Culdrose trainees get their hands dirty for charity
Air Engineer Trainees from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose gave a helping hand clearing overgrown paths and drainage ditches around a 13th century church near to their Cornish base.
When parishioners of the picturesquevillageofSt Mawganin Meneage, less than two miles from RNAS Culdrose put out a call for assistance to help clear up the church grounds from weeds and vegetation, they didn’t know what enthusiastic support Chief Petty Officer Jon Walsh would have at his disposal.
Jon was able to draw upon several Culdrose based training Units; 824, 849 & 771 Naval Air Squadrons who pulled together 16 Air Engineering trainees, currently in Phase two training, and over two days got them organised to assist in clearance operations. “I managed to get some gardening tools from the Senior Rates mess on the Air Station,” said Jon, who works in the Naval General Training Section at RNAS Culdrose. “Our primary aim was to clear the gullies and drains to reduce the risk of damp seeping into the Church’s exterior walls. Secondary was removing overgrown foliage around Church perimeter which we did with the help of some of the friends of the Mawgan in Meneage Church.”
“The church is a Grade I listed building dating from the 13th Century and it is important to keep this area clear to prevent damp entering the structure,” said Wendy Bailey, secretary of St Mawgan in Meneage. “The church is very grateful for the help and it emphasises the good relationships between the parish church and the base, which forms a very important and major part of Mawgan parish. The work of Jon Walsh and his amazingly hard working team was very much appreciated.
The Church warden Lindsay Hockley of St Mawgan in Meneage contacted the Air Station after noticing that the vegetation was beginning to damage the ancient stonework of the church and some of the drains were clogged up with weeds. The back of the church had been buried under vegetation for years.
Wendy continues. “They were absolutely wonderful. A really lovely bunch that were very polite, took a real interest in the church, worked hard and did a simply splendid job, a real pleasure to know them all. We are getting too old to get down into these gullies so we can’t thank them enough.