The Master and Liveryman Phil Webb our Cadet Liaison Officer were fortunate enough to be able visit our affiliated sea cadets on 27th July. This was the Master’s first opportunity to see the cadets on board Wizard. The weather was kind enough to allow the assembled cadets to parade outside on the foredeck.

With around 20 cadets, a number of senior instructors and officers, all being very well turned out, the evening began. The Unit Ensign and pennant were raised up the mast accompanied by the sound of the unit bugler. Evening prayers and words of wisdom were given by the “resident padre” who volunteers his support to the unit. As a local vicar he is able to offer his guidance each week, writes some of the training schedules and drives the mini bus to events when required.

The Master was then invited to inspect the cadets, accompanied by Lt Stuart Jackson, Commanding Officer of TS Wizard. Taking his time Jamie spoke to every cadet and senior on parade before they were given fall-out so training for the evening could begin.

The themes for the evening lessons were basic first aid, bandaging injuries and the recovery position and then a session on knots and lashings. While the Master was not asked to lie down as a casualty, he did have a go at his knots. Has to be said he did quite well on them, all without getting all tied up.

We were able to see what damage had been caused by their recent roof leak and talk first hand of the challenges ahead. The roof repairs had to be self-funding with a 60% grant from the Sea Cadet Association, the balance being found inhouse. This all had to be achieved before internal damage could be repaired under their insurance cover. As with all insurance companies the claim only covered the damaged area and the extra pots of paint to finish off the job needed to be bought. Luckily the affected area could be taped off and training carried on in other parts of the building.

Unlike the Army and Air Cadets who are funded by the MOD, the Sea Cadets are a charitable organisation and do not receive funding in the same way.  Wizard has a ceiling of 30 cadets with 27 on the books and a regular attendance of 15-20. Each cadet pays a small amount each training night which is the Units only regular income, supplemented by fund-raising events.

All too soon training was wrapped up and the cadets formed up for final parade, where the Master was asked to present a number of promotion and achievement awards to several cadets. He thanked everyone for a such an enjoyable evening and was blown away with everything he had seen and heard from his chats to all the cadets.

The Master’s final duty for the evening was to present a cheque to the Commanding Officer on behalf of the Lightmonger’s. This was an extra special one, which along with our annual donation included a donation from funds raised by Phillip Hyde’s family in his memory. Those funds raised were shared equally between our two affiliated Cadet Units and our two affiliated Schools, all of which Phill was a strong supporter of.

The cadets were then dismissed with an “Officer on Parade” salute and then marched off. We retired to the wardroom for a welcome tea and tiffin before a long drive home. Our sincere thanks to Lt Jackson for a very enjoyable evening and for all the hard work done by his dedicated team and to all the cadets on parade for making us feel so very welcome.