1991 – Cub Scout Thanksgiving & Celebration day
On Saturday 30th November 1991, two thousand Cub Scouts, from all over Britain, gathered at Westminster to celebrate the 75th birthday of Cub Scouting.
In the morning, a Celebration Thanksgiving Service was held in Westminster Central Hall. This was followed by packed lunch and a Great Birthday Party. After the Party, the Cubs assembled for a Parade around Parliament Square and gathered at Dean’s Yard for a Grand Howl.
Attendance at the event was done by the allocation of places to all areas of the country. Renfrew and Inverclyde were allocated 10 Cub Scout and three Leader places. Of this allocation, Greenock was given places for four Cubs and one Leader. Port Glasgow and Paisley were allocated places for three Cub Scouts and one Leader.
Thus, Eleanor Ross (ADC Cubs) and four boys set off for a memorable week-end.Leaving Greenock Central Station at 10 o’clock in the evening, they boarded the train for Glasgow meeting up with the Port Glasgow and Paisley contingents on the way. At Glasgow Central, they all joined a train for an exhausting journey arriving at London Euston at 6.00 a.m. A London Scout Group had arranged hospitality and they were taken to a McDonalds for breakfast.
After breakfast, a bit of sightseeing was called for. They caused quiet a stir as, wearing kilts and Dress Stewart neckies, they walked to Trafalgar Square, down the Mall and had photographs taken outside Buckingham Palace. They finished up with a visit to the Scout Shop.
By 10 o’clock, it was time to make their way to Westminster Hall where the activities were to be held. The Thanksgiving Service was complete with audience participation, noisy singing and organised chaos but it was found to be rather long for our Cubs who had not slept since Thursday night! However the Grand Birthday Party was much more interesting. It was loud, it was noisy, and it was exciting. Balloons popped and banged. The long journey, the tiredness was all forgotten as wave upon wave of enthusiasm, laughter and noise bounced off the walls and ceiling.
After the Party, they took part in the Parade around Parliament Square. With Scout Bands leading, they walked wearily into a large green called Dean’s Yard (part of Westminster). Assembling, they were one of the few groups dressed in the kilt. The Chief Scout came and spoke to them. A photograph was taken with him and the Group. The afternoon finished with the Grand Howl – over two thousand Cub Scouts shouting ’We will do our best’.
After the activities, they made their way, by taxi, to Victoria Bus Station where they boarded a tour bus to see the main parts of London. Later, they were taken to Biggin Hill Scout Hall where they had tea, played with softballs and stayed the night. After a long day, it was a peaceful but uncomfortable night on the floor.
On the Sunday morning, they all went to Church in the morning before making their way, via souvenir shops, to Euston Station. They boarded the 1 p.m. train for another tiring journey home. Arriving in Glasgow on Sunday evening, parents were waiting to take them home for a good wash and a joyous night’s sleep.