Cadets from the Sqn were luck enough to have a behind the scenes tour of the world famous Old Bailey Courts in London last week, courtesy of Flt Lt Pete Gourri of London Wing who organised the trip. Cadets from 27F (Chingford) Sqn also attended, and Cdt Isabel Hulbert reports on the evening:
“On 15th July, 12 Cadets and 3 staff had the privilege of visiting one of England’s most eminent criminal courts, the Old Bailey. To begin, after being seated inside one of the courtrooms, we were given a captivating talk by the effective boss of the Old Bailey about his working- life, the history of the building itself, and also a riveting insight into the types of trials held at the court. The actual tour of the building began with the chance to find out for ourselves what it feels like to stand in the docks – the same docks where countless infamous murderers, terrorists and others such like from recent times, as well as those back when capital punishment was still draw upon, have found themselves being convicted. We were then lead to one of the main halls, and were all undoubtedly surprised by the grandeur of it – artwork scaling the marble walls and ceiling was the least we were expecting to be met by in such a serious place! Following this, we were shown around the prison cells (being warned against pressing any big red buttons on the walls!), whilst learning about many more intriguing cases dealt with at the court and various other goings on – including the tale of one man who vaulted into the building wearing a jacket full of explosives !
Before we departed we were shown where and how criminals are transported around, and what security measures are taken whilst doing so, and subsequently we were taken into another slightly smaller courtroom and learnt more about how different trials are treated. Overall, this rare opportunity (which as we learnt is in fact not open to the general public, and truly is invitation only) was certainly not one to be missed, with a clear fascination about all that we learnt being very evident amongst all cadets in attendance”.