Sea Cadets, the national youth charity, has launched a search for people in the North East of England that once wore its navy blue uniform and white sailors cap.

The search, called My LegaSea, aims to inspire former cadets to reconnect with the charity, share their stories from time spent at sea, on powerboats or travelling the world on expeditions.

Phil Russell, Captain of Sea Cadets, said: “We’d love to hear from anyone living in North East England who once served as a sea cadet, in the United Kingdom or overseas, so that we can hear their stories and inspire them to share past adventures, friendships and valuable life lessons learned from time at sea.

So far, we’ve heard from Olympians, award winning musicians, engineers, dancers, civil servants and military veterans, all of whom were positively influenced by their time as a sea cadet.”

My LegaSea is a long term impact study commissioned by the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) to explore the legacy of its work with young people aged 10 to 18 and how it helps shape the lives and prospects of cadets.

The Sea Cadets has commissioned an independent researcher who has been travelling the country, meeting former cadets and hearing their stories.

Music and Memories for the TS Kelly Band, Hebburn

The study’s lead researcher Anna Spencer has uncovered the heart-warming story of a group of musical Sea Cadets veterans who served on TS (Training Ship) Kelly, based in Hebburn – on the banks of the River Tyne – in the 1970’s.

Stephen Symer (58), Dave Berry (65), Barry Turner (62), George Sanger (61), Les Turner (61) and Peter Atherton (61), were all part of an award winning cadet band in their youth and have stayed friends to this day.

They meet monthly to rehearse and socialise and perform every November in the Armistice Day Parade in Monkton.

Anna Spencer, said: “The band members of TS Kelly, Hebburn, are a brilliant example of how friendships formed in the Sea Cadets often last a lifetime.

We’d love to unearth more great stories from the North East and I urge people to get in touch with theirs.”

How to share your Sea Cadets story

If you, or anyone you know, has served in the Sea Cadets and would like to share their story, you can by completing the My LegaSea survey online at:

Or by emailing: and

For people who are not online, you can write to the Sea Cadets My LegaSea Team at 202 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7JW, addressed to Anna Spencer, Lead Researcher, My LegaSea.

The Sea Cadets was founded over 160 years ago and currently has over 400 units across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Malta and Bermuda, where it works with around 14,000 young people aged 10 to 18.

The charity’s units are run by 9,000 volunteers.