75-year history of air cadet group on screen

Christian Hush of 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps.
Christian Hush of 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps.

A documentary charting 75 years of a Wearside youth organisation is set to be screened for the first time.

Lonely Tower Film & Media have created the film on 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Traing Corps.

The project was commissioned by Flight Lieutenant Dave Walmsley, of the squadron, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate 75 years of not only Usworth squadron but of the formation of the Air Training Corps.

The film will be used to educate cadets and inform the public about the squadron’s rich history and will see its premiere today (SEP 12) at the Squadron headquarters in Usworth, Washington.

For 75 years cadets have passed through the doors of the squadron to learn about, not only the role of its Royal Airforce parent but to learn citizenship skills, take part in varied and exciting activities and most exciting of all, go flying.

The film features the history of the squadron and the history of RAF Usworth where the squadron is based.

Dave Walmsley of  2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps.

Dave Walmsley of 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps.

Having had an active airfield on their doorstep, now replaced by the Nissan car plant, former cadets share their experiences of flying with the pilots on their doorstep and of the eagerly anticipated annual camps to RAF bases around the country.

Current cadets’ share their thoughts on what it means to be in the Air Training Corps and of what it has done for them, building confidence and teaching essential life skills.

Exciting incidents in the squadron’s history include its formation during the Second World War, helping the RAF to clear up after a Vulcan bomber crashed at Wingate, in East Durham, in 1971 and ‘buzzing’ trains from the air with RAF Usworth pilots.

Marie Gardiner, from Lonely Tower Film and Media said: “Working on this film has been such an exciting experience, the cadets are a real credit to the squadron.

Cadets from 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps meet with fire officers.

Cadets from 2214 Usworth Squadron Air Training Corps meet with fire officers.

“Making this film has given us the opportunity to see how ATC operate up close, it has taken us to film at the RAF Museum at Hendon, the Wing Parade in Durham and to RAF Leeming to watch them flying.”

Mark Thorburn from Lonely Tower Film & Media said: “As a company that specialises in heritage media projects we never know what you will be doing next and to help 2214 Usworth Squadron explore its history has been a joy and an honour.

“We want to thank everyone involved in the project for their support especially the cadets both past and present and the Heritage Lottery Fund for helping to make it happen.”

The film which is narrated by cadets Luwam Habte and Christian Hush, will be used by the squadron and wider ATC to help share its heritage with the community and wider public.

For more information contact Lonely Tower film & Media at contact@lonelytower.co.uk.