SLIDESHOW: Cadets, jazzmen and really big planes

This week’s photos from days gone by are all about sea cadets, the bandstand, a jazzman and a rather large aeroplane.

They come courtesy of Brian Mitchell, from Southgate, who is the longest serving member of the NTC (nautical training corps) in Crawley.

Members of TS Courageous 1962-64'Pictures courtesy of Brian Mitchell

Members of TS Courageous 1962-64'Pictures courtesy of Brian Mitchell

Commander Mitchell joined as a lad in the 1950s and, in the decades that followed, trained generations of Crawley boys and girls.

He is also the owner of an extensive photo collection.

Starting with the pictures of the cadets: the photos were taken between 1962 and 1964 at the old mill in Ifield, where TS Courageous was based.

The group of cadets armed with drums and bugles were made up of TS Courageous and TS Zealous, from Patcham. They were heading off for a church parade at St Margaret’s in April 1964.

The youngsters sitting round a table inside the mill were being taught Morse code by 4th Officer Bill Lowe in March 1964.

The two cadets guarding an exhibition of photographs about the band of TS Courageous in March 1964 were taking part in a Commodore’s inspection.

The cadets were Linda Fredricks and Barry Lowe. Does anyone know what they are doing now?

For more than 20 years, the cadets met and trained in a hut which used to be used as Langley Green Community Centre.

The hut was dismantled and carted to the old mill, where foundations were laid and it was reassembled during the winter of 1964/65.

Can anyone identify the man measuring one of the wooden planks?

As the pictures testify, the old hut was certainly showing its age by the 1980s.

Are there any former TS Courageous cadets out there who remember Commander Mitchell?

Next, we move on to the rather large aircraft depositing its cargo at Gatwick. It was a Bristol Freighter and was owned by Silver City Airways.

There is no date on the picture but the company’s history and association with Gatwick suggests it was taken some time around 1954.

Photo owner Brian Mitchell thinks the cars it was transporting were Austin A30s or perhaps A35s.

A30s were produced between 1951 and 1956, which would tie in with the suggested date of the picture.

Are there any car or plane enthusiasts out there who can say for sure?

As for Silver City Airways, it merged with Channel Air Bridge in 1963 to form British United Air Ferries.

That company went out of business in 2001.

Finally, we have Crawley bandstand - which has witnessed more than its fair share of jazz performances over the years.

You may not think it to look at it but Crawley bandstand has had a long and colourful life.

It witnessed the thunder of hooves on race days at the old Gatwick Racecourse, sat neglected and overgrown with weeds when the racecourse closed and finally found a permanent home after being rescued, restored and installed in the newly built Queens Square, which was officially opened on June 9 1958.

It has provided a stage for dancers and musicians who entertained generations of Crawley people.

One of the famous faces to grace its boards was legendary jazzman Kenny Ball, who died on March 7, aged 82.

The picture of Kenny entertaining the shoppers with his musical skill was provided by Brian Mitchell, of Southgate.

Does anyone know when the picture was taken?