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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

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.

1st gourock hall.jpg


Comment from Graham Clark
Time April 20, 2007 at 6:38 pm

The 1976 summer camp was held in North Wales. On a farm inland between Landudno and Conway (I think). Three Icelandics worth of Scouts. The Leaders pitch was seperate. THe field was shared by with the cattle and the farm had its own dairy.

Comment from Scott McAnenay
Time April 22, 2007 at 8:16 pm


I noticed that in your pics, which are hilarious by the way, that there is a picture of the legendary Colin West!

There are so many legendary leaders whom made my childhood, and early adulthood, very enjoyable. And I think its only fair that Colin West gets a mention to show some degree of recognition for his work with us during the early to mid-nineties.

Keep on keepin’ on. And let the 6th continue to be the best troop in the district!!

Comment from Colin McKechnie
Time April 22, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Like the pictures. There’s even a rare one of me upright in that canoe, which ended up full of water and sank to the bottom of the loch ha ha ha
Pity we didn’t have camera phones back then as we would, no doubt, have a good few more amusing photos.
The time I had in the scouts was probably the best years of my life. Some of the things we got up to would make Baden-Powel spin in his grave but it was all harmless (?) fun.
Mon e 6th !

Comment from Clyde Jones
Time April 22, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Ha Ha. I like the very amusing photo of the rabbit skinning demonstration where MacPhie looks like he’s about to be sick! The photos of Lochgoilhead brought back memories of the pugilistic Eddie

Comment from Kieran Barr
Time April 23, 2007 at 8:46 am

Fantastic, remember Mooro leaving the rabbit skinning demo! Visions of poor old Sooty.

Colin West… stop pi**ing about!

2 generations of Barrs on display too, impressive we’ve had a 3 decade involvement in the 6th – hard core!

Ronny McKay!

Eddie McKay, poke in the eye!

That shot of you all on the steps in Lochgoilhead looks like it’s taken up the Gibby!

Happy days.


Comment from Scott McAnenay
Time April 23, 2007 at 4:08 pm

We cannot forget the service which Bob Riddell gave to our Scouts either!!

Don’t blame it on the sunshine,
don’t blame it on the moonlight,
don’t blame it on the good times
blame it on Bob!!

A true !st Gourock diamond.

Comment from Scott McAnenay
Time April 23, 2007 at 4:24 pm


Comment from Jamie Parker
Time April 24, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Of course there was the magical trip to Forres, via Pitlochry and Aviemore!

The early morning jog round Pitlochry(Why?!?!), the best gift shop around at Landmark and the minibus that we seemed to spend half the weekend in!

And seeing as Scott started the singing, altogether now:
We all live in a Turner Hire Drive,
a Turner Hire Drive,
a Turner Hire Drive……..

Ahh, the memories!

Comment from Brian Watt
Time April 27, 2007 at 7:51 am


How are you all doing hope everyone is keeping well
Just wondered if anyone remembered the camp on Mull in those silly tents would be interesting if anyone had any pictures

Comment from Gordon McCready
Time April 28, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Good to see comments from the old guard, if you have any more, printable, photos storiesetc please forward them to myself. As you can see still have a few gaps to fill in the story of the 1st Gourock

Comment from Bryan Riddell
Time September 19, 2007 at 11:48 pm

Yeah, I remember that camp on Mull and have pictures. I also remember the giftshop at Landmark 😉

Comment from Martin
Time May 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Trying hard to collect all old photos for cataloging on our new website ( Email any information you have to


Comment from Alan Mollet
Time July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

WOW – what a wwwonderful website!
My brother, Mike, and I were members during the 1950s and both of us have indelible and happy memories of DBK and his merry scouters! Blimey I recall Geoff Bamber joining the troop (?? and my patrol??) as a young foreigner from over the Border!

Congratulations to the 1st Gourock (CDO) on reaching 100. – DBK has left a fantastic legacy.

Comment from Susan King
Time June 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

I came across this page by accident, and was thrilled to read such lovely things about my father, Donald. He loved 1st Gourock C.D.O. and after my mother Jean’s premature death, the troop became as much his ‘family’ as my brother and I were.

Ist Gourock may owe a lot to DB, but he owed a lot to it too.

They were happy days indeed.

Comment from Susan King
Time November 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

May I point out, that with respect to the Beaver Colony, that although the wonderful Margo Cowie and I were amongst the first leaders – it was actually my mother Jean King and her dear friend Clare Craig who started the Colony.

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