The first Sea Cadet unit was established in 1854 at Whitstable in Kent, created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the Unit Headquarters.

The tradition of community - based Sea Cadet Units continues today with 400 across the UK each with charitable status enabling them to raise funds to meet their running costs. All Units are members of the Sea Cadet Corps and are governed by the national charity MSSC - the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

We work partnership with the Royal Navy under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and receive corporate support from commercial shipping companies and the Maritime sector. Our core purpose is to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage and contribute to its future development by supporting young people as Sea Cadets.

Unit History

Training Ship Ardent, Bollington & Macclesfield Sea Cadets, opened its doors in 1982 at the Wharf in Bollington on the banks of the Macclesfield canal. Our units first Commanding Officer was Mike Foster and our first Chairman John Washington. The unit was formally accepted into the Sea Cadet Association on the 1st of April 1983.

The unit is named after HMS Ardent, a type 21 Frigate which was tragically lost at the Falklands on the 21st May 1982, with 22 lives. We maintain close links with the HMS Ardent Association in memory of our famous namesake and attend the HMS Ardent Association annual reunion and service of remembrance which is held every year at HMS Drake, Plymouth.

Our Unit President is The Rt. Hon. Admiral the Lord West, Baron of Spithead, GCB, DSC who was Captain of HMS Ardent during the Falklands War. The unit was officially opened by him when he was Captain A W J West DSC RN, on 28th May 1985.

In 2003 we became affiliated to HMS Mersey one of the Royal Navy's new Fishery Protection and Coastal Patrol vessels. Again, we are very proud of our association with Mersey and her crew. This picture above was taken at Mersey's Commisioning ceremony, Liverpool in February 2004. The unit regularly visits HMS Mersey and even on some occasions get a chance to have some ‘Sea Time’ aboard her.

Lord West Arrives

The team from TS Ardent

Bollington Duck Race - The race


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A charity registered in England and Wales 313013 and in Scotland SC037808