On parade - Plant Quality's Dave Cotterill talks about the proudest moment in his RAF career
The long-continuing tradition of Jaguar Land Rover employees celebrating their connections with the Armed Forces continued recently after Plant Quality Co-ordinator Dave Cotterill took part in celebrations to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
The 53-year-old, based in C Block, has been an RAF Reservist as a Senior Aircraftsman for nearly 35 years after joining the service in 1984.
The grandad-of-two was first invited to the Houses of Parliament back in June for an event hosted by Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson, and attended by reservists ranging from junior ranks to senior commissioned officers, to thank them and their employers for their support for the Armed Forces.
During his visit, the JLR employee of 27 years had the chance to speak to Air Vice-Marshal Lord Beaverbrook, Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the grandson of William Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, who was Minister of Aircraft Production during World War II, and was responsible for Castle Bromwich becoming the production site of Spitfire MK IIs.
He was then put through training in order to take part in the RAF Centenary Parade in London which included a fly-past of 100 aircraft from throughout the years including the newest state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning. Unfortunately for Dave he never got a chance to see the display as, being on parade, he had to face forwards.
He said: “The parade was quite honestly one of the proudest moment of my RAF career. In what was a first for the RAF, we fired our weapons on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and at the after party were given the chance to see members of the Royal Family, RAF senior officers and those from air forces around the world so it’s an experience I won’t forget.”