The Air Cadet 75th Anniversary Torch Relay from John O’Groats to Land’s End reached a key milestone as the Torch was handed over to the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing during a ceremony to mark the start of its journey across the Central & East Region.
The Torch handover ceremony, at the National Memorial Arboretum, took place at the site of The Royal Air Force Association memorial. The area around the memorial being transformed into a spectacular show of colour as the Banners of both the Warwickshire & Birmingham and Staffordshire Wings lined the route to the Memorial.
The Wales and West Region Torch bearer from the Staffordshire Wing presented the Torch to Cadet Dominic Iles of Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing’s 492 (Solihull) Squadron. As one would imagine being the first cadet in the Central & East Region to hold the 75th Anniversary Torch would be something to be proud of but for Dominic who was also celebrating his 16th birthday this was an extra special moment.
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who attended the Torch handover ceremony said that said that she was really impressed with the turnout of the cadets and was delighted to have been able to be present for the handover. Following the formal handover Air Commodore McCafferty talked to the cadets, explaining the significance of the Torch Relay and outlining many of the other forthcoming events that were lined up as part of the ongoing celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Air Training Corps.
The formalities over it was time for the obligatory selfies and other photographs before the Torch started it journey across the Central & East Region in the safe hands of the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing.
Having left the National Memorial Arboretum the Torch will move on to Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre where a Recruiting display will already be in full flow, with a Climbing Tower, Music Displays and the chance to sit in a Scale Model of a Spitfire. From there, the Torch is to be flown in a light aircraft from Birmingham Airport to Coventry by Cadet Sergeant Phoebe Jenner. It will then visit the City Centre and eventually be taken to Kenilworth Castle for the Last Post.
The second leg of the Warwickshire & Birmingham Torch Relay will start with an early visit to Warwick Castle and Stratford. The Torch will then stop of at Wellesbourne for more photographs with the Avro Vulcan before moving on to Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire where it will complete its journey across the wing in the cockpit of an English Electric Lightening as part of a Sponsored Aircraft Pull, before being handed over to South East Midlands Wing to continue its way across the Central & East Region.