Dining In Night 2019

On the 9th of February, 148 (Barnsley) Squadron held its annual Dining In Night at Tankersley Manor Hotel.

The night begun with a small reception in the bar. Upon arrival cadets were offered a non-alcoholic drink of orange juice, and their guests a glass of Bucks Fizz. This year, I had the fortunate role of “Mr Vice” and as such it was my job to announce the running of the night, and make sure all the guests were happy. Following traditional military etiquette, once seated at the table, diners are not allowed to leave their chairs until after the loyal toast. As such, I announced a 10 minute call to the room reminding them to make themselves comfortable to enjoy the three course meal.

At 1900hrs, I announced to the guests that it was time to take their seats, and await the arrival of the top table. This years special guests consisted of Wg Cdr Mark Lorriman-Hughes who is based at RAF Waddington, Sqn Ldr James Brown and Sgt Gavin Morris from the RAF. Sgt Gavin Morris is also an ex-cadet of Barnsley Squadron and has recently delivered a presentation about his current job role in the RAF and the opportunities available to people in the Royal Air Force. Other guests included Deputy Lieutenant John Hayward, Wg Cdr John Ward who is a retired English Electric Lightning Pilot, Wg Cdr (Rtd) Brian Rogers, and Sqn Ldr French who is Chief of Staff South and West Yorkshire Wing.

After the top table had took their positions behind their chairs, I brought the room to attention and marched on the standards. This year FS Kirk, Sgt Butler and Cdt Kirk carried the Union Flag, Squadron Banner and our Air Defence Cadet Corps Banner respectively. I then said grace and told the room they could be seated. Once sat, a three course meal was served by Tankersley Manor, and everyone commented on how nice the food was. Once the meal had finished, the Port Decanters were passed around along with cordial for cadets for the loyal toast. This was done in a true military fashion, with gentleman pouring for ladies and the decanters not touching the table.

After a signal from Mr President, Sqn Ldr Williams Officer Commanding 148 Squadron, I brought the room to standing and delivered the Loyal Toast to HM The Queen. I then announced a 15 minute comfort break. Upon returning to the dining room, speeches were given by various staff. It was inspiring to hear all the positivity that the dignitaries have for 148 Squadron and a true honour that they took time to come and support the 148 Family.

On behalf of Officer Commanding South and West Yorkshire Wing, Sqn Ldr French also announced that CWO Shannon Copeland had also been put forward to be the Wing representative for the ATC75 Sword for the best female cadet in the whole Corps.

After the speeches, our traditional famous game of heads and tales with a penny that was from 1949. This was presented to our own Wg Cdr Rogers who has now completed 70 years of continuous service in the Air Training Corps after joining 148 (Barnsley) Squadron in 1949. The coin used in the heads and tails game was presented to Wg Cdr Rogers as a memory of the night.

All in all, it was an amazing evening and a privilege to be Mr Vice on my last Dining In Night as a Cadet. I hope everyone attended had a lovely night, and wish the Squadron another year of prosperity and opportunity.

CWO Charlie Owen