We took a trip on the high speed rail line out to Ramsgate located on the English Channel side. The town was great and had a beautiful harbor. We stumbled upon the HMS Bulldog Sea Cadet Academy while walking around town. The former commander was nice enough to give us a tour and it happened that many of the former staff and cadets were present for a social. We spoke to many of them and had a good visit. I was also impressed with the current cadets and how they handled themselves. The program is sponsored by the Royal Navy and is basically an after school program for boys and girls who are at risk. It is structured in a para-military fashion and the young cadets learn such skills as sailing, drill and ceremony, marksmanship, knots, etc... It gives the kids a positive place and solid role models when those things are lacking at home.
The folks we spoke to were in their 70s and 80s and provided great detail about the town of Ramsgate during WWII and other interesting facts. It was a great day trip and I hope to return again some day.