Sunday, 28 December 2014

2014 Squadron Presentation Evening

On Thursday, 18th December 361 (Gateshead) Squadron held its Annual Presentation Evening at the Gateshead Army Reserve Centre. The event was attended by 35 cadets and around 45 guests and a wide range of awards were awarded most of which were a closely guarded secret until they were announced on the night.

The photographs show a selection of the awards which were presented to squadron members.

Best Cadet of 2014 - Cdt Robinson

The Ray Magerison Memorial Award 2014 - Cpl Dawson

Best Standard of Drill by a Cadet - Cdt Lane

Best Standard of Drill by an NCO - Cpl Dixon
Promotion to Flight Sergeant - Flt Sgt Hogg

Promotion to Sergeant - Sgt Purdy

Promotion to Corporal - Cpl Lane
Promotion to Corporal - Cpl Vasey

Musician of the Year - Cpl McPake

Best Flight 2014 - won by Victor Flight

Cadets and Guests

The Squadron Band played a selection of seasonal music

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An end of an era (but start of a new one...)

Last Thursday was CWO Beth Ainsley's last parade as a cadet member of 361 squadron as she reached her 20th birthday. 
CWO Beth Ainsley (on the left) with Sgt Josh Gordon and Cpl Ellishia Clelland
Beth who has been a cadet at the squadron for six and a half years will continue to pass on her knowledge and experience as a civilian instructor at Gateshead.
CWO Ainsley pictured last Thursday with other members of the squadron

Friday, 21 November 2014

Carol Vorderman Is First Female Honorary Ambassador for RAF Air Cadets

Carol Vorderman has “flown in” as the new Ambassador for the RAF Air Cadets – she becomes the first female honorary Group Captain ambassador to the organisation.
Click here for the full story on the Royal Air Force website.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday 2014

On Sunday the 9th November, 361 Squadron members took part in the Remembrance Parade and Service at Gateshead War Memorial.
Members of the squadron immediately after the parade
Wreaths were laid by CWO Ainsley and Cpl Purdy on behalf of 361 Squadron and SSAFA and the salute was taken during the March Past by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear.
The 361 squadron band, led by Drum Major, Cdt Vasey, led the Parade and March-Past.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Autumn Camp - RAF Valley

37 cadets from Durham/Northumberland (including members of 361 squadron) and Central and East Yorkshire Wings attended camp at RAF Valley on Anglesey in North Wales from the 25th October to 1st November.
They took part in a wide range of activities including visiting the two resident Hawk squadrons, learning about the role of RAF Sea King Search and Rescue helicopters, and Mountain Rescue Teams, Karting and a High Ropes course.

One lucky cadet from the camp was selected for a flight in a Hawk T2, becoming the first female cadet in the Air Cadet Organisation to fly in this version of the aircraft with her exciting flight including aerobatics and taking control of the aircraft.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wing Cadet Drill Course

Durham/Northumberland Wing recently held its first Cadet Drill Course which was attended by seven specially selected cadet NCOs and organised by the Wing Warrant Officer, WO Vicky Farrimond (seen in the centre of the front row in the photograph).
Cadet NCOs on the course had to attend a selection day prior to the course and were assessed for their dress, deportment, drill and instructional skills.

Amongst those cadets NCOs selected for the course was Sgt Sam Hogg from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron (seen second from the right on the back row) who will now use the skills that he learnt to instruct cadets at Gateshead squadron to further improve their drill standard.

Friday, 10 October 2014

361 Squadron's Newest Corporal

Congratulations to Corporal Owen McPake who has just become the newest member of the 361 Squadron NCO team.

Owen who is also a member of both the 361 Squadron and Durham/Northumberland Wing bands will be a great asset to the squadron in the months to come.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Battle of Britain Parade in Durham

Last Sunday the annual Battle of Britain Parade and Service took place at Durham Cathedral and the Palace Green.

 Over 250 cadets from Durham/Northumberland Wing took part in both the service and parade and music was provided by the Wing Band.

WW1 commemorations also took place in Durham on both Saturday and Sunday and the Durham/Northumberland Wing recruitment trailer, which was  located on Palace Green throughout the weekend, was visited by two members of the Durham Light Infantry Re-enactment Society. The re-enactor on the right (in WW1 uniform) is actually Cpl Jack Dawson from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron who swapped his Air Cadet blue uniform for khaki for the occasion.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Corporal Clelland's Music BTEC

Cpl Elisha Clelland was recentely presented with her Music BTEC Extended Certificate in which she achieved a Distinction which is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at A* level.

Members of the Air Cadet Organisation can qualify for a number of BTEC awards in a range of subjects including Aeronautical Studies, Public Services and Music.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Recent Presentations

On Tuesday, 20th August Sgt Sam Hogg was presented with his Wing Marksman Badge, Cdt Owen McPake received his Master Cadet Badge and Cdt Callum Tearneywas awarded with a Leading Cadet Badge.
From left to right: Cdt McPake, Sgt Hogg & Cdt Tearney
 Last Night, Cdt William Fletcher received a Squadron Marksman Badge and Cdt Owen McPake was presented with a Wing Blue for his participation in the Tri-Service Band which performed at the First World War Commemoration Parade at Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.

Cdt Fletcher & Cdt McPake

Our Recent Bag Packs

The squadron recently took part in two bag packs at the Asda stores at the Metro Centre in Gateshead and the Galleries Shopping Centre in Washington.

Cadets worked hard on both days and raised over £1,000 for squadron funds.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Support our Bag Pack at Asda Metro Centre

Come and support us at Asda at the Metro Centre in Gateshead where we will be bag packing on Saturday, 2nd and Sunday, 3rd August.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pretty Muddy in Newcastle

Last Saturday cadets from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron helped with marshalling at the Pretty Muddy event at Newcastle Racecourse which is an annual women's charity obstacle course in aid of Cancer Research UK.

During the event, which had around 3,000 registered participants, cadets spent the day encouraging runners over a range of nine obstacles including scramble nets, mud pits, climbing frames and an inflatable slide into a pool full of mud!

Much money was raised on the day for this very worthwhile charity and the cadets were thanked for their help during the event which could not take place without the help of a crew of volunteers.

Pictured below are three cadets from the squadron (two wearing their official volunteer T-Shirts) at the end of the day in front of the final obstacle of the course.
From left to right: Cdt Owen McPake, Sgt Sam Hogg and Cdt William Fletcher

Monday, 14 July 2014

Reduction in Air Cadet Joining Age

With effect from 1st August 2014 the regulations specifying cadet joining age will change.

A young person who is over 12 years of age becomes eligible to join the Air Cadet Organisation from the start of school year 8 in England and Wales. 

This change will allow young people in the same year group at school to join the Air Cadets at the same time rather than having to wait until they are 13 years of age.

(In Scotland a young person will become eligible to join in year S2 and in Northern Ireland, year 9.)

In addition any young person becomes eligible to join when they reach 13 years of age regardless of their school year.

A person cannot join after their 17th birthday.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

361 Squadron Annual Formal Inspection

A reminder to all 361 squadron members that the Wing Commander's Annual Formal Inspection takes place on Thursday, 3rd July.

All cadets are expected to attend on that night. (Dress is Wedgwood Shirt and Tie.)

Monday, 2 June 2014

Beating the Retreat at Edinburgh Castle

Following a week long band camp at Barry Buddon near Dundee, Cadet Owen McPake from 361 Squadron was selected to take part in a Tri-Service Beating the Retreat ceremony at Edinburgh Castle.

Cadets from Durham/Northumberland Wing Air Training Corps, the Army Cadet Force and the Sea Cadet Corps put on an exceptional show of their music and marching skills which was seen by an enthusiastic crowd of spectators.

In addition to the ceremony in Edinburgh, an additional performance was carried out in Dundee City Centre in which other cadets from Gateshead squadron took part.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Latest Cadet Uniform!

Cadet Jack Dawson is seen wearing the latest version of uniform which will be issued to all cadets in the near future.

He is also seen with the new rifle which will replace the L98A2 in the next few months (and will require additional training and a new Weapons Handing Test to be carried out).

(Actually, Jack is a member of the DLI re-enactment group and is seen at the Georgian Fair at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North East this weekend.)

Wing Competitions Day 2014

On the 10th May, the squadron took part in the the Durham Northumberland Wing Competitions Day in South Shields.

361 took part in the Drill, Banner Drill, First Aid and Aircraft Recognition competitions and were the winners of the Banner Drill Competition (for the third year running) and came third overall of the 35 squadrons in the Wing on the day.
The 361 Squadron Banner Drill Team...
...and Drill Team

Easter Camp - RAF Cranwell

In late April, cadets from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron attended camp at RAF Cranwell in Nottinghamshire.
The cadets were joined on the Camp Photograph outside the historic College Hall Officers Mess by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation, who also took part in a gym session with the cadets later that day.
Cadets took part in a wide range of activities including flying in RAF King Air aircraft, visiting a range of section including Air Traffic Control, the Fire Section and the Police Flight as well as taking part in shooting (where Cadet Warrant Officer Beth Aisley qualified for a Regional marksman badge), sports and visiting the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and partaking in recreational activities including Go-Karting and 10-Pin Bowling.
Cdts Ryan Vasey and Adam Easton getting ready for Karting
Getting up close to a Spitfire at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight...

...and the Lancaster bomber

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sir David Jason visits Central Gliding School at RAF Syerston

The veteran actor Sir David Jason is visiting RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire.

The star of hit TV shows Only Fools and Horses and A Touch of Frost has come to the base for the handover of 25 new flight simulators to the Air Cadets.

Click here to go the the ITV website for videos and more photographs.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Ray Margerison

Ray Margerison, long time member of 361 (Gateshead) Squadron, passed away peacefully at 11.00pm on 23rd April following a battle with lung cancer.

 Ray joined 361 Squadron as a cadet in 1949 and other than his years of National Service served continuously with this unit for 65 years as cadet, Civilian Instructor, Adult Warrant Officer and upon retirement from uniformed service he continued as a Civilian Instructor and Squadron Adjutant until bad health prevented him from regularly attending the squadron earlier this year.

The funeral will take place at Saltwell Crematorium, Saltwell Road South, Gateshead, NE9 6DT on Friday, 2nd May at 10.30am.

His daughter has stated that all that knew Ray are welcome to attend (in uniform if possible/applicable).

James Raymond Margerison - 1935-2014

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Radio Communicators Awards

Cadet Warrant Officers Beth Ainsley and Chris Dolphin have been presented with their Radio Communicators Certificates and Badges having completed all of the required modules for this award.
This award is the highest radio award an Air Cadet can receive and required the completion of a number of modules which in CWO Ainsley's and Dolphin's case included:
  • Completing and passing the Amateur Radio Foundation Examination
  • Passing examinations on Advanced Radio & Radar and Satellite Communications
  • Completing an Internet Module (including building a website)
  • Demonstrating a range of practical radio operating skills

In addition, 14 cadets were recently presented with their Provisional Radio Operators Certificates which are awarded to cadets after completion of a course which provides training in basic 2-way radio operations.

The photographs shows six of these cadets with their awards.

Heartstart Awards

Ten cadets from 361 squadron recently qualified for Heartstart awards following training by  Sgt K Laws who is one of our staff instructors.

The course includes CPR techniques and all cadets at the squadron have the opportunity to complete this training which ensures that they have the necessary skills to possibly save a life.

The photograph shows some of the cadets who were recently presented with their certificates.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

High Flyers

Grob Tutor T1
It was third time lucky (after two cancellations on previous dates due to poor weather) for three cadets from 361 squadron who today completed their first flights in Grob Tutor aircraft at RAF Leeming.

Cadets Luke Craig, Adam Sexton and Ryan Vasey all had the opportunity to handle the controls during their flight which took them over North Yorkshire.
Cadets Ryan Vasey and Luke Craig
Cadet Adam Sexton
 Six more cadets from the squadron will have the opportunity to fly in Tutors later this month.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Cadet CV for Corporal Purdy

Cpl Matthew Purdy was this week presented with a Cadet CV which is awarded to cadets when they have achieved the following goals:
  • Flown in RAF training aircraft as a pilot under instruction showing confidence and ability to follow precise instructions.
  • Taken part in Target Shooting which requires self-discipline and an ability to follow exact training and instructions and good hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Achieved a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award - this award requires motivation and persistence and also demonstrates the ability to work as part of a team. It includes sections that require voluntary service to others, skills and physical achievements as well as an unaccompanied expedition in a small group which demands resilience and courage to complete.
  • Attended a residential camp demonstrating personal organisation and the ability to interact with others.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Durham/Northumberland Wing Band Practice

The first Durham/Northumberland Wing Band practice of 2014 was held on Sunday, 9th February at Tynemouth squadron.

The band, which includes several members of 361 (Gateshead) Squadron, performed extremely well especially as this was the first time that many of the members had played together.

Flying High

Three cadets from 361 Squadron recently went flying in Tutor aircraft at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire. For Cdts Adam Easton and William Fletcher it was their first flights in a Tutor whilst for Cdt Eliza Baron it was her second time in the air at RAF Leeming.
Cdt Easton waiting for take off
Cdt Baran kitted up and ready to go...

Squadron Activity Day

A group of cadets from 361 Squadron recently took part in an activity day at Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre in Gateshead.
A great day was had by all, with activities including Snow Tubing on the artificial ski slope, Climbing on the indoor climbing wall, an Assault Course and for the budding Robin Hoods a session of Archery.