Start of a new era for cadets

Methil Sea Cadets with local MP Lindsay Roy
Methil Sea Cadets with local MP Lindsay Roy

AFTER many years in the planning Methil and District Sea Cadets (TS Ajax) have finally completed their new boatshed.

The opening ceremony, although carried out in glorious sunshine, was tinged with sadness as the cadets remembered their chairman and project manager John ‘Jack’ Leishman, who died suddenly before he could see the shed completed.

In tribute, opening the boatshed, which includes a dedication plaque to Mr Leishman, and to unveil the naming of the Viking – a 16ft ex-naval motor launch – were Mr Leishman’s daughters Jeanette Cassells and Tricia Stafford.

Afterwards, Mrs Cassells said: “It was a very emotional day for all the family and to have such a wonderful building dedicated to our dad’s memory is very fitting, as he held all the cadets in such high regard.

“The Sea Cadets played a very important part in his life and it is an honour to have him remembered.”

Mrs Stafford added: “We have been very impressed with all the preparation and effort that has gone into building the boatshed and it was lovely to see the Viking being named after our dad. Knowing that so many young people are going to benefit from the work he and the staff and committee of TS Ajax have done is a wonderful legacy.”

The group had tirelessly fundraised for the facility, at the town’s docks, for some time and its opening will now allow instructors to teach the cadets more important skills, such as boat maintenance and marine engineering.

Dick Harden, treasurer of the unit management committee, praised those who had worked hard to make the shed a reality, including builders from Buckhaven Building Supplies.

Mr Harden said: “We received a lot of support from Fife Council, Awards for All and the Bank of Scotland Foundation to name a few, and without them it would have taken a lot longer to achieve our goal. We would like to thank everyone who helped.”

Petty Officer Ernie Tolley added: “You don’t realise how much kit there is to sort and stow until you have to go through it all.

“It was great to find some bits and pieces that brought back a lot of memories and fun for the instructors as well as the cadets.”