Scout group hands out trophies at 60th anniversary bash

Words and photo by Dave Barry 

As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Derwent Valley Scout Group had a presentation ceremony at its HQ next to the garden centre in Irton.

It was attended by Rev Richard Firth, assistant vicar at St Martin’s Church in Seamer, and the borough mayor and mayoress, Joe and Margaret Plant.

Trophies and gift vouchers were awarded for the best and most improved scouts, cubs and beavers.

Most pack members attended, along with family and friends.

The youngsters provided entertainment, had pillow fights, played table tennis, bounced on a mini-trampoline and practised crafts in a tepee.

Presentations were made to two leaders who recently left the group. Nick Allison ran the explorer group but is now working away. Wendy Bardon has just moved out of district.

Formed in June 1958, the group was initially called the 51st Scarborough and District. It was run by the vicar at the church rooms in Seamer.

A few years later, the vicar’s wife launched a cub pack.

In 1967, county councillor Stanley Bell opened new premises, a cold and draughty barn on what were then the village outskirts. The group took its current name at the same time.

In 1975, a piece of land was donated on the site of its present premises.

Mick Walls, who worked at the wireless station, acquired a prefabricated building for the site. Mick died over 30 years ago and has a memorial seat dedicated to him outside the scout hut. His granddaughter Alicia is one of the cubs in today’s group.

A few years later, blue asbestos was found in the building. Beryl Lewis, who was the group scout leader at the time, led a campaign to raise £37,000 to reclad the building. “Not one single meeting was cancelled during the refurbishment”, she recalls, proudly.

The fundraising didn’t stop there as money is always needed for one thing or another. Over the years, the building’s kitchen, toilet block, play area, leaders room and garden have been upgraded.

Derwent Valley used to have two cub packs, the Cougars and the Jaguars. The Cougars were closed down 30 years ago due to lack of numbers but relaunched last year. Both packs are now full.