District History

Scouting In Tynemouth 1908 - 1976

The following has been extracted from “Our Heritage – Tynemouth Scouting 1908 - 1978” by W. Harold Smurthwaite using a scanner and OCR (Optical Character Recognition). If you come across anything that doesn't make sense or is spelled wrong, please let me know and I will correct it. OCR is not perfect and requires some manual editing.

It is impossible, in the scope of this book, to give a full picture of 70 years of Tynemouth Scouting, however, the Author has made a selection of the happenings of this period and trusts that Scouts of Yester-year will be able to fill in their own memories and the Scouts of today and tomorrow together with the well-wishers of the movement, will be able to see the unfolding picture and know more about Our Heritage.

Page 2 - 1947 to 1976


With the desire for adventure and putting into practice many of the ideas they had heard and read about in “Scouting for Boys” and “The Scout”, Patrols and Troops of Boy Scouts sprang up all over the Country and in particular in our own Town and District. Three Troops (at least) were established— 1st Tynemouth (May), 1st North Shields (June), 1st Christ Church (August). The latter Troop had a Patrol on March 3lst and the Troop was formed in August. It is known that in June or July there was a lecture in North Shields Y.M.C.A. on “Scouting For Boys”. Boys were calling for Scouting to be introduced in the Churches, Institutes etc. Scouting was catching on—and it was here to stay.

On June 14th, there was the First Committee Meeting of Tynemouth Scout Leaders, comprising:- S.M. Rev. T.E. Crawhall (1st Christ Church) S.M. Rev. Lewis Johnson (1st Congregational) S.M. J.W. MacPherson (1st Tynernouth) S.M. J. York (1st Blyth) S.M. Buston (1st St. John’s) S.M. Orange (1st Bede College) S.M. Craig (3rd Tynemouth) and representatives of 1st Trinity and 1st Cullercoats. It was agreed that the Area would be the Parliamentary Borough of Tynemouth and any other troops wishful to join. The following officials were appointed:- Chairman: Rev. T.E. Crawhall Vice Chairman: Rev. L. Johnson Hon. Sec.: J.W. McPherson.

Thus came into being Tynemouth Scouts Association (though not called by that name in the beginning). It was registered at Headquarters with a warrant dated 16/7/09. It is interesting to note Wallsend Association was formed in September 1909 and warranted June 1910. In October it was recorded. . . “A registered Scout shall have the badge loaned, according to his class of office, by The Local Committee and shall return it when going to a higher class of office or leaving the district or Movement”
In November it was decided “Each Troop to have their own Colours”.

February — The First Tynemouth Scouts Church Parade in Christ Church.
Easter Monday — “A Manoeuvre” with South Shields Troops against Sunderland Troops - Result a draw.
April 27th - Local Committee arranged 1st Concert (in aid of L.C. funds) in the Parish Hall, where a Display was given of Gymnastics, Indian Club Swinging, Dumb Bells, Single Sticks and a Demonstration of Ambulance and Signalling - Profit £6.19.3.
St. George’s Day was celebrated with South Shields Troops in the Marine Park, South Shields.
May 27th - It was reported that Mr. Addiscott was trying to raise a Troop at Whitley Bay.
June 14th (A. G.M.) - Reported that there were now 14 Troops Membership 397(14 S.M.’s, 20 A.S.M.’s 363 Scouts).
July - Local Committe changed to Executive Committee (Monthly Meetings) Association Meetings to be held every 3 months.
August - Inspection and Sports at Tynemouth Cricket Field - Inspecting Officer Colonel Kidd reported to Executive - that 9 Out of the 14 Troops had been camping under canvas during the summer.

July - “Kings Rally” at Windsor. 3 S.M’s and 6 Scouts from Tynemouth attended.
A.G.M. - It was reported that every Scout of the 1st Tynemouth Troop were swimmers (75% learners 45% with Life Saving Badges). The “King’s Scout Badge” had been gained by John Todd (1st Christ Church Trop) — This was one of the first in the Country.
Sept 27th — The Chief Scout - Baden Powell, accompanied by the County Commissioner Earl Percy, visited Tynemouth Scouts at the Skating Rink, Tynemouth. He inspected the 8 Troops (23 Scout Officers and 216 Scouts) and later expressed himself as well satisfied with Tynemouth Scouts. During the year Parades had been held in Holy Saviour Church, Northumberland Sq. Presbyterian Church, Tynemouth Congregational Church and St. George’s Church, Cullercoats.

May 2nd - Empire Day Association Display at Rockcliffe Field, Whitley Bay.
July - It was reported that S.M. Canon T.E. Crawhall was leaving the district. He was thanked for all that he had done for Tynemouth Scouting.
The Otter Swimming Shield for all England was won by 1st Tynemouth (Earl Percy’s Own) for gaining most Life Saving Badges and all round proficiency in swimming. Their S.M. (also Association Secretary) J.W. MacPherson was a keen swimmer and Life Saving enthusiast. The County Commissioner The Duke of Northumberland (accompanied by Major Vaux) presented this very special Shield atTynemouth Skating Rink - Tynemouth Scout District have an excellent photograph of this occasion, given by Mrs. John Morgan (widow of one of the early E. P.O. Scouts).
Sept. 30th A.G.M. - It was reported that there were now 10 Troops with 26 S.M.’s and A.S.M.’s, 284 Scouts and 678 Badges gained, including 2 King’s Scouts and 17 First Class Badges.
The Executive were still finding it difficult to get a permanent District Commissioner as Major Vaux’s and Major Carter’s service as D.C.’s had been of short duration.

May - The Secretary wrote to Miss M. Burnett (who later became Dame Maud Burnett) re ­ the formation of a Troop of Sea Scouts. In August the First Sea Scout Master Mr. Corby was appointed S.M. in this Tyne Sea Scout Troop.
Reported that S.M. J.W. MacPherson was leaving the district for New York. He was a great stalwart in these early days of Tynemouth Scouting.
December - Appointment of two District Scoutmasters as follows: Southern Division - N. Dryden, Northern Division - Rj. Addiscott.

April 3rd (A.G.M.) - Lt. Col. F.G. Scott of Preston Village appointed District Commis­sioner. During the year 595 Badges had been gained including 5 King’s Scout and 8 First Class.
April 23rd — St. George’s Day Parade in Priory School Yard.
May 6th — Scouts’ Display at the Drill Hall—Inspection by the C.C. the Rt. Hon. Earl Percy.
Sept. 2nd Letter of Appeal, to be sent to prominent residents, to help Association Funds. This raised £26.13.6.
Due to the outbreak of the First World War the Association Secretary (Mr. Thompson) was called up and A. S.M. Waugh (Whitley Bay) was appointed to this position. All Scouts asked to help with YM C.A. work.

Tynemouth L.A. agreed with Newcastle L.A. as follows:-
Tynemouth’s Area will be Borough of Tynemouth, Urban District of Whitley Bay and Monkseaton, Howdon, Shiremoor, Backworth, Holywell, Hartley and Earsdon.
St. George’s Day Parade at Priory School — 300 Scouts inspected by Brig. Gen. Fitton.
A.G.M. — it was reported that we have our D.C., D.S.M. Dryden, 2 S.M.’s, 3A.S.M.’s and 60 Old Scouts serving in the Colours. Scouts have acted as Guides, Dispatch Riders, helping in Naval Hospitals and Billets, Relief Work, Typists, Special Constables and Coast Guard work. The 4th Tyne Troop of Sea Scouts have been continually on duty at Tynemouth Castle and Seaton Sluice, and the 2nd Whitley Bay Troop have been 5 months with Coast Guards at the lonely stretch of coast at Ross Links.
July 31st—Aug. 14th — The First United L.A. Camp at Barrasford (after permission from Northern Division Command). 4 Officers and 60 Scouts. Cost 1/3d per head per day—a great success.
Oct. 29th — Messrs. George and Fred Greenacre asked Executive for their Troop 1st Chirton (later called Preston Colliery, then Ritson’s Own) be affiliated.
Dec. 30th — Local Association to be known and registered as:- Borough of Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and District Boy Scouts Local Association. 1st Wolf Cub Pack formed in the Borough attached to 1st Cullercoats Troop.

Jan. — Request from the Chief Scout for money to be raised for buying of Ambulances and Huts for the Allies French Front—Work Days done by Tynemouth Scouts raised £12.8.6.
May 21st - The Chief Scout (Sir Robert Baden-Powell) inspected Tynemouth and District Scouts at Whitley Bay.
A.G.M. - We have 12 troops, 12 S.M’s (some on active Service), 25 A.S.M’s, 603 Scouts, 39 Wolf Cubs - total 679. 2175 Badges issued (then an Association Record) including 21 King’s Scouts, 41 First Class - This showed that even in Wartime Adversity the Association was thriving.
Nov 8th - Tynemouth Shelter Presentation of the Scouts Medal of Merit to Patrol Leader John Morgan (1st Tynemouth E. P. O.) for saving a boy from drowning at Cullercoats. The Medal and Scroll (the first award to a Tynemouth Scout for Bravery) have been given to Tynemouth District and are greatly prized. Early rallies of Scouts as follows:-
1909 - Crystal Palace (First Scout Rally) 11,000
1909 - Glasgow 6,000
1911 - Windsor Great Park 26,000

D.S.M. RJ. Addiscott forwarded to I.H.Q. his idea of the formation of Rover Scouts. After some modifications it became official in 1918.
A.G.M.- Scouts are cultivating allotments at Spring Terrace Field as Wartime Service.
The Commanding Officer, Officers and men of The 3rd Duke of Wellington Regiment (stationed in North Shields) presented to Tynemouth L.A. a magnificent Silver Challenge Shield as a recognition of the Services of Scouts in the Southern Division in acting as Ground Police.
Oct 26th — Major McGill agreed to be nominated as District Commissioner.
No Summer Camps could be held this year (due to War Time restrictions).

Jan 25th — Backworth Troops now attached to our L.A.
Feb 22nd — Wallsend Troops invited to Tynemouth L.A. Scout’s Own, in order to meet and by the desire of The Joint District Commissioner. This seems to suggest that Tynemouth and Wallsend had a Joint Commissioner and confirms the 1915 registration of 1st Chirton when Fred G. Scott signed as District Commissioner of Tynemouth and Wallsend District (National H. Q’s can not confirm or deny). Attendance - Tynemouth Scouts 421, Wallsend Scouts 194
March 27th — 1st Patrol Leaders Conference (held at Whitley Bay) - 62 present. Excellent Conference — Great Discussions.
July 4th — Advertisement in Local Press — offer to farmers of Scout help with farm work. October (A.G.M.) — “Now there are 15 Troops (5 new ones this year) with total membership of 720.” 884 Badges gained including 10 King’s Scout and 50 First Class Badges.

Smith’s Dock Troops were formed in North Shields—No. 1 (Sea Scouts) from Company’s Employees, No.2 (Land Scouts) were of school-boy age and not confined to employees. Oct (A.G.M.) — “3 new Troops this year with 2 disbanded—membership 611 Scouts, 43 Officers”. Badges issued 498 including 7 King’s Scout and 11 First Class.
Nov 28th — The Scout’s Silver Cross (the first awarded in this area) was awarded to Patrol Leader William (Dick) Ferguson (Y.M.C.A.) who rescued a man from drowning — A very meritorious effort. Tynemouth Scout District received this medal and scroll from his widow and is a much prized item in our heritage.

June 5th— Registration of the First North Shields Wolf Cub Pack— attached to 1st NorthShields (Square Presby).
July 19th — Registration of the Second North Shields Wolf Cub Pack — St. Andrews.
Whit Monday — Scouts Rally and Jamboree on Newcastle Town Moor.
Aug 27th — At the Executive the District Commissioner (Major McGill) reported that in answer to a previous enquiry, he had studied all documents and gave his decision on the dates of formation of the first three Troops as follows:— 1908 (May) 1st Tynemouth; 1908 (June) 1st North Shields; 1908 (Aug) 1st Christ Church.
Census — 15 Troops with 49 Officers and 610 Scouts, 2 Packs with 3 Officers and 40 Wolf Cubs. Badges — 1010 issued including 23 King’s Scouts


Feb 25th — Opening of 2nd Whitley Bay H.Q.
April 29th — Seghill Colliery Troop accepted into our Association.
May 24th — Illuminated Address presented to D.S.M. Addiscott in appreciation of his valuable services as Hon. Sec. and Hon. Treas. for 4 years and as D. S.M. (he was also S.M. of his own Troop) — He had a great influence in Scouting in those early days
May 27th — Resignation of the District Commissioner (Major McGill) — leaving the District.
July 1St — L.A. invited Dr. Wilfred Hall of Tynemouth to be President — He served in this office with distinction for 31 years.
New Trophy - Association Senior Challenge Shield for Scouts over 16 years — First Winners — 1st Whitley Bay.
October — Evidence of existence of Scouts’ Football League.
Dec 9th — Resignation of S.M.Jos Lugton (D.S.M. 1915-20) — leaving the District — He was a great Leader of a great Troop (YM. C.A.) — (The Author was proud to be invested by him in 1919).

Jan — Subscriptions agreed — 7/6d per Troop and Pack, 5/-d per pack (only) L.A. Subscription to County £1.1 .0.
March 31st — Visit of Scoutmasters to Preston Colliery, No. Shields.
Apr 28th — Visit of P.L.’s to Preston Colliery — Both visits greatly appreciated.
Sept 2nd — Grand Rally and Display at the Drill Hall, No. Shields. Displays by Troops and Packs. Inspection by His Grace The Duke of Northumberland—A Great Day plus profit of £18. 10.1. Cheers !!
A.G.M. — The County Commissioner (F. F. Corballis) was the main speaker. It was reported that 500 Badges had been issued including 12 King’s Scout 53 First Class. Tynemouth still showing high standards of Scouting.

Jan 5th — Opening of new Headquarters of Preston Colliery Troop (formerly 1st Chirton and later 3rd Tynemouth—Col. Ritson’s Own) at Billy Mill. This ex-Army hut was also of great service to Tynemouth L.A. for meetings and the nearby quarry was used for Scouting games and tests etc.
April 21st — Scout Gathering at Borough Theatre No. Shields - Films and Presentation - about 600 present.
July 22nd - Presentation of Gilt Cross and Certificate to Second Rowley (2nd North Shields) for saving a boy from drowning.

May 11th — At the Scout’s Own, The Association Shield was presented to St. Peter’s Troop and The Duke of Wellington Shield to 1st Tynemouth (E.P.O.).
June 1st — The First Cub’s Own was held at St. George’s Church, Cullercoats — 9 Officers 84 Wolf Cubs.
August Imperial Jambouree at Wembley.
Sept 24th — Rovers Conference.

March 26th — L.A. unanimously agreed — All new applicants for warrants must give 3 months notice to L.A. during which period the applicant should be visited in his/her work with the Troop or Pack by the D. C. or D. S.M. The S.M. to also make a report to the L.A. Hon. Sec.
April 30th — Meeting of Rovers — Rules drafted.
June 4th — Meeting of Sea Scouts’ Committee.
July 2nd — New Scout Association at Longbenton — Shiremoor and Seghill Troops to join this new L.A.
 August — new Troop — 9th North Shields (Congregational).
 Sept 3rd — Whitley Bay Division had held a meeting previously and submitted a proposal that they form an Association of their own (for Troops outside the Borough Boundary) —agreed. It was subsequently (Oct 28th) agreed to give Whitley Bay L.A. ‘/3rd of Cash Balance, namely £6.00, half of the stationery and 2 shields — This partition of the Movement at the coast was logical and necessary, iffor no other reason, because of geography.
 Sept 3rd — Reference to the excellent band of the Smith’s Dock Troops.
 Nov — The local paper (Shields Daily News) agreed to print Weekly Scout Notes. Very Helpful .
 Nov 27th — Death of Ald. Plummer. He had been a great Association Official for 13 years (D. C.for 6 years, President 8 years, Chairman 13 years) — A great loss to Scouting.

 March 25th — Capt. J. G. Garrard appointed District Commissioner (This position he held with commendable ability for 8 years).
 April — First Rover Moot at the Royal Albert Hall—3 Rovers from the Y.M.C.A. crew attended.
 July lOth/11th — Week-end Camp for Officers at Preston Colliery Scout H.Q.—subject “Camping”.
 Sept 10th — Visit of Chief Scout’s Commissioner Lord Hampton (2 nd in Command to Chief Scout) to meet Tynemouth L.A. and Wailsend L.A. For details see “Special Occasions’ Nov — Re-organizing Committee appointed as follows:- D.C. (Capt. J.G. Garrard) A.D.C. (Cubs) Mrs. Richardson, S.M. Fred Todd, S.M. J.A. Robinson, A.S.M. E. Walter Plackett, A.S.M Harold Smurthwaite, C.M. A. Thowborn (Miss).
For the years 1927—1937 only brief details are available due to loss of Association Records.

Aug — New Troop and Pack — 14th No. Shields (Wesleyan Memorial).

Jan — Introduction of the Group System.
New Association Hon. Sec. — Capt. J.A. Robinson.

July — The “Coming of Age” World Jamboree at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead — 30,000 Scouts from 71 Countries (including many from Tynemouth) — A great experience — but what memories of the notorious camp mud.
The Chief Scout (Sir Robert Baden-Powell) made a Baron “Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell” and presented with a Rolls Royce from Scouts of the World. Tynemouth Scout Association gave hospitality to visiting Norwegian Scouts who were on their way to The Jamboree (similar hospitality was given in 1957 for the Sutton Coldfield Jamboree).

Feb 21st — Hayden Dimmock (Editor of ‘The Scout’) addressed 500 Scouts and friends at Smith’s Dock Institute.

Jan — Scout Handicraft Exhibition at Smith’s Dock Institute.
May 16th — New H.Q’s of 9th North Shields (Congregational) opened by C.C. Mr. Ralph Mortimer (later Sir Ralph) O.B.E.
Nov 30th — Medal of Merit presented to our District Commissioner (Capt. J. G. Garrard) by County Commissioner.
During the year a P.L’s Course (3 week-ends) at Preston Colliery Troop H.Q. - excellent standard.

May 1st — Opening of Gosforth Park Camping and Training Ground by The Chief Scout — (see “Memorable Occasions”).
Aug — The Association’s Magazine (“The Tynemouth Scout”) 1st Issue (Aug), 2nd Issue (Nov)—Editor Hugh Sykes (S.M. of the 14th North Shields).
Sept — The County Corballis Flag (for the best County Camp) won by 9th North Shields (Congregational) for the second time (winning it previously in 1929).
Oct — First London Gang Show.

Feb 3rd — Tynemouth Scouts’ Good Turn — delivering letters for “Wise Spending Campaign”.

P.L.’s Training Courses July 7th/8th and July 2lst/22nd.

Feb 2nd — Scout Handicrafts Exhibition at Y.M.C.A.
Oct — The Local Association adopted its new Bye-Laws (from the model laid down by I.H. Q.)
Dec 6th — 2nd District Rover Crews “Pow Wow”.
Northern Counties Jamboree at Staindrop (3 Tynemouth Troops present). Rover Camp at Raby Castle — Chief Scout (B.P.) present at the Moot.

May 12th — Coronation Beacon built by Tynemouth Scouts. (This was one of the many in a chain of bonfires in the Country.)

Jan 29th — Scouts’ Spare Time Activities and Handicrafts Exhibition in Y.M.C.A. Sept/Oct — Scouts helped in the distribution of Gas Masks and A.RP. handbills. Oct 27th — Thanks Badge presented toJohn C. Kennedy who had organised L.A. Sports for many years.

July — Association Wide Game entitled “Whats What”.
 Sept — War declared — H.M. Forces claimed many Leaders. Evacuation compelled many Leaders and Scouts to leave the area — Scouts helping in A.R.P. work.
 Defence (General Regulations) — “No person shall camp within 10 miles of High Water on the Eastern Coast or in any place within 1 mile of any military establishment” — no Gosforth Park Camping.

Troops functioning (in some cases excellently) — Association Leadership and Organisation languishing until 1943.
Mch 7th — New Troop formed — 8th Tynemouth (Chirton Methodist).
May — A Troop Log records — “All Scouts to take Gas Masks to Troop meeting.”
Another Log — we have 2 troops, No. 1 at home, No. 2 at Hexham (evacuees) run by P.L’s.
Nov — Gilwell Park requisitioned by War Office — closed to Scouting (re-opened Dec 1944).

Jan 8th — Death of our beloved founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell in Kenya aged 83 years. (see “Life Story”)
Jan — New Troop formed 9th Tynemouth (Holy Trinity).
 April— Chirton Methodist Chapel and their Scout H. Q. destroyed by enemy land mine, the Troop subsequently met in a corner of a field using this as the H.Q. until 1943 when the Chapel was sufficiently repaired.
May — Scouts helping to erect Air Raid Shelters and collecting wearable clothes for “War Needs Fund”.

July — New Troop formed 1st Balkwell (St. Peters).
 Dec — “Wems” reported Troop Meetings held on Saturday mornings — Air raids and gun fire.

March 9th — First meeting of Tynemouth L.A. since 1939 (Sept.) called at the instigation of The County Commissioner — the result of this meeting was the invitation by The County Commissioner (Sir Ralph Mortimer) to Mr. WilfredJ. Stobbs to become D.C. (a post he filled with distinction until 1958).
May 1st — “Wings for Victory” Parade—145 Scouts from 10 Troops.
May 23rd — Tynemouth’s “Open Rover Crew” formed at Lincluden, Preston Park.  
June 19th — Lady Olave Baden-Powell in North Shields.
July 10th — Special Scout Week opened, culminating with a Camp Fire at Billy Mill. This event raised £82.1 1.6 of which £62.2s was given to B.P.’s Memorial Fund.  
Sept 12th — The Chief Scout (Lord Somers) visited Tynemouth Scouts.

Feb 8th — Troop Titles to be changed, to bring them into conformity — all bearing a Tynemouth number.  
Feb — New Troop formed — 12th Tynemouth (Baptist).  
May 6th — “Salute the Soldier” Parade — 140 Tynemouth Scouts present.  
July 25 — Memorial Service for the late Chief Scout (Lord Somers) at Christ Church —  120 Scouts.

Feb — New Troop formed—l4th Tynemouth (Howard St. Presbyterian).
April 2lst—27th — Combined Scout and Guide Exhibition.
Sept — New Troop formed—l6th Tynemouth (St. Andrew’s—Preston).

April 2nd — “Welcome Home” letter to Scouters returning from H.M. Forces.
June 5th — Scouts to assist in the collection of children’s respirators.
Nov 12th — Visit of the County Org. Sec. (Ted Potts) to discuss “Expansion and Development”.

Page 2 - 1947 to 1976