Linda legasea tottenham sea cadets

Linda's story, LegaSea London area

An adventure she could have never had in Tottenham, read Linda’s story 

The Girls Nautical Training Corps (GNTC) was invaluable for Linda, a young woman growing up as a Tottenham ‘latchkey kid’. Her experiences as a cadet at TS Wizard meant that she had access to opportunities that her social circumstances would have never ordinarily have allowed.

In particular, Linda reflects on the inspirational role of the women who led the GNTC. She recalls hiking and being in the countryside and taking on adventures that took her out of the city environment and exposed her to a whole other world of possibilities.

One key influence of the cadets on Linda’s life was learning to play the drums as part of the cadet band. This was a skill she continued in adult life and enable her to travel to many new places. Linda went on to become a professional drummer and toured Europe playing music.

Later in life Linda went on to become a civil servant working in local government, in particular, in health and safety. At the time, this remained a male dominated profession and she was a pioneering woman to be present in that role. Looking back, Linda can see how her experiences in the GNTC gave her confidence and the ability to stand up for herself and take the lead even in situations, even when stacked against her.

Now, Linda works in conservation and nature management for a national park and area of natural beauty. She uses her water skills from cadets as she kayaks around the waterways overseeing the wildlife. Rekindling her love of nature and the outdoors, first discovered in the GNTC as a teenager.

Northern area Sea Cadets LegaSea Story

The Veteran Band's Story, LegaSea Northern area

The TS Kelly band march again after 50 years apart.

Davy Hanson was the band master of the TS Kelly Hebburn Sea Cadets in the 1960s. He returned as a volunteer to the Hebburn Sea Cadets in 2010 to help the current band out. When Hebburn Sea Cadets were preparing to celebrate their 80th anniversary, they had an idea to get the old band back together to celebrate the occasion. Even after all the years that had passed since their initial founding, the idea was met with much enthusiasm by old band members.

Since 2014 the TS Kelly veteran band have continued to meet once every month to socialise and rehearse. Sadly, Davy Hanson passed away in 2018, but they still meet regularly to play together.

During our research into the lives of Sea Cadets Alumni, we had the privilege of interviewing the six members of the TS Kelly veteran band. We heard about their memorable adventures as cadets, and where life has taken them since.

They fondly recall their teenage years spending almost every day of the week involved in some kind of Sea Cadets activity. They sailed on the River Tyne and travelled all over the UK for competitions. They felt committed to each other and their success, beyond teamwork, it was a sense of being part of a family.

The community too became invested in the band's success for national competitions. For the Hebburn community, TS Kelly was rallied around by those on the south side of the River Tyne.

Today, the six men all say their career success can be traced back to their time in the Sea Cadets. It taught them to commit to doing a job well – to see things through to the end, even when unexpected challenges came their way. Life has taken these men on very different paths; they count working in the film industry, chemical engineering, teaching, being elected a local councillor, and serving in the Royal Navy, among their career paths. Across their different achievements, the men agree that the cadets was foundational in their adult lives. Not to mention how to properly present themselves ironed shirts and well-polished shoes.

When meeting Dave, Stephen, George, Les, Barry and Peter it is clear that their friendships are as strong as they were as cadets in the 1960s and the shared life experiences are only getting stronger with time. These men continue to understand and support each other all these years later.

Swim Serpentine

Swim Serpentine

Earlier in the year, I was asked if I would take on a challenge event to fundraise for Sea Cadets, at which point I said, the only two things I could do was swim or climb.  The team told me that they were entering a new challenge event called Swim Serpentine, so I decided I would give it a go.

My biggest worries before I started were:

  • I had not been swimming regularly for 20 years
  • When will I fit in the practice?
  • Will I be able to swim a mile?
  • And my biggest worry was how will I raise the minimum amount (£200)

At every opportunity, I tried to practice. I swam in Scotland White Sands and Gorleston on Sea. During my practice period, I began to worry about the cold rather than the distance so I started to have cold showers, and would purposely swim in cold water to see how long I could last.

I really wanted to raise a substantial sum for the offshore team because I really believe in the impact offshore voyages have. I was really surprised at the support I got from friends, family and volunteers -it made me really happy and motivated.

On the day I was terrified. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’d never swam in cold water, lakes or ponds for longer than 10 minutes. Plus, I’d never swam in a wetsuit before, which made me panic as I wasn’t sure how it would it affect me.

I also needed to swim without my glasses and I actually can’t see without them, but that turned out to be a good thing because I couldn’t see how far I had left. Although, a swan did get in my way which was interesting considering I couldn't see!

A highlight for me was meeting a lovely lady who was also taking it slow, she kept me company most of the way until we were separated by aggressive swimmers.

I finished the challenge in 1 hour 15 minutes which I am very pleased with. Although, it still feels like someone else did the challenge and not me. If I learnt anything from the experience it would be that you can never practice too much!


- Ami Haralambous, National Fundraising Officer


Sponsor me to raise money for offshore bursaries.

Great Glen Trial Expedition

Great Glen Trial Expedition

When I went on the Great Glen Trail, I’ll admit I didn’t know I was going to have as much fun as I did. It was a great experience to be a part of and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go on such an excellent trip away in the Scottish lochs and canals. I met so many new people on my journey that I won’t forget, cadets and staff members and had some memorable moments. I wouldn’t ask for better people to enjoy the experience with. From camping to the actually kayaking approximately 60 miles up to Inverness; I had the best experience of my life and I would recommend that others should have a go at the Great Glen Trail whether it be a part of Sea Cadets or a part of a group of friends or family.

From the whole week, I would say that my favourite part of the whole trip was the day we set off into Loch Ness. Surfing the rough water while getting soaked in the process and how we had to wild camp on a bank. It gave me a sense of freedom looking across the loch. Seeing the high mountains that towered over the water, smothered by the fog, giving such a beautiful landscape. Not only that, kayaking the next morning with the idea of finishing the whole trip felt amazing.

Having a great feeling of triumph and pride when we did the Great Glen was quite possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had.


- Able Cadet David, Maryport and Solway Unit

National Band Competition

National Band Competition

Hello, I am Leading Cadet McKenzie T.

Last weekend I travelled to London to take part in Sea Cadets’ National Band competition at the Tower of London.

This was my last cadet competition before I start training for the Royal Navy and over my 6 years of life in Sea Cadets, I can by far say that this stands out as my best experience.

I took part to represent Southport Sea Cadets as a Bugler and bell lyre player in our unit band, as well as competing in the solo bugling competition.

Southport Sea Cadet’s unit band won the area competition, which meant we represented the North West Area. We were the smallest band in the competition against the other areas. Despite this, after months of hard work and commitment from every member, our band placed 4th overall which felt very rewarding and proved that hard work pays off.

The standard was very high, and watching the others bands perform was also an amazing experience because seeing the hard work and skill of so many other cadets in action made everyone feel proud to be part of such a special, talented organisation and prestigious event.

However, the best part for me was definitely seeing the support from our units staff and parents, We had a large group of them travelling down to watch us and after our display, seeing their reactions made a lot of our band overcome with emotion and that was the moment when we realised that we should all be extremely proud.

In the solo bugling event, I placed 3rd, therefore received a bronze medal which feels fantastic to come away from a national competition with.  However, looking aside from the competitive element of it all, I would recommend every sea cadet join a unit or massed band if possible.

It really doesn’t matter what musical capabilities you have, there is, in every band, a role for you.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and the majority of our band had no idea what they were capable of until they tried something new.

For example, my brother Leading Cadet McKenzie O only started to practice the role of being drum major a few weeks before we played at nationals, only to receive a silver medal for being the 2nd best drum major in the country.

So, you never know! Start practising and two years from now you could be at the Tower of London having so much fun! Because, in the end, no matter where anyone placed, the whole weekend was a rewarding, proud and exciting experience. And, the support, happiness and talent radiating from everyone there was the best I’ve ever seen at a Sea Cadet event.  

Well done everyone! 


- LC Mckenzie, Southport 

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