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BRENTWOOD SEA CADETS - 80th Anniversary Celebration and Cadet Awards Evening

The 80th Birthday Cake.

Brentwood Sea Cadets winners on the London Area Offshore Award 2022.

The team at work building the Quadcopter.

The quadcopter designed and built by the team from Brentwood Sea Cadets for the princely sum of £20.01 enabling them to be runners up in the National Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge 2022.

At the helm to a brighter future.

POC Miles Hayward, winner on the Westminster Award 2022.

On Thursday 2nd February IPM David Laxton, Court Assistant Richard Martin and Past Master Michael Wren had the privilege of being guests at the celebrations to commemorate the founding of Brentwood Sea Cadet Unit, TS St. Vincent 80 years ago in 1943. It was a packed house including the mayor of Brentwood, the local Army Cadet CO together with family members of the assembled cadets and two gentlemen who had been Sea Cadets in Brentwood in the 1950's.

It has been a most successful year for the Unit following the restrictions of COVID and under the leadership of Sub Lt. Sam Hayward and her team of helpers there were many awards to be presented. The guest of honour Commander James Nesbit, London Area Officer for the Marine Society & Sea Cadets (MSCC) had much hand shaking to contend with in presenting a wide range of cups, trophies and certificates to the high achievers TS St. Vincent has created over the past twelve months.

Apart from local successes there were two national awards gained that the Unit can be very proud of. PO Cadet Miles Hayward attended the House of Lords in December to receive the CVQO UK Westminster Award 2022 after a tough year of challenges and expeditions. He was the winner from a field of over 9000 entries from across the nation that included young people from not just the Sea Cadets but also from, Air Cadets, Scouts, Combined School Cadet Forces, Police Cadets and Fire Cadets to name but a few.

Another proud moment was when a group of five came second in the National Raytheon Quadcopter 2022 Challenge. After coming first in the regional event in Harlow they finished second in the finals at RAF Cranwell only being beaten by a school from Northern Ireland. What was quite remarkable was that the team all came from different schools thus having limited time to design and build their 'Copter' whereas most of the other entrants were from schools with a much more time and resources to prepare.

After the awards presentation thanks were given by Sub Lt. Sam Hayward to the ‘Bowyers’ for their continued support in offshore activities that enabled nineteen to take part last year. It has become a large part of the personal development of the Cadets at Brentwood and has instilled tremendous self -confidence and belief for all those taking part. It also resulted in the Unit winning the London Area Offshore Award.

Later in the evening at the reception we had the opportunity to meet personally with all the Cadets and get first hand reports of the wide range of activities they had enjoyed during 2022. In one conversation with a Cadet accompanied by her grandmother, who was her guardian, the lady could not speak more highly of the Bowyers saying that being able to go to sea with the help of the Bowyers had given her granddaughter a real purpose in life so much so that she had been accepted as an apprentice in the Royal Navy.

In summing up the evening Commander Nesbit in his address praised both the CO and all at TS St. Vincent for all their high achievements during 2022 and was justifiably proud to have such a wonderful unit under his keep.

Michael Wren
Past Master

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