Film ID:
NEFA 21493

NORTHUMBERLAND BOY SCOUTS GOSFORTH PARK

1957-1961

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur film made by D.M. Paulin of the Northumberland Boy Scouts showing activities and events taking place at their permanent camp site at Gosforth Park near Newcastle upon Tyne between 1957 and 1961. The film also records the visits by two Chief Scouts to the region. The first is of Thomas Corbett who visited Humshaugh near Hexham in Northumberland in June 1957 to dedicate a stone cairn built on the site of the first scout camp in 1908. The second visit is of Sir Charles Maclean who took part in the Northumberland and Durham Scout Rally at Gosforth Park in July 1961. The film also records the participation of the Northumberland Boy Scouts at the 9th World Scout Jubilee Jamboree which took place at Sutton Coldfield in August 1957.

Title: And now to activities in colour

A wooden sign which includes the Northumberland county flag reads ‘Northumberland Boy Scouts Gosforth Park Permanent Camp Site’.

The scouting insignia is carved into a wooden seat cut from a log. A second smaller wooden sign reads ‘Sorry Folks! Only Scouts in Uniform May Pass Here’. A wooded lane leads towards the camp. On site beside a green wooden hut another sign reads, ‘Have you Signed In?’.

Around the hut a group of Scouts look at the camera. A number of leaders attempt to bring order to the group. Nearby a Union Jack flies from a flag pole around which more scouts stand or lay on the grass relaxing.

[B&W] Scout Master Joe Dunnett  speaks to the camera. [Colour] A small child sits on a horse while a man with glasses holds the reins. A woman on the other side of the horse holds the baby steady.

During the summer lush green leaves cover the surrounding woodland and colourful flowers grow in a flowerbed. A group of Scouts sit on the ground while a number of leaders look over a piece of paper. Carrying large backpacks, the Scouts stand ready to move.

Around the green hut a number of older men, some in Scout uniform, stand chatting. In a display case hanging from the hut are a number of Scout badges. Underneath a sign reads ‘Scouts Counties of the British Isles’.

At a campsite a number of tents have been erected with others being put up by a number of Scouts. Around a cooking stove built on a table with corrugated sheets five boys watch over the fire and stir two cooking pots.

A red sign hanging from a pole that reads ‘3rd Roxburghshire Yetholm Scout Troop’. Around a table a number of boys enjoy a meal.

The film cuts to show a number of boys inside a roped off enclosure. Above the entrance a Scout Master holds a sign which reads ‘The Kestrel Patrol’. Inside another roped off enclosure built beside a river a number of other Scouts build a camp fire. There are views of other enclosures constructed nearby where other boys are building fires and doing other activities.

There are general views of the campsite. Sitting on a log speaking to an unseen group is an older Scout master with a medal around his neck and a number of other ribbons attached to his shirt. He greets, shakes hands and speaks to a number of Scouts and leaders who are standing in a line.

There is a view of a covered eating area and a hut with a red cross on the door. A look inside shows bottles sitting on shelves.

Boys swim, play and dive into an outdoor swimming pool. Standing in a circle a group of Sea Scouts play a game where they hold each other’s hands and swing each other around. They then race holding a plate on which sits a ball.

On the side of a log hut a map shows the layout of the Gosforth Park camp site.

The leaves on the trees have turned yellow and red showing autumn at the camp. A boy is a white shirt and shorts runs into camp.

This seasons change to show snow covering the road, woodland and camp site during winter.  The swimming pool is frozen over with snow and snow sits on the roofs of all the buildings. Various birds eat from a string of peanuts hanging from a t-shaped wooden structure built outside one of the huts. A robin sits on top of a bird box beside a number of hanging coconut shells from which a number of blue tits feed.

The film changes to spring and a Scout initiation ceremony takes place in a grassed area beside the flagpole. Holding the Scout troop flag in his right hand a boy does the Scout salute with the left while reciting his pledge to two leaders who are also holding the flag and making the salute. His neck scarf and woggle are then placed over his head and the sequence ends with a Scout master speaking with the troop.

Daffodils and greenery return to the Scout camp and a robin eats a piece of bread in the flowerbed. Other birds including a number of pheasants look for food on the grass or bird table near to one of the huts. Rabbits also wander into camp.

The surrounding woodland turns green with new growth and blows gently in the wind. An image of a fox or wolf is carved into a wooden seat.

Beside the flagpole a group of older scouts or Scout leaders, including a number of women, stand chatting. Beside a number of tents, they play games together. A woman ties a piece of wood to a tree, another rushes past with a skipping rope.

The senior Scout seen previously with the medal and ribbons recites from a piece of paper beside one of the female Scouts. A medal hangs around her neck. A second woman is presented with the medal watched by a group Scouts standing behind them. One of the male Scouts is presented with the paper and shakes the senior scouts hand.

In a grove sits a large caravan. A man walks towards a box of flowers growing on a wooden fence.

Wearing a dark jacket and brimmed hat a man stands speaking to an unseen group. He chats and shakes hands with a number of leaders and boys before looking around a campsite.

Beside the flagpole he presents a framed picture or certificate to an older man in a blue suit who stands beside his wife who is wearing a yellow jacket. He gives a speech to the surrounding Scout group. The senior Scout, now without his jacket wearing a light coloured shirt, stands again surrounded by scouts speaking with them. He places a medal around the neck of a male Scout.

Sitting in a circle a number of older Scouts look over a couple of round stones. Wearing blindfold’s, a number of Scouts walk across a grassed area carefully. An older Scout instructs a number of other older Scouts or leaders on sharpening a stick with an axe.  Those watching are making notes. Around a fenced off kitchen area the group listen, some making notes, to another man speaking to them. Nearby a second man stands at the table chopping a cabbage. Beside a camp oven placed in the ground the men write more notes as the man speaks.

In two groups the Scout leaders play a team game in which they construct and race a wooden sled.

On the road into the camp the group stand around a car (Reg: XTN 162) and a bicycle which lays in the road beside it. The car appears to have crashed into the wooden fence while avoiding the bicycle. The Scout leaders look over the scene.

A number of the men dig a trench in the middle of the road [this sequence is filmed in slow-motion]. They build a wooden hoist to move a large stone from the road.

Over a dip in the ground a wooden bridge has been built and Scouts walk across it. Working together as a team they tie a section to a tree with ropes.  One of the men come down a zip-wire rather slowly. A Scout crosses a wooden rope bridge watched by a small crowd.

At the swimming pool a group have built and are using a make-shift raft pulling themselves across the water by rope. They work together to build a wooden structure across the water. A large make-shift raft made with canvas is launched into the pool.

Two Scouts sitting on a wooden platform are hoisted up a tree by other Scouts pulling on ropes. They are joined by two other men who pull themselves higher into the tree by series of rope pulleys.

Back in the pool eight men sit in the larger canvas raft. While some bail out the water, other use oars to move around the pool. A third make-shift single seater raft is launched into the pool and moves across the water quite successfully.

On dry land Scouts practice first-aid techniques by working together to move a patient from the ground onto a stretcher. Two of the Scouts walk backwards carrying the stretcher watched over by a third sitting in a deck-chair.

The men have fun with a rope swing built around a tree which breaks at the second attempt.

Two wooden structures are constructed at the centre of the camp, one larger than the other with a man standing on the top.

Five Scouts work together to walk across a meadow on a plank of wood without touching the ground.

Back in the pool six men use ropes to hold a wooden structure in place while another tries to climb on it. A number of other Scouts build a tent.

Beside a flagpole the men stand to attention. Camping equipment is packed into canvas overalls and loaded onto wooden poles. A number of Scouts swing on a rope. A number more are lead through a wooded area wearing blindfolded. Another group build a ladder from tyres and climb into a tree.

Four Scouts make a camp inspection with those being inspected having all their kit laid out in order in front if their tents. The event ends with the lowering of the Union Jack from the flagpole.

The film shows again the Scout insignia carved into a wooden chair and then another chair of the Scout salute. A number of Boy Scouts cut into a log with an axe.

A number of other Scouts look at a set of tracks which cross a sandy area.

Five Scout leaders, one wearing a kilt, look and point at areas on a map which is laid out on the ground. One of them uses a compass. The men look over and read a sheet of paper.

Along a country road march the five older Scouts carrying backpacks. They stop and look at a map. Beside a stone building seven Scouts pose for the camera. They continue their march through the countryside carrying their backpacks and smile at the camera as they pass.

They cross a river by boat which is being pulled across by another man. Again, they wave at the camera.

Beside a church in town or village the group meet another older Scout in a white jumper walking towards they. They all stop and salute each other before looking at a map. The sequence ends with a yellow and green Jeep which reverses and drives away, the passenger waving at the camera.

Title: Visit of the Chief Scout to Gosforth Park July 1961

The Chief Scout Sir Charles Maclean takes part in a stone laying ceremony at the Gosforth Park Camp. The stone reads ‘This Stone was Laid by Sir Charles Maclean B.T., H.M.L., J.P. Chief Scout on 15th July 1961’.

At the camp a view of one of a new wooden huts and views of the surrounding woodland from inside.

Walking with a shepherds crook Sir Charles Maclean speaks with a number of young boys standing in a line. He shakes many of their hands including a number of the older Scouts. Another group stands around a tent erected in a wooded area. Two Scouts stand inside a Coca-Cola stand, one of them holding up a bottle. Along a track a comes a group of Scouts who stand in front of sign which reads ‘Sub-Camp E4’.

In a field a large number of tents have been erected with many Scouts walking about. A bus drives past an encampment which has a flagpole beside it from which a Union Jack if flying. Sir Charles Maclean walks into camp and says ‘morning’ to the cameraman. He again speaks and shakes hands with a number of Scouts before looking inside a pot cooking on a camp fire. He continues to walk around the campsite speaking with the Scouts from various troops. He inspects the kit of one troop which is laid out on the ground in front of their tent.

Around a campfire a group of Scouts watch a man cut some meat.

Sir Charles Maclean meets and greets more Scout troops and is very friendly with them all. Finally, he gets into a jeep and is driven away.

Sitting beside a building a group of women eat and chat.

Title: The Rally of 16 July 1961 was a huge success

Along the racetrack at Newcastle Racecourse at Gosforth Park a number of scout troops march past behind their troop flags as a crowd watch from behind the barrier. Sir Charles Maclean walks into the racing paddock and begins chatting and shaking hands with more boy scouts. A large crowd can be seen sitting in the stands behind him.

An older scout wearing a kilt leads the various flagbearers onto the racetrack. They are then lead into the paddock area.

Looking down from a window Sir Charles Maclean speaks and shakes hands with a number of excited cub scouts, a large crowd of others stand nearby waiting for him to walk past. He speaks with two boys in wheelchairs.

In the paddock a troop of scouts stand to attention as Sir Charles Maclean inspects and chats with a number of them.

Sir Charles Maclean speaks with a number of other disabled cubs and scouts. One man signs the cast of a scout with a broken leg. Another boy offers Sir Charles his autograph book to sign.

A large crowd in the stands watch as two men wearing vestments walk out onto the paddock and then onto a small platform. From the platform a religious service takes place. Standing on three corners of the platform stand three scouts each holding a flag; a Union Jack, a flag of St George and a flag of St Andrew. Huge crowds of scouts watch the service taking place both from the stands as well as around the paddock itself. The service ends with all the scouts make the scouting salute.

In front of the platform Sir Charles Maclean makes presentations to a number of male and female scouts. The sequence ends with him giving a speech from the platform.

The film changes to show scout camp with views of tents and boys. A large group of scouts march along a road away from the camp. They stand on the platform of Corbridge Railway Station and watch as a diesel commuter train passes in the other direction.

Outside a large house a group of scouts, along with a number of women stand chatting and laughing. One of the men is Thomas Corbett, 2nd Baron Rowallan, the Chief Scout who is wearing a kilt.

Surrounded by a large crowd two men stand and hold a blue banner with a yellow lion on it which reads ‘County of Northumberland B.R. Guild Humshaugh 1908’. There are views of a large crowd of men, women and boys stand or sit on a grassy hillside.

Thomas Corbett arrives and salutes a line of scouts as he makes his way to the top of a small hill on which the cairn is built. He stands with two other men, one of whom is reading from a card. He then releases a flag of St George that covered the cairn and lights a fire next to it watched by the large crowd below. A plague on the cairn reads ‘This cairn marks the site of the first boy scout camp help in 1908 by B.P. later Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Chief Scout of the world’. Underneath a second plaque reads ‘The Chief Scout Lord Rowallan re-lit the camp fire 9th June 1957’.

The film cuts to show a triangular yellow flag laid out on the ground. It reads ‘World Scout Jubilee Jamboree Sutton Coldfield 1957’.

A crowd of scouts and tents are built on a campsite near a set of large building. A model aircraft laid on the ground is looked over by a number of boys.

Three men stand by the entrance to the encampment of the scouts from Japan. Japanese writing and lanterns hang over the entrance.

Inside another encampment, this time with a Union Jack on a flagpole, two boys box. In the background views over the whole campsite including two large marquees. A windmill marks the entrance to the Dutch camp with a Dutch flag flying from a pole.

Standing on the back of a Range Rover Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh drive past waving at the watching crowd.

Three scouts in Native American dress walk past a camp with a sign hanging outside that reads ‘The Boy Scouts of Ireland’. Scout Master Teddy Potts scratches his head.

A group of scouts from around the world stand around looking at a newspaper. Three older scout leaders, Teddy Potts, Ralph Reader and Dugald Paulin stand nearby talking.

The Northumberland scouts stand in front of the entrance to their camp which is in the shape of the Tyne Bridge. Writing on the two towers reads ‘1907’ and ‘1957’ and ‘Northumberland’ is written across the curved span.

Standing in a jeep Thomas Corbett drives past waving at the scouts. A group of scouts from across the world, many in ethic dress, sit or stand around talking. The film ends with a group of scouts posing for a photograph be their encampment.