New joint Cadet Centre is officially opened
The day finally arrived when Grays Detachment could at last walk across the threshold of their new purpose built cadet centre.
Their former home, which was part of the TA centre, was originally used as a store for horse tackle limited the number of cadets who could join due to the size.
When plans to build a new joint cadet centre which would combine the army and air cadets were approved this was welcome news for both cadets and adult instructors based at the detachment.
Building works began last April with a completion date fixed for December. It was going to be a tight deadline, but after just nine months the project was complete.
Grays Army Cadet Detachment Commander Lt Mick Beadle said: “Our new home will not only give us more classrooms, secure storage, and an indoor rifle range which we haven’t had on site since the TA Centre shut its doors in 2006.
“I hope that now we have more room and better facilities we can improve in our recruitment numbers.”
Seeing the building taking shape the cadets marked this historic moment by laying a time capsule within the foundations which represents ‘life in the ACF in 2011’.
The Grays Detachment of the Army Cadet Force (ACF) took a step nearer to realising their dream of a new purpose built home, when they buried a time capsule in the foundation of the rifle range in the new building on Wednesday June 1st.
Included in the capsule is a photograph of the detachment, a short essay written by a cadet about life in the ACF, a brassard with badges earned by the cadets in Grays and the cap badge of the Royal Corps of Signals who the cadets are affiliated with and the Royal Anglian cap badge worn by Detachment Commander Lieutenant Mick Beadle.
When describing what the cadet force has to offer young people Mick enthusiastically talks about friendship, learning new skills, enjoying adventure training and the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
On January 21, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre officially opened the new Thames Gateway Cadet Centre based on Brooke Road.
This day was also special for Grays Army Cadets who were re-badged Royal Anglian.
Lt Beadle said: “The Royal Anglian’s are affiliated to Essex ACF but they also have a historic link to Grays dating back to World War One.
“I’m excited about our future with the Anglians who are already supporting us with a number of events and today is a great opportunity to promote new beginnings.”