Chief Scout’s Visit to Kibblestone

On Sunday 7th April 1963, Sir Charles MacLean, the Chief Scout, visited Kibblestone Scout camp.

The visit was filmed for the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle Boy Scouts Association (latterly Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle Divisional Scout Council, now Kibblestone District), by Mr Gerald Mee. The commentary was written by C. Marshall Amor and read by Bill Webber, who were both big names in Scouting in North Staffordshire at the time.

Were our Cubs and Scouts there? From watching the film is does seem that they were!

At 5 minutes 32 second into the film the commentary says that the Chief is visiting the camps of the Stoke and Burslem Divisions (Districts). Then at 6 minutes 55 seconds he is seen talking to Scouts wearing green and gold neckerchiefs like the ones that 50th Bradwell Scouts wore. We are not aware of any other Groups with the same neckerchief, so it must be safe to assume that they are indeed from Bradwell.

Bradwell 6.55

Then a few seconds later, still while talking to the Bradwell Scouts, a single Scout with a red neckerchief and green shirt (different Troops had different colour shirts – Bradwell were beige) can be seen.

Porthill 7.14

Given the close ties between the two Groups and that we’re not aware of any Groups within Stoke having red neckerchiefs, it is highly likely that this is a Porthill Scout!

And indeed it is! In September 2017, at an open day at St. Margaret’s church in Wolstanton, the Scout in question told us that it was him – Edward (Eddie) Buxton. If Eddie is reading this, please get in touch as we’d like to hear your memories of the day.

At around 19 minutes 30 seconds the Chief is seen walking down the main drive of the Ronald Copeland Training Centre side of the campsite. Either side of the drive are hundreds of Cubs. And here can be seen a group of Cubs with red neckerchiefs. Whether or not these are Porthill Cubs is very difficult to tell. There are three adults with them, but it is not possible to tell who they are. However, on the opposite side of the road is a Scouter in a light green shirt who looks as though it could be Amos Johnson, our Cubmaster at the time. Look at the photo of him a month later at Meir Scout House here.


Cubs welcoming the Chief

Mr Mee tells us that a copy of the film was given to the Stoke-on-Trent & Newcastle Boy Scouts Association and also to the Boy Scouts Association (Scout Association).

The film and the stills from the film are courtesy of Mr Gerald Mee