Today, (Tuesday 7th March) 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, a successful youth organisation based in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, since 1939, has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £29,100 to work on a two year project commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force in 2018.
Led by cadets, and assisted by volunteer staff, this exciting project will focus on the airfields of Norfolk and how they relate to the Royal Air Force, with history being recorded and displayed.
The project will enable the young cadets to research and discover the types of aircraft and activities that have happened over the last 100 years in the Norfolk area. Gaining skills in research, technology and presentation, the cadets will inform other young people from the schools in the Norfolk villages with visits, displays and information boards. This information will be displayed in the local communities along with fibreglass model aircraft that the cadets will be involved in making.
Working alongside the Heritage Centre at RAF Marham, maps of these airfields and the information along with the model aircraft that will be displayed, will be designed as an educational trail – both as a vehicle trail and as a Cycling sportive – therefore getting the information out to as wide a body of people as possible.
Cadets learn about the history of our Royal Air Force as part of their training, but many desire to know more about how this affected the local area. As little is taught about this at school, this project aims to encourage young people to find out more, and display this knowledge in a way that will appeal to everyone. With the wealth of wartime RAF used airfields in this area there are still veterans or families of veterans living locally, whose wealth of information should be made available for all, in particular the next generation. After visiting the Heritage Centre, cadets started to explore how we can make these airfields a place to visit for the 100th anniversary. By making the trail accessible in many ways including via social media and technology we will encourage young people to become involved and ensure the airfields are recorded, celebrated and visited.
Commenting on the award, Cadet Flight Sergeant Bullock said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to do this project. We are confident the project will support young people to look at their history, be active in the community and help to inform the next generation. It will also give something to the local areas by designing this informative and energising trail.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Norfolk and the Royal Air Force have a rich and long-standing shared history. We’re delighted that money raised by National Lottery players can support these enthusiastic cadets to engage with their local heritage, learn new skills and capture testimonies to mark next year’s momentous anniversary.”