Bakers visit 815 Naval Air Squadron

The Worshipful Company of Bakers is more than happy to be affiliated to 815 Naval Air Squadron which is based at Yeovilton in Somerset. As anyone who was at the October Court and Livery Dinner or who has read the report of it in the News section of our website, knows, at that dinner we presented Lt Laura Cambrook with the Bakers’ Prize, a fine engraved bread knife. It is awarded annually to the individual on the squadron whom the Commanding Officer judges to have demonstrated the strongest adherence to the Fleet Air Arm ethos and who has most significantly contributed to the squadron’s output. 

We were also lucky enough to be invited to Yeovilton to familiarise ourselves with the squadron and the work they do all over the world on behalf of all of us. So it was that on 26th October 2018 a group consisting of Past Masters Robin Salmon, Colin Sach, Colin Reese, the Clerk and me, went to Somerset. We were greeted and given a talk on what the squadron does by the Commanding Officer, Jamieson Stride. He then took us into the hangar where we saw close up the Wildcat helicopter. That was followed by lunch in the Officers Mess.
Then followed the highlight of the visit (at least for me) - “flying” a Wildcat. We were taken to a simulator where each of us was given a turn to fly - with varying degrees of success. I took off from HMS Ocean and after some minutes during which I performed a number of inadvertent manoeuvres, I landed on RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Mount Bay without realising that I had done so. I will confess that it was quite an experience as I have never been in a helicopter before, let alone flown one.

The Clerk then flew from RFA Mount Bay to Portland. Past Masters Robin Salmon and Colin Sach flew (mainly in circles) and finally Past Master Colin Reese took to the air. A great experience for us all.
Finally, we were able to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum and marvel at the historic aircraft there. 
It was a very worthwhile visit. The hospitality shown to us by Commander Stride and Lt Will Thornton as well as the time they and others spent with us was truly remarkable.  
Stephen Kramer
The Clerk, Robin Salmon, Colin Reese, Cdr Jamieson Stride, The Master, Colin Sach, Lt Will Thornton.