Young air cadets from North Tyneside are hoping their latest fundraising effort will be everyone’s cup of tea.

Cadets’ from 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron ATC will be holding a Battle of Britain coffee morning on September 14 at North Shields Methodist Church in the town’s Hawkeys Lane.

At the same time the squadron’s cadets will also be out in force collecting in North Shields and Tynemouth for the RAF Benevolent Fund to coincide with Battle of Britain Day on September 15.

The date marks the day in 1940 on which the most decisive confrontation in World War Two’s Battle of Britain took place in the skies above London when the RAF’s Fighter Command gained air supremacy over the German Luftwaffe.

Last Sunday [SEPTEMBER 8] saw the squadron muster with fellow cadets from across the region for a Battle of Britain Parade and commemoration service at Durham Cathedral.

The coffee morning between 10am-12pm will raise money for both 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron and the RAF Benevolent Fund – the British air force’s leading welfare charity.

Supported by the squadron’s Civilian Welfare Committee, the coffee morning is one of 346’s biggest fundraising events of the year with money going towards new equipment and benefiting various cadet activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

Visitors will be able to try their luck in the tombola, indulge in homemade cakes, tea and coffee or hopefully win one of a multitude of fantastic raffle prizes, including a Ringtons hamper, Sunday lunch for four at David Kennedy at Vallum and National Trust family day passes.

There will also be a Battle of Britain display, including a model of a Second World War air field complete with Spitfires, made by the cadets, as well as music from the squadron band.

The squadron’s commanding officer, Flight Lieutenant Dan Laidler, said: “Our annual coffee morning is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. Not many people realise that as a voluntary youth group the ATC is a charitable organisation and that while the RAF provides finance for certain key activities the majority of our endeavours and non-military equipment have to be supported from our own funds.

“We would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who have again supported us with raffle and tombola prizes and look forward to welcoming visitors to our coffee morning.

“While the primary purpose is to raise funds and mark Battle of Britain Day, the coffee morning also reinforces the squadron’s bond with the local community.”

The day will also be a poignant reminder of 346’s own historic roots. They are one of the oldest Air Training Corps Squadrons’ in the UK, originally formed in February 1941 to help train-up young pilots in the Second World War.

It meets twice a week at its headquarters in Military Road, North Shields, and currently has around 30 young men and women between the ages of 13 and 20 in its ranks.

The cadets take part in a range of character and confidence building activities from flying and gliding to adventure training, shooting, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award  programme as well as a host of community initiatives including recently carrying our repair and improvement work at Bolam Lake country park in Northumberland and helping out at Tynemouth’s food festival and VW rally.

Cadets can also study for a BTEC diploma in aviation skills and regular training camps are organised at RAF bases across the UK.

Any potential cadets interested in joining 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron or wanting more information should email:


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