London Branch March 2016

Written by London Branch | Posted on 20th April 2016

Chairman’s Report

Greetings Shipmates,

Our Branch Meeting on Sunday 21st February was a rather 'thin' affair but a pleasant and useful one nevertheless. Although our two recruiters have been resting over the Christmas holidays, good old everlasting Bernie came to the rescue and brought in a new member, a likeable lad, Martin Harris. An ex-Army Sergeant, but we can't afford to be too fussy now, can we? We welcome him, and I feel he will soon pick up our language and be another useful member.

I had my 92nd birthday last week and it reminded me that I'm getting old. This led me to the rash of death notices received lately. The latest notifications are those of Branch members John Lambert and Ted Childs. We haven't seen much of either of them lately but we were aware that John had been unwell for some considerable time. I am pleased to say that both funeral Services were attended by Branch representatives, both senior and, significantly, one not so senior. But a good Branch Shipmate. I hope he is setting a good example for the future.

I am aware that only five members (your Committee and Kevin) receive prompt notifications of deaths of members. All others are informed by the next Newsletter, which could be up to three months later. We realise that this could lead to a member missing an opportunity to attend the funeral of a close shipmate, but our limited funds do not allow us to inform all members by telephone. Our information process is that Kevin, at the website, is informed, either directly or via a Committee member, following which, a notice with a brief obituary is posted on the website within hours of notification.

Should members be sufficiently interested, may I suggest that they ask a friend, relative, or member of a public library to look up our website at regular intervals, even if it is only to view the latest death notices. It should take only five minutes. (And If my name appears on it, to take note that I have already arranged for my surviving family to provide a warm welcome, with a nautical tot, to all who turn up for the funeral). And now it is my pleasure and honour to present a very interesting article written by Branch member Geoffrey Hudson, Honorary Historian of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association. Our newsletter editor has kindly been given permission to reproduce a detailed piece of reference work, written way back in May 2002, on the developments of the Vosper ‘short boats’.
I wish you all a Happy Easter.

Ken Gadsdon

City of London Sea Cadets Spring 2016 Report

Winter is the quietest time for the Unit, which enables us to concentrate on the routine training and development that is delivered on our Tuesday and Friday parade nights. Nevertheless, there has still been significant activity away from home.

Christmas Treat

On Saturday, 12th December the Unit had its Christmas treat; ice skating at the Tower of London, followed by pizza and a sleepover aboard HMS Belfast. The ice skating and pizza was paid for by the CFVA London Branch and the Unit’s Parents’ and Supporters Association, so big thank you from the Unit to our branch!

There is perhaps, as with lunches, no such thing as a free treat. On the Sunday morning the cadets were roused early, they dressed in their smartest uniform and, together with a good turnout of parents and uniformed staff, spent the day bag packing at the Isle of Dogs ASDA. This fund raising event was both a tremendous financial success and an excellent “profile raiser” with the general public. As ever thanks are due to Mary Cosgrove, Community Life Champion at the store, and her colleagues for their invaluable support.

Activities and Training

In January three cadets attended the Naval Acquaint Course at HMS Raleigh, here they undertook some of the Royal Navy basic training syllabus. Numerous cadets attended the Area Multi Training weekend at Crowbourgh Camp and Able Cadet Dawid gained his Marine Engineering, Mechanical 1st Class qualification. The Unit continued with its community engagement with Carpet Guards for the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.


Following on from the recent successes with ex cadets entering training to become Merchant Navy officers, the Unit’s trustees are working with City shipping interests, to develop careers advice and work placements for our cadets. This is an exciting project, which has the potential to provide our cadets with a real boost to their future lives.

Steve Borne

London Branch Spring Newsletter

The spring newsletter is available to download and read in full as a pdf.