Air Cadets Fly in for Bolam Lake 200!
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By Flt Lt G G Richards - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron
Longbenton Air Cadets flew in to a packed Bolam Lake in Northumberland as the country park celebrated 200 years!
The Squadron band performed for the guest of honour Lord Decies, the 7th Baron Decies and the descendent of the Reverend John Beresford who originally commissioned John Dobson to create the park in 1816.
Over the past decade the young people have undertaken voluntary conservation work at the lake such as clearing streams, laying paths, building drains and have ploughed their way through the rhododendrons in order to conserve the woodland for visitors and its natural inhabitants; including red squirrels.
The cadets’ environmental efforts were highly commended by Northumberland County Council in 2012 when the Squadron received a LOVE Northumberland Award.
Frances Povey, Green Spaces Officer, said, "We always enjoy working with the young cadets. They always work hard throughout the arduous tasks and achieve what they set out to do.
“The group and their leaders have shown great enthusiasm and commitment to their work here it’s great to have them here in a pomp and ceremony capacity to celebrate the occasion.”
As guests gathered for the celebration the squadron band performed a special repertoire named “A Rhod’ to Bolam” before storyteller Jim Grant entertained the crowd along with three Northumbrian Pipers.
The Lord Decies along with special guests also planted the first of 200 new trees to mark the event and the Air Cadets will help other community groups to plant the remaining trees.
Councillor Kath Nisbet, deputy civic head at Northumberland County Council, said, “Bolam Lake is a popular Country Park in Northumberland and it’s clear why it is enjoyed by thousands every year.
“This 200th anniversary is such a huge milestone and it was lovely to see special guests who have all played a part in creating and maintaining Bolam Lake come together to celebrate.
“I hope visitors can enjoy another 200 years of making memories at Bolam Lake.”
The band’s base drummer, Cadet Corporal Jack Sanderson, 17, of Killingworth, said, “We always enjoy coming to Bolam Lake; although it’s hard work at times it’s fun and we have a laugh working together.
It’s great that we’ve been invited to the party and to help with the tree planting later in the year as we really do feel like a part of the lake.”
During the event, past and present photographs and memories were displayed and Lady Decies judged a Coat of Arms competition held by Belsay First School. Five winners were chosen from children aged 5-9.
The County Council is continuing the celebrations by collecting 200 memories of Bolam Lake and landscaping areas of the park to look like it would have 200 years ago.
To submit your memories or any historic photographs or maps of Bolam Lake, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01661 881234.
Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members in Year 8 and above. If you’re up for a challenge then visit squadron at www.2344.org.uk.
A short video of the band performance can be viewed at
For more information please visit the Squadron website