Busy Summer for CWO May
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By 473 Sqn Website - 473 (Hartlepool) Squadron
CWO Alex May has had a very busy summer this year, going all over with cadets, and completing almost a month’s worth of camps!!!
The summer began with Alex going on the North Region music camp, in preparation for the Manchester Day Parade. Within this week long camp were two performances, one a small parade in the local village, and the other a display at RAF Syerston in front of dignitaries such as Sir David Jason. The display was part of a packed day at RAF Syerston, as it was the unveiling of the new gliding simulators which are being presented to the ATC to aid with glider training. This was not a normal day for Alex. This was because he was also running the Air Cadet Engagement (ACE) Platform with three other QAI’s. This meant that he had to leave camp early on the morning of the performance, as he had to be ready for when people began to arrive. This also meant that he had to get changed several times throughout the day, from flying suit to Wedgewood blues, not an easy talk in a small car!
One of the main aims of this camp was to prepare for the up and coming Manchester Day Parade, which CWO May had participated in last year.
“It is a very hard parade as it is long a grueling. You have to play throughout the whole thing, which amounts to around 3 miles. One thing that didn’t help, is that both years, the sun has been shining all day. This makes a hard parade, even harder. Despite it being a very hard parade to do, the crowds cheering you helps you to find some lost stamina, and complete the parade with ease!” CWO May said.
After the Manchester Day parade Alex took a short break from camps, until he was set to go to the National Music Camp at RAF Halton, as part of the Air Cadet Organisation National Marching band (ACO NMB). This is a prestigious camp, as only the best musicians are selected for these camps, and are chosen to represent the corps in various high profile events. This camp was to prepare a display for the families day at HMS Excellent, a Naval installation in Portsmouth. This was an unusual event as not many bands are asked to play for the Royal Marines Music Services, and especially not cadet bands. This was a challenging camp as he was one of only 3 CWO’s on the camp, two of which, had not done a national camp before, including Alex. Despite this, Alex thoroughly enjoyed the camp, and says he cannot wait to go again!
Alex had a break of a week before embarking on his Flying Scholarship, one of the most lucrative courses within the ATC. This involves Alex going up to Tayside Aviation, Dundee, to learn the basics of how to become a pilot on a 10 hour scholarship, all of which can be counted towards a PPL. Alex also has another scholarship lined up for September, where he will be able to further his flying training, and increase his hours towards a PPL. More details to follow once he has completed the course.
After this 2 week course, Alex is straight off to the North Region Music Camp at DTE Altcar. Within North region Alex is the principle trombone for all of the bands. At this camp, he will be playing in a range of ensembles from the Marching band, to Concert Band, to Mess Band. He is really looking forward to this camp, as it is an opportunity for him to meet up with old friends, and have fun whilst doing so. Although this is a music camp, FLT LT Puller, the region music officer, includes a wide range of activities within the camp, a wider range than on most blues camps!!
After this camp Alex will be having a rest from camps for a while, a chance to recover before more camps begin.
For more information please visit the Squadron website