Tigger Creates Art!

While on his trip to London last week, Tigger visited Tate Modern

He decided to recreate his art installation from 2008 called ‘Tigger sitting on a big crack in the floor of the turbine hall of Tate Modern. Apparently this is art!’

The new installation is called ‘Tigger sitting on a big crack in the floor of the turbine hall of Tate Modern which has now been filled in. Apparently this is still art!’

New Hornby Dublo Layout & B12s

After rather long absence, I’ve decided to try and start writing again. But now not just specifically Scouting, although that is still an active part of my life (I just ran out of stuff to say!), but going back to what I originally did, write about what is interesting to me or on my mind.

So today we start back with model railways.

I’ve intended to set up a small Hornby Dublo 3 rail layout for a while now as I have been adding to my collection, but not really had anywhere to run the trains.
I had a small oval of track that I made a long time ago which was 2 and 3 rail convertible, but the glue on the centre rail was failing so it was time to do something!
I decided to extend the board as much as I could in the space available and the video shows the results, from the original board, to the extensions to running and a few modifications.
You’ll see some of my locos along with my full collection of N2s (including 2 of my Dad’s). One of these has been restored and repainted, the 2 GWR ones have been repainted (not by me) and one is on a much later chassis than it should be.
They all run, a bit more oiling and dusting is needed, but a couple, including the pre war N2, need re-magnetizing.

The second video is of three of my (Triang) Hornby B12s running together.
The first is the original model from the early 1960s (mine’s a hybrid 60s & 70s version), rather nicely detailed for me by my uncle.
The second is the late 1990s Hornby version, which was the original one, slightly updated and now made in China.
The last one is the rather nice, current, modern, highly detailed version.
I must admit to the 1st one being my favourite, because it was specially detailed for me! Still runs very well for something that is around 40 years old!

Remember

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae, May 1915

 

Porthill Scouts Killed in World War 1 and World War 2

William Edgar Wood, my Great Grandfather, killed in France 1918

Rowland Rowley, my Great Great Uncle, killed in France 1915

Spencer Rowley, my Great Great Uncle, killed in France 1917

We will remember them

Kids Today!

When, in the media, young people are mentioned, it is normally that they’ve done something wrong and there is a lot of “tut tutting” and “the young people of today..” type comments.
There will always be the ‘wrong uns’ out there and sadly they are the ones that are talked about. Case in point, the two 15 year olds that vandalised the school I work at and caused £1000s of damage. But they are the exception not the rule.
This weekend a group of young people from my Scout Group, went to the National Memorial Arboretum to play their drums, bugles and glockenspiels in support of Armed Forces Day.
They played twice to many members of the general public and members of the armed forces both current and retired.
After each performance many people came up to me and the other Leaders to tell us how good and talented the young people are.
Of course I can’t take any credit for this as it is John, the other Leaders and helpers who go and help the young people to learn their routines and the young people themselves, who do all the hard work.
But, to be told by current and ex service personnel, that they are the best drum band that they have seen in years and how impressed they are that 8 year old Cubs can be that good, it is something!
So please watch the 1st Porthill Scouts Drum Corps in action and remember that there are some very talented young people out there!

A very proud Group Scout Leader 🙂

Remembrance Day 11-11-2014

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

LAURENCE BINYON 1914

Porthill Scouts Killed in World War 1 and World War 2

William Edgar Wood, my Great Grandfather, killed in France 1918

Rowland Rowley, my Great Great Uncle, killed in France 1915

Spencer Rowley, my Great Great Uncle, killed in France 1917

We will remember them

A Book Launch

Today I’ve done something I’ve not done before as Group Scout Leader. I represented the Group at a book launch (not that I’ve ever attended a book launch in a non Scouting role either!)  at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum in Lichfield.

The book is ‘The War History of the 1/6th Battalion The Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire Regiment) (T.F.) 1914 – 1918’ by Jeffrey Elson.

Not the usual book to be associated with Scouting, but this one, launched on eve of the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the First World War, lists the names and details of men who served in that Battalion and were killed in action. It also lists those men who were awarded medals for their bravery.

Amongst the men of the Battalion killed and awarded medals was Rev. Frederick Walter Cleveland. Frederick Cleveland was our Scout Troop’s Chaplin while he was curate at St. Andrew’s from 1913 to 1915.

Fr. Cleveland in 1913

He was a Chaplin with the Battalion and was awarded the Military Cross for helping the wounded during the taking of the St. Quentin Canal on 29th September 1918. Sadly he was killed in action a couple of weeks later on 11th October 1918. You can read all about him here on his remembrance page.

Although his story is a very small part of the book, I was pleased to let the author have Fr. Cleveland’s information for its inclusion.

As a Group, we are proud to remember the 18 men from the Troop (that we know of) killed in the Great War (not forgetting those killed in WW2).

20140803_112201The Author

I am proud to have represented the Group so that these men may be remembered in as many ways as possible.

On the Radio

Matt Hyde, the Scout Association’s Chief Executive, was on Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning talking in the business section about Scouting and the report published saying employers need to give people time off to volunteer (see here).

It was a very good interview and talked about the need for more adult volunteers, girls in Scouting and the chance to give young people exciting experiences.

Sadly at the end of the interview, the interviewer Justin Rowlatt, blew it by saying the infamous ‘DYB BYB DYB DYB’. More like DOH DOH DOH!’

For those of you who weren’t a Cub Scout after 1966, this was said by a Sixer to the rest of the Pack, followed by the Pack replying DOB DOB DOB DOB. This all meant Do Your Best & Do Our Best.

Which is why if people trying to take the p**s say it to me I tend to say, ‘Thank you, I will’! It confuses the living daylights out of them!

The trouble is there is still a perception, especially in the media, that Scouting is stuck in the 1950s and we still DYB and DOB, are Boy Scouts etc and haven’t moved on. Obviously nothing could be further from the truth. But this myth still persists.

Our local Gang Show were on the radio recently and of course the presenter said it. And last month on Radio 2 it started up during a discussion about Scouts. I mentioned on Twitter that the media people at Gilwell must get sick of trying to drag the media forwards over 45 years!

Sadly this will run and run and it doesn’t matter how we portray ourselves, it will still be seen as a part of Scouting.

tumbleweed-gif.gif

You may have noticed a lack of anything on here for some time. This doesn’t mean I’ve been off line, but more of a case of being busy with my Group, District & County hats on! After updating a load of websites and posting on social media with multiple accounts (I have to remember who I am posting as!), I’ve normally run out of time. However, I’m still here and will be posting again.

Remembrance Day 11-11-2013

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

LAURENCE BINYON 1914

Porthill Scouts Killed in World War 1 and World War 2

William Edgar Wood, my Great Grandfather, killed in France 1918

Spencer Rowley, my Great Great Uncle killed in France 1917

We will remember them

The Alternative Promise

The SA have announced the following –

The Scout Association (TSA) has launched an additional alternative version to the core Scout Promise in order to officially welcome atheists into the Movement.

Following an extensive 10-month consultation process within and outside of the Movement, TSA has introduced an additional alternative version of the Scout Promise that can be taken by those without a faith for the first time in its 106-year history.

See the rest of the article here.

The wording of the new Promise for atheists has been announced today. And I think it’s not a bad thing. The main Promise stays as it is but this is an alternative and

Scouting remains fully committed as a Movement that explores faith and religion as a core element of its programme.

I think they’ve done the right thing and not dropped faith  as the Guides have done. The announcement has had a positive reaction from both faith leaders and the British Humanist Association (see the SA’s article). Shame the National Secular Society have to be a bit grumpy about it –

“At the same time, we think the Girl Guides’ response to this issue was infinitely superior. Their approach relieves young people of having to make a decision about what they believe at a time in their lives when maybe they haven’t decided.”

Thoughts / comments?

Backup, Backup, Backup!

Hello there! How’ve you all been?

I’ve not been round here much recently, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve not been doing lots of Scouting! I think one of the best things we’ve done recently was our 3rd Family Camp we had back in May. We had a great time and my girls enjoyed themselves so much that by the time we went home on the Sunday afternoon, they were fast asleep!

You can see all the Group has been up to in our photo gallery here.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been unexpectedly offer a role in the County. I am now the County Web Manager, along with, District Web Manager and Group Scout Leader. I hope they don’t want me to take over the national site (ha – fat chance!!!!).

One of the first things I said to the County Chairman while discussing the role, was to make sure this site was adequately back up (it wasn’t previously) in case of accidents, hardware failure or hacking.  So that was one of the first thing I did.

Move forward to this morning. I’m having a little play with the settings of this site, when I click the wrong button and delete my whole site!

Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh! Doh!

Luckily I have backup for this site, so after a bit of uploading and tweaking of  settings, here we are!

It does prove that it is essential to have backups in place, so if you have your own site, please ensure you back it all up regularly. And if anyone is interested, I use this one for my WordPress sites (free version 😉 ). Oh and never forget to backup your PC. I had a colleague come to me at work recently saying he’d spilled wine all over his laptop and it had stopped working. He was rather concerned as it had all the pictures of his children since they were born on it! My first question “is it backed up” – reply “no”! Luckily it wasn’t too badly damaged and the photos were saved, but hopefully he’s learned a lesson!

Backup, Backup, Backup!