Port Glasgow Scouting
Historically,Port Glasgow has always been separate from the Greenock and Gourock Scout Organisation. In the past, Greenock District refered to Greenock, Gourock & Inverkip and so led to some confusion. Port Glasgow had only one Group and was also tied in with Langbank.
However, on 1st April 2008, there was a re-organisation of the Scottish Scouting structure. The region of Renfrew & Inverclyde was disbanded and replaced by the West Region. At District level, Greenock & District was extended to cover the area of Quarrier’s Village, Kilmacolm, Port Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, Inverkip, Wemyss Bay & Bute.
Currently there are two groups in Port Glasgow. The long established 47th Group meets in Newark School and the recently re-established 97th Group meets in St. Johns Church.
The following is taken from a 1950’s booklet. The photographs are from the collection of James Millar, who was Assistant County Commissioner (Feb 1967 – June 1976) and Leader of the 5th Port Glasgow (56th Renfrewshire) as well as Jim Hendry of the 4th.
SCOUTING’S PLACE IN PORT GLASGOW
Most people know that Scouting was started by our late Chief Baden Powell, of Gilwell, in 1907. Very soon the Movement caught the imagination of many boys and adults interested in youth.
Port Glasgow was not long in catching on, and the late Colonel Rev. W.W. Beveridge, of Princes Street Church, soon had the 1st Port Glasgow Troop of Scouts in action. They were registered as 2nd Renfrewshire. This Troop under his guidance laid the foundation of good Scouting in Port Glasgow. When one considers the literary and athletic qualifications of the ‘Colonel’ as he was locally known, it was no surprise that this Troop went on through the years to win Trophies and Competitions – unbeaten in the Scout world in Scotland, as they held the famous Benmore Shield, premier trophy for Scouting in Scotland, for ten years in succession.
Soon we had Troops formed in St. Mary’s Church, Parish Church, Clune Park Church, Newark Church, Congregational Church, and a Cub Pack in the Salvation Army Citadel, in that order. All those Troops followed in the real spirit and tradition of the Movement with good clean, healthy competition, which today is stronger than ever, and which brought out the best in the boy enjoying the Game of Scouting.
Many a father who reads this brief account will draw from his memories happy thoughts of camping, hiking, and Scouting which encouraged and developed a joy of the ‘Open Air’, resulting in making him a happy, healthy and useful citizen, which was the aim and object of our great Founder. Proof of their interest is still shown by the family names which were well known 30 to 40 years ago and are still traditionally cropping up to this day in Troops and Cub Packs.
The County Flag, now the premier award for Scouting in the County, has been won several times in the past by the Parish and St. Mary’s Troops, and most recently by Newark Troop in 1953. While all the Troops are directly connected to churches, they have not forgotten the general public, and Broadstone Hospital, District Nursing Association and, the Old Folk have among many others benefited by the Scout’s charitable efforts in concerts, etc..
The District has been represented at nearly every Scout and Rover Gathering held in Scotland over the past 40 years, and a famous shield, bearing the Port Glasgow Coat-of-Arms, and taken to the Austrian Jamboree, now holds a place of honour in a foreign home as a Scout Souvenir.
A first class swimming club is held in the local Baths, in which Greenock Scouts join with us, and trophies for life-saving, diving, and swimming are competed for annually.
The District have the Rev W.W. Beveridge Rose Bowl and the A.M. McKechnie Shield Competition competed for annually.
All Scouters in the Movement fully appreciate the help given by the lay people, and are deeply grateful to parents and Group Committees for their continued assistance and co-operation.
Scouting is a great game for any young person, and if you have a young person not yet connected with any other organisation then we recommend to you contact a Scout Troop.
Click on the image below and view a selection of photographs.