Air Training Corps Cadets from 2152 (North Bristol) Squadron are enjoying a double celebration – their unit’s 70th anniversary and a rare honour for their 39-year-old Commanding Officer, Jim Brimble.
Flight Lieutenant Brimble, of Bishopston, received his Certificate for Meritorious Service from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, Mrs Mary Prior MBE JP.
The presentation took place during ceremonies at the Merchant Venturers Hall, Clifton.
This followed a special “dining-in night” when the cadets recognised the many achievements of their Squadron, which has been based at Northville for virtually the whole of its seven decades.
Jim, an aeronautical engineer at Rolls Royce, Patchway, has a long connection with the ATC – he was a Cadet in Kent before moving to the West Country and qualifying as a private pilot.
He became a civilian instructor at 2152 Squadron in 2002 – “I was in a supermarket where some of the lads were doing charity bag-packing,” he recalls. “I asked an official if they needed someone with my background in aviation to help teach the Cadets – and they snapped me up.”
Jim was commissioned in 2007 and took over as CO three years later, overseeing a steady rise in numbers to the current level of nearly 60.
“Youngsters will respond positively if you offer them a range of experiences,” he adds. “In our case, that can mean anything from gliding to Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions around D-Day sites in Normandy.”
Jim is married to Rachael and they have three children – Esther, aged five, and two-year-old twins Grace and Joshua.
In addition to family and unit commitments, he has developed a new national ATC syllabus for airframe, enabling cadets across the UK to study the latest aeronautical engineering practice.
Others to be awarded the Certificate of Meritorious Service were:
– Major Paul Rodenhurst, aged 47, Officer Commanding, 57 Signal Squadron, Army Reserve, at Horfield. His home is in Worcestershire
– Lieutenant Allan Crocker, aged 65, of Northville, Bristol, for his service with Clifton College Combined Cadet Force. He works as the Chapel Verger at Clifton College.
– Tony Millward, aged 37, of Henbury, senior storekeeper for 16 years with Bristol University Officer Training Corps. He has also helped re-establish the Scouts in Brentry.
The ceremonies included the appointment of young people as Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for the next year, a role which includes attendance at a royal visits and other official engagements.
They were chosen on their merits within their respective Cadet forces, but also for their dedication and work within the local community:
– Steven Barbour, aged 18, of Barrs Court, Cadet Flight Sergeant, 2146 (South-East Bristol) Squadron, Air Training Corps.
– Francis Gainsborough, aged 17, of Cotham, a member of Bristol Adventure Sea Cadets.
– Zoe Gould, aged 17, of Stapleton, Cadet Sergeant Major with Colston’s School CCF.
– Dominic Hirst, aged 17, of Winterbourne, Cadet Sergeant Major with Army Cadet Force in Stoke Gifford.
– Daniel Phillpotts, aged 17, of Saltford, Cadet Company Sergeant Major with the ACF in Keynsham.