Trust Helps Cadets Celebrate With A Bang
Published: 18 Aug 2016
The RAF Charitable Trust were the proud sponsors of the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) 75th Anniversary Concert, Music on the Orange, last weekend.
The Charitable Trust provided £50,000 to help stage the event which was held in front of College Hall at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.
A principal event in this year of celebration for the Air Cadets the day began with an hour long parade by 306 cadets performing 300 different drill movements, followed by a traditional drumhead ceremony before the National Pipes and Drums Band took to the parade ground.
6000 people gathered on "the Orange" to watch the events and support the Air Cadet Organisation including the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal, - Sir Steven Hiller and Air Cadet Ambassador, Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman.
Fellow cadets Olivia Guy and Natalie Boar said "It was really impressive the parade, we know how hard it is to do even for 10 minutes, let alone an hour."
The festivities also included a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight featuring the iconic Spitfire and Hurricane, the aircraft which most Cadets would have looked up to when the organisation formed in 1941.
They were joined by the RAF Parachute Display Team, the RAF Falcons, who dropped in to deliver the ACO 75th anniversary torch before the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, used College Hall as a backdrop for another jaw-dropping display.
The evening's concert featured both the ACO National Concert Band and National Choir, the latter of which only formed earlier this year for the 75th celebrations.
The two groups kept the crowds entertained, performing a range of songs including The Dambusters Theme, Life on Mars and Mama Mia before finishing with Land of Hope and Glory and Queen's We are the Champions.
Bringing the day's events to a conclusion, RAF Charitable Trust Chairman, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, took to the stage to push the button and start the grand fireworks finale.
Commandant Air Cadet Organisation, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, said "Thank you for the selfless dedication of cadets, volunteers and staff who went before, and those who are with us now. Thank you for the collective effort over many decades. Thank you for making the Air Cadet Organisation what it is today. You represent the Organisation, the RAF and our Nation."
In her speech during the evening's concert Air Cdre McCafferty recognised the £2million worth of grants the Charitable Trust has presented to the Air Cadets since its formation in 2005, stating that "the overall Air Cadet experience has undergone a step change thanks to the support of the RAFCT."