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Early Scouting at The Fort by Michael Rich

In September 1945, immediately after the War, I went to Dulwich College and joined the Scouts. The Scout Troop which I joined was the 3rd Dulwich College which had been founded in 1937 by "Skip" Hall shortly after he had left the College. Its peculiarity was that it was to be led by Old Alleynians in contrast to the other School Troops which were led by masters at the College. During the war Bill Hall had kept in touch with the boys who in that period provided the leadership, although with supervision from Vickie Styler who had founded the first Scout Troops at the College.

When Lieutenant-Colonel H.R.Hall, as he had become, returned from the Army, I remember our head-quarters in an old pavilion in the "Tank Field", named after the war-time Emergency Water Tanks. We had added some lean-to sheds as "patrol dens" and hoisted our flag from the old oak tree. But almost at once Hall negotiated the use of a larger disused building, by the Covered Courts on the College grounds. This the Scouts improved and redecorated, and was duly opened in 1949 by Brigadier Lorne Campbell VC, who became the Troop's Patron.

Fifteen years later there were two Scout Troops with room for 50 boys, and a waiting list, a Senior Scout Troop of fourteen 15 to 18 year olds, which, by that time I led, and a Rover Crew of 19 Old Alleynians. The troops met after Games on a Saturday, when it was possible to get Old Alleynians who were at work on the Tuesday afternoons when the School Troops met, to lead what became "the 48th Camberwell, Old Alleynian Scout Group, Lorne Campbell's Own". Thus, although the Scouts were all from the College, the Group was no longer part of it. Redevelopment plans led the College to wish to recover the site by the Covered Courts which we were occupying. Every alternative site which we proposed, which appeared acceptable to the Estates Governors, was also earmarked for some further School development.

14 Aug 2016, 16:45