176 (Hove) Squadron, Air Training Corps

Young people interested in aviation

The Air Training Corps has had a Squadron in Hove since the Second World War. Originally located in the Marmion Road Drill Hall, they moved into the allotment off Holmes Avenue in the 1960s, only to be moved again for the new Hove Hospital in the early 1980s. The Squadron was relocated to the West Blatchington playing fields together with the co-located Girls Venture Corps (GVC) unit, where they are located to this day. The Air Training Corps is an organisation for young people interested in all aspects of aviation. It is sponsored in part by the Royal Air Force, the ATC offers far more than just aircraft, providing a wide range of skills and life-long friendship.

Girls joined c1990

Squadron Crest

Girls joined the ATC in the early 1990s. Hove was one of the last units in Sussex to take them, mainly because the CO’s wife was regional commandant for the GVC and didn’t want to take their girls. Eventually though they came over to the ATC and the GVC unit closed. The GVC building fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished in 2003. A new building has now been put on the site of the old GVC unit and is set to get its official opening some time in 2012.

Fourteen staff volunteers

The Unit currently has just over 30 cadet members and a staff of 14 regular volunteers. The Squadron has its own band, take part in target shooting, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and way too many other activities to mention. We even have a cadet on a two week aviation camp in Florida, USA over Easter. We are one of twenty two in Sussex and three in Brighton and Hove, though of course we would claim to be the best. 176, and the Air Training Corps in general, gains a lot of its staff from either its previous members or ex-members of the Royal Air Force and other services.

Continuing into the future

As a cadet I enjoyed my time with the Corps and have been pleased to see later generations of cadets pass through the Squadron. It is a tribute to the Corps that all five of the current uniformed staff and three of the civilian instructors are ex-cadets of 176. They obviously feel that what they did as cadets is worth continuing for future generations of cadets. Three of our civilian staff have also served in the Royal Air Force.


Comments about this page

  • In 1967 176 amalgamated with 2278 (Knoll School) Squadron ATC. We marched with our CO Flight Lieutenant Frank Le Duc to the then new HQ in Holmes Avenue. 176 went from strength to strength under his leadership. Remember when I joined the RAF he asked me to sign a form to say I had been in the ATC so he could claim 7 shillings and 6 pence for me as I had been a member. Also he and I appeared in the Evening Argus on the day of the amalgamation as he cut off the 2278 ribbon from my arm.

    By Myke Rosenthal-English (26/07/2012)
  • Hi Myke Rosenthal-English. I spent 4 years in 2278 ATC at the Knoll School where Mr Frank Lu Duc was a Flight Sergeant when I joined and became a Warrant Officer when I left. I was pleased to see from your comments that he achieved the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He was partly responsible for me joining the RAF. Do you have any more information about him? I also went on several summer camps to RAF Duxford and RAF Honington where he was our billet Officer in Charge. I am also interested in the amalgamation of the 176 and the 2278 ATC Squadrons and any pictures you might have. When I went to the Portland Road Junior School my class was placed in the building next to the Marmion Road Drill Hall for a number of years due to over crowding at the main school location.  Email: mpusey@sympatico.ca

    By Mike Pusey (29/07/2012)
  • Hi Mike, the guy who runs 176 ATC Sqn now told me it went though a bad patch when he left but it is now slowly building up strength again. I have no photos left of when I was in the ATC or RAF. I got rid of all my old photos when we moved the family to Germany in 2006.

    Dear Myke,
    Sorry but we have had to delete some of your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try Friends Reunited website if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
    Comments Editor

    By Myke Rosenthal-English (25/08/2012)
  • To all our former cadets, even those before my time. Please feel free to contact me anytime for an update on the Squadron’s progress. As far as the photos are concerned we have now mounted all the pre-1993 camp photos along the walls of our new Squadron HQ. It’s quite a trip down memory lane. So much so, we now have ex-cadets turning up with their kids with a view to joining.

    By Flt Lt J Bodner (21/04/2013)
  • I was in the 176 squadron 1958/1959 in those days it was sited in the army base in Dyke road. c/o com Payne drill sergeant Kelly.

    By colin james watts (19/01/2021)
  • 2278 Squadron, Air Training Corps may have started at Knoll Secondary Modern School, it wasn’t there when I started at Knoll but It was located there in 1955 in my last year. The C/O was one of the schoolmasters Mr Bristow who taught science.
    In the back of the classroom used for geometry there was a complete jet engine mounted on a substantial wooden stand, probably from a Gloster Meteor. It had very large combustion chambers and looked very different from a modern fan jet engine.
    Parked outside the metalwork classroom was a wingless spitfire, I guess it must have been one of the last of its type, it had an engine and large multi-bladed variable pitch propeller.

    By Mike T (27/02/2021)
  • I was in 176 Sqn late 50s when it was based in a building at the side of the Drill Hall in Dyke Road, can’t remember any names but had some great times with the squadron, later joined the RAF and had 22 years happy service and some wonderful memories.

    By Charles Baynton (19/02/2022)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.