Were you in the Hartlepool air cadets in the 1950s and do you recognise these faces

A photograph has stirred up interest in the air cadet movement in 1950s Hartlepool.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:07 pm
Air cadets in the 1950s.

And it has prompted the question - who can shed more light on the people in it.

This photograph, which is thought to have been taken in the mid to late 50s, has attracted the attention of both town resident Eric Harrison and Beverley Glover, the Editorial PA/Communities Content Assistant for Johnston Press North East including the Hartlepool Mail.

Eric Harrison.

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Beverley’s interest stems from her father Frank Yeoman pictured sitting proudly in the front row.

Eric’s connection is that he is the man on the extreme left of the third row.

Eric, now 77, told Memory Lane: “I joined up in 1953 as a basic cadet and this might have been a couple of years later, around 1956 or 1957.”

Eric was born in Gill Street, Hartlepool (the street no longer exists) and now lives on the Fens Estate. He got his education at Lister Street Secondary Modern School and left at 15.

Eric Harrison.

Within a week or so, he got his first job when he became an office boy at the steelworks.

“When I was 16, I had an interview for an apprenticeship as a plater in the boiler shop and I accepted. I was there for 22 years.”

Eric’s involvement in the air cadets lasted for more than six years. He rose to the rank of Cadet Sgt and still remembers his last day before he left to get married.

“At the end of the night, they called me to the front and presented me with a clock.”

Eric married on July 18, 1959 and was called up to do his National Service within a month. But looking back he described his air cadet years as “something I would not have missed for anything.”

He recalled the days of doing “all sorts of training courses such as Morse Code. I learned to play the bugle and I was a bugler in the band. They were good days.”

The 473 Squadron Air Cadets were based at Greatham and Eric can recall some of the people in the photograph.

Mr Butcher is the man in the man in his blazer on the front row. He was a civil instructor.

Next to him is Pilot Officer Les Anderson, Flying Officer W.Patten and the man eight from the left, on the same row as Mr Butcher, was Flight Lt Pickering who was also head of building at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said Les.

Next to him is Jeff Tozer who was in the fire brigade and was an air gunner in the war.

Next to him is Frank Yeoman and Beverley tells us he was a Flight Lt while Eric told us he flew Neptune aircraft. Both told how the air cadets later moved to a base in Easington Road in Hartlepool.

Our thanks go to Eric for all those names and some wonderful memories But both he and Beverley would love to hear from other people who can identify more people in the photograph.

Do you recognise any of the faces and what are your memories of the cadets. Email [email protected]