Makeover at Maker

  • Author: Nichola Winstanley
  • Date: Monday 4th April 2016
Makeover at Maker

A group of 21 Officer Cadets from BRNC spent a day working to clear bracken surrounding three World War Two gun mounts at Maker Heights in Cornwall. They removed the bracken and cut back brambles on site to allow public access to the area.  The working part was led by Warrant Officer (WO) Darren ‘Fruity’ Paskins, BRNC’s Ceremonial Training Officer, who lives in Torpoint. 

WO Paskins has been spending much of his free time in recent months working at Maker to restore the military sites.  He said:  “This is all part of our history and our heritage.  I think it’s very important to remember our past and restore these areas to their former glory as best we can. The Cadets actually came to me to offer their assistance as a way of reaching out into the community.”

Among the team was Officer Cadet Dan Jinks from Beacon Park in Plymouth.  The 21-year-old is a former pupil of Devonport High School for Boys and started his Royal Navy training in September 2015.  He said: “It is so nice to have some time out of the College to calm the nerves before our final assessment. We’ve camped out overnight and had a tour of the site learning about the history.  The guns stationed here were to protect the dockyard during World War Two.  It’s been a bit of hard graft digging out, but it’s given us a sense of appreciation of the military history here at Maker. I knew about the place before, but have to confess this is the first time I’ve been here.”

Officer Cadet Reece Greg from Helston in Cornwall was also visiting Maker Heights for the first time. The 19-year-old said:  “I’ve sailed in and out of Plymouth so was aware of Maker, but I didn’t know the significance of the place.  We’ve been split into three teams and set to work on three different gun emplacements and I think we got the worse one. We tried to clear it out and give it the attention it deserves.  It’s reasonably hard work, but it’s all enjoyable because we’re working alongside each other as part of a team.”

Maker Heights has a long link with the military dating back to at least the 1700s when guns were placed there to protect Plymouth from the threat of invasion from allies aligned to America during the War of Independence.   A Heavy Anti-Aircraft battery was built in the late 1930s and altered in the 40s.  American troops also mustered on the Rame Peninsular in preparation for the D-Day landing

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