Despite a recent inspection which showed the unit hadn't the minimum number of enrolled Cadets, Training Ship Stork has proved her worth on the river recently.

Once again the cadets of Training Ship Stork, Chiswick's very own Sea Cadet unit, based on the River Thames at Chiswick Pier have proved that quality beats quantity every time. Although the numbers of cadets on parade at the units annual efficiency inspection failed to reach the minimum of 12 fully enrolled cadets, it was still an improvement on last year's inspection.

During the inspection, this year carried out by Commander Colin Watkins Royal Navy, the Sea Cadet Corps Area Officer for London, two more new recruits walked through our doors asking how to join, after being impressed by what they had seen.

Cdr Watkins commented "That although numbers are dire, but there is hope for the future with the new recruits. As ever despite being the smallest unit, the cadets at Chiswick still think of the most entertaining and elaborate displays in the area".

Yet small the unit maybe it is still able to punch well above its weight. The Area Officer's report went further on to reflect that in the last year "the unit manages to enter every event it can field a team and is always able to provide willing volunteers for area and national events" such as the Queen's Jubilee parade, teaching cadets from other units skills such as scuba-diving, physical training and much more.

A c old and blustery Sunday recently presented the cadets at Training Ship Stork with a new dimension to their normal boating operations on the River Thames. With the wind blowing hard against the tide can make conditions difficult for boaters, especially for those craft with low freeboards, for instance rowers and scullers.

Fortunately the cadet's powerboat was on hand to assist one such sculler who had got into difficulty when the waves swamped his craft. Once the rower was back on his way, albeit more cautiously the cadets again demonstrated their uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and was
able to assist the rescue boat of a local sailing club whose racing fleet was being spreading the fleet so far apart in the conditions that it was having difficulty keeping tabs on all the competitors.

The cadets took over the towing of a swamped dinghy freeing the rescue boat to shepherd the rest of the fleet back to the club. Proving that trouble always come in three's, the cadets were then able to assist the sailing club to recover one of its course markers whose anchor had become fouled on something on the riverbed.

The Honorary Secretary expressed his gratitude for the assistance the cadets gave in a letter to Stork's Commanding Officer and is looking to working together more often in the future.

T.S. Stork

13th June 2002

Chiswick Sea Cadets Website