Scouting out for yesteryear’s group leaders

The Beavers raise a cheer after customers helped Sainsbury's choose 1st Longridge Scouts as its charity partner
The Beavers raise a cheer after customers helped Sainsbury's choose 1st Longridge Scouts as its charity partner

As 1st Longridge Scout Group embarks on its 80th anniversary year, leader Pam Hooghkirk is compiling lists of personalities and events which are going to be part of the special celebrations.

One of the first markers for the year was the team at Sainsbury’s in the town announcing that 1st Longridge had been chosen as the supermarket’s local charity partner for the next 12 months.

“Customers had a huge say in this year’s choice by voting in store and on line,” explained PR ambassador Janet Camm.

“The staff are looking forward to working closely with the 1st Longridge Scouts to ensure that they receive funding and support for the next 12 months.

“The group, which is run from the Scout hut on Irwell Sreet, is great in that it offers challenge and adventure to young people from the age of six to 25.

“We’re aiming to support the leaders, work hard to help young people achieve their full physical, social, intellectual and spiritual potential as individuals. And we want to follow the achievements as the sections take part in a whole range of activities ranging from archery and camping to cooking and First Aid.

“We know lots of fun is had and firm friendships are also made along the way.”

Pam said: “Not many people are aware that the Scout Group is a registered charity and does not receive any central funding at all.

“This partnership will raise our profile in the community, and it was the Beaver section which went into store to launch the partnership.

“They were given a warm welcome and a picture to colour for a competition.”

And it’s a competition which has already started 
celebratory birthday events off as group members settle to design an 80th birthday badge for 1st Longridge.

The design has to incorporate three special items – the group itself, its 80 years from 1933 to 2013, and its current supporters Sainsbury’s.

Entries close on September 6 and can be posted or handed in to section leaders or Pam.

She is now concentrating on looking back through 80 years of history, with one particular task being to trace former leaders and scouts of past years.

“My aim is to fill each year since 1933 with a scout or 
leader,” explains Pam who herself became leader in 2001.

“Brothers Tom and Charles Heginbotham were leaders in 1941 and 1943, Eric Smith in 1946 and Eric Slate in 1947 and then a few years on, David Cottam in 1971.

“Since then we have also had Stephen Williams starting in 1987, Ann Russell in 1988 and Mark Joyce in 1997 – and I am also getting history together for a website and podcasting with interviews being done by our group members from Scouts and Cubs.

“I am also hoping to see former group leader in the 70s, Fred Clapp, and others like Tom and Charles for more facts and reminiscences of past Scouting days.”

Different celebratory events are being planned over the next 12 months, and Pam aims to launch an annual awards scheme for Scouts and Cubs of the year to mark the birthday.

She is also compiling a ‘Grannie’s favourites’ recipe in time for Christmas, with 80 recipes for each anniversary year.

She added: “We will be concluding the anniversary with a big party when the new awards will be presented, and hope to find lots of former group members to come along and enjoy the event with us.”

1st Longridge Scouts, Cubs and Beavers current membership is 60 with the three sections needing to attract more leaders.

“It would be good to have even school leavers, younger people of 18 or over to help with games or just generally at meetings and events,” said Pam.

“Such involvement always looks good on a CV so if you can help please come and talk to us at the Scout Hut.”