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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Treasures in the attic

I've been meaning to investigate a certain box in the attic for a while, now - it's the one in which I packed away my late dad's Scouting memorabilia. This week a photograph on Twitter, posted by Bexhill Museum, of a "Scout Show" from the 1940s prompted me to go digging around to pull out the box in question and investigate... And I found a few treasures buried inside.

Dad joined the scouts as a child and was actively involved in the scouting movement throughout his life. In the box I found his Boy Scout Enrolment card, dated 1941. It confirms he joined the 1st Wombourne Scout Troop on 16th December, when he was 12 years old.

His pride and joy was the album he compiled in 1949 when he was one of a lucky group of scouts who travelled to Norway for the "4th World Rover Moot" - a sort of scouting convention. The album is packed with small black & white photographs, maps, postcards, booklets, leaflets, stamps, Norwegian coins and notes, napkins and type-written letters giving details of travel arrangements, including what to pack!

The list of personal kit made me laugh, not because it didn't seem entirely sensible - complete uniform (including hat), boots (well nailed), over trousers, anarack, sweater, pyjamas, Sou'wester, spare shirt & shorts, sleeping bag etc. - but because, rather bizarrely, the phrase change of underwear had been crossed out!

A small cutting on one page lists the scouts who went on the trip, identified as being "Patrol 53": T.F Cartridge (leader), E.P Jones, R.G. Martin, A.V. Ordridge, R.W. Phillips, and my dad, J.P. Shelley all from Staffordshire and A.L Buckle, H. Sutcliffe, G.I Spencer and H.O. Spencer from Lancashire.

There is a photo of Patrol 53 below. My dad is on the front row, far right. They look as though they're having a great time!

It would be fantastic if someone recognised one of their own in the picture. So do please share this post and, you never know, we might find them!


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