A few months ago I was contacted by Trevor McFarlane of Full Circle Group – Cheslyn Hay & District History Society. Trevor had been notified of some cinefilms belonging to Brian Griffiths that had been originally shot by the one and only L. G. Stanley (Sarg) born 13 February 1899, of the Third Walsall Sea Scouts.
“His father and Grandfather owned a substantial Leather Business making buckles and this expanded with the advent of plastics and moldings. The firm Alfred Stanley and Sons stood at the corner of Brace Street and Wednesbury Road. They lived in Slaney Road. When Sarg was 5 his father had a house built at 40 Gorway Road and the family moved there.” Excerpt from ‘History of the Third or How I Remember It.’ by Brian Griffiths.
L. G. Stanley filmed many scouting activities and events in Walsall from the 1930s onwards. One of the films from the collection is entitled: Haunted Harbour. It is a Kinescout adaptation of the book by Percy F. Westerman.
Brian Griffiths remembers the 1957 The Jamboree; Indaba & MOOT, in Sutton Park :
“The Sea Scouts of Sutton Coldfield and Walsall Sea Scouts played host the World of Scouts and helped to organize the World JUBILLE JAMBOREE INDBA & MOOT in Sutton Park
There is a film that covers this event.
(Which is to be screened on 17th April 2012 at The Crossing at St Pauls, Walsall.)
At odd weekends just before the Jamboree, I had attended several County Meetings with Sarg. Just taking a few notes of dates, times and venues, later following the tuition given to me as a Work Services clerk in the army, I typed out notices, alternative minutes and schedules. This led Sarg to ask me if I was going to attend the event.
” No” I said. “I will still be doing my National Service.”
“How much longer have you to serve”? was the next question.
“About four days after the Jamboree finishes”.
“I’ll see what I can do”. Knowing Sarg, that was just about anything. Sure enough, about a week before the Jamboree a Brigadier came into my office. The Civilian officer and I jumped to attention, but the Chief Engineer for Western Command stood the pair of us at our ease and asked if I was Brian Griffiths. I didn’t deny it. He asked what part I had played in the organization and I explained that I had taken notes attending meetings at County level, without letting on how many. He granted me leave to attend the Jamboree. It was a good job I had only four days left to do, before my “Demob” The Chief Clerk of the office and R.S.M.at Chester Castle were unhappy that I had influenced the Chief Engineer, but it was worth it.
There were 31,426 Scouts at the Jamboree from 88 countries were under canvas Sarg’s part in this memorable event was to look after all water activities on the various lakes in Sutton Park and in particular the major carnival and displays on Powell’s Pool. The Guardship was a special feature and over the course of the fourteen days 650 Scouters and guests came to the Guardship to see this unique training facility.
If you have any old films, cine or tape or moving image materials relating to the Midlands region and would like to know how to look after them, please get in touch with us at MACE (Media Archive for Central England) to learn how to preserve them for future generations for years to come.
Photography © Lucie Kerley