea Cadet Corps, recognising that the Guildford unit has performed in the “Best traditions” during the year, upholding the values of the corps and “Providing outstanding training and leadership for Cadets and Volunteers.

High Sheriff of Surrey, Dr Karin Sehmer presents Lt (SCC) Colin Whitear RNR, the Commanding Officer of Guildford Sea Cadet Unit with a commendation for the Unit from the Captain, Sea Cadets. Cdr Mike Evans RN, Chairman of the Unit Management Committee looks on.

The High Sheriff of Surrey, Karin Sehmer, presented it to Lt Whitear, and also gave the unit burgee – the Sea Cadet’s 2012 Efficiency Award.

The awards adhere to a national standard and is only given to the top 25% of units in the country. This was the town’s sixth burgee in succession.

Other important guests included vice admiral Peter Dunt, President of Guildford Sea Cadets, Lieutenant Commander Kevin Milligan, Surrey area district officer, Richard Smith, Surrey area district chairman, Margaret Reeder from Sillrey Care Trust and Hugh Clarke, past chairman president of the Cadets. Representatives from the local business community and Guildford Borough Council also attended.

High Sheriff of Surrey, Dr Karin Sehmer with Cadets of Guildford Sea Cadet Unit who are proudly displaying the Efficiency Burgee, presented by Dr Schmer.

Commander Mike Evans, chairman of the Guildford Sea Cadets, said: ”In 1942 it was very,much geared towards getting some form of military training before entering the Armed Forces. Nowadays the emphasis isn’t on recruiting for the Armed Forces, it’s about making responsible adults using a maritime curriculum.

We teach them self-worth, being a member of a team, team leadership and development of skills.

He said since  Lt Whitear took on his role more than 16 years ago, none of the Cadets have been in trouble with the law. In the last 18 months, the membership has increased by about 25% and more volunteer staff are needed to help at the two sessions per week.

Mr Evans added: “Each Sea Cadet unit is a standalone charity and has to raise its own funds as there is no direct funding from the Ministry of Defence, unlike the Army and Air cadets. We’re always on the look out for funds as running the unit day-to-day costs about £18,000 a year:’

To continue to celebrate the Anniversary year, the unit is looking for donations to buy a second minibus, refurbish its galley and replace some boating equipment.

For more information, visit