Gang Show

Last week, some of my Group’s Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Leaders went to watch the Burdi Boys Gang Show from Potteries North District (which was kind of our old District before things were changed in 2005).

For those who don’t know, a bit of history of the Gang Show from Wikipedia

In 1931, Ralph Reader, then a Rover Scout who was trying to make his mark in theatre in the USA and London, was asked to write a Scout based amateur variety show to help raise money for a swimming pool at Downe Scout Camp (now a Scout Association National Activity Centre). Rehearsals commenced under Reader’s direction on 25 May 1932 (his 29th birthday).

Initially the show did not have a title, but during a rehearsal break, Reader recalled later, he asked a cast member if everyone was ready to which the response was “Aye, aye Skip, the gang’s all here”. The first production, under the title The Gang’s All Here ran between 30 October and 1 November 1932 at the Scala Theatre in central London.

Despite the fact that the show was not a sell out, enough money was raised to fund the swimming pool and the show was well received. Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting, approached Reader and persuaded him to produce another show in 1933. This show was produced with the title The Gang Comes Back and ran for a week.

A tradition had been born and Reader continued to write and produce the London Gang Show. In 1934 the show became known as The Gang Show and the song Crest of a Wave was performed for the first time, becoming over the years the Show’s international anthem.

Burdi Boys itself has been around since 1958 and has survived 2 District amalgamations.

The show was co-produced by Rachael, my Group’s Beaver Leader and had Paul, our Scout Leader, and one of our Beavers in the cast. The show started with 1st Kidsgrove’s Scout Band playing a couple of tunes (The Burdi Boys theme and Crest of a Wave if I remember correctly) which was an innovative way to start the show. After that, came the usual mixture of songs, dancing and sketches. It wasn’t long before the Beavers came out to sing ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ and, as usual, they stole the show! Both the Beavers and the (also excellent) Cubs featured heavily in the first half of the show as they are not permitted to be onstage past a certain time. They, along with the rest of the cast, did really well in the song and dance numbers.

The second half of the show featured the Scouts, Explorers and Leaders and included a rendition by the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody and this actually worked very well! Towards the end, after having some ‘advice’ from Executive Producer Paul (who said again he wasn’t doing another show – now a running joke!), the co-producers Sarah and Rachael sang a duet. After this came the finale which featured songs from the TV series ‘Glee’ followed by, of course, the Burdi Boys Theme tune and A Crest of a Wave.

It was a shame that the Beavers and Cubs weren’t able to take part in the finale (they did on Saturday), but it was an excellent end to an excellent show. Well done to everyone who took part.

Oh, we all liked the comedy District Commissioner – or was it the real one??

Remembrance Sunday Parade

Our Beavers, Cubs, Scouts along with the Brownies and Guides, today paid respect to those who have been killed in wars, by parading round Porthill, led by our drum band and then by joining the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church for a service of Remembrance.

The Scout Group’s drum band was restarted this year by our Assistant Scout Leader after a gap of around 50 years!

Last year marked the first time in over 20 years that the Scouts and Guides paraded from St. Andrew’s Church Hall to the Church and this year they took a slightly longer route around the streets of Porthill.

It’s very pleasing to show to the general public that the members of the Scouts and Guides of Porthill have come out to show their respect to those who have been killed in wars. I’m also proud of the skill and dedication of the members of the drum band who only reformed at the beginning of this year and are now skilled and confident enough to lead a parade through the streets of Porthill.


DSC02855 (Large)DSC02857 (Large)

I’d invited our local MP and a number of local Borough and County Councillors to come along and see us parading. Only one councillor made it, the others were either at other ceremonies (fair enough) or didn’t bother to reply to me (tut tut).

I’m very grateful to Staffs Police for making sure the roads were safe for us to parade along!

More photos are available in the Scout Group’s gallery here.

11-11-11 Rememberance Day

Today at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year it is 93 years since the end of the First World War and 97 years since its beginning.

Did the War to End All War’s do so? No. But we continue to honour those who died in the service of their countries from that time to, sadly, the present day.

The poem below contains the famous words of remembrance, and although it concerns itself with England (sometimes used erroneously instead of the UK), whichever country you come from, you can make a substitution.

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.


Porthill Scouts Killed in World War 1 and World War 2

We will remember them

An Apology!

For those of you who wander by here from time to time, you’ll have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet recently. My Scouting has taken a bit of a back seat as we’ve been preparing for the arrival of our second daughter.

Laura Lily Wood was born on Friday last week and is a very health little girl.

So as is to be expected other things are occupying my time at the moment (she’s having her morning snooze at the moment!). So even though posts will be a little sparse for a while, I do have a couple of interesting things coming up in the next few weeks which I will be sharing with you all.