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- Picture of the Month 309 -
Caerleon Scouts

We go back to the 1930's for this month's picture. Here we have Scouts and their supervisor from the 3rd Newport (St Cadocs, Caerleon) who were winners of the Peter Wright Cup at the annual swimming gala. The event involved each member swimming two lengths of Newport Baths in clothes. (Probably explains why they aren't wearing shoes!)

Their supervisor, Bert Butcher (centre) obtained permission for the team to practice in clothes early on Sunday morning at the Bulmore Lido.

The scouts are:
back left Kenny Baulch, back right Eric Wright, Front left Arnold Voss and right John Voss.

Andy Broadwell sent the picture and told us:

1st Caerleon Scout Group are celebrating 90 years of Scouting in Caerleon this year (2009). We have some details of the history over the 90 years, but I (with the help of the Scouts) would like to fill in as many gaps as we can.


Below you will find some pictures and text, relating to Caerleon scouts, sent to us over the last few years.

We start we with a photograph from Steve Wilmot's album. It shows a demonstration of First Aid being carried out by the 3rd. NEWPORT (CAERLEON) Scout Troop. This was part of a pageant held on the Racecourse, on 23rd. May 1959, to celebrate 40 years of scouting in Caerleon. The stretcher bearers are Les Porter and Chris Pember, wearing white coats borrowed from Mr Len Avery, a local butcher!

Steve also sent us a newspaper cutting from the South Wales Argus, Monday May 25 1959, and the pennant (right). Text below:


Forty years of scouting were celebrated in Caerleon on Saturday with a colourful two-hour pageant and display of scout and cub activities.
The celebration was the idea of one man - "Skipper" Reg Greenland, group scoutmaster, who is the only surviving active member of the first Caerleon troop formed in 1919.
He and his two brothers, Ted and Alan Greenland founded the troop after the first world war.
Although his brother later left, Mr. Greenland kept the troop going and apart from a short break has been with the Caerleon Scouts ever since.
He formed a rover crew in 1952 and the following year was appointed group scoutmaster.
"I thought this year would be a good occasion to mark forty years of continuous scouting in Caerleon," he said.


Opening the display Councillor D. Stewart, chairman of Caerleon Council said: "Scouting provides a healthy recreation, good moral guidance and a first-class training for citizenship. We are proud of our scouts in Caerleon."
Sixty scouts and cubs from the 3rd Newport (Caerleon) troop appeared in the pageant and display which depicted all aspects of scouting.
Scouts built a model camp and gave demonstrations of trail-laying, rescue work and bridge building. Films shown included scenes from the 1957 world scout jamboree.
Scouts and cubs from Caerleon troop attended morning service at Caerleon Parish church on Commonwealth Sunday.




Colin Green told us:
I don't know where or when 1st Caerleon came into being, but in 1947 the scouts met in an old wooden scout hut in the allotments opposite the town hall. It was then known as the 3rd Newport. At that time the troop was run by a family ( I cannot remember their name) who lived in the Gas Works House - on Gas Works Lane off the Usk Road.
It is also worth knowing that between 1950 and 1953 the cubs took part in the Newport cubs football league ....For the 3 seasons they won every game and only conceded 1 goal (own goal ).


The following brief history of the Caerleon Troop comes from their website:
"Caerleon Scout Group was formed in 1919. It was initially formed as a joint group, along with the 3rd Newport Scout Group, Sir Garrod's own Scout Troop of Victoria Avenue, Congregational Church, Newport. The group was known as 3rd Newport (St. Cadocs) District. The Butcher family ran both troops with Assistant Scoutmaster, Mr R. Harding and Cub Master, Miss D. Greenland. Another group within Caerleon was known as 1st Caerleon (Lower East Valley District). At the beginning of the war Scouting went into decline and the two Troops joined forces to become one Troop, The 1st Caerleon Scout Group."


Brian Blythe left Caerleon many years ago, but still has happy memories of life in Isca. Here are some of his recollections of the scouts:

Talog Davies, the teacher of the top class in the boys school, was the scout master but he was called up during the war. The scouts tried to carry on and learnt semaphore with flags. We became quite proficient. We could send messages from one end of the hut to the other or even along the street. One day we decided to try it for real and half the troop went up the hill one one side of the river while the rest climbed the other side. We waited and when we saw them our appointed first signaler stood up and started to send a meesage but we could make no sense of the reply. Then someone said " Look there they are over there". The first group was just some walkers waving to us. When we started to send, they were also sending at the same time. When we decided to wait for them to start they also stopped. When we eventually recognised some letters from we found that we must have missed the beginning. At tea time we gave up and went home. We agreed that we needed some special signals. We looked in the book and found some positions of the flags which were not used and agreed that this position meant "I wish to send" and other signs meant , Ready to receive, About to start, Please repeat, Message understood, and so on. We invented new signals when we found them necessary. Many years later I told this story to a Technical College evening class to whom I was teaching computer technology. A computer talks to its printer through a multiple wire cable. The computer connects a six volt supply to one wire which the printer recognises as meaning that the computer wants to send a character. The printer replies by putting a voltage on another wire to mean I am ready to receive. When the computer sees this and not before it sends on another wire that it is about to start and then sends the character. The printer causes a votage to be put on the 'busy line' until it has finished printing the character. This exchange of signals between a computer and any of its peripherals is known as a handshake. There are many different cables and connecting methods each with its own handshake.

The hut was set on the edge of an allotment patch and beyond was a large building which had something to do with the electricity supply.

You can read more of Brian's recollections of Caerleon 1935 - 1950 by following this link.


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