AKELA'S LOG 1939 - 1953
Well, in September 1939 the dreaded horrors of war were thrust upon us once more. What would the years bring? The Scout Troop closed down with the enlistment of the Group Scoutmaster to the Army.
Let us now pass to the year 1941. Akela had passed his examination and although registered for service had not been called to a unit. France had capitulated and England alone in the field of conflict. The callous bombing of London brought mass evacuation to all parts of the country and naturally the population of the village increased. Opportunities for Scouting appeared once again and Ron Pruce, a "Pipell" from 12th West Ham set the Scout Troop on its feet. With a promise that the Pack would be kept going after his enlistment, Akela agreed to run the Cubs and Mr. Horace Abbott came forward to act as Group Scoutmaster.
A SECOND ATTEMPT
The first night of the first wartime Pack found eight boys anxious to join, two of them only, members of the earlier Pack, and two who had been Cubs in other districts. After the usual preliminaries, two sixes were formed with Silly Thorn and Cyril Wood to be sixers of Reds and Whites respectively. Akela told of the Great Game we were to take part in as our first training in Scouting. We learnt the Grand Howl, played a few games and closed our meeting this 22nd May, 1941 with the Grand Howl and prayers.
We were favoured by a visit from our District Commissioner at our next meeting. The Revd. W.T. Hickson arrived at 7 pomp, and on entering the Den was greeted by a "bark" of "WELCOME" from the Cubs, whereupon he shook hands with each boy as he inquired "What's your name?". Skipper explained the Grand Howl to the boys, demonstrated the Cub exercises and had the Pack performing the Jungle Dance of Kaa and skinning the snake. Before long the Cubs decided the "Rig Wolf" was not so frightening after all and really enjoyed the evening.
During June we welcomed four new Cubs. The Pack found a keen scent and soon began to master the Law, Promise and knots. The fine weather gave us a grand opportunity for turning to the open air, for ball catching, somersaults etc., to say nothing of the excitement from climbing up our stout old oak, no doubt exhilarated by the possibility of a fall which would have landed the young imps into a pond. What a joke our message relay round the field was, the first attempt brought a terrible tangle, the second Cub Law became the first, but eventually the correct message was returned. In company with the Scout Troop and Guide Company the Pack attended Church Parade at St. Mary's Church on 8th June.
July was a very busy month for the Cubs as the local Council held a War Weapons Week from 5th - 12th and the Pack assisted in the despatch of handbills etc.. On 6th July there was a Drumhead Service and the Cubs joined in the procession from Jackson's Corner. The following Sunday was kept as our monthly Church Parade. It is good to record further additions to our number, but to - wards the end of the month attendances became irregular apart from several "sureties" who made headway with first star tests.
The weather became much colder and rather wet in August necessitating meeting in the Den, but nevertheless we pushed steadily on with first star work and also with the tenderpad tests for the younger cubs. Greatest patience and initiative was undoubtedly displayed by John Potter and Raymond Smith and naturally the award of the 1st Star to both these boys was forthcoming and recorded this month with a solemn jungle ceremony on the important occasion. The opportunity was ripe for dubbing these two cubs with a Jungle name and accordingly John is now "Karela" as he proved very quick at knotting, and Raymond is known in the Jungle as "Dalinda" for his prowess at leapfrog, somersaults and hopping. School holidays affected attendances but slightly and punctuality and regularity were once more quite pronounced. The need for Baloo and Bagheera was most apparent by now, but fortunately the Scout Troop came to our assistance. Great fun we had playing our Cub games, and afterwards, Akela would read stories from the Jungle Book about Mowgli and the wolves, to the delight of all. In addition to our normal Pack Meeting the Sixers Council agreed that the Pack should aid the Nation's War Effort by collecting waste paper on Saturday afternoons. Small barrows or trolleys, owned by the Cubs themselves, were used and after a week or so some assistance was obtained from several of the younger Scouts. The boys enjoyed themselves no end, and when chocolate or sweets were given to the busy collectors their delight knew no bounds. Our Church Parade was held on the Day of National Prayer when there were also present units from the Army and Home Guard. Although of no direct concern to our pack it is all the same of interest to record that at the District Scout Camp held at Langdon Hills over the Bank Holiday Week-end 1st Ramsden Scouts brought to H.Q, the District Trophy. Congratulations Scouts:
September had to come, and with it sad, news for the Pack, for towards the end of the month Akela received an enlistment notice for the 6th October, 1941. Our routine, however, was uninterrupted and Pack Meetings and waste paper collections continued unhindered. Air raids and the black-out were, however, causing some concern and the Cubs were meeting at 6 pomp, instead of 6.30 as hitherto. Even so, one night we were rather late and Akela had to "see three boys home". As will be seen, the problem eventually solved itself.
Departures usually call for some form of celebration and Akela's farewell was no exception. We held a "bun fight" in the Den on Saturday afternoon for which we record our gratitude to our G.S.M, Mr. Abbott, his wife, and to Akela's mother for providing the "eats".
THE YEARS BETWEEN
Over four and a half years rolled steadily by, but the Pack remained as promised. The old Cubs left, but new boys took their places, gaining their tenderpads and winning their stars. For all these many years the Pack records its heartfelt gratitude to Miss Margaret Abbott. Under her loyal guidance the Pack continued to flourish throughout those difficult days, overcoming the problems of black out and air raids by meeting on Saturday mornings. At long last peace was restored once more to our land and through God's Good Grace Akela returned to the Pack once again.
Thank you Margaret. The 1st Ramsden Pack is truly grateful to the Dear Old Wolf who so kindly led them during the years 1941 - 1946.
ANNUAL REPORT 1946 - 47
Akela returned to the Pack on the 15th June and was joined by an Assistant Miss B,M, Hawkins who was duly named Baloo. There were 10 Cubs on the register including 1 sixer and 2 seconds. We made a somewhat uncertain start, the change of day for Pack Meeting undoubtedly being partly responsible. However, we soon settled down and the boys came regularly throughout the winter months so that at the end of the year we had two full sixes.
Star Work. During the first months work comprised a general revision of first star tests and we also enjoyed ourselves learning more of the Jungle Dances. Revised tests were introduced by the Association during the year and this interrupted, to a certain extent, the award of 1st Stars, as Akela feels such tests should not lightly be earned.
Pack Den. The Pack continued to meet in the Church Hall and we were fortunate enough to have almost exclusive use of the Hall. Meetings were changed from Saturday morning to Friday evening from 6.30 p.m, to 8 p.m. Each six had its own corner and brought decorations for it.
Outings. In the summer we took a look at some of the jungle animals found in real life by a visit to a circus at Billericay. The afternoon decided it should pour with rain, but once in the "Big Top" we soon forgot the dampness. Sixers and Seconds went to a Special Sixers Meeting at Laindon when Miss Lee from I,H,Q, came and yarned to us.
Christmas Party. For our Christmas Party we all sat down to a most enjoyable tea served by Mr. Warder in the Pack Den. Afterwards, by means of cars provided by kind friends, we all went to the Pantomime "Dick Whittington" at "Billericay. Front seats ensured considerable entertainment for those near at hand, hut the Cubs were not so sure of things when the Cat appeared among the audience. Never to he forgotten will be the excitement which prevailed on that evening.
THE YEAR 1947 - 48
This year brought with it a most unusual experience; We had a complete change of boys except for three cubs. This occurred just after the summer recess partly as a result of removals from the District, but mainly as a result of the boys reaching Cub leaving age at the same time. Such a situation left us in somewhat of a dilemma and Akela seriously considered closing down the Pack. Instead, however, Akela did nothing, nothing that is apart from changing the venue of our meetings from the Den to his home. Such a dearth of numbers did not suit the three and we were soon back at H,Q, and numbers growing rapidly each week.
Prior to the great change we had made great headway with the star tests and three boys gained their first stars. Subsequently it was a case of starting once more with tenderpads and at the end of the year we had 10 enrolled Cubs and 5 nearly ready.
The rise in numbers prompted the formation of three sixes and occasional Sixers meetings were held for instruction and training purposes.
In April the Pack held a week of work and by many varied means the sum of £2 .4s .3d, was added to Pack Funds. One very worthwhile task seemed to be the removal of a load of broken glass from a garden.
Another outstanding event in the year was the County Scout Jamboree at Danbury throughout Whitsun week-end. Akela and Baloo were both too busy getting married to be able to take an active part in the Rally on Whitmonday, but arrangements were made for the Cubs to attend and the Pack is grateful to the District Akelas who looked after them.
This year the Pack was lucky as regards parties, as in, addition to our own Pack Christmas Party we were invited to a Cub Party at Stock where we also met other Cubs in the District and all had a marvellous time. Our own Party was a combined Cub and Sunday School party to which we invited members from the St. John's Sunday School at Ramsden Heath. The children came in fancy dress and in addition to lots of games and a smashing tea we were all lucky enough to have a Christmas Tree from which everybody received a gift.
One other interesting item was a football match with 1st Runwell played at Wickford School, and although soundly beaten, all agreed it was a jolly good game, which of course, was the only reason we played. Very welcome indeed was the surprise of lemonade and buns at the end of the game.
Only occasionally did the Pack parade at Church. Most of the Cubs are in the Church choir and attend Church services regularly each week, and it is not considered necessary to hold regular Parades. We are of course, aware of the importance of corporate worship and therefore did Parade on special occasions during the year.
THE YEAR 1948 - 49
It will be remembered that last year we experienced a sudden decrease in numbers and a subsequent gradual improvement towards the end of the year. This was maintained and we had 15 enrolled Cubs with a regular attendance throughout of 12 boys. There being a boy suitable for promotion, Akela formed three sixes, reds, whites and blues. During the summer months we wont regularly to the hills for flag raiding and similar wide games. By way of a change we went tracking or for nature rambles when the Cubs looked especially for unusual or new items of interest, and frequent meetings devoted particularly to star work, such as ball catching, somersaults, etc., were held in the field adjoining the Den.
The winter found Akela alone with the Pack, Baloo being inactive because of domestic requirements.
In January there appeared in the Scouter a series of Special Programmes, the first of which was based on Scott's journey to the Antartic. The Cubs were just informed - "Next week we are going to the North Pole, come dressed prepared for the ,journey". As you will realise Akela was a little mixed up, but the following week this was duly rectified and with the boys all wrapped up in mufflers, scarves etc, we went on our journey South.
The programme for March was concerned with Mothering Day and included washing and drying a cup and saucer, making a model bed, and eating a jam tart with hands behind the back - no mean task. This programmed was followed on the Sunday afternoon with a Special Cubs Own from which each Cub took a bunch of violets home to Mother.
In September the Local Association organised District Sports held at the Recreation Ground at Wickford and the Pack entered for the Michael Trophy for Cub events. We made a good attempt and are proud to have finished Runners-up.
The Old Wolves of the District also arranged a District Christmas Party at Billericay and there is no need to say the Pack was there. We also went in strength to the District Sing Song held in January when we saw a film "Captains Courageous".
Our own Christmas Party this year included another visit to the local pantomime - "Babes in the wood" and afterwards tea at Akela's home. It is not necessary to say we enjoyed ourselves, we only left three jam tarts. Baloo could not believe so much food could disappear in so short a time.
This year the Pack had an opportunity of doing a Good Turn; although it was not possible for all the boys to help, those who did showed considerable enthusiasm and derived much enjoyment from the effort.
One very notable item which we must record for this year is the birth of a daughter to Akela and Baloo. Of interest though such an event must be, of greater interest is the spontaneous effort it prompted among the Cubs, for on the Friday before the Christening it was obvious "something" was on. At opening Grand Howl as Akela was about to give the command "To your corners ,,," there was an urgent "Wait" from one of the sixers and after a few "Go on s" and several nudgings, Cub Sixer Derek Burt, grasping a small parcel, stepped forward and read a short message of presentation which announced that each week for some months, the Cubs had secretly brought pennies and tuppences and contributed towards a gift of a Spoon and Pusher for Margaret Anne. So carefully thought out was this effort Akela had no idea anything was afoot until the presentation had taken place.
This has been a really good year's Cubbing and the Pack is grateful to all parents, officers and friends for such a grand Year's Hunting.
1949 - 1950
This year has been rather an eventful one for the Pack, principally on account of the District Cub Camp at Laindon, the boys going to camp for the first time for nearly twenty years.
The number in the Pack remained fairly constant at 12 until the end of 1949 when several boys became of Scout age and had to sav goodbye. At the end of the year, 31st March, 1950, the Pack consisted of 7 Cubs. We welcomed the help of Bagheera Miss F, Joslin) in September and the Pack benefited considerably from the additional attention given.
You remember that last year we began a series of special programmes and these, based on specific days, were continued during the veer. Again, whenever possible, such as Harvest, St. Andrew's Day, etc. the programme was followed up with a Church Parade.
Progression through the first star tests was made and later on we tackled the major second star test, semaphore, hoping to make use of our efforts when once more able to be out of doors.
In March we entertained 1st Runwell Cubs to a football match played on the Recreation Ground, Ramsden Heath, and a very good game was eventually drawn at one goal each.
During Bob-a-Job Week immediately following Easter, the Cubs worked well and raised a total of £3,10s,Od,, representing 5s, 10d, per head. The best
At the Camp Fire on the Saturday evening, each Pack entertained and let Ramsden produced a play - "The Big Pig", having written it themselves.
Mention must also be made of food for no camp is a camp without its associated cooking and here I must record our gratitude to Peter Sefton, a P/L, with 1st Langdon Hills who kindly helped throughout with our cooking. While speaking of food I must tell of Saturday's breakfast - the bread and marmalade that disappeared; my word it was a good job that appetite didn't continue, I'm sure the local baker would have had to put his men on overtime: As this was our first Camp perhaps I may be excused for recording the menu:
Friday: Supper. Biscuits, cocoa.
Saturday: Breakfast. Cereal, eggs, bread marmalade.
Saturday: Dinner. Meat, salad, potatoes, treacle tart.
Saturday: Tea. Bread and butter, jam, cakes, tea.
Saturday: Supper. Biscuits, cocoa.
Sunday: Breakfast. Cereal, sausages, baked beans.
Sunday: Dinner. Meat, potatoes, peas, stewed fruit, custard.
Sunday: Tea. Bread and butter, jam, cake, tea.
Rationed foods were brought individually and pooled, and the Cubs also brought various luxuries such as cakes, sweets, etc., while the District sold bottles of "pop" and ice cream, which was particularly welcomed.
To conclude our story of the Camp, I would refer to Sunday's Church Parade when some 24 boys from Billericay and 7 of our own boys went to St. Mary's Langdon Hills where our A.C.C. Fr. W.T. Hickson conducted the service.
Our Christmas Party this year was held in the Pack Den when the Cubs acted as hosts to 12 Cubs from the l2th West Ham Pack. Readers will the name of our visitors from the earlier remarks about the Scouts in the year 1941, Mr. G. Warder very kindly helped us with catering and Baloo made individual jellies and a beautiful iced cake with a Wolf's head and our name in our Pack colours. As I said, the Cubs were the hosts and were responsible for ensuring that their guests enjoyed themselves, and in so doing I know they had a happy time too. Each boy had brought the week before a present for one of the visitors and they were very pleased to find a parcel on the Christmas Tree for themselves as well. We were very pleased to have Fr. Johnson, our Assistant Priest, with us at tea and for part of the afternoon.
1950 - 1951
At Census time last year the Pack consisted of 3 Scouters and 7 boys, but by the end of the year we were 2 Scouters and 11 boys, with the help during the latter few weeks, of a Guide from the Ramsden Company. We were sorry indeed to lose the services of Miss Enid Joslin in December. That her absence will he felt there can he no doubt, hut we are glad to welcome Rosemary. During the year our numbers have not varied much but what I feel is important, attendance has been remarkably regular, 5 boys have !, and under absences throughout the year. Much better progress was made in starwork than in any previous year so far and four boys were successful in gaining 1st stars, while many others are well on the way and but for a little difficulty with signalling, we should have had a second star as well. The year perhaps, has not been spectacular, but somehow one feels we have had a very useful time; our work has been interesting, and we have put some good solid stuff into our Cubbing.
We can record rather an impressive Going Up Ceremony during the summer months when one of our number joined the 1st Downham Troop. The Pack with Peter Garland the Cub concerned, all went over to the Downham Headquarters where the ceremony was held, and there, afterwards, we left Peter with his new friends the Scouts.
Several of the Cubs including Terry Voyce took part in a Nativity Play at their School in December and as one of the performances was on Cub Night the remainder of us went along to watch our actor friends and to relive the atmosphere that such plays always produce.
Once again sport figured in our programme and in addition to the usual Cub games we played football against 1st Runwell. Although rather below strength we were soundly beaten, but the boys, both teams and spectators, enjoyed the game just the same, but the "pop" afterwards, ah! that was worth playing for. We welcomed the A,D,C, to this match as spectator.
Raster being rather early in 1951, there should be a record of two Bob-a-Job weeks in this account, hut as the second week ended on the last day of the year namely, 31st March, 1951, I will leave a record of that until next time. Although our numbers were less this year thanks to a lot of hard work, our total receipts showed a decrease of only l0s. 0d, and an average of 6s. 9d, per head, representing an increase of 11d, each. Terry Voyce raised his own individual record by 6d, to 16s. 6d. It is interesting to note some of the jobs undertaken included car cleaning, gardening, cleaning brasses, collecting rabbit food, cleaning out a pig sty, running errands and exercising a dog.
We were indeed extremely happy to have the District at our own Church for the Annual St. George's Day Parade, and I am sure the message our Rector gave the boys will help to serve them in good stead in the future. We in Ramsden have every reason to be proud of the Rector as he is an old Scouter.
Our District Cub Camp was held this Year at "Greenwoods", Stock. "Greenwoods" is a country holiday home run by the West Ham Central Mission and comprises many acres of grassland, surrounded by acres and acres of woodland, and forms a most wonderful camp site with permanent sanitary facilities. With such a site at our disposal we decided on an "unorganised" camp. Do not misunderstand the term "unorganised". Nobody could imagine the chaos which would result from a really unorganised camp. Knowing the hours of preparation for our camp and due credit must go to Bill Branch our A.D.C. for his efforts, it is not surprising that he had a camp which was very well run, but with such marvellous country all about us it seemed right that the Cubs should he allowed the freedom of their "natural jungle surroundings". The camp became a real week-end holiday for them as they were left to their own devices between meals during the daytime. The usual excitement of sleeping in tents prevailed and apart from the normal chattering somebody produced a joke about big black horses and this seemed to spark off renewed bursts of daughter till late into the night, until even I had gone to sleep.
On Sunday morning we went to the Church at Stock. This parish and our own is held by the same Rector so we were not among strangers as we have tried to encourage friendship between the two parishes. In the afternoon we held a Camp Cub's Own and I was honoured by being able to help conduct this.
Another marvellous Camp and we are most grateful to everyone who made this camp so enjoyable and particularly to Mr. Warder who assisted with transport.
The District Sports was held in July at the Wickford Memorial Park and we entered for nearly all the events open to us. Though not among the winners we had a good try - we came second.
In December we joined the District Sing Song and added our share of noise: we must have done because we were happy to win one of the competitions which were arranged.
Another highlight of the year which should be recorded, although the Cubs were not personally involved, was a special meeting of the District Old Wolves at our Den. It will be seen from previous activities that the Pack has enjoyed special Pack Meetings based on topical events. We were pleased to act as hosts and to welcome the Old Wolves for a Special Pack Programme based on the Harvest, and everyone voted this a great success. We hope it will help our brother Cubs enjoy some future meeting.
Helping others is the essence of Cubing and during the year the Pack made a special point of helping the Church Council with a fete held in June. Not only did we assist with the preliminary preparations but we also ran sideshows and generally helped on the day. We were also able to show some tangible appreciation for free use of the Church Hall for our meetings by "spring cleaning" the Hall and by tidying up the pathway leading to the door.
For our lack Party this year we all went to a Pantomime at the Archer Memorial Hall in Billericay and after a most talented performance by local players the Cubs ran down the hill (Bell Hill) to Akela's prefab at South Green, (1, Bulsteads Walk). That excitement was the order of the day was evidenced by the laughter and the chatter on the way - we really heralded our approach so that Baloo was waiting for us when we arrived. Television was in its infancy and the envy of many so that to crowd round a 9" screen was the first television experience for many of the boys. Better still were the goodies a feature of every party and we showed our real appreciation to Baloo especially for the iced cake complete with Cub's head.
This has been another full and happy year's Cubing and all have gone a little further along the Scouting Road. For this we say a very big thank you to everybody who has helped us in their various ways, and not least would we record our gratitude to our District Commissioner, Reg. Payne, to his A.D.C. Bill Branch and all parents and friends of the Group.
1951 - 1952
Before I tell of another year with the Pack I feel mention should be made of two anniversaries which occur this year, one happy, one very sad. One unknown to me - one so well remembered. Thirty years ago on 1st January, 1922, the Group was officially registered at Imperial Headquarters as an Open Group, although Scouts had been in existence in the village for some time before this. The first warranted Scouter was Aubrey Taylor and "Aub" used to take both Scouts and Cubs. Twenty-one years ago, one never to be forgotten morning the news spread round the village "Aub" had had an accident on his motor bike going to work; before the end of the day the Group was without its beloved Scouter.
It is, then, rather appropriate that this year should have seen the increase in numbers recorded at census time last year, maintained, so that numbers in fact doubled and it was necessary to close recruitment at the end of the year. Four Cubs left the Pack during the year, two of whom joined neighbouring Scout Troops.
It is, then, rather appropriate that this year should have seen the increase in numbers recorded at census time last year, maintained, so that numbers in fact doubled and it was necessary to close recruitment at the end of the year. Four Cubs left the Pack during the year, two of whom joined neighbouring Scout Troops.
Very good progress was made in rubbing and we are proud to record the award of the Leaping Wolf Badge to Terry Voyce, This badge is awarded to a Cub having "both eyes open", i.e. a second star Cub who also attains two proficiency badges. This was the first time for 20 years that a proficiency badge had been obtained by a Cub in the Pack, and it is perhaps fitting it should be Terry, the son of one of our old Scouts killed in the War, who should do this. Terry's example has inspired the other Cubs so that in the year we have awarded 5 first stars, 1 other second star and hope for two more very soon.
Of course, having such a large intake of new Cubs, there had to be some slowing down of first star work, Akela's time for several months being occupied with teaching the Promise and Cub Laws.
Rob-a-Job Week in the week after Faster found the boys in good form and from their varied tasks the Cubs earned an average of 7s. 7d, a head, representing an increase again of 10d, over that of the previous year.
With most other Packs in the District we joined in all the appropriate District Events and we are pleased to know that Akela is asked to help with and takes an active interest in many of the Scouting programmes.
For the second year in succession we were proud to have our own Rector speak to us at the Annual St. George's Day Parade held at Stock.
Our camp this year was held once again at Langdon Hills and we had a most enjoyable time even though the weather on the Saturday was not too kind. Sunday, however, was much better and the majority of the Cubs joined in the service at St. Mary's Church.
We hoped for great things at the District Sports in July but I am afraid the best we can do is affix the programme.
Better success awaited us at the District Handcraft Exhibition held at Billericay in November. Our Six won the competition (and the Judges' praise) for their improvised Jungle Scene prepared during the afternoon. Congratulations Cubs.
Because of the large number of Cubs in the Pack our Party this year was held in the Church Hall, the Pack Den. We invited our old Cubs and the A,D,C, to join us and Mr. Warder supplied us with a Real Party Tea, ably assisted by Baloo who produced the jellies and specially decorated iced cake. Our thanks to all who made this such a memorable-year.
1952 - 1953
It is so often true in life that it often seems that "it never rains but that it pours" and this year certainly brought its history of adversity to our Cub Pack. The great thing about any misfortune is the challenge it presents and the chance it offers of fighting back, and I am indeed proud, as well as grateful to say that for the apparent troubles we have not gone back. The Scout Spirit has prevailed. For some four months the Pack was without Akela and illness also affected others at the same time. Fortunately Baloo was able to carry on although alone, and later our Cub Instructor, Rosemary, carried the full responsibility for several weeks. This was no mean achievement for a young lady of 17 and we are indeed grateful and most indebted to Rosemary Knight for her care.
Understandably the number of boys on our register has varied but slightly during the year, but in the circumstances attendances have been good throughout.
It would be foolish to suggest that our troubles did not interfere with our Cub progress, they did slow us up temporarily, but not sufficiently to prevent the award of a second Leaping Wolf Badge. Several proficiency badges were also gained but we only had 1 Cub passing second star tests and 1 first star was obtained.
Once again we have participated in all available District Events. Our Cub Camp this year was again at Greenwoods, Stock, and I suppose our great test came at this time. The day the Pack went to Camp, Akela went into hospital and away for over two months. We are indeed extremely grateful to the District Old 'Wolves for the ready help which they gave the Pack, enabling them to go through with the Camp. In particular mention must be made of the many kind friends, mums and dads, who were so helpful and understanding, and in particular to my brother Les, an old Scout of course, and Mr. George Warder, the Pack's best friend, who took over the burden of transport at very short notice. At the Handcraft Exhibition held at Billericay our Six was successful in gaining second place and several boys had individual winning exhibits.
As can be imagined from the programme we had a jolly good time at the District Sing Song, Such events when Cubs get together in such large numbers, are most helpful in widening the boy's outlook, as well as making a talking point for several week's afterwards.
We appreciate most sincerely the kind hospitality accorded to us at the Garden Party given to us by Mr, and Mrs. F,W, Keddie. We had a grand time.
A most successful Week of Work was undertaken in April and resulted in the record figure of £10. 7s. 0d, being obtained. As a consequence we were happy to send a small donation to I,H,Q, in addition to the extra 1s. 0d, the Scout Council had requested. With 22 members on register the individual average was 9s. 5d. which indicates a very real effort by the boys, three of whom in fact earned over £1 each. Well done all.
It is perhaps almost with shame one records our attendance at the St. George's Day Parade held at Wickford. Only the three sixers turned up to support Baloo (Akela was unwell) but that in itself speaks much for the three boys and their splendid example.
The year, however, was notable for our sporting activities. In the summer we played cricket against the lot Runwell Pack while the football season brought games against several local Packs and the boys at Ramsden School.
A few weeks ago came the dreadful flooding and its resultant damage. Although not in a position to offer much practical help the Pack is making a contribution to the County Commissioner's Appeal and we have, of course, remembered in our prayers, our friends in distress.
This Lent the Pack is making a special effort in self denial with a view to supporting the Church of England Children's Society.
At our Party this year we were very pleased to welcome as our guests, Cubs from the 1st Downham Pack. Needless to say we all had a very jolly time.
1953 - AND SO FAREWELL
As will be seen from the foregoing record we belonged to a very keen and active Scouting District. As well as Old Wolves and District Pack gatherings there were also many District Troop events. With my Christian background and specialised hygiene knowledge, and because I was not directly responsible for a Scout Troop I was frequently asked to judge at Scout camps and to assist with Scout's and Cub's Own Services. It will be appreciated then that I was very involved in Scouting activities in the District and it was with much sadness and many regrets that my Scouting days with the Billericay and District Local Association in general, and the 1st Ramsden Cubs in particular had to come to an end.
7th March I was successful in obtaining a post as District Sanitary Inspector wit the Chichester Rural District Council, one of the largest Rural Districts in the country, and I commenced duties at Chichester on the 1st May.
Thankfully Rosemary Knight was prepared to carry on, and with Bill Branch, District Commissioner, and the District Old Wolves promising their support I'm sure the Grand Howl will continue to echo round the Hall for many a year yet.
Before I left Billericay where we had been living since 1948, a most singular honour was bestowed on the Group and all those whose encouragement and help over the years since 1927 had kept me in the Great Scout Movement. Much to my surprise, at the Annual Meeting of the Local Association held in the Archer Memorial Hall, Billericay, on 23rd April, I was presented with the Scout Medal of Merit by Brian Harrison, Assistant County Commissioner. What a thrilling experience for me - what an honour for 1st Ramsden St Mary's Own.
Finally, I want to say a special Thank you to all the boys, the Mums and Dads, and all the kind friends and helper, who over the years have made my days in Scouting so enjoyable. I really do appreciate all the loving support and encouragement you have given me and I am must grateful to every one of you.
"Thank you All very much indeed."
So Goodbye Pack and Good Hunting. May there be many happy years ahead.