Great gathering marks milestone

The 6th Ripon Scouting Group at Clotherholme Farm.
The 6th Ripon Scouting Group at Clotherholme Farm.

More than 85 Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, together with their respective leaders, gathered at Clotherholme Farm on the outskirts of the city last weekend to commemorate the 75th anniversary since the group’s formation back in 1942.

With a plethora of events and activities planned, the group was blessed with good weather over the two days of the camp which was fitting for the celebration of such an important event.

Scouts try out some circus skills at the 75th anniversary camp.

Scouts try out some circus skills at the 75th anniversary camp.

The camp was set next to the banks of the River Laver where the current members, aged between 6 and 16, participated in rock climbing, circus skills, archery, bridge and raft building, as well as making bivouacs, under which a number slept.

On the Saturday afternoon, the current troop were joined by members and leaders from former years who were able to enjoy the activities across camp, encouraging the younger members in their endeavours.

A display of old group photographs, flags and troop paraphernalia led to much reminiscing about their own Scouting experiences and many stayed to enjoy the obligatory camp fire and sing song to round off day one.

Following publicity of the event in the Gazette over previous weeks, the group was contacted by a number of previous members, some of whom are now well into their 80s.

6th Ripon Group Scout Leader David Day welcomes Peter Benson to camp.

6th Ripon Group Scout Leader David Day welcomes Peter Benson to camp.

The group were delighted when one of these members was able to join them; Peter Benson, who now lives in Roecliffe, joined the troop in 1947 as an 11 year old and, together with his older brothers, enjoyed a number of happy years as a member of 6th Ripon.

Still in possession of his original membership card, Peter and the other former members were presented with the new troop necker badge to commemorate the group’s formation.

David Day, the current Group Scout Leader, said: “The weekend has been a fantastic success and fitting way to celebrate 75 years of scouting for 6th Ripon.

“It’s been one of the largest camps the troop has ever hosted with our members enjoying some exciting activities, learning new skills and of course having the opportunity to meet and greet the past.”

The group was originally named 6th Ripon Cathedral Air-Scout Troop, having close affiliation with both the Cathedral and a number of local RAF airfields.

Its original members were drawn primarily from the choristers of the Cathedral under the leadership of Cyril Hawthornthwaite, the then Assistant District Commissioner.