'Ground Force' Culdrose style
Sailors currently under training at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose put their horticultural and DIY skills into action to give a Remembrance Sunday face-lift to a Cornish Village Churchyard and its War Memorial.
The Rector of St Paul's Church, Ludgvan village near Penzance, Reverend Nigel Marns could not believe his ears when Lieutenant Commander Steve Griffin, the Commanding Officer of the Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF) offered up 30 young sailors on Phase two training to help spruce up the Churchyard and its surrounds, ready for remembrance Sunday. “My first thought was to restore the Churchyard path,” said the Reverend Nigel. “For many years this had been lost to weeds from the side steps right up to the Church door. They were a blessing, digging out the church path and laying new gravel, as well as clearing the many years of growth from the Churchyard walls.”
Continuing their good work the Fleet Air Arm personnel also got to work around the War Memorial and the village’s Royal British Legion Memorial Garden, preparing them for this year’s Remembrance Service. They also set about cleaning every pane of glass in the churches leaded windows before trimming and shaping the bushes around the Churchyard and repainted the entire Church Hall.
“Community projects are a vital link to supporting the Helston area,” said Warrant Officer 1 Bob Holborn, Phase two Aircraft Handling training officer and organiser of the project. “It’s an excellent way to promote the Naval Ethos and ensure the trainees learn some of our ‘Core Values’ such as Integrity, commitment and respect for other.”
Leading the party of fellow trainees and students was Sub Lieutenant Ben Selwood, of 750 Naval Air Squadron Basic Observers Course, who was pleased by the turn out from the Air Station and how everyone really got stuck in to the project. “There was plenty of work to do and everybody enjoyed the challenge. By the end of the day we all had a great sense of achievement for a job well done; it was like a ‘Ground Force’ assignment.”
The parishioners of Ludgvan and Reverend Nigel were overjoyed with all the work carried out. “They were a very hard working and motivated group. Their respect, attitude and approach in completing all the tasks was tremendous – and all achieved in one day!
I have lost count of the number of people who have remarked on the new Churchyard path and both myself as Rector, the Churchwardens, Church Council and the residents of Ludgvan were delighted by their hard work on behalf of our Church and community.”