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Second Whitstable Sea Scouts

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Sea Scout Pirates - The 1950s


Some time in the mid-1950s, the Second Whitstable Sea Scouts adopted a new approach to carnivals and picked up a number of awards for their efforts. They simply put away their uniforms and appeared in themed costumes.

One of the most well remembered themes was the "pirate" idea. The shot below shows some of the lads preparing for Whitstable Carnival close to the junction of Cromwell Road and Railway Avenue. The building to the right is the old Weatherly bakery and shop.....


Photo supplied by Jock Harnett


The photo below probably shows the full group on Tankerton Slopes at the end of the procession....


Photo supplied by Jock Harnett


The pirate in charge of the Big Drum was Cyril Marsh. Thanks to the message from Jan Smith (Hutton) below, we can include a photo of pirate Cyril.  


Cyril & the Big Drum


I attach a photo of my Uncle Cyril Marsh who was in the Sea Scouts he used to play the big drum in the carnivals in the 1950s.  


Photo supplied by Jan Smith


This was taken in the one way street in Whitstable. 

When I was a young girl, he used to take me to beetle drives at the sea scout hut on the beach also on a coach outing in the summer to see the lights in Ramsgate I thought this was wonderful as I never went on holidays then so it was a great day out   

Jan Smith (Hutton )


At this point, I may need to explain "beetle drives" to our younger readers! The "beetle" game required participants to draw a complete beetle on a piece of paper. This included a body, a head, two eyes two antlers, a tongue and six legs. Players could add a bodypart if they threw the correct number on a dice. The numbers worked something like this.....


6 = Body
5 = Head
4 = A tongue
3 = A leg
2 = An antler
1 = An eye


Things had to be "done" in the right order. It wasn't permissible to add an eye to a non-existent head. 

Beetle drives were social gatherings designed to raise funds and I seem to remember my parents attending. Participants were divided into groups at separate tables. 

Of course, things have moved on since then. The last time I attended a Sea Scout fund raising, it was a Wine and Wisdom "do". Sadly, it was the last time that I met Shirley Harnett.


Sea Scout Gladiators...


One of the Sea Scouts most successful outfits was also the most complicated to put together. It was, of course, the gladiator theme....


Photo supplied by Jock Harnett


I am not sure where this photo was taken. It is not Whitstable but it could be Canterbury carnival.


Other Costumes...


A different theme was used each year. Other themes included... ancient matelots and Dutchmen.   

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