On parade with 75 year old group

IT WAS time to dust off the woggles and badges and stand on parade as the 17th Ipswich Scout Group celebrated 75 years in existence.Memories of camps, war and military style kit inspections came flooding back as the young boys who had left the group so many years ago met up again as men.

By Jessica Nicholls

IT WAS time to dust off the woggles and badges and stand on parade as the 17th Ipswich Scout Group celebrated 75 years in existence.

Memories of camps, war and military style kit inspections came flooding back as the young boys who had left the group so many years ago met up again as men.

But there were two words on everyone's lips as they reminisced about their childhood scouting days and they were – Roy Goody.

Roy joined the 17th Ipswich scouts as an 11-year-old 75 years ago and the movement became his life.

Following six years of national service during the second world war, Roy returned to Ipswich to get the group up and running again and has been involved with it ever since.

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Although he had to officially retire at the age of 65, he still helps out, aged 86 and is the chairman of the group committee.

As the hall at Christchurch in Tacket Street began to fill up on Saturday with one-time scouts, Roy found himself surrounded by his past.

Everyone remembered him and many people had gone to the reunion just to see him again.

Roy said: "I have not seen some of these people for 20 or 30 years.

"But from the e-mails coming in they all remember the camps that we used to go on."

For Roy too the best memories of his own scouting days as a youngster, were the trips to camp every year.

He said: "I remember being flooded out at camp and having to dig trenches around the tent to keep the water out.

"We were at West Runton at the time and were camping in gulleys.

"But we were on a slope so when it rained the water just ran down."

Roy is adamant that it was scouting that prepared him for life along with many of the young men under his leadership.

He said: "When you see all these people coming in as men with their families I feel that I must have done something for them.

"All the years that you do it you don't actually realise what you are doing.

"Scouting is a game, but it is a game you have to play hard and it becomes a way of life.

"It has been my way of life since I joined."

Derek Jarman, now 75, was in the group from 1939 to 1942. His scouting days were affected as it was in the middle of the second world war, so the amount of badges the boys could do was limited as there were very few people to train them at the time.

His most vivid memory of his scouting days, aside from camps was the day that the second world war was announced.

Derek from Chelsworth Avenue, Ipswich said: "We always had a church parade on the first Sunday of every month.

"On September 3 1939 I remember being at church and the leader standing on the steps of the church telling us that war had broken out.

"He had to be led away in tears."

The life of scouts today is radically different to the way it was during the 1950's.

Ed Elliston from Mendlesham was leader of Owl Patrol and was in the scouts from 1955 – 1960.

He remembers scouts as young as 11 doing weekend hikes in a bid to get their first class status.

A pair of scouts would go off armed with a map and a list of tasks to complete. Armed with their tents they would have to find their own place to sleep overnight, which more often than not involved knocking on a farmers door to see if they could pitch a tent in his field.

Ed, now 59 said: "I think everyone enjoyed summer camps because not everyone went on holiday every year.

"The summer camp became your summer holiday – it was before the days of package holidays and going to the Lake District was as far as you had ever been."

Kelly Tattershall is 25 and she and husband Ian have been helping out with the scout group for the last ten years.

She said: "Children want very different things now.

"We are very much indoor-based but we still do lots of badges and life skills, like first aid.

"Roy Goody has been an absolute inspiration to everyone."

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