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We provide fun, challenge and adventure to over 1400 young people in North Lancashire – #SkillsForLife

Bonnie Boys at Bare

Morecambe Guardian 23 July 1927:-


Renfrew scouts pay a second visit.



A Guardian man writes: – “I rubbed my eyes and looked again.  Yes, my sight was indeed still intact, but what was this motley clad cavalcade, headed by a piper, doing in Main-street, Bare, on a Monday morning at 10 o’clock?”


Having recovered from the effects of the first shock, brought about by this sudden, unexpected sight of what at first I mistook for “sheiks” on holiday (clad in every variety of garment, even to pyjamas of weird and wonderful hue,  and having assimilated the most trifling details of their attire, even to the Osman turbans affected by the majority), training told and the temptation of a good story was too strong to resist.

A few discreet inquiries elicited the fact that there was no circus in the vicinity, but a phlegmatic individual assured me that “Happen they’d come from’t camp, like as not.” Pressed further, he condescended to point out the direction in which the camp lay, and with nose well on the scent and note-book “at the ready, “ I set about stalking my quarry.


An outburst of pure Gaelic greeted me as I walked down the lane off Hest Bank-road and then I came upon a couple o’ bonnie laddies pulling a water cart, my heart leaped up, ye ken. Due nae doot to the fact that I claim to be of Scottish descent on mi’ mither’s side.

I went across the rails, climbed a fence, and there before me, proudly in the breeze fluttered Scotia’s Standard, high above the marquee’s rearing their virgin whiteness in the July sun.  There were nine of them altogether, and the question next arose, which was the abode of the Chief.

Obviously, the only way to decide was to ask.

OS Bare 1931 – National Library of Scotland



Approaching one of the campers seated at an open-air table, the information desired was soon forthcoming, and I was told, “It’ll be Mister Rodger’s ye’ll be wanting.” I intimated that such was my desire, and my guide obligingly pointed out to me the Camp Chief, who was busily engaged wielding a hammer to great effect in the South-West corner of the field.

Now to digress one moment.  Henceforth, anyone libelling the fair name of Scotland, or casting aspersions on the character of her sons, in my presence, shall receive the reward his or her incontinence merits.  I am, in fact, thinking of applying for naturalisation papers myself, and, if necessary, will engage an expert to impart the correct accent.

“Och, aye!”

I met Mr. Rogers, and within three minutes we were firm friends, and in another three were safely ensconced in this Chief’s marquee, were my host dispensed hospitality with a warmth typical of his race.   In response to my request for a few details, he informed me that this was his second visit to Morecambe .


The camp is held under the title of the Simons’  Lads Holiday Camp, and most of the lads in the camp are employed by the firm of Messrs. Wm. Simons and Co.,  Ltd., engineers and ship builders, Renfrew, near Glasgow.  The firm is known all over the world and build dredgers.  The total number in camp, along with the staff, his 96.

The staff is as follows: Camp Chief: Mr. Rodgers (Welfare Supervisor at the works ), Mr. Campbell (Scoutmaster), Mr. Logan, Mr. Graham and Mr. Attwell.  The following are the tent leaders: Scout Leader J. Howatt, Scout Leader J.Mack, W. Holmes (Apprentice Rivetter), W. McCallum (apprentice plumber), J. .Campbell (Joiner), A. MacKenzie (machinist ), A. Morrison (apprentice fitter)  and W. Deans (Apprentice Boilermaker).


The ages of the lads range from 15 to 25, and the trades they follow are fitting, turning, boiler making, rivetting and carpentry and other trades in connection with ship building.  The party left Renfrew on Saturday at 10-5 am by special saloon train, and joined the English train at Glasgow and arrived at Bare-lane at 4-30 without a change. 

This is the second time the lads have visited Bare, and they came again because they had such a fine time when they were here last year, although the weather was not at all kind to them on that occasion.  Mr. Rodgers said that the people of Morecambe had received them very kindly and that judging by the way the boys were enjoying themselves at present, they would come again.  This year they are accompanied by a piper from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


No strident bugle calls disturb the peaceful serenity of the camp , instead, the dulcet tones of a three valve set, complete with loud speaker, which has been installed by Mr. Greenwood, of Princes-crescent Bare, amuses and instructs the boys at the same time.  I was enthralled by the musical delights of Daventry,  in truly rural surroundings.  I might add that the camp clock is checked each morning by “Big Ben” and not by the Renfrew Town Hall clock.

 A stroll round the camp reveals many novelties. We commenced at the cook house situated at the North-West corner of the field (which, by the way, belongs to Mr. Steele, of Bare) and where preparations for the mid-day meal, served at 12.30, were well underway.  Resisting the invitation to help a squad of scantily clad campers to scrape “tatties” we next visited the stores and were treated to a site that would have gladdened the heart of the average housewife.


Our next call was appropriately enough the canteen (where we sampled the wares and pronounced them satisfactory ), which also boasts a post office and a library, all conducted on approved lines. The sanitary arrangements are of the best and the ablutionary arrangements, an important phase of camp life, leave nothing to be desired.  In the centre of the camp, some enthusiast has rigged up rustic goalposts and in this sylvan arena devotees of both codes of football were disporting themselves, in a variety of costumes, bewildering to the lay mind .  The only garment that was conspicuous by its absence was the kilt.

Amongst the many arrangements was one which I imagine should prove a great boon to campers, viz., a camp bank. Attention is drawn to this in the Camp Orders as follows: – “Don’t carry all your pocket money about with you.  Deposit it at the Camp Bank and withdraw it in small sums daily.”

Wise  advice which will probably be realized as the week progresses.


The camp is very well equipped, the arrangements having been carried out by the following firms: Langdon’s (Liverpool), Douglas & Britton, Glasgow), Messrs. Brown (Glasgow), Water-Proof & Co., Ltd.,(Barr Head), And the Renfrew emporium.

Morecambe and Bare will benefit by the visit as all stores for the use of the camp are being purchased locally, and many of the boys are accompanied by their parents, who are staying at the various boarding houses in Bare and Morecambe.


The Chiefs tent, where I was received, is tastefully fitted up and the walls are adorned with photographs of former camps, including many taken last year, one of which is of historic importance, as it represents a group of the campers taken on the top of one of the old horse cars. Other photographs on the walls portray a visit of Prince Albert to the works at Renfrew, some time ago.

The boys are accommodated in marquees, twelve to each and the routine is as follows: Reveille, 7 a.m.; breakfast, 8 a.m.; tent inspection, 9-30 a.m.; bathing parade, 10 a.m.; Dinner: 12-30 p.m.; tea , 5 p.m.; supper, 10 p.m.; lights out, 11 p.m. 

The catering is on the same scale as in previous years, and includes three meals per day and evening ration.  A certificated cook presides over the cook-house and the food is of the best.  A first-aid equipment is included in the camp outfit, but so far the most serious case for treatment has been one of sunburn.  I almost forgot to mention that the equipment also includes fire-fighting appliances, placed in a commanding position near the flagstaff, on the plinth on which the camp clock is mounted.


The sporting side is not neglected, and the outfit includes rugby and association football, cricket and croquet.  Matches have been arranged between local troops and the results will be found appended.  Readers will be interested in studying the following comparative tables and previous camps: –

Year Place Attendance
1920 Blairmore, Argyllshire 50
1921 Dandbank, Argyllshire 75
1922 Largs, Ayrshire 60
1923 Largs, Ayrshire 55
1924 Millport, Bute 60
1925 Millport, Bute 75
1926 Morecambe, England 80
1927 Morecambe, England 96

Thus, in spending their Eighth Annual Camp in Morecambe, which they therefore visit for the second year in succession, Scotland pays a compliment to the “Naples of the North “ and we, in our turn, extend to her sons the glad hand of fellowship, coupled with a wish that their stay will benefit them to an extent that will encourage them to come again next year.

On Wednesday the senior lads’ team entertained the Lancaster Shop Assistants and played a football match against them at Christie Park. The half time score was 2-0 in favour of “Scotland ,” and the ultimate result was 3-1 in their favour. The Lancastrians were afterwards entertained to tea at the camp.

In the evening the Sea Scouts met the 13th Lancaster Troop at the camp and ran out victors by three goals to two and afterwards acted as their opponents’ hosts at the alfresco supper which followed.

Yesterday (Thursday) 25 of the campers visited Blackpool by motor coach and when our representative left the camp last night, all was snug despite the rain which pattered fitfully on the canvas walls of the marquees.