By SI James Hutton, Bury Detachment, No 1 (Minden) Company
Bury Detachment (No 1 Minden Company) were delighted to recently host Mr Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Mr Burnham became aware of the activities of Bury Detachment in 2020 during the height of the Covid 19 restrictions. At that time all face-to-face training had been suspended and twice weekly training and welfare sessions were carried out over Zoom. Physical exercise was curtailed due to a one-hour limit on outdoor exercise. As a Detachment we decided to perform “virtual walks” to sites of famous Regimental campaigns. A “walk” from Bury to Minden was swiftly followed by a more ambitious undertaking, Bury to “W” Beach on the Gallipoli Peninsula – the site of the legendary “Six VCs before breakfast”. Mr Burnham wrote to the Detachment expressing his admiration for the cadets’ efforts and promised to visit the Detachment at some stage.
Since the resumption of training Bury has had a major setback – the loss of the iconic Castle Armoury – which has been deemed unsafe and necessitated a move to temporary accommodation. Again, Mr Burnham was aware of this and visited to see how this was affecting the cadets and staff.
He was greeted by Detachment Commander, Sergeant Major Mike Toner and introduced to the staff and cadets. Following Mr Burnham spoke with the cadets, extolling the virtues of public service and how the Cadet Forces are equipping young adults to succeed in the future. He asked the cadets regarding future career choices and explained how his choices led him into a career in politics.
Mr Burnham was very concerned regarding the closure of the Castle Armoury and how it was affecting ongoing training and recruitment and promised to keep an interest in any ongoing developments. This was much appreciated by staff and cadets.