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All Saints Youth Groups - Whitstable 1940s-1950s

3rd Whitstable Scouts... With Thanks to Bill Dancer

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All Saints Church was (and still is) the home of the Third Whitstable Scout group and, back in the 1940s and 1950s, it was time for camps, makeshift bands and mushy peas. Bill Dancer kindly describes the scene.....



The shot below shows the 1948 3rd Whitstable Scouts Camp....



Scout Camp - 1948

Seated left to right left to right: Tony Blake (yes... the Whitstable Historian), Michael Thomas (I'm a bit unsure of this identification), Ken Barnaby, David Stewart, John Morrell. 

Standing op left to right: Michael Stewart (David's brother), Brian Willman, Jack Tuckwood, Bernard Ticombe, Dawson Pratt, John Rye, Bill Dancer and Gary Lucas. 


It was taken either at Sturry or, perhaps, Teston - just outside of Maidstone. 

Dawson Pratt came into the troop like something from another planet. Our troop struggled to get to 1st Class Scout status and when Dawson arrived he came complete with Kings Scout, Bushmans Thong, Gilwell Cord and a uniform whose exterior comprised more badges than shirt material. 

Dawson lead our "Dream Team" to an unsuccessful challenge for the Lefevre Cup and Pennant - the local Holy Grail of Scouting (Does it still exist?). 

However, at a later date (likely the early 50's), a team lead by Michael Stewart and including Brian Willman and myself (amongst others), did win the Lefevre Cup. At that time, it was the highlight of the troop's history. 

I remember Brian as he was an excellent cook and, at the cooking part of the competition, his peas were judged to be uncooked in that they were not "mushy peas". Brian thought the judge was a bit of a culinary philistine and neatly dissected a perfectly cooked non mushy pea and explained this was the definitive perfectly cooked pea. He won his point and, likely, that was the vital point that won the cup.

I think Skip Shepperd (who was our previous Troop Leader and then District Commissioner) actually cried and I know for certain he dressed down our parents for not coming out in larger numbers to enjoy our moment of glory. Our Hero!! 

I have also included a shot of the camp band of 1948....




Bill Dancer
British Columbia


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