Hartlepool Sea Cadets past and present joined together to celebrate the unit’s 80th birthday.
The Sea Cadets has been inspiring and helping the town’s young people since being formed in 1938.
Leon Usher, unit chairman, joined the sea cadets in Hartlepool when he was 10.
He said: “It’s been a brilliant day. When you run an event like this you’re never sure how successful it’s going to be.
“The cadets have had a really great day and you can tell they’re really enjoying themselves.
“It’s the first time we’ve done this in what feels like forever. It’s nice to invite the community down to the unit to let them see what we’re all about.
“The unit is celebrating its 80th birthday. We’ve had former cadets and volunteers from throughout the years come down and reminisce on old times.”
To mark the milestone, a packed programme of on and off-water activities was held at the cadets’ Middleton Road headquarters on Saturday.
It included power boat rides, boating, weapons and rigging displays, plus a climbing wall, gladiator challenge, bungee run and rowing machine challenges.
Lance Corporal Charlie Mist, 16, has been attending Hartlepool Sea Cadets for three years.
He said: “There’s a massive range of experiences - you get to meet new people, take part in competitions but most of all I enjoy the camaraderie of the cadets.”
The open day enable the cadets to share their experiences with young people thinking about joining.
Commanding officer, Jane Fox said: “Most of the cadets join up for the boating because that’s what they enjoy.
“In the summer we try be on the water both parades night.
“Each unit can compete against the other units in the country, this year we’ve had one of our cadets make it all the way to nationals.
“So they’ve gone through competing in the district, the area which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland and then they’ve gone down to London and they come sixth in paddle sport in London.”
The unit has been helping young people in the town to develop self confidence, discipline and give them a head-start in life for the past 80 years.
They are now desperate for more volunteers to sign up and join the unit.
Anyone interested in joining the cadets or volunteering can find out more by visiting the headquarters on Mondays and Thursdays between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.