Our latest member William (Bill) Branston tells me he was active in Scouting after the Philippines Jamboree in 1959 to 1972 when his job and working away from home prevented him continuing in Scouting, He was The Scout Leader of the 43rd Bristol (Stoke Bishop) for about 10 years.
I have also heard from Roger Warren who tells me he remembers the weekend camp at Yorks Wood before the Jamboree and fond recollections of Bernard Spillane trying to work out how many tins of baked beans he could pack into his 44lbs allowance
Roger Warren can be found a couple of days a weeks behind the bar of "The Old Oak Inn" 176 Main Street, Horsley, Woodhouse, Derby DE7 6AW Tel 01332 881299 Roger tells me any member of the 59 Jamboree would always be made welcome and please call in if you are in the area.
Brian Woodcock - My scouting history began at the age of 11 and quickly became a very important part of my life. I was in the 24th Leicester Scout Troop, attached to St Philip’s Church. When I became a patrol leader, I gladly devoted myself to organising interesting programmes for patrol meetings and original and adventurous extra activities that took us around the county. Our scoutmaster, the church curate named Barrie Barnes, was absolutely dedicated to the troop and a brilliant role model for me. Outstanding memories of my scouting days include:Making canoes (canvass stretched over wood frames), taking them out on the River Soar, being chased by an angry swan; A summer camp in perfect weather at Beaudesert camp site in Cannock Chase and a week in a converted gunboat on Oulton Broads when it rained solidly all week.Going to the London Gang Show each year – and on the one year we couldn’t get tickets, taking advantage of a troop camp at Gilwell Park by catching an early train to London and going to Golders Green Hippodrome absolutely convinced I would be able to purchase a ticket. And having failed, sitting on a porter’s trolley in St Pancras station in my broad-brimmed hat, waiting for the train on which the others would be coming, and hearing a voice saying, “What’re you doing here?” And recognising Ralph Reader and Tommy Thompson, and telling them where I had just been. And hearing R.R. say to T.T., “You know what he wants, don’t you?”, and telling me, who he didn’t know from Adam, that I was to come with a friend on the night of my choice and ask for him at the stage door, and he would get me in somehow. And two of us sitting on the steps in the centre aisle of the dress circle watching the whole thing in a packed house.Putting on our own group Gang Shows every year, called Hotch Potch. Our patrol entering the District Camping Competition. And coming last. As a Queen Scout I went to the Jubilee Jamboree at Sutton Park. What made the greatest impression was walking in lines away the arena, arm in arm, a dozen or so abreast, after the closing ceremony, wave upon wave of us singing the Jamboree song (“Jamboree, clap-clap-in-brackets…”), passing under the huge illuminated globe – and realising that all of us in our line were from different countries. Ever since then I have viewed the world as a brotherhood of nations. And seen myself as first and foremost a world citizen. Two years later came the Philippine Jamboree. I don’t know why I was chosen to be a patrol leader, and feel I didn’t make a good job of it. I remember the heat – 120 f, and 90 in the cool of the evening, and us all being aghast at the information, as we neared home that it would only be 60 degrees in London. The jeepnies; the kindness of our Dutch hosts in Manila; staying with a delightful Filipino family in Legaspi; the conical, smoking volcano; the hot water springs; the eleven-course meal in Hong Kong… This was a life-changing experience, though I wonder whether I was fully ready for it, and sadly I didn’t keep up my contacts. That was partly because it was my birthday soon after I arrived back, and already there was a mountain of cards and letters waiting for me (the result of writing in endless detailed autograph books), with the result that I was completely overwhelmed. After a year of going round with an 8mm over-edited film and all my souvenirs, giving talks, I went off to college to train for the Congregational ministry. In Manchester I immediately tracked down my nearest scout troop, and went along on Troop Night to offer my services, promising to return each week unless other things at college got in the way. They got in the way every week, and I was never able to go back. It was completely impractical to give time to scouting during my five years at college. Life as a new minister was even more demanding. Despite my best intentions, and my strong feeling that you should be prepared to give back to scouting what you got out of it, I never have found it possible to give my time as a leader. As a minister, however, wherever there has been a scout group attached to my church I have always been very supportive, and have worked hard to make my churches equally supportive and appreciative and to see the uniformed organisations as part of the extended church family. On my last Sunday at the church of my longest ministry (nearly 18 years) the all-age service was interrupted by the GSM, presenting me with a Thank You badge. It is one of my proudest possessions. But if the truth be known I think I should be giving the thanks. I suspect the quality of my ministry, and my ability to exercise leadership, may owe more to my up-bringing in the Scout Movement than I have ever fully realised.
Chris Rowland.- Brought up in Mildenhall Suffolk and joined 1st Mildenhall Scout troop as soon as I could. We had no Cub Pack. Our Scoutmaster was a WWI veteran who followed Scouting for Boys very closely. We were a backwoods troop, very adaptable and resourceful but with no heritage of gaining proficiency badges etc. I progressed as normal through Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Patrol Leader, Troop Leader etc. When a senior scout, our Assistant DC made a rare visit to the troop and told us about the Jamboree plans and that Fisons (Agricultural Fertilisers) had agreed to sponsor the trip for 1 scout from Suffolk. It was to be a competition and would I be applying. My initial reaction was that we were way out on the fringes of Suffolk scouting and that I would not have a chance. However, my mother persuaded me to apply and I was preselected for a final run off at the county scout ground near Ipswich. The final selection weekend saw 7 of us put through our paces. I was fortunate enough to come 1st of 7. Meantime 4 of us in the troop had decided that we would like to become Queen’s Scouts and we set upon a programme of gaining proficiency badges to that end. By the time that I was selected for the Jamboree, I was about halfway through the process. The CC told me that they really wanted to be represented in Makiling by a QS, so please could I try to complete the plan. I just managed to do that, but had to do the Venturer hike solo as my 3 other colleagues had fallen by the wayside. I stayed with the Troop for another 2 years becoming a Venturer scout. After return from the Philippines I returned to 6th form studies, and joined the RAF as an engineering officer university cadet. That meant hat the RAF sent me to Bristol University. I served 33 years in the RAF retiring as a Wing Commander and having served mostly in the south of England and with 2 spells in the Middle East (Bahrein and Riyadh). I covered all aspects of aircraft maintenance and engineering training and was for a while in technical intelligence becoming the UK expert on Russian and Chinese aircraft. After retiring I have worked as a consultant to several organisations connected with military and railway interests – ships, planes and trains. I left Mildenhall on joining the RAF and moved around the south of England. I had a house near Aylesbury for 30 years but finally moved to Christchurch in 2006 so as to be near good sailing waters; I have been an avid windsurfer and recently acquired a dinghy to mess about in. Chris
John Harris -(Known as Bomber Harris at Jamboree) I joined the 165th Birmingham Troop in 1951 at the age of 10 years. All my mates were in the Scouts so I didn't want to go into the Cubs. I lied about my age but one of my "mates" shopped me. When questioned I came clean and explained why I wanted to be in the Scout troop and the Scout Leader agreed to let me stay. I enjoyed my life in the Scouts, doing a lot of camping & outdoor activities. At the age of 15, as a Senior Scout, along with 2 other Senior Scouts we were running our own troop as we could not get anyone to take on the role of Leader. Around that same time 2 of us gained our Queen Scout Badges and went to Gilwell Park for the presentation. The third Senior Scout left the movement but the two of us carried on running the troop, and we had a lot of support from other local Scout Groups. We joined the 253rd Brookfields Scout Band where we played the bugle. I stayed with the band until 1958 by which time I had received my warrant as an Assistant Scout Leader. During my time as a Senior Scout I was a Squire to the Peckwood Rover Crew. I found when I had taken my Warrant out things got a bit too much and there wasn't enough time to cover everything so the band had to go and my involvement with the Rover Crew became spasmodic. In 1964/65 I was attending night school 3 nights a week and had some work commitments which prevented me from carrying out my ASL duties correctly. Added to this our Group Scout Leader decided to close the 165th and transfer our Scouts to another group. This was done without any reference to me so I thought it time to return my warrant. I did hope to return to scouting a later date but when I began making enquiries I was advised by a number of people that the movement had changed so much that I would be unlikely to fit in. I enjoyed every minute of it and I like to think that it helped to make me the person that I am. Not always the best but far from being the worst
Mike Phillips- Very Brief Scouting History 1950 Joined Cubs at 1st Sutton Coldfield Sea Scout Group, little knowing then how much a part of my life Scouting was to play Sixer of Tawny Patrol 1953 Moved in to Scout Troop, gained Scout Cord, Seaman’s Badge etc Patrol Leader Kingfisher Patrol Lots of camping, sailing, canoeing and plenty of outdoor activities. The Group were very successful in local competitions ranging from swimming, camping, first aid, regattas and I was lucky to have been part of many a winning team 1957 At 9th World Scout Jamboree (J.I.M.) in Sutton Park acted as a Junior Host/Commentator for Associated Television (ATV) 1959 Selected to represent Sutton Coldfield Scout District at 10th World Scout Jamboree in Philippines Patrol Leader of Grenfell Patrol in Senior Sea Scouts Achieved Queens Scout award 1960 Rover Scout Then subsequently over varying periods of non consecutive time A S L ;S L Temporary Acting Venture Scout Leader for short period Took “holiday” from Group to concentrate on Sutton Sailing Club where I became Commodore in 1990. Towards end of 1990’s was “recalled to Sea Scout Colours” to act as Chairman and was immediately asked to undertake a major project to refurbish Headquarters, new toilets, galley, heating etc. Succeeded in raising £125,000 for the work which took the Group into the following century. After standing down as Chairman after 5 years (hard work!!), continued to be involved but not in active warrant role. Retiring from work in 2006, my daytime Tuesdays are now taken up with liked minded “oldies” back at our Headquarters involving repairs, boat & premises maintenance etc., generally giving support to sections where required. Scouting has provided me with opportunities which I know would not have otherwise come my way. My family background was modest but my parents actively supported and helped wherever possible in furthering my Scouting activities and I owe a lot to them, leaders long since past and to my fellow Scouts, with many of whom I am still in contact. Thank you BP for what you started in 1907.
Len Davies (Now Lives in France) - It is amazing to hear from fellow scouts of 1959. I have been in Alsace for most of my working life. I retired here in December 2007.I read French at Manchester University from 1961-65 then joined the Foreign Office where I served in Lagos, Athens and London. I was recruited to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in July 1974 and appointed Secretary to the Committee of Ministers in 1995. I maintained my contacts in the scouting world with looking after the Seniors at 1st Christleton after my return from the Philippines. I attended scout camps in Devon and Guernsey. After that my activities in France and at University took up most of my time.I remember going to a Jamboree reunion in Birmingham and meeting up in Manchester with a Jamboree participant who was studying geology A part cela not much to relate ,mais je nne regrette rien.
Bryan Lee - As Bryan does not have the internet, but Brian has supplied me in with some information he tells me he was in the 20th Birkenhead (School) Troop from an early age, Wolf Cub, Scout, Senior Scout gained Queen Scout and was Troop Leader and after the Jamboree he left School he then joined "The RANGIDRA Rover Crew" with Peter Sampson and they have kept in touch over the years. Bryan missed National Service like many of us but he joined the Royal Observer Corps in 14 Group (Winchester) Until they were stood down in 1991. Bryan also attended his school's 150th Anniv in Chester Catherdral this year after going the the 100th Anniv about 1 year after leaving school in 1959. Bryan also sent me so me information on Spencer Flack which has been added to the site. He has sent me a copy of a photo taken with 5 other scouts at Jai-Alia posing with a beautiful female singer - This photo will be put on Jamboree History page to see if we can identify the others in this photo.
Bernard Spillane - (Bernard is blind, and I normally contact him via letters or the phone.) I have some information that Bernard has supplied me- After the Jamboree he was invited to International Day at the Three Counties Showground to show his souvenirs to the County Girl Guides and talk to various groups of people that had sponsored him, on this occasion he met Olive Lady Baden Powell. He also attended the Queen Scout Parade at Windsor Castle and the service in St.George's Chapel, he then moved onto Yorkswood Rover Crew and acted as a deputy warden on several occasions as it was avery big campsite. He also helped at a local scout troop as well as getting involved with local radio hams and helped set up a Jamboree on air. Bernard tells me he was one of the first to receive the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award which he received from the Duke himself at St James Palace. He also helped with a Senior Troop in Wolverhampton and became a ASM (S) at one of their camps in Dublin they hoisted the Union Flag only to be told by the local farmer to take it down before the IRA ripped it up, while in Dublin they visited Guiness Brewery,Jacob's Biscuit's & Player's Cigarette Factories getting free samples everywhere. Bernard told me that after becoming a Scout Master he met his wife who was a Captain of the Local Guides and when they got married and moved to Weston Super Mare they decided no more Scouts or Guides. Bernard got very involved with the local village hall in 1967 when he steered the project from 'no land and no money' to it's completion where he ended up as a chairman for 15 years helping to raise £70,000 to build the new hall, which was given several awards including the Best in the Country, he was also invited to Buckingham Palace as a reward for his work in the Community. Sadly Bernard and his wife were divorced and soon after in 1990 he had a stroke which curtailed many of his activities, he then became chairman of a local Scout Group and when the Chief Scout issued a challenge to every district to mark the 75th Anniversary of Scouting his district did a 75 legged race, Bernard tells me he has no conection with Scouting now but he was looking forward to meeting all his 'Old Pals' from 50 years ago at the Reunion- Bernard arranged for a driver to bring his to the reunion and I am very aware he enjoyed his day with us, I have had several letters and newspaper cuttings from Bernard -He tells me he is looking forward to our next reunion. (Information taken from Bernard's letters etc.,)
David Steel - Has told me after about 1 year after the Jamboree he became an Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) of the 30th SW Cheshire Group which he continued for 3 years until going to Salford University as the University did not have a "Scouting Society" in the Union and he was away and could not attend meetings he was unable to continue doing what he loved doing. After he graduated he moved around the UK with his job and when his Group in Crewe closed he final lost interest in Scouting. ( I am sure this happened to many of our members- University unfortunately causes a lot of people to give up Scouting as they find other interests etc.,)
We are currently updating with every new information that comes in. Thank you for your interest!