I was eight years old
In 1965 I lived at 48 Colbourne Avenue, Moulsecoomb, and that year I became eight years old. Eight years old was the age at which a boy could join the cubs, so I joined the cub group/pack at the Old Barn in Hodshrove Lane. My brother Allan was already a member and he was three years older than me. I remember vividly the smell of the old barn, it was part of the Hodshrove Farm and it was next to the grounds of what would eventually be the ’67 Centre’ which was still a couple of years away from being built.
‘Bob a Job’ week
We used to do activities which would earn you a proficiency badge which you sewed onto the arm of your cub jersey. The activities might be anything from going to people’s homes and do household chores, to proving that you could perform basic first aid. ‘Bob a Job Week’ was always a bit of fun when we would go round knocking on doors to offer our services for a ‘bob’ (10p), I would always concentrate on the Colbourne Avenue area as it was full of people that knew me. I remember we had a couple of day trips to London, I remember going to London Zoo and Heathrow Airport, and both times it incorporated a trip to the Lord Baden Powell house in London which was very interesting.
No attraction in camping
I started to lose interest in the cubs when I was getting nearer to the age to go into the scouts, as we used to have to go on hikes and go camping. I never saw the attraction of walking for miles in shorts and having brambles sting your legs so when you got home you had to pile loads of calomine lotion on. I also did not like the thought of sleeping in a field under a canvas with only a rough blanket between you and the cold ground, and all sorts of wildlife crawling in your clothes. So I left!
Were you ever a cub?
Does anyone remember going to the cubs at the old barn and did you ever wear the famous ‘Wayfinder’ shoes from the 1960s that had a compass inside the heel? I always found this to be a bit of a design fault because you had to take your foot out of the shoe and stand on one leg in a muddy field or wood to see the compass which isn’t a great thing when you are on a hike on a cold winters day and you have got lost.