Sea Cadets helps teenagers to stretch themselves and become the best they can be. We know what that takes because we've been doing it for over 160 years.

The turbulence of youth

The pressures that young people face are ever-changing, but what remains constant is that the teenage years can be turbulent. Independence is exciting, but also daunting.

For orphans of the Crimean War, sleeping in the back streets of England’s sea ports, life looked bleak. To help them, coastal communities banded together to provide places for sailors to pass on nautical skills and training to give these destitute young people a future. This is how, in 1856, the Naval Lads’ Brigade was born.

Royal patronage

Soon, they were springing up across the country, and in 1899, Queen Victoria marked their importance to young people by becoming Patron, and giving £10 to the Windsor unit for uniforms.

Today, HM The Queen is our Patron and HRH The Prince Andrew Duke of York KG GCVO is our Admiral of the Corps.

Scroll through our gallery to learn more about our rich 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.

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