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Local Sea Scouts on Navy Ship at Spithead

Lancaster Guardian 19 June 1953

Colin Wareing

They saw the Queen sail by only 20 yards away

Two local Sea Scouts watched the Spithead review from the deck of HMS Burghead Bay on Monday.
They were Sea Scout First Class Colin Wareing, aged 19, of Harcourt Road, Lancaster, and Sea Scout First Class Michael Greenhough, aged 16, of Endcliffe Road, Morecambe.
They had been chosen as two of the sea scout representatives privileged to watch the review under Admiralty auspices.
The Queen was only 20 yards from them as the royal yacht sailed past.
Colin told the weekly meeting of the 5th Lancaster Sea Scouts on Wednesday evening: “The review was a grand show. It made me proud to feel that I was a humble unit in the British Navy arrayed there in its might and majesty. It was a marvelous site and one I shall never forget.”


Colin told the Guardian “Michael and I travelled down together on Friday via London. We had a 6 hour stay in the capital. During that time we had the good luck to meet members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a café.
“I shall remember one especially as he was wearing his full scarlet uniform. He said he was taking part in the Royal Naval and Military Tournament at Olympia. We also visited places of interest on the Coronation route before catching a train for Portsmouth from Waterloo.

At Waterloo we joined up with over a hundred sea scouts from all parts of Britain who were going to Spithead. When we arrived at Portsmouth Harbour we were split up into parties of ten, with a scoutmaster for each party. Each group was taken aboard different ships anchored specially for the purpose.
“We were welcomed aboard by the Commander. We expected to have to sleep in hammocks but instead we slept on camp beds. We were really sorry because we would have liked to have sampled a hammock. Although we were guests, every morning after breakfast we acted as mess orderlies and also helped to clean the brass work on the guns.”


Describing the review, Colin said,” We were roused at 6.30 a.m. and dressed the deck until the royal yacht steamed down the line for the actual review in the afternoon. We had a grand view of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they steamed past not more than 20 to 30 yards away from our ship. We cheered like mad, and waved our caps in the air.” 

“We were disappointed when we were told that taking photographs was barred, but the Commander arranged with other guests aboard to take our cameras and take snaps for the us.
“One of the finest sights of the day was when, at a signal from the Queen, all the ships in the mighty fleet were illuminated from deck to masthead and from bow to stern. This was just before the grand firework display.
“After the fireworks the crews of the various ships joined in community singing. It was a memorable night and we were tired out at the end of it but were glad to have been there and seen it all.”


On the Sunday Colin and Michael were members of a party who, aboard a naval launch, toured the fleet at anchor.
Colin said: “We saw the Russian ship ‘Sverdlov’ and ships of many other nations including a huge U.S. aircraft carrier. It was a marvellous sight. The most impressive to my mind was HMS Vanguard.

We came home on Tuesday by the same route and got back to Lancaster about 8.20 on Tuesday night. I went straight along to the Red Rose Boys’ Club, and there told my pals all about my trip.”

Colin was educated at Nazareth House, Widnes, and came to Lancaster five years ago. He commenced scouting at the age of 15. He is a painter and decorator at the Lancaster firm of Barrow Bros.
He is the Sea Scouts Senior Troop Leader. I would like to go into the navy and get the experience there so that I can bring it back into scouting,” he said.

Michael Greenhough, who is a student at Morecambe Grammar School is a senior scout. He has been in the movement nine years altogether. His sole hobby is scouting.

Both boys treasure as souvenirs of their Spithead trip capbands bearing the title “HMS Burghhead Bay”. Both were also given a signed photograph of the ship by the Commander.