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The weather was in our favour as the cadets and staff prepared for the opening of the new boatshed. After years of planning and fund raising the foundations had been laid and the building started. It took many hands and a great deal of effort from the Unit Management Committee to co-ordinate the fund-raising and applying for awards is no easy task.

The staff and officers at the Unit stepped up to the mark and the ground was cleared and prepared.

'It was heavy going for a while and when the senior cadets came down to lend a hand it made all the difference. You don’t realize how much kit there is to sort and stow until you have to go through it all. It was great to find some bits and pieces that brought back lot of memories and fun for the instructors as well as the cadets, ' said Petty Officer Ernie Tolley.
The builders did an amazing job as the time scale became tight and the weather proved to be a challenge.

'We promised to have the building ready for the cadet opening and we weren’t going to let them down, everyone pulled together and the result is outstanding', said  Mr Rab Crocket, Buckhaven Building Supplies.

The new boatshed will allow the instructors and cadets to maintain the boats and to teach the cadets, boat maintenance and marine engineering. Learning to look after your safety gear is essential to developing safety awareness in our cadets. The challenges of sailing and kayaking have opened the doors for many of the cadets to realize their potential and take on responsibility within the unit.

'We received a lot of support from Fife Council, Awards for All and the Bank of Scotland Foundation to name a few, and without them it would have taken a lot longer to achieve our goal. We would like to thank everyone who helped,' said Mr Dick Harden, Treasurer Unit Management Committee.

The day went exceptionally well but was tinged with sadness as our Chairman and Project Manager, Mr John 'Jack' Leishman, BEM died suddenly before he could see the project completed. In honor of his dedication, commitment and leadership the boatshed was dedicated to his memory. To open the boatshed and to unveil the naming of the Viking, a 16ft ex-naval motor launch, were members of Jack's family. Mrs Tricia Stafford and Mrs Jeanette Cassells, Jack's daughters unveiled the plague commemorating the dedication and opening. On entering the boatshed both Tricia and Jeanette were impressed with the size of the facility.

'It was a very emotional day for all the family and to have such a wonderful building dedicated to our Dad's memory is very fitting as he held all the cadets in such high regard. The Sea Cadets played a very important part in Dad's life and is an honor to have him remembered,' said Mrs Jeanette Cassells.

'We have been very impressed with all the preparation and effort that has gone into building the boatshed and it was lovely to see the viking being named after Dad. Knowing that so many young people are going to benefit from the work Dad and the staff and committee of TS Ajax have done is a wonderful legacy,' said Mrs Tricia Stafford.

The Opening was also attended by Mr Lyndsey Roy MP. Mr Roy took the time to speak with the cadets and to look around the boatshed and admire the work that has been done by all involved. Mr Roy praised the staff and members of the Committee, acknowledging the loyalty and integrity of Mr Leishman who has made an impression on so many lives and has left a truly fitting legacy to the cadets.


1. Mrs Tricia Stafford & Mrs Jeanette Cassells cutting the ribbon


2. Lyndsey Roy MP speaking with cadets

unveil plaque

3. The Boatshed – unveiling the plague