The new pontoon provides TS Kelly Sea Cadet Corps with the opportunity to launch their boats to gain access to the River Tyne from their base in the Mountbatten Memorial Building.
The Mayor, Councillor Pat Hay, was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant, Lucy Winskell OBE for the ceremony, which was conducted by Rev David Raine RNR, the Unit Chaplain, and involved a blessing of the pontoon.
Others in attendance included the Mayoress Jean Copp, Unit President The Hon. Nigel Westwood, chairman George Bone MBE and Commanding Officer Sub Lieutenant Clare Towns RNR ,as well as the Royal Naval Association (Tyne) and Royal British Legion (Hebburn branch)
Councillor Hay said: “It was an honour to help mark the official opening of the Hebburn Sea Cadets pontoon.
“The TS Kelly unit is a focal point in Hebburn, supporting young people to grow and learn about naval life while doing great things within the local community.
“This new boating pontoon is sure to make a real difference to the Unit and greatly enhance the opportunities and experiences of the young cadets who can now access the river and carry out waterborne activities directly from their base.”
Mr Bone MBE said: “Hebburn Sea Cadets have been fundraising for this pontoon for just over seven years and with the help of many people, including HMS Ganges Association and HMS Euryalus Association, we have fulfilled our dream. Our wonderful young Cadets are very proud of their new pontoon.”
Hebburn Sea Cadets was founded in 1934 as part of the Navy League Sea Cadet Corps and were based adjacent to the Hawthorne Leslie shipbuilders, until moving to their present site in Prince Consort Road in 1993.
The Mountbatten Memorial Building was purpose built to provide a place for local children to meet safely, enjoy new experiences and develop life skills, from teamwork and loyalty to respect and self-confidence.
The Unit is named TS Kelly after HMS Kelly, the WWII destroyer which was built at Hawthorn Leslie and Captained by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Her Majesty, The Queen’s uncle.