Building Scout headquarters off Ham Common – by HS

Although I’d never been a scout as a boy I came in as a Rover Scout and that was quite good.  We actually built the Scout Headquarters in what’s known as the Avenue off Ham Common, just the Scouters and some of the parents.  Not a builder among us we didn’t know [inaudible] but we built it up and the only professional part that was done was the roof, the roofing was laid by a firm and that’s still being used today.

You didn’t do a bad job then?  No, I think it’s still standing.  I became Group Scout Leader there for about 10 years. Both my sons and my wife was involved.  She used to run one of the Cub packs.  There were 2 Cub packs in those days.  The Scouts were quite active because we were part of the Richmond District and there were quite a lot of District events that they took part in and I took them on what was known as a Trans Dolomite venture in 1966 which was in the Dolomites, climbing and that was the only overseas trip that we did.  I was the leader.

Were you an expert in climbing and mountaineering?  Yes, except for the weather, the worst weather they’d had in that part of Italy for over100 years, bridges were swept away and they eventually had to make special arrangements to get us out, to get us back to England.