The after school scout troop

It just seemed a bit wrong to me.

The after school scout troop

I have to declare here and now a certain biased opinion against the scouts being as how I was spurned by the cub scouts all those years previously, its not that I bore a grudge or anything but fook them and their woggles and all, I’ll play Bulldogs on my own.

I don’t know whether it was the fact that they all had to use the gym changing rooms after school to get changed into their beige uniforms with those slightly camp in a 1970s Jason King style neckerchiefs, or whether it was because they used the basement cellar rooms for their scout type meetings and stick rubbing or whatever it was they did in the after school scout troop, but mainly I think it was the master who took the after school scout troop.

He was an English master who didn’t take our form for any lessons so his name is lost in the museum of recollections, filed away somewhere without a record card and no hope of finding it again, slipped down the back of a drawer and those brain cells re-allocated to something else.

Speaking of which, slipping down the backs of drawers, shortly after I’d bought the business off my dad – yes we’ve jumped ahead about twenty years here, it happens, keep up with me – we were moving some old green metal filing cabinets in the warehouse and Jon our trainee took out one of the drawers to find something had fallen down the back and been lost for many-a-year, fishing it out he opened an envelope to find about £500 in £10 notes, notes which had just been superseded by a smaller £10 note making these old notes obsolete.

You can bet that I ran all the way to the bank, burst through the door waving the £500 in the air  and shoving old ladies out of the way screamed through the counter glass “Tell me that these notes aren’t obsolete YET!!!”

And they weren’t, you should have seen my fathers face when I told him that night that we’d found one of his secret stash’s of untaxed cash and divided it up without including him for of course he wasn’t employed by the company any more.

Just sprang to mind that one did.

Anyway, where were we, scouts.

It just seemed very strange that you could go through a whole school day, and probably have this master for English during the day, and then not want to run for the bus home but instead stay behind for the after school scout troop, hosted by the English master.

Running for the bus home, diverted again look, running for the bus home, now that was funny, imagine a school with 800 boys in it, 11 to 18 years of age, and they can only use one gate to exit the premises when the bell goes at 4pm, it was like a cavalry charge to get through the gate first but it gets better for there was only one bus stop and no school specials so within seconds of the bell going there would be 800 of us waiting at the bus stop for the next service bus to arrive – many is the time that a rostered bus driver has turned down his shift when he’s realised that he’d be one of the first drivers to approach the Leeds Modern School Otley Road bus stop just after 4pm, several small kids were killed every night at that bus stop, just disappeared never to be seen again in the crush to get 800 boys onto one bus – it was character building though.

Anyway, the scout troop…a bit creepy, especially the English master who led the group.

Jason King style neckerchiefs, creepy English masters, basement meeting rooms, all sounds a bit subversive to me, the sort of organisation that you have to pledge allegiance to in a candle lit low ceiling basement room and then swear that you’d never tell your mother what went on in there.

And they never seemed to go anywhere or do anything, most scout troops that my friends were in would go off camping and killing small mammals to cook over open fires, rubbing sticks galore together, learning how to survive for weeks in the woods with just a candle, a sherbert dip and thre’pence in your pocket, they’d get badges for that sort of thing – but the after school scout troop didn’t seem to do any of those things, they’d just go into the gym changing rooms after school, clad themselves in beige and Jason King style neckerchiefs and then lock themselves in the basement meeting room.

Months later I asked Tony Bateson of MasterBate-son fame, he once showed me a handkerchief that he’d wanked onto, I hope he never reads this, anyway, he was a member of the after school scout troop and I asked him how many badges he had now, “Badges?” he asked with a quizzical tone as if no-one had ever described the principal aim of being in the scouts, to cover your sleeves with badges for doing pointless things.

Proof if proof were needed that there was something very sinister going on in that scout troop.


4 thoughts on “The after school scout troop

  1. This is a boy led organization. The boys are organized into groups, of six to eight, which are called patrols. Each patrol elects its own patrol leader and assistant. The Troops activities are planned by the Patrol Leaders Council or “PLC” which consists of the Patrol Leaders as well as the Senior Patrol consisting of the Senior Patrol leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Scribe, Quartermaster and troop Guides. The Senior Patrol Leader runs the troop’s activities. The Scoutmaster and assistants serve to advise and guide the scouts through this boy led program. The adult leaders are tasked with monitoring and supporting the activities of the troop to ensure the safety of all.

  2. This will be a year or three prior to the period you are describing, and my memory may be flawed, but the Leeds Modern staff member I recollect as having an interest in the Boy Scouts (no, really) was a Mr. Horsfall. But he taught maths. And I also seem to remember that his ‘troop’ was not school-based.

  3. I have no recollection of them meeting at school – but I would not depend on that. And using the school as a base could well have happened after my stint there.

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