Cadets of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Air Training Corps have taken part in an historic National Torch Relay to celebrate the RAF Air Cadet’s 75th anniversary.
The special anniversary torch arrived in King’s Lynn at 11.15am on Friday 12th August as part of its six week tour of the United Kingdom which has seen the cadets and adult volunteers finding unique and adventurous ways for it to continue its journey.
Starting at John O’Groats and finishing in Cornwall the torch is visiting numerous iconic locations such as The Angel of the North, Buckingham Palace, Cathedrals, Castles, and RAF Stations etc. and is travelling by many diverse forms of land, water and air transport.
The Lynn cadets met the torch on its visit to RAF Marham and accompanied it, together with members of the Norfolk & Suffolk Wing Drum Corps, by open top bus to Kings Lynn, where near the town’s historic Customs House, the Borough Mayor Councillor David Whitby welcomed it to the town. Here also waiting to greet the torch was 93 year old Leslie Garner, a WWII founder member of the King’s Lynn Squadron, who joined in 1939, two years before the then ADCC became the ATC. Also greeting the torch were 42F’s Honorary President Sir Michael Oswald and Lady Angela Oswald, the Squadrons Honorary Vice President Julian Marsham the Earl of Romney and also members of the King’s Lynn & District RAF Association.
Following a quick photo shoot the torch was escorted along King Street and Ferry Lane to await the arrival of the West Lynn Ferry which it boarded for the crossing to the west bank. There it once again boarded the bus to continue its journey to Sutton Bridge and a safe transfer into the hands of cadets of the ATC’s Trent Wing.
Commenting on the event the Mayor said “It is a great pleasure for me to be able to welcome the ATC’s 75th Anniversary torch to King’s Lynn. From an organisation formed initially to train and equip young men for the RAF’s war effort, it has evolved into one of this country’s premier youth organisations, and today gives both boys and girls an opportunity to take part in adventurous activities that prepare them to become good citizens. I wish the air cadet torch well as it continues its historic journey the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Its next leg will see it cross the river Great Ouse by the West Lynn ferry, the only local route west from Lynn from 1285 until relatively recent centuries. I am confident it will be in the safe hands as our own 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron’s cadets convey it to Sutton Bridge to hand it over to cadets of the ATC’s Trent wing”.
Having accompanied the Torch to Sutton Bridge Sir Michael Oswald said “This is a fantastic event for the ATC. I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the King’s Lynn leg of its journey, I would not have missed it for the world”.
Mr Garner, 42F’s founder member, also accompanied the torch to Sutton Bridge where he lives. He said that he was 16 when he joined the cadets. “I joined in 1939 before I served in the RAF during the Second World War. It was known as the Air Defence Cadet Corps. I was part of C Wing at Terrington St Clement. It is an honour to be here”.