T.S Glory, Horsham Sea Cadets
During the summer months, you may come across five young people rowing across a tranquil lake near Mannings Heath. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it is likely that all the boat's occupants have at least a basic understanding of seamanship skills, and perhaps some of them have even been on sailing courses.
If anything goes wrong, they can always turn to the Bosun's Call...
For these young people are with T.S Glory, the Horsham Sea Cadets group. Unlike most young people, they know how to tie a Bowline, know what happened at the Battle of Jutland, and the concept of polishing and caring for uniform is not alien to them.
The Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) is a national youth organisation which is sponsored by the Royal Navy and is open to young people aged 10-18. Some 30,000 cadets and adult volunteers are currently involved in the organisation.
Cadets follow similar ranks, traditions, values and ethos as their parent service.
The Horsham Sea Cadets have their own unit base at the rear of Broadbridge Heath Village Hall, meeting on Monday and Thursday evenings. Junior cadets (10-12 years-old) attend on a Monday evening too (6:45–8.30pm) and seniors attend both nights (7.30-9.30pm) At the age of 18, you can stay as Cadet Instructor.
The Sea Cadets offers adventure activities with a naval theme, including sailing and navigation, but it also helps develop the social skills and responsibilities of young people. The Horsham group can take advantage of a purpose-built camp at Middle Hill near Colgate too, where sea cadets visit from all over the country to attend camps.
If you are interested in joining or would like to volunteer to be a management team leader call 01403 273956 or visit www.sea-cadets.org/horsham
But before you do, read the views of some of the cadets and team leaders of T.S Glory...
Junior Cadet Amy Griffiths: I haven't been here long, only about six months. A couple of my friends were cadets and told me that it's a good thing to do and that I should try it out, so I did. I took part in the Remembrance Day parade in Horsham, with all the other sea cadets, as well as cadets from the Air Force and the Army. I prefer being a sea cadet to something like the Brownies or the Girl Guides as that's all a bit girly for me and I'm a bit of a tomboy. I don't have any family who were in the Navy, but I have always loved water. I love swimming and even love just standing out in the rain, so this is perfect for me. I'd definitely like to join the Navy one day!
Junior Cadet Murphy Arliss: I've always wanted to join the Navy, as I know people that are in the Navy, so I thought the sea cadets would be a good first step. I like the idea of having good discipline and doing a job where every day brings something different, rather than a normal office job. We've done lots of activities that I have enjoyed; things like first aid training and learning about nautical skills. It is all information you can take out into the world. The lessons are exciting too as the topics change every week. I used to be with the Cubs but I find the things that I am doing here are much more fun and more suited to me as I'd like to join the Navy one day.
Junior Cadet Edward Cozens: My grandad was quite a high rank in the Navy, and he has told me stories of his adventures. He taught me some things about knots and tying things, and told me about the Bosun's Call. I use his Bosun's whistle, which is more than 60 years old now. He gave it to me as I said I wanted to join the sea cadets. I think he is proud that I am a sea cadet. I have been here for about a year now, although I am the youngest cadet in the group, and have been out on things like the poppy day parade. But I prefer the days we go out of our base. I'm looking forward to the summer as I really want to go out on one of the cadet camps.
Chairman John Dale: I joined Horsham Sea Cadets in about 1950, when I was about 12-years-old. I was here until I went into the Navy in 1953. Shortly before I joined, they had the Coronation fleet review at Spithead, and I took part as a cadet. Back then, the Horsham cadets were based behind the Drill Hall on Denne Road in a
Nissen hut. It was passed its best, so we went to a new site on Langhurstwood Road, which was purgatory, before we moved into one of the old army camp buildings where Tesco is now. We were doing quite well there; I remember we had a 50-seater bus that I used to drive to pick up all the cadets. When the supermarket started to talk to the council about the site, we were displaced, but thankfully somebody felt they should find us a place and put us at the back of the village hall here in Broadbridge Heath.
Leading Cadet Kate Hamer: You join the cadets as a New Entry, then you go through the ranks as a First Class Cadet, Cadet, Ordinary Cadet, Able Cadet and then Leading Cadet. At each level you have to have assessments and complete certain qualifications. So the Ordinary Cadets I am teaching at the moment need to pass three proficiency tests and one must be waterborne. They should have an understanding of seamanship skills already. I follow a syllabus, which involves major battles of the Navy too. It's quite hard to keep them all entertained and interested, and it's a big responsibility for a 17-year-old, but I love doing it and it has helped me a lot. I do want to be a Warfare Officer as I've always wanted to join the navy. As I have met high ranking officers in the Sea Cadets and the Navy, I am more convinced that it is what I want to do.
CO Vicky Milligan: I used to be a cadet myself, but left when I went to University. A year or so after graduating I joined again as a member of staff. I really enjoyed being a cadet when I was young so it's nice to give something back. Plus, I can join in all the fun activities that the cadets do! A lot of the time during winter we have to stay indoors, teaching nautical skills, first aid training, caring for their uniform, and practising the colours ceremony. But in the summer the cadets here regularly go rowing as we have a rowing boat on Hammer Pond in Lower Beeding. They can go away on camps and on courses for canoeing, power boating and things like that with cadets from other units. We also participate in a lot of community activities, such as the Remembrance parade. The Sea Cadets, as a national organisation, has two 35 foot yachts that can be used, so last summer I took five cadets up to Scotland to use one of them. It was great fun, the cadets earned a Confident Crew certificate and of course it gave them the chance to put into practice the skills they learn here. Not many sea cadets actually end up joining the Navy. If they express an interest, then the Navy careers officer comes in to see them, but that doesn't happen that often as this is not a recruiting organisation. It's for young people who like doing exciting things.
Leading Cadet Jake Howard: I'm not pursuing a career in the Navy at the moment. I went to the training centre and said what my interests are and to find out if the Navy could fulfil them, but there was nothing that fitted with what I wanted to do. So for now I've had to rule out the Navy. But what the cadets do for me is build generic skills. There are opportunities that I wouldn't get anywhere else – team building, navigation, boat work, sailing, rowing, power boating, seamanship. I've done courses with the cadets in sailing, rowing, and I even have a European-valid licence for a displacement power boat. I've been here for about three years now. A friend of the family came here with her friends, and she was enjoying it, so I came along too as it seemed to be a good opportunity. My friend has since left the cadets but now I know everyone here, so it's fine, as there is a good social scene. It's one big family really, although an odd family! Being a sea cadet has changed me. I can barely recognise myself from who I was three and half years ago. I didn't socialise with anyone and had no confidence at all. If I was sat here being interviewed back then, I would be a stuttering mess, but now I can talk to people of all ages and all backgrounds.
Officer in Charge Chris Ditton: We've always been up and down in terms of membership, but it is hard to recruit as we are out of the town so people don't know where we are. A lot of people come here through word of mouth, or cadets will bring friends along. The sea cadets has a lot to offer, not just in terms of discipline which comes from the colours, the parades and various responsibilities, but with the fun activities you can take part in. You can learn to cook, sail, go orienteering, and every Thursday in the summer we take the rowing boat out. During the winter, we can still do things like Morse code. The cadets sit at opposite ends and with torches we relay messages. This year is the 100th anniversary of World War One of course, and we are learning about that too. Gradually they pick up badges and progress through the ranks. They have to fill in charts with different modules and once they've completed one they receive the badge.
For more details visit http://www.sea-cadets.org/horsham/home.aspx