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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 

National Band Competition

National Band Competition

The Massed Bands of the Southern Area took the honours as the Sea Cadets’ bi-annual National Band Competition saw some the corps’ best musicians show their high standards within the historic setting of the Tower of London.

With cadets based in the Folkestone & Hythe, Sheppey, New Romney and Herne Bay area and led by bandmaster Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Adam Smith RNR, the Massed Bands of the Southern Area took the major prizes including the Eason Bassett Goblet for Best Band.

In addition, 16 year-old Able Cadet Callum Budden from Folkestone took the honours as he was crowned Best Solo Bugler and Best Solo Drummer in the morning’s soloist categories.

The Massed Bands of the South West Area won Silver as Best Runner-Up, while Weston-Super-Mare took Bronze.

Southern Area were also named Best Dressed Band, Best Corps of Drums, Best Bugle Section and received trophies for Best Musical Display and Best Marching Display.

There was success too for Portland’s Able Cadet William who won Best Original Composition for “Une Source D’Inspiration” which was performed by the Massed Bands of the South West Area.

Able Cadet Walls was named Best Drum Major for his work at the head of Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets.

Ten prize categories were awarded as some of the most talented cadets and volunteers, performed in front of friends, family and the watching public.

Proceedings were watched over by a judging panel made up of senior members of the Royal Marines Bands Service led by Lt Cdr (SCC) Ali Bowen-Davies

Those taking part were just some of the nearly 15,000 cadets and 9,000 volunteers who are part of the charity which seeks to give focus and add new adventures to young lives in the UK.        

Captain Philip Russell, RN, Captain, Sea Cadets who took the salute at the traditional end of competition march-past, said; “It was a terrific day and credit goes to the cadets in the bands from up and down the country who made it to London, particularly those who travelled large distances.”

“Congratulations go to the Massed Bands of the Southern Area who have done very well for the second band competition in a row. They deserve every success. It takes hours of practice and above all, nerve to perform at such a venue as the Tower of London and everyone who took part should be thoroughly proud of themselves.”

Martin Coles, CEO, Sea Cadets said; “Of course the stars were the cadets and volunteers who were as amazing as ever, both in the standard of music and indeed backstage. Thank you to the volunteers who entered bands and ensured such a good day.”

“It was a first-class event which I hope entertained the watching crowds as much as those connected to the Sea Cadets.”



BEST SOLO BUGLER for The Silver Bugle Trophy:

GOLD: Able Cadet Callum Budden (Folkestone & Hythe, Massed Bands of the Southern Area)


BEST SOLO DRUMMER for The Alan Wain Brass Drum Trophy:

GOLD: Able Cadet Callum Budden (Folkestone & Hythe, Massed Bands of the Southern Area)


BEST DRESSED BAND for The City of Plymouth Cup

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST ORIGINAL COMPOSITION for the Seamans Cutter Cup:

WINNER: Leader Cadet William (Portland Sea Cadets, Massed Bands of South West Area) for “Une Source D’Inspiration”


BEST CADET DRUM MAJOR for the Directors Award:

GOLD: Able Cadet Walls (Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets)

SILVER: (Jointly awarded) Able Cadet Owen (Southport Sea Cadets) & Leading Cadet Elise (Sheppey Sea Cadets, Massed Band of Southern Area)

BEST CORPS OF DRUMS for the Haynes Shield:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST MARCHING DISPLAY for the Display Trophy:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST MUSICAL DISPLAY for the Sumner Shield:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area


BEST BUGLE SECTION for the Bugle Section:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area



BRONZE: Weston-Super-Mare Sea Cadets



SILVER: Massed Bands of the South West Area


BEST ALL-ROUND BAND for the Eason Bassett Goblet

GOLD: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

I have been at Sea Cadets for four years. I started at the age of 10 and at age 14 I’m still here and still enjoying it!

I have done some really amazing things with Sea Cadets. In 2018, I escorted the mayor of Maidstone to France with 3 other cadets. We had to parade around a little area showing the French what we do.

Another great thing I love about Sea Cadets is that we go to some really cool events, like Combined Military Ops at Headcorn Airfield.

It’s also taught me so many different skills like first aid and because of this I now want to become a paramedic.

When I put my uniform on I feel free and feel I can do whatever I put my mind to, it’s a sense of pride I feel where I don’t get anywhere else.

As sea cadets, we try to get as much time in the water as possible like kayaking, sailing and rowing.

I have been on BCU kayaking course and loved it I know go kayaking with my cousin as much as I can. I have also entered kayaking competitions and came first in the 500m sprint. I was put through to the Area competition. This is another great opportunity to make more friends on the way, as courses are available to all cadets.

All the staff are very friendly and most have lots of stories to tell from when they were cadets them self or from when they were in the navy. The officers we meet are some of the kindest and most interesting people and great to talk to.

I would recommend Sea Cadets to anyone.

We are not just cadets that see each other twice a week we are family and we stick together.


-Holly, Maidstone Sea Cadets 

Buster and his LegaSea

Buster and his LegaSea

Terence Evans, known as Buster, was a devote Sea Cadet.  In 1955 he won the National Sea Cadet Boxing Championships as Ordinary Sea Cadet Evans at the Royal Albert Hall in London and was presented with a trophy by The Duke of Edinburgh. 

There is a short clip on YouTube of the event and the presentation by Prince Phillip. where he is referred to as 'A plucky little tower of tomorrow'  -he was very short! 

In addition to my Uncle's commitment to the Corps, my eldest daughter Kaitlyn joined as soon as she could.

Kailyn suffers from Asperger's / Autism and was struggling with life in general until she found the cadets! She is now full of confidence, determination and strength just like her Uncle before her.  She transferred to the Royal Marines Cadets and continued to excel at all she does. She has taken part in offshore voyages on all the vessels, Summer/Easter camps, CATSEA, the London Trafalgar Parade, The Birmingham Tattoo to name a few, plus, led the Rugby detachment as Guard Commander to come 2nd in the National Drill and Piping Competition.

None of this we ever dreamed was possible for her before joining the cadets given her battles with Autism. 

To mark the connection between my uncle and daughter at his funeral, she was asked by the family to walk the hearse carrying my Uncle Buster into the crematorium. She did so with pride and saluted every attendee out of the crematorium as they left, and with one final salute to the coffin (with Uncle Busters Sea Cadet photo in pride of place above the coffin), she was the last to leave. So now over 60 years on from my uncle's triumph in the Royal Albert Hall for the Sea Cadets, she says goodbye and continues on his legacy. 

Thank you to Sea Cadets for giving them both these opportunities. Especially Kaitlyn who's life has been totally turned around. 

She wants to join the forces when she has gained her degree and she is 100% dedicated to cadets in the meantime.


- Lisa, A very proud Niece and Mum. 


Are you an ex-cadet with a story to share? Take part in our My LegaSea Survey or email

Alison's 2018 #ScrapPlastic Challenge

Alison's 2018 #ScrapPlastic Challenge

I popped down to Worcester and took a walk from the town out to the bridge at Lower Wick and back along with the other side of the River, I didn’t know what to expect! 

I picked up way more than 13 pieces of plastic which included 2 bottles, 4 lollipop sticks, 3 traps, a couple of ice cream tub scoops, a couple of cigarette filter wrappers, straw wrappers, a broken plastic fork, a nappy bag (empty) and a big black meat container (yes I had gloves on). I also picked up several pieces of foil and a can.

I was surprised though how clean the riverside actually was. I just had one small bag for a 2-mile walk.

In contemplating my walk I wondered what would happen if everyone carried a bag and picked up rubbish when they were out for a walk. I decided it would just be better if no-one dropped any rubbish in the first place. It’s not hard! 

We are not going to eliminate plastic, it has its uses. I certainly learnt in this challenge that there were a few simple things I could do to reduce my plastic use.

Every little bit has got to help. #ScrapPlastic

-Alison Lockton, Worcestershire 

Alison is a full time working Mum. She has recently volunteered as an instructor in marine engineering at her local Sea Cadets. Her son is a sea cadet and her daughter now works in the RAF, having been an air cadet.


To join our #ScrapPlastic challenge this August visit: 

It's not too late to make a difference! 

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