Scout Camp in the 1950s

Hill Road/Thundersley Park Road

If you played in and around the Hill Road area of Benfleet in the 1950s you may well remember seeing scout camps that were held in a field at the top of Hill Road.

The location would have been perfect for setting up camp, as both Hill Road and Thundersley Park Road were unmade at that time and in fact still are today.

The photo on this page was presented to Mr Coppin, who lived in Hill Road. If my memory is correct, Mr Coppin had connections with the scouts and lived close enough to the camp to help with proceedings.

I lived close by myself and my brothers, who are a little older than me, recall the camps in the field. They tell me that the scouts came to the aid of my father after he fell out of an apple tree, whilst picking the fruit.  He dislocated his shoulder blade and the lads attended to him until medical help arrived.

Interestingly, a relative who originally comes from East Ham, thinks she recognises one of the lads in the photo. In the back row, sixth from left, it could be Dale Tremble.

The field has long since become overgrown although it is still undeveloped. Do you remember these camps?

Thundersley Camp, showing Skipper Stevens back row, fourth from left.
Wording on the photo
Approximate location of scout camp

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  • Skipper Stevens is the chap in the middle of the back row. I believe his son who was the assistant scout master had a name or nickname of Cody.

    Editors note:  Thanks very much for this information, we will caption the photo accordingly.

    By Lynn Peter Sharman (16/07/2016)
  • I knew Mr Stevens and his family when I was a boy back in the Fiftys, they lived in a bungalow behind my Grandfather, which is now Arundel Road but those days it was just bush land. He was a large and jovial man and they used to walk through my grandfathers land as it was a short cut to Tarpots.

    Editors note: Michael, would you happen to know if Mr Stevens is one of the people in the photo?

    By Michael Harding (15/07/2016)
  • I do not remember the East Ham scouts, but the Scout leader Skipper A Stephens became the scout leader of the 2nd Thundersley troup that met in the old village hall at the junction of Kenneth Road and Hart Road. Skipper was I believe assisted by his son and organised several scout camps in the field behind the vicarage just off Church Road. Skipper was also instrumental in having the scout troop enter a float in the Southend Carnival that had one of the scouts dressed up as a carnival queen sitting on a Hand Cart which was pushed and pulled from the Kursaal to Chalkwell Park. Does anyone have any photos of the event?

    By Lynn Peter Sharman (04/07/2016)

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