On the 6 th December the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association was plunged into darkness when the lights went out at their Annual Dinner & Dance. Seconds later the faint glow of ultraviolet lighting eerily revealed the movement of the drummers from the band of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron Air Training Corps as they marched on to perform their lights out display.

During the display all that could be seen was the precise rhythmical movement of the Air Cadet percussionists drum sticks, dress ropes and other white uniform items as the cadets stole the show and performed an almost flawless routine.

The Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association normally meet up with the Nuneaton Air Cadet Band during the town's Armistice Day Parade, which has always been held on the 11 th November. Being the youngest regiment in the British Army the Paras form up as the last veterans Association contingent immediately before the cadet forces. But over the years it has become a bit of a local tradition for the Parachute Regiment Association to fall in behind the Air Cadet band for the march past so that they can sing along with the music. There's always lots of banter about how much the Paras appreciate the fact that the RAF always took them into action, ”shame they never dropped us in the right place”. So when the Squadron was approached by the Regiment and asked to perform a ‘Lights Out' display during the Associations dinner, they jumped at the chance.

Many former members of the regiment, some of whom had seen active service in World War II, the Arnham drop and may other more recent conflicts, attended the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association, Dinner and Dance at the Saunders Hall Club in Bedworth.

During his address the guest of honour Lieutenant Colonel John Handford emphasized the importance of the work being done within the community by the Parachute Regiment Association, specifically highlighting the support being given to injured troops returning from Afghanistan . George Duffus, branch chairman read out a letter from HRH The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment.

After the lights out display both Lieutenant Colonel John Handford and George Duffus went back stage to congratulate the cadets on their performance.

Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said, “The cadets have worked very hard to get ready for this evenings performance and they put on a magnificent display. Everyone I spoke to afterwards said how impressed they were and asked me to pass on their thanks for an excellent display. Some of the cadets involved had never performed a public display using ultraviolet lighting before and they should all be very proud of themselves for putting together such an entertaining routine.”

Two members of the percussion section with the ghostly ultraviolet lighting illuminating their rhythmical movement during ‘lights out’ display – Click to Enlarge
121 (Nuneaton) Squadron Band, percussion section, Impress the Parachute Regiment Association – Click to Enlarge
George Duffus, Parachute Regiment Association branch chairman with Lieutenant Colonel John Handford to the left – Click to Enlarge

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