A Sutton grandad rekindled memories of the past when he made a flying visit to the Air Training Corps 68 years after he first joined himself.
Derek Young 82 visited 1300 Squadron in Sutton 68 years after he first joined the same squadron as a 14-year-old in 1950.
Mr Young talked to the young cadets at the squadrons base on Lamas Road Sutton about his experiences in the ATC (then the Nottinghamshire wing) and how things have changed since then.
He said; “My wife saw a post on councillor Lee Anderson’s Facebook page about the ATC and suggested I visited them as a veteran. I had a great time talking to the young cadets and I shared a lot of memories of my time in the ATC.
The teenager was attracted to the ATC because he was sports mad and dreamed of flying. He had never been on holiday and looked forward to camp visits.
His first flight was in April 1950 at RAF Syerston near Newark. He said: “When I joined I was too small for my parachute and they had to carry me because I couldn’t walk to the plane.”
The ATC was a wonderful time - I made a lot of new friends and we had a wonderful commanding officer
We went on trips to RAF Leeming and went on an air sea rescue launch at Bristol and spent time at RAF Finningley.
“My most exciting flight was in a twin-winged Tiger Moth at Finningley we were looping the loop and he went into a tail spin . I also flew in a Wellington Bomber. We learned morse code and the theory of flight.”
He took up boxing and represented the squadron in the ATC national championships at the Royal Albert hall where he won a bronze medal in 1952. The young cadet never became a pilot, though he joined the RAF for four years as an armourer. He reached the rank of NCO corporal.
Flt Lt Patrick Roddy commanding officer said: “Derek is a absolutely brilliant chap to listen to . he brought down photos for them to look at and his bronze boxing medal. They all said how much they enjoyed it when he spoke to them.
There is quite a contrast from when he was in the ATC. The centre is holding an open day on February 19 where youngsters can see what the ATC can offer.
at the squadron based on Lamas Road, Sutton in Ashfield. (Facebook Event Link https://www.facebook.com/events/408093992962902/ )
Flt Lt Roddy added: “We can accept children from the age of 12 (In year 8 at school) up to 17 to join as a cadet. We are also looking for new members of staff too, absolutely no military background is required, purely an interest in giving back to the community. Any training or qualifications they wish to gain can be done while in the organisation. There is also no requirements for members of staff to wear a military uniform they can attend as civilians.”