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Air cadets fly high

EAGER shoppers took the chance to get up close to a model Spitfire in Bognor Regis town centre.

 

A constant stream of visitors of all ages enjoyed viewing the two-thirds scale replica of the famous British wartime airplane on its first visit to the London Road precinct.

 

It was the centrepiece of a collection by the town’s Royal Air Forces Association branch and 351 Squadron RAF Air Cadets to commemorate the latest anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

 

The event last Saturday raised £1,746 for the Wings Appeal to delight its organisers.

 

Flight Sergeant Nick Moran, the air cadets’ officer in command, said: “It’s the first time I’ve brought the replica Spitfire, which a friend made from a kit model, into the town centre. I usually take it to fetes and shows.

 

“The first thing people ask is if the replica flies and they also want to know if it’s real.

 

“It’s good for the little ones to sit in the cockpit so they know what it’s like to be in a Spitfire.”

 

One of the air cadets present collecting for the appeal was Emily Sherrington, 14. She said: “I’ve been an air cadet for about two years. I like the opportunities you get – the hiking and the camping.

 

“When you go camping, you get to meet different people and see all sorts of things.”

 

Also present at the display was the RAFA branch’s skiffle band.

 

The public events came the day before the branch’s annual Battle of Britain service conducted by the chaplain of the branch, the Rev Brian Shersby, at the town’s Methodist Church.

 

Six proud cadets were enrolled into 2351 Squadron RAF Air Cadets. They were Harry Ingram, Adam James, Willem Keijser-Petch, Luciano Licursi, Alex Lupu and Igor Sak and took the number of cadets in the thriving squadron to 31.

 

The well-attended service also included the laying up of the squadron’s old banner.

 

This is in keeping with an ancient custom to pay respect to those who have given service behind it. The cadets’ new banner was dedicated by Mr Shersby.

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