Lympstone of Old: Summer camps, swimming lessons and inspections

For this article we are concluding Mr Robert Perry’s memories of his days with the Scouts and Sea Scouts in Lympstone.

Having taken over as leader of the scouts in 1952, the troops would hold weekend camps at Coombe Farm and Yettington. Nineteen scouts attended the 1954 Torquay Jamboree and, later, the troop were involved in a French exchange with scouts from Mazamet, including summer camps added into the programme. John Whipp went on to receive his Queen’s Scouts Award and Godfrey Batley obtained his Duke of Edinburgh Award from the Duke himself. The scout hut was extended to twice its length by Snow & Yeo for �150, with sports days raising funds.

Major Donald Peyton-Jones of the Royal Marines would often send down “volunteers” to help, along with the use of marine boats. The decision was taken to change from Scouts back to Sea Scouts and they were able to buy back the whaler which had gone to the 5th Exmouth, which involved rowing the boat back and a change of troop scarf, from blue to white with a navy blue band, the same as the boat.

Boat trips to Sandy Bay, Torbay and Sidmouth were enjoyed,. Exeter Regatta and Totnes Scout Regatta were taken part in.

Swimming lessons were given by Jim Tyrell in the mussel tanks, as Robert’s photo of 1962 shows. The boat house at Parsonage Stile was opened in 1965 by the now Rev. Peyton-Jones, called Tackers on land bought by Charlie Ware from the church, followed by boating displays. The whaler Silver Arrow II was moored off The Green and over-wintered at Parsonage Stile, but, during a rough storm, it was wrecked and broke up.

The highlight of Robert’s leadership was being amongst the 100 Sea Scout units in the country to have recognition which was obtained after an inspection by a Naval Officer, afterwhich all members of the troop were entitled to wear the special Admiralty Badge.