The Ventures Start

In 1985 Dennis Powner and Andy Franks started up a Venture Unit at Porthill.

Venture Invest 1985 (Medium)

Niki Johnson being invested as a Venture by David Wood, Andy Franks & Dennis Powner

By 1986, Steve Padin had left the Troop as he’d been offered a job at the California Institute of Technology (the commute every Wednesday night was a bit much!) and Ken Johnson had taken over as Scout Leader. An Assistant Leader arrived from Longport Scouts by the name of Dave Farr.

By now the Group was regularly holding Hoe Downs as a means of fund raising. These were successfully run for many year by the core executive team of Mike Gritton, Irene O’Donnell and Maureen Lowndes.

Hoe Down 1987 (Medium)Hoe Down 1987 2 (Medium)
In the second photo, it looks like the Troop has recently won the Allcock trophy from the District!
On 26th and 27th March 1988, members of the Troop completed a 15.6 mile hike for their Chief Scout’s Award. You can see the hike log here.

By mid 1988, the Venture Unit was started up again with the older members of the Troop and some new members.

Venture Invest 1988 (Medium)Stephen Johnson being invested by Gill Blaze, ADC Ventures. Also present is Ken Johnson, Malcolm Blaze (Burslem District’s DC), Andy Franks & David Wood.

Venture Invest 1988 2 (Medium)

Ventures present at the investiture – Stephen Johnson, David Powner, Chris Palin, Jonathan Gritton, Mathew Potts, Nick Wood, Joanne Patterson, Jeanette (?), one person unknown and Mathew Richards.

A month or so later the Ventures are celebrating Andy Franks’ 24th birthday. It can be seen that they are wearing the Venture’s 21st birthday badges.
Ventures 1988 (Medium)
L to R back row – Mathew Richards, Andy Franks, Gareth O’Donnell & Stephen Johnson
Front row – David Johnson, Sara ?, Joanne Patterson & David Powner
1988 saw the 21st birthday of Venture Scouting and the Unit took part in many activities to celebrate. There was a birthday party at Shugborough which the unit attended as part of the District and the Everest Challenge which took place at Trentham Gardens in October 1988. The challenge was for Ventures to climb the height of Mount Everest (29,000 feet or so). At Trentham a scaffolding tower was constructed and teams of 4 Ventures climbed up and down the tower in shifts to represent the climbing of Everest!