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33rd Greenock & District

The Beginning

Not long after the end of the First World War, soldiers from the Highland Regiments (some as young as 14 years old) returned from the trenches and some choose to settle in the Greenock area for work and housing. A few of this number being Gaelic speakers attended the Gaelic Parish Church (formerly in West Stewart Street Greenock and now the site of Iceland Supermarket) and it was from here it is said that they formed the Scout Group.

The Group was first registered by Headquarters in 1923 and met in the Church Hall.

One of the early leaders was a Mr H Butter who also served as a District Commissioner. The Troop Colours/ Flag (probably the oldest still on parade) has the name 33rd Renfrewshire (G P C O) (Gaelic Parish Church’s Own)

Necktie Colours

The official colour is Lemon and Red athough during a period in the 1930’s this was substituted for ‘Murray Tartan’ as a beneficiary had donated a full set of Murray kilts to the Troop. By the 1940’s the Group had reverted to the original colours.

Leadership and Movement

During the Second World War and through the 40’s, the Scout Group was taken by Mr Bertie Morrison who was also famed for his many years service as Camp Skipper at Everton he was helped by a Service Man (stationed at Greenock) a Mr Edward L Grasby from Dorset who latterly became a renowned artist and sculpter.

By the late 1950’s the towns population had substantially moved south west to the new housing developments at Braeside and Larkfield. It was decided that the Group should move to a new meeting place in Ravenscraig School under the Leadership of Arthur Ferguson (Gang Show Producer 1964 – 2002).

In the mid 1960’s the Gaelic Parish Church was closed and the group took up sponsorship with the Ardgowan UF Church. Under the Leadership of Duncan Riddell and John Wallace the Scout Section moved to the heart of Braeside at St.Gabriels School while the Cub Section remained in Ravenscraig School under the charge of long serving Cub Leader – Christina Green.

In 1972 Kenny Wilson (former DC and Gang Show Producer 2002 to present) took charge and in 1999 he re-joined all the Sections to meet in the St Ninian’s Church hall in Larkfield where they remain today.


Over the years many summer camps were held Blairmore, Bathgate, Lancaster St Cyrus, Torquay, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Holland to name a few but in many cases gave a lot of Scouts the opportunity to experience a outdoor adventure of a lifetime.

Click on to the photograph below to view a further selection.
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Comment from Paul Laverty
Time July 16, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Someone forgot to mention the strong core of leaders which the 33rd have now. THe summer camp at Lochgoilhead in 2005, also some of our current explorers have been and about to embark on the tall ships and various scouts, explorers and leaders who have at least attempted the West Highland Way on 3 different occaisons.

Comment from Ped King
Time March 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Wont be long before am back down guys. I have been very busy with the apprenticeship and all that haha. If one of you can please e-mail me back for camp dates and things. Take it easy and i”ll see you all soon.

Comment from Christine Chambers
Time December 4, 2010 at 6:23 am

I was born in Greenock and my family attended the Gaelic Parish Church until emigrating to Canada in the mid 60’s. My son started in Beavers at the age of 5. He is now a Scout in the 5th Ingersoll (Ontario Canada).
Christine Chambers

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