A popular play area at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose has been past ‘fit for use’ by the kids from the Air Station’s children’s day nursery, Helitots.

The play area, in the shape of a pirate ship has slides, ropes and nets, which for the youngsters at Culdrose open up a whole world of adventures for exploring and creating imaginative scenarios.

“Having the Pirate Ship refitted and refurbished has made a big difference to us,” said Steph Richards, manager of Helitots. “It gives us an extra play area for the children. It's a very popular place with everyone, they all want to explore. Having a pirate ship on the naval base is great fun, the children like to think it's what their mummy's and daddy's do.”


Over the years, the wooden structure has stood the ravages of hundreds of tiny hands and feet across its decks and rigging. Situated conveniently at the rear of the Wardroom, the play area proves itself extremely popular to all base’s sailors with dependants. However, has recently started to show its age and a little bit of TLC (tender loving care) was required. To the rescue came The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, who happily gave a grant of £4,306.68 for its restoration.

Photo: Anne Carr from the Charity and Lt Cdr Rich Carthew with the children from Helitots

Anne Carr, Head of Grants at the charity said: “We were pleased to help with funds to repair this play area at RNAS Culdrose, especially as it has proven very popular with all children from across the base.”

She added: “At the Charity, we endeavour to support our sailors and marines and their families. Sometimes it’s just simple things, like funding repairs and improvements for recreational assets, such as this pirate ship used by so many children, which help ease the stress and pressure that can accompany life in the Service. We truly hope all these ‘young pirates and princess’ will enjoy having their ship back."

Stanley, a member of RNAS Culdrose’s Helitots has a different take on it: “I'm really glad the Pirate ship's been mended, we can keep the crocodiles away now!"

Other projects the charity has funded at RNAS Culdrose includes £35,000 worth of improvements to the Station Briefing Facility/Cinema and additionally assisting in the cost of training ASA Level 2 teachers for the Air Station’s young swimmers club.