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Diamond jubilee for Ipswich scout group

PUBLISHED: 01:00 13 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

A 60th birthday reunion has turned into something of an historic quest for an Ipswich scout group.

This year marks the Diamond Jubilee for the 6th Ipswich Scout Group of Britannia Road.

A 60th birthday reunion has turned into something of an historic quest for an Ipswich scout group.

This year marks the Diamond Jubilee for the 6th Ipswich Scout Group of Britannia Road.

It was decided to have a whole weekend of celebrations inviting both past and present scouts and leaders.

But it was the past scouts and leaders who were causing the problem as no records have been kept detailing who was where, when, and where they went after leaving.

The daunting task of finding as many people as possible has been split between the members, one of them being Julie Wilding who has been a Beaver leader for ten years.

Since her quest started nearly a year ago, Mrs Wilding, of Roundwood Road, Ipswich, has managed to find a number of people, including the founder of their particular group.

She said: "He is 87 years old now but he is still coming along, even though he has moved away.

"We have also managed to find the first ever leader."

Through doing her research, Mrs Wilding has been sent a number of photos dating back to when the group was set up in 1942.

Around 40 people have already been found.

She said: "It has been fantastic finding it all out and we have got hold of an awful lot of people.

"But there are some gaps where we are finding it difficult, especially during the 1940s when a lot of the men had gone off to war.

"I just started off with the scout leaders that I knew and then went back through the leaders they knew and so on."

As well as lots of photos being sent in, there has also been interesting things to find out about the former scouts and leaders.

She said: "I know one person has moved out to the Middle East.

"I also believe that Miles Robinson was one of ours, he is the one who made the Giles statue in town.

"There are also a couple of people who have their own businesses in London and I think there is possibly a detective sergeant among them too."

A letter of commendation from Suffolk police has also been unearthed from 1958, detailing how one of the Venture scouts helped out at an accident.

Mrs Wilding, who's husband Brian is also a group leader, believes life in the scouts is far stricter now than it was in days gone by.

She said: "The rules and regulations used to be far more relaxed years ago. If they wanted to go off on camp they just used to say that they would go away that weekend. Nowadays we have to fill in medical forms and complete permission to camp forms."

The building itself has also changed although it has always been in the same position, on the corner of Woodbridge Road and Britannia Road.

It is planned to hold the celebrations on the weekend of May 11 and 12 and Mrs Wilding is still hoping to get hold of as many people as possible so she can send out official invitations.

It is hoped there will be a birthday party on the Saturday afternoon and a church service will be held on the Sunday.

Anyone associated with the 6th Ipswich Scout group over the last 60 years should write to Mrs Julie Wilding, 154, Roundwood Road, Ipswich, IP4 4LY.

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