Islington cadets lose 70 year home in community

A group of trainee seafarers claim they have been snuffed out of existence after 70 years as part of the community.

The Islington Sea Cadets (ISC), which were formed in 1942, lost their Canonbury home, T.S. Quail, last week.

Now the 15 or so youngsters have to trek to another unit in Hackney, and parents are preparing to fight the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), who license the premises, to be allowed to stay.

Angela Gordon, whose son goes to ISC, said: “They have taken away our certificate, so as of now the ISC have ceased to exist. It’s disgusting.

“The kids are gutted. Some of them joined at 10 and they are now 18, and some members of staff joined about the same age and are now in their mid 20s. There are a lot of memories there.

“Now the cadets have to travel so far to Clapton, so half the evening is spent on the move. Some of them might drop out because of it.

“I think it’s wrong and I know some of the parents are going to fight this.”

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The former home, an old electricity sub-station was converted in the 1980s

Mrs Gordon said: “Inside the place looks like a fully functioning ship. It’s an unusual building – and they say it costs too much to keep opening. But there is a 99 year lease on it, now it will just stay empty. It’s such a waste.It will end up like the one in Stoke Newington Church Street that has been unused for so long it is basically a squat now.”

A spokesman for the MSSC said the premises were not fit for purpose and ISC would have to find the investment needed to make them safe, or find an alternative home.

She added: “Of course they still exist. A unit is about the kids, not where they parade. Islington are currently homeless, that’s all. The important thing is keeping those kids active.”