Looking back... RAF funded new hut in Rathcoole for training Air Cadets

A new hut constructed of Canadian cedar belonging to No 2256 (Newtownabbey) Squadron ATC was officially opened in Rathcoole in April 1961.

Performing the honours was Air Commodore Dudgeon, Commandant of the Air Training Corps in the United Kingdom.

The Slater Hut was the first facility to be built by the RAF for the training of Air Cadets in Northern Ireland.

Air Commodore Dudgeon told members that the ATC was “more than a hobby or a club”.

He said: “It is a training for boys in what they will need when they go out into the wide and harsh world.”

The Air Commodore was met by Wing Commander JM Rawlings, officer commanding, Northern Ireland Wing ATC.

The Commodore handed over the Royal Warrant to the squadron chairman Mr G. Staples who presented it to Flight Sergeant J. Murphy.

The parade commander was Flight Lieutenant A. Gaw who had been in command of the squadron for the past eight years.

Since the squadron was established in 1951, 30 cadets had joined the services and a further nine intended to join the RAF that September.