Looking back... Army Cadet training centre opens in Ballyclare

A new Army Cadet Force training centre opened in Ballyclare in October 1965 with boys from Belfast and across County Antrim in attendance.

Lieut K. O’Prey, officer in charge, said that 17 of the boys were from Ballyclare, Doagh and outlying areas.

Lieut O’Prey, from Kent, said that he took charge of the cadets in 1963 when there were just four members and the unit was in danger of being closed down.

“I asked them to let me have a go and I have managed to build it up since then. Things were somewhat different during the war. In those days, lads could not wait to get into uniform,” he commented.

The centre was officially opened by Mr WJ Workman, chairman of the Urban Council, who said it was a “great satisfaction to see that the town was practically free from vandalism which was so prevalent in other parts of Northern Ireland”.

He suggested that this was due to so many youth organisations locally such as the Boys’ Brigade, Scouts, Army Cadet Force, Rangers and Guides.

Col BD Cotton, chairman, of the Army Cadet Force, said the force was of “great benefit to the county generally”.