Scouts and Cubs in Alresford

“Our Gang” Alresford Cub Scouts 1939
Back row: Miss Irvine Robertson, Cub mistress, Tony Osborne,
Frank Todd, Harry White, Arthur Cliff, Eric Lane
Middle Row: James (“Jimmy”) White, ?., John Todd,
Horace Todd, Alan Tremeer, Ron Deane
Front Row: Albert Brown, James (“Jimmy”) Underwood, Len Strong,
John Gilding, Alan Cliff, Dereck Chamberlain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alresford Cub Scouts in 1939

There was a thriving Boy Scouts and Cubs brigade in Alresford prior to WW2. The Scout hut was quite a large building situated in the grounds of the Rectory in Sun Lane. There was also a swimming pool there, just a plain concrete affair about 60 feet square with a spring board and a high dive platform.

The Rector, the Rev A.J. Robertson was the scout-master, a big bearded Scot, and when he dived in the pool we boys used to say: “There goes the Titanic being launched again”. His sister, Miss Irving Robertson, was the Cub mistress and we learned all our ‘dib dib dibs and dob dob dobs’ from her. Plus how to tie reef- and grannie-knots. This was all part of my formative years.

Once a year we had a Scout Rally: for this we put on a swimming display, and after, on the rectory lawn, we staged short plays and sketches depicting Scout activities. This always brought in a good audience of Mums and Dads and other relatives anxious to see what there ‘little terrors’ got up to.

We had many Summer camps during our school holidays. Locally, we went under canvas in Avington Park, and once or twice we went to Hayling Island. There were no blow-up beds then, we slept on just a ground-sheet with a blanket for cover, under bell tents, all with our feet to the middle. We cooked our food in Billy-cans over a camp fire, mostly this was baked beans, washed down with a tin mug of smoky tea. But we survived.

The Rectory, Scout hut and pool are no longer there, they were demolished in the 1950’s to make way for housing, like many other sites around. Sad, that’s progress, but we have our memories to pass on to our Grand-children.

Memory submitted by Len Strong, August 2012

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