80 YEARS of sea cadets in Colchester is marked in today’s picture special.

The unit, built on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy, was first formed in July 1941.

Today it is based from the decommissioned T S Colne Light lightship at King Edward Quay, Hythe, and is regularly attended by 43 youngsters aged nine to 18.

The unit was first based at the Wilson Marriage School in Barrack Street and adopted the name, T S Black Horse. 

After the Second World War it relocated to a motor torpedo boat at Hythe Quay and then a number of other land-based locations, before moving to the lightship in 1991.

The unit has received numerous awards over its 80 years and in the last two years has received a Burgee award in recognition of meeting cadet standards.