THE GUARDIAN, FRIDAY, 20 NOVEMBER, 1931.
SCOUTS’ COMING OF AGE
LORD HAMPTON VISITS LANCASTER
The Right Honourable Lord Hampton D.S.O. Chief Commissioner honoured the Lancaster, Morecambe and District Boy Scouts’ Association by his presence at the coming-of-age celebrations in the Ashton Hall, Lancaster, on Wednesday evening.
Lieut.-Gen. Sir M. Fell, K.C.B., C.M.G., who presided, was supported on the platform by the Mayor (Councillor W. Procter, J.P.), Lieut.-Col. B. Palin-Dobson (County Commissioner), Capt. Michaelson, R.N., (Deputy Camp Chief), Capt. T. W. Helme (County Assistant Commissioner), and others.
The spacious hall was well-filled with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, parents, and friends.
A “HOWLING” CHEER:
When the chairman, in his opening speech, expressed pleasure at seeing Lord Hampton present the Scouts gave their Chief a howling cheer.
The chairman referred to the book written recently by his Lordship as being most helful (sic )to all Scouts.
Lady Ashton, he added, had sent a letter to Captain Helme stating she had to be away or she would have been delighted to attend the celebrations. Mrs. Birley, the Chief Commissioner for Girl Guides, was also absent through indisposition.
The Mayor sounded an official welcome to Lord Hampton and the other visitors. The importance of the Scout Movement, he said, was reflected in the large attendance. He knew a little about the movement and if he had been younger he would probably have been a Boy Scout. It was his pleasure during the war to have a lot to do with the Y.M.C.A. hut, and he greatly appreciated the assistance which was then given by Scouts.
A series of Jungle Dances was given by the Wolf Cubs of the District, after which Lord Hampton, on rising to address the gathering said: “Well done, Cubs, jolly good show.”
GROWTH OF THE MOVEMENT
Amid applause, his Lordship presented the Medal of Merit and bar and Certificate to Assistant Commissioner Wright. He went on to say that he had always looked upon Lancaster as a town with traditions second to none in the country, and one which would always support the Scout movement .
Interest in the movement in Lancaster and district was slack at the beginning, but during the past 5 years the membership had grown from 170 to well over 500. Even that number was not big enough for Lancaster with a population of over 40,000, and he relied upon the Scout Authorities and Scouters themselves to see that it was greatly increased. He would not mind hazarding a guess that the Guides could show a greater membership. They were going ahead better than the Scouts.
He was glad to be present at the Association’s 21st birthday, especially in view of the fact that he would be celebrating his own 21st anniversary in the movement next year. Scouting made boys keen, and keenness made for learning.
THE INTERNATIONAL SIDE.
The international character of the movement was most impressive. When they met other Scouts in South America, or any other country, they knew exactly what to talk to them about. There was a brotherhood; a bond of unity; something that helped to a better understanding among the nations of the world. (Applause.) They were only 2,000,000 strong, but the movement was training its members to be good citizens and efficient business men. The movement also dispelled suspicion and enmity. All that was necessary to avoid wars apparently was for everyone to know and understand the other fellow. The great aim of the Chief, the founder of the movement, was character building. They had seen that being done.
A HIGHER LIFE.
The movement was a great asset in community life; it was something higher to go for. The tests given on all sorts of subjects were good for all boys, and helped them to be a credit to their country.
The Mayor had told them he had done some camping out. It was a good thing for all, and he appealed to Scouts to abolish litter when they followed the open-air life.
Next Spring, added Lord Hampton, he would be spending two months in Canada, and he would find Scouts there as enthusiastic as they were in England.
He hoped that long before Lancaster celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Association would have a membership of thousands. The absence of Mrs. Birley was a matter for regret. He met her often in London, and they talked about the Scouts and Girl Guides on all occasions. He wished both movements every success.
During the evening, miscellaneous items were contributed, including the following: Rope spinning by S. M. Gallagher of Blakeholme Training Camp; Sketches by Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham Scouts; sea chanties by Morecambe Sea Scouts, and a camp fire by Lancaster Scouts.
On the motion of Lieut.-Col. B. Palin-Dobson, the Mayor was thanked for attending the celebrations.