Norwich Sea Cadets in search for new riverside home

On parade in the heart of the city - Norwich Sea Cadets are celebrating the centenary this year. Ph

Norwich Sea Cadets - Credit: Archant © 2012

After a challenging year navigating the pandemic, the Norwich Sea Cadets are now on the lookout for a new base. 

The organisation had to say farewell to its floating home on the River Wensum, TS Lord Nelson, in 2018.

They have been based at the Army Reserve Centre on Aylsham Road for the past three years, but are keen to return to the water.

The TS Nelson, home to the Norwich Sea Cadets and the Royal Marine Cadets, which will soon be up for

The Norwich Sea Cadets had to say farewell to the TS Lord Nelson in 2018 - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The main headquarters at the current unit is a three-bedroom house.

Petty officer Adele Austin, 25, said: "We can't put banners up like we could on the ship and people can't see what we are and what we do.

"We are closed off by barbed wire whereas when we were on the ship we looked like sea cadets."

The cadets would ideally like to initially rent a site, with the intention to buy a larger unit by the river within the city boundaries. 

The current Norwich Sea Cadet headquarters on Aylsham Road 

The current Norwich Sea Cadet headquarters on Aylsham Road - Credit: Adele Austin

Chief petty officer Mike Massen, 59, said: "We would like to have one base with all the boats outside.

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"We have spent 106 years on the River Wensum. Funds have been hit dramatically during lockdown so we would rather lease to buy to start with."

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Norwich Sea Cadets have been limited to 40 in numbers with a total of 30 cadets on board at the moment. 

The cadets returned to the unit three weeks ago, with bubbles in place to comply with Covid restrictions. 

Sailing clubs have also resumed at the Norwich Frostbite Sailing Club with a maximum of 15 people.

On the Covid challenges, petty officer Austin said: "It's been very unusual and something we really all had to pick up really quickly. There were virtual lessons but the majority of the syllabus and subjects we teach are quite physical and a lot of it is outside.

"There is not much we can do virtually and that really restricted us but it is amazing the cadets are still focused and wanted to come back to see friends and start to learn again. It's been a rollercoaster."

They are also looking out for new cadets aged 10 to 18, and volunteers over the age of 18.