On Saturday 11th June 2016 over 150 cadets, staff and invited guests gathered at the Marshall Aviation Hangar at Birmingham Airport to formally mark the changing of the Squadron name from Elmdon & Yardley to Birmingham Airport Squadron and also to unveil the new heraldic badge. This name change recognises a long association between the Squadron and the Airport.
The event started with the unveiling of the official heraldic badge by the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Mike Robinson accompanied by the Mayoress Jenny Robinson. The heraldic badge has been produced by the College of Arms and approved by the Royal Air Force Inspectorate of badges. The badge consists of a red Pegasus and flash of lightning, which was adopted from the Squadrons former crest, used up until May 2016. The green mount at the foot of the Pegasus represents the former name of the Squadron, linking both to Elmdon which means ‘hill of the elm trees’ and the moated medieval site at Yardley. The citation reads “In front of a Pegasus rampant gules on a grassy mount proper a flash of lightning bendwise or”.
Following the unveiling of the heraldic badge the Squadron conducted a march past inside the hangar accompanied with music from the Squadron band, lead by Wing Bandmaster, Paul Ward. The Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands Tim Watts received the salute from the parade. Following the march past the Deputy Lieutenant addressed all those present remarking how smart the cadets looked. Paul Kehoe Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Airport and Honorary Squadron President also addressed all those present recognising the efforts of the cadets and commending all those who support the Squadron.
Deputy Wing Padre Nick Leggett, led a short service to mark the event and to bless the new Squadron banner bearing the name of Birmingham Airport Squadron. The new banner was received by the Squadron Banner Bearer Flight Sergeant Tom Rees.
Following the short service Flight Lieutenant Glyn Slade, Officer Commanding 2030 Squadron proceeded to thank Birmingham Airport and praise the hard work of the cadets remarking that “our partnership with the airport further enhances the Air Cadet Organisations aim to foster an interest in aviation, and the number of airport staff who have themselves been Air Cadets is testimony to the success of that aim”. To recognise particular outstanding cadets, the Officer Commanding promoted Corporal Celina Alam and Hollie Severn to the rank of Sergeant and Cadet Sam Teal, Sophie Dolphin and Yasmin Ward to the rank of Corporal. Rank slides were presented to the cadets by Wing Commander Stuart Iles.
To conclude the parade, the Squadron marched off as Birmingham Airport Squadron to applause from the audience.
The Squadron would particularly like to thank Birmingham Airport and Marshall Aviation Services for hosting the event.
“SUCCEED THROUGH PERSISTENCE”
Photography by Stewart Writtle