In the early days at Kent’s Bank School, the main activities were general seamanship, small arms drill, gymnastics and sailing. Sailing used to take place on Sundays at Combs Reservoir, Chapel-en-le Frith, after which the C.O. would take everyone back to his house in Chapel for afternoon tea in the garden. The cadets met on two nights a week and were able to use the equipment in the gymnasium. Boxing instruction was given by PO Fred Webb, a very well known local bantam weight boxer. In the school yard was a platform on a pole about 12 feet high, with access by a rope ladder. This was used for leadline sounding practice. Much fun was had with this.
By 1942, the Unit had 60/70 cadets. The Unit had a good band, trained by CPO Slack. The Unit was well known for its gymnastic displays and its parade drills. There was certainly a performance in The Crescent in 1944.
From 1962 onwards at Normanton School, the cadets came from the school, which had many pupils from overseas, as well as the town and surrounding villages. At this time, the Unit could put on a guard of very tall lads and so was popular, often travelling to Sheffield, Stockport, Manchester and Chesterfield. At the front of the school were a flagpole and a small boat, referred to as the Whaler. The cadets did well at football, swimming and in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. They went on board the HMS Bulwark aircraft carrier and a submarine.
Information provided by Bill Merrick, Former President of Buxton and High Peak RNA and Lieutenant Viv Green, former C.O. and Harry Elmhirst, former cadet.