|Rushden Echo, 5th April 1912, transcribed by Kay Collins
Scoutcraft - Boys Dine Together at Rushden - Successful Event
The annual dinner of the, Rushden Boy Scouts was held in the Church Institute, Coffee Tavern-lane, on Tuesday.
A large company assembled, among whom were: Messrs.J. Claridge, J.P., C.C. (in the chair), G. Miller. C.C., F'red Knight, J. P., Col-Sergt.-Inspector Bullard, Major Curtis, Messrs. W. Hensman, G. R. Turner, G. H. Skinner, Sergt. Bacon, Messrs. R. Marriott, F. E. Preston (scoutmaster), W. L. Beetenson, S. Powell, Phillips, A. Cox, C.A.K.Green, Ette, J. Hyde, J. Tomalin. W. Packwood, Seckington and Sergt. Wright (St. John Ambulance).
The Chairman gave the loyal toasts.
Sergt. Bullard, in response, thanked the company for the way they had drunk the toast. With regard to the auxiliary forces, in that district, he was pleased to say, they were well over (Applause.) On the 1st of April they were nine men over, and he hoped to have a few more men in during the next week or so. They would not be in that flourishing condition were it not for the support which they got from the local tradesmen and the public generally. That support was particularly valuable which provided prizes for the autumn shoot. They were able to collect in money and value £50 for prizes. (Applause.)
Mr. Fred Knight then submitted "The Army, Navy, and Imperial Forces.'' He had taken a great interest in the Volunteer Forces, and he took a great, interest in the Territorial. Their navy was in a very efficient condition, and there was no doubt that while other nations increased their naval strength the home country must keep ahead. (Applause.) He did not think there would be any lack of recruits for the Territorials if the Government gave that force encouragement. (Applause.) With regard to the Scout movement, he considered it was a splendid one for keeping lads of their age out of mischief (applause and laughter) and also for bringing them under proper discipline. Their connection with the movement would be of great advantage, to them in after life. (Hear, hear, and applause.)
Major Curtis gave an address upon the Boy Scout movement. He would like tell them what they were doing in Northamptonshire with regard to the Scouts. He had spoken to Major Barry and suggested that he should organise the Boy Scouts. He knew that everything that was taken up in Northamptonshire went well, and he was therefore glad when Major Barry took the matter up. They were making headway in the county, and they now had a county organisation of six divisions, and nearly 1,500 Boy Scouts. (Applause.) He was proud to say that his division (the Eastern) numbered 520 units. There was no place for
in any walk of life, and neither was there room for one in the Scout movement. If they had a loafer among them who simply joined the Scouts because of the buns and good things he got when they gave a display, get rid of him. (Applause.) There were no loafers, he hoped, in the Northamptonshire Company. Since last summer they had a troup formed at Ecton and Irchester, and one was in formation at Finedon. Another had been started since September at Stanwick. That showed the movement was making progress in the division and in the county. They were going to have a County Scout Rally, and it would be held at Northampton on July 6th next. They were to be inspected by His Highness Prince Alexander of Teck, brother of the Queen, and subsequently displays would be given. It was probable that the firemen's display would be allotted to that part of Northamptonshire. They only had 16 boys who possessed the firemen's badge, and seven of those were in Rushden. Unless they got more boys to qualify for the badge it would leave very few to undertake the responsibility of that part of the display. He asked those boys to get others to qualify for
so that their division of the county could be worthily represented. They had also decided that each division should have a distinctive badge. Therefore, in the future they would wear a black silk ribbon round their hats, with "Northampton" printed upon it. He urged lads to make use of the Scout sign and do one good turn a day. He wanted them to go out of their way to do a good turn each day. (Applause.)
Sergt. Bacon then gave an interesting account of the origin of the Boy Scout movement.
Mr. Turner gave "The Rushden Troop." People were proud of the Scouts, for they were all striving to do good to their fellows. They were not the ''last hope" of England, but the "first hope'' for they looked to the lads to make the citizens of the future. (Applause.) Two boys had received rewards, one from Carnegie and one from Baden-Powell. The town and the troop were proud of those two boys. (Applause.) They were all prepared to do similar turns, but they did not have the opportunity. He was gratified that the movement was prospering in Rushden. (Applause.) A very great deal was due to the Scoutmaster, Mr. Preston, and he did not know a man more suited for the office of Scoutmaster. (Applause.)
Scoutmaster Preston said he had the movement very much at heart. He had held the position of Scoutmaster for three years, and had tried to do his best for the troop. (Applause.) It encouraged him to work for the troop because he felt they appreciated what he did. It was Scout law not to boast of what they did, and though he did not hear of many good turns he was quite sure they were being accomplished. Their lads were willing to help any institution, and often did so. All the good turns they did were done voluntarily, and without payment. (Applause.)
Mr. Skinner gave ''The Visitors,'' and said he was gratified to see so many public men attending to show their interest in the Scouts. (Applause.)
Mr. Henson, in response, said they (the visitors) were going to do what they could for the Scouts, for they had a great interest in the boys.
Mr. Miller submitted "The Chairman," and thanks were accorded Major Curtis for his address.
The following contributed to the harmony of the evening: Mr. Bernard Tomkins (songs) and Mr. Neal (recitations).