Fruiterers sponsor cadet set on career in the Navy

"As part of the Fruiterers’ support for the Armed Forces, every year the Charitable Trust makes a donation to each service in turn. This year, it is the turn of the Royal Navy.

The donation is always made for a specific need, rather than for general charitable purposes. In recognition that this is the centenary year of the foundation of Fleet Air Arm, the Navy asked the Fruiterers to sponsor a cadet on his initial gliding course.

These courses are run by the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre at Lee-on-Solent. Some 16 young people, aged 16-19, are selected for each course. They have to pass a tough selection process and must have sponsorship for the cost of the course. It is their first taste of flying and of naval life, and they live in the wardroom of HMS Collingwood during the week.

The selected cadet, Nick Mahoney, is studying for his A Levels at Welbeck Sixth Form Defence College and is set on a career in the Navy. He aims to read engineering at university and then start his naval career as an air engineering officer and maintenance test pilot.

The Master was unable to visit the course, so the Company was represented by the Upper Warden, who spent the final day of the course with the instructors and cadets. He reports that it was a cheerful day. The huge enthusiasm and skill of the young cadets was impressive; 13 of the 16 flew solo, having started the week with no flying experience at all. The Upper Warden’s own enthusiasm was not quite as strong when he was told that it was his turn to take a flight in a glider. However, in an environment in which one is expected to obey orders, he felt that he had no choice.

The day ended with a prize-giving, presented by Admiral Sir Raymond Lygo, and a barbecue. It was a pleasure to see that Nick won not only his Gliding Wings, but also the prize for Navigation Orientation and Observation."
You're welcome.

It struck me as quite unusual for one of the Livery Companies to be sponsoring someone on the gliding course, especially the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers.

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