74th Silverdale Scout Group

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The Group would like to hear from any of its members about their memories of Scouting with Silverdale no matter how recent or long ago. Please visit our Memory Lane Page to see other people’s memories and e-mail your own to the group (see contact page for details)  and we will put them on the website.

To start us off I have taken a few stories from the booklet the Group Produced in 1979 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Group. A group of Leaders scoured the logs and memories of long standing members to produce some memories and funny stories.

Silverdale 50 Years Booklet

Memories of George Fowles

First time in Silverdale

First time in Silverdale


I was a Cub Scout and, I think, a sixer ... and we were at a District activity (probably Cub-Craftology!). I'd had a brilliant day but I hadn't been picked up to go home and almost everybody else had been. I distinctly remember thinking that the trip to Silverdale from Basford had been hours long and wondering just how far from Newcastle I was and which way I would need to walk .... and for how many hours (or even days).

Before my panic really took hold - my lift home arrived.


Steve Broadhurst  Newcastle District Commissioner (Current)


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Memories of George Fowles


The Cubs have written some of their memories of George and a selection of these has been reproduced here (These have been reproduced as the cubs wrote them)


“George was a good person to know because he used to always talk to us and bring sweets down to cubs for us. He also always taught us knots and was always in the kitchen doing the dishes. I think that it is really sad that he has left us but all of us in Silverdale Scouting will always remember him”

By Chloe


“He gave us sweets an learnt us knots he was a real good man Many Thanks”

By Sam


“I can remember when George came down when we were playing a game and he gave us all a mint. George teached us how to do knots. He was a really nice man.”

By Amy


“I did not meet George by my mates told me about him. They told me he learned them how to make knots and they told me if you did the right things he would give you sweets. George sounded like a kind man to be around.”

By Josh


“My memory of George is he gave us sweets and learnt us knots. He was always washing the dishes. Lots of Thanks

By Aiden


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Silverdale 50 Years Booklet


Some extraordinary “goodies” brought by boys for Christmas Parties:- cold chips, pig pudding, dripping sandwiches with salt and pepper, black treacle sandwiches


Extract from log 28/4/1958 – All cubs brought wool and knitting needles to learn to knit.


One Christmas a Scouter ordered 50 pork pies for the Scout Christmas Party and 100 for a party where he worked. Unfortunately a mistake was made and the lot were delivered to the scout party ……. the lot were devoured ……. the baker worked all night to replace them …….. meat was rationed at the time.

A rumour has it that on a certain day, round the a tree in Gallowstree Lane at midnight a ghost would be seen. The Senior Scouts sat round it from 10pm until 2am but saw nothing (fortunately)


In the “old days” if a boy misbehaved at camp Father Howlett (the Groups founding GSL) dealt out a punishment, the boy had to stir the oatmeal porridge for breakfast for two hours non-stop.


Our troop at one time consisted of 8 bellringers, 8 alter servers, 14 choirboys and not forgetting the two organ blowers. (I believe one of the two organ blowers may have been George Fowles?)


During bob-a-job week a certain gentleman with a very large garden asked for our services …. 40 cubs spent 2 hours weeding and 36 scouts spent 2 hours cutting lawns and hedges. At the end of the two hours the gentleman signed the card and gave us 1/-


Have you ever eaten fried custard? Our scouts have the mix up occurred when someone could not tell the difference between custard powder and the wartime dried egg.


Administration fees for 1976 were £1.60 this money had to be sent to Head Office in London. Subs raised to 5p.


1977 Group Camp at Seascale – The Cubs were thrilled to get up early several mornings and go “mushrooming” under the leadership of Mr Cyril Harvey, Mr Bill Sale and Mr George Fowles – everyone survived after eating them for breakfast.


Extract from 1977 magazine – On Tuesday 11th October in the Scout HQ we are holding a social evening when Mr Bourne of Newcastle will come along and give a talk on Old Newcastle from Roman times to present – this should interest a lot of elderly people and revive memories (I’m not sure how many people in Silverdale in 1977 could remember Roman times?? I just hope the younger ones weren’t put off)


The cubs went on Church Paade, when the collection plate went round one cub was seen to put 10p on and take 5p off.


Our handcart broke down when we were about to go for a weekend camp to Maer. Mr D Rhyder (the undertaker) lent us a bier and we loaded our gear onto it. When we pulled it through Silverdale several men took off their hats as we passed.


Boys are to meet with a bottle of water and hot cross buns in readiness for a hike to Heighly Castle via Madeley and Devils Well, Leycett.


June 1943 Fr Howlett writes – We are looking forward to our annual camp which will be in the Isle of Man, this will be more expensive than other camps have been ( the camp at the vicarage was 5 shillings for a week, Wrexham was 10 shillings) this year the cost will be 17 shillings and sixpence. In July we are giving a display and campfire so rally round and support us to try to reduce the cost.


An early memory of the days when meetings were held at St Luke’s School is the game of British Bulldog; the ferocity of which rivalled the Charge of the Light Brigade.


Despite the romantic appeal of open fires, the memory is tempered with thoughts of smoke-filled eyes, and endless fanning with a tin plate, the scorned Primus only being produced as the ultimate admission of defeat.


The first Silverdale Cubs were invested on 17th December 1940 by Miss F L Smith


One of our Scouters became DC for Lincoln – Ernest Nield


Cubs were not allowed to use Kibblestone until our GSL (Cyril Harvey) became chairman of the Divisional Wolf Cub Sub-Committee. To celebrate the lifting of the ban he arrived at the camp with 1,000 cubs. During his 6 years in this role he also led the idea and fundraising for the erection of the Cub Lair at Kibblestone which cost £5,000 and was the first purpose built Cub Lair and Pack Holiday Centre in the Country. (Cyril has a tree overlooking the lair not too far away from one dedicated to Bill Sale another long serving Cub Leader and AGSL of the Group)


We have had two different boys in the Scouts whose fathers have been Mayor of Newcastle. (I don’t know if this has changed since 1979? If anyone knows different let me know)


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