So this Scouting family history bit is throwing up some great stuff. This is my wife’s grandfather David Gosman who is 96. He was a Scout and then a Rover Scout in the 4th Leith (St Serfs) Rover Crew. At the same time my grandfather was an assistant Scout Master in Glasgow.
He attended the Rover Scout Moot at Monzie in Perthshire in 1939 and was a little surprised I knew all about it….
Photographs are indeed wonderful things.
My friend Linda is a stained glass conservator and artist helped me on a beautiful piece of glass which we will look at shortly….today she sent me a photo of this lovely window from Crawfordton House Chapel in Dumfries – shire. Its from around 1956 and was made by Abbey Studios from Dublin. It depicts a wolf cub complete with wolf cub badge and totem. He is dressed in blue which is curious…..
The panel below is from the Scottish headquarters collection. He was was one of Scotland’s leading artists in stained glass as well as being, from 1922 to 1960, the head of the School of Design at Dundee College of Art. He was associated with the Boy Scout Movement for 57 years and was appointed County Commissioner in 1962. The panel is something special – Wemyss Firs was Scotland’s answer to Gilwell – its where Scottish scouters were trained before the eventual move to Fordell Firs nearby.
It is a beautiful piece of work and a wonderful piece of Scottish scouting history.
So I had my dad rummaging for photos of my grandfather who had been a rover scout then a scouter. He found some which was great but he also found this certificate. Elmbank Street in Glasgow is where Glasgow Scouts have their HQ and a great wee scout shop. I now of course need to find out some more …….occupational hazard….
I do like the celtic knot work …
in days of old apparently not…..
Scouting in Scotland has always had a distinct flavour since day one. Am Beachdair appeared in january 1925 when Scottish Headquarters had been long established. I particularly like the design work and the celtic knot work – Scouting in many places had lovely artwork with a sketchy homespun feel to it. The lead of course came from BP himself who was a great sketcher in pen and ink, but also a pretty talented self taught painter. BP graces the cover of course with a message to the Scottish Scouters.
I am reliably informed that Am Beachdair means observer, one who watches – or Scout even !
The drive of commerce around Scouting has been well documented – the efforts of Mr Pearson in feeding the beast that was the embryonic Scout Movement came at a cost and that was about making money – as you boys (and girls) started to buy the Scout comic, as uniforms and equipment became more formal, and as Scouting grew, lots of people got in on the act. A sharper commercial mind could have stitched the market up in ‘approved goods’ – and they got there eventually – but BP was not interested, at least to begin with. The 1922 advert in the Scouting journal promotes the Morris Car as the ideal vehicle for the Scoutmaster who wants to mix business with pleasure ……. indeed and not sure which is which – the language of days past…
Scouts had to DIY for uniforms of course and Scouts in Scotland were pushed towards military suppliers especially for kilts and the like – hence why military tartans are so common even today. Equipment manufacturers quickly turned to Scouting lines – everything from soap (oh the irony) to disinfectant (a bit of a them here?) to knives, outdoor clothes and tents. The Association eventually realised there was money to be made and a moral obligation to support HQ through purchasing is something that lasts to this day and is no bad thing.
I wonder just how many Morris cars were bought by Scoutmasters as a result of the advert…….
Now not because I am biased or anything but the more I research our early origins the more that Stirling comes to the fore in the development of Scouting in Scotland. Stirling has produced some key figures in the movement in the early years, and was quick off the mark in a number of ways. Scottish HQ at Fordell have a very precious resource in the bound minutes of the national body from day one. In our centenary year the AGM was held in Stirling to commemorate that the very first national Scout meeting was held here.
In 1909 Scouting was still growing and evolving, and a special meeting was held to bring some structure and order into the movement. The meeting agreed a national headquarters should be established and that funds could be raised via subscription. Mr RE Young, that time president of Glasgow Boy Scouts was appointed President, Mr Brown of Edinburgh Boy Scouts Vice President, and nine other individuals appointed to for a national committee. This Committee has evolved to become the Scottish Council in the present day and I am pleased to be a part of it – another Stirling connection……!