Friday 6 May saw the CCF’s Biennial inspection. Our inspecting officer was Air Vice Marshal (Retired) Nigel Maddox. After initially meeting the OCs of the sections the Air Vice Marshal listened to lecturettes delivered with panache by selected cadets talking on topics ranging from Exercise Combat Cadet, RAF course, RN field day and DofE. He then went to see the contingent on parade and inspect the quarter guard and the front rank of each section. Whilst the warm sunshine was lovely for the spectators, it was tough for our younger cadets to have to stand still for so long; they coped remarkably well.
With the contingent inspected and fallen out to their duties the Air Vice Marshal, guests and spectators were treated to displays by our corps of drums and Army section. Senior cadet Verity Jackson then led a tour of the cadets’ training activities, taking in the zip wire, obstacle course and low wires along with air rifle shooting, cooking in the field, signals and much else besides. The Air Vice Marshal even went head-to-head with Mr Tetley on the paintball stand; diplomatically, the Headmaster let him win.
With training complete, everyone reconvened in the Dome to see the much-anticipated RAF drill display. With a large crowd waiting in anticipation the lights went off and music from ‘Thriller’ began. In total darkness the drill team, each member lit up with fluorescent lights, performed their display with no words of command and without fault. Brilliant: it was something no one had seen before and was definitely worth the wait.
The Gun Run, the finale to the Trower Trophy, brought the day to a dramatic close: 1 Platoon from the Army section were the victors by a whisker, though not by enough to win the Trower Trophy outright. RAF’s A Flight and 1 Platoon share the Trophy this year. At final parade the Air Vice Marshal praised the contingent as a model of professionalism and enthusiasm, and in turn was delighted to receive gifts from Verity to thank him for his time and very generous words. All in all it was a wonderful day; once again our cadets did us proud!