Sea Cadets on Parade
Vandals have wrecked Sea Cadets home
By Evadney Campbell
After 75 years at their base, Croydon Cadets have seen their home destroyed by mindless vandals. The unit was donated to the Sea Cadets in 1947 but now following several break-ings, it has been left uninhabitable.
Helen Simpson’s 13 year old son Liam has been attending the cadets for three years. She said: “As a parent I feel these events are a travesty to all cadets past and present. My son along with the others [cadets] really looks forward to, and is very proud of, going to the cadets and can't express how much they enjoy the activities.”
“In today’s climate of so much teenage violence we should be trying our hardest to make sure that we keep these activities available to those who want to do something worthwhile not hang around the streets getting up to no good.”
Although the Cadets have been offered temporary use of the Air Cadets' Unit in Shirley they really want to rebuild theirs [base] and have written to local businesses for support.
They have also received encouragement from the Duke of York [after he was contacted by organisers]. In an email from his Private Secretary, he said: "He is sorry for the mindless damage that has been done in Croydon and is very impressed with the determination that is being shown by all, and wishes everyone well with the project".
Showing the wreakage
The destruction, which resulted in the smashing of toilets, sinks and the removal of copper piping has left users devastated.
“I really don't want the unit to close; it really annoyed me when I heard what had happened. "We all work so hard here. I don't want to have to sit at home if the unit shuts. It helps keep us out of mischief,” said 16 year old Terry White.
Barry Brown also age 16 although not from the borough, also attends the club.
He said: “It is so disappointing and random, there is just no reason to cause this damage – it’s just a total waste of time. I would just sit indoors if I didn't come here.”
Barry and Terry’s anger is also expressed by 14 year old Nathaniel Hayward from South Croydon and 13 year old Liam Simpson:
“I haven't long joined but have made some really good friends I really hope we don't have to shut, I enjoy coming so much”.
“I have been here for three years and don't want to do another activity. I enjoy all the things we do like rowing and competitions. Everyone looks after each other here. I am angry that someone has nearly finished the unit.”
If you'd like to find out how you can help the Sea Cadets, Email Helen.email@example.com.
Do you have any memories of going to the Sea Cadets, let me have your memories and views on their plight.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
last updated: 05/06/2008 at 18:29