1st & 2nd South Benfleet Sea Scouts

In the 1960's

By Ian Hawks

In the late 1960 I took over as Group Leader of the Sea Scouts and during this time new headquarters (1968) were official opened by Stan Fisher a retired Sea Scout leader, his Sister Kath Fisher still ran the Cub section.  The new building was erected on the waterfront just west of the Railway Station.

Photo:Kath Fisher with Cubs

Kath Fisher with Cubs

Ian Hawks

Stan Fisher arrived in the creek on his sailing cruiser and was met by the groups whaler, rowed by Patrol Leader’s. On landing he opened the ceremony by undoing a reef knot tied across the compound gates. Many local commissioners from the Scouting world attended, and the afternoon ended by a demonstration of boat and canoe handling by the scouts.  The Parents committee laid on refreshment. 

Photo:Crew ready to pull away

Crew ready to pull away

Ian Hawks

Photo:Returning with Stan Fisher

Returning with Stan Fisher

Ian Hawks

Photo:Stan Fisher undoing the reef knot to open the Headquarters

Stan Fisher undoing the reef knot to open the Headquarters

Ian Hawks

Photo:Stan Fisher & Parents

Stan Fisher & Parents

Ian Hawks

Unfortunately vandals burnt this down in later years. It was rebuilt (This HQ was opened by Sir Bernard Brain after I retired from Scouting) but again vandals destroyed it together with most of the craft and canoes that had been donated to the group over the years. The group decided enough was enough and moved away from the waterside site.

Photo:Visiting Scouters

Visiting Scouters

Ian Hawks

Photo:Scouts ready for sailing

Scouts ready for sailing

Ian Hawks

Photo:Ian and Scouts

Ian and Scouts

Ian Hawks

This page was added by Ian Hawks on 26/02/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

I am sure that the old Scout hut was destroyed in the 1987 hurricane when the roof was blown over the railway line to land on the recreation ground. It was rebuilt but abandoned in 2000-1, It was burned down by vandals in September 2003.

By Keith Webster
On 30/03/2011

Yes, I believe you are right. I knew there was a fire but had forgotten about the storm damage, thanks for pointing this out.

By Ian Hawks
On 01/04/2011

These photos bring back memories. I was in this scout group in the mid sixties. Can remember there were signs in the creek telling you not to swim because of the sewage pollution! I remember the original old hut being destroyed in that storm. Sure some of it nearly landed on the station!

By Dave Peck
On 24/10/2011

My recollection of the Sea Scouts was that we met in a hall or shed behind the Vicarage on Vicarage Hill. Myself and my friend Colin Wood used to attend, this would have been around 1949, I think you had to be twelve years old to join then. I was invested? at a ceremony in a hall just at the lower end of the Essex Way and the track that led up to the Downs. 

We were doing the old whispers thing about passing it on and in a rather mischievous moment I deliberately distorted the message but got found out in the who did what enquiry after the event, just a bit of fun I thought at the time but my pals tipped me over a big bushy hedge coming down the hill after the end of the meeting. 

I can remember the cutter and I thought there was a dory as well but might be wrong about that. I quite liked the boating side of things and later I would go and sail with Martin Goodwin at Hole Haven where he moored his boat. A rather strange quirk or what ever, the house he lived in was one of the black tarred cottages on the right going up Essex Way and some years later while talking to my Grandmother she said she had lived in the same house as a young girl and that my Aunt Willa was born in the house. 

By Colin Mackenzie
On 26/11/2011

Hi Colin, I'm Tony Matthews one time patrol leader of Otter Patrol, early 1950s, the other patrols had sea bird names and Keith Musto the olympic yachtsman led another patrol, while Alan Maley a close friend since schooldays was another PL and got the MBE for setting up an English language college in Peking.

By Anthony Edward Matthews
On 24/02/2013
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