Sea cadets fighting ship's leak

IPSWICH Sea cadets are facing threat of being disbanded unless they can raise £50,000 for new classrooms.One of their training vessels based at Ipswich Docks has sprung a leak and the money is needed to come ashore to new land based classrooms.

IPSWICH Sea cadets are facing threat of being disbanded unless they can raise £50,000 for new classrooms.

One of their training vessels based at Ipswich Docks has sprung a leak and the money is needed to come ashore to new land based classrooms.

The barge, used as classrooms and for practising drills, will soon be scrapped leaving the cadets high and dry.

Classrooms on the cadets other vessel, the lightship the TS Orwell, are not suitable for this training so the cadets have borrowed the money to build new shore based facilities at the dock.

Cadet chairman, Peter Thompson, said: "We have borrowed £50,000 for a new portable office type building will be built by the end of the month.

"But we need to pay this money back and are looking for some help. Perhaps someone affiliated to the navy in some way might want to help us."

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"If we do not support the youth of today then we are in trouble. The cadets are highly disciplined and set a good example for other youngsters to follow.

"With this investment we may be able to offer places to more young men giving them an opportunity to do something with their lives."

The cadets were originally formed at Smart Street School in 1938 to turn boys aged 11-18 into responsible adults. It is not a recruitment centre for the navy although many cadets do go on to pursue a naval career.

It is a registered charity funded by the interest from a trust fund left to them by generous benefactors, including the purchase of the light ship in 1977.

The Ministry of Defence provides them with uniforms and boats but the Sea Cadets do not get any further funding as the Air Cadets and Army Cadets do.

They are governed by the mayor so also earn extra funds by carrying out civic functions, such as cleaning up after the Portman Road car boot sales and helping at fairs and shows. They also help raise a lot of money for the Poppy Appeal.

So far the Wartime sea cadets have donated £680 and one of the original members, Ray Driver, has given £1000 to the fund.

If you would like to help, or wish to become a new cadet, contact Peter Thompson on Ipswich 747983.

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