6th Greenock & District (1st Gourock)
The 6th Renfrew and Inverclyde were first registered on the 25th June 1909.
CDO?, that refers to Colonel Darrochs Own which is in recognition of the support over the years from the Darroch Family. The first meeting place for the Troop was the stable block of Gourock House which was owned by the Darroch Family, now used by the local art club
As with many Scout Troops regards are patchy for the war years, however we do know that 11 died in Service during the First and Second World Wars.
Whilst researching for this centenary year we unearthed some interesting facts and stories.
The old Scout Hat that the Group has was originally worn by Joe Collins, a former group member and personal friend of Baden Powell, serving under BP at the relief of Mafeking. The hat is complete with bullet hole, the result of a skirmish with Boers.
In February 1921, Henry Ellis, Firth View, Gourock edited “The Patrol Call” the magazine of the 6th Renfrewshire Boy Scout Troop. Copies are held in the Watt Library in Greenock for the period 1921 -23; latterly the magazine became an Area one. Patron of Greenock District at this time was Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart. One issue includes an article by Neil Munro (Para Handy) which praised Boy Scouts as a “social communal asset”. At this time Colonel Darroch was Patron of the Troop (see above); A Marnoch was Wolf Cub Master, H.Beck Assistant Wolf Cub Master and Mr Lamb, Scout Master.
From this period we jump to old Cub records for the 1930’s onwards which record the membership of Lawrie Sinclair (now MD of Caledonian Macbrayne). In the late 1930’s the total annual expenditure for the section was £2 2s 2d.
After the Second World War the Scout Troop was rejuvenated by former members returning from military service to run the Troop, the most memorable being Donald King. Donald was instrumental in strengthening ties with the local Ashton Church. He managed to persuade former Scout Jimmy Logan to open the 1956 variety show which raised £100 for the troop.
The information below is taken from Donalds own records of every Troop meeting and event during his 19 years of service as Scout Leader
1957 the Troop numbers had swollen to 48, with fellow leaders being D.George, S.Craig, D.Goldthorpe and R.Thomson. In this one year the Troop won the County Flag, Donald married Jean, the 50th anniversary service for Scouting was held in Ashton Church and Donald, A.J.Mollett and P.Fleming attended the Jubille Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield. The year finished with Joe Collins a former group member and personal friend of Baden Powell receiving the Thanks Badge.
1958 saw the presentation of new Flags to the Cubs and Scouts, the Flags are still on display in Old Gourock and Ashton Church, they are still used for parades. Sam Garvie the first Scoutmaster passed away aged 71.
1959 saw the fete opened by Rikki Fulton, the summer camp being held at Mold (Flintshire) and Peter Fleming receiving his Queens Scouts Award
1960 summer camp at Tannadice (Angus), Geoffrey Bamber receives Queens Scout Badge, Sam Thomson appointed Group Scout Master and Cadet Scouter John Blair joined the Rovers.
1961 summer camp at Arduaine (Argyll) new Scout Headquarters opened at Shore Street in Gourock, Douglas Telfer gets Queens Scout Award. John Blair becomes warranted Scouter
1962 summer camp at Portpatrick, Lawrie Sinclair receives Queens Scout Award and becomes Rover Scout Leader first records of Cub Leader – S.Craig
1963 summer camp at Dunkeld, Rodger Manson joins Leader Team
1964 Queens Scout awards John Soep, David Campbell Ian Wallace
1965 Summer camp in Holland, Queens Scouts that year; Gordon Smith, Michael Hamilton, Alistair Prescot.
1966 Summer camp at Great Tower in the Lake District Queens Scouts awards Victor Dundas, Martin McDougall and Graham McGregor.
1967 Summer Camp at Killin Queens Scouts Awards George Brown, Tom Hutchison.
1968 Summer Camp Denmark Queens Scout Award presented to Chris Robertson.
1969 Summer camp at Stranraer, James Johnstone receives the last Queens Scouts Award under the old Scheme. New uniforms Scouts nationally in this year and most importantly the new Hall at Drumshantie Road was officially opened by Mr D.Kerr the County Commissioner.
1970 Summer camp at Methlick ( Aberdeenshire), Retirement of JJ Swan as District Commissioner. First Venture Scout Awards presented to Richard Carson and Stear Mcleod.
1971 Summer Camp Austria.
1972 D.B. King resigns as Scout Leader, Martin Mcdougall takes over and summer camp was at Eyemouth. Chief Scout awards presented to Stewart Wright and Ross Anderson.
1973 Summer camp Great Tower Windermere.
1974 Summer camp at Aberdeen, death of JJ Swan
1975 Summer camp Comrie, Donald Thomson gains Chief Scouts Award.
1976 Chief Scout Awards; T. McKinnon, D. Terris, D. Fraser, J. King and P. Fletcher
From the mid 70s a number of leaders ran the troop with Donald King still in the background a thriving Venture Unit (Cloch) was established which generated some of the District’s present day lLaders.
In the 80s and 90s Scout Leaders Ronnie Mackay, Graham Patrick, Grant Cowie, Brian Watt, Sandy Manson, Bob Riddell and David Purdue continued the traditions of the Summer camps. As the group grew in strength new Kilts were purchased in 1984 for all 100 members. The photos depict some of the camps as well as a memorable Troop night with the local butcher demonstrating rabbit skinning.
One of the first Beaver Colonies to be established was at Drumshantie Road; The Colony was started by Jean King and Clare Craig. Other early Leaders for this new Section were Margo Cowie, Ann Blair, and Margaret Marrs. Cubs were ably led over the years by Sandra Polonis, Janice Taylor, Ian Ferguson, Hugh Baillie, Jan Spence, Bryan Purdue and Sonia Love.
At the turn of the Century, Group numbers were falling, however after the death of Donald King the leader team were galvanised to grow Scouting in Gourock to the levels of Donalds heyday. This is being achieved with an established, dedicated and growing team of Leaders. This is reflected that Group numbers now total 100 members
Since 2000, Scouts and the newly formed Explorers have walked the length of the West Highland Way ( 5 times) the Great Glen Way, the English Coast to Coast (210 miles) and the Kerry Way (Ireland), Summer camps have been held at Lochgoilhead and Kielder water, with 15 Explorers attending Camp X in Sweden in 2006 led by 21 year old Martin Jones (Scout Leader). In addition some 20 boys have completed their own Everest (climbed the height of Everest in one year) some of them as young as 12, many thanks to former Leader Graham Patrick for running this activity. Many bicycles have not survived the trips to Millport, Rothesay, Lochwinnoch and the Renfrewshire moors, it all adds to the sense of adventure and fun!
The photos in our albums reflect the ease with which we can now collect images, however we would like to fill the many gaps in our history before our own group centenary in 2009, If you can help with photos or stories please email GSL@nullmccready.org.uk
To see a selection of the photographs that we have available, click on the HQ photo below and enter our Gallery of the 80’s, 90,s & this Century.