Group Annual report


Chairman’s review of the year

  1. In many respects, this has been a very successful year for the Group.
  1. Our stall at Didsbury Festival last June was very successful. Not only did we demonstrate the presence and activity of the Scout Group, but the Gourmet Burger Stall sold out in the fastest time ever, making a decent profit and allowing us to get home at a reasonable hour.
  1. Last November we had a very successful bonfire and firework display at Toc H Rugby Club. It was generally agreed that the bonfire was the biggest and the fireworks by far the best we have done so far. An exceptionally good profit was made but more of that from the Treasurer shortly. The crowd was so large that it was, at times, difficult to move around. This year we intend to have a different arrangement of stalls to free up the patio area and to review the marshalling arrangements to improve matters.
  1. Instead of a Christmas meal this year, we had a Murder Mystery evening, Murder at the Manor. The acting was enthusiastic, even good at times, the food was both good and plentiful and the large audience had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Our thanks go to Helen and her band of willing helpers for giving us such a good time. I do encourage parents to come to these occasional meals and other social events – they are great fun (and value).
  1. With the increase in our income, it has been possible to undertake some improvements. We have replaced some of the older tentage and are replacing all of the lighting in the main hall to give a better, more even light and better protected fittings. We also have to cope with considerably increased subscriptions to Scout Headquarters and now also must pay a subscription to District as well.
  1. After a shaky start, the Explorer Unit is now beginning to grow. I am delighted that they are able to meet here, where the facilities are good, and hope they will grow into a successful unit like our former Viking Ventures. It bodes well that they have adopted a variant on that fine name.
  1. The website, maintained by Keith, continues to flourish. It carries news, information on forthcoming activities and reports and reviews, usually with pictures, of recent events. Remember the address – www.didsburyscouts.org.uk.
  1. Early this year a compulsory purchase order was served on the Group by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. This relates to development of the old railway line as part of the proposed Metrolink to Stockport or East Didsbury. The land in question is almost all of the grassed area to the west and south of the lodge. Unfortunately, inaccurate plans were used and the line actually goes through both our garage and the hall extension. Keith and I had an amicable meeting with Councillors Parkinson and Sandiford along with two representatives from GMPTE. At present this appears to be a holding operation to allow flexibility to the preferred bidder in the development of the Didsbury station. The preferred bidder was expected to be identified by around Easter followed by about six months of detailed planning. They promised to keep us advised on progress, but we have heard no more yet.
  1. Some people must be mentioned. Fistly we were saddened to hear of the death of Nellie Woodhall, aged 87, on January 5th. She was a long standing and enthusiastic supporter of the Group and latterly ran the whist drives for many years. The Group was well represented at her funeral, with eight members attending. At the last AGM we welcomed Brian Ferguson as Secretary and Christine Taylor as Assistant Treasurer. Both have settled well into their posts. There are also two who are standing down, Gordon Browne as President and Ann Lole as Treasurer. Gordon has had a long association with the Group. He was my predecessor as Chairman, in post for about seven years and became President when I took over nine years ago. He has given and continues to give great service to the group. He can usually be found, with his sleeves rolled up, cooking burgers or building bonfires. Ann has been associated with the Group for even longer and for much of the time as Treasurer. In recognition of this service, when she retired for the first time about eight years ago she was presented with the Medal of Merit by the County Commissioner. She was persuaded out of retirement after a couple of years and has been back in post ever since. Now she feels she should spend some time with her children and grandchildren as well as her at times long-suffering husband, Peter. We thank Gordon and Ann for all their work for the Group over many years and hope that they will retain an association with us.
  1. Finally, I would like to thank, on your behalf, all of the leaders who give so much of their time for the Group. Caroline has done a great deal in the Scout section and we hope she will return. Mike is to be congratulated on his appointment as ADC Scouts. I must also thank the other members of the Executive Committee, including the section representatives, for all their work throughout the year. The Whist Drives continue, now under new management. These have given enjoyment to many people and provide welcome income for the Group. This year we have had a greater input from parents and families at events such as the bonfire and Didsbury Festival. This is very welcome and I thank you all. Keep up the good work! Next, we shall have the “Gourmet Burger Stall” at Didsbury Festival on Saturday. This is a major logistic exercise. Please try to help.

D.S. Leitch

10th June 2004



GSL’s report 2004


Firstly, thanks to leaders and exec for another successful year for the group, without their dedication the group could not exist. A special thank you to Ann Lole for her years of dedication to the group as treasure, she will be stepping down tonight but I expect she will still support the group when she can.


Fund raising

Successful Didsbury festival, Bonfire night and murder mystery evening were held during the year.



Mike Ney has become ADC Scouts and the week to week running of the troop is now done by Noel helped & Martin Miller as a young leader, Mike Ney and Keith Hampson still give their expertises when needed. Until recently Caroline Hall was Scout leader but has had to take a break but she hopes to return.


New tents

Three new tents have recently been purchased all dome type with sawn in ground sheets. All have been put to good service at cub camp and scout camp.



A new unit now meets at the Lodge and had resumed the name of Vikings and the meeting day of Wednesdays, they are called “Didsbury Viking Explorer scout unit” at present there are 7 members all were scouts with our group. As the new structure for the scouting means that the Unit is not strictly anything to do with the group as it report directly to the District other groups are being encouraged to feed the District units but to date this has not happened. The unit is open to girls as well as boys but at present it is all boys.


Waiting lists

Both the cub pack and the beaver colony are full and have waiting lists. The numbers could manage to start a second pack and colony, all we need is more warranted leader.


Group website

The group website is now didsburyscouts.org.uk thanks to Phil Gunhouse our District chairman for hosting it free of charge on his server space.


Cubs BBQ 24th June 1800 before cubs at the Baptist church, its part of the church’s get to know you campaign.


Kandersteg next year 6-20 August 2005.


Keith Hampson (GSL)





This year we have initiated the new Beaver scout programme, this means that beavers have for the first time been able to gain badges. We have geared the programmes to incorporate activities that will enable the beavers to gain the badges. To gain the outdoor badge we have had visits to the park where we’ve carried out sleuthing and tracking, they have also been taught how to light gas cookers and we’ve also included some cooking. Again this year we visited cub camp,  the activities they did with the cubs meant that this also contributed towards their outdoor badge. Learning about Diwali, the festival of light, and joining with the beavers from the district for the carol service contributed towards their friendship badge. To gain the discovery badge we carried out various experiments with magnets, grew mustard and cress and made an erupting volcano! Recently we have been learning about the countries that make up the United Kingdom, their flags, patron saints, days and emblems and now we have moved onto Greece with the oncoming Olympic games. There are some beavers who will be able to go on to do the Chief Scout’s Bronze Award as they have gained the previous badges, as yet no-one has gained this badge. There are also activity badges and eight beavers managed to gain their stage one IT badge, thank you to Keith and Alan for testing them. Thank you to Keith for organising the trip to Blackpool with the cubs, to the tower circus, when there weren’t enough beavers from the district to fill a coach.


We would like to thank Jenny and Rhys for the assistance they have been giving us over the last six months, their help has been invaluable.


We will now be asking parents to again help on a rota so that we can continue with beavers and if anyone is wanting to start another colony just let us know as we have a waiting list of boys ready to start! (Pay - none, Time – once a week plus preparation and visits,  Patience – loads,  Fun - Plenty)


See you Saturday

Amik – Sue Sunderland         Hathi – Helen Hampson



Cub Scout Report 2004


Again this has been another exciting year for the Cubs, taking part in many varied activities including the Creative and Caring Challenges


June: Photographic Treasure Hunt around Didsbury.

July: Map & Compass, Storking/Sleuthing in the Park.

Sept: Creative Challenge

Oct:  Sweet Construction – building a tower – maximum weight, TV advertising – market a new product, its somewhere on video

Nov: Bonfire Poster Competition and successful film night – Johnny English

Dec: Visit to the Circus at Blackpool.

Jan:  Caring Challenge – healthy eating

Feb:  Safety in the home and Fire Drill

Mar:  Home Help (cooking, sewing, ironing), Explorer Night evening

Apr: Community Police visit

May: Photography and Morphing

Jun: Cub Camp – Tatton Park – The Vikings are coming – visit the group website for photos.


The Pack continues to grow, numbers held at 30 cubs. As the older cubs have moved up to Scouts their places have been filled by the older Beavers.

We have a new assistance helper a university student Chris.

Jonathan Doyle also still helps even after completing the service requirement for his D of E, he has now agreed to take out an ACSL’s warrant with the pack

Sue and myself would like to thank all the parents that have offered their support to the pack this year and  especially to Alex McNeill who has been a great supporter all year, not to mention the many hours put into making the shield and axes for Cub Camp.


Alan Robinson (Cub Scout Leader)



Scout Section Report 2004


There has been some major changes to the troop over the year. Six of the older scout left after Christmas to go into Explorers which left only 8 scouts but  we are pleased to report that numbers are now up again and there are 15 in the troop.


The troop attended the Technology camp at Linnet Clough in October and many badges were gained some of the scouts who are now in Explorers are now wanting to take their Radio Amateur licence.


Since the new year the programme has been aimed at getting the troop to have a good patrol system. There are at present two patrols Vipers and Raptors and team work is beginning to  happen.


Some recent activities have been model car racing, Bowling and making patrol T shirts. A week end camp “in the rain!!” was held at Linnet Clough in April this was to introduce the new cub recruits into “scout” camps ready for our annual camp.


We are just back from a successful annual weeks camp where 10 scouts attended.


Noel Privat (ASL)