ONE of the country's smallest Air Training Corps has just enjoyed one of its most successful years, having won a clutch of top awards in 2000.

Marlow's 30-strong group, which is preparing for its 60th birthday, bagged trophies at various events, including first place at the Bletchley Park challenge against 20 other ATCs.

The group will be celebrating its birthday on Sunday (Feb 4) at St John the Baptist Church, in Little Marlow, where members will take part in a church parade.

As well as clinching top awards, the group has been present at many of the town's popular civic events, including Steve Redgrave Day, the Remembrance Parade, Marlow Regatta and Marlow Carnival.

Andy King, recently promoted to cadet warrant officer, the highest rank a cadet can achieve, has been with the group for seven years.

He said: "This has definitely been the most successful year since I have been here with regard to medals."

Andy, 20, who wants to join the RAF before the end of the year, added: "We are looking for more people to join. It is a great way to meet many different people and to gain good experience of things you'd never normally do

"But the opportunity to fly is the main draw for most people."

If you are aged 13 to 18 and interested in joining Marlow ATC, then call (01628) 481014.